Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/18/2004 03:05 PM 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 18, 2004                                                                                         
                           3:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Carl Gatto, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Representative John Coghill                                                                                                     
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Kelly Wolf                                                                                                       
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
Representative Mary Kapsner                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 511                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the certificate of need program for health                                                                  
care facilities; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 511(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 353                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to jury duty; and amending Rule 15(k), Alaska                                                                  
Rules of Administration."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED *CSHB 353(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 333(EDU)                                                                                                  
"An Act  relating to  an endowment for  public education  and the                                                               
University of  Alaska; relating to university  land; establishing                                                               
a  trust  fund  for  public   education;  and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - REMOVED FROM AGENDA                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 511                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) SAMUELS                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/16/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/16/04       (H)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
03/02/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/02/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/02/04       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/04/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/04/04       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/04/04       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/18/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 353                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: JURY DUTY EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN TEACHERS                                                                           
SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KAPSNER                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/2/04                                                                                
01/12/04       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/12/04       (H)       EDU, HES, JUD                                                                                          
02/17/04       (H)       EDU AT 11:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                            
02/17/04       (H)       Moved Out of Committee                                                                                 
02/17/04       (H)       MINUTE(EDU)                                                                                            
02/18/04       (H)       EDU RPT 3DP 2NR 2AM                                                                                    
02/18/04       (H)       DP: GARA, KAPSNER, GATTO;                                                                              
02/18/04       (H)       NR: OGG, WOLF; AM: SEATON, WILSON                                                                      
03/04/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/04/04       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/18/04       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JANET CLARKE, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Administrative Services                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 511 and answered                                                                
questions from the committee members.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WOOLIVER, Administrative Attorney                                                                                          
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 353 and answered questions                                                                 
from the members.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-20, SIDE A                                                                                                            
Number 0001                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PEGGY WILSON called the  House Health, Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:05  p.m.                                                               
Representatives Wilson, Gatto, Coghill,  Seaton, and Kapsner were                                                               
present at  the call to  order.  Representatives Wolf  and Cissna                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 511-CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM                                                                                            
Number 0092                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 511,"An Act  relating to the certificate  of need                                                               
program  for  health  care  facilities;   and  providing  for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
JANET  CLARKE,  Director,  Division of  Administrative  Services,                                                               
Department of  Health and Social  Services, testified  in support                                                               
of  HB 511  and answered  questions from  the committee  members.                                                               
She told  the members that  the administration support HB  511 in                                                               
its  current  form which  includes  one  amendment the  committee                                                               
adopted during  the first  hearing of the  bill.   That amendment                                                               
was related  to residential psychiatric treatment  centers (RPTC)                                                               
which  the  department  believes  strikes the  right  balance  of                                                               
technical corrections  in closing some  of the loopholes  to make                                                               
the CON program work better.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE referred  to a letter she sent to  the member on March                                                               
15 which  addressed a number  of the questions from  the members.                                                               
She  commented  that  Tanana  Valley  Clinic  testified  that  99                                                               
percent of  the CONs  submitted have been  approved.   Ms. Clarke                                                               
explained  that the  department did  a review  of that  point and                                                               
asked  the members  to  look  at Attachment  1,  Response to  TVC                                                               
Assertions.     There  were  also  issues   of  non-hospital  CON                                                               
approvals  and   the  assertion  that  the   department  protects                                                               
hospitals  from competition.   Ms.  Clarke pointed  to the  third                                                               
page of the attachment, Certificate  of Need Decisions from 1996-                                                               
2003.  She noted  that the table at the top  of the page reflects                                                               
that 61  percent of the CONs  had been approved as  requested, 11                                                               
percent  were  denied,  11 percent  were  partially  approved,  6                                                               
percent  were  withdrawn,  14   percent  had  special  conditions                                                               
attached to  their CONs, and  17 percent  were shaped by  the CON                                                               
process.    In  other  words,   the  process  provides  technical                                                               
assistance  with the  application,  and the  questions that  were                                                               
asked  in  the  CON  process   helped  shape  the  direction  the                                                               
facilities chose to  go.  Ms. Clarke emphasized that  this is not                                                               
a  rubber stamping  process, but  a  public interactive  process.                                                               
She summarized  that she  believes the CON  process is  doing the                                                               
job the legislature intended.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 0367                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  commented on  the differences  between the                                                               
CON processes  in Alaska as opposed  to the process in  Utah.  He                                                               
said the committee was told  that in Utah the department assesses                                                               
the  needs  of a  community  when  a  CON application  comes  in.                                                               
However, in  Alaska when a  CON application  comes in there  is a                                                               
public  notice  for 30  days  where  counter proposals  can  come                                                               
forward.  He asked Ms. Clarke to address this point.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARK  directed  the members'  attention  to  Attachment  3,                                                               
History of  Concurrent (Competing)  Certificate of  Need Reviews.                                                               
This attachment  shows the number  of competing  CON applications                                                               
in Alaska  since 1982, she  said.  In  the 1980s there  were four                                                               
[competing CON  applications], and  in the  1990s there  were two                                                               
[competing  CON applications].   She  agreed with  Representative                                                               
Seaton's  description of  the  way CONs  are  handled in  Alaska.                                                               
During the  30-day public  notice there  would be  an opportunity                                                               
for  someone  to  come  in  with  a  competing  application,  she                                                               
acknowledged.  Ms. Clarke commented  that the department does not                                                               
solicit, encourage, or in any  way encourage competition to CONs.                                                               
She  summarized  that  competing  CONs  have  been  a  very  rare                                                               
occurrence particularly  in the  last twenty  years where  it has                                                               
only happened twice.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 0544                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  announce that Representatives Cissna  and Wolf have                                                               
joined the meeting.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0561                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA   asked  if   the  CON  process   is  time                                                               
consuming.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARKE  referred  to  Attachment   2,  Certificate  of  Need                                                               
Questions & Answers,  and directed the members'  attention to the                                                               
question:   "What are the  components of the certificate  of need                                                               
(CON)  process?"    She provided  the  following  list  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
        · Submission of a letter of intent (includes who,                                                                       
          what, how large, the cost and timeline);                                                                              
        · Letter of intent (LOI)  determination - a decision                                                                    
          is made as to whether a CON is required;                                                                              
        · 60-Day wait  - A CON application  may be submitted                                                                    
          60 days after the LOI determination;                                                                                  
        · Completeness  Check -  The application  is checked                                                                    
          for completeness, and more information is                                                                             
          requested if the application is incomplete.  The                                                                      
          applicant has 60-days to submit information;                                                                          
        · Review  Period -  The  analysis  document must  be                                                                    
          submitted to the Commissioner in 90 days;                                                                             
        · Public Notice & Public  Comment - Public notice is                                                                    
          given at the beginning of a review and the public                                                                     
          comment period runs concurrently with the review,                                                                     
        · Commissioner's Decision  - The  Commissioner makes                                                                    
          the decision, which is published, and                                                                                 
        · Appeal -  The applicant has  30 days to  appeal if                                                                    
          dissatisfied.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE added that the commissioner will make a                                                                              
decision, and if an applicant is still unhappy litigation                                                                       
is still an option.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Number 0709                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  asked at  what point  in the  process does                                                               
the  department  make the  application  public.    Is it  when  a                                                               
submission of  a letter  of intent  is received  or later  in the                                                               
process.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARKE replied  that  the  letter of  intent  is a  one-page                                                               
document that is public information.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA   asked  if   the  letter  of   intent  is                                                               
published.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  responded that a lot  of things are published  on the                                                               
department's web page,  but would have to verify  that the letter                                                               
of intent is one of them.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARKE  summarized information  on  Attachment  2 which  was                                                               
titled  "Certificate  of  Need   Questions  and  Answers."    She                                                               
explained  that  the types  of  projects  which require  CON  are                                                               
health  care facility  projects that  involve expenditures  of $1                                                               
million or more for construction,  renovation, or the purchase of                                                               
new equipment.  Ms. Clarke told  the members that there are other                                                               
projects which are  exempt from CON; for example,  if the project                                                               
costs under $1 million, or  is for routine maintenance or repair,                                                               
or routine  replacement of  equipment.   Specifically, exemptions                                                               
are  for pioneer  homes, private  physicians' offices,  dentists'                                                               
offices,  and any  other  project  that is  not  included in  the                                                               
definition.   Ms.  Clarke emphasized  that if  HB 511  passes the                                                               
legislature  the definition  will change  to include  residential                                                               
psychiatric treatment centers  and independent diagnostic testing                                                               
facilities.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 0843                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  explained that the  department is required to  have a                                                               
decision  on a  CON  application to  the  commissioner within  90                                                               
days, and then the commissioner can  take as long as necessary to                                                               
make the  determination.  She added  that there is usually  a lot                                                               
of pressure to turn that decision around fairly quickly.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE responded  to earlier comments concerning  the cost of                                                               
a CON  as being  between $5,000  to $100,000  or more,  by saying                                                               
that a  lot of the cost  depends on the whether  the applicant is                                                               
happy with  the decision and if  there is a decision  to litigate                                                               
it.    However,  one  example  from  a  group  in  the  state  of                                                               
Washington that  has done consulting  in the state of  Alaska and                                                               
has  done at  least  four CON  applications  charges $15,000  per                                                               
application.   She said she  believes that is a  good independent                                                               
assessment of the cost.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  summarized that  the department  supports HB  511 and                                                               
urged the members to pass it from committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON  commented  that an  amendment  will  be  presented                                                               
shortly  that  will   remove  residential  psychiatric  treatment                                                               
centers (RPTC) from  the bill and asked Ms. Clarke  to comment on                                                               
the purpose of including them.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 0933                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WOLF moved Amendment 1.   He told the members that                                                               
many  communities are  looking  at adding  RPTC's  and this  bill                                                               
simply adds one  more layer of bureaucracy.  He  pointed out that                                                               
Ms. Clarke stated  the cost could be between  $15,000 to $100,000                                                               
to obtain a CON.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 0977                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER objected for  purposes of discussion.  She                                                               
explained that  in her  area a  tribal health  consortium, Yukon-                                                               
Kuskokwim Health Corporation, is planning  on building a RPTC for                                                               
Native kids.  She added that  there are no RPTCs in Rural Alaska,                                                               
so most of  these kids get shipped out of  state.  Representative                                                               
Kapsner said  that there  is concern  that a  for-profit hospital                                                               
could  come into  the  area and  take that  option  way from  the                                                               
tribal health consortium.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1024                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARKE responded  that the  department opposes  Amendment 1.                                                               
She explained that  there is an effort to bring  the 500 children                                                               
who  are currently  placed in  out  of state  facilities back  to                                                               
Alaska.  Ms. Clarke told the  members it is the department's wish                                                               
to do  this in a  planned community-based way where  many smaller                                                               
facilities  would be  constructed  throughout  Alaska if  needed.                                                               
She  emphasized  that it  is  important  not  to over  build  the                                                               
system.   The  department  wants a  three-pronged approach  where                                                               
there would  be a  gate keeping  system in  place to  ensure that                                                               
kids are going to the right place.   It is important to make sure                                                               
that RPTCs  are built in  the right locations  so kids can  be as                                                               
close  to home  as possible.   Kids  who are  not close  to their                                                               
parents do not receive the same benefit  as those who are.  It is                                                               
also important these  facilities not be large.   Ms. Clarke added                                                               
that while there  are 500 kids out of state,  the department does                                                               
not believe  it would  be prudent  to build  500 beds  in Alaska.                                                               
Instead, the department believes having  a smaller number of beds                                                               
with a  variety of  options will  be helpful  in making  the kids                                                               
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE noted  that three of the members of  the House Health,                                                               
Education  and  Social Services  Standing  Committee  are on  the                                                               
House Finance  Budget Subcommittee  which deals with  this issue.                                                               
She told  the members  that this  is one  of the  fastest growing                                                               
areas of the  Medicaid budget.  She explained that  the budget is                                                               
now well over $40 million and  is growing rapidly every year.  It                                                               
is important that as the kids  are moved back to Alaska, they are                                                               
provide with  better treatment, and  that the Medicaid  budget is                                                               
not broken.  Ms. Clarke  explained that the administration wishes                                                               
to  work  with  Tribal  partners because  there  is  100  percent                                                               
federal  funding   available  for  those  services,   and  it  is                                                               
important to do it in a planned manner.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1153                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  commented that she understands  that there                                                               
is legislation  currently moving  through the process  that would                                                               
removed reimbursement  to this kind  of program.  She  added that                                                               
she  hopes  there  is  some   coordination  to  ensure  that  the                                                               
community-based RPTCs are paid enough to remain open.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CLARKE replied  that she  believes Representative  Cissna is                                                               
referring  to   some  cost   containment  regulations   that  are                                                               
currently out for public comment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Number 1199                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  asked  for  clarification  on  residential                                                               
psychiatric  treatment center.   In  this context  what does  the                                                               
word "residential"  mean.  "Is  this a locked-down  facility," he                                                               
asked?                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  replied that  some of the  facilities will  be locked                                                               
facilities; however,  some are secured  facilities.  By  that she                                                               
said she means  the facility is secured by staff;  it is not like                                                               
a locked cell.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked if there is 100 percent control.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE responded that there  are a whole array of residential                                                               
facilities  including many  levels  of security.   She  clarified                                                               
that  RPTCs  are one  step  away  from an  inpatient  psychiatric                                                               
hospital.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO asked how many  kids the department plans on                                                               
bringing back to Alaska.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  replied that  it is  the intention  to bring  back as                                                               
many  children as  will benefit  from returning  to the  state of                                                               
Alaska.   There are some  specialized facilities in  the Lower-48                                                               
that deal with  for example, fire starters.   That program cannot                                                               
be replicated  in every  state.  Ms.  Clarke emphasized  that the                                                               
department wants to stem the tide  of kids going out of state and                                                               
bring some back to the appropriate placement.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 1383                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF pointed  out  that the  committee has  heard                                                               
from  a   program  in   Southeast  Alaska   [Crossing  Wilderness                                                               
Expeditions  for  Youth, Overview,  1/29/04]  that  has a  remote                                                               
program, yet it would be  considered a residential facility which                                                               
would fall under the CON process.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE  responded that there  is no retroactive clause  in HB                                                               
511.  There are a couple  of facilities, in Anchorage and Palmer,                                                               
that have the designation of RPTCs.   She emphasized that not all                                                               
residential  centers  will fall  under  the  CON process.    Many                                                               
communities have  residential homes  that fall under  a different                                                               
program and CON does not apply to them.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOLF said  that  the members  were  told the  CON                                                               
process would  apply to the program  he is referring to.   Unless                                                               
Ms. Clarke can confirm that it  does not apply, he will assume it                                                               
does.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. CLARKE responded  that she would have to look  at the program                                                               
to determine  the level of  care and intensive services  that are                                                               
being provided.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1405                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL commented that  the budget debate has made                                                               
it clear that there needs to  be management of RPTCs because they                                                               
are  largely  publicly funded.    He  told  the members  that  he                                                               
opposes the amendment  even though he struggles with  the idea of                                                               
the state managing many of these programs.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON agreed with Representative  Coghill's comments.  She                                                               
pointed out  that there  are many companies  in the  Lower-48 who                                                               
know the current problems Alaska  is experiencing and without the                                                               
CON process  these companies  could come up  here and  build many                                                               
facilities as a way to make money.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1441                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call  vote was taken.  Representative Wolf  voted in favor                                                               
of  Amendment   1.    Representatives  Cissna,   Kapsner,  Gatto,                                                               
Coghill, and  Wilson voted  against it.   Therefore,  Amendment 1                                                               
failed to be adopted by a vote of 1-5.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Number 1508                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to report  HB 511 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no  objection, CSHB 511(HES) was reported out                                                               
of  the  House Health,  Education  and  Social Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 353-JURY DUTY EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN TEACHERS                                                                               
Number 1543                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO.  353, "An Act relating to jury  duty; and amending                                                               
Rule 15(k), Alaska Rules of Administration."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1554                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MARY KAPSNER testified as  sponsor of HB 353.  She                                                               
explained that this  bill allows for teachers  whose schools fall                                                               
under  the designation  of not  meeting adequate  yearly progress                                                               
(AYP) under  the No  Child Left  Behind Act  (NCLB) to  be exempt                                                               
from jury  duty.  She  commented that  she knows the  members are                                                               
aware  of the  fact  that all  teachers are  now  required to  be                                                               
highly qualified  teachers.   This adds  an extra  burden because                                                               
substitute  teachers   most  often   are  not   highly  qualified                                                               
teachers.  In many cases it  is difficult to find teachers who at                                                               
the minimum have  a high school diploma.   Representative Kapsner                                                               
told the members that  it is her hope that one  day this will not                                                               
be a concern because all of  Alaska's schools will be meeting AYP                                                               
and teachers will not be exempted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER explained that  the Lower Kuskokwim School                                                               
District brought this  problem to her attention.   Bethel has the                                                               
third  busiest court  system after  Anchorage and  Fairbanks, she                                                               
said.   Residents in Bethel and  11 villages in a  50-mile radius                                                               
are asked  to come in  to participate in  jury duty.   Until this                                                               
year jury duty meant three months  of service and four months for                                                               
grand jury.   The court system  has been helpful in  working with                                                               
the  communities  to  shorten  the required  length  of  time  in                                                               
serving on jury duty, she added.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER told the members  that from September 1 to                                                               
December 15, 2003, the Lower  Kuskokwim School District's payroll                                                               
records  show  107.5 days  that  its  teachers  were out  of  the                                                               
classroom performing  jury duty.   She added  that most  of those                                                               
schools are not meeting AYP.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON asked what the  requirements are for persons serving                                                               
as substitute teachers.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KAPSNER   responded    that   requirements   for                                                               
substitute  teaching is  up to  the individual  school districts.                                                               
She added  that it is  not necessary  to be a  certified teacher.                                                               
In the  Lower Kuskokwim School District  the minimum requirements                                                               
is  that   substitute  teachers  have  a   high  school  diploma.                                                               
Representative Kapsner  added that  it can  be difficult  to find                                                               
someone  in   the  village  who   is  available   to  substitute.                                                               
Sometimes  substitutes are  19 year-olds  who just  graduated the                                                               
year before.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1685                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  commented  that  his trip  to  Kipnuk  was                                                               
enlightening.   He  told the  members that  it could  be days  of                                                               
waiting to get  in or out of  a village for jury duty.   With AYP                                                               
requirements this  can be a  real strain on the  school district.                                                               
Representative Gatto said he supports this bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 1721                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL asked  if  it is  necessary to  reference                                                               
public law [on page 1, line 5 and 7] where it says:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     (b) A  person may  claim exemption  and may  be excused                                                                    
     from service as a juror if  it is shown that the person                                                                    
     is  a teacher  in  a  school that  has  failed to  make                                                                    
     adequate yearly progress under P.L. 107-110.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL asked if  this reference is for definition                                                               
purposes only.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER replied  that she is unsure,  and asked if                                                               
the bill drafter is in the committee room.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL noted that  the next committee of referral                                                               
is the House Judiciary Standing  Committee and suggested that the                                                               
question could be  addressed in that committee.  He  said he does                                                               
understand the  need for  teachers in  these circumstances  to be                                                               
excused.  However, he struggles with  the idea that if he were an                                                               
accused person who  knew that a certain segment  of society would                                                               
be  excused from  jury  duty,  he might  feel  that  it would  be                                                               
necessary  to   appeal  for  a   trial  outside  of   that  area.                                                               
Representative Coghill  asked Representative  Kapsner if  she has                                                               
consider that scenario.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1791                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER  replied  that  she has  looked  at  that                                                               
situation.   She emphasized that  this bill  is not an  effort to                                                               
allow a particular group to shirk  its civic duty.  In looking at                                                               
the  problem  Representative Kapsner  said  she  really tried  to                                                               
balance the  stress that is put  on the schools and  the students                                                               
and  the  burden  it  would  place on  the  court  system.    She                                                               
explained that one theory she has  is that in many cases teachers                                                               
would not  be a jury  of their peers.   For instance, if  most of                                                               
the teachers are  first or second year Alaskan  citizens from the                                                               
Lower-48 those teachers [are not  peers of rural residents].  She                                                               
said she  understands that  most attorneys would  like to  have a                                                               
teacher  in the  jury pool  because  of the  education level  and                                                               
language level that  brings to the jury.   Representative Kapsner                                                               
noted that not all  teachers are from out of state  or out of the                                                               
region, in fact,  many teachers have been in the  villages for 20                                                               
years or more.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Number 1860                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  commented that there could  be schools in                                                               
the Anchorage School District that are not meeting AYP.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER agreed  that every  district has  schools                                                               
which do not meet AYP.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  referred to  the term  "may" [on  page 1,                                                               
line 5] that says:                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
      (b) A person may claim exemption and may be excused                                                                       
     from service as a juror ... .                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL commented that  he is concerned about that                                                               
language.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1894                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER emphasized  that it is her  goal that this                                                               
will not  even be  an issue for  very long.   As soon  as schools                                                               
reach AYP, then  this would not be  an issue.  Even  if a teacher                                                               
may be called to jury duty it  creates a lot of stress within the                                                               
school district.   She  emphasized that  this legislation  is one                                                               
thing that can be done to help the schools.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL   responded  that  he   appreciates  what                                                               
Representative Kapsner  is saying  and will  likely vote  to pass                                                               
the bill  from committee.   He said he has  to ask about  the guy                                                               
who runs  the generator,  the Village  Public Safety  Officer, or                                                               
the only Alaska  State Trooper, all of whom may  be the only ones                                                               
who are  available for their  duty.  Representative  Coghill said                                                               
he assumes the  court system will take all of  that into account.                                                               
He  summarized that  he is  concerned  with the  many jobs  where                                                               
there is little or no backup,  and questioned whether all of them                                                               
should be exempted from jury duty.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 1982                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  commented  that  there  are  nine  school                                                               
months  in the  year, so  theoretically there  are another  three                                                               
months  that  teachers  could  be  called  to  jury  duty.    She                                                               
emphasized that  it is  important for  the members  to prioritize                                                               
what is important.  She stated  that she believes it is important                                                               
to keep  the commitments to  the schools by keeping  the teachers                                                               
in the  classroom to ensure  that the  policy that is  already in                                                               
place is then met.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2019                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  commented that  maybe this  questions would                                                               
be better  addressed in the  House Judiciary  Standing Committee.                                                               
He  said he  wants to  make  sure that  when the  bill refers  to                                                               
"teachers" it is  referring to "classroom teachers".   He pointed                                                               
out that  a principal could be  a teacher and not  be a classroom                                                               
teacher.   It is  certainly possible for  the principal  to leave                                                               
town and  not have  it impact the  classroom.   Another important                                                               
point would  be to specify  that the  exemption is good  for only                                                               
the   school   term.       Representative   Gatto   agreed   with                                                               
Representative  Cissna's comments  that  teachers  should not  be                                                               
given a "free  pass" during the summer months.   Perhaps teachers                                                               
should be  given a delay in  serving on jury duty  rather than an                                                               
exemption.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  commented that in  earlier discussion in  the House                                                               
Special Committee on  Education there was a  suggestion that some                                                               
language  should be  inserted that  clarified  that only  schools                                                               
that were  off the road system  would qualify.  For  example, she                                                               
said she believes it is a  lot easier to find substitute teachers                                                               
in  Anchorage as  opposed  to  a village.    She  asked if  other                                                               
members have any thoughts on this point.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2078                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER replied  that  she believes  it would  be                                                               
important to  talk with administrations  from some of  the larger                                                               
school  districts because  it is  her understanding  that finding                                                               
substitute teachers is a problem for those districts as well.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL commented  that when the bill  gets to the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee there  will be talk of the law                                                               
of  general applicability.   If  this exemption  is good  for one                                                               
community, it is  good for all of them since  this bill is really                                                               
in response  to the AYP  requirements and the hardship  jury duty                                                               
service incurs.   For example, Tok, Dot Lake, or  even North Pole                                                               
could experience  some of  the same  problems communities  not on                                                               
the road system have, he said.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  WOOLIVER,  Administrative  Attorney, Alaska  Court  System,                                                               
testified on HB 353 and answered  questions from the members.  In                                                               
response to  the question by  Representative Coghill  on language                                                               
which refers to  "may," he said he read that  language to mean it                                                               
is the  discretion of the  teacher to  ask for an  exemption from                                                               
jury duty.   For example, judges  are exempt from jury  duty, but                                                               
some choose to be seated as  jurors.  He suggested if the members                                                               
wish to make that language clear  it should be run by the drafter                                                               
for clarification.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Number 2197                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL replied  that  he  believes the  language                                                               
should be  clarified.  He said  he would like to  see judges have                                                               
discretion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOLIVER  commented  that there  are  many  other  important                                                               
community professions that serve  an important function and whose                                                               
absence may have a detrimental effect  on a community if they are                                                               
called  away to  jury  duty.   He told  the  members that  Alaska                                                               
Statutes use  to have a  long list  of professions that  could be                                                               
exempted.  For  example, a public health nurse, use  to be exempt                                                               
if he/she  is the only health  care professional in a  town.  Mr.                                                               
Wooliver  told the  members that  anyone who  is called  for jury                                                               
duty can  automatically defer service for  up to ten months.   In                                                               
particular  hardship  cases,  he   said,  individuals  have  been                                                               
excused for a particular call.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL  said that  if  it  is  the wish  of  the                                                               
legislature  that an  individual claim  that exemption,  then the                                                               
language should be  "to be excused" rather than  "may be excuse".                                                               
He commented  that he  would like to  give the  judge discretion,                                                               
and wondered if  the House Judiciary Standing  Committee might be                                                               
better at devising the language for this.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  agreed with Representative Coghill's  comments that                                                               
it is important to give the judge discretion.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 2326                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER asked  Mr.  Wooliver how  many judges  he                                                               
believes  would  look  at  the  discretionary  language  and  say                                                               
teachers should not be exempt.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOLIVER responded  that  he  does not  know.    He said  he                                                               
believes  judges would  look at  this  as a  preference that  the                                                               
legislature  wishes these  teachers  be given  an exemption  from                                                               
jury duty.  Mr. Wooliver pointed  out that some judges could look                                                               
at  the  language  and  be  unclear  as  to  whether  this  is  a                                                               
redundancy in  the sentence  or whether  this is  really granting                                                               
the judge discretion to deny the exemption.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 2330                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL told  the members  an amendment  could be                                                               
made [on  page 1,  line 5]  after the  word "excused"  insert the                                                               
words "by the court".  He noted  that the language may not be the                                                               
exact wording that should be used.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 04-20, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Number 2349                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  suggested another option  which would be  to delete                                                               
the second "may"  [on page 1, line  5].  He said  that would take                                                               
away the  discretion, but it  would clearly say that  the teacher                                                               
could claim an exemption and be excused from service.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Number 2330                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved Amendment 1 as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     On Page 1, Line 5, after "exemption and"                                                                                   
     Delete "may"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Number 2307                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  objected for purposes  of discussion.   She pointed                                                               
out that by  removing "may" from this sentence  the wording would                                                               
read as follows:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
      (b) A person may claim exemption and be excused from                                                                      
     service as a juror ... .                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  pointed out that language  would automatically give                                                               
teachers an exemption.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO said  he believes  the first  "may" in  the                                                               
sentence  handles  the issue.    He  said  he believes  that  the                                                               
language is clear by removing the second "may" in the sentence.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  commented that he  does not want  to hold                                                               
the  bill  up  over  this  issue;  however,  there  needs  to  be                                                               
clarification that  there is  some discretion by  the judge.   He                                                               
pointed  out that  the next  committee of  referral is  the House                                                               
Judiciary Standing  Committee and  believes that  committee could                                                               
more appropriately address the question.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 2253                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON agreed  that she  will have  a discussion  with the                                                               
House Judiciary Standing Committee chair  to address the issue of                                                               
court discretion.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA  told the  members that  it is  her opinion                                                               
that the highest  priority in this issue is  addressing the needs                                                               
of students  who are having a  hard time reaching AYP.   She said                                                               
she does not  believe that the courts should have  a higher value                                                               
in this particular instance.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  said he agrees  that students are  a high                                                               
priority, but  constitutionally [a  defendant's] right to  a fair                                                               
trial  is  also a  high  priority  and  that  is his  reason  for                                                               
suggesting the need for some judicial discretion.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WOOLIVER said  that he  believes his  earlier suggestion  of                                                               
removing  the  second "may"  [on  page  1,  line 5]  removes  the                                                               
discretion  by  the  courts.     Judges  do  currently  have  the                                                               
discretion of providing a teacher  with an exemption if a teacher                                                               
says there is a burden.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL commented  that he  believes his  earlier                                                               
suggestion of  inserting [on page  1, line  5] the words  "by the                                                               
court"  after the  word "excused"  would be  clarifying language.                                                               
The language would read as follows:                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     (b) A person may claim exemption and may be excused by                                                                     
     the court from service as a juror ... .                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. WOOLIVER  urged the committee  to be  sure to tell  the court                                                               
what the members want it to know.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON said she believes the  language could be read in two                                                               
different ways.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 2083                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL moved to adopt Amendment 2, as follows:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     On Page 1, Line 5, after "excused"                                                                                         
     Insert "by the court"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Number 2064                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA objected  to Amendment  2.   She told  the                                                               
members that  she prefers  that the  highest priority  remain the                                                               
welfare of the students.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Coghill,  Gatto,                                                               
Wolf, and Wilson voted in  favor of Amendment 2.  Representatives                                                               
Cissna and Kapsner voted against  it.  Therefore, Amendment 2 was                                                               
adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1960                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   GATTO  moved   Amendment  3   [later  conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3], as follows:                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     On Page 1, Line 7                                                                                                          
     Delete "teacher has the meaning"                                                                                           
       Insert "teacher means a person who serves a school                                                                       
     district in a teaching capacity and is required to be                                                                      
     certified in order to hold that position."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Number 1957                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON objected  to the  motion  for discussion  purposes.                                                               
She  agreed to  strike  the sentence  and asked  if  it would  be                                                               
better  to  simply say,  "if  it  is shown  that  a  person is  a                                                               
classroom teacher in a school that has failed."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO responded  that  he is  not  sure, but  the                                                               
current language  has the  definition of a  "teacher as  a person                                                               
who serves  the school district in  a teaching ... ."   He stated                                                               
that he just wants to use the same language that is in statute.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON pointed out that part  of the language would be left                                                               
out.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO replied that he  would like to leave out the                                                               
part  [of the  definition]  that  refers to  those  who serve  in                                                               
counseling or administrative capacities.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1900                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the  members that  her father  was a                                                               
principal  and also  a teacher  in four  schools.   She commented                                                               
that most school  districts are so strapped  that many counselors                                                               
also teach.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Number 1882                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO agreed that is a  good point.  As long as an                                                               
individual is a teacher in  the classroom, even if the individual                                                               
may have other jobs, that person would be exempt from jury duty.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO  restated  Amendment  3  [later  conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3] as follows:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On Page 1, Line 7, after "in this subsection,"                                                                             
     Delete "teacher has the meaning"                                                                                           
       Insert "teacher means a person who serves a school                                                                       
     district in a teaching capacity and is required to be                                                                      
     certified in order to hold the position."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL said  he  appreciate what  Representative                                                               
Gatto is  trying to  achieve with this  amendment.   He suggested                                                               
that if  court discretion is left  in the bill, a  judge would be                                                               
able to discern the level of need.   He said he is opposed to the                                                               
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO replied that he  is simply trying to place a                                                               
higher  bar  for an  individual  to  be  excused from  jury  duty                                                               
because he  believes citizens  have an obligation  to serve.   He                                                               
pointed  out  that Representative  Kapsner's  bill  is trying  to                                                               
defend  the classroom  by keeping  the  classroom teacher  there.                                                               
The  idea that  there  may  be other  positions  which may  merit                                                               
exemptions are separate issues.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:10 p.m. to 4:11 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Number 1749                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  suggested that Amendment 3  be changed to                                                               
a conceptual amendment  to address the definition  of a classroom                                                               
teacher.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Number 1722                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO restated  his  motion  to adopt  conceptual                                                               
Amendment 3, to  define a teacher as a classroom  teacher.  There                                                               
being no objection, conceptual Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Number 1525                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO  moved conceptual Amendment 4  to define the                                                               
term  during  the year  when  this  exclusion  would apply.    He                                                               
suggested language  be crafted  that would  define the  time when                                                               
school is not in session for a week or longer.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON  objected to  the motion.   She explained  that jury                                                               
duty is not  just one week of  service; it is usually  a month or                                                               
more.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  COGHILL pointed  out that  many teachers  have to                                                               
take  classes  in  the  summer for  recertification  tests.    He                                                               
reiterated the importance of court discretion.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GATTO said the original  intent of the bill was to                                                               
deal with  schools off  of the  road system.   He  commented that                                                               
every school has  teachers that will be required  to take special                                                               
classes.   The intent of  this bill,  and the reason  he supports                                                               
it,  is the  difficulty that  occurs during  the school  year for                                                               
those  teachers in  rural areas.   This  exemption should  not be                                                               
offered outside of the school year, he emphasized.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  asked if a conceptual  amendment could be                                                               
offered that inserts language that  addresses the time during the                                                               
school year.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Number 1525                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTO   withdrew  Amendment   4  and   moved  new                                                               
Amendment 4 to read:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, Line 4                                                                                                             
     After the word "juror"                                                                                                     
     Insert "during the school year"                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON objected  to the motion.  She pointed  out that many                                                               
of the teachers leave the area during the summer months.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Cissna, Kapsner,                                                               
Gatto, and Wolf  voted in favor of Amendment  4.  Representatives                                                               
Wilson and Coghill voted against  it.  Therefore, Amendment 4 was                                                               
adopted by a vote of 4-2.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL  moved to report  HB 353 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no  objection, CSHB 353(HES) was  report out                                                               
of  House   Health,  Education   and  Social   Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Health, Education and Social  Services Standing Committee meeting                                                               
was adjourned at 4:18 p.m.                                                                                                      

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