Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/18/1994 01:39 PM Senate HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                         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.                                                   
 HEARD THIS DATE.                                                              
 HEARD THIS DATE.                                                              
 BUT NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                                      
 HEARD THIS DATE.                                                              
 BUT NOT HEARD THIS DATE.                                                      
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 301 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 HB 409 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 429 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 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                
 SB 304 - No previous action to record.                                        
 HB 472 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 HB 339 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 HJR 54 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
 SB 323 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated                
  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           
 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                                                                    
 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            
 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                                                                    
 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                
 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                    
 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                                                                    
 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                
 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                    
 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               
 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.                                                    

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