Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/15/2012 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ SB 127 FETAL ALCOHOL DISORDERS AWARENESS DAY TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
*+ HB 343 DISCLOSURE OF CHILDREN'S RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 343(HSS) Out of Committee
+= HB 218 PRESCRIPTION DRUG SPECIALTY TIERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 15, 2012                                                                                         
                           3:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wes Keller, Chair                                                                                                
Representative Bob Herron                                                                                                       
Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                      
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Bob Miller                                                                                                       
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Dick, Vice Chair                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 127                                                                                                             
"An Act establishing September 9 each year as Fetal Alcohol                                                                     
Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 127 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 218                                                                                                              
"An Act prohibiting an insurer from using a drug formulary                                                                      
system of specialty tiers under certain circumstances."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 218 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 343                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to disclosure of records of the Department of                                                                  
Health and Social Services pertaining to children in certain                                                                    
circumstances; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 343(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 127                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FETAL ALCOHOL DISORDERS AWARENESS DAY                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MEYER                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
04/14/11       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/14/11       (S)       HSS                                                                                                    
02/13/12       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/13/12       (S)       Moved SB 127 Out of Committee                                                                          
02/13/12       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/15/12       (S)       HSS RPT 3DP                                                                                            
02/15/12       (S)       DP: DAVIS, DYSON, MEYER                                                                                
02/23/12       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
02/23/12       (S)       VERSION: SB 127                                                                                        
02/24/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/24/12       (H)       HSS                                                                                                    
03/15/12       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 218                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PRESCRIPTION DRUG SPECIALTY TIERS                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/31/11       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/31/11       (H)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
02/28/12       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/28/12       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/28/12       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/15/12       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 343                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DISCLOSURE OF CHILDREN'S RECORDS                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): MUNOZ                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
02/22/12       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/12       (H)       HSS, JUD                                                                                               
03/15/12       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR KEVIN MEYER                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced SB 127 as the prime sponsor of                                                                
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DEBRA EVENSEN, Coordinator                                                                                                      
FAS Alaska Program                                                                                                              
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 127.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MONICA CHARLES-LEINBERGER                                                                                                       
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Behavior Specialist                                                                     
Lower Kuskokwim School District                                                                                                 
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 127.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATE BURKHART                                                                                                                   
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse                                                                                       
Alaska Mental Health Board                                                                                                      
Division of Behavioral Health                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 127.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SHEELA TALLMAN, Manager                                                                                                         
Legislative Affairs                                                                                                             
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska                                                                                        
Seattle, Washington                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 218.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CATHY MUNOZ                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 343 as the prime sponsor of                                                                
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
TONY NEWMAN                                                                                                                     
Program Officer                                                                                                                 
Division of Juvenile Justice                                                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during                                                                  
discussion of HB 343.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY DIAL, Lieutenant                                                                                                         
Alaska State Troopers                                                                                                           
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 343.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:05:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WES KELLER  called the  House Health  and Social  Services                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:05   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Keller, Herron, Millett,  and Miller were present                                                               
at  the  call to  order.    Representatives Seaton  and  Kerttula                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          SB 127-FETAL ALCOHOL DISORDERS AWARENESS DAY                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:06:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 127 "An  Act establishing September 9  each year                                                               
as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:07:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  KEVIN MEYER,  Alaska  State  Legislature, introduced  SB                                                               
127,  which proclaimed  September 9  each year  as Fetal  Alcohol                                                               
Spectrum  Disorders (FASD)  Awareness Day.   He  shared that  the                                                               
ninth day  of the ninth  month, was  in recognition for  the nine                                                               
months of pregnancy  during which a woman needed  to abstain from                                                               
partaking any  alcohol.  He noted  that the intent of  SB 127 was                                                               
to  make   this  a  permanent   recognition,  with  no   need  to                                                               
reintroduce  it  each year.    He  paraphrased from  the  sponsor                                                               
statement, which read:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska has the  highest known incidence of  FASD in the                                                                    
     United States.  This is  a condition caused by prenatal                                                                    
     exposure  to alcohol,  which  can  result in  permanent                                                                    
     brain  damage,  birth defects,  learning  disabilities,                                                                    
     behavioral problems  and most  tragically, the  loss of                                                                    
     individual potential.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He declared  his frustration  that, although  FASD was  a totally                                                               
preventable condition,  it cost  society millions of  dollars and                                                               
the child  had to live  with this condition.   He mused  that the                                                               
proposed bill  would increase awareness  and educate  the public,                                                               
both men and  women, for the issues and  consequences of drinking                                                               
while pregnant.   He pointed  out that  it was also  necessary to                                                               
help the kids  impacted by FASD, noting that many  FASD kids were                                                               
in  special education  programs and  in correctional  facilities.                                                               
He  observed  that,  although FASD  kids  looked  healthy,  their                                                               
brains did not process in a  normal way because of the effects of                                                               
alcohol during pregnancy.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:11:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER,  stating  that  he   had  agreed  to  introduce  a                                                               
corresponding FASD bill in the  House, asked the sponsor if there                                                               
would be a reminder about FASD each year.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON,   directing  attention  to   the  sponsor                                                               
statement,  announced  that  the  man should  also  abstain  from                                                               
alcohol during the pregnancy, in support of the woman.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:12:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   MEYER  expressed   his  agreement   that  it   was  the                                                               
responsibility  of both  parents  to abstain,  even  if only  the                                                               
woman's drinking impacted the child.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON noted  that the  proposed bill  dovetailed                                                               
with  House  Concurrent  Resolution  5,  passed  in  2011,  which                                                               
promoted the prevention of disease and illness.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER opened public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:14:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBRA EVENSEN,  Coordinator, FAS Alaska Program,  shared that she                                                               
had worked with FASD (Fetal  Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) programs                                                               
since  1986  in  Alaska.    She expressed  her  support  for  the                                                               
proposed bill.   She pointed out that the  medical profession had                                                               
been aware  of FASD since 1973,  yet many young people  still did                                                               
not realize the  damage done with alcohol during  pregnancy.  She                                                               
told  a story  about  a  young pregnant  woman  who professed  an                                                               
understanding of FASD, yet declared  that a little bit of alcohol                                                               
did not  affect a fetus.   She pronounced that a  day proclaiming                                                               
FASD Awareness would educate many more people.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:17:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MONICA  CHARLES-LEINBERGER,   FASD  Behavior   Specialist,  Lower                                                               
Kuskokwim School District,  said that she also served  on the FAS                                                               
diagnostic  team   and  steering  committee  for   Alaska.    She                                                               
expressed  her agreement  with the  importance of  addressing the                                                               
damage  from alcohol  to  an  unborn child.    She declared  that                                                               
although this  particular disability  was not  outwardly visible,                                                               
the inside  of the  brain was  different.   She pointed  out that                                                               
progressions  in  learning,  self-expression, and  behavior  were                                                               
areas of  recognizable differences.   As most  of the  public did                                                               
not   understand  the   brain   differences   and  the   learning                                                               
differences with  FASD children,  the child  was often  viewed as                                                               
disrespectful, non-compliant,  and defiant.   She  declared that,                                                               
as Alaska lead  the nation in the use of  alcohol, a proclamation                                                               
about FASD, with open discussion,  would send a statewide message                                                               
to all the people thinking about having children.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:21:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE BURKHART,  Executive Director, Advisory Board  on Alcoholism                                                               
& Drug Abuse, Alaska Mental  Health Board, Division of Behavioral                                                               
Health, Department of Health and  Social Services, clarified that                                                               
her comments were on behalf of  the Advisory Board and the Mental                                                               
Health Board, but  not on behalf of the Department  of Health and                                                               
Social  Services.   She  explained  that  her organizations  were                                                               
members   of  the   Alaska  Fetal   Alcohol  Spectrum   Disorders                                                               
partnership,   a  statewide   coalition  which   fully  supported                                                               
proposed SB 127.   She highlighted that  continuing education was                                                               
still   necessary,  and   although  the   alcohol  industry   was                                                               
supportive,  an  annual  survey  indicated  that  over  half  the                                                               
pregnant mothers  drank in the  three months prior  to pregnancy,                                                               
which was  also a  contributor to  the incidences  of FASD.   She                                                               
reported that  20 - 25 percent  of pregnant women did  not have a                                                               
patient consultation about  the effects of alcohol  exposure on a                                                               
fetus.  She  pointed out that, although a great  deal of progress                                                               
had been made, it was still  necessary to educate the health care                                                               
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:23:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  asked about  the lack of  FASD counseling                                                               
for women during prenatal care.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BURKHART  explained that about 20  - 25 percent of  the women                                                               
surveyed by  PRAMS, Pregnancy Risk Assessment  Monitoring System,                                                               
reported  no  counseling for  FASD  during  prenatal care.    She                                                               
stated  that  some  practitioners did  not  aggressively  educate                                                               
their  patients on  the importance  of alcohol  abstinence during                                                               
pregnancy.   She emphatically stated that  research had indicated                                                               
that  even   minor  or  moderate  alcoholic   consumption  during                                                               
pregnancy could be harmful.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT  shared  that  her  daughter's  pregnancy                                                               
counseling  had recommended  no consumption  of drugs  or alcohol                                                               
during pregnancy.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BURKHART  relayed that although there  were excellent patient                                                               
educational  services, the  PRAMS survey  indicated the  need for                                                               
improvement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:25:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON expressed his  incredulity and reflected on                                                               
prior  legislation from  the late  1980s which  required postings                                                               
that  alcohol during  pregnancy was  dangerous to  the baby.   He                                                               
asked  if it  was  required  for this  to  be  posted in  medical                                                               
offices.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART, in  response, said  that it  was addressed  in the                                                               
standards   of  care   that  applied   to   the  various   health                                                               
practitioners.    She pointed  out  that  almost 75  percent  did                                                               
receive the patient education.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:26:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER  stressed  that  the  role  of  the  father  during                                                               
pregnancy should be emphasized.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BURKHART shared  that the  coordination with  restaurants on                                                               
FASD  Awareness Day  resulted in  many restaurants  offering free                                                               
non-alcoholic beverages  to pregnant women,  as well as  to their                                                               
partners.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:27:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:28:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MILLETT pronounced  that  information about  FASD                                                               
should be posted in all the doctor offices in Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  moved to report  SB 127 out  of committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, SB  127 was reported  from the                                                               
House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
            HB 218-PRESCRIPTION DRUG SPECIALTY TIERS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:28:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 218 "An Act  prohibiting an insurer from  using a                                                               
drug   formulary  system   of  specialty   tiers  under   certain                                                               
circumstances."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:29:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON  moved to  report HB  218 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:30:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  objected  for discussion.    He  directed                                                               
attention to a letter from  Jack C. McRae, Senior Vice President,                                                               
Premera  Blue Cross  Blue Shield  of Alaska,  dated February  14,                                                               
2012, [Included  in members' packets]  which stated  concerns for                                                               
duplicate regulations  with proposed  HB 218.   He  declared that                                                               
although he supported  proposed HB 218, he  wanted this testimony                                                               
from the insurance industry on the record.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:31:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER reported  that  proposed HB  218  would change  the                                                               
notification  for terms  applicable to  specialty pharmacy  tiers                                                               
from  30  days to  90  days,  while  the Patient  Protection  and                                                               
Affordable Care Act would change  this notification time frame to                                                               
60 days.   He agreed with Representative Seaton  that proposed HB                                                               
218 could conflict with the federal law.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:32:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHEELA TALLMAN, Manager, Legislative  Affairs, Premera Blue Cross                                                               
Blue Shield of  Alaska, stated that Premera was  in opposition to                                                               
proposed HB 218  in its present form.  She  declared that Premera                                                               
desired to  maintain transparency  to the consumers  by providing                                                               
detailed,  accurate information  about the  benefits, application                                                               
and renewals, co-payments, cost sharing,  and other out of pocket                                                               
costs at least  30 days prior to  any new terms.   She added that                                                               
this was also applicable to  the specialty pharmacy tiers and any                                                               
changes to  the formularies when  generic drugs  were introduced,                                                               
causing a  shift for  the brand  drug to a  different tier.   She                                                               
declared that Premera was concerned  with the 90 day notification                                                               
time frame,  as it would  impact application and  renewal cycles,                                                               
as  well as  increase  the overall  specialty  drug spending  and                                                               
premiums.     She  pointed  out   that  the  proposed   bill  was                                                               
duplicative  with the  federal  health  care reform  requirement.                                                               
She  clarified that  Premera was  required, as  of September  23,                                                               
2012,  to  provide  specific information  to  its  members  about                                                               
coverage  and  benefits,  including   pharmacy  benefits  with  a                                                               
breakdown of the cost sharing for  each tier.  She noted that any                                                               
change to  any of the plans  required a notification at  least 60                                                               
days prior to  the modification.  She declared  opposition to any                                                               
additional notices.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON asked for a  monetary value to the expected                                                               
increase  to  the premiums  due  to  any change  in  notification                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TALLMAN  replied  that  she   did  not  have  that  specific                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON, directing attention to  page 2, line 23 of                                                               
the proposed bill, paraphrased from the section:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ...  specialty  drug  tiers may  impose  cost  sharing,                                                                    
     deductibles  for a  unique category  or specialty  tier                                                                    
     prescription drug that exceed  the dollar amount of the                                                                    
     cost sharing,  but only if the  insurer notifies within                                                                    
     the 90 days.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
He asked  to clarify that this  did not say that  there could not                                                               
be a  charge for specialty  drug tiers, but that  it specifically                                                               
stated that  there can  be differing  charges for  specialty drug                                                               
tiers.  He stated that there  just had to be notification 90 days                                                               
in advance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER agreed with the clarification.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON removed his objection.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being  no further objection,  HB 218 was reported  from the                                                               
House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
            HB 343-DISCLOSURE OF CHILDREN'S RECORDS                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL NO. 343, "An Act  relating to disclosure of records of                                                               
the  Department  of  Health and  Social  Services  pertaining  to                                                               
children  in   certain  circumstances;   and  providing   for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CATHY  MUNOZ,  Alaska State  Legislature,  stated                                                               
that the proposed  bill would improve the  sharing of information                                                               
between  Division   of  Juvenile   Justice  and  the   Office  of                                                               
Children's Services, which  would help both agencies,  as part of                                                               
Department of Health  and Social Services, to  better protect and                                                               
serve  their   clients.    She   explained  that,   although  the                                                               
affiliation was  established in law, the  actual relationship was                                                               
not always  so clearly understood  by some staff,  attorneys, and                                                               
judges,  and  that  the  proposed bill  clarified  that  the  two                                                               
agencies could share  information.  She stated  that the proposed                                                               
bill would  also improve  the ability  to share  information with                                                               
former  clients, specifically  children  who were  once in  state                                                               
custody,  and their  parents or  guardians who  had a  legitimate                                                               
interest in  the information.   She gave examples  of application                                                               
to the military, and university  studies, as legitimate needs for                                                               
access to  old records.   She described  the third aspect  of the                                                               
proposed bill,  which would simplify  and streamline  the current                                                               
law  on  public disclosure  of  juvenile  information, which  she                                                               
described  as cumbersome.   She  directed attention  to the  flow                                                               
chart,  titled  "Current  Disclosure  Law,"  which  outlined  how                                                               
cumbersome and time  consuming the current practice  was for each                                                               
client.  [Included  in members' packets]  She  explained that the                                                               
proposed bill would streamline and  improve access to the process                                                               
for  making  information  available  to the  public.    She  then                                                               
directed  attention to  a second  flow chart,  "Proposed Juvenile                                                               
Disclosure Law - 2/6/2012."  [Included in members' packets]                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:43:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TONY  NEWMAN,  Program  Officer, Division  of  Juvenile  Justice,                                                               
Department   of  Health   and   Social   Services,  stated   that                                                               
improvement to the abilities for  the child protection system and                                                               
the  juvenile justice  system to  work together  was embraced  by                                                               
advocacy  systems nationwide,  and that  the proposed  bill would                                                               
make the  statement that the  two systems were dedicated  to this                                                               
goal.   Directing attention  to proposed  AS 47.12.310(f)  of the                                                               
proposed bill, he  pronounced that this would  enable Division of                                                               
Juvenile   Justice  to   be  more   responsive  to   requests  by                                                               
individuals with a need for  background information on juveniles.                                                               
He explained  that Section 5  of the proposed bill  would improve                                                               
an  understanding  by  staff  and  the public  for  the  need  of                                                               
specific public disclosures of juvenile  offenses.  He emphasized                                                               
that  the  proposed bill  would  not  change any  laws  regarding                                                               
victim  notification,   and  parents  and  agencies   with  "well                                                               
established  rights to  juvenile information"  would continue  to                                                               
receive the necessary information  to effectively carry out their                                                               
duties.  He stated that  laws surrounding child abuse and neglect                                                               
were  not  affected by  the  proposed  bill.   He  summarized  by                                                               
stating  that the  proposed  bill would  improve  the ability  of                                                               
Division of  Juvenile Justice to "manage,  exchange, and disclose                                                               
juvenile information while respecting  the state's desire for its                                                               
juvenile system  to both  serve public safety  and help  kids put                                                               
delinquent behavior behind them."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:47:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  directed attention  to page  5, line  5 of                                                               
the proposed bill, "the public  shall disclose information to the                                                               
public," if the  minor subject was at least 13  years of age, and                                                               
had committed  any of  the listed offenses,  and then  pointed to                                                               
page 5,  line 18,  "the department has  filed a  petition seeking                                                               
adjudication of  a minor  as a  delinquent on  the offense."   He                                                               
asked for an explanation to its meaning.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN, in response to  Representative Seaton, explained that                                                               
police  identification  of a  juvenile  suspected  of an  offense                                                               
resulted in  a referral  to Division  of Juvenile  Justice, which                                                               
was different  than the adult  system.  He  elaborated, declaring                                                               
that  referrals  from  law enforcement  were  given  directly  to                                                               
Division of  Juvenile Justice, and  a juvenile  probation officer                                                               
was tasked with determining the  dispensation of the report.  The                                                               
proposed  bill  allowed the  probation  officer  to petition  the                                                               
court  for  adjudication on  juvenile  delinquency,  and, if  the                                                               
court  found  probable  cause,  then  the  information  would  be                                                               
available for public disclosure.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:49:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  if  this  procedure referenced  the                                                               
seven offenses listed in proposed  AS 47.12.315(a), lines 8 - 15,                                                               
or  did  it also  reference  offenses  similar to  and  including                                                               
multiple truancies.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:50:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN replied that the  seven listed offenses, but not lower                                                               
offenses,  were eligible  for public  disclosure if  the juvenile                                                               
probation officer filed a petition on  one of those offenses.  He                                                               
noted that  truancy was handled  through the district  court, not                                                               
the Division of Juvenile Justice.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:51:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   asked  to   clarify  that   proposed  AS                                                               
47.12.315(b) was referring to subsection (a).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ explained that,  although the seven offenses                                                               
were eligible for required public  disclosure, probable cause had                                                               
to be first  established.  She described that  probable cause was                                                               
only  determined  after  Division  of Juvenile  Justice  filed  a                                                               
petition seeking adjudication  of the minor as  a delinquent, the                                                               
court arraigned  the minor,  and the court  entered a  finding of                                                               
probable cause.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  asked for clarification as  subsection (b)                                                               
read "may disclose," while subsection (a) read "shall disclose."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER,  pointing to page  5, lines 16  - 17, said  that it                                                               
described "may [disclose] only if one, two, and three."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SEATON  asked   to  clarify   that  these   were                                                               
sequential,  not   parallel,  statements,  and  that   both  were                                                               
required before any release of public disclosure.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:54:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN expressed agreement,  pointing out that probable cause                                                               
had to be established.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER, referring to the  aforementioned flow charts, asked                                                               
if there was  less information required for  disclosure under the                                                               
proposed bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NEWMAN,  in  response,  explained  that  under  the  current                                                               
system,  the  intake  probation  officer  determined  whether  to                                                               
petition the  offense to the  court; whereas, under  the proposed                                                               
bill, the  court would  need to  establish probable  cause before                                                               
any public disclosure.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked to  clarify that, under the current                                                               
system, there  was more  public disclosure  without a  finding of                                                               
probable cause.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NEWMAN  agreed  that  no   finding  of  probable  cause  was                                                               
currently required for public disclosure.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KERTTULA  asked  if,  at a  finding  of  probable                                                               
cause, the juvenile could then be taken into custody.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN  stated that  the initial  advisement hearing  for the                                                               
juvenile,   often  after   detention,  was   prior  to   a  final                                                               
adjudication hearing.   He noted  that the state  could determine                                                               
that a  delinquent act had  been committed during  the advisement                                                               
hearing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA,  observing that  probable cause  was the                                                               
finding effect, asked  if the proposed bill  had added misconduct                                                               
concerning weapons  in the first  through fifth degrees,  as well                                                               
as  some drug  crimes.   She  asked  if the  current  law had  an                                                               
exception  for  misconduct   involving  a  controlled  substance,                                                               
except for those listed under AS 11.71.040 and AS 11.71.050.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:58:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN  reflected that the  seven offenses enumerated  in the                                                               
proposed bill,  page 5, lines  8 - 15, closely  mirrored offenses                                                               
which currently existed in law.   He pointed out that robbery and                                                               
misconduct involving  weapons in the first  through fifth degrees                                                               
were included in  the proposed bill, as they  were often included                                                               
in  the use  of a  deadly  weapon.   He offered  his belief  that                                                               
misconduct involving a controlled  substance was also currently a                                                               
requirement of the public disclosure law.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:59:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  asked about  any exceptions to  the drug                                                               
cases  in  the current  law.    She  asked  for a  definition  to                                                               
misconduct involving weapons in the fifth degree.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN replied that he would research it.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:00:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY  DIAL, Lieutenant,  Alaska  State  Troopers, testified  in                                                               
support of  HB 343, explaining  that the exchange  of information                                                               
would be  beneficial to all  the involved agencies.   In response                                                               
to Representative  Kerttula, he  defined misconduct  with weapons                                                               
in the  fifth degree  as knowing possession  of a  deadly weapon,                                                               
other than a  pocket knife, by someone 21 years  of age or older;                                                               
knowing possession  of a firearm  by someone  16 years of  age or                                                               
younger,  without  the consent  of  a  parent or  guardian;  and,                                                               
knowing possession  of a firearm within  the grounds of, or  on a                                                               
parking  lot immediately  adjacent  to, an  entity  other than  a                                                               
private residence.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:02:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA,  posing a question, asked  to clarify if                                                               
an unemancipated minor, fifteen and a  half years of age, owned a                                                               
gun, would that be within  the definition of misconduct involving                                                               
weapons in the fifth degree.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LT. DIAL replied  that the consent of the parent  or the guardian                                                               
of the minor was the key to the definition.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:03:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON asked  if a  hunting knife,  instead of  a                                                               
pocket knife, was determined to be a deadly weapon.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
LT.  DIAL, in  response, said  that the  key would  be if  it was                                                               
concealed  on the  person.   He shared  that a  pocket knife  was                                                               
generally defined as shorter than 3 inches in length.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON expressed his  concern for the inclusion in                                                               
the proposed  bill of misconduct  involving weapons in  the fifth                                                               
degree, as  many people carried  hunting knives that did  not fit                                                               
the definition of  a pocket knife, especially as  they were often                                                               
worn under a coat.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:05:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  KELLER   pointed  out  that   this  definition   would  be                                                               
considered  in   the  next  committee  of   referral,  the  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:05:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LT. DIAL,  in response to  Representative Seaton,  clarified that                                                               
an affirmative defense for this charge  was for someone to be "in                                                               
their dwelling or on land owned  by them, or was actually engaged                                                               
in lawful  hunting, fishing, trapping  or another  lawful outdoor                                                               
activity,  that  necessitates  the   carrying  of  a  weapon  for                                                               
personal  protection."   He  declared that  a  minor, carrying  a                                                               
large  knife in  a  lawful outdoor  activity,  would not  pertain                                                               
under this law.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:06:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KERTTULA  offered   her   belief  that   neither                                                               
misconduct involving weapons  nor misconduct involving controlled                                                               
substances  were currently  included in  public disclosure  laws.                                                               
She expressed her  concern for the necessity of  these for public                                                               
disclosure, unless the individual themselves wanted it.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. NEWMAN, directing attention to  the current law, AS 47.12.315                                                               
(b),  stated that  public  disclosure would  apply  to crimes  in                                                               
which  a minor  employed  a  deadly weapon.    He  shared of  the                                                               
struggle to define  whether "employed" meant that  the weapon was                                                               
with the  person when they  committed the offense.   He clarified                                                               
that  the  Division  of Juvenile  Justice  still  maintained  the                                                               
ability to make a decision whether  to petition the court for the                                                               
offense, and that it was not  until after this petition and after                                                               
the court had  maintained probable cause, for there  to be public                                                               
disclosure.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  expressed his concern that  the definition                                                               
of the crime was for just having  the knife, and not for having a                                                               
weapon  during  the commission  of  the  crime.   He  stated  his                                                               
support  for the  disclosure,  but that  he did  not  want it  to                                                               
become broader in scope than the intention.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:09:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MUNOZ  asked  Lt.   Dial  for  a  description  of                                                               
misconduct involving weapons in the fourth degree.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:10:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LT.  DIAL  explained that  misconduct  involving  weapons in  the                                                               
fourth degree, a  Class A misdemeanor, was a crime  if the person                                                               
possessed a  firearm on their  person or  in the interior  of the                                                               
vehicle in which  they were present, when the  physical or mental                                                               
condition of  the person was  impaired by the introduction  of an                                                               
intoxicating liquor or a controlled  substance.  He declared that                                                               
the discharge  of a  firearm across a  highway, or  with reckless                                                               
disregard for  risk to property  or physical injury to  a person,                                                               
was also  defined as a  fourth degree  violation.  He  noted that                                                               
switchblade  or gravity  knives,  metal  knuckles, and  knowingly                                                               
selling a firearm to someone less  than 18 years of age were also                                                               
included in the definition.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:11:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA asked if  misconduct involving weapons in                                                               
the fifth degree was a Class B misdemeanor.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
LT. DIAL expressed his agreement.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA  mused that  the definition for  a deadly                                                               
weapon  used to  be  "anything that  under  the circumstances  in                                                               
which it's used, attempted to be  used, or threatened to be used,                                                               
is  capable of  causing death  or serious  physical injury.   So,                                                               
that  could be  just about  anything."   She asked  if a  Class B                                                               
misdemeanor was necessary for public disclosure.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  NEWMAN  assured that,  although  he  did not  have  specific                                                               
figures  for  its management  in  Division  of Juvenile  Justice,                                                               
almost 50  percent of  offenses were  managed outside  the formal                                                               
court system.   He  pointed out  that these  misdemeanors, unlike                                                               
felonies, were  a level of offenses  that were more likely  to be                                                               
managed outside the court system,  and thereby, were not eligible                                                               
for public disclosure.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:13:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER, agreeing with the  concerns for the definition of a                                                               
hunting knife as a deadly weapon,  pointed out that the issue was                                                               
misconduct with  that knife,  and that  the Division  of Juvenile                                                               
Justice still had to file a petition seeking adjudication.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:14:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  offered his belief that  the inclusion for                                                               
a knife longer than three  inches in the definition of misconduct                                                               
involving  a  deadly  weapon  allowed for  someone  who  was  not                                                               
actively  hunting to  be charged.    He expressed  his desire  to                                                               
delete misconduct involving weapons in  the fifth degree from the                                                               
proposed bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:15:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MUNOZ, as the prime  sponsor of the proposed bill,                                                               
offered her support for the change.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:15:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KELLER closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:16:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1, as                                                               
follows:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 15, following "through"                                                                                       
          Delete "fifth"                                                                                                        
          Insert "fourth"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:16:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT  moved to report  HB 343, as  amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying zero fiscal  notes.  There being  no objection, CSHB                                                               
343(HSS) was forwarded from the  House Health and Social Services                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:17:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services   Standing  Committee  meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 4:17 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
1 SB 127 Sponsor Statement.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
2 SB 127 Bill Text version A.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
3 SB127 Fiscal Note.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
4 SB 127 10 Things About FAS.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
5 SB 127 Ltr of Support AMHB ABADA LOS FASD Day 2-13-12.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
6 SB 127 Ltr of Support Arctic FASD RTC.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
7 SB 127 Ltr of Support Gov Council Disability Spec Ed.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
SB 127
1 HB 218 sponsor.docx HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 218
test HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 218
2.5 HB 218-DCCED-INS-02-24-12 fiscal note.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 218
3 HB 218 Sectional summary.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 218
4 Premera Letter HB 218.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 218
01 - HB 343, Original Bill, Version A, Disclosure of Children's Records.PDF HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
02 - HB 343 Sponsor Statement, Original Bill, Version A.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
03 - HB 343 Sectional Analysis of Original Bill, Version A.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
3.5 HB 343-DHSS-PS-3-12-12 Fiscal note.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
3.75 HB 343-DOA-PDA-3-6-12 Fiscal note.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
3.76 HB 343-DOA-OPA-3-12-12 Fiscal Note.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
04 - HB 343 Letter of Support from the Division of Juvenile Justice, 24 February 2012.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
05 - HB 343 Letter of Support from the Office of Children's Services, 27 February 2012.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
06 - HB 343 Supporting Document, Flow Chart Explaining Current Disclosure Law by the Division of Juvenile Justice, 6 February 2012.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343
07 - HB 343 Supporting Document, Flow Chart Explaining Proposed Disclosure Law by the Division of Juvenile Justice, 6 February 2012.pdf HHSS 3/15/2012 3:00:00 PM
HB 343