Legislature(1995 - 1996)
03/07/1996 08:05 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE STATE AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE March 7, 1996 8:05 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Jeannette James, Chair Representative Scott Ogan, Vice Chair Representative Joe Green Representative Ivan Ivan Representative Brian Porter Representative Caren Robinson MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Ed Willis COMMITTEE CALENDAR * HOUSE BILL NO. 532 "An Act relating to determination by executive branch agencies of the costs of reviewing, adopting, amending, and repealing regulations." - HEARD AND HELD HOUSE BILL NO. 348 "An Act requiring that all official interviews with children who are alleged to have been abused or neglected be videotaped or audiotaped." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 110 "An Act relating to the confidentiality of certain information in motor vehicle records; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD * HOUSE BILL NO. 359 "An Act relating to the appointment and confirmation process for members of certain boards, commissions, and similar bodies; relating to terms of certain appointees; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD * HOUSE BILL NO. 302 "An Act relating to the release of runaway minors from licensed programs for runaway minors and from runaway minor shelters." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD * HOUSE BILL NO. 372 "An Act relating to liquor licenses issued to a restaurant or eating place; and providing for an effective date." - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD (* First public hearing) PREVIOUS ACTION BILL: HB 532 SHORT TITLE: COSTS OF ADOPTING REGULATIONS SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 02/28/96 2912 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 02/28/96 2913 (H) STA, FINANCE 03/07/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 348 SHORT TITLE: VIDEO/AUDIOTAPE INTERVIEW OF ABUSED MINOR SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES, Therriault, Kelly, Toohey JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 05/13/95 2173 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 05/13/95 2174 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, HES, JUD, FINANCE 08/26/95 (H) STA AT 1:00 PM 08/26/95 (H) MINUTE(STA) 01/08/96 2383 (H) COSPONSOR(S): KELLY, TOOHEY 01/23/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 01/23/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 02/10/96 (H) STA AT 2:00 PM CAPITOL 102 02/10/96 (H) MINUTE(STA) 03/07/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 BILL: HB 110 SHORT TITLE: CONFIDENTIALITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BARNES, Green JRN-DATE JRN-PG ACTION 01/23/95 116 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 01/23/95 116 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 01/25/95 136 (H) COSPONSOR(S): GREEN 03/10/95 701 (H) SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE INTRODUCED-REFERRALS 03/10/95 701 (H) READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S) 03/10/95 701 (H) STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE 03/07/96 (H) STA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 102 WITNESS REGISTER JACK KREINHEDER, Senior Policy Analyst Office of the Director Office of Management and Budget Office of the Governor P.O. Box 110001 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0001 Telephone: (907) 465-4676 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 532. SCOTT CALDER P.O. Box 75011 Fairbanks, Alaska 99704 Telephone: (907) 474-0174 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in favor of HB 532. PAM LA BOLLE, President Alaska State Chamber of Commerce 217 Second Street, Suite 201 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-2323 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in favor of HB 532. BARBARA COTTING, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James State Capitol, Room 102 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3743 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided committee substitute for HB 348. DIRK NELSON P.O. Box 2437 Valdez, Alaska 99686 Telephone: (907) 835-5894 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 348. HARRY NIEHAUS, Member Guardians of Family Rights P.O. Box 55664 North Pole, Alaska 99705 Telephone: (907) 488-9328 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 348. CAM CARLSON P.O.Box 80234 Fairbanks, Alaska 99708 Telephone: Not available. POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 348. JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Telephone: (907) 465-4356 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 348. DIANE WORLEY, Director Central Office Division of Family and Youth Services Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110630 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630 Telephone: (907) 465-3191 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 348. LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault 130 Seward Street, Suite 501 Juneau, Alaska 99801 Telephone: (907) 586-3650 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 348. STEVE GRUNSTEIN, Member Guardians for Parent's Rights P.O. Box 30604 Juneau, Alaska 99803 Telephone: (907) 789-7131 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 348. SCOTT CALDER P.O. Box 75011 Fairbanks, Alaska 99704 Telephone: (907) 474-0174 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 348. GENE OTTENSTROER c/o P.O. Box 1059 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 Telephone: Not available. POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 348. JEANNE' PHIPPS c/o P.O. Box 704 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737 Telephone: Not available. POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in opposition to HB 348. ELEANOR ROSER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Ramona Barnes State Capitol, Room 403 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 Telephone: (907) 465-3438 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided sponsor statement for HB 110. JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief Driver Services Division of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 20020 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0020 Telephone: (907) 465-4361 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 110. JAY N. DULANY, Director Central Office Division of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Safety 5700 East Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225 Telephone: (907) 269-5559 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 110. BOB MOTZVICH 8801 Spendlove Drive Anchorage, Alaska 99516 Telephone: (907) 344-6254 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony on HB 110. JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety P.O. Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 Telephone: (907) 465-4356 POSITION STATEMENT: Provided testimony in support of HB 110. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 96-30, SIDE A Number 0000 The House State Affairs Committee was called to order by Chair Jeannette James at 8:05 a.m. Members present at the call to order were Representatives Green, Ivan, Porter and James. Members absent were Representatives Ogan, Robinson and Willis. CHAIR JEANNETTE JAMES announced Representative Ed Willis was excused from today's meeting. Representative Scott Ogan and Representative Caren Robinson would be joining the meeting shortly. HB 532 - COSTS OF ADOPTING REGULATIONS The first order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 532. CHAIR JAMES explained HB 532 was sponsored by the House State Affairs Committee. She called it a simple bill so it did not have a sponsor statement. She did not plan to move it out of the committee today. The Administration was concerned about HB 532's direction. She explained there were other House Bills, HB 105 and HB 267 that also addressed the issue of regulations. House Bill 105 established a special group to write regulations, and HB 267 required the legislature to extend regulations every session. In an attempt to address the issue of regulatory reform, she asked the Administration last year for information from the agencies regarding the amount of time and effort spent on writing regulations. The Administration tried to get the information, but it was hard to go back and recreate the time and effort put forth. Therefore, HB 532 required each agency that reviewed proposed regulations and changes of another agency to determine the direct and indirect cost of reviewing and writing the proposed changes incurred. She was interested in the who, the time and the cost of writing regulations for all agencies. She said the Administration was concerned about the fiscal note. She commented she expected a $0 fiscal note. She explained the tracking would be incorporated into the already existing daily activities. The Administration would probably be interested in this information as well, so she was looking for cooperation. The record reflected the arrival of Representative Caren Robinson at 8:08 a.m. Number 0388 REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN was concerned about the fiscal notes. He commented he had seen a wide latitude of fiscal notes from the departments, and explained, if a department liked a bill, the fiscal note would be low; if a department did not like a bill, the fiscal note would be high. Therefore, he questioned if the information would be reliable. He suggested a targeted audit approach instead. Number 0450 CHAIR JAMES replied an audit was her initial approach. However, according to the House Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, there was nothing to audit because of the lack of record keeping. House Bill 532 would allow the necessary information to be tracked and kept for future audits. Number 0499 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON called the issue a moving target. She explained a department would expend a lot of time and effort when a regulation was needed producing a "picture in time" result. The results were also directly related to the bills the legislature passed that year. She reiterated HB 532 would provide a picture in time result rather than an overall expended amount of effort. Number 0564 CHAIR JAMES replied a time study took into consideration her concerns. She agreed there probably were times when more regulations were being written, however, considering everything there was a way to determine a composite amount of time and effort being spent on regulations. She reiterated, time and effort data was needed to evaluate a more efficient process. Number 0657 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Chair James what was the goal and purpose of the bill? Number 0662 CHAIR JAMES replied the goal was for true regulation reform in the state of Alaska, which would take approximately four years to accomplish. The bill would set aside one year for the information to be collected. Due to her past experiences and true desires, she believed she could contribute to the solution making process. She asserted the process must be more efficient, cost less, implement statutes better, cause less distress with the public, and provide accountability. Number 0735 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON commented that a moratorium was needed on passing bills. It was necessary to look at how legislation was passed, for a true fix. Number 0765 CHAIR JAMES agreed with Representative Robinson. She said a lot of the blame laid in the lap of the legislature because of incomplete pieces of legislation. Therefore, the Administration had to pick- up the pieces causing friction between the public, the Administration and the legislature. It was a two-sided coin, and all had to work together towards the same goal. Number 0845 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wondered if guidelines would be issued to help the departments determine a direct and indirect cost. He said it was vague as written and might produce unreliable data. Number 0852 CHAIR JAMES replied the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be the leader of this project. She was interested in an overall view of the ratio of time and cost related to regulation writing. The public wanted a reduction in the cost of government operations, but they did not want to cut the education budget, for example. The public wanted to cut the cost of government and this was a way to accomplish that goal. Furthermore, the cost of government started with the legislature. She reiterated she agreed with Representative Robinson that the legislature needed to look at how legislation was passed and to include more accountability. Moreover, a government crash was eminent, if it was not handled better. Number 0998 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said benefits and overhead were part of the direct cost involved, and as long as OMB established guidelines he was more comfortable with the tracking process. He stated the direct cost was a sizeable amount. Number 1015 CHAIR JAMES agreed with Representative Green that the direct cost was a sizeable amount. She explained it touched every employee in some way. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness in Juneau, Jack Kreinheder, Office of Management and Budget. Number 1030 JACK KREINHEDER, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of the Director, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Governor, said the overview of Chair James addressed some of the concerns of the Administration. He said the Administration was happy to work with the committee members and the Chair to accomplish the intent of the bill. The Administration, however, was concerned about the fiscal notes. The departments indicated they could absorb this as part of the cost of doing business. The Administration was concerned, however, about the resources necessary to track the data. The Governor had asked the departments to review their regulations and delete any that were out dated or needed to be revised. This would take time because legislation passed last year that required regulations were still being written. He further said even though the efforts could be absorb, it was not insignificant because of the cumulative efforts over time for each department. He cited the report at the end of the year would take time. The Administration agreed the information would be interesting, but believed those resources would be better devoted to working on the regulations directly. He further addressed Representative Green's concern regarding the direct and indirect cost. He agreed that OMB would oversee the effort. He said an amendment would not be necessary to clarify that because the bill left it up to the Administration. In conclusion, he said, OMB would probably define the terms for the consistent gathering of the information. Number 1315 CHAIR JAMES explained there would not be a fiscal impact for the record keeping required, but there would be a fiscal impact to prepare the report at the end of the year. She stated plenty of time was given in the bill to prepare a report - June 30, 1997 to December 1, 1997. It was not mandated, but she expected a norm would be established by the Administration. She reiterated it was an overall picture involved for analysis. She said the agencies and Mr. Kreinheder had been very cooperative, but there was no parallel thinking yet. Both sides needed to give a little. Number 1426 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN lauded the efforts put forth. A handle on the cost of regulations was needed. However, based on personal experience, record keeping was not always reliable. He was concerned about the value of the data. It was time consuming to track data accurately. He asked if the state had ever done this before, and wondered if Mr. Kreinheder believed the data would be reliable? Number 1501 MR. KREINHEDER replied according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the effort could be accommodated easily within its existing operations. Permit costs were paid by the permitees so the departments already tracked that information using a project accounting system. He shared the concern of Representative Green regarding the value of the data. He wondered if the cost of the regulation projects in FY 97 were worth the time expended. Number 1567 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN wondered if there was a way, short of a computer program, so that at the end of the day the data was recorded. He was concerned about data being forgotten if it was collected weekly, for example. Number 1596 MR. KREINHEDER said the enforcement of the data collection would be left to department managers and supervisors. He agreed, for a time keeping system to work it needed to be tracked on a daily basis, otherwise it was only rough estimates. Number 1618 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked Mr. Kreinheder if he had any suggestions for a method to track the information. He agreed the information was needed, but he did not know how to get it. Number 1634 MR. KREINHEDER replied the survey approach used by the Legislative Audit Division was reasonable. Number 1690 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER wondered if DEC's permitting process would be necessary to track according to HB 532. Number 1712 MR. KREINHEDER replied, "no." He said he used DEC as an example because it had a system in place already. Number 1726 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON again wondered what the information would reveal and how it would be used. She agreed it would be good information to know, but she did not understand how it would help the legislature change its way of business. Number 1756 CHAIR JAMES responded the question of how the information would be used had yet to be determined. She explained the basic information collected would be the starting point to analyze the current system. Number 1826 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered if a piece of legislation was necessary. She suggested choosing a few pieces of legislation and backtracking the time and effort required to implement the regulations. She said it would be faster and it made more sense. Number 1863 CHAIR JAMES replied backtracking would not yield accurate data. She was distressed because the information was not being tracked now. In the private sector cost accounting was standard procedure. The government never considered evaluating the cost involved because time keeping was not recorded. Furthermore, the lack of data affected the continued passage of HB 105 in the system because she could not determine how many people would be necessary to establish a regulatory writing group. Number 2020 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON reiterated it was still a moving target because certain divisions within departments would be working on regulations based on legislation at that given time. Number 2055 CHAIR JAMES replied for every program it was a moving target. Therefore, a preestablished tracking system was needed. She understood the concerns of Representative Robinson, and reiterated a cost analysis was the beginning of making any changes. Number 2112 MR. KREINHEDER asked the Chair what level of detail she envisioned from the departments? A grand total? A breakdown by specific regulatory project? Number 2138 CHAIR JAMES replied she expected the hours by specific regulation or statute. She also expected the cost incurred relative to time. Everything would be relative to time, she explained. Number 2193 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER wondered if asking for subjective information was reasonable as well. He cited explaining a statute that caused the biggest problem while trying to develop a regulation as an example. The record reflected the arrival of Representative Scott Ogan at 8:45 a.m. Number 2225 CHAIR JAMES replied it would be in the best interest of the Administration to include as much narration as possible to help reform the system. She did not want to mandate that in the bill, however. Number 2253 MR. KREINHEDER responded it did not need to be specified in the bill. He said there had been some discussion about whether a bill was necessary or a request from the committee would suffice, and that in his personal opinion, a bill would be more effective. Number 2288 CHAIR JAMES thanked Mr. Kreinheder for his time. She reiterated she did not plan to move the bill out of the committee today. She explained she was willing to include a fiscal note to address the tallying of information at the end of the period, however. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in Fairbanks, Scott Calder. Number 2315 SCOTT CALDER said the goal of the 19th Alaska State Legislature should be to help all Alaskans witness the closure of vast fissures between the needs of Alaskans and the activities of the government. He said there was an ongoing and contemporaneous public process to allow action from the people. The goal should be to restructure the government to act at the people's request. He said HB 532 seemed wasteful on one hand, but it was important the agencies face the true cost and impact of their regulations. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Pam La Bolle. Number 2393 PAM LA BOLLE, President, Alaska State Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber supported HB 532. She explained regulatory reform was the Chamber's second priority, and the information HB 532 would provide was something that the Chamber had been trying to acquire. She explained the business community was not addressing this issue to the dismay of the Chamber. A handle on the resources applied was necessary in both the private and public sectors. Furthermore, the information would help in the analysis of several areas. TAPE 96-30, SIDE B Number 0000 HB 348 - VIDEO/AUDIOTAPE INTERVIEW OF ABUSED MINOR The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 348. CHAIR JAMES called on Barbara Cotting, Legislative Assistant to Representative James to present the committee substitute. Number 0021 BARBARA COTTING, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeannette James, said on February 10, 1996 a subcommittee was formed to establish an agreement between the legislature and the agencies involved. The subcommittee members consisted of Representatives James, Porter and Robinson; Elmer Lindstrom, Department of Health and Social Services; Diane Worley, Division of Family and Youth Services; Lt. Chris Stockard, Department of Public Safety; and Anne Carpeneti, Department of Law. The result was CSHB 348(STA) (9- LS1187/F). MS. COTTING said it was a radical change from the original bill. The original bill, she explained, had a Senate companion that was moving forward, SB 188. Therefore, the concept had not been dropped, entirely. MS. COTTING read the title and Section 1 into the record. "An Act establishing the interagency work group on agency accountability and child interview methods." "Section 1, "INTERAGENCY WORK GROUP AND MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ON AGENCY ACCOUNTABILITY AND CHILD INTERVIEW METHODS. (a) The interagency work group to increase agency accountability for and to improve methods of interviewing minors who are alleged to have been abused or neglected is established in the department. The work group consists of five representatives, whose job description includes participation in the work group, from the following departments: "(1) two persons from the department, one of whom shall be an employee of the division of family and youth services; (2) one person from the Department of Public Safety; (3) one person from the Department of Education; and (4) one person from the Department of Law. "(b) The interagency work group shall prepare a memorandum of agreement that will guide all participating agencies in their involvement with interviews of minors who are alleged to have been abused or neglected. At a minimum, the memorandum of agreement must "(1) identify the best and most effective methods to establish accountability for those who interview minors who are alleged or suspected to have been abused or neglected; "(2) identify the best and most effective methods for (A) videotaping; (B) audiotaping; (C) team interviews; (D) note taking; (E) documentation; and (F) enforcing file content standards: "(3) provide for interagency cooperation in (A) initial and continuing training or education for interviewers, including education regarding new and updated methods of interviewing minors and regarding new equipment useful for interviewing minors; (B) establishing respect for family members during the interview process; (C) maintaining family unity during the interview process; and (D) sensitivity to public response and public input; "(4) focus on increasing agency and interviewer accountability and minimizing negative effects on families; and "(5) review the statutory definition of "abuse or neglect" to determine if the definition leads to uniform and fair results. "(c) The memorandum of agreement shall be made available for review by the legislature and the public. The work group shall notify the legislature that the memorandum of agreement is available for review. "(d) The interagency work group shall meet at the times the members of the work group consider necessary. At a minimum, the memorandum of agreement must be reviewed and updated in the year following each gubernatorial election year as determined under AS 15.35.010, and must be completed in those years before the beginning of the next regular session of the legislature the following year. Each revised and updated memorandum of agreement shall be made available to the legislature and the public for review. The work group shall notify the legislature that the memorandum of agreement is available for review." MS. COTTING explained Section 2 dealt with the time frame for the initial memorandum of agreement. The first review would be January 1, 1997 followed by another review in two years. Number 0234 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said HB 348 had come a long way and was moving in a good direction. She referred the committee members to page 1, line 12, and wondered if "two" persons from the Department of Health and Social Services were necessary. MS. COTTING explained in this context the word "department" in AS 47.17 meant "the Department of Health and Social Services." Number 0260 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered about child sexual assault cases in the language on page 2, line 22, "(C) maintaining family unity during the interview process; and" Number 0289 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER suggested adding the language, "where appropriate." REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON agreed with Representative Porter. Number 0295 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked when the agencies would sign the memorandum of agreement. Number 0310 CHAIR JAMES replied it was not clear when the agencies would sign and review the memorandum of agreement. She had mixed feelings about including a public review process as well because it was an interagency agreement. She did not expect a public review would create any changes to the memorandum. She called it a living document. She reiterated the memorandum was an agreement and not a public process. It did not fall under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Number 0405 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she assumed it would be signed by all the parties by January 1, 1997. Therefore, the public and the legislature would not review it until after it was signed. Number 0418 CHAIR JAMES replied that was her understanding also. Number 0422 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN IVAN wondered if the local government agencies were lost in the committee substitute. CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Ivan which local government agency was he referring to? REPRESENTATIVE IVAN replied the tribal organizations in the rural communities, for example. Number 0455 CHAIR JAMES said that issue did not come up in the subcommittee meeting. She suggested Representative Ivan ask the departments directly. Number 0473 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON explained this was a state government agency agreement. The municipal agencies and the non-profit agencies would be part of the public review process. CHAIR JAMES replied that was her understanding also. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in Valdez, Dirk Nelson. Number 0515 DIRK NELSON explained he was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist. The oversights were necessary to oversee the actions of the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS). He said anything to assist in mitigating the harm of DFYS was good. He explained DFYS had done an admirable job but at the same time there were isolated cases where harm was done. He said the bill was not a "cure-all." There were aspects of the bill that could put the state and child into danger of culpability. He understood the desire to maintain family unity and called it a good goal, but agreed with earlier comments that there was the potential to go in the other direction. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Fairbanks, Harry Niehaus. Number 0619 HARRY NIEHAUS member of the Guardians of Family Rights, said he opposed CSHB 348(STA). This was a far cry from what was originally requested of a mandatory videotaping bill. The Guardians were in full support of SB 188. He called the committee substitute worthless. He said it did not regulate the regulators. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Fairbanks, Cam Carlson. Number 0661 CAM CARLSON said she opposed CSHB 348(STA). She appreciated the attempt, but the committee substitute was nothing but a piece of "fluff." It protected the agencies and the agency workers. The committee substitute hid the accountability as well. It was frustrating to not be able to audio/videotape an interview with a child. She did not see what the problems were and why it was so impossible for the agencies to videotape an interview. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Jayne Andreen, Department of Public Safety. Number 0735 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, commended the committee members for their work done on CSHB 348(STA). She said the bill would go a long way to provide a greater level of accountability and coordination between the agencies. She referred the committee members to page 2, line 22, "(C) maintaining family unity during the interview process; and." She suggested adding the language, "when appropriate," to ensure the best interest of the child's safety first. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Diane Worley, Department of Health and Social Services. Number 0791 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Central Office, Division of Family and Youth Services, Department of Health and Social Services, commended the committee members for their work done on CSHB 348(STA). The bill went a long way in moving towards agency accountability. The Division was extremely pleased to be a part of this agreement and looked forward to working with the other agencies towards an understanding. The Division supported family unity whenever possible, but also wanted to protect the child's interest. Furthermore, within the Division, there were Indian child welfare act agreements with many of the tribal entities to address the concerns of Representative Ivan. Moreover, the Division did have the option now and the ability to audio/videotape an interview. It was working towards improving the availability due to a lack of equipment, however. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Lauree Hugonin, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Number 0946 LAUREE HUGONIN, Executive Director, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, appreciated the direction of CSHB 348(STA). The best interest of a child was protected when the agencies worked together. The Network echoed the Council's concerns regarding family unity. The Network believed flexibility was needed in that area because there were instances when it was necessary to remove a child from his home. She asked the committee members to consider language to clarify that issue. She asked if the memorandum of agreement would recommend changes to the legislature regarding the definition of "abuse and neglect?" Number 1032 CHAIR JAMES replied the language was subjective. It was a controversial area. She understood the suggestion to amend the language to include "when appropriate" to maintain the family unity. However, family unity should be the focus. There were other parts of the family included such as aunts and uncles, for example, that would help maintain the unity of a family. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Steven Grunstein. Number 1172 STEVEN GRUNSTEIN, Member, Guardians for Parent's Rights, said a bill like this was needed. The bill started off being a protection and a check for the parents. He said a few years ago he and his son were involved in the system. He explained he had not seen his son for six years when he returned to Alaska. His son was only in Alaska for 14 days, and on the 17th day he was told by DFYS he had been abusing his son his entire life. He asked the DFYS official to further explain and the official responded by stating, "you heard me, how dare you question me." It was his word against his son's. He said the bill would be best if both the interview of the child and the parents were required. He said the parents were helpless. The system was not currently working to reunite the families. The original intent of the bill was a safety for those that lived and worked within the framework of the laws. He said a videotape would be the best for the system. If there was a sexual assault case something needed to be done, but he generally agreed with Chair James that the focus needed to remain on keeping the family united. The parents needed help at the legislative level, because there was not any help at the judicial level. He said he was against abuse in any form - sexual, physical or mental. However, many children were using it as a weapon against their parents, and that was when an interview on a videotape would be helpful. Number 1448 CHAIR JAMES explained the goal was to videotape the interviews. However due to the diversity within the state and the various areas of concern, the committee substitute was a good compromise. It moved the agencies towards the accountability that was needed. The committee substitute also had the possibility of passing the legislature and being signed by the Governor. Number 1548 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said Mr. Grunstein was not against the bill. It was a good start even though it might not be exactly what he wanted. She wondered if Mr. Grunstein agreed that it was not necessarily appropriate to keep a family together in the case of child sexual abuse. Number 1589 MR. GRUNSTEIN replied, "that is correct." Furthermore, the definition of "abuse and neglect" needed to be looked at further. He cited a personal case where he was charged with abuse for blocking a punch from his son. Number 1628 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said a definition existed in statute. It might not be used formally by all the agencies, however. Number 1640 CHAIR JAMES said the language was changed based on a recommendation of the Department of Health and Social Services. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON reiterated there was a definition, but it might be interpreted differently by the agencies involved. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Fairbanks, Scott Calder. Number 1675 SCOTT CALDER said he agreed with Mr. Niehaus' testimony earlier. The committee substitute was a bit of fluff. The original bill at least attempted to place some accountability onto the state. The committee substitute was completely unrelated to its Senate companion, SB 188. He said CSHB 348(STA) avoided the issue. He further said each new Administration had the opportunity to influence the process and cited various statutes. He said a code would be the way to address the problem in that it would provide an external citizen review of the foster care system, for example. He called for citizen reviews in each of the four judicial districts to satisfy Representative Ivan's concerns. He encouraged him to look at the Citizen Review Panel Act of 1990. He further called the committee substitute a self study waste of time. Number 1884 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said she agreed with Mr. Calder regarding the Foster Care Review Panel. She said it was originally funded at $500,000 while last year it was funded at $176,000. She stated it would not be in the trouble it was today if it had been implemented correctly. Furthermore, CSHB 348(STA) was another piece of the accountability. Number 1958 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN reiterated his concerns regarding the native tribal organizations. He wanted to meet with the Departments to question the existing agreements. CHAIR JAMES suggested to the testifiers who opposed the committee substitute to push for and support SB 188. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Delta Junction, Gene Ottenstroer. Number 2042 GENE OTTENSTROER said the committee substitute was nothing. He said the original bill was good. The departments did not want videotaping for some unknown reason. He suggested deleting language addressing audiotaping. He said, "a picture was worth a thousand words." He questioned why two people were needed from the Department of Health and Social Services. He said they were very intimidating, and he wondered if it was stated as such to take over the meetings, or to cover their "butts." He preferred mandating a videotaped interview rather than allowing the work group to identify the best method for the interview. He said the departments did not want to be accountable for fear of the discovery of what was going on behind the scenes. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Delta Junction, Jeanne' Phipps. Number 2205 JEANNE' PHIPPS wondered why it took five department people, when all the departments were suppose to have a vested interest in the Department of Health and Social Services. She said videotaping should be made mandatory any time a public agency was involved in an attack on families. She said she was against CSHB 348(STA). Furthermore, a constitutional law was needed to make the Department of Health and Social Services, the legislature, and other departments more accountable for their actions. Number 2342 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER moved to include the phrase, "unless the nature of the investigation clearly indicates otherwise," on page 2, line 22, subsection (c). (Amendment 1) Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was so adopted. Number 2420 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON suggested an amendment to reduce the number of participants from the Department of Health and Social Services from "two" to "one." Number 2440 CHAIR JAMES said it was the intent to include two participants because one would be from the Department of Health and Social Services, and one would be from the Division of Family and Youth Services. She deferred to the committee members for further discussion. Number 2464 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said testimony indicated the reason two members were needed from the Department of Health and Social Services was to represent the family and the child. TAPE 96-31, SIDE B Number 0000 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it should be the responsibility of the Commissioner. The appointed group member from the Department would work closely with the other agencies involved within the Department. CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Worley to address the issue. Number 0073 MS. WORLEY said the Department could go either way. There were arguments for both sides. There was a perception the Department would overbalance the work group. Furthermore, Representative Porter was also correct that the bill would impact both the youth services and the family services. She suggested a person in a policy position, and a person from the field. She reiterated she was not committed either way, however. Number 0198 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON replied the Department of Public Safety, for example, could say the same thing. The responsibility was to reach out to the affected parties and it was the responsibility of the appointed work group member to bring the perspective of his department to the table. She said it was not a big issue, but it could be a potential additional cost. Number 0279 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to adopt a conceptual amendment to include "one" member from the Department of Health and Social Services. Hearing no objection it was so adopted. Number 0299 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he was not against the bill. He understood the intent. He wondered if it would affect the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Number 0399 MS. WORLEY replied approximately eight years ago the agreement between the state and ICWA was reexamined. A number of tribal organizations chose not to sign-on because it was complicated. Consequently, a tribal state collaboration group was formed to discuss the issues surrounding ICWA. The goal was to make it more workable to meet the needs of all the different tribal organizations. Number 0519 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN wondered if there were outside state agencies involved in the memorandum agreement. He questioned if there would be any input from the public, or would a statute be needed to make changes? Number 0558 CHAIR JAMES replied any changes would require a statute. The bill mandated the work group reach an agreement between the agencies. The information would then be made available to the legislature and the public. If the legislature did not agree with the agreement, it could talk to the group or address a change through a statute. Moreover, the bill did not fall under the APA because it was a policy and not a regulation. Number 0686 REPRESENTATIVE IVAN said he was not against the bill. He was concerned about a check and balance in the system. He called the agencies a powerful force against a family. Number 0714 CHAIR JAMES replied the bill demanded the type of accountability Representative Ivan was concerned about. Number 0733 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said the bill should not be interpreted to mean that a statutory exception was being created to existing statutes regarding the confidentiality of criminal investigation procedures. The agreement was available through the freedom of information act anyway. However, there were exceptions when the process was not in the best interest of justice. The bill would not change those exceptions. Furthermore, the conceptual amendment just created an even member group. He was concerned about ties. Number 0839 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented the fiscal note gave him "heartburn." Number 0887 CHAIR JAMES replied the committee substitute did not have a fiscal note attached. It needed to be discussed. She expected a $0 fiscal note, however. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented the bill started with a horrendous fiscal note, and wondered how it could be a $0 fiscal note now. CHAIR JAMES reiterated it could be a $0 fiscal note, or it could include some money for training or reporting, for example. She reiterated she was looking for a $0 fiscal note, however. Number 0900 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated he could not vote in favor of this bill without seeing a fiscal note first. The first fiscal note called for $3.5 million. He was concerned the fiscal note would be $0 now because the division was in favor of it. Number 0946 CHAIR JAMES said a fiscal note was necessary before passing the bill forward. She reiterated a fiscal note did not exist right now. She reiterated she was looking for a $0 fiscal note because the departments could absorb any cost into their already existing structures. Number 0986 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN commented he was concerned about a fiscal note going to the other extreme. Number 0997 CHAIR JAMES asked Representative Green if the fiscal note should have a dollar value, and where? REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied, "absolutely." He did not know where, however. He said there was more than "tweaking" involved, if a fiscal note could go from $3.5 million to $0. He said he had to see it before he could support it. Number 1012 CHAIR JAMES responded the original bill mandated all interviews be audio/videotaped. The committee substitute on the other hand only suggested it through an interagency memorandum of agreement. Number 1066 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN stated if it was suggested and not mandated the fiscal note would be somewhere between $3.5 million and $0. Number 1094 CHAIR JAMES replied she understood Representative Green's concern. She was not worried about the original fiscal note, however. She reiterated the bill would not move forward without a fiscal note. Number 1116 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER said he supported the notion that the committee substitute would generate a $0 fiscal note. It provided the opportunity for increased training, but that was a normal agency budget function presented through the budget process. The need for equipment existed before the bill and would continue to exist after the bill. The agencies knew how to handle that. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied, "I fully understand that." Number 1159 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON also believed there would not be a large fiscal note. Even if the need for training was included, it would be a small fiscal note. Furthermore, she referred the committee members to page 2, lines 28 - 30, subsection (c); and page 3, lines 3 - 6, and wondered if the language was redundant. She suggested adding the language, "prior to signing of the agreement," or "at the completion of the agreement" for clarification. Number 1230 CHAIR JAMES replied she wanted to leave the language alone because there might be a need to present a tentative agreement to the legislature or to the public. Number 1254 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON responded she was concerned about the legislature rejecting the memorandum of agreement after the completion date of January 1, 1997. She was concerned about the public complaining about not being able to see the memorandum of agreement before it was signed. Number 1282 CHAIR JAMES stated she wanted a committee substitute from the House State Affairs Committee that would make it through the rest of the process. She explained she asked the leadership to waive the next committee of referral - the House Judiciary Committee. Number 1310 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered how the working group would notify the legislature. Number 1326 CHAIR JAMES wondered if the language stated it would be available for review. REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON read, "The work group shall notify the legislature that the memorandum of agreement is available for review," page 3, lines 5 - 6. CHAIR JAMES said, if it was available for review, it was up to the legislature to request it. Number 1351 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER explained the normal process was for an agency to send a letter to the Chief Clerk's office or the Senate Secretary's office. Number 1365 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered if the language in Sec. 2, page 3 was necessary. CHAIR JAMES asked Ms. Worley to respond to Representative Robinson's concerns. Number 1387 MS. WORLEY agreed the language seemed redundant. She suggested eliminating the language on page 2 rather than page 3, however. Number 1409 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to delete lines 28 - 30, subsection (c), page 2. (Amendment 2) Hearing no objection, Amendment 2 was so adopted. Number 1445 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked Ms. Worley if the language should be clarified regarding the timing of the public review of the memorandum agreement? Number 1452 MS. WORLEY replied the issue of accountability was the major concern here, therefore, a review prior to signing a memorandum of agreement was preferable to eliminate the perception of not including the public. Number 1499 CHAIR JAMES wondered how long the period of review would be left open. She wondered if a regulation would be needed to enforce the bill. She hoped a regulation would not be necessary. She reiterated the memorandum of agreement was a policy, and wondered if a policy should be subject to the APA? She did not think so. A policy was a policy and it should not be subject to a public review process. She explained she was concerned about setting a precedent. Number 1608 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON replied she would drop the issue. CHAIR JAMES announced the next hearing was scheduled for Saturday, March 9, 1996. A fiscal note would be attached. HB 110 - CONFIDENTIALITY OF MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS The next order of business to come before the House State Affairs Committee was HB 110. CHAIR JAMES called on Eleanor Roser, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Ramona Barnes, to present the sponsor statement. Number 1687 ELEANOR ROSER, Legislative Administrative Assistant to Representative Ramona Barnes, read the following sponsor statement into the record. "This legislation was introduced at the request of two of my constituents who had experienced stalking by persons who had obtained their addresses from the (DMV) through license plate information. Additionally, in 1994, confidentiality of license plate information was included in the President's Crime Package. "The intent of the federal legislation (18. U.S.C. 2721) was to protect the personal privacy of persons licensed by states to drive a motor vehicle or persons who register a motor vehicle by prohibiting disclosure of information on drivers maintained by the state. This information is only to be disclosed under permissible uses. "If Alaska is not in compliance with the federal law by September 13, 1997, the DMV could be liable for civil fines of $2,500.00 per day and the state could be subject to fines of $5,000.00 per day until compliance is reached. "This bill is supported by the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and the Anchorage Police Department. "I appreciate your consideration of this bill and request your support." MS. ROSER said she would be happy to answer any questions of the committee members. Number 1745 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered how HB 210 would affect this bill. Number 1774 CHAIR JAMES replied HB 210 would not affect HB 110. Number 1785 CHAIR JAMES wondered what the language "legitimate interest" meant in the bill. She cited in previous business expenditures she needed to research information through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) using a license plate number. There were many reasons why a private individual would have a legitimate interest to research vehicle information. Number 1883 MS. ROSER deferred to Juanita Hensley, Department of Public Safety, to answer the question. CHAIR JAMES called on Ms. Hensley to join the committee members at the table. Number 1921 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON wondered if legislation was needed due to the federal requirement. Number 1940 JUANITA HENSLEY, Chief, Driver Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, explained HB 110 would bring the state one step closer into compliance with the federal law. The President's Crime Bill required that more vehicle records be confidential. If the state did not comply with the federal law, the federal law would preempt the state law and DMV would be subject to a fine. Therefore, the DMV would either have to violate a federal law and be subject to a fine, or violate a state law. She explained there were provisions to allow the information to be released for legitimate business interests. Number 2023 CHAIR JAMES asked if a legitimate business interest was specified in the federal law? MS. HENSLEY replied it was defined in the federal law, and left to the states to adopt the regulations. She cited mechanic or storage companies, towing companies, banks or finance companies, and insurance companies, as examples that would have a legitimate business interest. CHAIR JAMES called on the first witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Jay Dulany, Department of Public Safety. JAY DULANY, Director, Central Office, Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Public Safety, said he was available to answer any policy questions. He suggested including language to refer to 18 U.S.C. 2721 in Section 1. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness via teleconference in Anchorage, Bob Motznick. Number 2168 BOB MOTZNICK explained in his business a log was kept of all inquiries made. He said that was a far better way to handle the stalking concerns. His company experienced 300 to 500 inquires everyday. The bill was preventing help to those that needed it because as written it would not allow legitimate business interests. He recommended deleting Section 1, and implementing the minimum that the federal law required. Number 2376 CHAIR JAMES commented this was a typical quandary between the state and federal government. It was distressing, however, to not be able to obtain information from a license plate, if needed. She agreed the stalking concerns were serious. She wanted to leave as little as possible to regulations, and put as much as possible into statute. MS. HENSLEY replied the DMV preferred everything in statute because it was easier to defend its actions. She would be happy to work with Chair James to incorporate some of her concerns within the limitations of the federal law. TAPE 96-31, SIDE B Number 0000 MS. ROSER explained the bill could include model language from the various states Attorney's General. The sponsor was not opposed to including all the requirements in a statute. It was drafted as such to keep it simple. Number 0020 MS. HENSLEY explained the model language was developed last year by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators because every state was in the same position. CHAIR JAMES called on the next witness in Juneau, Jayne Andreen, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety. Number 0044 JAYNE ANDREEN, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Department of Public Safety, said the Council supported HB 110. It did not have a problem including more in the statute. The primary issue was to provide safety for the victims of domestic violence and stalking, whose batterers used DMV to locate the victims. Number 0070 CHAIR JAMES suggested working with Ms. Roser further to develop a committee substitute for the next hearing on Thursday, March 14, 1996. MS. ROSER said she not foresee a problem with that. CHAIR JAMES announced HB 359, HB 302, and HB 372 would be rolled over to Tuesday, March 12, 1996. Furthermore, she explained she was filing a resolution opposing the changes in the functions of the federal Office of Veterans Affairs in Anchorage for Representative Willis because it was too late to file a resolution in the Special Committee on Military and Veterans' Affairs. ADJOURNMENT Number 0134 CHAIR JAMES adjourned the House State Affairs Committee meeting at 10:35 a.m.