Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/20/1995 09:11 AM Senate HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                         March 20, 1995                                        
                           9:11 a.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Lyda Green, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice-Chairman                                            
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 All members present.                                                          
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO. 105                                                           
 "An Act relating to a requirement that a parent, guardian, or                 
 custodian consent before a minor receives an abortion; establishing           
 a judicial bypass procedure by which a minor may petition a court             
 for authorization to consent to an abortion without consent of a              
 parent, guardian, or custodian; amending the definition of                    
 `abortion'; and amending Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure 40, 53,              
 and 79; Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure 204, 210, 212, 213,               
 508, and 512.5; and Alaska Administrative Rule 9."                            
 SENATE BILL NO. 117                                                           
 "An Act establishing a statewide independent living council and               
 clarifying its relationship with existing agencies; and providing             
 for an effective date."                                                       
 SENATE BILL NO. 123                                                           
 "An Act relating to student loan programs, interstate compacts for            
 postsecondary education, and fees for review of postsecondary                 
 education institutions; and providing for an effective date."                 
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 No previous action to record.                                                 
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Senator Leman                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of SB 105.                                 
 Brant McGee                                                                   
 Public Advocacy                                                               
 900 W 5th Avenue #525                                                         
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed the appointment of the guardian at             
 Judith Kohler                                                                 
 Americans United for Life                                                     
 Chicago, IL                                                                   
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed the importance of parental                     
                      involvement statutes.                                    
 Chris Christensen, Staff Counsel                                              
 Alaska Court System                                                           
 303 K Street                                                                  
 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2084                                                  
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed SB 105.                                        
 Art Mathias, President                                                        
 Christian Coalition                                                           
 PO Box 741564                                                                 
 Anchorage, Alaska 99504                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Indicated the need for parental involvement.             
 Barbara Fallon                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Pointed out the inconsistency of parental                
                      involvement legislation.                                 
 Pauline Hillter, Chair                                                        
 Abortion Rights                                                               
 PO Box 240667                                                                 
 Anchorage, Alaska 99511                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Stated opposition to SB 105 for Abortion                 
 Virginia Phillips, Spokesman                                                  
 Right to Life for American Indians & Alaskan Natives                          
 404 Lake Street 2-D                                                           
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 105 and urged its speedy passage.           
 Martha Devereaux                                                              
 1511 Edgecombe Drive                                                          
 Sitka, Alaska 99835                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the speedy passage of SB 105.                      
 Sharon Waisanen                                                               
 35985 Pioneer Drive                                                           
 Soldotna, Alaska 99669                                                        
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 105.                                          
 Gene Ottenstroer                                                              
 PO Box 1059                                                                   
 Delta Junction, Alaska 99737                                                  
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 105.                                          
 Eileen Becker, Assistant Director                                             
 Homer Crisis Pregnancy Center                                                 
 PO Box 2                                                                      
 Homer, Alaska 99603                                                           
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported SB 105.                                        
 Lisa Penalver, President                                                      
 Fairbanks Coalition for Choice                                                
 1166 Skyline Drive                                                            
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99712                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed SB 105.                                          
 Kelli Mahoney                                                                 
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Concurred with Ms. Penalver and recommended              
                      funding model pregnancy prevention programs.             
 Stan Ridgeway, Deputy Director                                                
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 W 10th Street                                                             
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed SB 117.                                         
 Joe McCormick, Executive Director                                             
 Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education                                  
 Department of Education                                                       
 3030 Vintage Boulevard                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-7109                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed SB 123.                                         
 Jerry Shriner, Special Assistant                                              
 Department of Corrections                                                     
 240 Main Street, Suite 700                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska                                                                
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Explained the Department of Corrections'                 
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 95-17, SIDE A                                                            
 SHES - 3/20/95                                                                
       SB 105 PARENTAL CONSENT BEFORE MINOR'S ABORTION                       
 Number 003                                                                    
 VICE-CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Health, Education and Social            
 Services (HESS) Committee to order at 9:11 a.m.  He explained that            
 Chairman Green would be arriving later due to a cancelled flight.             
 He noted that other members would arrive shortly and he would chair           
 the meeting until Senator Green arrived.  He introduced  SB 105  as           
 the first order of business before the committee. Vice-Chairman               
 Leman relinquished control of the chair to Senator Miller in order            
 to deliver his sponsor statement.                                             
 SENATOR LEMAN, prime sponsor of SB 105, explained that SB 105                 
 provides for a judicial by-pass for parental consent requirements             
 for a minor's abortion.  The objective of this is to make the                 
 existing parental consent requirement in state law enforceable.               
 Currently, the state does not enforce the parental consent                    
 requirement; the attorney generals specified that the Alaska                  
 Statute is not constitutional.  The statute does not have an                  
 alternative procedure, judicial by-pass.  He clarified that                   
 judicial by-pass would allow a juvenile girl to go to court to                
 request that she be allowed to give consent for an abortion instead           
 of her parents.  SB 105 would provide that alternative procedure              
 which would make it consistent with other state's whose similar               
 laws have been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.                 
 Senator Leman stated that SB 105 would help young pregnant women              
 seek guidance for one of the most important decisions they may                
 make.  He pointed out that procedures such as ear piercing and                
 receiving medication in a school clinic require parental consent or           
 permission for minors.  He explained that personally, he did not              
 want judicial by-pass because it would provide a large loophole.              
 However, SB 105 would reduce the number of abortions while ensuring           
 parental involvement.                                                         
 Number 105                                                                    
 Senator Leman pointed out that 22 states now enforce some form of             
 parental involvement legislation which has reduced teenage                    
 abortions by up to 27 percent.  Applying the typical factors to               
 Alaska, approximately 100 children's lives could be saved every               
 year with the passage of SB 105.  He informed everyone that recent            
 polls illustrate that 74 to 80 percent of the population would                
 support the parental right to be involved in the abortion decisions           
 of minor women.  He acknowledged that SB 105 would not cure all the           
 devastation caused by abortion, but the legislation would help.               
 Senator Leman reiterated that Alaska statutes provide for parental            
 involvement in many other areas and abortion should be consistent             
 with those.  Regarding the constitutionality of such legislation in           
 Alaska, Senator Leman noted that children and adults are viewed               
 differently in the law and the courts.  He explained that while the           
 Constitution of Alaska protects children, it also presumes that               
 children are not at the same level of maturity as adults.  The law            
 acknowledges the difference between children and adults in the                
 following three areas:  (1) there is a peculiar vulnerability of              
 children, (2) there is an inability of children to make decisions             
 in an informed mature manner, and (3) there is an importance placed           
 on the parental role of child rearing.  SB 105 attempts to                    
 encourage parental involvement while allowing a streamlined                   
 alternative procedure for those who wish to go to court.                      
 Number 167                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER returned the Chair to Senator Leman.                           
 SENATOR LEMAN began calling those who wished to testify.                      
 BRANT MCGEE, Head of the Office of Public Advocacy (OPA), explained           
 that they were interested in this bill because the judicial by-pass           
 requires the appointment of a guardian at litem.  Guardian at                 
 litems are provided by OPA.  He stated that approximately 2,400               
 abortions are performed in Alaska of which 288 are performed on               
 women age 17 or younger.  He estimated that 39 percent, 112 young             
 women, would pursue judicial by-pass.  That estimation is based on            
 a study that said that of those states without parental consent or            
 notice 61 percent of parents were informed of their children's                
 Mr. McGee noted that states with judicial by-pass should have a               
 record which would project what would happen in these proceedings.            
 In Pennsylvania, which enacted such legislation last March,                   
 approximately 100 percent of minors' abortions are approved by the            
 court.  Massachusetts has data dating back to April of 1981 when              
 the parental consent law came into effect; 1/10th of one percent,             
 14, of the abortions were denied.  Of those 14 denials, 12 were               
 overturned by an appellate court and the remaining two became moot.           
 He informed the committee that a Minnesota judge characterized his            
 participation in more than 1,000 parental notification hearings as            
 a routine clerical function.  This evidence illustrates that black            
 middle-aged judges would be unlikely to deny teenage women seeking            
 judicial by-pass for an abortion.  He indicated that the clauses in           
 those states had been condemned for delaying teenagers' abortions             
 as well as a judiciary waste of time and money.  However, the                 
 Pennsylvania Pro Life group does feel that parental consent laws              
 discourage minors from having abortions.                                      
 Number 229                                                                    
 Mr. McGee pointed out that page 5, line 16, subsection (d) of                 
 SB 105 seems to confuse the functions of a guardian at litem and an           
 attorney which are both appointed; one person cannot serve in both            
 capacities.  A guardian at litem must protect the best interest of            
 the child while an attorney must represent the wishes of their                
 client.  He did not feel that the appointment of a guardian at                
 litem would be appropriate since the best interest of the child               
 would not be relevant to the judicial criteria in making the                  
 decision.  He suggested that mandating the appointment of an                  
 attorney to represent the client would seem more appropriate.                 
 SENATOR SALO expressed concern about the time needed to appoint a             
 guardian at litem and obtaining an attorney, especially with the              
 upcoming funding cuts.  BRANT MCGEE said that a guardian at litem             
 and an attorney are appointed overnight.  The resulting problem               
 would be that the person or attorney must be available to devote              
 their full time to the preparation for the hearing.  Mr. McGee                
 noted that the office could not afford to absorb this                         
 responsibility into their current caseload.  They cannot pay for              
 their current caseload.                                                       
 SENATOR SALO inquired as to the fiscal note of SB 105.  SENATOR               
 LEMAN informed her that the fiscal note from the Office of Public             
 Advocacy was $112,000 per year.                                               
 SENATOR MILLER asked Mr. McGee how he arrived at his numbers when             
 little if any reporting of abortions occur.  BRANT MCGEE explained            
 that he had received articles from a friend in Denver from which he           
 had derived this information.  He cited the article "Parental                 
 Involvement and Minors' Abortions Decisions" published in Family             
 Planning Perspectives in the fall of 1992 which discussed the              
 numbers of minors seeking abortions, the reasons they seek                    
 abortions, and the reasons they may not desire parental                       
 involvement.  The other data can be found in the Family Planning             
 Perspectives and a book entitled, Abortions and Women's Health             
 which was published in 1990.                                                  
 Number 298                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER inquired as to how Mr. McGee arrived at the numbers            
 for Alaska regarding the number of abortions in Alaska and the                
 relating percentages.  BRANT MCGEE specified that the number of               
 abortions in Alaska referred to reported abortions.  Mr. McGee                
 commented that he did not have data for 1993 and 1994.  The number            
 of women 17 or younger is derived from statistic reports.  Mr.                
 McGee clarified that the 39 percent of young women that he projects           
 would seek judicial by-pass for an abortion is derived from another           
 study.  The other study illustrated that in states without parental           
 consent or notification 61 percent of parents were informed of                
 their children's abortion.  Mr. McGee assumed that the remaining 39           
 percent who do not currently inform their parents would seek a                
 judicial by-pass.  The final number is an assumption based on hard            
 SENATOR LEMAN asked why Mr. McGee assumed that all 39 percent of              
 those minors would go to court rather than a portion of that group            
 going to their parents due to SB 105.  BRANT MCGEE clarified that             
 the numbers are based on the number of children who currently do              
 not go to their parents.  The assumption is that if they do not               
 inform their parents now and another alternative is provided, they            
 would choose the alternative.  Mr. McGee agreed that some would               
 decide to talk to their parents, but that would depend upon many              
 factors such as the availability of information regarding judicial            
 SENATOR LEMAN encouraged Mr. McGee to provide his testimony in                
 writing and offer any other information he can.                               
 Number 339                                                                    
 JUDITH KOHLER, Americans United for Life testifying from Chicago,             
 explained that the United States' Supreme Court had stated many               
 good reasons to enact parental involvement statutes.  Enacting such           
 legislation would be in the best interest of Alaska in protecting             
 the health and welfare of its minors, fostering family unity, and             
 encouraging parental involvement in the upbringing of minor                   
 children.  SB 105 has been drafted in order to conform with the               
 Supreme Court requirements set out in parental involvement statutes           
 in other states.  Parental involvement statutes are important                 
 because teenagers often have difficulty assessing long-term                   
 consequences of difficult decisions.  She asserted that parental              
 involvement is particularly poignant with regard to abortion                  
 decisions due to the fact that a parent often remains responsible             
 for their child for many years after an abortion.                             
 Alaska already has 22 parental consent or notification statutes.              
 Ms. Kohler stated that although, abortions are legal they are not             
 always safe.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm for             
 the Pro Choice movement, reported that Alaska had 2,370 abortions             
 in 1992 of which a third may be minors.  Minors are in danger of              
 experiencing medical complications; they have a 10 percent chance             
 of experiencing immediate medical complications such as cervical              
 injury, a perforated uterus and others.  She surmised that since              
 Alaska does not have an enforceable parental consent law, the                 
 parents of these minors receiving abortions were probably unaware             
 of the possible dangers their children faced.  Mr. Kohler said that           
 Minnesota and Massachusetts have documented evidence that                     
 illustrates that the teenage pregnancy and abortion rate decreased            
 after parental involvement statutes were enacted.  There are                  
 currently 38 states which have parental involvement statutes,                 
 consent is required in 22 of the states while notice is required in           
 16 of the states.                                                             
 Number 392                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if 38 states currently enforce parental                   
 involvement or is the number 22.  JUDITH KOHLER clarified that 38             
 states have such statutes while some states are currently under               
 litigation or they have become enjoined or declared                           
 unconstitutional.  Ms. Kohler noted the chart from which this                 
 information is drawn.  Ms. Kohler pointed out that the Pennsylvania           
 statute provides much of the basis for SB 105.                                
 SENATOR LEMAN inquired as to where abortions involving minors                 
 without parental consent would typically be performed.  JUDITH                
 KOHLER stated that fewer and fewer abortions are done in hospitals.           
 Perhaps, that is a result of the availability of abortion clinics             
 which is where the majority of abortions are performed.                       
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if these clinics would have access to the                 
 juvenile's medical records.  JUDITH KOHLER replied no and explained           
 that only parents would have access to the minor's full medical               
 record.  Ms. Kohler felt that having a minor's full medical record            
 for an abortion would lend support for the passage of parental                
 involvement and consent legislation.                                          
 In response to Senator Salo, Ms. Kohler stated that she was the               
 Legislative Counsel for Americans United for Life.  Ms. Kohler                
 commented that she had dealt with this issue in a variety of ways             
 due to her past experience as a former Illinois Legislator and                
 prosecutor.  Americans United for Life has been involved in every             
 Supreme Court case that has been litigated since and including Roe            
 vs. Wade.  Americans United for Life is a law firm which deals with           
 legislation, litigation, and public education.                                
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if Americans United for Life were involved in             
 the numerous cases listed in the committee's back up.  JUDITH                 
 KOHLER said yes and listed many of the cases in which the                     
 organization was involved.  Ms. Kohler commented that this                    
 organization was the most experienced law firm in the nation in               
 litigation defending statutes.                                                
 Number 445                                                                    
 CHRIS CHRISTENSEN, General Counsel to the Judicial Branch, informed           
 the committee that the Supreme Court does not take a position on              
 legislation unless it would directly effect the internal                      
 administration of the Judicial Branch.  Legislation such as SB 105            
 are policy calls which are constitutionally given to the                      
 legislature.  He commented that page 5, lines 1-4 of SB 105 refer             
 to a referee which the court system designates as a master, an                
 attorney that is a specialist in a particular area.  In Anchorage             
 and Fairbanks where three quarters of the case volume is found,               
 there are standing masters.  He explained that the Supreme Court              
 has always held that the power to appoint a master to give advice             
 to a judge is an inherent power of a judge.  The legislature cannot           
 restrict that power even with a two-thirds vote.  He expected that            
 most of these cases in Anchorage would be referred to the Probate             
 Master.  The Probate Department is separate from the rest of the              
 Superior Court; this department handles other judicial consent                
 issues for juveniles.                                                         
 Mr. Christensen suggested that if OPA would be required to appoint            
 guardians at litem and attorneys, then language to that effect                
 should be specifically added on page 5, lines 16-21 to AS 44.21.410           
 which sets forth the jurisdiction of OPA.  He apologized for not              
 having the fiscal note prepared and explained that they were still            
 determining the number of cases per year that there may be.   He              
 noted that Mr. McGee's fiscal note is only based on providing a               
 guardian at litem.  If an attorney is to be appointed also then the           
 cost would probably more than double Mr. McGee's fiscal note.                 
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if the court system had any comments regarding            
 the expedited procedure that SB 105 sets forth.  CHRIS CHRISTENSEN            
 noted that SB 105 would impose additional costs due to the                    
 expedited procedure.  Mr. Christensen said that they recognize that           
 if the legislation is approved then there would be no other                   
 alternative, but to follow this procedure.  The Probate Department            
 in Anchorage is already full through June.  Mr. Christensen                   
 explained that with this legislation, they may have to leave                  
 additional time open in order to accommodate these cases which may            
 in the long-term slow other areas of the court.                               
 Number 497                                                                    
 ART MATHIAS, President of the Christian Coalition of Alaska, stated           
 that SB 105 is not about abortion, but rather parental rights and             
 responsibilities.  No matter ones personal opinion of abortion,               
 parents have the right and the responsibility to be involved in the           
 decisions of their minors.  He reiterated that a physician is                 
 required to receive parental permission in order to treat a child's           
 common cold or give a physical.  Abortion does not require this               
 parental consent although it is a serious medical procedure with              
 serious side effects.  He felt that the government would be                   
 contributing to the destruction of the family by not requiring                
 parental consent for abortions of minors.  He implied that                    
 teenagers were not mature enough to make life and death decisions             
 such as abortion and be able to deal with the emotional trauma                
 afterwards.  Those who oppose SB 105 oppose the family.  Abortion             
 is a family decision.  The rare case of pregnancy due to incest is            
 addressed in SB 105 by allowing the judge to step in place of the             
 family.  He emphasized that as the family has deteriorated so has             
 society; efforts to rebuild society and its families must be                  
 BARBARA FALLON, testifying on her own behalf, informed the                    
 committee that she had worked in a children's agency for five years           
 with foster care and adoption and seven years as a director of a              
 clinic in a general hospital.  She mentioned the Right to Privacy             
 when commenting on the inconsistency in regard to parental                    
 responsibility required in other areas dealing with minors.  She              
 emphasized that it seemed inconsistent that parents may not be                
 informed when their minor child makes decisions about abortion or             
 carrying a child to term.                                                     
 Number 554                                                                    
 PAULINE HILLTER, Chair of the Abortion Rights project, explained              
 that the Abortion Rights project is dedicated to keeping abortion             
 safe and legal for all women.  Parental involvement cannot be                 
 legislated.  The project is opposed to SB 105.                                
 VIRGINIA PHILLIPS, a mother and grandmother and great grandmother,            
 stated support for SB 105 and for the physical and emotional health           
 of minors.  Minors do not have the necessary maturity for such a              
 life changing decision as abortion.  She reiterated the fact that             
 minors are protected from their own immaturity in other areas and             
 it seems logical to protect minors from making the decision to have           
 an abortion by themselves.  Some physicians need the restraint of             
 the law making it illegal to perform an abortion on a minor without           
 parental consent just as merchants are restrained with laws                   
 regarding selling alcohol and tobacco to minors.                              
 Ms. Phillips pointed out that parents and guardians are the only              
 persons with complete medical and emotional facts concerning the              
 minor, the minor may not even know all the facts.  This information           
 is necessary for a physician to make an informed decision regarding           
 a minor's abortion.  Parents should monitor the effects after an              
 abortion and be able to help the minor with unforeseen medical and            
 emotional problems.  She noted that since the parents would be                
 responsible for any medical costs after the abortion, it would only           
 seem fair that they be included in the decision-making process.               
 She indicated that the family unit could be strengthened by working           
 through an unplanned pregnancy as a family.  She had experienced              
 this with her eldest daughter.                                                
 TAPE 95-17, SIDE B                                                            
 Ms. Phillips reiterated the statistics in Pennsylvania which                  
 indicate that teenage births and abortions have decreased since               
 parental involvement legislation was enacted.  She urged the                  
 committee to pass SB 105 in its entirety as soon as possible.  She            
 noted that she was a Right to Life spokesman for American Indians             
 and Alaskan Natives.                                                          
 Number 580                                                                    
 MARTHA DEVEREAUX, testifying in Sitka, hoped that SB 105 would                
 receive a speedy passage.  She suggested that legislation be                  
 introduced which would pursue a 24 hour waiting period and                    
 information on fetal development given to women.  Parental                    
 notification in the case of minors receiving abortions is about who           
 is responsible children.  Parents are responsible for the welfare,            
 provision and safety of their children.  She reiterated the                   
 inconsistencies with parental consent and notification; abortion is           
 a serious operation with many known side effects although parental            
 consent or notification is not legally required.  She listed many             
 of the known side effects and dangers of abortions according to the           
 National Abortion Federation.                                                 
 Ms. Devereaux cited a New York Times, CBS poll that illustrated             
 that 76 percent of Americans support parental notification laws               
 with only 21 percent in opposition to such laws.  She discussed the           
 passage of the 1991 Minnesota parental notification law which                 
 resulted in the decrease of teen pregnancy by 20 percent and                  
 abortions by 27 percent.  Minnesota discovered that parental                  
 involvement works to reduce both the teen pregnancy rate and                  
 abortion.  She informed the committee that Planned Parenthood's               
 research division estimated that more than 90 percent of women who            
 have abortions experience some form of physical or emotional                  
 trauma; 73 percent label the trauma as severe.  Women who were                
 asked if they would have chosen an abortion knowing where their               
 lives were today, 94 percent said no.  Ms. Devereaux recounted the            
 1990 case in Indiana in which a daughter's life could have been               
 saved if the parents had known about her abortion.  She asserted              
 that parents are ultimately responsible for deciding the welfare of           
 their children.                                                               
 Number 545                                                                    
 SHARON WAISANEN, testifying from Kenai Soldotna, opposed SB 105.              
 SB 105 does nothing to prevent pregnancy.  She informed everyone              
 that in her experience in professionally working with young women,            
 a great many of them seeking abortions do talk to their parents.              
 Those who do not talk to their parents have a reason for not                  
 talking with their parents, furthermore, these women would not be             
 likely to pursue the judicial by-pass option.  She said that many             
 children are victims of their parents.                                        
 Ms. Waisanen discussed the Montana situation in which there is a              
 proposal to require that one parent be notified 14 hours before               
 their child had an abortion.  She reviewed various other states               
 parental involvement legislation.  She indicated that not all                 
 parents would deal with a pregnant daughter in a loving and caring            
 manner which could lead to the psychological and/or physical injury           
 of the daughter.  She noted that she had been a high school                   
 counselor and had worked with many young women in this situation.             
 GENE OTTENSTROER, testifying from Delta Junction, stated his                  
 opposition to SB 105 and any bills that are for abortion.  This               
 country was formed around God and the family unit.  SB 105 and                
 others like it attack the family unit and destroy it.  SB 105 is              
 one step toward the New World Order Clan.  Passage of SB 105 and              
 others like it that permit abortion would be like slapping God in             
 the face.  Everyone who has a part of this will answer to God.                
 EILEEN BECKER, Assistant Director of the Homer Crisis Pregnancy               
 Center (HCPC) and mother, said that she had worked with women for             
 the last eight years at HCPC.  She supported SB 105.  She                     
 characterized those who would oppose SB 105 as either the abortion            
 clinics or parents who do not want to take responsibility for the             
 actions of their children.  She recounted the experiences she had             
 with three pregnant minors at HCPC.  SB 105 would send a message to           
 minors that parents do care.  She expressed amazement that minors             
 cannot have their ears pierced without parental consent, while a              
 child can go through an abortion alone.                                       
 Number 471                                                                    
 LISA PENALVER, President of the Fairbanks Coalition for Choice,               
 opposed SB 105.  She indicated that parental involvement is a noble           
 goal, but it is impossible to legislate a level of parental                   
 involvement.  Parental consent in regard to abortions of minors is            
 desirable; most teens do involve their parents.  Those teens who do           
 not involve their parents are situations in which the family                  
 structure is already distorted.  She emphasized that an unplanned             
 pregnancy was already difficult enough for teens without further              
 barriers such as SB 105.  Abortion nor  pregnancy  is to be taken             
 lightly.  She pointed out that the complications that Ms. Kohler              
 attributed to abortion are actually risks of any sexual activity              
 not explicitly abortion.  The risk of complications for pregnancy             
 is 11 times greater than for an early abortion.                               
 Ms. Penalver noted that sexuality issues in teens are treated                 
 differently than other issues that currently have parental                    
 involvement required.  Teens are not required to receive parental             
 consent for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.  She              
 pointed out that court appointments may pose a problem because in             
 rural Alaska delays in appointments would be inevitable which would           
 result in more second trimester abortions in teens.  Second                   
 trimester abortions for teens greatly increases their health risks.           
 SB 105 is designed to reduce the number of abortions.  She felt               
 that SB 105 would put minors seeking abortions who cannot talk to             
 their parents at risk.  Such minor women would either seek an                 
 illegal abortion or go through the court process.  The court                  
 process would also pose delays and serious health complications.              
 KELLY MAHONEY informed the committee that she has had 12 years                
 experience in counseling pregnant teens.  She concurred with the              
 testimony of Ms. Penalver.  She indicated that in her field she               
 often sees children who have been coerced by their parents to have            
 an abortion.  She commented that the Alan Guttmacher Institute is             
 a well respected institute for research; it is not a research arm             
 of the Pro Choice organization.  In a 1992 study, two percent of              
 teens surveyed said that someone at the clinic attempted to push              
 them into an abortion.  One percent of those same teens said that             
 they were pressured by the clinic to continue the pregnancy.  In              
 the same study, 18 percent of the young women who did not                     
 voluntarily inform their parents, but whose parents discovered                
 their pregnancy, reported being forced by their parents to have an            
 Ms. Mahoney asserted that healthy families would communicate about            
 such a decision.  A court procedure is unfriendly to teens.  There            
 would continue to be transportation problems in rural areas such as           
 Mat-Su.  She felt that most doctors and counselors do an excellent            
 job in counseling teenagers in their decisions.  She recommended              
 focusing on funding model pregnancy prevention programs.  She                 
 discussed a coalition in Mat-Su which taught abstinence based                 
 education in the school.  This education resulted in a decrease in            
 teen pregnancies; there were 65 teen pregnancies before the                   
 education and 23 teen pregnancies after the education.  She said              
 that such education programs proved better than clearing the path             
 for increased child bearing, aid to families with dependent                   
 children recipients and increased strain on the medical budget.               
 Ms. Mahoney stated that SB 105 was unclear as to how a child would            
 prove to the court that she has issues that deter her from speaking           
 to her parents.  She suggested that research illustrates that teens           
 having abortions have less emotional and physical traumas than                
 those bearing children.                                                       
 SENATOR LEMAN announced that SB 105 would be held until Wednesday,            
 March 22, 1995 for further testimony.  Anyone interested in                   
 submitting written testimony could give it to the teleconference              
 moderator in order to forward to the committee.  Senator Leman                
 relinquished control of the committee to Senator Green.                       
 SHES - 3/20/95                                                                
         SB 117 STATEWIDE INDEPENDENT LIVING COUNCIL                         
 Number 405                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  SB 117  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
 STAN RIDGEWAY, Deputy Director in Vocational Rehabilitation,                  
 explained that SB 117 was introduced at the request of the                    
 Department of Education (DOE).  SB 117 establishes in statute a               
 statewide independent living council which would allow the                    
 department to continue to receive federal funding.  Approximately             
 $900,000 in federal funding is received for independent living                
 services across the state.  He pointed out the analysis of the                
 fiscal note which breaks down the funding sources.  The Division of           
 Vocational Rehabilitation receives federal Part B funds in the                
 amount of $283,000 with a required state match.  Federal Part C               
 funding is granted to centers for independent living; Access Alaska           
 and Southeast Alaskan Independent Living Center receive portions of           
 that money.  The state contributes $563,000 in general funds to               
 centers in the state.                                                         
 Mr. Ridgeway explained that Governor Hickel had appointed a                   
 Statewide Living Council in 1993.  The Division of Vocational                 
 Rehabilitation and the council are required to submit a state plan            
 to the federal government in order to receive funding.  He                    
 explained that Governor Hickel had reappointed the council in 1994            
 due to controversy regarding that the council was not established             
 in statute.  This needs to be established in statute in order to              
 have an ongoing statewide living council.                                     
 SENATOR SALO asked if the provisions in SB 117 were the same as               
 those when the council was created under Governor Hickel.  STAN               
 RIDGEWAY stated that the council remains the same and he specified            
 that the majority of the council's members are disabled.                      
 SENATOR LEMAN asked if the language specifying that a member be               
 compensated with $150 for each day they perform services was the              
 existing requirement.  STAN RIDGEWAY said that there is not an                
 existing federal requirement.  The language merely allows                     
 compensation to a person that is unemployed or loses money from               
 their job.  Mr. Ridgeway specified that the amount parallels the              
 compensation other boards offer.                                              
 SENATOR LEMAN presumed that if this compensation was not required             
 by federal law then it would not be in statute.  STAN RIDGEWAY said           
 that was correct, but that the compensation is required in Title              
 VII of the Rehabilitation Act.                                                
 SENATOR LEMAN suggested that this language may need to be redrafted           
 in order to clarify.                                                          
 Number 345                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN asked if it was common to specify the amount to be             
 compensated in the bill.  SENATOR MILLER explained that this                  
 compensation would be in addition to the per diem and travel                  
 expenses of the member.  There are other boards that have this such           
 as the Permanent Fund Dividend Board and the Railroad Board.  Most            
 boards only receive a per diem.  Senator Miller said that it is               
 common to specify the amount for compensation.                                
 SENATOR ELLIS asked if Chairman Green was suggesting an automatic             
 cost of living increase for boards and commissions.  CHAIRMAN GREEN           
 thought that if federal requirements changed then this would have             
 to be rewritten.  She stated that she did not know what the common            
 procedure was.                                                                
 SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the location of the removal or                   
 dismissal standards in SB 117.  STAN RIDGEWAY stated that there is            
 not a dismissal standard; the members are appointed for three year            
 staggered terms.  A member can only serve two consecutive terms.              
 SENATOR ELLIS emphasized that a dismissal standard has to be                  
 addressed in some manner.                                                     
 SENATOR MILLER explained that if a dismissal standard is not                  
 specified then it would be at the pleasure of the governor.                   
 CHAIRMAN GREEN assumed that when reasons for dismissal are listed             
 another problem would be created.                                             
 SENATOR SALO suggested that this concern could be handled by                  
 inserting the language, "All members serve at the pleasure of the             
 governor." on page 3, line 20.                                                
 CHAIRMAN GREEN stated that the amendments could be drafted for                
 Wednesday.  SENATOR LEMAN pointed out that the next committee of              
 referral for SB 117 was Senate Finance and his issue could be                 
 addressed in that committee.                                                  
 Number 298                                                                    
 SENATOR SALO moved her amendment, Amendment 1, which would insert             
 the sentence, "All members shall serve at the pleasure of the                 
 governor." at the end of Section 3, line 20.                                  
 STAN RIDGEWAY noted that federal law covers that; the governor                
 appoints the board.  He noted that each member of the board had               
 been asked to resubmit an application to the governor's office for            
 possible reappointment.                                                       
 CHAIRMAN GREEN explained that sometimes boards are bound by                   
 overriding federal laws which would be complicated with the                   
 addition of language encompassed in the amendment.                            
 SENATOR ELLIS stated that if the language is the same as the                  
 federal law, then the amendment should not be a problem.                      
 STAN RIDGEWAY did not foresee any conflict.                                   
 CHAIRMAN GREEN inquired as to the pleasure of the committee                   
 regarding Amendment 1.  Hearing no objection, Amendment 1 was                 
 SENATOR MILLER moved that CS SB 117(HES) be moved out of committee            
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 SHES - 3/20/95                                                                
           SB 123 POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION PROGRAMS                           
 Number 272                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN introduced  SB 123  as the next order of business              
 before the committee.                                                         
 JOE MCCORMICK, Executive Director of the Alaska Commission on                 
 Postsecondary Education, stated that SB 123 would achieve three               
 objectives:  the improvement of customer service, strengthen the              
 financial stability of the Alaska Student Loan Program, and                   
 improvement of the overall program and its administration.  He                
 pointed out that the University of Alaska has increased its tuition           
 by 250 percent since 1984 while loan limits have remained unchanged           
 since 1981.  Section 1 of SB 123 raises the loan limits.  He                  
 presented a sectional analysis of SB 123.                                     
 In discussion of the bill's objective to strengthen the financial             
 stability of the loan program, Mr. McCormick informed everyone that           
 the loan program is funded entirely through corporate receipts.               
 This results in the program absorbing loans lost due to death,                
 disability, default, and forgiveness on loans prior to 1987.  The             
 loss due to interest free deferment payments are also absorbed by             
 the program.  He emphasized that the statutory changes outlined in            
 SB 123 are necessary in order for the loan fund to remain self-               
 sufficient.  Section 5 would eliminate the interest free deferment            
 periods that students now receive; approximately $4 million in                
 revenue is expected to be generated from the $50 million that would           
 be lent next year.  Section 14 would charge a five percent                    
 origination fee in order to cover losses in those cases that the              
 program formerly absorbed which would generate approximately $2.5             
 million of the $50 million lent.  Mr. McCormick explained that                
 Section 17 provides that incarcerated persons would be ineligible             
 for Alaska Student Loan funds due to their inability to demonstrate           
 the ability to repay the loan.  He noted that the Department of               
 Corrections has an amendment to offer for Section 17 to which the             
 ACPSE does not object.                                                        
 Number 180                                                                    
 Mr. McCormick highlighted the technical amendments that support the           
 objective of the overall improvement of the program and its                   
 administration.  Those amendments can be found in Sections 8, 15,             
 20, 24, and 27.  He commented on the recent legislative audit which           
 reported that the Alaska Student Loan fund could lose upward of $60           
 million by the year 2011.  Those findings simply confirm what the             
 council has known for some years; the Alaska Student Loan fund is             
 not an actuarily sound loan fund.  The findings of the report also            
 point out that the State of Alaska would have in equity                       
 approximately $200 to $220 million in cash; that money is to be               
 returned to the state treasury.  He emphasized that the most                  
 important point to remember would be that the program by the year             
 2011 would have provided more than $900 million in student loans to           
 184,000 borrowers in Alaska.  The legislative audit would seem to             
 support SB 123.  In conclusion, Mr. McCormick pointed out that the            
 goal of the commission is to ensure that the Alaska Student Loan              
 program is present and financially viable for the future.                     
 Number 112                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN expressed concern with the language that requires the           
 state to pay the interest under Section 5.  This would obligate the           
 state rather than the fund.  JOE MCCORMICK explained that Section             
 5 is reworded upon the advice of the Department of Law; the                   
 existing statute already requires that the state pay this interest            
 during specified periods subject to appropriations.  This is not an           
 addition, the language has merely been reworded.                              
 SENATOR SALO commented that SB 123 is a good bill in that the                 
 changes make the program more actuarily sound.  However, she did              
 not want the program to become a profit making program at the                 
 expense of the students.  She indicated that the best part of this            
 program is the number of students that can access the program.  She           
 stated that in general she was supportive of the legislation.                 
 SENATOR ELLIS inquired as to the section changing the priority                
 order of student loans and child support.  JOE MCCORMICK stated               
 that at present there is no priority on wage garnishments, it is a            
 first come first serve basis.  Child support has taken a priority             
 in the past years and the commission would like to follow that and            
 the remaining debt collectors would remain on the first come first            
 serve basis.                                                                  
 SENATOR ELLIS expressed concern in attempting to reach actuary                
 soundness for the program with the collection of interest during              
 deferment periods.  What would the scenario be with regard to the             
 effect of this on students?  JOE MCCORMICK explained that bonds are           
 issued and the holders receive interest on those bonds, every year            
 that you pay interest to the bondholders for which you do not                 
 collect interest money is lost.  More money is lost when a student            
 is allowed to have an interest free loan during their time in                 
 school than during deferment periods.  Mr. McCormick noted that was           
 due to the fact that typically a deferment period would not be as             
 long as the time a student attends school.                                    
 TAPE 95-18, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 005                                                                    
 Mr. McCormick noted that the commission shared these concerns in              
 developing the legislation.  The commission chose not to charge               
 interest during the period when a student attends school.  The                
 legislative audit report recommends that interest be charged when             
 the student attends school.  Mr. McCormick stated that under the              
 circumstances he would agree with the legislative audit                       
 recommendation; interest should be charged for all the periods in             
 which the commission pays interest.                                           
 SENATOR SALO asked what the corrections amendment would achieve.              
 JERRY SHRINER, Special Assistant to the Commissioner of                       
 Corrections, specified that the Department of Corrections' concern            
 lies in the possibility that specifically removing any possibility            
 for incarcerated persons to obtain a loan may result in court cases           
 for the state or the department.  The state and the department are            
 required to provide incarcerated persons with various opportunities           
 for rehabilitation.  He noted that less than 10 incarcerated                  
 persons had applied for student loans of which none have been                 
 granted.  Removing the possibility for application may allow the              
 person to enter into court contesting that the state is acting in             
 bad faith with regards to the Cleary settlement.                              
 SENATOR SALO asked if incarcerated persons pay tuition and for what           
 would they need a loan.  JERRY SHRINER stated that there are some             
 inmates who will graduate from a college and either pay for the               
 tuition themselves or have a pell grant.  Mr. Shriner was not aware           
 of any who used the Alaska Student Loan program.                              
 Number 071                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN said that inmates are not kept from education even             
 without SB 123.  JERRY SHRINER explained that even without this,              
 the inmates would have the opportunity to pursue an education.  Mr.           
 Shriner clarified that Mike Stark and the Attorney General's Office           
 were concerned that SB 123 would provide an opportunity for an                
 inmate to go to court and charge that the state is acting in bad              
 faith with respect to the Cleary settlement.  Mr. Shriner suggested           
 that the language be modified according to the amendment or remove            
 Section 17 entirely.                                                          
 SENATOR SALO felt that there must be inmates who would owe money to           
 the Alaska Student Loan corporation; what would happen to their               
 payment schedules during incarceration?  JOE MCCORMICK stated that            
 the loan would be shown as in default and it would continue to                
 accrue interest.  The interest rate is 10 percent for defaulted               
 SENATOR SALO stated that such a scenario seemed more problematic              
 than granting more loans to current inmates.  She suggested                   
 reviewing that problem.                                                       
 JOE MCCORMICK informed the committee that the provision was present           
 because there had been requests from incarcerated students to                 
 receive Alaska Student Loans.  The Department of Law advised the              
 commission that there was nothing in existing statutes to allow the           
 denial of the loan.  He explained that the provision is present in            
 order to establish firm ground if an inmate is denied an Alaska               
 Student Loan.                                                                 
 Number 148                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN noted that there were other amendments that had been           
 recommended by the department.                                                
 SENATOR LEMAN moved a memo from the Commission on Postsecondary               
 Education which would advance changes in Section 15 and 19,                   
 Amendment 1.  Without objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                     
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that CS SB 123(HES) be moved out of committee             
 with individual recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so             
 CHAIRMAN GREEN announced that the committee would hear further                
 testimony on SB 105 and SB 98 on Wednesday.  There being no further           
 business before the committee, the meeting adjourned at 10:55 a.m.            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects