Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/25/2003 03:00 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                                                                                     
                         March 25, 2003                                                                                         
                           3:00 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Peggy Wilson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Carl Gatto, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 165                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to community schools; and providing for an                                                                     
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 154                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to admission to and advancement in public                                                                      
schools of children under school age; and providing for an                                                                      
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 167                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to grants for alcoholism and drug abuse                                                                        
programs; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
PREVIOUS ACTION                                                                                                               
BILL: HB 165                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:COMMUNITY SCHOOLS                                                                                                   
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/05/03     0437       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/05/03     0437       (H)        EDU, HES, FIN                                                                                
03/05/03     0437       (H)        FN1: (EED)                                                                                   
03/05/03     0437       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
03/11/03                (H)        EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                  
03/11/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/11/03                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
03/13/03                (H)        EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                  
03/13/03                (H)        Moved Out of Committee                                                                       
03/13/03                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
03/14/03     0539       (H)        EDU RPT 5DP 2DNP                                                                             
03/14/03     0539       (H)        DP: WOLF, SEATON, WILSON,                                                                    
03/14/03     0539       (H)        GATTO; DNP: GARA, KAPSNER                                                                    
03/14/03     0539       (H)        FN1: (EED)                                                                                   
03/18/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/18/03                (H)        <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                     
03/25/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
BILL: HB 154                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:UNDER SCHOOL AGE STUDENTS                                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/05/03     0421       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/05/03     0421       (H)        EDU, HES, FIN                                                                                
03/05/03     0422       (H)        FN1: (EED)                                                                                   
03/05/03     0422       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
03/11/03                (H)        EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                  
03/11/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/11/03                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
03/13/03                (H)        EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                  
03/13/03                (H)        Moved CSHB 154(EDU) Out of                                                                   
03/13/03                (H)        MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                  
03/14/03     0538       (H)        EDU RPT CS(EDU) NT 4DP 2DNP                                                                  
03/14/03     0538       (H)        DP: WILSON, COGHILL, SEATON,                                                                 
03/14/03     0538       (H)        DNP: GARA, KAPSNER; NR: WOLF                                                                 
03/14/03     0538       (H)        FN1: (EED)                                                                                   
03/18/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/18/03                (H)        <Bill Hearing Postponed>                                                                     
03/25/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
BILL: HB 167                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE:ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE GRANTS                                                                                    
SPONSOR(S): RLS BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                      
Jrn-Date   Jrn-Page                     Action                                                                                  
03/05/03     0439       (H)        READ THE FIRST TIME -                                                                        
03/05/03     0439       (H)        HES, FIN                                                                                     
03/05/03     0439       (H)        FN1: (HSS); FN2: (HSS)                                                                       
03/05/03     0439       (H)        FN3: (HSS); FN4: (HSS)                                                                       
03/05/03     0439       (H)        GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                                                                
03/13/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/13/03                (H)        Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                      
03/18/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
03/18/03                (H)        Heard & Held                                                                                 
03/18/03                (H)        MINUTE(HES)                                                                                  
03/25/03                (H)        HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
EDDY JEANS, Manager                                                                                                             
School Finance and Facilities Section                                                                                           
Education Support Services                                                                                                      
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 165 and HB 154,                                                                 
and answered questions from members.                                                                                            
MARY RASMUSSEN, Member                                                                                                          
Sand Lake Community Schools Board and                                                                                           
Anchorage Community Education Association                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified via teleconference in opposition                                                                 
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
REBECCA REICHLIN, President                                                                                                     
Alaska Association for Community Education                                                                                      
Girdwood, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified via teleconference in opposition                                                                 
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
ROSEMARY REEDER, Lead Coordinator                                                                                               
Soldotna Community schools                                                                                                      
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 165.                                                                         
CURT LEDFORD, Director                                                                                                          
Sitka Community schools                                                                                                         
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165 and answer questions from the members.                                                                                
TIM STEELE, Vice President                                                                                                      
Anchorage School Board                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
DEBBIE BOGART, Director                                                                                                         
Community Education Program                                                                                                     
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
LORENA SKONBERG                                                                                                                 
Alaska Native Health Board                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
BLYTHE CAMPBELL, Chairperson                                                                                                    
Anchorage Community Education Association                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
JONATHAN GREEN, Instructor                                                                                                      
Anchorage Community schools Program                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
LINDA WETHERBY, Coordinator                                                                                                     
Rabbit Creek Community schools                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified via teleconference  in opposition                                                               
to HB 165.                                                                                                                      
JOYCE KITKA, Volunteer                                                                                                          
Alaska Association for Community Education                                                                                      
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 165.                                                                         
MARY FRANCIS, Executive Director                                                                                                
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 165 and HB 154, and                                                                        
answered questions from the members.                                                                                            
CARL ROSE, Executive Director                                                                                                   
Association of Alaska School Boards                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 165 and HB
154, and responded to questions by the committee.                                                                               
JOHN DAVIS, Superintendent                                                                                                      
Bering Strait School District                                                                                                   
Unalakleet, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified via teleconference in opposition                                                                 
to HB 154.                                                                                                                      
KEVIN MURPHY, Acting Director                                                                                                   
Gateway Center for Human Services;                                                                                              
President, Substance Abuse Directors Association                                                                                
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified via teleconference in opposition                                                                 
to HB 167.                                                                                                                      
STEPHEN SUNDBY, Ph.D., Behavioral Health Director                                                                               
Bartlett Memorial Hospital and Juneau Recovery Hospital                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 167 and                                                                      
responded to questions by the committee.                                                                                        
JANET MCCABE, Chair                                                                                                             
Partners for Progress                                                                                                           
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 167.                                                                         
MARLA LIPPARD, Clinical Director                                                                                                
Gastineau Human Services                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 167.                                                                         
JANET FORBES, Outpatient Coordinator                                                                                            
Gastineau Human Services                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 167.                                                                         
ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant to the Commissioner                                                                          
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB 167  and answered questions                                                               
from the members.                                                                                                               
ERIN CRUZ, Correctional Programs Director                                                                                       
Gastineau Human Services                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 167.                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
TAPE 03-27, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR PEGGY WILSON called the  House Health, Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:00  p.m.                                                               
Representatives Wilson,  Gatto, Coghill, Seaton, and  Cissna were                                                               
present at the call to  order.  Representative Kapsner arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
HB 165-COMMUNITY SCHOOLS                                                                                                      
[Due  to technical  difficulties, the  first few  minutes of  the                                                               
meeting was  not recorded.   The first portion  was reconstructed                                                               
from the committee secretary's log notes.]                                                                                      
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 165, "An  Act relating to community  schools; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
[Recording begins here.]                                                                                                        
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
EDDY  JEANS,  Manager,  School Finance  and  Facilities  Section,                                                               
Education  Support Services,  Department of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development  (EED), informed  the  committee  that the  community                                                               
schools statute was  adopted in 1975 and that the  intent of that                                                               
statute  was to  assist  local school  districts in  establishing                                                               
community schools programs.  The  community schools grant program                                                               
is  currently funded  at $500,000  a year.   If  the program  was                                                               
fully funded under its statutory  entitlement, it would be funded                                                               
at $3.5 million.   Therefore, its current funding is  at about 12                                                               
MR.  JEANS  explained  that  the grant  program  was  enacted  to                                                               
provide  financial  assistance  to  encourage  and  assist  local                                                               
districts  in  establishing  community  schools  programs.    The                                                               
department and  the administration  believe that the  statute has                                                               
fulfilled  its  need and  intent,  as  all school  districts  are                                                               
operating some  form of  a community schools  program.   He noted                                                               
that  he  had  provided  a   spreadsheet  to  the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on  Education showing how  much money  school districts                                                               
are  reporting  as expenditures  in  community  schools, and  for                                                               
many, the amount  identified as expended equals  the exact amount                                                               
received in state grants.   Therefore, Mr. Jeans said he believes                                                               
that  a portion  of  those  programs are  being  recorded in  the                                                               
school  operating fund  under general  operating expenses  of the                                                               
school  district.   He noted  that  the legislation  does have  a                                                               
fiscal note  and this  is reflected in  the governor's  budget to                                                               
eliminate the $500,000 allocation.                                                                                              
Number 0258                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  related  that  at  the  recent  Anchorage                                                               
caucus meeting  she had specifically asked  the superintendent of                                                               
the   Anchorage  School   District   whether  community   schools                                                               
supplemented school  funding.  The  superintendent said  that the                                                               
Anchorage School  District had found  that the  community schools                                                               
program was enormously important  in helping provide classes that                                                               
could not otherwise be afforded for  summer school or for the "No                                                               
Child Left  Behind" supplemental classes.   Representative Cissna                                                               
asked  Mr. Jeans  if the  community  schools program  is used  in                                                               
other  communities   to  supplement  regular   school  districts'                                                               
MR.  JEANS pointed  out that  community  schools programs  charge                                                               
user  fees to  use  the facility  and  offer additional  programs                                                               
outside the  school day.   Some of the excess  receipts generated                                                               
by the  program go  back to  support other  educational programs.                                                               
Mr.  Jeans   highlighted  the   importance  of   the  legislation                                                               
[creating the  community schools  program] which was  intended to                                                               
be seed  money from the  state to start having  districts provide                                                               
access to school facilities after  school hours for community use                                                               
and activities.                                                                                                                 
Number 0410                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  said his  understanding  is  that HB  165                                                               
eliminates  the funding  from the  state  for community  schools,                                                               
although it does not eliminate  any authority that communities or                                                               
districts have for conducting community schools activities.                                                                     
MR.  JEANS responded  that  is  correct.   Under  HB 165,  school                                                               
districts will  still have the  authority to rent  the facilities                                                               
after  school  hours and  utilize  the  facilities for  community                                                               
activities.    Mr.  Jeans  said  the  department  would  strongly                                                               
encourage such use.                                                                                                             
Number 0470                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  related his  understanding that  the amount                                                               
schools  will have  to reduce  their  contribution for  community                                                               
schools will vary from 100 percent to 8 percent or so.                                                                          
MR. JEANS pointed out that the  schedule he provided to the House                                                               
Special Committee  on Education shows that  the contribution will                                                               
fall below  1 percent  when comparing the  amount of  state grant                                                               
funds with the total amount  that the district has expended under                                                               
this program.   He reiterated  that the districts  reflecting 100                                                               
percent  expenditure  to  the  grant   amount  probably  are  not                                                               
recording  actual   after-school  activities  in   the  community                                                               
schools fund,  but rather simply  absorbing that in  the school's                                                               
operating fund.   Mr.  Jeans said  that he does  not know  if any                                                               
district will have to replace  100 percent because those services                                                               
are being provided through some other means.                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  inquired  as to  the  percentage  increase                                                               
needed to cover  the $500,000 reduction for an  average school in                                                               
MR. JEANS replied that  Anchorage receives approximately $152,000                                                               
from  the $500,000,  which  represents about  12  percent of  the                                                               
total Anchorage spent on community schools in fiscal year 2002.                                                                 
Number 0592                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA pointed out that  HB 165 repeals the school                                                               
district's  statutory  authority  to  provide  community  schools                                                               
programs.  She questioned why  the committee would want to repeal                                                               
this law when  it is already not being funded  in the budget this                                                               
MR.  JEANS  said that  the  community  schools program  has  been                                                               
funded at  $500,000 a year for  a number of years,  although this                                                               
year's budget does not include funding  for it.  The reason there                                                               
is  no funding  for it  in the  budget this  year is  because the                                                               
department is  recommending the repeal  of the statute,  which is                                                               
part of  the fiscal note process.   Furthermore, this is  not the                                                               
only  statute giving  school districts  the authority  to utilize                                                               
their school  facilities for after-school  activities.   He noted                                                               
that there has  been some discussion with regard  to leaving some                                                               
language  in   the  statutes   that  would   encourage  continued                                                               
community  use of  public school  facilities after  school hours.                                                               
The majority  of the  funding that is  being obtained  is through                                                               
user fees, not through the grant program.                                                                                       
Number 0726                                                                                                                     
CHAIR   WILSON    related   that   in   her    discussions   with                                                               
superintendents across  the state,  one superintendent  said this                                                               
program was  one that  would continue  regardless of  the state's                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if Mr.  Jeans had been  contacted by                                                               
any  districts  that  have  indicated that  they  would  have  to                                                               
abandon the community schools program.                                                                                          
MR. JEANS replied no.                                                                                                           
Number 0819                                                                                                                     
MARY  RASMUSSEN, Member,  Sand Lake  Community schools  Board and                                                               
Anchorage   Community   Education  Association,   testified   via                                                               
teleconference in opposition to HB  165.  She requested that this                                                               
statute not  be repealed and  that it  be funded at  the $500,000                                                               
level.  With  regard to Mr. Jeans and the  governor's belief that                                                               
the [current] level  of funding for the program does  little on a                                                               
statewide basis, Ms.  Rasmussen agreed.  Ms.  Rasmussen said that                                                               
the community schools program provides  the state "a big bang for                                                               
its buck."   The  amount of  money going  to the  schools enables                                                               
thousands  of  volunteers  to pursue  the  mission  of  community                                                               
MS.  RASMUSSEN strongly  disagreed with  the statement  that this                                                               
program  has  fulfilled  its  intended  purpose.    However,  she                                                               
interpreted  the  legislation  [creating  community  schools]  to                                                               
provide  funding  for  initial development,  implementation,  and                                                               
operation of  community schools programs.   She pointed  out that                                                               
operation  is an  ongoing process  and  she hoped  that it  would                                                               
continue to  be funded.   Ms. Rasmussen  emphasized the  need for                                                               
some  base funding  in order  to continue  the community  schools                                                               
programs.   However, she acknowledged  that the programs  are not                                                               
required to be  funded during times in which there  is not enough                                                               
money.   Then the grants  should be  prioritized.  She  urged the                                                               
committee not  to remove the statutes  that acknowledge community                                                               
schools.  This is  a time when the children need  to work on exit                                                               
exams because  [those graduating  in] the year  2004 will  be the                                                               
first group required to pass the exit exams.                                                                                    
Number 0999                                                                                                                     
REBECCA  REICHLIN, President,  Alaska  Association for  Community                                                               
Education, testified via teleconference  in opposition to HB 165.                                                               
She  urged the  committee  not to  repeal  the community  schools                                                               
grant  program.    She  pointed out  that  each  school  district                                                               
receives  state  grant money  to  support  its community  schools                                                               
program.  These monies validate  programs and provide leverage to                                                               
seek grants  and matching funds  from cities  and municipalities.                                                               
The state funding enables the  creation of a statewide network of                                                               
activity.  With regard to  whether community schools programs are                                                               
a  "need" or  a "want,"  Ms. Reichlin  related that  she recently                                                               
spoke with  the coordinator of  the community schools  program in                                                               
the Matanuska-Susitna  Borough, which  receives $47,000  in state                                                               
grant  funds.   Those funds  allowed  the program  to offer  swim                                                               
lessons,  driver's education,  GED [general  equivalency diploma]                                                               
classes, pre-school classes,  and computer classes, seventy-seven                                                               
activities  for  1,200  youth,  700  adults,  and  another  2,000                                                               
contact hours.  The coordinator  had related to Ms. Reichlin that                                                               
if  this program  is not  funded  next year,  it will  not be  in                                                               
existence.   In  summary, Ms.  Reichlin said  that the  community                                                               
schools program  is clearly vital  to the growth  and development                                                               
of  Alaska's  citizens.   Lifelong  learners  engaged in  healthy                                                               
activities in a safe environment  raise the quality of everyone's                                                               
life.   She asked members  to please be proactive  and strengthen                                                               
the community  schools network  in our  communities, not  tear it                                                               
Number 1127                                                                                                                     
ROSEMARY  REEDER, Lead  Coordinator, Soldotna  Community schools,                                                               
informed the  committee that Soldotna  has no  recreation center,                                                               
no teen center,  and no museum.  There is  only a small community                                                               
library.    Therefore,  the Soldotna  Community  schools  program                                                               
feels that  it provides the cultural,  academic, and recreational                                                               
opportunities for  children as  well as adults.   With  regard to                                                               
the earlier question as to  whether the community schools program                                                               
provides any  supplement to  the regular  school day,  Ms. Reeder                                                               
said  she  believes  that  is  the case.    She  noted  that  the                                                               
community   schools   program   provides  summer   programs   and                                                               
enrichment programs.   For example, the funds  generated from the                                                               
fees for men's adult basketball are  used to purchase most of the                                                               
balls for the  middle school.  The money received  from the state                                                               
has been  used to leverage other  funds.  Ms. Reeder  pointed out                                                               
that "the  folks that  the legislature thinks  might help  us" if                                                               
this program  is cut are "folks  that have already cut  us."  The                                                               
school district  does not provide  any funding for  the community                                                               
schools  program.    She  urged  the committee  not  to  cut  the                                                               
community schools program.                                                                                                      
Number 1218                                                                                                                     
CURT LEDFORD,  Director, Sitka  Community schools,  testified via                                                               
teleconference in opposition to HB 165.   He pointed out that the                                                               
community schools program is not  merely about usage of buildings                                                               
and open gyms,  the program provides after  school activities for                                                               
over half of  the children in the Sitka School  District; as well                                                               
as, tutoring,  language classes, independent studies,  et cetera.                                                               
He  told  the committee  that  currently  there  are a  group  of                                                               
students using  their spring break  to build a house  for Habitat                                                               
for  Humanity.   The  $5,000  in  funding  helps support  a  wide                                                               
variety  of programs.   Although  many of  the programs  are kept                                                               
going   with  volunteers   from  AmeriCorps   and  Vista,   these                                                               
volunteers cost money.  There has  been talk of raising fees.  He                                                               
echoed earlier  testimony that adults' activities  subsidize some                                                               
of  the programs.    If this  bill passes,  and  these cuts  take                                                               
place,  there  will be  more  hardship  for  other people.    Mr.                                                               
Ledford  informed  the  committee   that  the  community  schools                                                               
program  gave  over  $20,000  in  scholarships  to  children  who                                                               
wouldn't  have  otherwise been  able  to  have swimming  lessons,                                                               
French lessons, et cetera.                                                                                                      
Number 1366                                                                                                                     
TIM  STEELE, Vice  President, Anchorage  School Board,  testified                                                               
via teleconference in opposition to HB  165.  He noted his strong                                                               
support  of community  schools.   Anchorage  has  a fairly  large                                                               
community schools program, with something  on the order of 53,000                                                               
participants  in  2001-2002.    The state  provided  $152,000  in                                                               
funding.   Mr.  Steele  pointed out  that  the community  schools                                                               
program provides additional help to  students as well as bringing                                                               
communities  into the  schools.   He told  the committee  that if                                                               
these cuts  are made,  the program will  be unstable  because the                                                               
Anchorage School District considers  the program marginal and not                                                               
directly the  Kindergarten through 12th grade  (K-12) educational                                                               
responsibility.     Just  this  year,  three   community  schools                                                               
coordinators were added  back due to additional  funding that was                                                               
received  in  the  last  budget.    Since  the  Anchorage  School                                                               
District faces  about $11 million  in cuts this year,  Mr. Steele                                                               
said she  fears that this program  is at risk with  regard to the                                                               
school  district's support  to make  up what  the state  does not                                                               
provide.  Mr.  Steele urged the committee to not  cut the funding                                                               
or the enabling legislation.                                                                                                    
Number 1484                                                                                                                     
DEBBIE BOGART,  Director, Community Education  Program, testified                                                               
via teleconference  in opposition to  HB 165.  She  requested the                                                               
committee's help  in not repealing the  community schools program                                                               
statutes.  Eliminating funding would  be devastating, even to the                                                               
Anchorage School  District.  The  Community Education  Program in                                                               
Anchorage is an  integral part of the  Anchorage School District.                                                               
The  Community   Education  Program   provides  tutorial-enriched                                                               
academic programs,  and continuing education for  adults; it also                                                               
provides a  safe neighborhood after  school, in the  summers, and                                                               
in the evenings.  She informed  the committee that this past year                                                               
there were over  19,000 students involved in  the K-12 enrichment                                                               
program.    Over 1,500  students  were  involved in  after-school                                                               
academic  activities.    Ms.  Bogart   concluded  by  urging  the                                                               
committee to  continue to support  community education.   Without                                                               
state funding,  the partnerships  that the program  has developed                                                               
will be at risk.                                                                                                                
Number 1601                                                                                                                     
LORENA  SKONBERG, Alaska  Native Health  Board (ANHB),  testified                                                               
via teleconference  in opposition  to HB 165.   She  informed the                                                               
committee  that she  is sitting  in for  Trudy Anderson,  who had                                                               
planned to  speak.   Ms. Skonberg said  the Alaska  Native Health                                                               
Board  passed a  resolution in  opposition to  HB 165,  which she                                                               
read for the record:                                                                                                            
     Whereas the  Alaska Native Health Board  is a nonprofit                                                                    
     organization  established in  1968 for  the purpose  of                                                                    
     promoting the spiritual,  physical, mental, social, and                                                                    
     cultural  well-being,   and  pride  of   Alaska  Native                                                                    
     Whereas  the ANHB  is a  legally established  statewide                                                                    
     organization  representing  Alaska  Natives  on  public                                                                    
     health policy issues;                                                                                                      
     Whereas  the ANHB  membership  consists  of tribes  and                                                                    
     tribal organizations throughout Alaska;                                                                                    
     Whereas House Bill 165 is  an Act relating to community                                                                    
        Whereas the Act eliminates the community schools                                                                        
        program for children which include after school                                                                         
      Whereas this will lead to more latchkey children in                                                                       
     Whereas HB 165 would provide undue hardship on Alaskan                                                                     
      Now therefore be it resolved that the Alaska Native                                                                       
     Health Board strongly and publicly opposed House Bill                                                                      
Number 1634                                                                                                                     
BLYTHE  CAMPBELL,  Chairperson,   Anchorage  Community  Education                                                               
Association,  testified via  teleconference in  opposition to  HB
165.   She informed  the committee  that the  Anchorage Community                                                               
Education Association  represents the community schools  that now                                                               
operate in Anchorage.  Ms.  Campbell strongly urged the committee                                                               
not to pass HB 165.  The  association could not see any reason to                                                               
abolish this wonderful program from  the statutes, she said.  Ms.                                                               
Campbell  pointed out  that all  programs involve  volunteers, do                                                               
good work  throughout the  state, and need  a balanced  source of                                                               
funding and  multiple sources of  funding.  The state  funding is                                                               
very  important and  allows matches  with other  funds, and  thus                                                               
eliminating  the  state  funding  will result  in  the  program's                                                               
suffering.   Ms.  Campbell informed  the committee  that she  has                                                               
been  with the  program  for nearly  20 years  and  that lots  of                                                               
programs have  been closed in  Anchorage.  The funding  the state                                                               
provides  through   this  grant  supports   about  two-and-a-half                                                               
community  schools in  Anchorage.   With  other  cuts the  school                                                               
district  is  facing,  Ms.  Campbell said  she  feels  that  this                                                               
program  is  in  serious  jeopardy.   Therefore,  she  urged  the                                                               
committee  not   to  abolish  the  statutes   that  specify  that                                                               
community schools are a good thing.                                                                                             
CHAIR WILSON  reminded everyone that  the statute  being repealed                                                               
in HB  165 is not  the total  reference to the  community schools                                                               
program and that the program can continue.                                                                                      
Number 1729                                                                                                                     
JONATHAN GREEN, Instructor,  Anchorage Community schools Program,                                                               
testified  via  teleconference  in  opposition to  HB  165.    He                                                               
informed the committee that he  has taught photography classes in                                                               
the Anchorage Community  schools Program for the  past six years.                                                               
He told  the committee  what a  great experience  it has  been in                                                               
doing this class.  Furthermore, he  was not sure where the public                                                               
would go  to learn to  operate photography equipment.   Mr. Green                                                               
related his understanding  that this program is  being cut before                                                               
considering the  possibility of  raising fees.   Mr.  Green urged                                                               
the committee to keep the program going.                                                                                        
Number 1790                                                                                                                     
LINDA  WETHERBY,  Coordinator,  Rabbit Creek  Community  schools,                                                               
testified  via  teleconference in  opposition  to  HB 165.    She                                                               
informed the  committee that the  Rabbit Creek  Community schools                                                               
has  a pre-school  program, a  childcare program,  and a  Spanish                                                               
program,  as well  as  evening  classes.   All  of the  community                                                               
schools  programs are  diverse  and serve  the  communities in  a                                                               
variety  of creative  ways.   She expressed  concern that  if the                                                               
needs  of  community  schools programs  were  diminished  by  the                                                               
legislature, she  would not want  the school district  to respond                                                               
similarly.   She viewed the  community schools program as  a good                                                               
purveyor  of   education  by   helping  children   and  families,                                                               
especially with respect to the No Child Left Behind Act.                                                                        
Number 1888                                                                                                                     
JOYCE   KITKA,  Volunteer,   Alaska  Association   for  Community                                                               
Education,  testified in  opposition to  HB  165.   She told  the                                                               
committee  she strongly  disagrees  and  resents the  implication                                                               
that school  districts are using  this money to  supplement their                                                               
school districts'  programs.   Ms. Kitka  said she  would provide                                                               
the  committee  with  copies  of   the  state  reports  that  are                                                               
submitted.   Very few reports  will include open gyms,  and while                                                               
it is  a part of  the program, it  is not  a part of  the program                                                               
that  is  a  priority.    She  said she  knows  Mr.  Jeans  is  a                                                               
participant in  the local community  schools program  that offers                                                               
open gyms, but  it is not the only thing  community schools does.                                                               
She said  community schools need the  money as seed money.   Last                                                               
year community  schools had over 20,000  volunteers that recorded                                                               
over  200,000 hours  in volunteer  time.   She reported  that the                                                               
National  Association for  Partners in  Education (NAP)  said the                                                               
value  of  a  volunteer  hour   is  $15.62.    If  the  committee                                                               
multiplies the  number of volunteer hours  that community schools                                                               
provides before, during,  and after school, and  on weekends, the                                                               
members would find community schools  brought in $3,304,427 worth                                                               
of services.  Ms. Kitka said  the $500,000 of seed money given by                                                               
the state  is money well spent.   Not all the  volunteers will go                                                               
away, but a big part of them will.                                                                                              
Number 1974                                                                                                                     
MARY  FRANCES,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators, testified in  opposition to HB 165.   She pointed                                                               
out that  this is an example  of a funded mandate  that over time                                                               
has been seriously  underfunded.  The portion of  the $500,000 in                                                               
state funding  for a  particular district that  she used  to run,                                                               
which was  Petersburg, was $2,000.   It is  safe to say  that the                                                               
program  will not  die with  that $2,000  going away,  but as  an                                                               
administrator and as a person  who represents administrators, she                                                               
said she  asks that  the legislature not  make mandates  and then                                                               
have them underfunded or seriously  defunded over time so that it                                                               
brings the program to its knees.                                                                                                
Number 2016                                                                                                                     
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards (AASB),  testified in opposition  to HB 165  and responded                                                               
to questions  by the committee.   He  said that in  talking about                                                               
community schools  it is important  to remember that  schools are                                                               
the center of  communities.  He told the members  that AASB has a                                                               
resolution  in  support of  full  funding  of community  schools.                                                               
Every dollar  that is  reduced from the  funding of  schools, one                                                               
way or the other, comes out of the foundation formula.                                                                          
MR. ROSE said  the argument that these funds are  seed money is a                                                               
familiar argument  in education.   There are  a number  of things                                                               
that  were given  seed money  to provide  a program,  and as  the                                                               
programs start to  take root, the money goes away.   It places an                                                               
increased  burden on  schools.   A  number of  people across  the                                                               
state are  dependent on many  of the programs that  are provided.                                                               
He told the committee he  thinks the partnership that exists with                                                               
the legislature to at least fund  those things that are valued is                                                               
important.    He said  he  knows  most  of the  committee  values                                                               
community schools because he has heard  them say so, and he hopes                                                               
the   committee  will   maintain  that   level  of   support  and                                                               
Number 2067                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO asked,  if  the funds  were relabeled  from                                                               
seed money to grant money, whether it would make a difference.                                                                  
Number 2079                                                                                                                     
MR.  ROSE  responded  that  schools  get  a  lot  of  money  from                                                               
peripheral areas such as pupil  transportation and LOGs [Learning                                                               
Opportunity  Grants].    If  those  monies  go  away,  it  is  an                                                               
increased  burden  on  the  foundation  formula.    He  told  the                                                               
committee  he was  very surprised  this fall  when he  realized a                                                               
number of  people who talk  about the foundation formula  did not                                                               
understand that  the foundation formula  is there to  provide for                                                               
facilities, heat, lights,  and all the peripheral  costs, and not                                                               
just instruction in the classroom.   This is a larger discussion;                                                               
when  there is  talk  about  funding for  education,  all of  the                                                               
education  dollars  are  leveraged,  and there  is  great  demand                                                               
placed  on schools  with the  No Child  Left Behind  Act and  the                                                               
Quality Schools Initiative.  He  told the committee school boards                                                               
want to do  the right thing and  want to do a good  job, but this                                                               
could be the "death of a thousand cuts."                                                                                        
Number 2109                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  told  the  committee  that  she  has  put                                                               
together  community  schools programs,  and  has  for many  years                                                               
rented space in  the schools for various community  meetings.  It                                                               
did not seem  to be the same  program and she did  not go through                                                               
the  same  people to  do  it.    Representative Cissna  said  the                                                               
schools  can continue  to  rent  out space,  but  that is  really                                                               
different  from the  community schools  program.   She asked  Mr.                                                               
Rose if these two functions are part of the same program.                                                                       
Number 2137                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE  replied that  he is  not qualified  to comment  on each                                                               
individual district's programs.                                                                                                 
Number 2164                                                                                                                     
MR.  SWEENEY told  the committee  that  he wanted  to clarify  an                                                               
earlier statement  that there are  other references  to community                                                               
schools in  state statute; he said  that is not the  case.  There                                                               
are  references to  schools'  being able  to  use the  facilities                                                               
outside  of  the normal  school  day.    He reiterated  that  the                                                               
statutes  in  this bill  are  the  only references  to  community                                                               
schools.    He  told  the  committee if  there  is  concern  that                                                               
community schools  would go away  by removing these  statutes, he                                                               
believes  there is  a way  that community  schools could  stay in                                                               
statute, but still eliminate the $500,000 in grants.                                                                            
Number 2197                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON commented  that in  talking with  administrators at                                                               
the schools, she was assured  that community schools would not go                                                               
away if  they did  not receive these  funds; however,  there will                                                               
have to  be some effort  to make up for  the funds in  some other                                                               
way.   Chair Wilson said  she wants  to be sure  school districts                                                               
can still run community schools without a problem.                                                                              
Number 2208                                                                                                                     
MR. SWEENEY  replied that there  would not  be a problem  for the                                                               
schools  to continue  offering community  schools  programs.   He                                                               
said   the  department   agrees  with   Chair  Wilson   that  the                                                               
elimination  of the  grants  would not  mean  the elimination  of                                                               
community schools  statewide.  Mr.  Sweeney said  eliminating the                                                               
language about  community schools  means that  there is  no other                                                               
reference to them  in statute.  However, he  reiterated that this                                                               
would not impact the schools'  authority to run community schools                                                               
Number 2225                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON told  the committee  that he  is concerned                                                               
about  the elimination  of the  statute because  it is  a concern                                                               
expressed  in testimony  before  the committee  and something  he                                                               
heard when he  was back in his  district.  He said  he would like                                                               
to see  the bill  modified so  that there  is still  reference in                                                               
statute  that says  the legislature  supports community  schools,                                                               
even though  the legislature is not  funding them.  He  asked Mr.                                                               
Sweeney if he thinks this is  something that could be done easily                                                               
or if it would require another hearing before the committee.                                                                    
Number 2254                                                                                                                     
MR.  SWEENEY replied  that  he  could not  speak  to that  change                                                               
without talking with the governor's  office.  He said he believes                                                               
there is an  easy way to tweak  the first section of  the bill to                                                               
show that the state still  encourages school districts to utilize                                                               
their facilities as an extension  of the school day for community                                                               
schools programs.  Passing this  bill would eliminate the idea of                                                               
having  community  schools grants,  which  he  said the  governor                                                               
believes  has fulfilled  its service,  since  now every  district                                                               
does have community schools programs up and running.                                                                            
Number 2269                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  suggested that  a precedent has  been set                                                               
for use  of facilities  in the  districts.  He  said he  does not                                                               
believe it is  necessary to add language in  support of community                                                               
schools unless  it is  the intent of  the legislature  to provide                                                               
funding.    This bill  would  not  forbid school  districts  from                                                               
continuing the practice of charging  for opening the buildings or                                                               
allowing an administrator  to use the buildings for  a variety of                                                               
Number 2294                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON said that she  wants the committee to be comfortable                                                               
with the  language, but agrees  with Representative  Coghill that                                                               
there is nothing in the  bill that prevents school districts from                                                               
continuing their  community schools programs.   Chair Wilson said                                                               
she is comfortable with the bill.                                                                                               
Number 2309                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  told the committee she  is not comfortable                                                               
with the  bill because it  does not  talk about funds,  but talks                                                               
about  repealing sections  of statute.   She  asked how  the bill                                                               
could be tweaked  if the bill actually repeals  eight sections of                                                               
statute.   Representative Cissna  said running  community schools                                                               
programs is different from renting  space.  When renting space it                                                               
is just  a question  of filling  out a  form, but  with community                                                               
schools  programs there  are  many differences.    She cited  the                                                               
examples of  advertising classes,  and having many  people coming                                                               
into the  school at night.   The whole school is  alive at night.                                                               
She said this is very different.                                                                                                
Number 2351                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON  repeated  her  earlier  statement  concerning  her                                                               
conversations with  several superintendents  of schools  and that                                                               
none  of  them mentioned  that  they  were concerned  that  these                                                               
services would disappear.                                                                                                       
Number 2363                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON commented that  he agrees with Chair Wilson                                                               
that  the superintendents  who  are  in place  right  now have  a                                                               
structure that they  are working with and that  when reference in                                                               
statute  goes  away,  those  superintendents  will  continue  the                                                               
programs.    He said  his  concern  is  that the  legislature  is                                                               
setting  state policy  in place  for  all future  superintendents                                                               
that have not been involved in  this system and have not grown up                                                               
with this.   So the fact  that the legislature does  not have any                                                               
mention  or  encouragement  for  the  continuation  of  community                                                               
schools programs is an important point.                                                                                         
TAPE 03-27, SIDE B                                                                                                            
Number 2380                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON said  he understands  that the  governor's                                                               
intent is to  eliminate the funding.  The  legislature is setting                                                               
the  policy for  all  future superintendents  who  may come  from                                                               
outside  this  state  and  may not  be  familiar  with  community                                                               
schools.   Representative Seaton  said he sees  this as  a system                                                               
policy,  and  would like  to  see  the  committee work  with  the                                                               
Department  of  Education  and Early  Development  to  accomplish                                                               
their goal and the legislature's as well.                                                                                       
Number 2357                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced  that no further action would  be taken on                                                               
HB 165 until Thursday's meeting [April 3, 2003].                                                                                
[HB 165 was held over.]                                                                                                         
HB 154-UNDER SCHOOL AGE STUDENTS                                                                                              
Number 2337                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL  NO.  154,  "An  Act relating  to  admission  to  and                                                               
advancement in public  schools of children under  school age; and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
Number 2318                                                                                                                     
EDDY  JEANS,  Manager,  School Finance  and  Facilities  Section,                                                               
Education  Support Services,  Department of  Education and  Early                                                               
Development,  testified  in  support   of  HB  154  and  answered                                                               
questions  from  the   members.    He  told   the  committee  the                                                               
Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development  and  Governor                                                               
Murkowski  have  requested  that  the committee  hear  this  bill                                                               
because it has  come to the department's attention  over the last                                                               
couple of  years that there are  a number of school  districts in                                                               
the  state that  are  enrolling basically  all four-year-olds  in                                                               
their  communities into  what is  called a  two-year kindergarten                                                               
program.  The department has  discouraged districts from entering                                                               
into this practice.  The statute  does have a loophole in it that                                                               
allows  districts to  provide  early  entry of  under-school-aged                                                               
students  if  they  are  ready  for the  program  that  is  being                                                               
offered.    That  is  where the  department  runs  into  problems                                                               
because the  program offered  has broad  language that  leaves it                                                               
wide open  for districts to  interpret the language the  way they                                                               
like.   The department is not  looking at this as  a mechanism to                                                               
keep  the  four-year-old that  is  an  exceptional child  out  of                                                               
public schools early.  This is  simply a way to provide direction                                                               
to all school  districts that the intent of  this legislation was                                                               
not  to  enroll  all  four-year-olds.   The  districts  that  are                                                               
practicing this are getting 14 years  of funding as opposed to 13                                                               
years of funding through the  foundation program.  Mr. Jeans said                                                               
there is a  fiscal note that shows a $3.9  million savings to the                                                               
foundation program.                                                                                                             
Number 2231                                                                                                                     
JOHN  DAVIS,  Superintendent,   Bering  Strait  School  District,                                                               
testified via  teleconference in opposition  to HB 154.   He said                                                               
Governor Murkowski  has proposed several reductions  in education                                                               
funding in an  effort to control state expenditures  in line with                                                               
revenues,  and  HB  154  is  one  of them.    He  asked  why  any                                                               
reasonable  person  would  object  to  the  needed  sacrifice  to                                                               
accomplish this  goal.   Mr. Davis said  his concern  is twofold.                                                               
The cost  of the  bill when  saving money is  in the  short term.                                                               
This is about  providing services to a group of  children who are                                                               
the most  vulnerable and the  most educationally needy.   He said                                                               
the  reduction of  funding for  the program  will not  create the                                                               
$3.9 million  savings represented.   He  contended that  the bill                                                               
will cost his  district and the state  additional funds, remedial                                                               
services, and  other special  services to help  a segment  of the                                                               
student population that  needs all the help it can  get.  Second,                                                               
the students most  impacted by this bill are not  large in number                                                               
and do not hold  sway as many others do with  other concerns.  He                                                               
asked the committee not to ask  more of these children than would                                                               
be asked of others.  Early  childhood education is clearly one of                                                               
the best investments in a child's education.                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  asked Mr.  Jeans how  much more  it would  cost the                                                               
state if every school started having two-year kindergarten.                                                                     
Number 2175                                                                                                                     
MR.  JEANS replied  that  the department  has  estimated that  it                                                               
would cost  approximately $60 million  to the  foundation program                                                               
if  all  four-year-olds in  the  state  were enrolled  in  public                                                               
schools.   The other  piece of this  equation that  the committee                                                               
needs  to  be aware  of  is  that  any  students that  the  state                                                               
provides   funding    for   through   the    foundation   program                                                               
automatically  become   eligible  for  space  under   the  school                                                               
construction guidelines.   In other  words, the state  would have                                                               
to build  bigger schools to serve  a larger population.   He said                                                               
it is  not just the  foundation program that is  being addressed;                                                               
it is the foundation program as well as school construction.                                                                    
Number 2138                                                                                                                     
CARL  ROSE,  Executive  Director, Association  of  Alaska  School                                                               
Boards,  testified  in opposition  to  HB  154 and  responded  to                                                               
questions  by the  committee.   He told  the committee  he agrees                                                               
with  the comments  the members  just  heard from  Superintendent                                                               
Davis.  There  is an inconsistency that the  committee is looking                                                               
at  here.    In  1998  the legislature  passed  the  High  School                                                               
Graduation  Qualifying  Exam (HSGQE)  and  it  was recognized  by                                                               
everyone  then  that  it  was  the wrong  end  to  start.    That                                                               
recognition  of   the  problem   started  the   movement  towards                                                               
benchmark  examinations.   What was  determined after  looking at                                                               
the benchmark  scores was  that the  most critical  benchmark was                                                               
the third  grade because it  was apparent  to many that  the kids                                                               
who were not on step by the  first benchmark would not be able to                                                               
take advantage  of the stronger  curriculum that was going  to be                                                               
offered.   This had  brought in the  discussion of  a preparation                                                               
gap.  That  preparation gap is children who come  to school, some                                                               
of the  most needy that  Superintendent Davis was  talking about,                                                               
who do not have a grasp of  numbers, letters, or colors.  Some of                                                               
these students  are going  to be  placed in  a situation  at some                                                               
point in  time where they will  be measured up to  standards, and                                                               
if they do not have the tools they  need by the time they hit the                                                               
third-grade benchmark, they will be at risk.                                                                                    
MR. ROSE said  that he was looking at statistics  that come off a                                                               
web site that show in the  large urban areas in terms of reading,                                                               
writing, and  math, there is  75 percent proficiency  in reading,                                                               
87 percent proficiency in writing,  and 67 percent proficiency in                                                               
math.  He  contrasted that with large Western  and Interior REAAs                                                               
[Rural  Education Attendance  Areas], and  large Western  single-                                                               
site schools  where the  numbers drop  off dramatically,  from 75                                                               
percent  in reading  to 24,  22, and  10 percent  proficiency; in                                                               
writing from  87 percent to  56, 49, and 47  percent proficiency;                                                               
and  in  math  from  67  percent   to  30,  37,  and  20  percent                                                               
Number 2016                                                                                                                     
MR. ROSE said the data is  clear that the people who are availing                                                               
themselves of  this particular program  are the kids who  need it                                                               
most.   That is the inconsistency  where the state has  placed an                                                               
emphasis on  student standards and benchmarks,  and even retitled                                                               
the department  of education to  the Department of  Education and                                                               
Early  Development.    He  asked  where  the  emphasis  on  early                                                               
development is.   He said he agrees that there  are other ways in                                                               
some   communities  to   provide   early   development,  but   in                                                               
communities  where  proficiency  is  low, the  only  place  these                                                               
children can go  is the public school system.   Mr. Rose asked in                                                               
talking about inconsistency and the  preparation gap to make sure                                                               
kids are  prepared to take  advantage of the rich  curriculum the                                                               
state will  be offering  them.   He questioned  how to  deal with                                                               
this  in  areas  that do  not  have  the  ability  to do  it  for                                                               
themselves.   It is  a policy  call that  he hopes  the committee                                                               
will look at that  is not just about saving money  or of having a                                                               
fear that  every school district  will avail itself  by enrolling                                                               
all  four-year-olds.   Mr.  Rose  said  he  believes this  is  an                                                               
opportunity for those kids who need  enrichment to get it, and he                                                               
hopes that more emphasis will be placed on early development.                                                                   
Number 1982                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON commented  that  this is  a policy  call.   Do  the                                                               
members  believe   the  state  should  be   offering  a  two-year                                                               
kindergarten program or not?                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked if Mr.  Rose is suggesting  that the                                                               
state  limit the  two-year kindergarten  to  rural districts  and                                                               
prohibit  the  urban districts  from  having  the same  sorts  of                                                               
Number 1959                                                                                                                     
MR.  ROSE responded  that  is  not what  he  is  suggesting.   He                                                               
clarified  his  comments  by  saying that  some  kids  can  avail                                                               
themselves of  programs and  have an  opportunity to  receive the                                                               
kind of  enrichment they  need, while  other kids do  not.   As a                                                               
system, even through  the foundation formula, the  state tries to                                                               
account for that through the factoring  that is done.  He said he                                                               
is not suggesting  that the state have two  years of kindergarten                                                               
as a  policy call.   The question  is how the  kids whom  need it                                                               
most can  get the  kind of assistance  and enrichment  they need.                                                               
That is the policy question that needs to be addressed.                                                                         
Number 1937                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA commented  that many  parents do  not want                                                               
their children to  leave for school at an early  age.  This would                                                               
not require  two years of  kindergarten; it only says  they could                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON commented  that many  districts, including                                                               
urban  districts and  his district  on the  Kenai Peninsula,  are                                                               
going  through  severe   cuts  because  of  a   drop  in  student                                                               
population.   If the two-year kindergarten  program is available,                                                               
he  said he  is sure  the  Kenai Peninsula  School District  will                                                               
encourage everyone that it can  possibly get to take advantage of                                                               
the  program because  it is  a full-time  equivalent for  another                                                               
segment of  students.  Representative  Seaton said that  it would                                                               
not be necessary to build new  schools; in fact, there are plenty                                                               
of rooms in the existing schools.   But there would definitely be                                                               
a need for funds for more teachers.                                                                                             
Number 1865                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  Mr.  Jeans, if  this bill  passes,                                                               
whether  youngsters  who  demonstrate  the  ability  to  progress                                                               
through the grade levels would be able to enroll.                                                                               
MR. JEANS responded that he is correct.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked  if he is correct  in assuming there                                                               
is some  discretionary measure with  the districts  on enrollment                                                               
Number 1850                                                                                                                     
MR. JEANS responded that he is correct.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL commented  that  this bill  would not  be                                                               
kicking kindergarteners out of school, but narrowing the scope.                                                                 
MR. JEANS said he  has made an effort to be  very clear that this                                                               
bill is  not intended to  prohibit the  exceptional four-year-old                                                               
from  enrolling in  kindergarten  with the  expectation that  the                                                               
child will  advance to the  first grade in  the next year.   This                                                               
simply addresses  an issue that  the department has  become aware                                                               
of   since  collecting   student-level  data   from  all   school                                                               
districts.  Some districts appear  to be enrolling all four-year-                                                               
olds  in   their  public   schools  and   holding  them   at  the                                                               
kindergarten level for a two-year period.                                                                                       
Number 1778                                                                                                                     
MARY  FRANCIS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Council  of  School                                                               
Administrators,  testified  on HB  154.    She pointed  out  that                                                               
exceptional  children, both  gifted  and with  special needs,  do                                                               
have access to  early participation in school programs.   That is                                                               
mandated by law.                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON   clarified  that   with  or  without   this  bill,                                                               
exceptional children on both ends of the scale will be served.                                                                  
MS.  FRANCIS replied  that  is correct.   She  said  there is  an                                                               
appropriate screening device,  which is part of the  law.  School                                                               
administrators developed  a psychological test that  students are                                                               
required to take for exceptionality  that shows their preparation                                                               
for  kindergarten,  with the  total  expectation  that they  were                                                               
fully able  to meet  the kindergarten  expectation and  not spend                                                               
two years at that level.                                                                                                        
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  committee would take a brief at-                                                               
ease at 4:15 p.m.  The committee reconvened at 4:18 p.m.                                                                        
Number 1718                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced that HB 154 would be held over.                                                                          
HB 167-ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE GRANTS                                                                                       
Number 1699                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 167,  "An Act relating  to grants  for alcoholism                                                               
and drug  abuse programs; and  providing for an  effective date."                                                               
Chair Wilson stated that this is  the third hearing for this bill                                                               
and  there are  individuals on  line that  did not  have time  to                                                               
speak to the bill in previous hearings.                                                                                         
CHAIR  WILSON noted  for the  record that  Representative Kapsner                                                               
has joined the meeting.                                                                                                         
Number 1616                                                                                                                     
KEVIN MURPHY, Acting Director, Gateway  Center for Human Services                                                               
in Ketchikan;  President, Substance Abuse  Directors Association,                                                               
testified  via teleconference  on HB  167.   He said  he believes                                                               
this is  an important  bill because of  the tremendous  impact on                                                               
programs that  will be  required to raise  the cash  match across                                                               
the state.   Many programs are already facing waiting  lists.  He                                                               
told the committee that 70  percent of people that need treatment                                                               
either do not get it or  cannot afford it, and the programs serve                                                               
many of these  people.  To ask  the programs to go  back to their                                                               
communities to pay  for an additional 15 percent at  this time is                                                               
really difficult.   Mr. Murphy asked the committee to  look at an                                                               
increase of 12.5 percent off the  10 percent match.  The programs                                                               
could at  least trim budgets,  and the small programs  could live                                                               
with that and  not face having to cut services  or kill programs.                                                               
He  thanked   the  committee  for   their  time  and   asked  for                                                               
consideration  of  an  alternative  position to  the  25  percent                                                               
Number 1532                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON agreed  that HB  167  will implement  a 25  percent                                                               
reduction  in  the  grant  funding for  alcohol  and  drug  abuse                                                               
programs,  and  that while  these  programs  are not  funded  100                                                               
percent by grant funds, the reduction  will have an impact on the                                                               
Number 1504                                                                                                                     
STEPHEN  SUNDBY,  Ph.D.,  Behavioral  Health  Director,  Bartlett                                                               
Memorial  Hospital and  Juneau  Recovery  Hospital, testified  in                                                               
opposition to  HB 167  and answered  questions from  the members.                                                               
He  said  he agrees  with  Mr.  Murphy  on  the impact  of  these                                                               
reductions.  There have not been  increases in funding in over 10                                                               
years, so  the communities  have had  to pick up  the slack.   He                                                               
told  the committee  that the  Juneau community  well overmatches                                                               
the 25 percent, so they interpret  this as a 15 percent reduction                                                               
in their grant.   What that means is that  the hospital will take                                                               
an $84,000 cut.   Currently, the hospital receives  a little over                                                               
$560,000.   With that  reduction, including  benefits, that  is a                                                               
loss of  a counselor.   So  services are going  to be  reduced if                                                               
this passes.  He asked that the  bill not be passed as is because                                                               
it will reduce services.                                                                                                        
Number 1453                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON  asked Dr. Sundby  what the  full budget is  for the                                                               
Juneau Recovery Hospital.                                                                                                       
DR.  SUNDBY told  the  committee  that the  full  budget is  $2.8                                                               
million.    He  said  it receives  $560,000  from  AIDEA  [Alaska                                                               
Industrial  Development   and  Export  Authority].     So  Juneau                                                               
Recovery Hospital  has met the  25 percent  match for years.   He                                                               
commented that what  he believes he hears is that  this bill will                                                               
reduce AIDEA's budget for grants.   So what AIDEA will have to do                                                               
is reduce the grant dollars somewhere.                                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON inquired if that means  this hospital will take a 15                                                               
percent reduction.                                                                                                              
DR.  SUNDBY replied  that is  correct; it  will be  a 15  percent                                                               
reduction.  He  said the way he understands the  bill is that the                                                               
in-kind reimbursement will go from 10  to 25 percent, so it would                                                               
be a 15  percent cut in the  grants that will have to  be made up                                                               
by the communities.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he wants  to clarify how  the numbers                                                               
work with this bill.  He  said if a community is already matching                                                               
over 25  percent, which is  what this bill would  accomplish, the                                                               
grant  amount would  actually get  decreased as  if there  were a                                                               
match.    Even  though  the hospital  is  already  matching  that                                                               
amount,  the hospital  will  not get  the  same grant  previously                                                               
DR. SUNDBY  responded that  is correct.   Even  if AIDEA  were to                                                               
keep the Juneau  Recovery Hospital at the same  grant amount, the                                                               
money would have to be made up somewhere else.                                                                                  
Number 1360                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  asked  how this  reduction  will  impact                                                               
people.   If  the program  loses one  counselor, how  many people                                                               
will be  impacted by that loss?   Are some of  these people Title                                                               
47 individuals in treatment?  What  does this reduction mean to a                                                               
waitlist for families and jobs?                                                                                                 
DR. SUNDBY replied that the  outpatient counselors are carrying a                                                               
caseload  of just  under  30.   If  the program  were  to lose  a                                                               
counselor, that means  there are 30 people, just  at this moment,                                                               
that  would not  be receiving  treatment.   So these  individuals                                                               
would  have to  be  waitlisted.   If  those  individuals were  in                                                               
treatment  for   six  months,  the  reduction   would  impact  60                                                               
individuals per year  at the barest minimum who would  have to be                                                               
Number 1315                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  what it  means when  an individual                                                               
has to be waitlisted.                                                                                                           
DR. SUNDBY responded that it means  the individual is placed on a                                                               
list and as  soon as someone comes off of  treatment and there is                                                               
a slot open, then the individual begins treatment.                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  asked if  people  who  are on  waitlists                                                               
typically keep on abusing substances until they begin treatment.                                                                
DR. SUNDBY said that is correct.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  commented that  these individuals  do not                                                               
just wait until there is room for them in the program.                                                                          
DR. SUNDBY replied that if  they can wait, then these individuals                                                               
probably would not need the treatment.                                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON asked if there is a waitlist right now.                                                                            
DR. SUNDBY said  that for many programs there  are waitlists, but                                                               
for the Juneau Recovery Hospital  there is no waitlist currently.                                                               
If someone  needs treatment today,  the hospital can have  him or                                                               
her assessed  within a week  and into  treatment right away.   If                                                               
the hospital  were to  lose a  counselor, then  that would  put a                                                               
bigger load  on the  counselors there, and  it is  a contributing                                                               
factor in the  turnover rate.  The more asked  of counselors, the                                                               
more the stress  level goes up, and the more  likely the hospital                                                               
will lose staff.  This is a  major issue for all of the treatment                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  Dr. Sundby  if the  60 people  per                                                               
year he mentioned are only  for the Juneau Recovery Hospital, not                                                               
DR. SUNDBY  responded that is  not statewide.  He  clarified that                                                               
the number he provided is  a conservative estimate for the Juneau                                                               
Recovery Hospital.                                                                                                              
Number 1227                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA commented  that if an individual  who is on                                                               
the  waitlist begins  or continues  to  drink, in  order for  the                                                               
treatment to be successful the individual must be sober.                                                                        
DR. SUNDBY told  the members that it is essential  to strike when                                                               
the  individual  is willing  to  come  into  treatment.   If  the                                                               
individual  does  not  get  in   right  away,  there  is  a  lost                                                               
opportunity.    In  response to  Representative  Cissna  question                                                               
about detoxification,  Dr. Sundby said individuals  are placed in                                                               
a medically  managed detoxification  program if it  is available.                                                               
Currently, that  is available and  there is no waitlist  for that                                                               
treatment; however,  for services beyond that  such as outpatient                                                               
services, an  individual may  have to  wait in  line to  get that                                                               
treatment.  It is not a  very good option, because the individual                                                               
has probably  gone back out  and will  likely have to  go through                                                               
detoxification again.                                                                                                           
Number 1150                                                                                                                     
MR.   MURPHY  responded   to  Representative   Kapsner's  earlier                                                               
question concerning the  number of individuals on  waitlists.  He                                                               
said that  he will supply  the committee  with the numbers.   Mr.                                                               
Murphy  told  the  committee  that  the  number  is  significant,                                                               
especially  with  respect  to   women  and  children's  programs.                                                               
Alcohol  and drug  abuse treatment  programs are  being asked  to                                                               
lessen the impact  on the Division of Family  and Youth Services,                                                               
where parents and children have  substance abuse issues.  This is                                                               
a  population group  that has  a  very high  percentage of  those                                                               
needing treatment.   There continues to be a  greater and greater                                                               
need of higher-treatment capacities.   That is one of the primary                                                               
reasons  this legislation  is so  crucial at  this time.   It  is                                                               
essential that the state not reduce treatment capacity.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER said that because  she is pregnant, she is                                                               
very concerned about Fetal Alcohol  Syndrome (FAS).  She asked if                                                               
individuals  who   have  been  identified  under   Title  47  are                                                               
MR. MURPHY  responded that  pregnant women  are a  first priority                                                               
and are  not waitlisted.   Also, anyone  who is using  needles or                                                               
may  have other  health-related  issues  are at  the  top of  the                                                               
priority list, and a bed would be found for those individuals.                                                                  
Number 1015                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  asked what would  happen if a  mother had                                                               
small children.                                                                                                                 
MR.  MURPHY  responded  that  the   Women's  Resource  Center  in                                                               
Anchorage does accommodate  some children, but it has  had to cut                                                               
its beds from 45  to 17 beds in the last year and  a half.  There                                                               
is a  definite shortage  for a patient  who needs  placement with                                                               
small children.                                                                                                                 
Number 0990                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  commented that  it is  so important  to get                                                               
pregnant women into treatment as soon  as possible.  He asked Mr.                                                               
Murphy,  if  a  woman  walks  in who  is  pregnant,  whether  his                                                               
facility would  be able to  admit her into treatment  right away,                                                               
or whether she  would be placed first on the  list to prevent the                                                               
disaster that will inevitably occur.                                                                                            
MR.  MURPHY replied  that the  City of  Ketchikan contributes  to                                                               
this  program, so  between the  city  and the  state grants,  the                                                               
program would find a treatment bed  for this woman.  He said that                                                               
for people who  come to the treatment facility and  show a desire                                                               
for treatment, his program will find  a bed for them or work with                                                               
them while they are on the waiting list.                                                                                        
Number 0907                                                                                                                     
JANET  MCCABE,   Chair,  Partners  for  Progress,   testified  in                                                               
opposition to HB  167.  She told the committee  that Partners for                                                               
Progress  is the  nonprofit organization  that  works with  Judge                                                               
Wanamaker's'  wellness court  [Anchorage  Wellness  Court].   The                                                               
organization  supports  the  development  of  therapeutic  courts                                                               
throughout  the state.   She  asked the  members to  look at  the                                                               
second page of  the handout she provided to  the committee titled                                                               
"Alaska Almanac of Alcoholism and Jail".                                                                                        
MS.  MCCABE told  the committee  her organization  is opposed  to                                                               
this  bill  for  three  major  reasons.    First,  the  treatment                                                               
agencies are really  important to the therapeutic  courts.  These                                                               
are  key  elements to  their  success,  since without  treatment,                                                               
agencies there  would be  no working  therapeutic courts.   These                                                               
agencies  are already  strapped for  money, and  this bill  would                                                               
require that  they raise another  15 percent  of the cost  at the                                                               
same time that municipal revenue  sharing is being reduced.  This                                                               
actually  gives community  alcohol-abuse programs  a double  cut.                                                               
She pointed  out that  alcohol abuse is  hugely expensive  to the                                                               
state  and the  public.   Regardless of  an individual's  view of                                                               
alcoholics,  it   is  a  practical   matter  that   treatment  be                                                               
delivered.   Of  the 8  or 9  percent of  problem drinkers,  each                                                               
problem drinker  will affect  at least  four additional  people -                                                               
mothers, fathers,  children, families, victims, et  cetera.  This                                                               
means that  between 30  to 40 percent  of Alaska's  population is                                                               
affected  by  alcoholism.    Some  of  the  problems  are  pretty                                                               
obvious,  for example,  driving  under the  influence of  alcohol                                                               
[DUI],  child  abuse and  neglect,  poor  health and  dependence,                                                               
domestic  violence,  and  all  the  costs  associated  with  this                                                               
problem.   The cost of  alcohol abuse in Alaska  is $453,000,000.                                                               
Treatment programs like this should not  be cut.  It is important                                                               
to think of the long-term problem.                                                                                              
Number 0725                                                                                                                     
MS. MCCABE  told the  committee that  one Fetal  Alcohol Syndrome                                                               
(FAS)  child will  cost the  public about  $1.4 million  over the                                                               
child's life.   Alcohol abuse  is the  gorilla in our  midst, and                                                               
community programs  designed to address alcohol  abuse should not                                                               
be cut.   The final  reason for opposition  to this bill  is that                                                               
last year when  the legislature passed HB 225  increasing the tax                                                               
rate on  alcoholic beverage sales,  it was directed that  half of                                                               
the  tax collected  be deposited  in the  Alcohol and  Drug Abuse                                                               
Treatment Fund.   Much of this money comes  from local businesses                                                               
and communities,  and she said  it does not seem  consistent with                                                               
the  previous  policy to  cut  treatment  money  this year.    In                                                               
conclusion, she  said she believes  this bill is contrary  to the                                                               
intent  of  the   Alcohol  Beverage  Sales  Tax   last  year  and                                                               
especially harmful to the Alaska population overall.                                                                            
Number 0649                                                                                                                     
MARLA  LIPPARD,  Clinical  Director,  Gastineau  Human  Services,                                                               
testified in opposition  to HB 167.  She told  the committee that                                                               
Gastineau  Human Services  (GHS) provides  correctional services,                                                               
substance abuse, and  mental health treatment, and  is opposed to                                                               
HB 167, which would  raise the match from 10 to  25 percent.  All                                                               
regions of Alaska  currently lack the treatment  capacity to deal                                                               
with their local  needs.  The demand far exceeds  the capacity to                                                               
provide treatment.   The  statistics just  given by  Partners for                                                               
Progress  demonstrate  that  it  makes  no  sense  to  lower  the                                                               
treatment capacity.   Public  safety, emergency  health services,                                                               
and the  criminal justice  system end up  paying more.   Families                                                               
and communities  end up paying more  in personal losses.   If the                                                               
formula from  respected national  research shows  $7 is  paid for                                                               
every $1  invested in treatment, she  said this kind of  cut will                                                               
cost the state  an estimated $21 million in other  costs.  Across                                                               
Alaska, programs will have to  find an additional $3.6 million in                                                               
their  communities   to  make  up   the  difference,   when  most                                                               
municipalities  are  struggling  to  keep  core  services.    Ms.                                                               
Lippard  told the  committee that  treatment  facilities in  some                                                               
communities are going to close.   Treatment programs have not had                                                               
an increase to their budgets,  primarily through state grants, in                                                               
10  years.   It  has  already  cost  their operating  budgets  25                                                               
MS.  LIPPARD said  that  HB 167  would cut  $1.5  million out  of                                                               
programs serving thousands in the  Anchorage bowl area.  It would                                                               
cut nearly  $250,000 for programs out  of Bristol Bay.   It would                                                               
cut   more   than   $500,000  in   programs   serving   Southeast                                                               
communities,  and  nearly $350,000  out  of  the Fairbanks  area.                                                               
Gastineau Human  Services serves 300-400 indigent  and low-income                                                               
individuals  in the  Juneau area  every year.   It  is done  on a                                                               
$360,000  budget and  cannot be  done on  any less.   There  is a                                                               
waitlist at  any time  of approximately 70  people.   In summary,                                                               
Ms. Lippard  asked the committee  to consider 12.5 percent  or 15                                                               
percent, but not 25 percent, as a reduction.                                                                                    
Number 0425                                                                                                                     
JANET FORBES,  Outpatient Coordinator, Gastineau  Human Services,                                                               
testified in  opposition to HB 167.   She said GHS  has a waiting                                                               
list that is two to three months  out.  That is one to two people                                                               
per day that are waiting for  assessments.  It puts the community                                                               
at risk and  it puts families at risk.   Gastineau Human Services                                                               
receives referrals from the court  system at enormous rates.  The                                                               
inmate substance abuse treatment (ISAT)  program was cut from the                                                               
prisons,  so that  means GHS  will be  getting those  individuals                                                               
into the  treatment programs.   If  this money  is cut,  GHS will                                                               
probably  lose  two or  three  counselors,  while the  number  of                                                               
individuals who  require case management  will continue  to rise.                                                               
This  will put  more and  more  people at  risk.   She urged  the                                                               
committee to definitely consider not cutting this funding.                                                                      
Number 0331                                                                                                                     
MS.  FORBES  noted that  GHS's  treatment  program picks  up  FAS                                                               
issues, mental health issues, and  medical issues, and serves the                                                               
person as  a whole.  This  bill is not just  cutting treatment of                                                               
chemical dependency.   She urged  the committee not to  cut these                                                               
programs.  She agreed with  Ms. Lippard's statement that possibly                                                               
12  percent or  15  percent,  but not  25  percent  [would be  an                                                               
acceptable reduction].                                                                                                          
CHAIR  WILSON  asked  if  GHS collects  statistics  to  see  what                                                               
percentage is successful.                                                                                                       
Number 0246                                                                                                                     
MS.  FORBES  replied that  it  does  keep statistics,  which  are                                                               
turned in to  the state.  Recovery is a  process and GHS normally                                                               
sees individuals  once, twice,  or even  three times  through the                                                               
system.  That is not uncommon.   Gastineau Human Services has had                                                               
individuals who have  come through the program  that were chronic                                                               
alcoholics.  These are people that  lived on the street, that are                                                               
now  leading fruitful  lives.   At times  they relapse,  but they                                                               
keep  coming  back, and  that  is  the  key.   These  people  are                                                               
employed,  off the  street,  and not  into  the criminal  justice                                                               
system as they used to be.                                                                                                      
CHAIR WILSON  asked what percentage have  been successful through                                                               
the GHS program.                                                                                                                
MS.  LIPPARD responded  that for  individuals who  complete GHS's                                                               
program, after  one year approximately 70  percent have full-time                                                               
CHAIR WILSON asked  what is the percentage of  those who complete                                                               
the program.                                                                                                                    
MS. LIPPARD  replied that 40  percent complete the program.   She                                                               
told the committee that GHS  has assistance in getting completion                                                               
because many [referrals] are court-mandated.                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked  for clarification that of the  40 percent who                                                               
complete  the program,  70 percent  are full-time  employed after                                                               
one year.                                                                                                                       
MS. LIPPARD commented that GHS  surveys these individuals at that                                                               
one-year  mark, and  while they  may be  employed when  surveyed,                                                               
does not mean they  have been employed the entire year.   It is a                                                               
state  survey that  is designed  and worded  by the  state.   The                                                               
question reads something  like:  "Are you  employed full-time (30                                                               
to 40 hours)."                                                                                                                  
Number 0065                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  asked Ms. Lippard  if she knows  of other                                                               
indicators of success.   She said she knows  there are functional                                                               
and working alcoholics.  If so, what are those indicators?                                                                      
MS. LIPPARD said  an obvious indicator is  whether the individual                                                               
is drunk or not.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  asked if  an  indicator  could be  fewer                                                               
family visits to  the shelter or that the individual  was a binge                                                               
drinker,  but not  to the  extent  that the  person lost  his/her                                                               
house, car, or job.                                                                                                             
MS. LIPPARD said  that there are indicators such  as fewer visits                                                               
to the hospital, or law  enforcement involvement.  She offered to                                                               
forward the  outcome statistics to  the committee that  she feels                                                               
might be helpful.                                                                                                               
TAPE 03-28, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
CHAIR  WILSON  asked  Mr.  Lindstrom  if  he  could  present  the                                                               
committee with  statistics on the  success of  treatment programs                                                               
throughout the  state.   Are there some  programs that  have been                                                               
more successful than others?                                                                                                    
Number 0068                                                                                                                     
ELMER LINDSTROM,  Special Assistant  to the  Commissioner, Office                                                               
of the  Commissioner, Department  of Health and  Social Services,                                                               
testified  on HB  167 and  answered questions  from the  members.                                                               
Mr.  Lindstrom  asked  the  members  to  look  at  the  "Chemical                                                               
Dependency Treatment  Outcome" study that  he referred to  at the                                                               
last committee  hearing on  this bill.   This  study was  done in                                                               
1998, and  while the  department does  collect ongoing  data, the                                                               
department does  not have any  more recent reports to  share with                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
MR. LINDSTROM asked the members  to look at the Executive Summary                                                               
of the  report.   These bullets  will give  the committee  a good                                                               
sense  of  the  types  of   outcomes  that  the  department  felt                                                               
confident provided good data at that  point in time.  It is quite                                                               
consistent  with  outcomes  in other  jurisdictions.    Generally                                                               
speaking, clients  in outpatient  treatment who receive  at least                                                               
50 hours  of care have  the best chance of  success.  There  is a                                                               
somewhat less  successful rate  for residential  patients because                                                               
those patients are more severely  impacted than folks that are in                                                               
outpatient treatment  at the  outset.  He  told the  committee he                                                               
does not  have any really current  data, but he said  he believes                                                               
this might be useful information for the committee.                                                                             
Number 0231                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  if the  statistics are  comparable                                                               
with other states.                                                                                                              
MR. LINDSTROM  responded that these  outcome statistics  are very                                                               
comparable  with   other  jurisdictions.    He   pointed  to  the                                                               
[undated]   "Dear  Reader"   letter  in   the  packet   [Chemical                                                               
Dependency Treatment Outcome Final  Report - December 1998] where                                                               
it  says [paragraph  four, last  sentence], "These  findings also                                                               
compare very positively to studies  done at programs elsewhere in                                                               
the nation."   Mr.  Lindstrom said  he would  follow up  with the                                                               
division to see  if there is more current data  available, but he                                                               
believes  this   is  the  best  and   most  credible  information                                                               
CHAIR  WILSON read  the first  bullet in  the Executive  Summary,                                                               
where it said:                                                                                                                  
     Of Alaskan  patients surveyed, 56  percent of  those in                                                                    
     outpatient  programs  abstained  from alcohol  for  one                                                                    
     year  after  treatment,  compared   to  42  percent  of                                                                    
     residential  patients.     Outpatients  in   the  study                                                                    
     received  an  average  of  59   hours  of  care,  while                                                                    
     patients  in residential  programs received  an average                                                                    
     of 39 days of inpatient care.                                                                                              
Number 0366                                                                                                                     
MR.  MURPHY told  the members  that he  has been  working with  a                                                               
committee for the  last six months that includes  the Division of                                                               
Alcoholism  and Drug  Abuse, the  Division of  Mental Health  and                                                               
Developmental Disabilities,  and the  Center for  Substance Abuse                                                               
Treatment  to have  a web-based  evaluation system  that will  be                                                               
coming on  line in the  next six months.   In terms of  having an                                                               
integrated outcome  data system, this is  something the Substance                                                               
Abuse  Directors  Association  has  pushed for.    He  said  this                                                               
program will provide the outcome data  needed on a daily basis to                                                               
assist in policy decisions.                                                                                                     
Number 0481                                                                                                                     
MR. LINDSTROM  told the  committee that  the department  would be                                                               
happy  to  sit down  with  the  committee  and have  an  in-depth                                                               
briefing and  discussion on the  subjects of  outcome, treatment,                                                               
and success.                                                                                                                    
Number 0499                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL pointed out that  the issue is as huge and                                                               
deep as the  committee wants to go in Alaska,  and that there are                                                               
some specifics in the package that  he wants to ask Mr. Lindstrom                                                               
about.  Representative Coghill said  there are 58 programs out of                                                               
the 115 programs  that are exempted from  the match requirements.                                                               
There are 15  programs that are under-$30,000 grants  that show a                                                               
10  percent match  rate.   He said  he got  a letter  from Pamela                                                               
Watts  in  which  she  suggested  that  these  programs  be  held                                                               
harmless.   Representative Coghill  asked if  that is  true under                                                               
this particular legislation.                                                                                                    
MR.  LINDSTROM responded  that while  he has  not counted  up the                                                               
numbers,  he suspects  that  Representative  Coghill has  counted                                                               
accurately.   These are the  small suicide-prevention  grants for                                                               
small  communities  that  are  exempted  entirely.    Some  other                                                               
prevention  grants  were exempted  entirely,  such  as the  local                                                               
match  requirement  for  some   small  treatment  programs,  very                                                               
specifically serving women  and children for some  of the reasons                                                               
the members  have heard  in previous  testimony.   The department                                                               
retains  the ability  under statute  to  further exempt  programs                                                               
from the match  on an individual basis.   However, the department                                                               
wants to caution  the committee that an exemption  from a program                                                               
would by  all likelihood require further  reductions elsewhere in                                                               
the grants.                                                                                                                     
Number 0664                                                                                                                     
MR. LINDSTROM said he does not  intend to turn the meeting into a                                                               
budget  meeting, but  asked the  members  to look  at the  budget                                                               
proposed by  the governor  relative to the  current work  plan in                                                               
the  current year.   There  is  a significant  increase when  all                                                               
funding sources are considered of  about $4 million for substance                                                               
abuse  programs.   The department  is focusing  on those  program                                                               
areas mentioned  earlier, specifically,  women and  children, and                                                               
adolescents in  rural areas.  There  are a whole host  of changes                                                               
that are going on, and there  are losses of federal funds in some                                                               
areas, a  loss of mental  health trust  funds in some  areas, and                                                               
some increases  in mental health trust  funds in other areas.   A                                                               
lot of  things are going  on in the  budget, but the  bottom line                                                               
and  the demonstration  of  this  administration's commitment  to                                                               
substance  abuse treatment  "when you  net all  of those  out" is                                                               
that there is about a $4 million increase in funding.                                                                           
MR.  LINDSTROM  said what  was  heard  from  a lot  of  treatment                                                               
providers  this afternoon  is that  it will  not be  easy to  get                                                               
there.   He  said he  is not  underestimating the  problems folks                                                               
were describing with  regard to how difficult it will  be to meet                                                               
the enhanced match requirement, nor  does he want to minimize the                                                               
work  that providers  and  the  state will  have  to  do to  help                                                               
generate additional Medicaid  funding into the programs.   But if                                                               
everyone  works  together and  things  go  as the  administration                                                               
believes it  can, he  said the  end result  for fiscal  year 2004                                                               
will  be  an  increase  in  total  funding  for  substance  abuse                                                               
treatment programs in the state.                                                                                                
Number 0776                                                                                                                     
MR. LINDSTROM  said that in  the absence of this  bill's passing,                                                               
he  does  not   want  any  of  the  providers   to  believe  that                                                               
necessarily  means that  the $1.6  million  associated with  this                                                               
bill will  somehow magically  be restored to  the budget.   These                                                               
funds are out  of the budget as proposed by  the governor, and it                                                               
will be a budget reduction in the absence of this bill.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  reiterated that  there is a  provision in                                                               
this bill to  provide exemptions where it can  be demonstrated as                                                               
necessary.    At this  point,  over  half  of the  programs  have                                                               
already demonstrated that  need.  Thirteen of  those programs are                                                               
in  those  exempt  areas  or  Class A  grant  awards,  which  are                                                               
$30,000-limit grants.  A significant  portion of the programs are                                                               
being relieved  of this  possible reduction.   He said  for those                                                               
that are not exempt, community effort will be appropriate.                                                                      
CHAIR WILSON announced that she  will hear the last person signed                                                               
up to testify today.   At the next meeting there  will not be any                                                               
testimony taken.                                                                                                                
Number 0894                                                                                                                     
ERIN  CRUZ,  Correctional   Programs  Director,  Gastineau  Human                                                               
Services,  testified in  opposition  to  HB 167.    She told  the                                                               
members  that she  sees  700  people per  year  come through  the                                                               
community residential center; 10 percent  of those go through the                                                               
treatment programs, and  they are all indigent and  coming out of                                                               
prison.  These  people need to have treatment before  they can go                                                               
to school, work, or get on their feet.                                                                                          
Number 0950                                                                                                                     
MS. CRUZ  told the  committee if this  treatment goes  away there                                                               
will be  other repercussions that will  occur.  There will  be an                                                               
increase  in  domestic violence,  an  increase  in fetal  alcohol                                                               
syndrome, and other domino effects  with these people not getting                                                               
into treatment.   There will probably be a $40,000  cut, but [GHS                                                               
is] dealing off of a budget  of $360,000.  The budget has already                                                               
been  dropped to  $330,000, and  if another  $40,000 is  cut, the                                                               
legislature   needs   to   understand    that   there   will   be                                                               
repercussions.   It  will affect  not only  alcoholics, but  also                                                               
their families.   There will be  a lot more people  in hospitals.                                                               
Ms. Cruz  said that  while she  hears all  the numbers,  the real                                                               
impact is what  will happen to the people.   She pointed out that                                                               
one in six people in Alaska is an alcoholic.                                                                                    
Number 1010                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA asked about the  workforce issue.  She said                                                               
she is aware of the  enormous pressure on nonprofit organizations                                                               
with cuts to  the budgets and rising insurance costs.   She asked                                                               
if  the decrease  in funding  will  affect GHS's  ability to  get                                                               
workers and retain them.                                                                                                        
Number 1075                                                                                                                     
MS.  CRUZ responded  that  this cut  will  absolutely affect  its                                                               
employees.  She said GHS has  been working on the 2004 budget and                                                               
finds that  it will be a  $153,000 loss in the  behavioral health                                                               
programs, and two  programs have ended that  were very beneficial                                                               
to  this community.    Many programs  are at  or  just below  the                                                               
break-even point, and  GHS is really scrambling for  grants.  She                                                               
told the  committee that May 1  is the last day  of the recycling                                                               
program, the  junk busters  program will  end, and  several other                                                               
programs cannot be  done anymore.  Gastineau  Human Services will                                                               
lose  one  to  three  counselors.   Its  personnel  work  at  150                                                               
percent, and it is  not possible to ask more of  them.  There has                                                               
been discussion  about cutting  wages, but if  that is  done, GHS                                                               
will lose people.                                                                                                               
Number 1123                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON  commented that  these are  not easy  decisions that                                                               
have to  be made, and no  matter what the members  do, it affects                                                               
CHAIR  WILSON announced  that  next Thursday  this  bill will  be                                                               
heard  again.   This has  been the  third hearing  on HB  167, so                                                               
testimony will not be taken at that meeting.                                                                                    
Number 1167                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  if  there  would be  a  vote on  a                                                               
proposed amendment today.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  WILSON stated  that there  would  not be  any votes  taken                                                               
today.   At  the  next  meeting there  will  be discussion  among                                                               
committee members, and amendments will  be taken up at that time.                                                               
[HB 167 was held over.]                                                                                                         
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee meeting                                                                
was adjourned at 5:04 p.m.                                                                                                      

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