Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/12/2020 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:07:08 PM Start
03:07:54 PM HB305
04:02:34 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
04:35:28 PM State Medical Board
04:58:22 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 305 MANDATORY REPORTERS TO OCS; JUDGES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
- Mental Health Trust Authority Board of
Trustees: Anita Halterman, Rhonda Boyles
- State Medical Board: David Boswell,
Richard Wein, Steve Parker
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 12, 2020                                                                                         
                           3:07 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 305                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the persons required to report child abuse                                                                  
or neglect or a threat of harm to a child; and providing for an                                                                 
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Anita Halterman - Eagle River                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Rhonda Boyles - Anchorage/Fairbanks                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
State Medical Board                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     David Boswell - Fairbanks                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 305                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MANDATORY REPORTERS TO OCS; JUDGES                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/04/20       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/20       (H)       HSS, JUD                                                                                               
03/12/20       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
KATY GIORGIO, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented a sectional analysis of HB 305 on                                                              
behalf of the bill sponsor, the House Health and Social Services                                                                
Standing Committee, with the use of a PowerPoint presentation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GAYLE GARRIGUES                                                                                                                 
Children's Justice Act (CJA) Task Force                                                                                         
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 305.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PAM KARALUNAS                                                                                                                   
Children's Justice Act (CJA) Task Force                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during the                                                              
hearing on HB 305.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHRISSY VOGELEY, Community Relations Manager                                                                                    
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Office of Children's Services (OCS)                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during the                                                              
hearing on HB 305.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ANITA HALTERMAN, Appointee                                                                                                      
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) Board of Trustees                                                                  
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Alaska Mental                                                              
Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
RHONDA BOYLES, Appointee                                                                                                        
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                          
Anchorage/Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the Alaska Mental                                                             
Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES McKEE                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the Alaska  Mental Health                                                             
Trust Authority (AMHTA) Board of Trustees confirmation hearing.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DAVID BOSWELL, Appointee                                                                                                        
State Medical Board                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the State Medical                                                             
Board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TIFFANY  ZULKOSKY  called  the  House  Health  and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:07  p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Zulkosky, Spohnholz,  Claman, Tarr,  and Jackson                                                               
were  present  at  the  call to  order.    Representative  Pruitt                                                               
arrived and  Representative Drummond (via  teleconference) joined                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
           HB 305-MANDATORY REPORTERS TO OCS; JUDGES                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:07:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 305, "An Act relating to  the persons required                                                               
to report child abuse or neglect or  a threat of harm to a child;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
[Chair Zulkosky passed the gavel to Vice Chair Spohnholz.]                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:09:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY introduced  HB 305 on behalf  of the bill                                                               
sponsor,  the House  Health and  Social Services  (HHSS) Standing                                                               
Committee.   She reminded  the committee  of the  presentation at                                                               
the 2/13/20  [HHSS Standing Committee] meeting,  entitled "Alaska                                                               
Children's Justice  Act Task  Force," by  task force  members Pam                                                               
Karalunas, Gayle Garrigues,  and Mike Hopper, PhD,  giving a 2020                                                               
update  on  child  abuse  in   Alaska.    She  relayed  that  the                                                               
Children's  Justice Act  (CJA) Task  Force is  federally mandated                                                               
and  funded;   the  CJA  Task  Force   identifies  areas  needing                                                               
improvement  in the  statewide response  to child  maltreatment -                                                               
particularly child  sexual abuse - and  makes recommendations for                                                               
actions  that the  state can  take to  improve the  system.   She                                                               
referred  to  the CJA  Task  Force's  recommendations during  the                                                               
presentation;  one  recommendation  focused on  closing  gaps  in                                                               
mandatory  reporters     individuals who  must  report  suspected                                                               
cases of child abuse    which will offer earlier interventions to                                                               
protect Alaska's  children.  She  stated that  by the end  of the                                                               
2/13/20 committee  meeting, there  was broad consensus  among all                                                               
committee  members to  join  the CJA  Task  Force in  championing                                                               
Alaska's  children and  families.   She  offered that  HB 305  is                                                               
aligned with  the recommendations  made to  the committee  in the                                                               
2/13/20 hearing.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:11:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATY  GIORGIO,  Staff,  Representative Tiffany  Zulkosky,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, on  behalf of  the  HHSS Standing  Committee,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 305, directed  the committee's attention  to slide                                                               
1, entitled "Section  1. Reporting of Imminent  Threat to Child,"                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Section 1. AS 22.35 is  amended by adding a new section                                                                    
     to read:  Sec. 22.35.040. Reporting of  imminent threat                                                                    
     to child.  "A judge of  the superior court  or district                                                                    
     court shall  immediately report  to the  nearest office                                                                    
     of a  law enforcement agency  of the state a  threat of                                                                    
     imminent harm  to a child  if the judge  has reasonable                                                                    
     case to  suspect that there  is a threat  that imminent                                                                    
     harm will occur  to a child between the  time the judge                                                                    
     issues  a   protective  order  under  AS   18.65.850                                                                       
     18.65.870 or  AS 18.66.100- 18.66.180 and  the time the                                                                    
     protective order is served."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     This  section may  be  problematic  (redundant) as  the                                                                    
     issuance of a protective order  is, in and of itself, a                                                                    
     report to  law enforcement  that there exists  a threat                                                                    
     of harm.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     There   have   been    recent   conversations   between                                                                    
     representatives  of   the  Alaska  Court   System,  law                                                                    
     enforcement, and OCS  regarding possible administrative                                                                    
     fixes  to address  gaps  related  to domestic  violence                                                                    
     protective orders.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIORGIO  explained  that   the  administrative  fixes  would                                                               
consist  of a  series of  "red flags"  for a  judge, such  as the                                                               
perpetrator mentioning weapons or harming  a person.  She offered                                                               
that  in  a  subsequent  version  of  the  proposed  legislation,                                                               
Section 1 may be removed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:13:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO moved on to slide 2, which read:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                 AS 47.17.020 CHILD PROTECTION/                                                                                 
                   PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     PERSONS WHO,  IN THE PERFORMANCE OF  THEIR OCCUPATIONAL                                                                    
     OR  APPOINTED  DUTIES,  WHO HAVE  REASONABLE  CAUSE  TO                                                                    
     SUSPECT THAT A  CHILD HAS SUFFERED HARM AS  A RESULT OF                                                                    
     CHILD ABUSE  OR NEGLECT,  SHALL IMMEDIATELY  REPORT THE                                                                    
     HARM TO THE OFFICE OF CHILD SERVICES.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     AS  47.17.020  CHILD  PROTECTION/ PERSONS  REQUIRED  TO                                                                    
     REPORT HB 305 AMENDS SECTION  2 TO REPLACE THE LANGUAGE                                                                    
     "OCCUPATIONAL DUTIES"  AND "APPOINTED DUTIES"  TO READ:                                                                    
     (A) THE  FOLLOWING PERSONS WHO,  IN THE  PERFORMANCE OF                                                                    
     THE DUTIES  ASSOCIATED WITH A  POSITION LISTED  IN THIS                                                                    
     SUBSECTION?                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO explained that Section 2 of HB 305 would reword AS                                                                  
47.17.020(a) for clarification.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO turned to slide 3, entitled "Current List of                                                                        
Mandatory Reporters, which read:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
        square4 (1) practitioners of the healing arts                                                                           
        square4 (2) school teachers and school administrative                                                                   
          staff members of public and private schools                                                                           
        square4 (3) peace officers and officers of the Department                                                               
          of Corrections                                                                                                        
        square4 (4) administrative officers of institutions                                                                     
        square4 (5) childcare providers                                                                                         
        square4 (6) paid employees of domestic violence  and                                                                    
          sexual assault  programs, and  crisis intervention                                                                    
          and prevention programs                                                                                               
        square4 (7) paid employees of an  organization  that                                                                    
          provides  counseling or  treatment to  individuals                                                                    
        seeking to control their use of drugs or alcohol                                                                        
        square4 (8) members of a child fatality review  team                                                                    
          established under AS  12.65.015(e) or 12.65.120 or                                                                    
          the   multidisciplinary   child  protection   team                                                                    
          created under AS 47.14.300                                                                                            
        square4 (9) volunteers who interact with children in a                                                                  
          public  or private  school 20  for more  than four                                                                    
          hours a week                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO relayed that the  essence of the proposed legislation                                                               
is  the  addition of  categories  of  mandatory reporters.    She                                                               
referred to  slide 4, entitled  "Section 2 Proposed  Additions to                                                               
Mandatory Reporters," which read:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        square4 (10) priests, ministers, and other individuals                                                                  
          who  are  ordained,   anointed,  or  appointed  to                                                                    
          perform religious duties                                                                                              
        square4 (11) individuals who work at public and private                                                                 
          animal  shelters,  whether  as paid  employees  or                                                                    
          volunteers                                                                                                            
        square4 (12) individuals who are  employees  of   or                                                                    
          volunteers   with   a   fire   department   of   a                                                                    
          municipality,    including     firefighters    and                                                                    
          emergency medical technicians                                                                                         
        square4 (13) individuals appointed by a court to act as                                                                 
          guardians ad litem for children.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:14:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO moved on to slide 5, entitled "Potential                                                                            
Alignment/Language   Clean-up   with   Mandatory   Reporters   of                                                               
Vulnerable Adult Abuse, which read in part:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                 VULNERABLE ADULTS (AS 47.24.010)                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
        square4 (1) a physician or other licensed health care                                                                   
          provider                                                                                                              
        square4 (2) a mental health professional as defined in AS                                                               
          47.30.915 and including a marital and family                                                                          
          therapist licensed                                                                                                    
        square4 (5) a guardian or conservator                                                                                   
        square4 (6) a police officer                                                                                            
        square4 (7) a village public safety officer                                                                             
        square4 (8) a village health aid                                                                                        
        square4 (9) a social worker                                                                                             
        square4 (10) a member of the clergy                                                                                     
        square4 (11) a staff employee of a project funded by the                                                                
          Department of Administration  for the provision of                                                                    
          services  to  older  Alaskans, the  Department  of                                                                    
          Health  and Social  Services,  or  the Council  on                                                                    
          Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                                  
        square4 (13) an emergency medical technician or a mobile                                                                
          intensive care paramedic                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO  pointed out that mandatory  reporting for abuse                                                                    
of vulnerable adults - or elder  abuse - is also in statute.                                                                    
She offered that  after comparing the two  sets of statutes,                                                                    
she recognized  an opportunity to align  the definitions and                                                                    
make  improvements  to  statutory  language.   She  gave  an                                                                    
example:   (6)  a police  officer and  (7) a  village public                                                                    
safety   officer  under   the  vulnerable   adult  mandatory                                                                    
reporters  could  be  combined  into  one,  like  (3)  peace                                                                    
officers and officer of the  Department of Corrections under                                                                    
the child protection mandatory reporters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  pointed  out  that  "a  member  of  the                                                               
clergy" is  listed under the  mandatory reporters  for vulnerable                                                               
adults  but not  under child  protection mandatory  reporters and                                                               
reiterated that  there is  opportunity for  alignment of  the two                                                               
lists.   She  mentioned a  forthcoming committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
for HB 305.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  asked what the difference  was between the                                                               
two categories of mandatory reporters  - "a member of the clergy"                                                               
under  vulnerable   adults  [AS   47.24.010]  and   the  proposed                                                               
mandatory reporter category  for child protection under  HB 305 -                                                               
"priests,  ministers, and  other  individuals  who are  ordained,                                                               
anointed, or appointed to perform religious duties".                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIORGIO   responded  by  referring  to   slide  6,  entitled                                                               
 Additional Language Fixes & Classes, which read in part:                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                              CLERGY                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     (10) priests, ministers, and other individuals who are                                                                     
     ordained, anointed, or appointed to perform religious                                                                      
     duties                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                          replace with:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     (10)  Clergy members,  including priests;  rabbis; duly                                                                    
     ordained,  commissioned,  or  licensed ministers  of  a                                                                    
     church;  members  of  religious orders;  or  recognized                                                                    
     leaders of any religious bodies                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
        Language is more inclusive of all types of clergy                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIORGIO  stated  that she  researched  statutes  from  other                                                               
states to draft language that was  more inclusive than that in HB                                                               
305; in other  words, if someone is serving in  the capacity of a                                                               
clergy  member,  regardless  of the  religion,  he/she  would  be                                                               
included in the category.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  agreed  with the  importance  of  clearly                                                               
defining the category.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:19:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIORGIO referred to the second part of slide 6, which read:                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
              ANIMAL SHELTER WORKERS / VETERINARIANS                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     (11) individuals who work at public and private animal                                                                     
     shelters, whether as paid employees or volunteers                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                          replace with:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     (11) individuals who work at public and private animal                                                                     
       shelters and veterinarian clinics, whether as paid                                                                       
     employees or volunteers                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     To include veterinary workers that may also see abused                                                                     
     animals                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:19:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  brought up the consideration  for internal                                                               
consistency in  Alaska Statutes and mentioned  statutes regarding                                                               
people who perform marriages in  Alaska.  He asked whether mental                                                               
health professionals,  social workers,  and village  health aides                                                               
are practitioners  of the healing arts  under AS 47.17.020(a)(1).                                                               
He expressed  the importance  of consulting  veterinarians before                                                               
adding them to the categories  of mandatory reporters.  He asked,                                                               
"How far are we going on some of these?"                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ZULKOSKY  stated   that  the   intention  behind                                                               
introducing HB 305  was to create a starting  point for committee                                                               
conversation on the issue.  She  reiterated that there would be a                                                               
forthcoming  CS to  address additional  concerns.   She mentioned                                                               
that  her   staff  has  performed  outreach   to  the  veterinary                                                               
community regarding HB 305.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:22:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GIOGIO  stated that  she sent  the first draft  of HB  305 to                                                               
members  of  the  veterinarian   community,  and  they  expressed                                                               
concerns.   One  concern was  training of  volunteer staff.   She                                                               
said that  she very much  believes in stakeholder  engagement and                                                               
will ensure  that the groups  representing the new  categories of                                                               
mandatory  reporters  are  engaged   and  their  points  of  view                                                               
considered.    She  referred  to   the  full  list  of  statutory                                                               
definition  comparisons   in  the  committee   packet  indicating                                                               
definition crossovers and opportunities  to align definitions and                                                               
categories.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:23:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked whether  "practitioners of the healing                                                               
arts" was defined in statute.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIORGIO referred  to  a legal  memo  listing the  categories                                                               
included  under  practitioners  of  the  healing  arts,  and  the                                                               
category  includes  physicians.   She  stated  that the  term  is                                                               
vague, she is not fond of it, but the list helps to define it.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  expressed the need for  more specificity as                                                               
she  did not  readily  recognize  a physician  as  being in  that                                                               
category.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY agreed and  mentioned that when she hears                                                               
"healing arts"  she thinks of  massage therapists,  not medically                                                               
licensed professionals.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:25:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GIORGIO  relayed  that several  more  categories  are  being                                                               
considered to  add to the  list - probation and  parole officers,                                                               
unpaid childcare volunteers, and substitute teachers.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:26:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GAYLE  GARRIGUES,  Children's  Justice   Act  (CJA)  Task  Force,                                                               
offered her support  for HB 305 on behalf of  the CJA Task Force.                                                               
She  stated  that  there  is   a  detailed  definition  under  AS                                                               
47.17.290(14), which read:                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     "practitioner  of the  healing arts"  includes athletic                                                                    
     trainers,  chiropractors,   mental  health  counselors,                                                                    
     social  workers,  dental hygienists,  dentists,  health                                                                    
     aides,  nurses,  nurse practitioners,  certified  nurse                                                                    
     aides,  occupational  therapists, occupational  therapy                                                                    
     assistants,   optometrists,  osteopaths,   naturopaths,                                                                    
     physical   therapists,  physical   therapy  assistants,                                                                    
     physicians,   physician's  assistants,   psychiatrists,                                                                    
     psychologists,  psychological associates,  audiologists                                                                    
     and  speech-language  pathologists  licensed  under  AS                                                                    
     08.11,  hearing aid  dealers licensed  under AS  08.55,                                                                    
     marital and family therapists  licensed under AS 08.63,                                                                    
     behavior   analysts,   assistant   behavior   analysts,                                                                    
     religious  healing  practitioners, acupuncturists,  and                                                                    
     surgeons;                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. GARRIGUES described the process  whereby a mandatory reporter                                                               
reports that  a child has been  injured due to abuse  or neglect:                                                               
the reporter calls the 1-800  number for the Office of Childrens                                                                
Services  (OCS)   [Department  of  Health  and   Social  Services                                                               
(DHSS)];  the  reporter  answers   questions  from  a  protective                                                               
services  specialist; the  reporter's name  does not  have to  be                                                               
disclosed, but if it is,  it is kept confidential; the specialist                                                               
checks the Online Resource for  the Children of Alaska (ORCA) for                                                               
prior reports; the  case is screened and a  determination made as                                                               
to  whether it  should  be pursued.   For  a  case that  warrants                                                               
further investigation,  it is referred to  the initial assessment                                                               
and  investigation unit;  an investigation  is  performed; and  a                                                               
determination  is made  as to  whether  the abuse  or neglect  is                                                               
substantiated and whether the court  system needs to be involved.                                                               
She explained  that what is  being asked  is that someone  with a                                                               
reasonable  suspicion or  concern -  a  low standard  of proof  -                                                               
report that  some harm occurred  to a child resulting  from child                                                               
abuse or neglect.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ clarified that  from her  experience filing                                                               
numerous reports, the  reporter does not always  speak to someone                                                               
on the phone.   She said that she has never  spoken to someone on                                                               
the phone but has left detailed  messages with her name and phone                                                               
number,  and sometimes  she gets  a  call back  depending on  the                                                               
action taken.   She pointed  out that there are  several decision                                                               
points in  the process in which  an action could be  taken or not                                                               
taken.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  GARRIGUES offered  that  her experience  is  from the  court                                                               
phase of an  action and thanked Representative  Spohnholz for her                                                               
clarification.     She  expressed  her  support   for  the  broad                                                               
definition of  clergy under  HB 305.   She reviewed  the statutes                                                               
that refer  to clergy:   clergy is  not defined under  reports of                                                               
harm to vulnerable adults [AS  47.24.010(a)(10)]; there is a list                                                               
of people who may solemnize a  marriage [AS 25.05.261].  She also                                                               
mentioned the brief definition of  clergy under the [Alaska Court                                                               
System] Rules of Evidence, Rule 506(a)(1), which read:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     A member  of the clergy  is a minister,  priest, rabbi,                                                                    
     or   other   similar   functionary   of   a   religious                                                                    
     organization, or  an individual reasonably  believed so                                                                    
     to be by the person consulting the individual.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. GARRIGUES added  that under the rules, the  concept of clergy                                                               
is not  so broad as to  include self-determined, self-denominated                                                               
ministers.     She  said  that   there  is  case   law  regarding                                                               
communication with  a clergy  member who is  a counselor  and the                                                               
distinction between the two.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. GARRIGUES offered her concern  regarding clergy as protectors                                                               
of offenders.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  referred to  AS 47.17.290(14)  and pointed                                                               
out  that "paramedics"  do not  appear to  be included  under the                                                               
definition of "practitioner of the  healing arts".  He reiterated                                                               
the  importance of  including clergy  as  mandatory reporters  of                                                               
child abuse and neglect, which had been lacking in statute.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:40:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM  KARALUNAS,   Children's  Justice   Act  (CJA)   Task  Force,                                                               
expressed her  support for HB 305.   She mentioned that  Dr. B.J.                                                               
Coopes and  Dr. Cathy  Baldwin-Johnson are both  on the  CJA Task                                                               
Force and  both train emergency  medical technicians  (EMTs) from                                                               
around the  state.   Some EMTs believe  they should  report child                                                               
abuse and  neglect; others  do not believe  they are  mandated to                                                               
report because  EMTs are  not included  in statute  [as mandatory                                                               
reporters].   She said that  a child  who has witnessed  a brutal                                                               
crime  or  trauma has  suffered  and  must  be interviewed  as  a                                                               
witness and assessed  for needing services.   She emphasized that                                                               
EMTs have a rare opportunity to assist children early.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KARALUNAS stated  that the  connection between  animal abuse                                                               
and child abuse is very well  documented.  It is not uncommon for                                                               
animal abuse  to be reported  before child abuse; the  very first                                                               
child  abuse case  in the  country had  to be  investigated under                                                               
prevention of cruelty to animal  laws because there were no child                                                               
abuse laws.   She maintained that people who  provide services to                                                               
animals need to be included  as mandatory reporters, and there is                                                               
free  online  training for  that.    She mentioned  that  several                                                               
states include  animal care providers as  mandatory reporters and                                                               
some  pair a  social worker  with  an animal  control agent  when                                                               
there  is known  to be  children  in the  home when  a report  of                                                               
animal cruelty is investigated.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. KARALUNAS explained a concern  of the CJA Task Force relating                                                               
to  educators.    She  said  that in  spite  of  educators  being                                                               
statutorily mandated  to directly  report to OCS,  some educators                                                               
have  expressed to  her that  they are  required to  report their                                                               
suspicions of  child abuse or  neglect to their  school principal                                                               
who in  turn will  decide whether  a report needs  to be  made to                                                               
OCS.  She stated that  some school districts are conducting their                                                               
own "investigations" before reporting  to OCS or law enforcement.                                                               
She   emphasized   that   school  officials   are   not   trained                                                               
investigators and should not be  investigating felony crimes such                                                               
as  child  sexual abuse.    She  stated  that Ms.  Garrigues  has                                                               
drafted  language that  the  committee may  want  to review  that                                                               
addresses this concern.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  asked how  long the  free online  training                                                               
takes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. KARALUNAS replied that the  training is still in development;                                                               
it  may be  about  four hours;  it  is designed  to  be taken  in                                                               
sections.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:45:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  suggested that the requirement  for training                                                               
be  incorporated  into  statute  and be  available  on  the  DHSS                                                               
website.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KARALUNAS concurred  with both suggestions.   She stated that                                                               
the current  training is  available on the  DHSS website  and the                                                               
new training - when  complete - will be there as  well.  The goal                                                               
is for  the new training  to be  complete no later  than November                                                               
[2020].                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  offered   her  assistance   with  drafting                                                               
language for the provision.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ invited  the  representative  from OCS  to                                                               
testify.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISSY  VOGELEY, Community  Relations  Manager, Central  Office,                                                               
Office  of Children's  Services (OCS),  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social  Services (DHSS),  confirmed that  the mandatory  reporter                                                               
training is  available on the  OCS website; OCS  also distributes                                                               
training via flash drives; the  training takes about one hour and                                                               
includes many  videos; and one  can print out a  certificate upon                                                               
completion.    She agreed  that  there  is currently  no  statute                                                               
requiring  mandatory   reporters  to  provide  proof   of  having                                                               
completed the  training.  She suggested  consulting legal experts                                                               
in  drafting   the  legislation  regarding  the   requirement  of                                                               
training for mandatory reporters.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:50:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT asked  what the burden is  on the mandatory                                                               
reporter  to recognize  the abuse  or neglect  and the  liability                                                               
ramifications of not recognizing it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOGELEY said  that she is not a lawyer  and not familiar with                                                               
the ramifications  of a  mandatory reporter  not reporting.   She                                                               
referred  to   the  issues  and   the  question   of  appropriate                                                               
consequences regarding enforcement for mandatory reporters.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT expressed his  concern that that the people                                                               
who should  be penalized be penalized  and not those who  have no                                                               
experience with detecting child abuse and neglect and                                                                           
understandably missing it.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  said that  the proposed legislation  is a                                                               
good  starting point  in that  it  would make  the categories  of                                                               
mandatory reporters aware of their responsibility.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:55:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  cited AS 47.17.068,  Penalty for  failure to                                                               
report, which read:                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     A person who fails to  comply with the provisions of AS                                                                    
     47.17.020 [child abuse or  neglect] or 47.17.023 [child                                                                    
     pornography]  and who  knew or  should have  known that                                                                    
     the circumstances gave  rise to the need  for a report,                                                                    
     is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  pointed out the high  standards of knowingly                                                               
and  willingly  failing  to report;  under  those  circumstances,                                                               
there would  likely be physical  signs and  indisputable evidence                                                               
that the child was in harm's way.   She offered that the goal was                                                               
to have "more  eyes" to keep children safe, not  turn people into                                                               
criminals due  to non-reporting.   She pointed out that  there is                                                               
no civil  penalty in statute;  the proposed legislation  does not                                                               
appear  to   add  any  undue  responsibilities   that  would  get                                                               
[potential reporters]  in trouble but  is meant to  be practical.                                                               
She  maintained   that  requiring   a  one-hour  training   is  a                                                               
reasonable ask and will try to put that in statute.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:58:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. VOGELEY  mentioned that the  updates to the training  were in                                                               
response to  HB 49 [signed  into law 7/8/19]; an  earlier version                                                               
of HB  49 required  an annual mandatory  reporter training.   She                                                               
offered  that  an  annual training  might  have  been  considered                                                               
burdensome;  however,  for  an  inexperienced  volunteer,  annual                                                               
training could  possibly be considered a  positive reinforcement.                                                               
She confirmed  for Representative Spohnholz that  the training is                                                               
not an annual requirement.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:59:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  reiterated  that   the  intent  of  the                                                               
original  draft of  the  proposed legislation  was  to provide  a                                                               
narrow fix to  close some of the reporting gaps  and to have more                                                               
"eyes" in  the community to ensure  that children are safe.   She                                                               
mentioned that her staff will  work with committee members on the                                                               
next version of HB 305.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  commented   on  the  unified  support  in                                                               
committee for reducing child abuse and neglect.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[HB 305 was held over]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:01:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:01 p.m. to 4:02 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[Vice Chair Spohnholz returned the gavel to Chair Zulkosky.]                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                     
^Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
     Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
4:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be confirmation  hearings for appointments  to the  Mental Health                                                               
Trust Authority Trust Board of Trustees.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:02:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANITA HALTERMAN, Appointee, Alaska  Mental Health Trust Authority                                                               
(AMHTA) Board of  Trustees, reviewed her work  experience - staff                                                               
during the  Twenty-Ninth Alaska State Legislature,  member of the                                                               
U.S. Army, seven  years as program manager for  the Department of                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services  (DHSS)   Division  of  Senior  and                                                               
Disabilities  Services  (SDS),  and  positions  with  the  Alaska                                                               
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS),  the  Iowa  Department  of                                                               
Corrections, and the Division of  Public Assistance for both Iowa                                                               
and Alaska.  She stated that  she has devoted her life to working                                                               
with underserved  populations and  finds it rewarding  to improve                                                               
the programs and systems that support them.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALTERMAN described her self-employment  work as a consultant                                                               
and independent insurance  agent and as an  account executive for                                                               
an  information technology  company.   She said  that positioning                                                               
risk management  and human resource solutions  for businesses has                                                               
given  her  new  perspective  about the  health  care  needs  for                                                               
privately insured  individuals and expanded her  understanding of                                                               
global  workforce  issues  Alaska  faces  moving  forward.    She                                                               
expressed  her  interest  in using  her  experiences  in  helping                                                               
reform programs in order to  sustain them for the populations who                                                               
need them most.  She stated  that she looks forward to continuing                                                               
efforts to improve  the lives of AMHTA  ("Trust") beneficiaries -                                                               
working in partnership with DHSS  and other stakeholders to build                                                               
an integrated,  comprehensive mental  health program  that better                                                               
meets the needs of the beneficiaries.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:07:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  referred to  the series of  issues that                                                               
have  been highlighted  over the  last couple  years illustrating                                                               
the failure  of Alaska's mental  health system to meet  the needs                                                               
of Alaskans  who experience  serious mental  health issues:   the                                                               
challenges at  the Alaska  Psychiatric Institute  (API) resulting                                                               
in it  not being  as safe  and therapeutic as  it should  be; the                                                               
lack of  community-based supports; the criminalization  of mental                                                               
health  leading to  lawsuits and  the recent  decision of  Alaska                                                               
Superior  Court Judge  William Morse  [to disallow  the State  of                                                               
Alaska from  housing psychiatric  patients in  jail].   She asked                                                               
what the Trust should do to address those significant gaps.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HALTERMAN answered  that first  the Trust  must examine  the                                                               
issues that have  failed Alaska in the past; the  Trust has begun                                                               
that effort.  She stated that  she has followed API and has great                                                               
sympathy for those  affected.  She expressed  her conviction that                                                               
the Trust has  an obligation to meet the  beneficiaries' needs in                                                               
a better  way; it needs to  listen to the advocates  that testify                                                               
at  Trust  meetings; these  advocates  have  experience with  the                                                               
mental health  care system.   She added  that the Trust  needs to                                                               
protect its resources, properly  allocate its resources, and make                                                               
investments in the  most financially sound way as  possible.  The                                                               
resources  should be  used to  employ beneficiaries,  as well  as                                                               
provide  services.    The  Trust  should  take  a  more  holistic                                                               
approach to  meeting the beneficiaries'  needs.  The  Trust needs                                                               
to study  the past, move  forward with new  technologies, improve                                                               
systems,  engage in  cooperative  efforts  and partnerships,  and                                                               
work  collaboratively with  stakeholders and  the legislature  to                                                               
solve problems.   She maintained that  it would not be  easy; the                                                               
Trust must  think things through  in a different manner;  it must                                                               
do things differently.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:10:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  asked whether  Ms. Halterman  intended to                                                               
stay with this appointment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HALTERMAN responded that she  has made many sacrifices in her                                                               
life  working  for  DHSS;  she   didn't  do  this  work  for  the                                                               
compensation but  to help people.   She said that  what motivated                                                               
her in  her early career continues  to motivate her as  she moves                                                               
forward into her  later years.  She acknowledged  that serving on                                                               
the AMHTA  board prevents  her from working  for DHSS,  which she                                                               
was interested in doing; however,  she said that she is committed                                                               
to [AMHTA]  work and will  look for opportunities in  the private                                                               
sector, which will  broaden her ability to  understand the issues                                                               
that  face  all  of  the   stakeholders  in  a  better  and  more                                                               
meaningful  way.    She  offered  that  she  is  limited  in  her                                                               
knowledge of  the impact to  the private sector, because  she has                                                               
worked for government most of her  life.  She maintained that she                                                               
is devoted,  would stay  on the  board for  the duration  [of her                                                               
term] if she can find [private  sector] work, and intends to make                                                               
a significant difference through her contribution to the board.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
[The  confirmation  for Ms.  Halterman  was  advanced during  the                                                               
House Health  and Social Services  Standing Committee  meeting of                                                               
March 17, 2020.]                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:13:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY   moved  on  to  the   next  appointee's                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:14:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RHONDA BOYLES,  Appointee, Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Authority                                                               
(AMHTA) Board of  Trustees, reviewed her history:   she has lived                                                               
in Fairbanks since 1975; she  relocated to Phoenix to provide her                                                               
husband  with the  medical care  he needed;  she has  owned three                                                               
Wendy's  franchises  and  a  dinner   house;  she  has  performed                                                               
volunteer  work  with  various  service  organizations;  and  she                                                               
served as  the Fairbanks North  Star Borough mayor, in  which she                                                               
gained budget and land management  experience.  She mentioned her                                                               
financial  background, that  she  understands why  the Trust  was                                                               
developed,  and that  she believes  it to  be a  brilliant entity                                                               
established  to   support  physically  and   mentally  challenged                                                               
beneficiaries.    She cited  her  experience  with her  husband's                                                               
dementia and expressed a special  interest in the Trusts  efforts                                                               
regarding  dementia  and  senior  care.    She  acknowledged  the                                                               
fiduciary and legal responsibility of  the Trust board to benefit                                                               
its beneficiaries  and expressed her dedication  to contribute to                                                               
that mission.   She emphasized  the importance  of the work:   it                                                               
represents substantive service;  and it touches many  lives.  She                                                               
said that she would commit to  the 5-year term and mentioned that                                                               
she has only attended one board meeting to date.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:19:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked whether  the meeting she attended was                                                               
before her appointment or after.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOYLES answered  that  she attended  the  meeting after  her                                                               
appointment,  and  it  was  a two-day  intensive  meeting.    She                                                               
clarified that  she is  currently in Phoenix;  she asked  for and                                                               
received permission  to attend  the meeting  and attended  at her                                                               
own expense.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  for confirmation  that the  meeting                                                               
did not discourage her from serving on the board.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYLES  replied that she  took many  notes and talked  to the                                                               
presenters.   She said that  attending the meeting  reassured her                                                               
that  she has  the skills  to serve  on the  board and  the board                                                               
needs people like her                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:21:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked where her official residence was.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYLES  said her residence is  in Alaska and was  even during                                                               
the  two  years  she  was  in Phoenix  with  her  husband.    She                                                               
confirmed  for Representative  Claman  that her  residence is  in                                                               
Fairbanks, not Anchorage.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked  whether she would be  able to attend                                                               
meetings even while wintering in Phoenix.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOYLES  answered  that  she would  fill  her  obligation  by                                                               
traveling to Anchorage  to attend board meetings and  would do so                                                               
at her own expense.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:23:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  acknowledged Ms.  Boyles's  political,                                                               
business, and  land management experience,  but offered  that the                                                               
Trust  board focuses  on the  beneficiaries and  identifying ways                                                               
that  the Trust  can maximize  its resources  for the  benefit of                                                               
beneficiaries.   She mentioned confusion  of some  previous board                                                               
members as to  the role of the board, which  led to a legislative                                                               
audit and  major changes in  Trust procedures.  She  offered that                                                               
board  members were  spending more  time on  resource development                                                               
than on  meeting the needs of  the beneficiaries.  She  asked Ms.                                                               
Boyles if she read the report  from the audit and understands her                                                               
role on the Trust board.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BOYLES responded  that she  became aware  of how  little she                                                               
knew when she  attended the board meeting.  She  offered that she                                                               
has  gained  some  knowledge of  beneficiary  categories  through                                                               
experience, and she knows a  great deal about dementia because of                                                               
her husband's  illness.   She acknowledged that  she has  much to                                                               
learn  regarding what  the Trust  does, what  DHSS does,  and the                                                               
partnership between the two.   She maintained that the board must                                                               
balance the services with the  financial performance that enables                                                               
the Trust  to provide those  services.  She expressed  her belief                                                               
that  a  board  member  needs knowledge  of  both  financial  and                                                               
resource management,  as well as knowledge  of the beneficiaries.                                                               
She stated that  as a board member she would  rely on AMHTA staff                                                               
to be  the administrators;  and she was  very impressed  with the                                                               
staff at her first meeting.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  said that she appreciates  Ms. Boyles's                                                               
recognition of the distinction between  the role of the board and                                                               
the role of  staff.  She stated that Alaska  has not been meeting                                                               
the needs  of its beneficiaries;  decisions in the  1990s focused                                                               
on  downsizing   API  and  expanding   community-based  services;                                                               
however, API was downsized but  the community-based services were                                                               
never  expanded to  meet the  needs  of the  beneficiaries.   She                                                               
stated that it has been 25  years since those decisions were made                                                               
without the  vision behind  them realized.   She  maintained that                                                               
concerted leadership  will be needed  to resolve the  issues that                                                               
have been  identified by Judge  Morse's finding and  the systems                                                                
gaps.    She  asked  how  Ms. Boyle  intended  to  approach  this                                                               
important and considerable task.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYLES relayed  that she has not read  the entire legislative                                                               
audit on the  purchase of the property; she  understands that the                                                               
purchase  was  outside  the  parameters of  the  Trust,  but  the                                                               
investment was doing  well.  She agreed to read  the report.  She                                                               
said that while  she attended an "Alaska picnic"  in Phoenix, she                                                               
talked  to a  woman  at great  length who  claimed  that her  son                                                               
should  be  in  API  but  is   in  jail.    The  woman  had  many                                                               
suggestions.  Ms. Boyles acknowledged  that there is much work to                                                               
be done; the  state is continually changing; and  Alaska may have                                                               
more beneficiaries  than previously identified.   She promised to                                                               
learn about the categories of beneficiaries.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ recommended  that  Ms.  Boyle read  the                                                               
report  and  pointed  out  that  while  the  commercial  property                                                               
development was performing well,  it was not statutorily allowed.                                                               
The audit  clearly said  that if  the Trust  wished to  make such                                                               
purchases, it  should request the  statutory authority to  do so.                                                               
She  offered  that  she appreciated  Ms.  Boyles's  interest  and                                                               
efforts to understand the scope of  issues.  Alaska has a crisis;                                                               
if the  Trust board focused  all its  time and energy  on serving                                                               
beneficiaries, Alaska could make  significant improvements in its                                                               
mental health  care system; the land  development and investments                                                               
should be left to the professionals whose job it is to do that.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  recommended that  Ms. Boyles ask  AMHTA to                                                               
arrange for her  to visit the crisis  intervention center [Peoria                                                               
Recovery Response Center  (RRC)] near Phoenix.   He asserted that                                                               
a tour of  that center would give her further  insight on some of                                                               
the issues on which the Trust is working.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
[The confirmation  for Ms. Boyles  was advanced during  the House                                                               
Health and  Social Services Standing  Committee meeting  of March                                                               
17, 2020.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY opened  public testimony  on the  AMHTA Board  of                                                               
Trustees confirmation hearing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:32:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  McKEE   mentioned  events  in  AMHTA's   history  -  its                                                               
dissolution, the  class action  lawsuit, and  its reconstitution.                                                               
He relayed other  information not related to  the confirmation of                                                               
appointees on the board of trustees.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:35:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY closed public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^State Medical Board                                                                                                            
                      State Medical Board                                                                                   
                                                                                                                              
4:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be confirmation hearings for the State Medical Board.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:35:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID BOSWELL,  Appointee, State  Medical Board, relayed  that he                                                               
is an Alaska minister at the  Northern Lights Church of Christ in                                                               
Fairbanks.   He has eight children,  four of whom he  adopted out                                                               
of the Alaska foster care program.   He and his family are active                                                               
in  the music  community of  Fairbanks.   He cited  his volunteer                                                               
work in the community in his role  as a minister - at the Hospice                                                               
of  the Tanana  Valley, at  Fairbanks Memorial  Hospital, at  the                                                               
Denali Center [a short- and  long-term care facility], and at the                                                               
[Fairbanks] Pioneer  Home.  He  serves on the  Governor's Council                                                               
on Disabilities and Special Education  (GCDSE).  He mentioned his                                                               
interest  in   medicine  and  taking  classes   in  genetics  and                                                               
biochemistry  at the  University of  Alberta.   He expressed  his                                                               
desire to  "give back" to  the community  in a meaningful  way by                                                               
serving on the State Medical Board.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:38:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  Mr. Boswell  for more  detail about                                                               
his work at the hospital.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL replied  that  as  a minister  he  spends time  with                                                               
patients  - most  are in  long-term or  emergent situations.   He                                                               
does encounter physicians who are treating the patients.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  whether  his  visitations are  with                                                               
members  of his  church or  patients who  have requested  to have                                                               
clergy visit.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL answered that most  patients that he visits have been                                                               
members of his congregation or  members of the community who have                                                               
requested the visit.  He added  that while he is in the hospital,                                                               
he often visits with others and encourages them.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  Mr. Boswell  how he  would approach                                                               
his duty  on the  medical board if  his personal  views disagreed                                                               
with decisions  of the  Alaska Supreme Court.   He  asked, "Would                                                               
you be  able to nevertheless serve  on the medical board  ... and                                                               
offer opinions consistent  with the way the  Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
has issued decisions addressing medical treatment?"                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  stated  that he  considers  himself  a  fair-minded                                                               
individual  and  would  want  to  uphold the  law  in  every  way                                                               
possible.   He  added  that he  has been  trained  in ethics  and                                                               
believes  that   he  could  consider  all   the  information  and                                                               
represent the State of Alaska to the best of his ability.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  relayed that the Alaska  Supreme Court has                                                               
issued  decisions about  abortion  rights and  the provisions  of                                                               
abortion  by physicians  in  Alaska.   He  added  that there  are                                                               
individuals  that don't  agree  with the  court's  decision.   He                                                               
asked,  "To the  extent  you may  personally  disagree with  that                                                               
decision of the  Alaska Supreme Court, will you be  able to serve                                                               
on this board and make votes  that recognize that decision of the                                                               
supreme  court  and  the  need  for the  medical  board  to  make                                                               
decisions that don't conflict with  the existing decisions of the                                                               
Supreme Court?"                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL said, "Yes, I believe I can."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  cited  Mr. Boswell's  service  to  the                                                               
community  and broad  range of  experience but  pointed out  that                                                               
none  of  it is  related  to  the  issues  of licensure  and  the                                                               
practice of medicine.  She  asked what motivated his interest for                                                               
serving  on the  State Medical  Board, given  the technical  work                                                               
that the board performs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  answered that  he  has  always been  interested  in                                                               
medicine; he began  his education with it in mind.   He expressed                                                               
that he considers serving on the  board an opportunity, as he has                                                               
interacted with  several physicians  in the  past ten  years; all                                                               
his  adopted  children  had  varying  degrees  of  fetal  alcohol                                                               
spectrum  disorders  (FASD).    He  offered that  he  has  had  a                                                               
positive  impact on  many lives.   He  stated that  the licensure                                                               
aspect of  the position would  be new to him,  but he is  a quick                                                               
learner and is happy to serve.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:44:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY asked Mr. Boswell  to discuss his familiarity with                                                               
rural  communities off  Alaska's road  system and  his experience                                                               
traveling throughout the state.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  replied  that  he  is familiar  with  many  of  the                                                               
communities on  the road  system and has  traveled on  the Alaska                                                               
Marine Highway System.  He stated  that he has not flown into the                                                               
small communities and hopes to explore that avenue.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   ZULKOSKY  asked   him  to   discuss  his   knowledge  and                                                               
familiarity with health care, the  variety of health institutions                                                               
that provide care throughout rural  Alaska, and his understanding                                                               
of the needs of communities off Alaska's road system.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL   responded  that  most  of   his  understanding  of                                                               
conditions in  rural Alaska is  regarding the need  for assisting                                                               
children  in rural  communities;  his involvement  in the  foster                                                               
care program has made him  aware of many underserved communities.                                                               
He  expressed  an  interest  in   helping  children  be  properly                                                               
represented.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:46:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked Mr.  Boswell  what  he hoped  to                                                               
achieve  by serving  on the  State  Medical Board  as the  public                                                               
member.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL answered  that he hopes to represent others  and be a                                                               
"voice for  those that don't have  a voice."  He  maintained that                                                               
doing so  is an important  role for a  volunteer.  He  added that                                                               
the board has an important role and he wants to contribute.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked   for  specifics  regarding  the                                                               
statement "being a voice for those that don't have a voice."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  answered that  as  a  minister he  has  encountered                                                               
people who feel  that they are not heard; he  has referred people                                                               
to the medical community in  his ministerial work on occasion; he                                                               
believes that  he has given  the medical  community encouragement                                                               
through his ministry; and he  tries to encourage and allow people                                                               
to be represented.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ asked  for clarification  regarding his                                                               
testimony that he  is encouraging people to be  represented.  She                                                               
relayed  that the  State Medical  Board's function  is to  ensure                                                               
that   medical  providers   in  Alaska   are  meeting   licensure                                                               
requirements  and are  practicing  medicine within  the scope  of                                                               
their training  and the bounds  of the law.   She asked,  "Who do                                                               
you  think is  not being  represented  in the  execution of  that                                                               
duty?"                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL mentioned  that  he understood  the  question to  be                                                               
about his  personal history that  guided him in the  direction of                                                               
serving  on the  State Medical  Board.   He stated  that he  does                                                               
understand the role of the board to look at licensures.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  mentioned  that the  professions  that  are                                                               
regulated by  the board  are osteopaths,  paramedics, physicians,                                                               
physician assistants, and  pediatrists.  She stated  that she has                                                               
not heard any testimony that  his interest involves the licensure                                                               
of those health  care professionals in Alaska.  She  asked him to                                                               
discuss  his  interest in  the  professional  licensure of  those                                                               
professions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL answered  that there are members  of his congregation                                                               
who are osteopaths and physicians;  he has had conversations with                                                               
members of  his community and  people across the  state regarding                                                               
the need for  more health care providers in the  state and timely                                                               
licensing.   He  maintained  that he  is  interested in  ensuring                                                               
enough  [health] care  throughout the  state and  in having  more                                                               
[medical] specialties available to more communities in Alaska.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR acknowledged his  interest but questioned his                                                               
background   of  knowledge,   experience,  and   deep  level   of                                                               
understanding  of  the health  care  community  to serve  on  the                                                               
board.  She  mentioned that Alaska's health care  system with the                                                               
COVID-19 [[a novel coronavirus disease]  pandemic is fragile; she                                                               
expressed that it would concern her  if a member of the board did                                                               
not  have  a  deeper  experience  in some  form  of  health  care                                                               
delivery.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  referred to Mr. Boswell's  desire to speak                                                               
for  people  who  might  not  be  heard.   He  asked  if  he  has                                                               
encountered  people who  interact  with  hospitals, doctors,  and                                                               
people in the medical profession with such experiences.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  answered that  his  personal  experiences with  the                                                               
medical  professionals in  the state  have been  mostly positive.                                                               
He stated that he has heard  of people being less than satisfied.                                                               
He  mentioned  that   most  people  in  Fairbanks   have  a  good                                                               
relationship with their medical providers.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  asked Mr.  Boswell whether  he anticipates                                                               
taking the concerns of the  people he encounters into the setting                                                               
of  the State  Medical Board.    He reminded  him that  licensing                                                               
includes  making sure  the  customer  - the  patient  - is  being                                                               
served.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  replied, "Yes.    I  believe  that is  exactly  the                                                               
perspective that  I think I will  bring to the board  and be able                                                               
to represent that patient's perspective."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  stated that  by statue,  the State  Medical Board                                                               
must  ensure that  license renewal  is contingent  upon proof  of                                                               
continued competency.   She asked  Mr. Boswell how -  with little                                                               
experience - he will assess  the competency of providers that are                                                               
seeking license renewal.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL  said that he  is familiar with  continuing education                                                               
requirements but  acknowledged that  he will  need to  learn more                                                               
specifics.  He  maintained that he anticipates  learning from the                                                               
medical providers on the board.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:55:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY stated  that the  State Medical  Board is  tasked                                                               
with   adopting  regulations   that   establish  guidelines   for                                                               
physicians  and different  types of  providers.   She asked  what                                                               
experience and qualifications have prepared him for this task.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL answered  that his ethics and  theology training have                                                               
prepared  him, as  well as  his  work with  GCDSE advocating  for                                                               
better policy for Alaskans.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:57:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked for  the  length  of his  service  on                                                               
GCDSE.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BOSWELL responded that he was appointed to the council                                                                      
August 2019.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[The confirmation for Mr. Boswell was advanced during the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting of March                                                                  
17, 2020.]                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:58:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting was                                                                       
adjourned at 4:58 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0305A.PDF HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 Sponsor Statement 03.12.2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 Sectional Analysis v. M 03.12.2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 PowerPoint 03-12-2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
Anita Halterman Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Rhonda Boyles Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Anita Halterman Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Rhonda Boyles Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Dave Boswell Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board
Richard Wein Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board
Steve Parker Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board