Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/18/1994 01:39 PM Senate HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE April 18, 1994 1:39 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Steve Rieger, Chairman Senator Loren Leman Senator Mike Miller Senator Jim Duncan Senator Johnny Ellis Senator Judy Salo Senator Bert Sharp, Vice-Chairman MEMBERS ABSENT All members present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR CONFIRMATIONS CONSIDERED: Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners Board of Education Board of Marital and Family Therapy Board of Certified Direct-Entry Midwives Board of Nursing Board of Nursing Home Administrators Professional Teaching Practices Commission State Medical Board University of Alaska Board of Regents Commissioner, Department of Health and Social Services SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR SENATE BILL NO. 301 "An Act relating to the calculation of instructional units used in determining state aid for education and increasing elementary and secondary instructional units for certain school districts with 800 or fewer students in average daily membership; and providing for an effective date." CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 409(FIN) am(efd fld) "An Act relating to the maximum amount of assistance that may be granted under the adult public assistance program and the program of aid to families with dependent children; proposing a special demonstration project within the program of aid to families with dependent children and directing the Department of Health and Social Services to seek waivers from the federal government to implement the project." HOUSE BILL NO. 429 "An Act relating to the special education service agency." SENATE BILL NO. 346 "An Act requiring that charitable gaming permittees, operators, and vendors may not turn over a pull tab or bingo prize of $50 or more to a person entitled to that prize unless the person provides certain information to the permittee, operator, or vendor and signs a receipt for the prize; requiring the reporting of winners of prizes of $50 or more to the Department of Health and Social Services to ensure that recipients of services provided by the Department of Health and Social Services are reporting charitable gaming winnings and are eligible for those services." SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 48 Relating to welfare reform. SB 304 (AHFC BONDS FOR UNIV. OF ALASKA USES) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT OT HEARD THIS DATE. HB 472 (REFERRALS INVOLVING DENTAL SERVICES) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT OT HEARD THIS DATE. HB 339 (NO CENSORSHIP: AMERICAN HISTORY DOCUMENTS) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD THIS DATE. HJR 54 (SUPPORT MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCT LEGIS) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT T HEARD THIS DATE. SB 323 (VIDEOTAPE ALL INTERVIEWS OF ABUSED MINORS) WAS SCHEDULED, BUT NOT HEARD THIS DATE. PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 301 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 3/30/94. HB 409 - No previous action to record. HB 429 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 3/21/94. SB 346 - See Labor & Commerce minutes dated 3/31/94 and Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. SJR 48 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. SB 304 - No previous action to record. HB 472 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. HB 339 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. HJR 54 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. SB 323 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 4/15/94. WITNESS REGISTER Senator Leman Prime Sponsor State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SJR 48. Margaret Lowe, Commissioner Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110601 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0601 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the composition of the board as specified in the by-laws. Diane Brown Department of Education Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed issues regarding the by-laws. Sasha Hughes Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 346. Jan Hansen, Director Division of Public Assistance Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110640 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0640 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 346. Joe Ambrose Staff to Senator Taylor State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the CS for SB 301. Wanda Cooksey Single Site School District P. O. Box 240052 Douglas, Alaska 99824 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed the single site issue. Cathy Fliris, President Tanana City School Board Single Site School P.O. Box 132 Tanana, Alaska 99777 POSITION STATEMENT: Urged permanent fix for single site problem. Mike Murphy Nome School Board P.O. Box 1062 Nome, Alaska 99762 POSITION STATEMENT: Urged permanent fix for single site problem. Ed Gilley, Superintendent Adak Region School District Adak, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Urged support for single site schools. Diana Herschbach, Member Mat-Su School Board President, Association of Alaska School Boards P.O. Box 521084 Big Lake, Alaska 99652 POSITION STATEMENT: Urged support for a single site solution. Kristina Tornquist, Member Board of Directors for NEA-Alaska P.O. Box 1641 Nome, Alaska 99762 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 301. June Nelson, Confirmation Nominee Board of Education P.O. Box 158 Kotzebue, Alaska 99752 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions. Representative Mark Hanley Prime Sponsor State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed HB 409. Sherrie Goll Alaska Women's Lobby P.O. Box 22156 Juneau, Alaska 99802 POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns with HB 409. Bob Zibell 326 4th Street No. 1108 Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concern with APA partially funding AFDC. Karen Robinson League of Women's Voters Juneau, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Expressed concerns with HB 409. Jan Hansen, Director Division of Public Assistance Department of Health and Social Services P.O. Box 110640 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0640 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed HB 409 and the current jobs program. . Offered suggestions. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-32, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN RIEGER called the Senate Health, Education and Social Services (HESS) Committee to order at 1:39 p.m. He said that the confirmations were the first order of business before the committee. He noted that the Board of Education nominees were not yet on teleconference. He informed the committee that there were resumes in the committee packets for all of the confirmation nominees. He informed the committee of the following confirmation nominees: James W. Henkelman and Martha Houck for the Board of Clinical Social Work Examiners; John E. Hotzfield and June Nelson of the Board of Education; Randall G. Jones of the Board of Marital and Family Therapy; Paula Korn of the Board of Certified Direct- Entry Midwives; J. K. Casteel and Patricia Gail Kelley of the Board of Nursing; Kathy S. Lockhart and Rose Palmquist of the Board of Nursing Home Administrators; Thomas L. Matheson, Christine A. Niemi, Karen J. Noordhoff and Mildred J. Wedel of Professional Teaching Practices Commission; Edward Spencer of the State Medical Board; Scott A. Otterbacher (Student Member) of the University of Alaska Board of Regents; Margaret R. Lowe, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services. There was no discussion or objection to the list of confirmations; therefore, the confirmation sheet was passed out. He stated that they would return to confirmations when the two Board of Education nominees were on teleconference. Number 067 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced SJR 48 (FEDERAL IMPEDIMENTS TO WELFARE REFORM) as the next order of business before the committee. SENATOR LEMAN pointed out that his sponsor statement was in the committee's packet. He explained that SJR 48 asks Congress to modify federal laws regarding the rules of the welfare system. SJR 48 would grant more flexibility to the state. He mentioned the 100 hour rule, earned income disregard and the auto allowance. He suggested that SJR 48 be moved on. SENATOR SALO expressed concern that the resolution seems general. SENATOR LEMAN said that it was made general somewhat intentionally. He felt that it could be made specific. He stated that the goal is to have more income in the pockets of individuals and ultimately eliminating the government providing that income. He indicated that they want to restructure the program in order to accomplish those goals. He thought that they could be more specific in what they wanted done. SENATOR MILLER moved SJR 48 out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. Hearing no objections, it was so ordered. Number 125 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced HB 429 (SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICE AGENCY) as the next order of business before the committee. SENATOR DUNCAN said that HB 429 removes the Governor's Council on Disability and Special Education from being the governing organization of the Special Education Service Agency (SESA). He felt that the desire to have a more consumer oriented governing board for SESA was commendable. He inquired as to why that board should not be created now. He thought that they had requested that the consumer oriented board be proposed in order to put it into this legislation. MARGARET LOWE, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), pointed out that the composition of the board is on page 3 of the by-laws in the committee's packet. She reviewed the composition of the board which contains nine members representing various groups and individuals effected by this. SENATOR ELLIS thought that there would have been a CS or an amendment from the department in order to create this board. SENATOR DUNCAN felt that with the by-laws, the board is well- structured. He expressed concern with the position paper which indicated that HB 429 could result in the establishment of a more consumer oriented board. He reiterated the need to create the board in this legislation. MARGARET LOWE noted that the composition of the board in the by- laws was created by the Governor's Council who stands behind it. CHAIRMAN RIEGER thought that reasons could arise to amend the board and therefore, it would not be as wise to give that much specificity in statute. He said that the by-laws seem good and by- laws are not easily amended. SENATOR DUNCAN asked if the statute requires that the composition of the board shall be determined by the by-laws. MARGARET LOWE said no and noted that the by-laws had been adopted by the board. Number 224 DIANE BROWN, Department of Education (DOE), agreed with Chairman Rieger that the composition of the board be in the by-laws instead of statutes. There was no need to have the composition of the board specifically outlined in statute. She explained that they were concerned with the possibility of the need to change the board's composition which would necessitate returning to the legislature. She said that they trusted that the SESA by-laws would be followed. SENATOR ELLIS moved that the composition of the board of directors as specified in the Governor's Council adopted by-laws be adopted in order to establish in statute a new governing board for the agency. He expressed uneasiness with eliminating the existing governing board without replacing it with something in statute. SENATOR SALO concurred with Senator Ellis' concern. She felt that it should go back to drafting because AS 14.30.610, which is repealed, is the section dealing with the governing body. She suggested that Senator Ellis' amendment should be incorporated into that section. She did not know what the other statute which is repealed in HB 429 involves. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that he would prefer to move this bill; however, he objected to the amendment for purposes of discussion. MARGARET LOWE said that she felt comfortable moving the bill as it is currently. She pointed out that there is oversight by DOE and the Governor's Council which should serve as a safeguard. Upon a hand vote, Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea" while Senators Rieger, Miller, Sharp, and Leman voted "Nay." The motion failed. SENATOR MILLER moved HB 429 out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections, it was so ordered. Number 288 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced SB 346 (REPORT CHARITABLE GAMING WINNERS) as the next order of business before the committee. SASHA HUGHES said that she represented herself as a senior citizen. She felt that she was entitled to play bingo. She informed the committee that she had kept track of the bingo winnings the first eleven days of April 1994. She said that Anchorage welfare recipients in bingo halls won $482,000, a round trip ticket for two to Las Vegas with $1200 cash, a 23 inch television and a VCR. None of those winnings were reported. She said that DHSS does not want to do anything. Ms. Hughes informed the committee of a situation in which a family was living in a bingo hall. The husband won $20,000 and did not report the winnings nor find a place to live. She explained that she went to DHSS who admitted that this man was a welfare recipient. DHSS did not know what they could do about the situation. She said that such situations of welfare fraud occur constantly. She felt that having the winner sign their correct name and social security number which would be given to DHSS would help inhibit welfare fraud. JAN HANSEN, Director of the Division of Public Assistance for DHSS, said that bingo and pull tab income has been a problem for the division for many years. She welcomed any solution which would result in accurate reports of this income. Under the division's programs, bingo and pull tab income is countable. She indicated the need to ensure that they receive the correct name and social security number or date of birth from the winning individual. The bill does not require that the operator verify that the individual gives the correct social security number or date of birth. Without verification, incorrect reporting could occur. She explained that requiring an operator to check the winning individual's identification would ensure they receive the correct information. Ms. Hansen felt that the method of obtaining the information in the bill was cumbersome, but workable. That method would create a large administrative work load. She expressed concern that if the correct information is not reported with the winnings then the information would not be meaningful. Another concern was expressed regarding the manner in which this would be enforced; how would they enforce operators to report the correct information. She said that a good number of welfare recipients do play and in some areas reporting is not such an issue. In Anchorage, there is not good reporting of winnings. She noted that the fiscal notes do not specify the amount of savings, although, they believe there would be savings. There is no way to determine the amount of savings. She did feel that the savings should exceed the costs. Number 397 SENATOR SALO asked if individuals are being removed from public assistance if they win and then are sent back through all the paperwork to put them back on public assistance. JAN HANSEN said that a winner on public assistance would have a $1 for $1 reduction of their benefits. Ms. Hansen noted that most reported earnings are small amounts. SASHA HUGHES thought that the bill required that the winner show a photo identification. Ms. Hughes also indicated that gaming has a computer compatible reporting form. SENATOR LEMAN felt that requiring a winner to show a photo identification would be a good provision although, it does not seem to be included in SB 346. SENATOR SALO inquired as to how Ms. Hughes acquired her data on the amount of winnings for welfare recipients at bingo. SASHA HUGHES explained that bingo winners must sign a sheet before they are paid. Ms. Hughes stated, "We all know who's on welfare and who's winning." The top winners seem to be Daffy Duck and Walter Hickel. Ms. Hughes said that she would be glad to take Senator Salo to a bingo hall when she is in Anchorage. Ms. Hughes recommended that SB 346 only be applied to communities with a population in excess of 10,000. SENATOR LEMAN moved a conceptual amendment requiring that the winner show photo identification. The drafter could put that in correctly. Hearing no objections, it was adopted. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if there was any further testimony on SB 346. Hearing none, he said that the CS would be drafted with Senator Leman's amendment which would be before the committee again. Number 457 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced SB 301 (REVISE FOUNDATION FORMULA, SMALL LL SCHOOLS) as the next order of business before the committee. He stated that he did not intend to move the bill today. He pointed out that there was a CS in the committee's packet which incorporates suggestion by DOE regarding the "hold harmless" provisions in existing law. JOE AMBROSE, Staff to Senator Taylor, informed the committee that Senator Taylor does not have a problem with the CS. The CS drops the permanent fix on the single site issue. WANDA COOKSEY, representing the 21 Single Site School Districts, pointed out that the committee should have written testimony from her. She expressed the need to correct the single site problem in a permanent way. When the foundation formula is worked on in the future, the single site issue would also be present for review. She did not know of any group in opposition to this bill; the State Board of Education, the School Boards Association, NEA-Alaska, and AASA support this bill. She urged the committee to put the single site fix back into the CS. CATHY FLIRIS, President of the Tanana School District, pointed out that Tanana was a single site school. She thanked the committee for full and early funding of the Tanana school. She expressed insecurity regarding future funding since there is not a permanent fix for the single site problem. She explained that single site funding represents a crucial 10 percent of their budget; without this funding, planning is inhibited. One-third of the teaching staff is covered by 10 percent of the budget. She urged the committee to permanently correct the single site problem and amend Title 13. MIKE MURPHY, Nome School Board, said that he cared about the education of children in Nome and across the state. He reiterated the need to continue with the single site fix. He pointed out that 21 out of the 54 school districts in the state have equity in the foundation formula. He said that in the Nome school district the single site funding is 4 percent of the budget which is equivalent to four or five positions. If this funding is lost, those positions would be lost and the quality of education would be inhibited. He urged the committee to fix this situation and make it equal across the state. ED GILLEY, Superintendent of the Adak Region School District, said that Adak has not gone away. He pointed out that Adak was left out of the single site funding this year because of the forecast that there would be declining enrollment. He noted that single site funding allowed Adak to have four to five more teachers. He asked for the committee's support of the single site; fix this problem so that other issues can be addressed. He thanked the committee for HB 405, especially Senator Duncan. He reiterated that all educational associations believe fully in this bill. He said that he would welcome any questions regarding the status of Adak. Number 530 SENATOR SHARP said that he had questions and would like to talk with Mr. Gilley regarding Adak after the committee meeting. ED GILLEY noted that the proposed CS would limit the money coming into Adak which would be fine if enrollment decreases. He did not know what to expect for Adak. Adak has a flexible board with a flexible plan that addresses the possibility of 150 children or no children. He explained that they were trying to take care of their students and staff until the end. DIANA HERSCHBACH, Mat-Su School Board member and President of the Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB), said that this does not effect her school district. They have always been supportive of fixing the single site problem because it would bring equity for all of Alaska's children. She felt that fixing the single site problem would eliminate some of the politics in education in these districts. The single site schools are uncertain about funding which leads to difficulties in planning. She thanked the committee for the passage of the 61 unit value. She explained that this funding uncertainty often creates panic, resulting in losing good teachers. She pointed out that funding for the single sites would be a small portion of the overall budget. She informed the committee that the general membership of AASB passed a resolution supporting an equitable solution to the single dual site issue as well as the "hold harmless" provision of SB 301. KRISTINA TORNQUIST, NEA-Alaska Board of Directors member, stated support for SB 301 from NEA-Alaska because it would provide equitable funding for single sites. She said, "A child is a child is a child whether he or she comes from a single site or a district with multiple sites; they are all worthy kids and I would like to see them treated the same." TAPE 94-32, SIDE B Number 590 SENATOR LEMAN asked if Ms. Tornquist's statement that "A child is a child is a child" applies to those in public, private, and home schools. KRISTINA TORNQUIST said that she would have to think about it. Ms. Tornquist did believe in her statement, but her concern is with public education. CHAIRMAN RIEGER held SB 301 due to the new CS before the committee members. SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the changes in the CS. CHAIRMAN RIEGER explained that the CS amends the "hold harmless" provisions and removes the amending of the foundation formula for single sites. SENATOR DUNCAN inquired as to the time frame of the single site issue. CHAIRMAN RIEGER felt that the "hold harmless" issue was non-controversial, while the single site issue seems to have more interest because it is part of the foundation formula rewrite. SENATOR DUNCAN did not feel that it was that controversial to deal with the single site issue formula. Senator Duncan felt that the single site should be dealt with in its original form, not in a CS. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that SB 301 would be before the committee again. CHAIRMAN RIEGER informed the committee that June Nelson, one of the Board of Education confirmation nominees was on-line for questions. Number 562 SENATOR ELLIS asked if Ms. Nelson could give the committee an update on the direction of education reform with regard to Alaska 2000. He also inquired as to Ms. Nelson's personal views regarding education reform and outcome based education. JUNE NELSON, Board of Education, explained that the Alaska 2000 standards portion had been sent back to be rewritten. The standards are not clear or specific enough. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the board or the department would rewrite those standards or would it go back through the subcommittee process. He asked if there were time lines regarding the new standards. He reiterated his question about Ms. Nelson's position on outcome based education. JUNE NELSON said that the standards have gone back to committee along with staff and board members. The rewritten standards that they produce will come before the board for review. She indicated that the rewritten standards would be implemented in a year. She informed the committee that these standards were never intended to gear towards outcome based education. She stated that she did not have a problem with outcome based education. SENATOR SALO inquired as to the total number of years that Ms. Nelson had served on the Board of Education. JUNE NELSON said that she had served for three years in the past and three years currently. SENATOR SALO thanked Ms. Nelson for her service on the Board of Education. Senator Salo asked if there were other areas of concern that Ms. Nelson wanted to share with the committee. JUNE NELSON expressed concern with the social areas. Many social areas are not mandated, but they are expected to have programs in the school to address these social issues. Ms. Nelson gave HIV programs as an example. Ms. Nelson felt that at some point they must decide what are the responsibilities of the board and those of the Department of Health and Social Services. SENATOR SALO agreed with Ms. Nelson and thanked her for her service. CHAIRMAN RIEGER noted that they had not been able to contact John Hotzfield, the other Board of Education nominee. He said that Mr. Hotzfield's name could be forwarded to the next committee or held to schedule another teleconference. SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to why Mr. Hotzfield was not on-line. CHAIRMAN RIEGER explained that a teleconference had been scheduled and for unknown reasons Mr. Hotzfield was not present. SENATOR SHARP inquired of Mr. Hotzfield's residency. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that Mr. Hotzfield was a resident of Fairbanks. SENATOR ELLIS requested the opportunity to talk with Mr. Hotzfield. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that Mr. Hotzfield's confirmation would be held over. Number 461 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced HB 409 (AFDC DEMO PROJECT AND DECREASE) ) as the next order of business before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE MARK HANLEY, Prime Sponsor, felt that the best way to reduce welfare is to get the individuals off the welfare system. He said that there are basically three portions to HB 409. The first portion of the bill removes disincentives for people on welfare to work while providing additional incentives for people on welfare to work. He explained that under the current welfare system, individuals are only allowed to keep $50 of what they earn; for the first four months they are on welfare, they get to keep one-third of their earnings. After the first four months, they are allowed to keep $50 of their earnings which results in a tremendous disincentive to work. He pointed out that under HB 409, the individual would be allowed to keep $200 of their earnings and the four month period is extended to two years which would benefit the individual on welfare and the state. He informed the committee that under the current welfare system, there is a maximum vehicle allowance of $1500 which is increased to $5000 under HB 409. Representative Hanley pointed out that the Workfare provision requires that individuals receiving AFDC assistance participate in 10 hours a week of paid employment or 21 hours a week of uncompensated community service work. He noted that the other main portion of the bill is the rateable reduction which is similar to last years. There are costs in administering and monitoring the program. He indicated that many individuals on the program have difficulties with transportation and child care. A portion of the cost for HB 409 is paying for that transportation and child care. He stated that he anticipated savings in the program over the long- term which would benefit everyone. SENATOR ELLIS asked if Representative Brice's resolution regarding the 100 hour rule waiver and Senator Leman's resolution regarding the department's authority with applying for waivers would be duplicated by HB 409. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY stated that Representative Brice's bill requested a waiver of the 100 hour rule for all states. HB 409 would be an individual application from Alaska to the federal government on these applications while directing the department on the composition of the application. Representative Brice's resolution is a request to apply the 100 hour rule waiver for other states to all states. Number 396 SENATOR ELLIS explained that the 100 hour rule would more than likely be the first to go for all states under welfare reform. He inquired as to the timing of this waiver process and the cost involved in applying for waivers which may end up being granted at the federal level. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY stated that some of these waivers which have been granted in other states would not need a lot of money in the application or granting process; the 100 hour rule is one of those. Representative Hanley noted that HB 409 is a package of what the department feels would be granted. SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to who decides which individuals do compensated versus uncompensated work. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY explained that the client would choose and there are some job search skills; however, it is not a jobs program with lots of training. HB 409 is structured with an incentive to do compensated work; an individual is required to do less paid work than uncompensated work. SENATOR ELLIS asked if Representative Hanley had summed up last year's rateable reduction. He inquired as to the impact of a monthly AFDC check. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY said no, but deferred to the department. SENATOR SALO inquired as to the scope of these pilot projects. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY indicated that he would prefer to do them on a statewide basis, but the federal government has certain restrictions. These are demonstration projects which require a test group and a control group within each area. Representative Hanley pointed out that there are four test areas: Anchorage, Mat- Su, Fairbanks, and the North Slope Borough. Representative Hanley did not have the specific numbers in front of him. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the rateable reduction would apply to everyone in the state. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY said yes, a rateable reduction would be used to pay for something which does not benefit everyone. There is no way around the federal requirements. Representative Hanley noted that one of President Clinton's proposals for welfare reform would tax the welfare benefits in order to pay for the program. SENATOR ELLIS stated that President Clinton's proposal applied a funding mechanism to everyone in order to get people off welfare which is not exactly the same. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY agreed. SENATOR MILLER moved to adopt the Lauterbach 8-LS1211\M CS in lieu of the original bill for discussion purposes. SENATOR ELLIS objected in order to identify the changes the CS encompasses. REPRESENTATIVE HANLEY pointed out that the only difference between the CS and the original bill is that the CS has temporary sections of law due to a drafting technique; there is no essential impact to the rateable reductions. The temporary sections specify that the reductions are to be repealed after the project ends. Hearing no objections, the CS was adopted. Number 289 SHERRIE GOLL, Alaska Women's Lobby, stated support of efforts to assist welfare recipients to become independent of the system; however, the Alaska Women's Lobby does not agree that a workfare program is the most effective manner in which to achieve independence. She expressed concern with the rateable reductions, especially the second year of these which would effect every welfare recipient in the state. The waivers would not effect everyone in the state. She urged consideration of the Adult Public Assistance (APA) cuts; APA recipients are aged, blind and disabled people. These people would not benefit from workfare or AFDC waivers. She noted that no other state who has executed welfare reform has chosen to reduce benefits to APA recipients. She urged the committee to eliminate the section on APA, to not increase AFDC cuts, and use the savings from reducing benefits to all individuals from last years program in order to assist in the cost of this legislation. Ms. Goll expressed concern with creating another bureaucracy for the workfare program. In particular, the data processing system would be under tremendous pressure when all these alternative systems were reviewed which could develop problems in accuracy that translates into cost. She said that the Women's Lobby supports this kind of program; they would like to place the funding in the job's program specifically for uncompensated work. She reiterated the need to delete the APA section. BOB ZIBELL said that funding for the AFDC portion of the bill would come partially from APA benefits. APA is composed of the elderly, blind and disabled individuals. He was opposed to taking money from the APA section to fund welfare programs. He pointed out that Senator Leman's bill does not take funding from APA. He suggested that attempts to get individuals off welfare should be funded by money from AFDC or DHSS. He did not understand how AFDC and APA could be mixed together in the first place; a person does not become blind, elderly or disabled voluntarily. The two programs are different; one involves a choice while the other does not. He reiterated his opposition to APA bearing part of the burden of funding AFDC. SENATOR ELLIS asked if Mr. Zibell realized that the legislature voted to cut the monthly benefits for APA. BOB ZIBELL said that he realized that. Number 193 KAREN ROBINSON, League of Women's Voters, appreciated the work Representative Hanley had given the bill. She said the league agrees with the goal of reducing welfare participation; however, they are concerned with the direction of HB 409. Welfare recipients faced cuts last year and it would not be in the best interest of the state to cut welfare recipients again this year. She expressed concern with the cuts to APA who would not benefit from this program, but they would help fund it. She offered to work with the legislature and Representative Hanley on welfare reform. She was concerned that the jobs program is under funded. The jobs program which is already in place should be funded at a level to get the maximum number of participants in the program. She expressed the need for the legislature to move slower and review programs which would met the goal of the sponsor, to get people off welfare. SENATOR LEMAN suggested that if the legislature moved any slower nothing would get done this year. KAREN ROBINSON reiterated that from the League of Women's Voters point of view, the legislature place HB 409 in an interim committee to work with the various groups involved with welfare. Without health care reform or money for child care, people would not be able to get off welfare. Ms. Robinson noted that a national study illustrated that even if a person works on minimum wage for forty hours a week, they earn approximately $8000. That amount of money is not enough for a family of four to get off welfare. Ms. Robinson felt that the sponsors goal was appropriate, but more work needed to done. The league does not believe that the workfare program will get people off welfare and working. Ms. Robinson felt that the workfare program would put mothers and fathers to volunteer work instead of being with their children while looking for a meaningful job. SENATOR LEMAN disagreed with Ms. Robinson's conclusions. He did agree with her stated goal of reforming welfare. KAREN ROBINSON emphasized that the League of Women Voters believe that welfare as well as reform must take place. She mentioned that the programs started under the Reagan and Bush administrations are just beginning to take effect. Those programs should be fully funded in order to know the real outcomes of the programs. Number 105 SENATOR SHARP was worried because the last welfare reform raised costs by approximately 210 percent and is still increasing. KAREN ROBINSON thought that increase was due to the inclusion of two parent families. SENATOR SHARP stated that had not happened. SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the monetary impact of this bill on an APA recipient or an AFDC child as well as last year's rateable reduction and the proposed rateable reduction in HB 409. JAN HANSEN, Director of Public Assistance, said that HB 67 which reduced AFDC and APA reduced a household of three by $27, from $950 to $923. Two parent families had a $90 reduction over the $27 reduction, a total of $117 reduction. APA recipients face approximately an $11 reduction. She said that this year's reduction proposed by HB 409 would be around $12 for AFDC and $5.45 for an APA family. SENATOR ELLIS noted that there are proposed cuts for the jobs program by the Senate. He inquired as to the proposal of the House Budget regarding the jobs program. JAN HANSEN explained that House Budget has an increment in to add staff in order to include the required federal increases. They have to serve more people. Ms. Hansen pointed out that there was a $200,000 General Fund increment as well as travel and health benefit increases which total $215,000. SENATOR ELLIS asked if the House proposal goes through the process, would the jobs program still be significantly under funded and the federally mandated goals for participation would not be met. JAN HANSEN agreed that Senator Ellis' scenario was a possibility and if the increment is not received, then some reassessments will have to be made in order to be able to meet the numbers. Ms. Hansen was skeptical that the department would be at a level of funding to meet the numbers. SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the dollar tradeoff of money invested in the jobs program where even the volunteers cannot be served versus money invested in these pilot projects; is one better than the other. TAPE 94-33, SIDE A Number 008 JAN HANSEN explained that part of HB 409 does what the jobs program does, the workfare provision is similar to a component in the jobs program. A two parent family would have to do the same as under the workfare provision of HB 409. This expands the workfare component of the jobs program, but HB 409 does not expand other components which effectively work towards giving people training. She noted that the last amendment before HB 409 passed the House requires that the workfare component be contracted out which increases the cost. Ms. Hansen pointed out that HB 409 would give a waiver of the 100 hour rule which is currently a hinderance. She agreed that a waiver of the 100 hour rule would be easy and inexpensive; however, the earnings incentives which are important, become more expensive due to the computer programming. In conclusion, she felt that they would get the same results for the money with the jobs program; however, the components in HB 409 would not be tested. She stated that if more money was put into the programs in a specific manner then the same net result would happen. She felt that if she was given the amount of money in the fiscal note and the state rules and regulations were eliminated, she could fully staff and obtain a few waivers while upgrading the jobs program which would give the desired results. She also believed that HB 409 would deliver benefits in the long run; however, the question remains: is the timing right? Number 097 SENATOR ELLIS asked Ms. Hansen to clarify her statement that contracting would increase costs more than going through existing public assistance programs. JAN HANSEN said yes, there are areas in which one in-house employee does the job which under contracting would have two or three employees do. Ms. Hansen also mentioned that someone in-house would be required to operate and monitor the contract. Ms. Hansen informed the committee that most contractors do not require the same amount of productivity from an employee as does the division. CHAIRMAN RIEGER held HB 409. SENATOR ELLIS passed out an amendment which is a model from Hawaii which Ms. Hickel supports. He hoped this would be a bipartisan matter. SENATOR LEMAN distributed his amendments. He did not feel that HB 409 goes far enough, but it is going in the correct direction in order to place more money in the pockets of those who need it while decreasing governmental dependency. He commended HB 409 and hoped it would be dealt with in a bipartisan manner. There being no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:20 p.m.