Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

02/12/2018 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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07:59:51 AM Start
08:00:08 AM SB171
09:01:29 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
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**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 12, 2018                                                                                        
                           7:59 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Gary Stevens, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 171                                                                                                             
"An Act  renaming portions  of the Alaska  Safe Children's  Act as                                                              
Bree's  Law;  relating  to  the practice  of  marital  and  family                                                              
therapy; relating  to persons required  to report child  abuse and                                                              
neglect;  relating to  training  in crisis  response; relating  to                                                              
civil  immunity for  disclosure  of substantiated  allegations  of                                                              
sexual  abuse of a  minor or  sexual misconduct  against a  school                                                              
district employee; and providing for an effective date."                                                                        
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 171                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CHILD ABUSE;TRAINING PROGRAMS;BREE'S LAW                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
02/02/18       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/02/18       (S)       EDC, HSS, JUD                                                                                          
02/12/18       (S)       EDC AT 8:00 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Ph.D., Commissioner                                                                                            
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 171.                                                                          
KAREN FORREST, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                              
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 171.                                                                          
BOB WILLIAMS, Director of Educator and School Excellence                                                                        
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional analysis for SB 171.                                                              
TODD BROCIOUS, Education Administrator                                                                                          
School Health and Safety                                                                                                        
Department of Education and Early Development (DEED)                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional analysis for SB 171.                                                              
STACIE KRALY, Chief Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided information on SB 171.                                                                           
TRACY SPARTZ CAMPBELL, Deputy Director                                                                                          
Office of Children's Services                                                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 171.                                                                          
LISA SKILES PARADY, Ph.D., Executive Director                                                                                   
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Commented on SB 171.                                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
7:59:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   GARY  STEVENS   called  the   Senate  Education   Standing                                                            
Committee meeting  to order  at 7:59 a.m.  Present at the  call to                                                              
order were  Senators Hughes, Begich,  Giessel, Coghill,  and Chair                                                              
        SB 171-CHILD ABUSE;TRAINING PROGRAMS;BREE'S LAW                                                                     
8:00:08 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS announced  the consideration  of SB  171. [SB  171,                                                              
version 30-GS2847\A, was before the committee.]                                                                                 
CHAIR STEVENS announced his intent to hear and hold the bill.                                                                   
8:00:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  JOHNSON,  Ph.D., Commissioner,  Department  of  Education                                                              
and Early  Development (DEED),  presented  information on  SB 171.                                                              
He said  that over  the past year  he has  heard from  hundreds of                                                              
Alaskans that  one of  their prominent concern  is the  safety and                                                              
well-being  of children.  Parents,  educators, community  members,                                                              
and  students sense  the evolving  threat that  faces children  as                                                              
they mature. SB  171 recognizes that Alaskans must  be vigilant in                                                              
their awareness  of those threats  and must be equipped  to defeat                                                              
them.  The  bill  connects  mandatory   reporting  with  mandatory                                                              
training  and  updates  training   to  include  information  about                                                              
grooming  behavior.  The  bill  recognizes  that  crisis  response                                                              
training  saves lives  and returns  to  mandating annual  training                                                              
for crisis response training.                                                                                                   
8:03:43 AM                                                                                                                    
KAREN  FORREST,  Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Health  and                                                              
Social  Services  (DHSS), presented  information  on  SB 171.  She                                                              
said  practitioners of  the healing  arts (such  as mental  health                                                              
counselors,   nurses,  doctors,   dentists,   etc.),  child   care                                                              
providers  and  others,  including  peace  officers,  are  already                                                              
mandatory reporters  of child abuse and neglect  under Alaska law.                                                              
Under  SB  171,  those who  are  mandatory  reporters  would  have                                                              
training about  signs of  child abuse  and neglect and  procedures                                                              
about  reporting. The  more Adverse  Childhood Experiences  (ACES)                                                              
children  have,  the  greater  their  chances  of  having  health,                                                              
mental health, and  substance abuse problems as they  grow up. The                                                              
state needs  to id those children  and families who need  help and                                                              
connect  them to  resources. SB  171 would  require all  mandatory                                                              
reporters, not just  state staff and educators, to  have access to                                                              
and receive  training so  they fully  understand their  obligation                                                              
to  report  and  know  how  to  report.  DHSS  would  make  online                                                              
training and curriculum  available to the public at  no cost. DHSS                                                              
would maintain  a database  of utilization  of training.  Training                                                              
participants could  print a certificate of completion.  DHSS would                                                              
annually  notify  licensed  child  care providers  how  to  access                                                              
training  by posting  information on  its website  and the  Alaska                                                              
Online  Public  Notice  System.  The bill  would  have  a  minimal                                                              
impact on  DHSS. It already offers  training on child  neglect and                                                              
abuse reporting on  the Office of Children Service's  website. The                                                              
bill  would require  minimal  changes  to the  training  platform.                                                              
Keeping  children   safe  is  an  important  public   concern  and                                                              
ensuring  that all  mandatory reporters  have training  is a  step                                                              
toward that endeavor.                                                                                                           
8:06:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  said the  introduction  references  "substantiated                                                              
allegations" of  abuse. He asked  Ms. Forrest to explain  that. He                                                              
also wondered whether suspicions can be reported.                                                                               
8:07:27 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  FORREST  replied that  anyone  with  a suspicion  that  child                                                              
abuse or neglect  has occurred must report it. Then  the Office of                                                              
Children's  Services (OCS)  investigates and  decides what  action                                                              
to take.                                                                                                                        
8:08:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  asked  about  the phrase  "grooming"  and  how  to                                                              
differentiate legitimate people working with youth.                                                                             
8:08:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. FORREST  said grooming  refers to someone  trying to  engage a                                                              
youth  or   child  in  an   inappropriate,  sexual   or  romantic,                                                              
relationship. Grooming  is trying  to get youth  to want to  be in                                                              
the relationship                                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said a school district  asked over the  weekend if                                                              
this is mandating  something new for parents. He  asked whether he                                                              
was  correct when  he  answered  that no,  it  mandates some  very                                                              
specific  training pieces  for  what the  state  already does  and                                                              
changes the frequency of that.                                                                                                  
8:09:53 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  said he agreed  with Senator  Begich because                                                              
DEED already  offers training about  child abuse  prevention. This                                                              
would add what is known about grooming behavior.                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH asked  him to draw the connection  to DEED's Alaska                                                              
Education Challenge.                                                                                                            
8:10:35 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  said one of  the repeated narratives  of all                                                              
the input  about the  Alaska Education  Challenge and  the state's                                                              
Every Student  Succeeds Act  accountability  plan is that  parents                                                              
want to  know their  children are  safe and  well at school.  This                                                              
bill addresses that  the state must always be  vigilant and update                                                              
training to address current needs.                                                                                              
SENATOR  HUGHES   said  the  fourth   paragraph  of   the  sponsor                                                              
statement  talks about  expanding  existing  training for  parents                                                              
and  teachers,  but  not  all  parents  are  required  to  receive                                                              
training.  She asked  for clarification  about  who the  mandatory                                                              
reporters are.                                                                                                                  
8:12:12 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. FORREST  responded that  state statute  requires training  for                                                              
state  staff   and  educators.   SB  171   expands  the   training                                                              
requirement to  other mandatory reporters. They  are practitioners                                                              
of  the  healing arts  (a  broad  group  of people  that  includes                                                              
athletic   trainers,   chiropractors,   social   workers,   dental                                                              
hygienists,  psychologists,  physicians,  etc.),  peace  officers,                                                              
child  care providers,  paid employees  of  domestic violence  and                                                              
sexual assault  programs, etc. There  is a long list  of mandatory                                                              
reporters,  but only  state staff  and educators  are required  to                                                              
have  training.  This  bill  expands   the  required  training  of                                                              
mandatory reporters.                                                                                                            
SENATOR HUGHES  said then a lot  of Alaskans would be  required to                                                              
have  training.  The bill  states  that  an employer  can  provide                                                              
training if  it is up  to par with  what the department  provides.                                                              
She asked  if the department would  be reviewing that  training to                                                              
approve it.                                                                                                                     
MS. FORREST said that is not a requirement of the legislation.                                                                  
SENATOR  HUGHES   asked  if  an  employer  states   that  adequate                                                              
training  is  being  provided,  would  the  department  check  the                                                              
quality of the training.                                                                                                        
8:14:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. FORREST said not that she is aware of.                                                                                      
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said  section  9  appears  to  annually  mandate                                                              
continuing   education  credits   for  clinicians.   On  page   8,                                                              
beginning on line  5, the bill would allow substitutions  of these                                                              
credits for other  continuing education credits that  are required                                                              
under AS  08. Using  herself as  an example,  she said  she renews                                                              
her license  every two years. She  asked how DHSS will  enforce or                                                              
evaluate   compliance   with  an   annual   mandatory   continuing                                                              
8:15:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  FORREST  said the  bill  does  not  require DHSS  to  monitor                                                              
SENATOR GIESSEL  responded that since the Department  of Commerce,                                                              
Community and Economic  Development (DCCED) must  do that, perhaps                                                              
she should ask that department.                                                                                                 
SENATOR BEGICH said  that although he liked the idea  of the bill,                                                              
he questioned  whether there  is truly a  zero fiscal  note. DCCED                                                              
should be asked how it plans to enforce mandatory training.                                                                     
8:17:05 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if this  is required  and a person  does not                                                              
comply,  what  is the  underlying  penalty.  She  did not  see  an                                                              
answer  in  the  bill.  DCCED  would  inform  people  of  training                                                              
opportunities. Would the person not get the license?                                                                            
MS. FORREST said that is correct.                                                                                               
CHAIR  STEVENS brought  up the  example of  abusive priests  going                                                              
from church  to church. He  asked how that  would be  prevented in                                                              
school districts.                                                                                                               
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON said  colleagues  will  present the  section                                                              
that addresses that, reference protection.                                                                                      
8:18:54 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH thanked  the sponsors for naming it  Bree's Law and                                                              
mentioned her parents, Butch and Cindy Moore.                                                                                   
8:20:16 AM                                                                                                                    
BOB  WILLIAMS,   Director  of  Educator  and   School  Excellence,                                                              
Department of  Education and  Early Development (DEED),  presented                                                              
the  sectional  analysis  for  SB  171. He  said  SB  171  expands                                                              
protections  for  Alaska's  children  from  school  crisis,  child                                                              
abuse, neglect, and  dating violence with an emphasis  on expanded                                                              
protections against child sexual predation abuse.                                                                               
       Sec. 1: Amends uncodified law to name AS 14.30.356                                                                     
     "Bree's Law."                                                                                                              
8:21:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. WILLIAMS said  section 2 clarifies reporting  requirements for                                                              
clergy members.                                                                                                                 
     Note:  Sec. 2  Technical edit  - requires  the Board  of                                                                 
     Marital  and Family  Therapy  to not  only inform  their                                                                   
     licensees  that  they  are mandatory  reporters  (as  is                                                                   
     required in  current statute)  but also of the  training                                                                   
     they would be required to take with this bill.                                                                             
     Sec. 2: Amends  the Board of Marital and  Family Therapy                                                                 
     licensing statute  to require the board to  inform their                                                                   
     licensees  of the mandatory  reporter training  required                                                                   
     under AS 47.17.021.                                                                                                        
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked why  he referred to  clergy when  section 2                                                              
refers to marital and family therapy.                                                                                           
CHAIR STEVENS reiterated the question.                                                                                          
TODD  BROCIOUS,   Education  Administrator,   School   Health  and                                                              
Safety,  Department of  Education  and Early  Development  (DEED),                                                              
said section  2 clarifies  the exclusion  for clergy members  from                                                              
the mandated training.                                                                                                          
8:22:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL asked  DEED to please review their  sectional. She                                                              
believes  that   Chapter  08.63  refers  to  marital   and  family                                                              
therapist.  She asked  for  more illumination  on  how clergy  are                                                              
included in the  language "the required training" on  page 2, line                                                              
10, when referencing marital and family therapy.                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS  said the  legislature cannot  require clergy  to be                                                              
MR. BROCIOUS said  he thought that section stated  that clergy are                                                              
exempted from mandated reporting to some degree.                                                                                
CHAIR STEVENS asked why.                                                                                                        
MR. BROCIOUS  said that was outside  the purview of DEED.  He said                                                              
he could not speak to that.                                                                                                     
8:24:10 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH  said  he  did   not  think  the  presenters  were                                                              
prepared  to present  the bill.  He  heard misunderstanding  about                                                              
DCCED. He  did not understand that  section. The committee  has an                                                              
obligation to  make sure the people  who come before it  are ready                                                              
to discuss a bill.                                                                                                              
CHAIR STEVENS  said no disrespect.  They should take more  time if                                                              
STACIE  KRALY, Chief  Assistant  Attorney  General, Department  of                                                              
Law, provided information  on SB 171. She said  Senator Giessel is                                                              
correct.  Section 2  does deal  with licensed  marital and  family                                                              
therapists.  On  page  2,  line  10, the  bill  makes  a  specific                                                              
reference to AS  47.17.020, which is the existing  statute dealing                                                              
with mandatory reporters.  The amendment on line  10 references AS                                                              
47.17.021,  which  is  the mandatory  education  section.  In  the                                                              
occupational  licensing statute,  the only  place where  mandatory                                                              
reporting  is specifically  referenced  in state  law  is in  this                                                              
section  for marital  and  family therapists,  and  not for  other                                                              
providers.   Each    board   deals   with    mandatory   reporting                                                              
requirements  through regulation  or  whatever policy  it has.  So                                                              
when the  bill amends the law  to make training mandatory,  it was                                                              
felt that the cross reference was needed.                                                                                       
8:26:56 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said  but  the  statement  was  made  that  this                                                              
somehow affects or exempts clergy.                                                                                              
MS. KRALY  said this  section has  nothing to  do with  clergy. AS                                                              
47.17.020 has  no requirement that  individuals who are  clergy or                                                              
members of  a religious organization  be mandatory  reporters. The                                                              
bill does not amend AS 47.17.020 to add them.                                                                                   
SENATOR GIESSEL  asked whether they  remain exempted  because they                                                              
have never been included.                                                                                                       
MS. KRALY said that is her understanding.                                                                                       
SENATOR BEGICH  said Senator Stevens  had brought up  the Catholic                                                              
Church abuse,  which is something that  has been an issue  for him                                                              
for  almost  a decade.  He  asked  whether Director  Williams  had                                                              
misspoken in the clergy comment.                                                                                                
MS. KRALY said yes, section 2 does not address the clergy.                                                                      
8:29:14 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  he  would  like clergy  to  be included.  He                                                              
asked whether  there was anything  in the bill that  would include                                                              
MS. KRALY  said there are no  amendments to who must  be mandatory                                                              
reporters. This  bill is just  about requiring training  for those                                                              
who are already mandatory reporters in state statute.                                                                           
SENATOR  BEGICH said  then he could  be reassured  that they  will                                                              
understand what the  bill does by the time they are  done. And the                                                              
bill does not address clergy.                                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS asked whether it could address clergy.                                                                            
MS. KRALY  said the committee could  have a conversation  with the                                                              
administration  about whether  to  include  clergy with  mandatory                                                              
reporters, but that was not the purpose of the bill.                                                                            
CHAIR  STEVENS  asked Senator  Begich  if  he would  want  Senator                                                              
Stevens'  aide  to  work  with   the  department  on  a  committee                                                              
8:30:54 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said perhaps,  but he noted  that section  3 would                                                              
address situation  of known  abusers moving  to new places,  which                                                              
would  have  addressed  the situation  in  archdioceses  of  known                                                              
sexual abusers being sent to villages.                                                                                          
MS. KRALY  said section 3 is  an immunity provision under  Title 9                                                              
of the  Alaska statutes  for disclosing  information about  sexual                                                              
abuse or misconduct  to a prospective employer, but  it is limited                                                              
to an educational  facility. Section 3 is about  school districts.                                                              
It would not apply to the scenario Senator Begich described.                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS said  the committee  is not happy  with the  clergy                                                              
excluded. He asked Ms. Kraly to give that some thought.                                                                         
SENATOR HUGHES  said she  would like  to know  the history  of why                                                              
clergy is excluded.                                                                                                             
8:33:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEVENS  said Ms. Kraly understands  where they want  to go.                                                              
Perhaps there  is a good reason  clergy is excluded, but  if there                                                              
is not they would like to see something along those lines.                                                                      
MR. WILLIAMS continued the sectional analysis.                                                                                  
     Note:  Sec. 3  Provides  limited immunity  to  employers                                                                 
     who    share   information    regarding    substantiated                                                                   
     accusations of child abuse or misconduct.                                                                                  
     Sec. 3:  Adds a  new subsection  to the job  performance                                                                 
     immunity   statute   providing   limited   immunity   to                                                                   
     employers  who  disclose  information  on a  current  or                                                                   
     former employee  regarding substantiated  accusations of                                                                   
     sexual  abuse  or misconduct  of  a minor.  This  change                                                                   
     would  help prevent  persons  with a  history of  sexual                                                                   
     abuse  or   misconduct  from  moving  from   one  school                                                                   
     district   to  another  without   the  consequences   or                                                                   
     knowledge of their prior behavior being known.                                                                             
8:34:26 AM                                                                                                                    
     Note:  Sec. 4-6  In conjunction  with Section  8 of  the                                                                 
     bill,  removes the  crisis response  plan training  from                                                                   
     being required  every 2-4 years and updates  it to being                                                                   
     required annually.                                                                                                         
     Sec.  4: Removes  crisis response  plan  training in  AS                                                                 
     14.08.111  from being  required every  2 to  4 years  by                                                                   
     deleting the reference to AS 14.33.100.                                                                                    
     Sec.  5:  Removes  the  required  crisis  response  plan                                                                 
     training  in AS 14.14.090  from being  required every  2                                                                   
     to 4 years by deleting the reference to AS 14.33.100.                                                                      
     Sec.  6:  Removes  the  required  crisis  response  plan                                                                 
     training  in AS 14.16.020  from being  required every  2                                                                   
     to 4 year by deleting the reference to AS 14.33.100.                                                                       
8:35:30 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BROCIOUS  said various data  show that grooming behavior  is a                                                              
huge problem  in Alaska and  awareness of  this issue needs  to be                                                              
heightened  across  the  state.   DEED  can  seamlessly  add  this                                                              
information  on grooming  into their existing  training with  zero                                                              
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
     Note:  Sec.  7 Enhances  current  training  requirements                                                                 
     for teachers and parents.                                                                                                  
     Sec. 7: Modifies  existing requirements in  AS 14.30.355                                                                 
     for teachers  and parents  to receive training  relating                                                                   
     to  sexual  abuse  of  a  minor   to  include  signs  of                                                                   
     grooming behavior.                                                                                                         
8:37:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS asked  if  "grooming"  is the  right  psychological                                                              
term because it seems "light" considering the topic.                                                                            
MR. BROCIOUS said it is commonly used national nomenclature.                                                                    
8:38:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BROCIOUS  said  from  1999-2015,   the  law  required  crisis                                                              
response training to  be done on an annual basis.  Returning it to                                                              
an  annual  requirement  is  consistent  with  Alaska's  long-term                                                              
standard  for  crisis  response  training. Alaska  also  has  many                                                              
schools that operate  in relative isolation. School  staff must be                                                              
prepared to be the first-responders until help arrives.                                                                         
     Note:  Sec. 8 In  conjunction with  Sections 4-6  of the                                                                 
     bill,  changes  the crisis  response  training  schedule                                                                   
     from  being required  every 2-4 years  to annually.  The                                                                   
     crisis response  plans are updated annually  and revised                                                                   
     as needed.  Requiring a training  every 2-4  years means                                                                   
     employees can  be operating  on outdated plans  during a                                                                   
     crisis situation.                                                                                                          
     Sec. 8 Amends  AS 14.33.100 to require  school districts                                                                 
     provide training in crisis response annually.                                                                              
8:39:34 AM                                                                                                                    
     Notes:  Sec. 9-10 Expands  who is  required to take  the                                                                 
     mandatory reporter  training to all mandatory  reporters                                                                   
     under  AS 14.17.020,  instead of just  state and  school                                                                   
     district employees.                                                                                                        
     Sec.  9 Adds  a  new subsection  to  AS 47.17  requiring                                                                 
     persons   who  are   mandatory   reporters  to   receive                                                                   
     training  on  the  recognition and  reporting  of  child                                                                   
     abuse  and   neglect.  Current  statute   only  requires                                                                   
     mandatory  reporters who  are state  or school  district                                                                   
     employees  to   receive  this  training.   Requires  the                                                                   
     Department  of  Health  and Social  Services  (DHSS)  to                                                                   
     make available  the required training and  a certificate                                                                   
     of completion  either electronically  or in a  printable                                                                   
     version.  Requires  the department  to  annually  inform                                                                   
     child  care  providers  licensed  under AS  47  of  this                                                                   
     training requirement.                                                                                                      
     Requires  the  Department of  Commerce,  Community,  and                                                                   
     Economic   Development  to   annually  inform   impacted                                                                   
     licensees   of  this   training   requirement  and   the                                                                   
     available training on DHSS's website.                                                                                      
8:40:00 AM                                                                                                                    
     Sec.  10  Amends  AS  47.17.022   to  require  mandatory                                                                 
     reporter  training  for  volunteers   who  are  existing                                                                   
     mandatory reporters under AS 47.17.020.                                                                                    
8:40:38 AM                                                                                                                    
     Note:  Sec.  11-15  Technical   provisions  relating  to                                                                 
     uncodified  law,   instructions  to  the   Revisor,  and                                                                   
     effective dates.                                                                                                           
     Sec.  11 Amends  uncodified  law, adding  a new  section                                                                 
     naming AS 14.30.356 Bree's Law.                                                                                            
8:41:08 AM                                                                                                                    
     Sec. 12  Adds instruction  to the  Revisor to amend  the                                                                 
     catch   line  of   AS  47.17.022   from  "training"   to                                                                   
     "training for  persons who are employed by  the state or                                                                   
       a school district and required to report abuse or                                                                        
     neglect of children."                                                                                                      
      Sec. 13 Adds a retroactive clause for the naming of                                                                     
     Bree's Law to June 30, 2017 (Sections 1 and 11).                                                                           
       Sec. 14 Makes the retroactive clause in Section 13                                                                     
     effective immediately.                                                                                                     
       Sec. 15 All other sections of the bill take effect                                                                     
     January 1, 2019.                                                                                                           
8:41:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES noted  that  section 10  refers  to volunteers  in                                                              
schools.  She  asked  how  is  it  determined  when  a  parent  or                                                              
community volunteer must take the training.                                                                                     
MR. BROCIOUS  said  it is defined  in law  as anyone  volunteering                                                              
more than 4 hours a week.                                                                                                       
SENATOR  HUGHES   said  there  could   be  someone   simply  doing                                                              
paperwork who is  not interacting with students, but  she sees the                                                              
need to have some standard.                                                                                                     
8:42:57 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEVENS  asked  whether  parents  or  foster  parents  have                                                              
access to this training.                                                                                                        
MR.  BROCIOUS said  the DEED  training is  targeted to  educators.                                                              
OCS has better training online.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  STEVENS  said  this  did  not  include  community  athletic                                                              
programs that are outside the schools.                                                                                          
MR. BROCIOUS said correct.                                                                                                      
SENATOR HUGHES asked  if this applied to educators  and volunteers                                                              
at private schools.                                                                                                             
8:43:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  BROCIOUS  said  each  school   district  provides  notice  to                                                              
private  schools   located  in  the  school  district   about  the                                                              
availability of training.                                                                                                       
SENATOR HUGHES  said they  are invited, but  are they  required to                                                              
participate in training.                                                                                                        
MR. BROCIOUS  read, "Each school  district that provides  training                                                              
under  this section  shall provide  notice to  public and  private                                                              
schools  located in  the school  district of  the availability  of                                                              
the training  and require  volunteers who  are required  to report                                                              
abuse or neglect  of children to participate in  the training." So                                                              
they are required to provide notice, he said.                                                                                   
SENATOR  HUGHES   asked  whether  private  school   employees  are                                                              
required to take the training and are they mandatory reporters.                                                                 
MR. BROCIOUS said he would need to look into that.                                                                              
8:45:42 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said  she  is  surmising  that  if  teachers  in                                                              
private schools  are certified,  then DEED  has jurisdiction  over                                                              
mandating training for them.                                                                                                    
MR. BROCIOUS  said  yes, if they  are certified.  Alaska has  four                                                              
trainings as  a condition for  getting a teaching  certificate and                                                              
this is one of them.                                                                                                            
CHAIR STEVENS  asked if many teachers  in private schools  are not                                                              
MR. BROCIOUS said that was correct.                                                                                             
8:46:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if any  potential costs to  school districts                                                              
have been considered.                                                                                                           
MR. BROCIOUS  said all  districts use  DEED's online sexual  abuse                                                              
and  sexual assault  prevention  training. DEED  absorbs the  cost                                                              
for updating  training. Until 2015,  the crisis response  training                                                              
was  required annually.  He  did  not know  if  there  had been  a                                                              
significant change  in practice since  then. It is  possible there                                                              
could be a fiscal note to districts.                                                                                            
SENATOR BEGICH said there might be a way to measure that.                                                                       
MR. BROCIOUS said yes.                                                                                                          
SENATOR    HUGHES    asked    whether    noncertified    teachers,                                                              
administrators,  and volunteers in  private schools  are mandatory                                                              
reporters. She asked how long the annual training takes.                                                                        
8:49:26 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BROCIOUS  said the addition of  grooming is just two  to three                                                              
minutes  of  content  to  the existing  sexual  abuse  and  sexual                                                              
assault  prevention training.  It would  not significantly  extend                                                              
the time burden.  Each school develops and tailors  its own crisis                                                              
response training.  DEED provides resources to frame  and organize                                                              
the  crisis  response  training,  but it  is  implemented  at  the                                                              
school level.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR HUGHES  asked how much time  is required for  training for                                                              
all those  in the healing  arts who have  not been required  to be                                                              
trained in the past.                                                                                                            
MR.  BROCIOUS said  he  can only  speak  to DEED's  training.  Its                                                              
course is about 90 minutes long. OCS has its own training.                                                                      
TRACY  SPARTZ  CAMPBELL,  Deputy Director,  Office  of  Children's                                                              
Services,  Department  of  Health   and  Social  Services  (DHSS),                                                              
presented  information  on  SB   171.  She  said  the  OCS  online                                                              
training  takes  30  to 45  minutes.  Participants  can  stop  the                                                              
training and return to it later.                                                                                                
8:51:39 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES asked  if there had been any discussion  with those                                                              
in  the health  care  field about  where they  stand  on this  new                                                              
MS. CAMPBELL replied  that there had been no  discussions with the                                                              
medical field about the OCS training.                                                                                           
MR. BROCIOUS  said DEED has  provided technical assistance  events                                                              
to superintendents  and discussed  the bill  with them.  There was                                                              
not much articulated  concern about the additional  two minutes to                                                              
include grooming information.                                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS  asked if  any other agencies  wished to  testify or                                                              
if there were any public testimony.                                                                                             
SENATOR  COGHILL said  the requirement  was changed  to every  two                                                              
years because  of other  mandatory trainings  early in  the school                                                              
year.  He asked  for  a list  that  showed the  scope  of what  is                                                              
required.  Last  year  they  had   asked  how  to  collapse  those                                                              
training requirements into a single unit.                                                                                       
8:53:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. BROCIOUS said  each certificated staff is required  to receive                                                              
the training  once every four years.  Every two years at  least 50                                                              
percent of the staff  must be trained. By four years  all staff in                                                              
the district  need to be trained.  Some training in  that schedule                                                              
did not  seem a natural  fit. Since only a  few people need  to be                                                              
trained  on restraint  and seclusion,  that was  removed from  the                                                              
training cycle.  Crisis response training  also was not  a natural                                                              
fit. Some  of the trainings  that do align  well to  that schedule                                                              
are gender  and race  equity, drug  and alcohol disabilities,  the                                                              
sexual  abuse and  sexual  assault training,  suicide  prevention,                                                              
dating violence, and child abuse and neglect.                                                                                   
CHAIR STEVENS said  the committee has enormous  interest and hoped                                                              
for responses  to their  many questions.  Senator Hughes  asked to                                                              
include other agencies.                                                                                                         
SENATOR BEGICH  said that  he will be  developing an  amendment on                                                              
the clergy issue to bring to the committee.                                                                                     
8:55:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL  said she  would  submit  to Chair  Stevens  some                                                              
questions  related to other  clinicians and  providers that  would                                                              
fall under  this bill  for the Department  of Commerce,  Community                                                              
and Economic Development to answer.                                                                                             
LISA SKILES PARADY,  Ph.D., Executive Director, Alaska  Council of                                                              
School Administrators,  commented on SB 171. She  said her members                                                              
support the intent  of this legislation, but they  agree that many                                                              
things need  to be  answered. Specifically,  the fiscal  impact to                                                              
school districts  for implementation  needs to be  considered. She                                                              
shared  that  Commissioner  Johnson  had  recently  asked  if  her                                                              
organization  would poll  school  districts about  this. She  said                                                              
she would be happy to share the results with the committee.                                                                     
SENATOR  COGHILL said  a  year ago  they were  working  on how  to                                                              
combine  trainings,   everything  from  emergency   management  to                                                              
lockdowns.  He said  it  seems that  they are  working  on it  but                                                              
doesn't know if they are there yet.                                                                                             
MS. PARADY  responded that  she is the  voice of "please,  no more                                                              
additional unfunded  mandates." Her  members are feeling  the load                                                              
and pressure of  layers and layers of unfunded mandates  at a time                                                              
when they need to  focus even more closely on the  core mission of                                                              
education.  She appreciated  Commissioner Johnson's  on-the-ground                                                              
understanding of  that and  he has been  working on how  to lessen                                                              
that responsibility on school districts.                                                                                        
8:58:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  said she  requests public  testimony be  left open                                                              
because the training  requirement affects thousands  of people and                                                              
they are also now discussing clergy.                                                                                            
8:59:12 AM                                                                                                                    
ACTING CHAIR COGHILL  agreed and also noted he would  yield to the                                                              
chair of the committee for that.                                                                                                
SENATOR BEGICH  said they discussed  unfunded mandates  last year.                                                              
They did  not get  a list of  those last year,  and he  hoped that                                                              
Ms. Parady could provide that list.                                                                                             
MS. PARADY said she would work with DEED and provide that list.                                                                 
ACTING CHAIR  COGHILL said they  will be working on  the challenge                                                              
of safety  in schools.  He said  the question  of how  they corral                                                              
all  the safety  issues  will be  something  this  bill will  keep                                                              
pushing the envelope on.                                                                                                        
9:00:01 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES  said  the  list  of  unfunded  training  mandates                                                              
should also be included and their time requirements.                                                                            
MS. PARADY  said she  would work  with the  department to  provide                                                              
that  list. She  said prioritizing  the safety  of students  every                                                              
day is core  to her beliefs and  the beliefs of her  members. They                                                              
recognize  the importance  of  these laws,  but  she is  confident                                                              
that the  highest priority  every day of  educators is  the safety                                                              
of their students.                                                                                                              
ACTING CHAIR  COGHILL said  he looked  forward to getting  further                                                              
information about their questions.                                                                                              
[SB 171 was held in committee.]                                                                                                 
9:01:29 AM                                                                                                                    
There  being no  further business  to come  before the  committee,                                                              
Acting  Chair  Coghill  adjourned the  Senate  Education  Standing                                                              
Committee at 9:01 a.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_BillText_VersionA.PDF SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_TransmittalLetter.pdf SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_Sectional_Version A.pdf SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_FN1_DCED.pdf SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_FN2_DHSS.pdf SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171
SB171_ChildAbuseBreesLaw_FN3_DEED.pdf SEDC 2/12/2018 8:00:00 AM
SB 171