Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/28/1996 08:50 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                             MINUTES                                           
                    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          28 March 1996                                        
                            8:50 A.M.                                          
  TAPES                                                                        
                                                                               
  SFC-96, #57, Sides 1 & 2                                                     
  SFC-96, #58, Side 1                                                          
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Rick  Halford, Co-chairman, convened the  meeting at                 
  approximately 8:50 A.M.                                                      
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  In  addition  to  Co-chairman  Halford,  co-chairman  Frank,                 
  Senators Phillips,  Sharp, Donley, Rieger  and Zharoff  were                 
  present when the meeting was convened.                                       
                                                                               
  Also   Attending:   Alison   Elgee,   Deputy   Commissioner,                 
  Department  of  Administration;  Allison   Gordon,  aide  to                 
  Senator Steve Frank;   Diane  Worley, Director, Division  of                 
  Family and Youth  Services, Department of Health  and Social                 
  Services; Senator Jim Duncan; Carole Edwards, R.N.,  B.S.N.,                 
  O.C.N.;  Gene Dau, AARP and VFW;  Janet Parker, Retirement &                 
  Benefits  Manager,  Division  of  Retirement  and  Benefits,                 
  Department  of  Administration; Bill  Chisham;  Brad Pierce,                 
  Senior  Policy  Analyst,  Office of  Management  and Budget,                 
  Office of the Governor; Senator John Torgerson; and aides to                 
  committee members.                                                           
                                                                               
  D.  Rebecca Snow,  Chief Assistant  Attorney General,  Child                 
  Support  Enforcement  Section,  Civil   Division  Fairbanks,                 
  Department of Law testified via teleconference.                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                          
  "An  Act  relating  to  geographic   differentials  for  the                 
  salaries of certain state employees who are not members of a                 
  collective bargaining  unit;  relating  to  periodic  salary                 
  surveys and preparation of an  annual pay schedule regarding                 
  certain  state  employees;  relating  to  certain  state aid                 
  calculations  based on  geographic  differentials for  state                 
  employee salaries; and providing for an effective date."                     
                                                                               
  Co-chairman   Halford  HELD   bill   in  committee   pending                 
  preparation of new CS.                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 259(HES)                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "An  Act  extending  the  termination  date  of  the  Alaska                 
  Commission on Aging; and providing for an effective date."                   
                                                                               
  Alison   Elgee,   Deputy    Commissioner,   Department    of                 
  Administration testified on  behalf of the bill  and further                 
  answered questions by committee members regarding the fiscal                 
  note.  Co-chairman  Halford asked her  to submit a new  zero                 
  fiscal note.  Senator Frank moved technical amendment page 1                 
  line 5 the year "2000" be changed to "2003" and by a vote of                 
  4 - 3 it was adopted.  Senator Sharp MOVED CSSB 259(FIN) and                 
  without objection it was REPORTED  OUT with zero fiscal note                 
  from   Department   of    Administration   and    individual                 
  recommendations.                                                             
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 289                                                          
  "An Act  relating to runaway  minors and  their families  or                 
  legal custodians."                                                           
                                                                               
  Senator Steve  Frank spoke  briefly on  behalf of  the bill.                 
  Allison  Gordon,  aide to  Senator  Frank also  testified on                 
  behalf of the  bill.  Senator  Frank moved amendment #1  and                 
  without  objection  it was  adopted.   Senator  Rieger moved                 
  amendments  to  amendment #2  and  without objection  it was                 
  adopted.  Senator  Frank moved amendment  #2 as amended  and                 
  without  objection  it  was  adopted.     D.  Rebecca  Snow,                 
  Assistant  Attorney  General,  Fairbanks and  Diane  Worley,                 
  Director Family and  Youth Services testified regarding  the                 
  bill and both agreed to work with Senator  Frank as the bill                 
  moves  through  its  processes.   Senator  Frank  MOVED CSSB                 
  289(FIN)  and  without objection  it  was REPORTED  OUT with                 
  individual recommendations.  Department of Health and Social                 
  Services will submit new fiscal note.                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 253                                                          
  "An Act relating to insurance coverage for costs of prostate                 
  cancer detection."                                                           
                                                                               
  Senator Jim  Duncan testified briefly on behalf  of the bill                 
  and explained  his amendment #1 as supported by the American                 
  Cancer  Society.     He  has  no  objection   to  Pap  smear                 
  examinations being added.  Carole Edwards, Gene Dau and Bill                 
  Chisham  testified briefly  on  behalf of  the bill.   Janet                 
  Parker,  Division  of   Retirement  and  Benefits  testified                 
  briefly regarding the fiscal note  and answered questions by                 
  committee members.   Senator  Sharp moved  amendment #1  and                 
  without objection it was adopted.   Co-chairman Halford HELD                 
  bill  in  committee.    Senator  Rieger  will  check  cancer                 
  screening.                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                               
  Proposing amendments  to the  Constitution of  the State  of                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Alaska relating to the budget reserve fund.                                  
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  briefly  explained SJR  30.    Brad Pierce,                 
  Office of Budget and Management testified in support of  the                 
  bill.  Senator Rieger MOVED SJR  30 and without objection it                 
  was REPORTED OUT with  $2.2 fiscal note from the  Officer of                 
  the Governor and individual recommendations.                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 198(RES)                                              
  "An  Act establishing  the  Homer Airport  Critical  Habitat                 
  Area."                                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator  John  Torgerson testified  on  behalf of  the bill.                 
  Senator Donley moved  amendment #1 and without  objection it                 
  was adopted.  Senator Sharp MOVED  CSSB 198(FIN) and without                 
  objection it  was REPORTED OUT  with zero  fiscal notes  and                 
  individual recommendations.                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 152                                                     
       "An Act  relating to geographic  differentials for  the                 
  salaries  of certain state employees who  are not members of                 
  a collective   bargaining unit; relating to  periodic salary                 
  surveys and    preparation   of   an  annual   pay  schedule                 
  regarding certain state  employees;   relating  to   certain                 
  state aid calculations based  on   geographic  differentials                 
  for state employee salaries; and   providing      for     an                 
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford introduced SB  152 and asked that  a new                 
  CS be  prepared.  He  said there  is about  $900,000 in  the                 
  fiscal note out of about $1.2 million.                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 259(HES)                                         
       "An Act extending  the termination  date of the  Alaska                 
       Commission  on Aging;  and providing  for  an effective                 
  date."                                                                       
                                                                               
  Alison Elgee,  Department of Administration  was invited  to                 
  join the  committee.   She indicated  service on  the Alaska                 
  Commission on Aging.  This commission has  been in existence                 
  since  about  1981.   It  was  formerly known  as  the Older                 
  Alaskans Commission.  Legislative  Audit conducted a  sunset                 
  review this  year and for  the second time  recommended this                 
  commission be removed  from the sunset review  provisions or                 
  if  that was unacceptable the sunset date be set at the year                 
  2003.  The Governor introduced the legislation to remove the                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  commission from the sunset review.  When Senate H&SS took it                 
  up they  were uncomfortable  with the  complete removal  and                 
  adopted the committee substitute  now before this committee.                 
  She said she did  not believe they understood the  audit was                 
  actually  recommending a  date further  out.  She  said they                 
  would prefer to  have the commission removed  as Legislative                 
  Audit  had  recommended  because  of  the work  required  in                 
  conducting a  sunset review.   There were  two auditors  for                 
  most  of two months.  There is a better utilization of those                 
  resources. Co-chairman Halford  indicated that he  supported                 
  the existence of the commission.  Auditors should be able to                 
  decide to what extent they go into  audits on things they do                 
  not find anything initially and do not get requests to spend                 
  a lot  of time on.  Senator Frank felt this may not lie with                 
  their  professional practices.   They  are  certified public                 
  accounts and they have rules and regulations they have to go                 
  by  even  if  they  feel  it  is  not  necessary  under  the                 
  circumstances.   Perhaps the  law should be  modified.   Co-                 
  chairman Halford said  they could be exempted from the audit                 
  requirement  without  exempting them  from  the sunset  law.                 
  Senator Frank concurred.                                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp asked about  the fiscal notes since the  costs                 
  are  already in  the budget.   Co-chairman  Frank asked  Ms.                 
  Elgee about the positive fiscal note  since it is already in                 
  the budget.  She said the  feeling of Tam Cook was that  the                 
  fiscal note should represent the amount of money to be taken                 
  out of the budget should it actually be chosen to sunset the                 
  commission.  It is  footnoted to show that those  monies are                 
  contained in  the  Governor's budget.   Co-chairman  Halford                 
  asked if  this was really  a zero fiscal  note and she  said                 
  that as long  as the  commission was continued  it would  be                 
  zero.  If  the commission is  eliminated the money would  be                 
  deleted represented in the fiscal note.  Co-chairman Halford                 
  said he wanted a new fiscal note  reflecting the way the law                 
  read and she said a new zero one would be submitted.                         
                                                                               
  Senator Frank said maybe the  sunset date should be extended                 
  and rather than get into what types of audits should be used                 
  good judgment should be used about which things need  closer                 
  and  more periodic  review  and  which  things  need  to  be                 
  reviewed less often.   Senator  Phillips said the  auditor's                 
  recommendation was the year 2003.                                            
                                                                               
  Senator Frank moved  technical amendment to change  the year                 
  "2000" to  "2003" and  the objection  of Senator Rieger  was                 
  duly noted.   He said no commission should  have more than a                 
  four year  sunset.  It is  a useful, subtle  control on what                 
  goes on in various commissions even if the sunset process is                 
  not exercised.   It  is not  wise to  have sunsets  that are                 
  longer than four  years.  Senator  Rieger said there is  not                 
  enough energy, time  and money for  the auditors to look  at                 
  certain things and so it is a tradeoff.  Senator Rieger said                 
  extensive audits do not  have to be required and  the budget                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  and  audit  committee  should decide  which  sunset programs                 
  require an  audit and  which ones do  not.  It   could  be a                 
  routine question brought to members of the  commission as to                 
  which sunset audits should  be done and the rest  would just                 
  be  a bill  passing without the  backup of  an audit.    Co-                 
  chairman Halford concurred.  Budget  and Audit should make a                 
  conscious decision rather than a  blanket decision that says                 
  anything coming up  for sunset gets  a full audit.   Senator                 
  Phillips  said if the auditors were present the matter could                 
  be fixed internally.   Senator Zharoff  said this was not  a                 
  runaway commission  and the  reports indicate  a good  track                 
  record.  It seems that an audit can be requested at any time                 
  if any discrepancies or problems are heard of.   He asked if                 
  a sunset is  not automatically  up for review.   He  concurs                 
  with the proposal of Senator Frank.                                          
                                                                               
  The  committee  voted on  Senator  Frank's motion  to change                 
  "2000" to   "2003" and  by a vote  of 4  - 3 the  motion was                 
  adopted.    Senator Sharp  moved  CSSB 259(FIN)  and without                 
  objection it  was reported  out with  zero fiscal  note from                 
  Department of Administration and individual recommendations.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 289                                                     
       "An Act relating  to runaway minors and  their families                 
  or legal  custodians."                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator Frank spoke briefly on behalf of the bill.   He said                 
  they  had heard  from constituents  regarding what  happened                 
  when  a  juvenile  ran  away  from  a shelter.    This  bill                 
  currently has a provision in it  allowing an officer to pick                 
  the child up, take  them into custody and get them  before a                 
  judge  within 48 hours so the  judge can decide if the child                 
  is in need of aid or a delinquent minor.  At any time during                 
  that time the  child's parents can pick  them up.  It  has a                 
  temporary detention feature.  It is overwhelming the lack of                 
  a solution  to the existing  problem.   There is no  loss of                 
  real  liberty  in  a  constitutional  sense.    There  is  a                 
  constitutional  question with the severability clause in the                 
  statutes.   If this is stuck down through a Court case there                 
  will still be the remaining parts of  the bill and it is not                 
  the intent to  deny juveniles of their liberty.   There is a                 
  huge  problem  in a  small part  of the  population.   It is                 
  incumbent upon us to formulate a way that is reasonable that                 
  gets attention to the problem.   A new findings and purposes                 
  section has been submitted as amendment #1.                                  
                                                                               
  Allison Gordon, staff aide  to Senator Frank was invited  to                 
  join the committee.  She  advised that the correct amendment                 
  without  objection  it  was  adopted.   Ms.  Gordon  further                 
  explained amendment #M.3.   It will create a  new subsection                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  (g) under  AS 47.10.141  which makes  it a  violation for  a                 
  runaway who  has been taken  by a police officer  to a semi-                 
  secure facility to  leave that place without  the permission                 
  of  the  minor's  legal  custodian  or from  an  appropriate                 
  employee of the semi-secure  facility.  If a minor  violates                 
  this statute then  the shelter  must immediately notify  the                 
  department,  the  nearest  law  enforcement agency  and  the                 
  parents  of the minor's absence.   Law enforcement will then                 
  be  allowed to  pick up  a runaway that  has left  the semi-                 
  secure facility and temporarily detain the runaway pending a                 
  detention hearing within 48 hours.   If there are no reasons                 
  for  detaining the  minor, such  as child-in-need-of-aid  or                 
  delinquency  petitions, based  on violating other  laws, the                 
  minor  would  be  released to  the  legal  custodian  at the                 
  detention hearing.   At any time during  the proceedings the                 
  minor, barring abuse cases, has the option to go home.                       
                                                                               
  Senator Frank explained that amendment  M.4 was the findings                 
  and  purposes   section  and  M.3  was   the  substantiative                 
  amendment.  Senator Halford indicated that M.4 was amendment                 
                                                                               
  Becky  Snow,  Department  of  Law,  Fairbanks testified  via                 
  teleconference.    The  department was  concerned  with  the                 
  proposed  amendment  because  there  was  no  language  that                 
  provides the child that the child could get out of detention                 
  by deciding to go  home.  With regards  to the statement  of                 
  Senator Frank that the period of  detention  provided for by                 
  the amendment is  very limited on page 2, line 8 and 9, that                 
  is an  amendment  to what  is  now the  temporary  detention                 
  statute  that  now  applies only  to  juveniles  arrested or                 
  detained for  committing delinquent behaviour.   It provides                 
  right now that if  the Court finds probable cause  the Court                 
  can  determine  to   detain  the  minor  based   on  certain                 
  additional findings.   This amendment  provides that if  the                 
  Court  finds  probable  cause  at  the  temporary  detention                 
  hearing  the  runaway minor  could  be detained  pending the                 
  hearing on the delinquency or child-in-need-of-aid petition.                 
  That can be a substantial period of  time.  Even it if is  a                 
  child-in-need-of-aid  petition,   particularly  the   larger                 
  jurisdictions like Anchorage, months before the petition for                 
  adjudication is brought on for the adjudication trial.  That                 
  was  a  matter  of considerable  concern,  especially  if no                 
  criminal conduct is being alleged.  Usually criminal conduct                 
  is the only  constitutional basis for depriving a  person of                 
  their freedom to move  about.  The other concern  is tacking                 
  the  remedy  for  the very  frustrating  pattern  of runaway                 
  behaviour  on  to   the  delinquency  statute   creating  an                 
  inconsistency  in the  way each runaway  will be  treated as                 
  compared to runaways  handled AS  47.10.141, where a  police                 
  officer may take a minor  into emergency, protective custody                 
  under AS 47.10.141  when certain  conditions have been  met,                 
  and  then have to bring the minor before the court within 24                 
  hours.    There may  well  be  an  equal protection  problem                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  created by this  inconsistency in the handling  of runaways.                 
  None of  them are being  charged with any  criminal conduct.                 
  Co-chairman  Halford inquired of  Ms. Gordon if  there was a                 
  citation that showed where  the minor could go home  and she                 
  advised it  was on page  2, line 26  of the amendment.   Ms.                 
  Snow  said  that  it was  not  a  reference  to a  detention                 
  facility and once a minor was  taken to a detention facility                 
  they were no longer in charge of getting out.  The operators                 
  of the  facility  make  that  determination.    The  use  of                 
  "facility" is a facility for housing runaway children and it                 
  does  not automatically  include  detention facility.    The                 
  language on page  22, line  26 is  meant to  give the  minor                 
  control over whether they get out of the detention  facility                 
  and that raises an ambiguity as to the meaning of "facility"                 
  in the bill itself.                                                          
                                                                               
  Senator Frank explained that he wanted the parents  or legal                 
  guardian  of the child  to be able  to pick up  the child so                 
  that it was not up to the child as  much as it was up to the                 
  parents  to come and retrieve the child.  Ms. Snow said that                 
  the bill would amend AS 47.10.141  to give the power to  the                 
  parents or legal custodian to determine whether the minor is                 
  brought back to the legal custodian's residence or where the                 
  minor is taken.   That would  be consistent.  Senator  Frank                 
  said that was what  he had intended.  There should  not be a                 
  situation where the juvenile is in the detention  center for                 
  several hours and  the parents cannot  go and pick them  up.                 
  If they are ready to reconcile and  the child is ready to go                 
  home it seems that the parents should be able to go pick the                 
  child up and take them home.                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger said he  felt the amendment was exactly  what                 
  needed to  be accomplished  and the  objections raised  were                 
  incorrect.  He  referred to page  3 of  amendment #2 and  it                 
  explained  that  one  cannot  leave a  semi-secure  facility                 
  except  with permission of the minor's legal custodian or if                 
  one leaves without permission but goes straight home.  It is                 
  only required  at the  bottom of  page 2  that the minor  be                 
  advised of the  rules.  There are two types  of runaways; an                 
  abusive situation at home and they are going to stay because                 
  what they want  is a safe  place; and runaways because  they                 
  want to be runaways.  Those are the ones that can  be picked                 
  up if they  leave that safe place.  The amendment is exactly                 
  what we want to achieve.                                                     
                                                                               
  Becky Snow  advised that  she had  no further testimony  and                 
  there  were  no  further  questions  by  committee  members.                 
  Senator Frank did request that she write  down her concerns.                 
  He also requested  suggestions to  make this amendment  work                 
  within the parameters of the constitution.    He stated that                 
  it was understood that an individual  was not to be deprived                 
  of their liberty without  due process or having  committed a                 
  crime.                                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Diane Worley, Director Division of Family and Youth Services                 
  was invited to  join the committee.   She said the  Division                 
  supported the first  version of the  bill and did have  some                 
  concerns with amendment #2.   The big issues that  they were                 
  faced with included the state detention facilities that were                 
  extremely overburdened at  the time.  It  is overwhelming to                 
  think of adding juveniles to the system now.   As an example                 
  she stated the  Johnson Youth  Center had a  capacity for  8                 
  beds but was  running between  15 and 16  children per  day.                 
  That is  double  capacity.   The  other  major  concern  was                 
  mandatory detainment.  There are  detention standards once a                 
  youth has been picked up but no mandatory detainment at this                 
  point.    With  the  current  overcrowding this  would  mean                 
  releasing  other   delinquents  that  are   not  mandatorily                 
  detained  in order  to have  space to  detain the  runaways.                 
  Another  issue  was  the  majority   of  runaways  were  not                 
  criminals and should they be  housed in detention facilities                 
  with  the juvenile delinquents  who are in  for rape, drugs,                 
  weapons and assault.   What  will be done  with a  mandatory                 
  detainment  in  communities  where  there  is  no  detention                 
  facility?   A child-in-need-of-aid  should not  be put  in a                 
  locked facility.   The child  needs protection, not  locking                 
  up.    It was  feared  that  in this  situation  the secured                 
  facility would become a revolving door.  The juveniles would                 
  be  in  an out,  back  at home,  and  back in  again  to the                 
  overcrowded  facilities.    The  last  point made  was  that                 
  currently there was  a zero fiscal note, but  this amendment                 
  would constitute a  considerable fiscal note.   By detaining                 
  runaways who are not delinquents and in particular those who                 
  are children-in-need-of-aid the  department would lose their                 
  federal funding which is approximately $600,000.  This would                 
  cause the elimination  of about 30 statewide  programs being                 
  funded with this money.                                                      
                                                                               
  Senator  Frank  said  that  the situation  was  frustrating.                 
  Those running away  from a legitimate abuse  situation would                 
  not be likely to  run away from a semi-secured  facility and                 
  they would not be the revolving  door situation.  Those that                 
  do run away from the secured  shelter are the only ones that                 
  would  be  placed  in  the  detention  facility.    If  more                 
  immediate action could be taken the escalation into criminal                 
  behaviour could  be eliminated.   There  is some  offsetting                 
  benefits from a prevention or early intervention standpoint.                 
   There is always the potential  of running into overcrowding                 
  but it would be  a very small sub-set of the  larger runaway                 
  class.  He  hoped that  this could be  restructured to  meet                 
  federal standards  so that this  funding would not  be lost.                 
  The problem is substantial enough  that this federal funding                 
  should not be  driving the  entire policy.   These are  real                 
  families  with  real problems  and  real children  with real                 
  needs for focus  on their problems.   With more intervention                 
  earlier more children and families could be helped.                          
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford  said that  the same  federal funds  are                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  saying that nothing  can be done  to help parents deal  with                 
  the problems.   The system  is upside down  and the  federal                 
  funds  are not worth  it.  Parents  are not empowered  to do                 
  anything  and  then  there  is  only  a  response  after the                 
  children are  criminals and  then they  are  not treated  in                 
  adult courts.                                                                
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger asked what the  trigger for the ineligibility                 
  for  the  federal funds  was.    Ms.  Worley explained  that                 
  according to Federal  law youth who  are not delinquent  may                 
  not be  detained in a locked  up facility.  Running  away is                 
  not  considered  a  criminal   offense.    Senator  Phillips                 
  inquired whether it could  be made a criminal offense.   But                 
  Ms. Worley said even if it  was made a state crime it  would                 
  not  be covered  by federal  funding.   Senator Rieger  said                 
  perhaps the word "shall"  could be changed to "may"  on page                 
  1, line  11 of amendment  #2 and  that would allow  for some                 
  flexibility.   Senator Frank  concurred if  this would  help                 
  comply with federal regulations.   Senator Rieger said there                 
  is some argument  in general about giving  discretion to the                 
  officer.  However, this could be explored to see how far one                 
  could go with  regards to the federal funding.    Ms. Worley                 
  said she would have to investigate this matter, but it still                 
  comes back to the matter of locking up a youth who is just a                 
  runaway, has not committed a crime  and is not a delinquent,                 
  the department would be in jeopardy of the  federal funding.                 
  There may be  some ways  this matter could  be worked  with.                 
  Alaska is not the only state dealing with this issue.  It is                 
  felt there are other  ways in dealing with runaways  such as                 
  prevention and early  intervention.   Senator Frank said  he                 
  would  like   to  focus   on  some   real  counselling   and                 
  professional help  in dealing with these issues.  However it                 
  is difficult to bring the services to bear when the child is                 
  running.    Detention may  help  to bring  this  into focus.                 
  There will  be those who  will respond to  this intervention                 
  but it is not a cure-all.                                                    
                                                                               
  Senator  Phillips  asked  what  is  the  philosophy  of  the                 
  department  in dealing with  this problem.   Ms. Worley said                 
  they want  to assist families as early  as possible, provide                 
  more community based help and programs.   The issues need to                 
  be worked on as  families.  The department wants  to provide                 
  whatever support necessary to see  successful families.  She                 
  said runaways were  an ongoing problem.   If child abuse  is                 
  claimed  that  is an  issue  that has  to be  dealt  with as                 
  mandated.  If  a situation is  investigated and no abuse  is                 
  substantiated the family  would be referred for  services to                 
  help deal with this.  The runaway issue is probably the most                 
  difficult one to be  dealt with.  Unless we are committed to                 
  locking children up until  they are eighteen there are  some                 
  children that we  will never be able  to keep at home.   Co-                 
  chairman  Halford said  state and  federal governments  have                 
  taken  away from  parents  the ability  to enforce  the word                 
  "no".  It has  been replaced with social gibberish  that has                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  done no good  for the last  two or  three decades.   Senator                 
  Phillips concurred saying that this  is the message they are                 
  getting from their constituents.                                             
                                                                               
  Senator  Frank said  there  are the  children  who will  not                 
  respond, but greater focus  needs to be placed on  those who                 
  will.  At the present there  is a policy of non-intervention                 
  and  there  is  help  for  the family  through  counselling.                 
  Perhaps children will  respond to  a little more  authority.                 
  Ms. Worley agreed that all concerned should continue to work                 
  together.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Senator Sharp asked  if there  were statistics available  on                 
  how  many  of  the children  at  the  detention  center were                 
  runaways.  Ms.  Worley said that  there was nothing to  show                 
  this information presently.  Senator Sharp voiced concern of                 
  adults  providing overnight  shelter for  runaways based  on                 
  their own pleasure.  He felt that the  best deterrent was to                 
  spend  one  night in  jail.   Now  we  are only  providing a                 
  revolving door convenience for safety.   A runaway must know                 
  that they are  making the  choice to runaway  and spend  the                 
  night in prison.  This may wake them up to realize that home                 
  is not that bad.  The child must know that there are choices                 
  to be made and one of them  is if you run away from home and                 
  not  abused   there  are  some   responsibilities  and  some                 
  deterrents.  He supported the bill.                                          
                                                                               
  Senator Zharoff voiced  concern about  not all runaways  are                 
  criminals nor did all criminals start off as runaways.  This                 
  is a problem in urban areas as well as rural.   Perhaps this                 
  is something that should  be worked on piece by  piece until                 
  solution is found.   It would be  good to find out  how many                 
  runaways there are.  In a  large number of communities there                 
  are no detention  facilities and  it would  be necessary  to                 
  ship  a  village  runaway  to  Anchorage  to  the  detention                 
  facility.  He felt as Senator Rieger in changing the "shall"                 
  to  "may" would help correct this problem.                                   
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford  referred to Senator  Rieger's amendment                 
  detention center and that was his reason for submitting this                 
  amendment.   Ms. Worley said  the department would  agree to                 
  the  change  of "shall"  to  "may".   However,  according to                 
  federal regulations, a secured facility  is still locking up                 
  a  non-delinquent and the department would be in jeopardy of                 
  losing  federal funds.   It  would remedy  the  situation of                 
  overcrowding and  need for additional staff  and facilities.                 
  Senator  Frank  said   he  did  not  believe   Congress  was                 
  interested  in  preventing  states   from  addressing  these                 
  problems.  He  could appreciate  them being concerned  about                 
  locking up runaways but asked that  a quick research be done                 
  about what is going on in Congress.  Perhaps it  would allow                 
  an  opportunity for this kind of  intervention for a limited                 
  time.  Ms.  Worley in  response to a  question from  Senator                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Phillips said the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency                 
  Prevention regulations are existing regulations.   There are                 
  a number of  other states dealing  with the same issues  and                 
  she said Congress  is looking at  the possibility of  making                 
  some changes in those regulations.                                           
                                                                               
  Senator Frank  said in  light of  the fact  there have  been                 
  several hearings on this bill, in  order to achieve what the                 
  committee  would  like  to  and  give  the  department  more                 
  flexibility,  he   recommended  the   passage  of   the  two                 
  amendments and  continued work  with the  department as  the                 
  bill moved  through the  process in  order to  try and  save                 
  federal funds.                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator  Rieger  moved  his amendment  to  amendment  #2 and                 
  without  objection  it  was adopted.    Senator  Frank moved                 
  amendment #1 and without objection it was adopted.   Senator                 
  Frank  moved  CSSB  289(FIN) and  without  objection  it was                 
  reported out with  individual recommendations.   Co-chairman                 
  Halford asked the  Department of Health and  Social Services                 
  to submit a  new fiscal note recognizing a change.   Senator                 
  Sharp  asked the  department  provide  the  federal  statute                 
  preventing detention of a juvenile.  Co-chairman concurred.                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE BILL NO. 253                                                     
       "An Act  relating to  insurance coverage  for costs  of                 
  prostate  cancer detection."                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator  Jim Duncan  was invited  to join the  committee and                 
  briefly spoke on behalf of the bill.                                         
                                                                               
  Carole  Edwards,  certified oncology  nurse, was  invited to                 
  join the committee  and testified  on behalf of  the bill.                   
  Prostate cancer is the second leading  cause of death in the                 
  United  States  for men.   Hereditary  does  play a  part in                 
  prostate  cancer.   Currently,  the American  Cancer Society                 
  guidelines  recommend  men over  the  age of  fifty  have an                 
  annual digital rectal  exam along with a  prostate screening                 
  antigen  test.    This  is   a  simple  blood  draw  costing                 
  approximately $60.   However, this  is not paid  for by  the                 
  insurance  companies, even  high  risk men.     The American                 
  Cancer  Society also recommends doing this test on high risk                 
  men at age forty.                                                            
                                                                               
  (tape change to SFC-96 #58, Side 1                                           
                                                                               
  She said she supported  this bill because she would  like to                 
  see less of  her patients die or  undergo extensive therapy.                 
  The sooner this cancer is found the easier it is to cure and                 
  there is a higher  success rate.  It is  also less expensive                 
  to treat an earlier found cancer as opposed to a later found                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  one.  Insurance companies should pay  for this test for men.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger said he had information that the same problem                 
  existed for women  as far  as pap smear  test.  Ms.  Edwards                 
  said as  far as she was aware pap  smear tests were paid for                 
  by insurance.  She further believed that more lives would be                 
  saved if  American Cancer  Society guidelines were  followed                 
  and  the PAS test was  covered by insurance  to make it more                 
  available to all society.                                                    
                                                                               
  Mr. Gene Dau,  AARP, VFW was  invited to join the  committee                 
  and  testified on behalf of the  bill.  He felt there should                 
  be more  encouragement for the screening of this disease and                 
  said it should be part of an annual check-up.  He  urged the                 
  committee to pass this bill.                                                 
                                                                               
  Janet  Parker, Deputy  Director,  Division of  Retirement  &                 
  Benefits was invited  to join the  committee.  She  answered                 
  questions for the committee regarding  the fiscal notes.  In                 
  response to Senator  Rieger's question  regarding pap  smear                 
  exams, she said  the active plan  covered this exam but  the                 
  retiree plan did not.   She said that although the  PAS exam                 
  would cost the  plan money  it was believe  that the  entire                 
  cost would be borne by the employees themselves because this                 
  exam is  performed during a  routine physical which  is only                 
  provided for state employees under SBS option one plan which                 
  the employee pays for.  The  revised fiscal note can reflect                 
  that.                                                                        
                                                                               
  Senator  Sharp  asked if  this  bill would  cover  PAS under                 
  retirement and Ms. Parker  advised that it would because  it                 
  would be  a state  law mandating  coverage.   Senator Duncan                 
  said that regarding the fiscal note  what is missing is what                 
  the long-term savings would be.  If cancer is detected early                 
  there is  a substantial  long-term savings.   Senator  Frank                 
  asked how the state decided this  coverage.  Ms. Parker said                 
  there is  no financial analysis  done.  Health  benefits are                 
  collectively bargained and whoever is on the bargaining team                 
  and has a preference for a specific type  of coverage is how                 
  this is  handled.   Co-chairman Halford  indicated the  high                 
  cost of just drugs  for one who has been  diagnosed with the                 
  disease.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Senator Duncan referred  to amendment #1  and said it had  a                 
  better definition as to when this test should be covered and                 
  under what circumstances.  This is supported by the American                 
  Cancer Society.  It defines the specific age group and asked                 
  the committee to consider it as an amendment to the bill.                    
                                                                               
  Mr. Bill Chism was invited to join the committee.  His first                 
  two PAS exams  were covered by  Aetna Insurance but then  he                 
  was  advised that this was  not a proper  exam and that they                 
  had made a mistake covering the  last two exams.  Mr.  Chism                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  said that he felt if his dentist  exam was covered then this                 
  exam  should be  considered to be  paid for.   It is  not an                 
  undue burden on the  insurance companies to cover this.   He                 
  said he supported this bill.                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator Duncan referred  to the pap  smear exam and said  he                 
  had not problem with  his bill being expanded to  also cover                 
  this.    Senator  Sharp  offered  amendment #1  and  without                 
  objection it was adopted.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-chairman Halford  held the  bill in  committee and  asked                 
  Senator Rieger to further check cancer screening.                            
                                                                               
                                                                               
       SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                          
       Proposing amendments  to the Constitution  of the State                 
  of   Alaska relating to the budget reserve fund.                             
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger offered  a brief explanation  of SJR 30.   He                 
  referred  to  the  statement  of  support from  the  voters'                 
  pamphlet.   Mr. Brad Pierce, Office of Management and Budget                 
  was invited to  join the committee and  testified in support                 
  of the bill.  He said  the Knowles' administration supported                 
  this bill.  The repeal of  the payback provision makes sense                 
  because  it is a debt on the  books and difficult to explain                 
  to  bond  rating   agencies.    The  clarification   in  the                 
  resolution of when a  super majority vote is needed  to draw                 
  off  from  the   CBR  is   more  problematic  although   the                 
  administration is in favour of the way it is written.  It is                 
  in keeping with  the intent of  the voters when they  passed                 
  this original amendment.   The Department of  Law feels that                 
  it is important to  leave a very clear legislative  trail on                 
  this  change  to  the constitutional  amendment  in  case it                 
  should have to be  defended in Court.   The concern is  that                 
  the  issue  is  not  confused   by  replacing  the  language                 
  available  for appropriation  which the  Court has  defined.                 
  They do not  want this issue revisited in a  couple of years                 
  and  have to go  back to  the voters  because they  were not                 
  thinking far  enough ahead.  The Governor further would like                 
  to see a thorough discussion of this resolution with respect                 
  to exactly how  it would work in  the context of  an overall                 
  fiscal plan.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Senator Rieger  moved SJR  30 and  without objection it  was                 
  reported out with individual recommendations and $2.2 fiscal                 
  note from the Office of the Governor.                                        
                                                                               
                                                                               
       CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 198(RES)                                         
       "An Act establishing the Homer Airport Critical Habitat                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Area."                                                                       
                                                                               
  Senator John Torgerson was invited to join the committee and                 
  testified  in  support  of  the  bill.    He  explained that                 
  amendment #1  would delete two triangles in the lower corner                 
  as depicted on the aerial map  presented.  The current owner                 
  of  the  property, Department  of  Transportation,  would be                 
  transfer the property to the Department of Fish and Game and                 
  it would be  managed as a  critical habitat area for  moose.                 
  He has tried to ease the worries of the public that this was                 
  not  a  bill to  enhance bird  habitat.   However,  with the                 
  recent  crash  of  the  AWACS   plane  and  other  incidents                 
  involving birds he  proposed an  amendment which would  take                 
  out  the  outholdings  depicted on  the  map.    The primary                 
  purpose  of this  critical  habitat area  is  for the  moose                 
  population.   Senator Phillips asked the consequences if the                 
  two pieces of property were left in.  Senator Torgerson said                 
  that it  was a matter of comfort and  safety.  In respond to                 
  Senator Phillips question there was a lot of concern by many                 
  individuals regarding  passengers being  killed in  aircraft                 
  because they met with bird problems.   It is referred to  in                 
  the bill  that no one may  enhance the bird population.   He                 
  felt comfortable taking  out the two  areas  of property  as                 
  they housed some  nests for Aleutian terns.   Senator Donley                 
  moved amendment  #1 and  without objection  it was  adopted.                 
  Senator Sharp moved  CSSB 198(FIN) and without  objection it                 
  was  reported out  with individual recommendations  and zero                 
  fiscal notes.                                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:00 A.M.                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects