Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/24/2020 03:00 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:35:07 PM Start
03:35:39 PM HB255
03:45:19 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 3:30 pm --
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
State Medical Board - Steve Parker
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 255 FOOD STAMPS; WORK REQS; TIME LIMITS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 255 Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 24, 2020                                                                                         
                           3:35 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to a waiver of work requirements or time limits                                                                
in the food stamp program; and providing for an effective date."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 255 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 255                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: FOOD STAMPS; WORK REQS; TIME LIMITS                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/19/20       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/20       (H)       HSS                                                                                                    
03/17/20       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/17/20       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/17/20       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/24/20       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified on HB  255 as the sponsor  of the                                                             
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ELISE SORUM-BIRK, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative  Andy Josephson                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified during  discussion of HB  255, on                                                             
behalf of the bill sponsor, Representative Josephson.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  TIFFANY  ZULKOSKY  called  the  House  Health  and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:35  p.m.                                                               
Representatives Zulkosky,  Tarr, Drummond, Claman,  and Spohnholz                                                               
were present at the call to order.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
           HB 255-FOOD STAMPS; WORK REQS; TIME LIMITS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:35:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 255,  "An Act  relating to  a waiver  of work                                                               
requirements  or  time limits  in  the  food stamp  program;  and                                                               
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:36:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY  JOSEPHSON, Alaska State  Legislature, shared                                                               
that  the administration  was seeking  a more  aggressive waiver,                                                               
although, according  to Department of Health  and Social Services                                                               
Commissioner  Crum,  the waiver  would  be  sought only  for  the                                                               
duration  of  the  response  to COVID-19.    He  paraphrased  the                                                               
Division  of  Public  Assistance  Director  Shawnda  O'Brien  and                                                               
stated:  "our  teams  are  working   on  implementation  for  all                                                               
recipients  of   the  SNAP  (Supplemental   Nutrition  Assistance                                                               
Program)  program for  the  duration of  the  state's efforts  in                                                               
dealing with the effect of the  virus."  He reflected that two of                                                               
the leading administration officials had  indicated a return to a                                                               
"less  aggressive"  waiver.    He offered  his  belief  that  the                                                               
likelihood  of  the  economic impacts  would  extend  beyond  the                                                               
immediate response  window.  He  pointed out that, prior  to this                                                               
current "panic that there is in  Alaska today," Alaska was in its                                                               
worst economic  strait relative  to other  states.   He recounted                                                               
that  the unemployment  rate  in Alaska  was in  the  range of  6                                                               
percent, the highest rate in  the United States, and he expressed                                                               
his  agreement with  U.S. Senator  [Lisa]  Murkowski that  Alaska                                                               
policy should "take a more  aggressive disposition toward seeking                                                               
waivers."    He acknowledged  that  although  the current  Alaska                                                               
administration  was  sympathetic  to the  situation,  there  were                                                               
indications of a  return to the earlier philosophy  for the "able                                                               
bodies adult approach once this virus  is tamed or defeated."  He                                                               
declared  that   the  proposed  bill  was   still  important  and                                                               
worthwhile.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELISE SORUM-BIRK,  Staff, Representative  Andy  Josephson, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  added that roughly  one-third of  the current                                                               
SNAP recipients  worked in  the service  industry and  that these                                                               
individuals  were "being  hit particularly  hard  by the  current                                                               
situation."  She shared an  anecdote for the layoffs of employees                                                               
in Anchorage.  She reiterated  that the economic impact of COVID-                                                               
19  would not  be limited  to the  duration of  the response  and                                                               
would be  felt much longer.   She noted that this  was a question                                                               
for  consistency in  state policy,  and pointed  to the  need for                                                               
something in  law that said  "we need to consistently  be seeking                                                               
the most we  can from the federal government with  regard to SNAP                                                               
waivers  for  able  bodied  adults   without  dependents."    She                                                               
declared that  this would be a  good policy to have  in place, as                                                               
it would allow better planning for the future.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SORUM-BIRK, in  response  to  Representative Drummond,  said                                                               
that roughly 220 of the 350 employees had been laid off.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  commented  that the  group  of  people                                                               
being impacted by  the proposed bill were already  working in the                                                               
service  industry,  as  administrative professionals,  in  sales,                                                               
professional  support, transportation,  construction, and  across                                                               
industries and  were already making  every effort to  earn enough                                                               
money.   She opined that they  would all like to  make more money                                                               
and would  prefer not  to need  SNAP benefits.   She  pointed out                                                               
that many people  needed SNAP benefits to  ensure adequate access                                                               
to food, which  was important to health, and  hence, important to                                                               
being able to  work.  She declared that it  was important to make                                                               
a  policy  statement  about  this,  that  it  was  necessary  for                                                               
stability and not just during  the COVID-19 dilemma.  She pointed                                                               
out that  there could  be 25,000  restaurant and  service workers                                                               
heavily impacted who would need these benefits.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  shared her support, noting  that legislation                                                               
such as the proposed bill could reduce fear, worry, and anxiety.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY expressed her support  for the need of consistency                                                               
and stability  for this  policy.  She  opined that  Alaskans need                                                               
help "outside  of the realm  of political ideology,"  adding that                                                               
this was  "a great step in  the right direction for  sound public                                                               
policy when Alaskans need it most."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:44:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY opened public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR ZULKOSKY closed public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:44:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ moved  to  report HB  255, Version  31-                                                               
LS1556\M, out  of committee  with individual  recommendations and                                                               
the accompanying  zero fiscal  notes.   Without objection  HB 255                                                               
was  moved from  the House  Health and  Social Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:45:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services   Standing  Committee  meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 3:45 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 255 Fiscal Note HSS.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- CBPP Factsheet on Workers 3.17.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- NCSL SNAP Work Requirements Fact Sheet 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- State Food Stamp Waiver Article 3.19.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- Attorneys General Multistate SNAP Letter 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- USDA December 2019 Press Release 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- US Senate Letter to Perdue re ABAWD Rule 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 version A.PDF HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Sectional Analysis 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 PPT.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Sponsor Statement 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- ABAWD Waiver Status FY19 Quarter 4 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- ABAWD Waiver Status- FY20 Quarter 1 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255- Supporting Document- ADN Article March 2020 3.6.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- Alaska Public Media Article 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
HB 255 Supporting Document- Anchorage Daily News Article 3.3.20.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 255
Steve Parker Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
Governor's Appointees to the State Medical Board
State Medical Board Lydia Mielke.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
Governor's Appointees to the State Medical Board
Richard Wein Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/24/2020 3:00:00 PM
Governor's Appointees to the State Medical Board