Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/23/2017 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 138 MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 138 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 151 DHSS;CINA; FOSTER CARE; CHILD PROTECTION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 151(HSS) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HCR 2 RESPOND TO ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCR 2 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+= HCR 3 APRIL 2017: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCR 3 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 23, 2017                                                                                         
                           3:05 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bryce Edgmon, Vice Chair                                                                                         
Representative Sam Kito                                                                                                         
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                                
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Matt Claman (alternate)                                                                                          
Representative Dan Saddler (alternate)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 138                                                                                                              
"An Act  establishing the  month of  March as  Sobriety Awareness                                                               
Month."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 138 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2                                                                                               
"Urging  Governor  Bill Walker  to  join  with the  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  to  respond  to the  public  and  behavioral  health                                                               
epidemic  of  adverse  childhood experiences  by  establishing  a                                                               
statewide  policy   and  providing   programs  to   address  this                                                               
epidemic."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCR 2 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                                                               
"Proclaiming  April 2017  as Child  Abuse  Prevention Month;  and                                                               
proclaiming April 7, 2017, as Go Blue Friday."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HCR 3 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                                                                              
"An Act  relating to the duties  of the Department of  Health and                                                               
Social Services; relating to training  and workload standards for                                                               
employees  of  the  Department of  Health  and  Social  Services;                                                               
relating to  foster care  licensing; relating  to placement  of a                                                               
child   in   need   of   aid;  relating   to   the   rights   and                                                               
responsibilities  of foster  parents; relating  to subsidies  for                                                               
adoption or  guardianship of  a child in  need of  aid; requiring                                                               
the  Department   of  Health  and  Social   Services  to  provide                                                               
information to a  child or person released  from the department's                                                               
custody; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 151(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 138                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WESTLAKE                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/22/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       HSS, CRA                                                                                               
03/07/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/07/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 2                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: RESPOND TO ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/23/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/17       (H)       HSS, STA                                                                                               
03/14/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/14/17       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/21/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/21/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 3                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: APRIL 2017: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/23/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/17       (H)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
03/09/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/09/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 151                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DHSS;CINA; FOSTER CARE; CHILD PROTECTION                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) GARA                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
03/01/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/17       (H)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
03/16/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/16/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/16/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/21/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/21/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/21/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DEAN WESTLAKE                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 138 as the sponsor of the                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN TARR                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HCR 2 and HCR 3 as the sponsor of                                                              
these resolutions.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TREVOR STORRS, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Children's Trust                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 2 and in                                                                     
support of HB 151.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALIZA KAZMI, Policy Specialist                                                                                                  
Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 3.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CAROL EVON                                                                                                                      
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HCR 3.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LES GARA                                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Presented HB  151  as the  sponsor of  the                                                             
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARNA SANFORD                                                                                                                   
Tanana Chiefs Conference                                                                                                        
Alaska Regional Coalition                                                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 151.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY LAWTON, Director                                                                                                        
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Office of Children's Services                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during the discussion of                                                             
HB 151.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
AMANDA METIVIER, Statewide Coordinator                                                                                          
Facing Foster Care in Alaska                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during discussion of HB 151.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:05:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR IVY SPOHNHOLZ  called the House Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing   Committee    meeting   to    order   at    3:05   p.m.                                                               
Representatives Spohnholz, Edgmon,  Kito, Tarr, Sullivan-Leonard,                                                               
and Johnston were  present at the call to  order.  Representative                                                               
Eastman arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
             HB 138-MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:06:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 138, "An  Act establishing the month  of March                                                               
as Sobriety Awareness Month."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   DEAN   WESTLAKE,   Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
paraphrased from the sponsor statement, which read:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill  138 seeks  to  have  the State  of  Alaska                                                                    
     recognize  March  as   Sobriety  Awareness  Month.  The                                                                    
     purpose  of   Sobriety  Awareness  Month  is   to  call                                                                    
     attention   to   Alaska's   aggregate   population   of                                                                    
     citizens,  who practice  a  positive  and healthy  non-                                                                    
     consumer   lifestyle   of    any   mood/mind   altering                                                                    
     substances. Sobriety Awareness  Month is an opportunity                                                                    
     for  schools, community  groups, and  other public  and                                                                    
     private   agencies   and  individuals   to   recognize,                                                                    
     appreciate,   and  celebrate   the  existence   of  all                                                                    
     Alaska's  citizenry,  who  by virtue  of  their  freely                                                                    
     chosen lifestyle, serve as Living Examples-To-The-                                                                         
     Truth  (LETTT)  that  life can  be  lived  and  enjoyed                                                                    
     without   having   to    consume   mood/mind   altering                                                                    
     substances. Individuals  that lead a sober  life are an                                                                    
     asset  to  Alaska in  that  they  can help  reduce  the                                                                    
     incidence of  alcohol or drug related  social ills such                                                                    
     as  crime,   domestic  violence,  and  child   abuse  &                                                                    
     neglect. Please join me in  support of recognizing this                                                                    
     valuable group of Alaskans and their lifestyle.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:07:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:07:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:08:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON  moved to  report HB  138 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There  being no  objection, HB  138 was  moved from  the                                                               
House Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:08:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:08 p.m. to 3:11 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
         HCR 2-RESPOND TO ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:11:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the next order of business would                                                                 
be HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2, Urging Governor Bill                                                                      
Walker to  join with the  Alaska State Legislature to  respond to                                                               
the public  and behavioral health  epidemic of  adverse childhood                                                               
experiences  by establishing  a  statewide  policy and  providing                                                               
programs to address this epidemic.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN TARR, Alaska  State Legislature, stated that                                                               
the proposed resolution  urged the governor and  the Alaska State                                                               
Legislature to work together to  address the public health crisis                                                               
from Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Alaska.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:11:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:12:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TREVOR  STORRS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Children's  Trust,                                                               
reported  that Alaska  Children's  Trust was  the statewide  lead                                                               
organization  focused  on  the  prevention  of  child  abuse  and                                                               
neglect.   He  stated that  adverse childhood  experiences (ACEs)                                                               
had  an  increasing  toll on  Alaskans  throughout  their  lives.                                                               
Those  people with  high  ACE scores  were  less healthy,  earned                                                               
less, and  required more  expensive social  programs.   He stated                                                               
that a  person with 4  or more ACEs was  12 times more  likely to                                                               
attempt suicide,  10 times  as likely to  use injection  drugs, 7                                                               
times as  likely to be  an alcoholic, 3  times more likely  to be                                                               
unable  to work  and  twice as  likely to  earn  $20,000 or  less                                                               
annually.  He added that they would  be 2 times as likely to drop                                                               
out of  high school.   He declared that ACEs  had a high  cost in                                                               
human and economic terms. He stated  that it was necessary to get                                                               
to the  root cause of the  issues or the need  for services would                                                               
increase.   He  declared that  support of  HCR 2  would start  to                                                               
change old  practices which did  not work, and  instead encourage                                                               
investment in  programs that got  to the root  of the issue.   He                                                               
encouraged support for the proposed resolution.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:14:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:14:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON moved  to report  HCR 2  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HCR 2 was moved from the House                                                               
Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:15:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
         HCR 3-APRIL 2017: CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
3:17:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO. 3, Proclaiming  April 2017 as                                                               
Child Abuse Prevention  Month; and proclaiming April  7, 2017, as                                                               
Go Blue Friday.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:17:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN TARR,  Alaska  State Legislature,  declared                                                               
that  the   resolution  continued  the  tradition   of  declaring                                                               
attention for April as Child  Abuse Prevention Month and the need                                                               
for everyone  to work together  with community  organizations and                                                               
neighbors.   She  pointed out  that  the resolution  specifically                                                               
stated  April  7 as  Go  Blue  Friday,  a  day recognized  as  an                                                               
opportunity to talk about child abuse prevention.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:18:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALIZA  KAZMI,  Policy  Specialist,  Alaska  Network  on  Domestic                                                               
Violence and Sexual Assault, stated  that the network offered its                                                               
support  for this  proposed resolution.   She  stated that  child                                                               
abuse was  a critical problem  throughout Alaska and that  it was                                                               
important  to build  awareness as  one tool  of prevention.   She                                                               
reminded that  violence was preventable,  and she  encouraged all                                                               
Alaskans to become more aware and to act to prevent it.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:19:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  EVON  stated  that  she  was a  family  advocate  for  the                                                               
children's advocacy  center.  She  declared that no  child should                                                               
be hurt  in any way  as it puts  a scar on  them for the  rest of                                                               
life.  She pointed out that  children can think it is their fault                                                               
and withdraw  from family and  friends.   She opined that  it was                                                               
better to  talk about these  experiences, as it  allowed everyone                                                               
to help the victim.   She stated that this was  one reason it was                                                               
so important to have child  awareness month, and to work together                                                               
to make children's lives better.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  thanked Ms. Evon  and the sensitive  work of                                                               
the child advocacy centers to help the process.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:21:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:22:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON moved  to report  HCR 3  out of  committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HCR 3 was moved from the House                                                               
Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:22:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at ease from 3:22 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HB 151-DHSS;CINA; FOSTER CARE; CHILD PROTECTION                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
3:25:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO.  151, "An  Act relating to  the duties  of the                                                               
Department of  Health and Social  Services; relating  to training                                                               
and workload standards for employees  of the Department of Health                                                               
and Social Services; relating to  foster care licensing; relating                                                               
to placement  of a child in  need of aid; relating  to the rights                                                               
and  responsibilities of  foster parents;  relating to  subsidies                                                               
for  adoption  or  guardianship  of  a  child  in  need  of  aid;                                                               
requiring  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  to                                                               
provide  information  to a  child  or  person released  from  the                                                               
department's custody; and providing for an effective date."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:25:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LES GARA,  Alaska  State Legislature,  summarized                                                               
the  proposed bill,  and paraphrased  from the  Sponsor Statement                                                               
[Included in members' packets], which read:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Foster youth in Alaska are not getting the chances                                                                         
     they deserve. The Children Deserve a Loving Home Act                                                                       
     aims to increase the likelihood that foster youth will                                                                     
     have the same opportunities in life, and same health                                                                       
     and well-being, as their peers. When roughly 40% of                                                                        
     our foster youth end up homeless at some point in                                                                          
     their lives after leaving care, and roughly 20% end up                                                                     
     in jail, it's a call for reform. The nation's leading                                                                      
     foster care non-profit, Casey Family Programs, has the                                                                     
     correct goal to reduce the number of youth languishing                                                                     
     in foster care by 50% by 2020. Alaska should join that                                                                     
     effort. We should achieve it not by leaving youth in                                                                       
     neglect and abuse to keep our foster care numbers                                                                          
     down, but by getting neglected and abused youth out of                                                                     
     the foster care system, into a permanent, loving home,                                                                     
     much more quickly than we do now.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Many Alaskans recognize that our child welfare system                                                                      
     has room to improve; this bill seeks to make real                                                                          
     positive changes that support youth and families, as                                                                       
     well as the caseworkers who serve them. It's been well                                                                     
     documented by many sources that when case workers are                                                                      
     overworked, outcomes for children and families suffer.                                                                     
     The Office of Children's Services (OCS) recommends                                                                         
     standards of approximately 12 cases or families per                                                                        
     worker  but today, most caseworkers are carrying                                                                           
     caseloads that vastly exceed that amount (as high as                                                                       
     43 families in Wasilla, 36 in Homer, and 30 or more in                                                                     
     six of the state's main OCS offices). Conditions in                                                                        
     rural Alaska, especially the challenges of remote                                                                          
     travel, make even a 12-family caseload overwhelming                                                                        
     for workers in such regions. Beyond the risk of poorer                                                                     
     outcomes, high caseloads contribute to high worker                                                                         
     turnover, a costly problem that slows timelines to                                                                         
     permanency.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     This bill seeks to improve both caseload levels and                                                                        
     worker retention by implementing significant new                                                                           
     training and workforce standards. New workers would                                                                        
     receive a minimum of six weeks of training and would                                                                       
     carry no more than six cases/families in the first                                                                         
     three months, and 12 families in the first six months.                                                                     
     The bill also provides for the employment of mentors                                                                       
     to help caseworkers become more effective and make the                                                                     
     transition from training to a full caseload. These                                                                         
     standards are recognized to improve outcomes, enable                                                                       
     faster timelines to permanency, and allow case workers                                                                     
     to perform their duties as intended.                                                                                       
     In addition, this bill provides for a number of other                                                                      
     changes to support the well-being of youth in care,                                                                        
     and to promote quicker timelines for children                                                                              
     returning to, or finding new, permanent homes. The                                                                         
     bill extends subsidies for adoptions and guardianships                                                                     
     to age 21, to incentivize permanency and the closing                                                                       
     of cases, and promotes contact with siblings and with                                                                      
     previous out-of-home caregivers to promote the well-                                                                       
     being of children and maintain a network of support                                                                        
     for them. Another important tenet of this bill is                                                                          
     enacting timelines for waivers to licensing                                                                                
     requirements for relatives who may want to care for a                                                                      
     child, but are not licensed foster parents.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The bill also makes it easier for youth and foster                                                                         
     parents to engage in normal day to day activities,                                                                         
     such as going on vacation without prior caseworker                                                                         
     approval, with fewer requirements. In addition, youth                                                                      
     at age 14 are empowered to participate in their case                                                                       
     plan with a larger role. This bill also strengthens                                                                        
     the requirement to search for relatives before placing                                                                     
     a child with foster parents, recognizing that                                                                              
     placements with family are often the best and most                                                                         
     loving option for youth.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Providing support, and a voice, for youth and families                                                                     
     who need our help is perhaps one of our most important                                                                     
     duties in public service. This bill seeks to give                                                                          
     caseworkers the tools they need to carry out their                                                                         
     duties to the best of their abilities, and it seeks to                                                                     
     support youth and families with provisions that                                                                            
     support well-being, make it easier for children to                                                                         
     move out of the system and into a permanent home more                                                                      
     quickly, and provide the necessary resources for a                                                                         
     system that can function well. This bill is intended                                                                       
     to create an environment where loving homes are the                                                                        
     priority for all youth.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  directed attention to the  attached fiscal note,                                                               
with additional money for adoption  subsidies, and asked if money                                                               
had  been  backed  out  for   providing  care  for  those  foster                                                               
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  replied that he  had also thought  it "would                                                               
be  a wash,"  as the  daily foster  care rate  would not  be paid                                                               
although the adoption rate would be  paid.  He said that the cost                                                               
was for  every child  in an  adoptive home  and they  would start                                                               
getting payments at ages 18 through 20.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked if the language  could be changed so as not                                                               
to be retroactive to previously completed adoptions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA replied  that he  was not  sure if  this was                                                               
allowed under  federal law and  whether there would be  any legal                                                               
impediments to just using general  funds for those few youth over                                                               
18  who might  benefit from  this proposed  bill.   He said  they                                                               
wanted to  ensure there  were not any  federal penalties,  and he                                                               
offered  his  belief  that  there was  not  an  equal  protection                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ shared a story of  a child her family had adopted                                                               
about 10 years  ago, knowing that the subsidy would  end when the                                                               
child turned  18 years of  age.  She  pointed out that  the child                                                               
did not  currently qualify for  Medicaid, which was  important to                                                               
pay for her case management and  other services.  She stated that                                                               
her family had adopted with  full understanding, and they did not                                                               
expect any compensation.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if the  $3 million  added to  the                                                               
budget would cover the costs of the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA said that this  money would "make headway" as                                                               
it was  focused on lowering  the caseloads for new  case workers,                                                               
as well as paying for 4 - 6  weeks of training.  He declared that                                                               
this money would not get the  caseloads down to the projected low                                                               
of six cases  in the first three months, and  twelve in the first                                                               
six months, although  he opined it would "get  somewhere a little                                                               
bit more than half way there."   He stated that the money did not                                                               
address the  caseload limits for  senior case workers.   He added                                                               
that there  was money for a  few mentors to new  case workers, as                                                               
well as  an increase to the  number of supervisors.   He declared                                                               
that the money would  not cover the cost of the  bill.  He stated                                                               
that this  was more aggressive  than the proposed  bill, although                                                               
passage would  mean the cost of  the proposed bill would  be less                                                               
over time.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if, during  consideration of  the                                                               
proposed bill, $3 million was  considered as financing to get the                                                               
bill started.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  replied that  he wanted to  get this  on the                                                               
road, as it was going to be a three-year process.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ opened public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:38:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TREVOR  STORRS,  Executive  Director,  Alaska  Children's  Trust,                                                               
reported that the  Trust was a statewide  organization focused on                                                               
the prevention of child abuse and  neglect.  He stated that abuse                                                               
and  neglect was  happening during  the most  critical time  of a                                                               
child's  life,   and  that  children  often   adopted  high  risk                                                               
behaviors to cope with the pain  of abuse and neglect.  He stated                                                               
that it was important to ensure  the safety net that was designed                                                               
to  protect children.   He  declared that  the high  caseloads of                                                               
Office  of  Children's  Services   (OCS)  case  workers  made  it                                                               
difficult  to  provide the  support  and  attention necessary  to                                                               
overcome  this experience.    He stated  that  the proposed  bill                                                               
addressed the court challenges faced  by OCS by reducing the high                                                               
caseloads and high worker turnover  to ensure that the purpose of                                                               
the safety net  was achieved, and to help  strengthen the system.                                                               
He declared support for the proposed bill.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARNA   SANFORD,  Tanana   Chiefs  Conference,   Alaska  Regional                                                               
Coalition, expressed support  for the proposed bill  from all the                                                               
members of the conference.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:41:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ closed public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:41:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at ease from 3:41 p.m. to 3:46 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:46:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ brought the committee back to order.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  asked  that the  Office  of  Children's                                                               
Services answer questions regarding  the fiscal note, and whether                                                               
this bill met the financial needs included in the house budget.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:47:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY LAWTON,  Director, Central  Office, Office  of Children's                                                               
Services, Department  of Health and Social  Services, offered her                                                               
belief  that the  $3 million  in the  amendment to  the operating                                                               
budget  was  for 33  positions,  which  included a  few  mentors,                                                               
although  she was  unsure if  this also  referenced money  for an                                                               
extension  of  training.   She  declared  that  this was  only  a                                                               
fraction  of the  necessary positions  identified.   She reported                                                               
that  the fiscal  note  called for  81  positions, although  this                                                               
could be fewer  if there was not a need  for management staff for                                                               
the subsidy  and certification.   She noted that the  language of                                                               
the bill pointed  to a need for more case  workers with initially                                                               
reduced caseloads during a training  period.  She stated that the                                                               
$3 million would not be sufficient,  but "it would certainly go a                                                               
lot farther."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if the  proposed fiscal  note was                                                               
for funding  above what  was currently  budgeted for  Fiscal Year                                                               
2018.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LAWTON said  that the  fiscal note  started from  scratch to                                                               
meet the intent of the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD directed  attention  to page  5,                                                               
Section 6,  of the proposed  bill, and  asked for more  detail to                                                               
the change.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAWTON said that the sponsor's  intent in the language of the                                                               
committee substitute,  Version R, was  that children 14  years of                                                               
age or  older were assured  an opportunity  to include up  to two                                                               
additional adults  as part  of the meeting  for development  of a                                                               
case plan.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EASTMAN  asked if  this  was  an assumption  that                                                               
foster parents  would already be  part of the meeting,  and would                                                               
not have to be chosen by the child.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. LAWTON said that, as  foster parents were often participants,                                                               
the  idea was  to include  people  who were  usually outside  the                                                               
normal  circle involved  with the  child's life.   She  suggested                                                               
that  this could  include  a coach,  a god  parent,  or a  family                                                               
friend.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:52:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMANDA  METIVIER, Statewide  Coordinator, Facing  Foster Care  in                                                               
Alaska, pointed out  that foster parents were not  parties to the                                                               
case, and she explained that  the proposed bill reflected federal                                                               
law which  allowed youth  the opportunity  to allow  other adults                                                               
they were  connected with to be  part of the team  meeting and to                                                               
help the  child better understand  what was happening  with their                                                               
case.  She pointed out  that these other adults could potentially                                                               
be long term support, and maybe an adoptive parent.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN  said that  this did  not address  why the                                                               
child  could not  choose  the foster  parent to  be  part of  the                                                               
process, and he asked for justification for this prohibition.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ, directing  attention to page 5,  line 20, stated                                                               
that  this was  in  addition  to the  child's  foster parents  or                                                               
department  employees.   She emphasized  that the  foster parents                                                               
were not excluded.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked  about the priority for  use of the                                                               
$3 million funding listed in the fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LAWTON  declared  that  she would  "absolutely  use  it  for                                                               
positions."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  asked if  it would be  used in  the same                                                               
manner as spelled out in the proposed bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LAWTON replied  that, regarding  the proposed  bill, as  her                                                               
priority would  be to  provide for  good case  work and  for good                                                               
outcomes  for  kids and  families,  she  would provide  the  best                                                               
optimal training for  staff by allowing them the time  to do good                                                               
work, with the  support of a mentor, and to  reduce the caseloads                                                               
for all the case workers.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:57:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON  moved to  report  CSHB  151, Version  30-                                                               
LS0451\R,  Glover,  3/7/17,  out  of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN objected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD objected.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN said that he needed  to see an offset to a                                                               
program somewhere else if this program was going to be expanded.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   SULLIVAN-LEONARD   said   that,   although   she                                                               
supported the concept  of the proposed bill,  the attached fiscal                                                               
notes   were  troublesome,   especially   in   light  of   recent                                                               
discussions for  the operating  budget.   She offered  her belief                                                               
that this was too much, and she  would prefer to see a task force                                                               
to take on  the challenges posed by the foster  care system.  She                                                               
suggested  to consider  the needs  after there  was comprehensive                                                               
data to support the need for  the positions, as well as a funding                                                               
source for these particular positions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  EDGMON  declared  that  he  also  recognized  and                                                               
supported these concerns  for the fiscal impact.   He stated that                                                               
he supported  a decision to move  the bill from a  policy aspect,                                                               
as  the committee  had  done  its work,  noting  that the  fiscal                                                               
aspect would  be addressed  in the House  Finance Committee.   He                                                               
acknowledged that, without more  work and explanation, the fiscal                                                               
notes would "cause myself and maybe everybody else pause."                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON opined that a  lot of great work had been                                                               
presented in  the proposed  bill, but that  even the  sponsor had                                                               
said that amendments were necessary.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  stated that she  shared concerns for  the fiscal                                                               
notes, but that the sponsor had  committed to work on this in the                                                               
House  Finance Committee.   As  a  former foster  parent and  now                                                               
adoptive  parent of  a foster  child,  she was  impressed by  the                                                               
scope and  reforms in the  proposed bill.   She pointed  out that                                                               
her adoptive daughter had siblings  still in foster care, in part                                                               
because the subsidy  would be removed, and  they were challenging                                                               
children with challenging needs.   She said that the Medicaid and                                                               
the foster  care subsidies  were necessary  for them  to properly                                                               
thrive.  She noted that it  took tenacity to overcome the sibling                                                               
contact issue.   She offered her belief that the  case load issue                                                               
was very serious and that  even the most dedicated, professional,                                                               
and highly qualified  case workers were struggling.   She offered                                                               
a  personal anecdote  about the  efforts of  her daughter's  case                                                               
worker.  She lauded the  sponsor for the comprehensiveness of the                                                               
proposed bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll  call vote  was taken.   Representatives  Spohnholz, Kito,                                                               
Tarr,  and Edgmon  voted in  favor  of HB  151.   Representatives                                                               
Sullivan-Leonard,  Johnston,   and  Eastman  voted   against  it.                                                               
Therefore, CSHB  151 (HSS) was  reported out of the  House Health                                                               
and Social  Services Standing Committee by  a vote of 4  yeas - 3                                                               
nays.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:05:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting was                                                                       
adjourned at 4:05 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR003 Supporting Document - Additional Letter 3.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FCSN 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FLSW 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FP 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-SAG 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DOA-OPA 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-CSM 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-CST 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FCBR 03.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document - Additional Letters 3.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Sponsor Statement ver R 3.9.17.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HCR002 Fiscal Note - Prepared by House H&SS.pdf HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Sponsor Statement 2.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR002 Supporting Document- Article ABADA.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document- Article ABADA-AMHB.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document- Article CDC Injury Prevention & Control Division of Violence Prevention.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document- Article Felitti.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document- Article Yosef.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document-Support Letters A 2.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR002 Supporting Document-Support Letters B 2.22.17.pdf HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 2
HCR003 Fiscal Note - Prepared by House H&SS.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Letters of Support B 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Letters of Support A 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Sponsor Statement 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Supporting Document - Providence Hospital Facts About Child Sexual Abuse 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Supporting Document - Governor Parnell Proclamation HCR21 2014 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Supporting Document - Governor Walker Proclamation Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month March 2016 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Supporting Document - Governor Walker Proclamation Sexual Assault Awareness Month March 2016 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 Supporting Document - Office of Child Welfare Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect 2.23.17.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HCR003 ver A 2.23.16.pdf HHSS 3/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HCR 3
HB138 Fiscal Note DHSS-BHA-3.3.17.pdf HCRA 4/4/2017 8:00:00 AM
HHSS 3/7/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 138
HB138 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 4/4/2017 8:00:00 AM
HHSS 3/7/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 138
HB138 Support Document-Alcoholism and Intoxication Treatment Act.pdf HCRA 4/4/2017 8:00:00 AM
HHSS 3/7/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 138
HB138 ver D.PDF HCRA 4/4/2017 8:00:00 AM
HHSS 3/7/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 138
HB 151 Explanation of Changes ver R 3.15.2017.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-CSM 03.10.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-CST 03.10.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver R 3.7.2017.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FCBR 03.10.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-FLSW 03.10.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Fiscal Note DHSS-SAG 03.10.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Sectional Analysis ver R 3.15.2017.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document - Casey Family Programs Letter 3.15.2017.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 1. OCS Office by Office Caseloads 3.1.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 2. High Caseloads How Do They Impact Health and Human Services 3.1.17.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 3. Children Waiting to be Adopted 2014.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 4. Applying the Science of Child Development in Child Welfare Systems (Excerpt).pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 5. NJ DCF Workforce Report (Excerpt).pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 6. Why the Workforce Matters.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 7. Creating a Permanence Driven Organization - Anu (Excerpt).pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 8. DHSS Memo OOH Growth.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 9. DHSS Memo NJ Standard and Workforce.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 10. Relevant Statistics.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document 11. Supporting Article.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151
HB 151 Supporting Document-Letters of Support 3.15.2017.pdf HHSS 3/16/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/21/2017 3:00:00 PM
HHSS 3/23/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 151