Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/19/1994 01:34 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                        January 19, 1994                                       
                           1:34 p.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman                                                
 Senator Bert Sharp, Vice-Chairman                                             
 Senator Loren Leman                                                           
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Jim Duncan                                                            
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 221                                                           
 "An Act relating to arrest of a person for illegal possession,                
 consumption, or control of alcohol; and providing for an effective            
 HOUSE BILL NO. 122                                                            
 "An Act eliminating a requirement that a court consider the                   
 findings and recommendations of a neutral mediator when awarding              
 shared child custody."                                                        
 CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 214(JUD)                                                
 "An Act allowing the parent or legal guardian of a minor to                   
 disclose information about the minor to certain state officials and           
 state employees; prohibiting further disclosure of the information            
 to unauthorized persons; amending Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rule            
 22; and providing for an effective date."                                     
 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 36(HES)                                     
 Urging the federal Department of Health and Human Services to                 
 repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to employment of certain                  
 persons receiving AFDC and to replace it with a regulation that               
 will serve as an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept employment           
 of more than 100 hours a month.                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 221 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 122 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 214 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HJR 36 - No previous action to record.                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Joe Ambrose                                                                   
 Staff to Senator Taylor                                                       
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed SB 221.                                         
 Dan Anslinger                                                                 
 Ketchikan Police Department                                                   
 361 Main Street                                                               
 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 221.                                         
 Juanita Hensley                                                               
 Chief, Driver Services                                                        
 Division of Motor Vehicles                                                    
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 P.O. Box 20020                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska 99802-0020                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered information.                                     
 Sergeant Randy Crawford                                                       
 Division of Alaska State Troopers                                             
 Department of Public Safety                                                   
 5700 E. Tudor Road                                                            
 Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1225                                                  
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 221.                                        
 Jeanneane Henry                                                               
 3812 Baranof                                                                  
 Ketchikan, Alaska 99901                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 221.                                        
 Duncan Fowler                                                                 
 State Ombudsman                                                               
 Box 113000                                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-3000                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 214.                                        
 Kathy Tibbles                                                                 
 Division of Family and Youth Services                                         
 Box 110630                                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0630                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 214.                                        
 Chris Christensen                                                             
 Staff Counsel                                                                 
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2084                                                  
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed HB 122.                                         
 Elmer Lindstrom                                                               
 Special Assistant                                                             
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 36.                                        
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 Prime Sponsor of HJR 36                                                       
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HJR 36.                                        
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 94-1, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER called the Senate Health, Education and Social                
 Services (HESS) Committee to order at 1:34 p.m.                               
 ALCOHOL) as the first order of business.                                      
 Number 020                                                                    
 JOE AMBROSE, staff to Senator Taylor, gave an overview of the                 
 history of SB 221.  He stated that the bill is more about                     
 protecting minors rather than prosecuting them.  SB 221 as drafted            
 amends the list of crimes for which police can make warrantless               
 arrests to include minors consuming.                                          
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked what was the difference between a warrantless           
 and a non-warrantless arrest.  Mr. Ambrose said that SB 221 allows            
 for immediate arrest, a non-warrantless arrest.                               
 Number 088                                                                    
 DAN ANSLINGER, Chief of the Ketchikan Police Department testifying            
 from Ketchikan, cited statistics on juvenile alcohol consumption.             
 He described the present procedures followed by the Ketchikan                 
 Police Department.  SB 221 will provide consistent treatment                  
 throughout the state.  In general, the standard for arrest without            
 a warrant is based on probable cause.  He supported SB 221.                   
 JUANITA HENSLEY, Department of Public Safety, was present to answer           
 Number 165                                                                    
 SENATOR SALO asked what is a citation versus taking a minor into              
 custody.  She also asked what is the standard procedure when a                
 minor is taken into custody for consuming.                                    
 SERGEANT RANDY CRAWFORD, Division of State Troopers, Department of            
 Public Safety testifying from Anchorage, said that a citation is a            
 uniform summons for a judicial appearance.  Sergeant Crawford cited           
 that a citation is most typically given in a drinking episode that            
 has not gotten out of control or does not result in criminal                  
 activity.  He stated the  Anchorage Department's support of SB 221.           
 Number 215                                                                    
 SENATOR ELLIS asked what is the existing law and current practice             
 when dealing with an illegal drug other than alcohol.  Public                 
 Safety stated that when minors are under the influence they are               
 basically treated the same.  Senator Ellis requested the presence             
 of the Department of Law to discuss the Superior Court decisions.             
 Number 263                                                                    
 JEANNEANE HENRY,a twenty year Alaskan resident testifying from                
 Ketchikan,  noted that in the summer, 98 percent of Ketchikan youth           
 consume alcohol.  She said that the current law is enabling youths            
 to consume alcohol. She supported SB 221.                                     
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER moved SB 221 to the bottom of the calendar.                   
 Number 290                                                                    
 PARENT) before the committee.                                                 
 Number 303                                                                    
 DUNCAN FOWLER, State Ombudsman, supported HB 214.  He indicated               
 that HB 214 is a common sense bill.                                           
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if HB 214 would create any complications with             
 the duties of the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) and            
 what is standard in other states.                                             
 KATHY TIBBLES, Social Service Program Officer for DFYS, said that             
 HB 214 would have no impact on DFYS duties; furthermore, HB 214               
 would not jeopardize federal funding.  She stated support for HB
 SENATOR MILLER moved that CSHB 214 (JUD) be moved out of Senate               
 HESS committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no                   
 objections it was so ordered.                                                 
 Number 360                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER brought  HB 122  (CHILD CUSTODY PROCEDURES) before            
 the committee.                                                                
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel to the Judicial Branch, informed           
 the committee that HB 122 is a non-controversial, technical change.           
 HB 122 deletes from the statute the requirement that the findings             
 and recommendations of a neutral mediator be considered by a court.           
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the court is allowed to receive input from           
 an arbitrator although it's not specifically referenced in statute.           
 Mr. Christensen said that he did not believe the current                      
 arbitration statutes were applicable to family law area.                      
 SENATOR SALO questioned if the remaining list is adequate without             
 misreading of the mediator as an arbitrator.  Mr. Christensen                 
 pointed out that according to statute, the judge is to base                   
 decisions of custody on the best interest of the child.  Many                 
 factors are taken into consideration when determining the best                
 interest of the child.                                                        
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if the Alaska Family Support Group, MADD, or              
 DADD have a position on HB 122.  Mr. Christensen implied that they            
 had no opposition due to no complaints from these groups.                     
 SENATOR MILLER moved that HB 122 be moved out of Senate HESS                  
 committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections,             
 it was so ordered.                                                            
 Number 420                                                                    
 PROGRAMS) as the next order of business before the committee.                 
 ELMER LINDSTROM, Special Assistant in the Department of Health and            
 Social Services (DHSS), stated that the department, specifically              
 the Division of Public Assistance, supports HJR 36 in its current             
 form.  He noted that HJR 36 is consistent with other activities               
 that DHSS and the Governor have undertaken in support of                      
 eliminating the 100-Hour Rule.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE, the primary sponsor, cited welfare reform as            
 a savings of state money.  He expressed the need to find ways to              
 humanely transfer people off AFDC to become self-sufficient.  In              
 answer to Senator Leman, Representative Brice clarified that                  
 "remaining eligible" means remaining eligible for benefits for                
 participation at the appropriate level.                                       
 Number 466                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN referred to page 2 line 10 of the bill when asking if           
 the program has an offsetting scale which would partially decrease            
 the welfare benefit if the recipient is working a certain number of           
 ELMER LINDSTROM explained that this is a problem only for AFDC when           
 both parents in the family are present, the AFDC Unemployed Parent            
 portion.  The one parent family situation is not covered in this              
 bill.  Currently, if one works more than 100 hours they receive no            
 AFDC support. Elimination of the 100-Hour Program would allow                 
 people to take a lower paying job with the expectation of moving              
 off welfare eventually while maintaining a reduced level of AFDC              
 support.  He said this could result in savings for the program.               
 Mr. Lindstrom, in response to Senator Sharp, stated that AFDC is an           
 income-needs based program, therefore assistance is dependent upon            
 income and other resources of the recipient.                                  
 SENATOR ELLIS referred to the welfare reform of three years ago;              
 the federal law did not allow a one for one scheme working the                
 person off public assistance.  A one for one scheme reduces public            
 assistance according to earnings, dollar for dollar.  He cited the            
 prohibition of persons with accumulated resources from public                 
 assistance as another disincentive of getting off welfare.  He                
 emphasized that the greatest disincentive of getting off welfare is           
 the lack of health insurance in entry level jobs.                             
 Number 530                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER moved that CSHJR 36 (HESS) be moved out of the                 
 Senate HESS committee with individual recommendations.  Hearing no            
 objections, it was so ordered.                                                
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER held SB 221 until the Monday meeting when the                 
 Department of Law should be present.                                          
 Number 540                                                                    
 There being no further business to come before the committee,                 
 Chairman Rieger adjourned the Senate HESS committee at 2:15 p.m.              

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