Legislature(1997 - 1998)
02/24/1997 09:00 AM HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE February 24, 1997 9:00 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Gary Wilken, Chairman Senator Loren Leman, Vice Chairman Senator Lyda Green Senator Jerry Ward Senator Johnny Ellis MEMBERS ABSENT All members present. COMMITTEE CALENDAR SENATE BILL NO. 94 "An Act relating to designating flunitrazepam as a schedule IVA controlled substance; and providing for an effective date." - MOVED SB 94 OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 66 "An Act relating to the collection by victims of restitution from prisoners; relating to the definition of `serious provocation' as a defense to murder; relating to the definition of `incapacitated' for sexual offenses; creating the crime of interfering with a report of a crime involving domestic violence; relating to the safety of victims, other persons, and the community in setting bail or conditions of release; relating to mental examinations of victims in criminal prosecutions; relating to the rights of victims of crimes under AS 12.61; relating to access to certain records of the Violent Crimes Compensation Board; relating to medical death investigations; amending Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure 5 and 6, Alaska Rules of Evidence 404 and 615, and Alaska Delinquency Rule 3; and providing for an effective date." - HEARD AND HELD SENATE BILL NO. 96 "An Act regulating hospice care." - HEARD AND HELD SENATE BILL NO. 71 "An Act relating to the issuance, suspension, limitation, revocation, and reinstatement of drivers' licenses, permits, or privileges to drive concerning alcohol-related offenses; relating to the fees charged for the reinstatement of drivers' licenses, to alcohol information courses for drivers, and to youth assessment and referral programs for minor drivers." - HEARD AND HELD PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION SB 94 - No previous Senate action to record. SB 66 - See Senate Health, Education & Social Services Committee minutes dated 2/21/97. SB 96 - No previous Senate action to record. SB 71 - No previous Senate action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Senator Ellis State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Prime Sponsor of SB 94. George Taft, Director Alaska Crime Laboratory 5500 E Tudor Road Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1221 POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed Rohypnol. Anne Carpeneti, Assistant Attorney General Legal Services Section Criminal Division Department of Law PO Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 94. Jayne Andreen, Executive Director Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Department of Public Safety PO Box 111200 Juneau, Alaska 99811-1200 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 66, but noted concerns. Blair McCune, Deputy Public Defender Alaska Public Defender Agency 900 W 5th Avenue, Suite 200 Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2090 POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed concerns with SB 66. Charles Quarre', President Hospice of the Central Peninsula HC 1 Box 3336 Sterling, Alaska 99672 POSITION STATEMENT: Recommended that volunteer hospices be excluded from SB 96. Benjamin Brown, Staff Senator Kelly State Capitol Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 96. Mike Shiffer, Board Member Hospice of Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 96. Paula McCarron, Executive Director Hospice of Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the history of hospice care. Shelbert Larsen, Administrator Health Facilities Licensing & Certification 4730 Business Park Boulevard, Suite 18 Anchorage, Alaska 99503-7117 POSITION STATEMENT: Did not oppose licensing hospice, but recommended changes to SB 96. Margot Knuth, Assistant Attorney General Department of Law PO Box 110300 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0300 POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 71. Juanita Hensley, Chief Drivers Services Division of Motor Vehicles Department of Public Safety PO Box 20020 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0020 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions. Students from the Youth Congress: Audrey Caulum, Petersburg; Jeff Lund, Klawock; Dennis Plantz, Sitka; Jessica Gardner, King Salmon Chaperons: Rex Carver, Sitka; Denise Weyhmiller, Craig Loren Jones, Director Division of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Department of Health & Social Services PO Box 110607 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0607 POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the need for age appropriate programs. Valerie Therrien, Chair Legislative Committee Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse 779 Eighth Avenue Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the findings of the Youth Congress and supported SB 71. Don Dapcevich, Executive Director Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse PO Box 110608 Juneau, Alaska 99801-0608 POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the need for SB 71. Cesar DiMatteo, Executive Director Alaska Council on Prevention of Alcohol & Drug Abuse 3333 Denali Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 71. Rex Carver, Chaperon Youth Congress Sitka Teen Resource Center Sitka, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: Discussed the Youth Congress. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 97-18, SIDE A SB 94 ROHYPNOL AS SCHEDULE IV-A DRUG Number 001 CHAIRMAN WILKEN called the Senate Health, Education & Social Services Committee (HES) to order at 9:00 a.m. and introduced SB 94 as the first order of business before the committee. SENATOR ELLIS , Prime Sponsor, explained that SB 94 proposes to add the drug Rohypnol to a Schedule IVA which is the prohibited drug list. While Rohypnol is an illegal drug under federal law, Rohypnol is currently legal in Alaska. Rohypnol, 'the date rape drug', is a growing drug problem across the U.S. When Rohypnol is placed in a person's alcoholic beverage, the person can be out for between 8 and 24 hours when a sexual assault can occur. Rohypnol is also being combined with alcohol for a cheap high. Senator Ellis reported that the first seizure of Rohypnol in Alaska just occurred. Many believe, as does Senator Ellis, that Rohypnol is more serious than Schedule IV, but the state governments are waiting to see the results of the federal survey regarding this. There is the option to increase the schedule at a later time. Schedule IV has a Class C felony, a penalty of one to five years. Number 081 SENATOR WARD inquired as to the current federal penalties for Rohypnol. SENATOR ELLIS said that it is a Class C felony under the federal law, just as is being proposed in SB 94. In response to Senator Leman, SENATOR ELLIS clarified that Schedule I is the most serious and Schedule IV is less serious. Senator Ellis reiterated that there is a study to determine whether the federal government will move from Schedule IV to the higher penalties of Schedule I. With SB 94, Alaska would match federal law with regard to Rohypnol. Senator Ellis could not recall what drugs were listed on Schedule IIIA. GEORGE TAFT , Director of the Alaska Crime Laboratory, noted that the first case in Alaska was about two weeks ago with about 250 tablets of Rohypnol as well as heroine and cocaine. Mr. Taft informed the committee that one of the uses of Rohypnol was to extend and heighten the high of heroine. Mr. Taft offered to answer any questions. Hearing no questions, CHAIRMAN WILKEN inquired as to the pleasure of the committee. SENATOR LEMAN moved to report SB 94 out of committee with individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes. Without objection, it was so ordered. SB 66 CRIMES & CRIME VICTIMS Number 147 CHAIRMAN WILKEN introduced SB 66 as the next order of business before the committee. ANNE CARPENETI , Assistant Attorney General, explained that SB 66 amends the bail statutes in Title 12 so as to agree with the constitutional amendment Article 1 Section 24. SB 66 also amends the victims rights statute, AS 12.61 in order to mirror language in the amendment and cross references to that statute, the notice rights from other titles. CHAIRMAN WILKEN noted that the committee packet included a detailed sectional analysis of SB 42. JAYNE ANDREEN , Executive Director of the Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, supported SB 66. SB 66 ensures the right of the victim to be present at any proceedings pertaining to the crime. Alaskan's have passed a constitutional amendment ensuring this as well. Ms. Andreen noted that this issue is also being reviewed at the federal level. SB 66 expands the domestic violence bill passed last year by factoring in the safety of victims of all violent crimes during sentencing and release procedures. In response to Senator Green, Ms. Andreen clarified that the safety of the victim would be factored in during any part of the process from the conditions of bail to release. Number 228 Ms. Andreen felt that the tightened standards for the court when ordering a psychological examination of a victim in Section 13 is very important, particularly in sexual assault and domestic violence cases. During such cases the credibility and mental capacity of the victim are often inappropriately questioned by the defense. Section 17 provides statutory protection to the records that the Violent Crimes Compensation Board has on the cases being reviewed. The Violent Crimes Compensation Board by virtue of the federal guidelines must keep those records confidential, however the records are often subpoenaed in sexual assault cases. In such cases, the defense wants access to that information which is available to the defense through the course of discovery. Therefore, the Violent Crimes Compensation Board spends much time filing motions to thwart the subpoenas. Section 17 would bring Alaska in compliance with the federal guidelines the board must follow. Ms. Andreen was concerned with Section 6 regarding serious provocation in homicide cases because the language could exclude victims of domestic violence. Section 8 which establishes a crime with the interference of a report of domestic violence is also of concern. Ms. Andreen was supportive of this crime being established, however it should exclude a victim from being charged with this crime. The victim should be allowed to determine whether or not the crime of domestic violence is reported. Ms. Andreen explained that often during a violent episode, the victim attempts to call 911 for protection and the perpetrator dismantles the phone to stop the call. Although such action by the perpetrator is not a crime in his/her own home, the seriousness of the assault is compounded and mentally and physically increases the risk of the victim. SENATOR WARD believed that Section 8 meant that it is illegal to interfere with the reporting of domestic violence; could that include the request not to call? JAYNE ANDREEN deferred to the Department of Law regarding the interpretation of interference. Ms. Andreen supported Section 8 and noted that there are many subtle ways in which the perpetrator can interfere with the victim's ability to gain control. Ms. Andreen foresaw this being a combination charge with assault in most cases. SENATOR WARD understood that most judges already consider the safety of the victim when determining bail. JAYNE ANDREEN said that anecdotal information from the courts indicate that many judges do consider the safety of the victim, but Ms. Andreen did not believe it to be done consistently. Number 326 BLAIR MCCUNE , Deputy Public Defender, said that he would review the bill. Section 1, 14, and 22 would change a long-standing evidentiary rule which ensures that a witness's testimony will not be impacted by the testimony of other witnesses. Mr. McCune recognized the constitutional amendment, however the main concern is to maintain due process and fairness in a trial. The judge should have the discretion to allow witnesses to testify one at a time. Mr. McCune pointed out that the case in New Hampshire acknowledged the courts discretion to exclude witnesses. The concerns with Section 6 have been mentioned by others. The law recognizes that when people are under the strain of intense emotions of fear and anger, the person does not intend to do what he/she does. Mr. McCune believed that should continue. Mr. McCune echoed the concerns regarding the definition of interference in Section 8. AS 11.56.700, resisting and interfering with arrest, requires force or criminal mischief in order to charge. There needs to be a clear definition of interference. Section 13 is a problem because the current law is protective of victims rights, but in some cases a mental examination of the victim is necessary. Section 17 is a rare occurrence of a second autopsy in which the judge should have the discretion to order. Mr. McCune said that Section 19 may lead to propensity evidence whereby a juror may be able to find that if a person did something before, he/she did it on this occasion. CHAIRMAN WILKEN asked if there was any discussion on the bill. Hearing none, Chairman Wilken announced that SB 66 would be held for further consideration. In response to Senator Ellis, Chairman Wilken did not know when the legislation would be before the committee again. SENATOR LEMAN noted that he had worked on the constitutional amendment and was interested in the implementation of statutes to make the amendment work. Senator Leman expressed the desire to continue to work on this. SB 96 REGULATION OF HOSPICE CARE Number 424 CHAIRMAN WILKEN announced SB 96 as the next order of business. CHARLES QUARRE' , President of the Hospice of the Central Peninsula, informed the committee that the Hospice of the Central Peninsula had been in operation for 10 years with 90 members and 50 volunteers. The Hospice of the Central Peninsula operates under the guidelines of the National Hospice Organization. Mr. Quarre' did not believe it is necessary to include volunteer hospice programs for licensing. A fee would cause the hospice to pay for the fee out of the funds used to provide services to its clients. Mr. Quarre' said that the Central Peninsula Hospice adheres to all the licensing provisions of volunteer hospice programs. Mr. Quarre' recommended that volunteer hospice programs be excluded from SB 96. The Central Peninsula Hospice has not received any complaints during its 10 years of operation. If there is a problem with hospices, that could be handled under the current laws and regulations. SENATOR WARD asked how long the Central Peninsula Hospice had been in existence and how much of a clientele does it serve. CHARLES QUARRE' reiterated that the Central Peninsula Hospice is in its tenth year and it normally serves approximately 20-22 clients per year. Most of these clients cannot afford any paid hospice. SENATOR GREEN inquired as to who requested SB 96. Number 462 BENJAMIN BROWN , Staff to Senator Kelly, said that this bill was in response to a request from Hospice of Anchorage. Mr. Brown noted that the concerns of the small volunteer hospices should be addressed. Hospice of Anchorage does not intend to make it difficult to operate a hospice program, particularly volunteer hospice programs. Mr. Brown informed the committee that 38 states have state licensing laws for hospice programs, of the 12 that do not six of those have pending licensing laws. Mr. Brown cited the growth in hospice as the main reason for SB 96. About one of every three persons in the U.S. dying from cancer and AIDS use a hospice program. Mr. Brown preferred to let those speaking from Hospice of Anchorage discuss the specifics. The committee packet does include a sectional analysis. There is only one section in SB 96 which creates Chapter 18 in Title 18 of Alaska Statutes. The three articles in Chapter 18 regulate hospices under DHSS. Article 1 establishes parameters for licensing hospice programs that are formal businesses. Article 2 establishes standards for volunteer hospice programs. Mr. Brown noted that during drafting, Legislative Legal Services pointed out that much would hinge on the use of "relevance" in Article 2. It will be left to DHSS to determine in regulation what the relevant provisions of the code for larger, formally organized hospices would be applied to volunteer hospices. This is the concern mentioned by Mr. Quarre' which would need to be addressed in order to define "relevant" so as not to place onerous regulations on the volunteer hospices. Article 3 merely defines terms in the bill and provides penalties for violations of the statutes. SENATOR LEMAN asked if of the 38 states with such legislation, do any have exclusions for volunteer hospices? BENJAMIN BROWN specified that SB 96 was drafted from Maine's law which does not specify what is relevant, the Department of Health is left to determine the regulations. Mr. Brown stressed that SB 96 does not intend to create difficulties for small, volunteer organizations. The intent is to standardize without regulating with too much burden as well as having the regulation pay for itself. Number 522 MIKE SHIFFER , Board Member with Hospice of Anchorage, indicated the need to ensure the quality of hospice care that was being diluted by the definition of what a hospice program is. Mr. Shiffer supported SB 96 and did not want to restrict any of the volunteer hospices efforts. Mr. Shiffer offered to work with the committee and the volunteer hospices on this issue. PAULA MCCARRON , Executive Director of Hospice of Anchorage, informed the committee that she had been working with the program since 1982. Hospice of Anchorage began as a volunteer program in 1980 and is a member of the National Hospice Organization who establishes what a hospice program should entail. Ms. McCarron echoed comments regarding the increased profile and use of hospice programs. The current change in health care increases the need for licensing of hospice programs. Originally, hospice began as an alternative for persons who wished to die at home. Currently, people are not afforded the opportunity to remain in a hospital. Furthermore, increased reimbursement for home care services, and a need for people to remain near their home has sometimes made hospice the program of choice by patients, family and other health care providers. Mr. McCarron expressed concern with the use of the term hospice without regard for the philosophy of the National Hospice Organization. SB 96 would preserve and protect the components of the National Hospice Organization while ensuring that those seeking such services would receive at least a minimum level of standards and quality. Number 563 SHELBERT LARSEN , Administrator of Health Facilities Licensing & Certification for DHSS, stated that he had heard about SB 96 last week and therefore, has not had much time to review. Mr. Larsen did not oppose the idea of licensing hospice programs, but there are some concerns with SB 96. If the bill moves forward, the powers of DHSS should be very clear with regard to licensing, the denial of a license, the suspension of a license, and the revocation of a license. Mr. Larsen recommended the deletion of Section 18.18.030. Medicare only requires on site visits for those facilities at 10-15 percent frequency, therefore many years could pass before any oversight would take place. Currently, there are no licensed facilities or provider types that are Medicare certified that have deemed status for licensure. Mr. Larsen echoed the concerns regarding the need to define "relevant" in Section 18.18.040. TAPE 97-18, SIDE B Mr. Larsen was unsure as to the results of lines 16-18 on page 2. Currently, licensed facilities have the right to throw out the department although such action can effect the licensure status. The meaning of "discrete entity" in subsection (c) under Section 18.18.100 is not clear. Mr. Larsen recommended the deletion of a "discrete entity." In conclusion, Mr. Larsen noted that he could recommend many other changes and would forward his suggestions to the committee. CHAIRMAN WILKEN noted that SB 96 would be held in order to receive that information from Mr. Larsen. He asked if the committee had any questions. SENATOR WARD requested a copy of the national standards to which have been referred. SENATOR GREEN asked if this created a need for occupational licensing. BENJAMIN BROWN replied no. The end of Article 1 says that licensure of a facility or a program does not obviate the need for the individuals part of that program's interdisciplinary team to have the appropriate occupational licenses. This only creates program licensure of the hospice. SENATOR WARD asked if SB 96 would create a situation in which someone who does not currently have to be licensed would have to become licensed. BENJAMIN BROWN explained that would depend upon what provisions in Article 1 were deemed relevant to volunteers. No one would have to obtain additional licenses if DHSS determines that a volunteer program can exist without a doctor, a certified nurse practitioner, or other people with various licenses. There is nothing explicit in the statute that would require additional licenses for individuals. Mr. Brown said that the relevant provisions for volunteer programs and service providers should be determined. In response to Senator Ward, Mr. Brown said that SB 96 does not require additional licenses, but the resulting regulations may if the definition of "relevant" is not clarified. CHAIRMAN WILKEN did not see the need for this legislation and indicated that discussion regarding the need would be discussed at the next hearing of SB 96. This legislation would also require a fiscal note which should be completed before the next hearing of this bill. BENJAMIN BROWN noted that during testimony he reviewed Georgia and California's statutes and found no reference to volunteer programs. He did not know how other states deal with volunteer programs, but the intent here is to allow them to function without unnecessary regulation. Mr. Brown said that would be reviewed. CHAIRMAN WILKEN announced that SB 96 would be held pending further information. SB 71 DRIVERS LICENSES & DRUG & ALCOHOL PROGRAM CHAIRMAN WILKEN introduced SB 71 as the final order of business before the committee. MARGOT KNUTH , Department of Law, said that SB 71 was the Governor's bill in response to his Conference on Youth & Justice. Ms. Knuth provided the committee with copies of the abridged version. Alcohol is one of the most significant problems in Alaska and the youth with this problem are the group most worthy of attention. There is a "use it lose it" law in place which takes a minor's drivers license when convicted of any offense related to alcohol whether a possession, consuming, or driving offense. Before the minor can have his/her drivers license back, an alcohol education program must be completed. Adults in the same situation are treated differently. An adult must first be screened in order to determine if an education program would solve the problem or if treatment is necessary and at what level. Adults also have compliance and the recommendations are monitored. SB 71 will allow DHSS to prepare and be responsible for an alcohol information course and create the Junior Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). Junior ASAP will first screen the minor in order to determine the appropriate level of education and treatment. The minor's compliance will also be monitored. SB 71 intends to create a meaningful intervention in the lives of these minors. The longer the alcohol problem is left unaddressed, the more difficult it will be to have a meaningful turn around. Ms. Knuth pointed out that SB 71 costs money. SB 71 calls for the reinstatement fees for the revocation of a drivers license to be raised from $100 to $250 in order to provide the funding for this service. Ms. Knuth acknowledged that $250 is quite a bit, but other sources of revenue could not be identified. Those targeted to pay for this is the group of offenders who have engaged in illegal behavior which resulted in the revocation of their license. SENATOR WARD inquired as to the percentage of the driving test that is related to the laws regarding alcohol and driving. MARGOT KNUTH could not provide that information. Number 453 JUANITA HENSLEY , Chief of Drivers Services, explained that all drivers license tests are required to have a section regarding drug and alcohol and driving. There are several questions of the 20 on the test regarding drunk driving, the penalties and such. Ms. Hensley did not have the exact percentage. In response to Senator Ward, Ms. Hensley offered to bring copies of the tests as well as the drivers manual. The manual contains a chapter regarding alcohol, the law, etc. The drivers manual is also on the internet. SENATOR WARD believed that an educational possibility, highlighting the extreme consequences through the test, had been missed. Senator Ward commented that conditional licenses could be issued to minors with drug and alcohol. JUANITA HENSLEY informed the committee that the Driver Improvement Section has tried to talk to minors in the schools regarding the "use it lose it" law and the penalties. Ms. Hensley pointed out that the Office of Highway Safety Planning developed a brochure discussing the penalties that is available to minors. SENATOR WARD stated that it is a privilege to receive a license. Senator Ward expressed the need to ensure that minors understand the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol even if extra burdens must be placed on the minor. Senator Ward said that it would not cost a great deal more. The educational component may be lacking. Number 395 CHAIRMAN WILKEN acknowledged the presence of some young people in the audience. The following students were present: Audrey Caulum, Jeff Lund, Dennis Plantz, and Jessica Gardner. Chairman Wilken asked if the youths were aware of the "use it lose it" law and if so, how had the youth been introduced to this law. The youths had learned of the law through the school, the local teen center and talks from the local police. SENATOR WARD asked the youths if any were introduced to the consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol through the licensing procedures. The youths had read the chapter in the drivers manual and felt the information was adequate, but more information could be present. SENATOR LEMAN asked if the information was effective and would it change behavior. The youths believed that some would ignore the information and drive without a license. Senator Leman noted that a constituent had indicated that the "use it lose it" law may be too tough; is the law appropriate? The youths believed the law to be appropriate, but indicated that the law was not being enforced. SENATOR GREEN discussed a minor constituent in which she thought she had made arrangements to attend the ASAP, although the letter of transmittal states that there is no program for minors similar to the ASAP. JUANITA HENSLEY explained that the minor was referre through one of the licensed alcohol rehabilitation programs for screening and evaluation. Based on that information, the minor would be referred to the appropriate program. Currently there are no programs designed for minors which has necessitated this bill. Ms. Hensley informed the committee that she had estimated that there would be 3,500 revocations a year under the "use it lose it" law. In 1996, almost 4,000 revocations occurred. SENATOR GREEN thought a side-by-side comparison regarding what is currently offered and what would be offered under SB 71 would be helpful. Senator Green was interested in the program that the minors in Mat-Su were attending. Number 314 LOREN JONES , Director of the Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse for DHSS, said that in most areas there are adult ASAP programs which are not age appropriate for those under the age of 18. All the alcohol information schools are approved through the DMV and the course includes at least four hours of drivers education as part of the eight hour course. Mr. Jones noted that most of the adult programs attempt to address the needs of minors which does not afford the best opportunity for the minors. In Mat-Su there is age appropriate intervention and treatment for minors through the alternative school, the Mat-Su Council, etc. SB 71 would transfer to the division the approval authority for alcohol information schools in order to create an age appropriate curriculum and then fund local efforts to do assessments and initial screening. The Community Action Against Substance Abuse Program which was passed six years ago of which Senator Ellis was the sponsor is an appropriate mechanism to generate local resources and establish standards, quality, and outcomes for the program. Mr. Jones informed the committee that the youth present were a group reviewing the issues surrounding alcohol and youth access. When Mr. Jones met with the youth, they all knew about the "use it lose it" law, but had concerns. The youth felt that a minor would lose his/her license, but no further action or education was taken. Number 253 VALERIE THE RRIEN , Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Advisory Board on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, supported SB 71 in the respect that those minors consuming and other alcohol related offenses be referred to treatment before the point of revoking the minor's license. SB 71 is the funding mechanism for JR. ASAP. Ms. Therrien discussed testimony heard from the participants in the Youth Congress which indicated the easy access minors have to drugs and alcohol. The Youth Congress participants cited tobacco as the biggest problem for some communities. In many communities the parents cover up for their children. Ms. Therrien noted the enormous availability of drugs in Fairbanks and said that elementary children were drinking in the sixth grade. These elementary children need to be addressed before the point at which their license is revoked. Ms. Therrien noted that someone at the Youth Congress said that some minors in Ketchikan are arrested for minors consuming alcohol every day and are not referred. The Youth Congress wants the first time a minor is caught to be the last time. The fines are too lenient. The Youth Congress wants stricter laws that are enforced. Ms. Therrien suggested placing more rookies on the beats to enforce the laws. Further the enforcement of the laws should occur, even at the citizen level. Ms. Therrien supported SB 71. Prevention is the key. Number 150 DON DAPCEVICH , Executive Director of the Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, informed the committee that of the 4,000 minors consuming incidents last year, 400 assessments and referrals to treatment were made. Those 400 were predominately in Juneau and Mat-Su. Mr. Dapcevich, a former program director in Juneau, recalled the numerous recurrence of minor consuming incidents which did not result in referral until a later age when the addiction is worse. Juneau established a JR. ASAP which allowed intervention at an early age. Mr. Dapcevich encouraged the committee to seriously consider SB 71 due to its ability to offer major change in the delivery of drug and alcohol services in Alaska. CESAR DIMATTEO , Executive Director of the Alaska Council on Prevention of Alcohol & Drug Abuse, informed the committee that he was on the Youth & Justice Conference for the Governor, Executive Committee for Prevention, and the Drug & Alcohol Directors Association. Mr. DiMatteo supported SB 71. Mr. DiMatteo agreed with Senator Ward's comments regarding early intervention to avoid later problems. This discussion is about the different stages of this problem. First, information is given which Mr. DiMatteo acknowledged does not necessarily change behavior. SB 71 offers the next stage of more education. Mr. DiMatteo agreed with Ms. Therrien that more prevention regarding the consequences is necessary. Even still, youth fall between through the system. Under ASAP, the individual's problem is assessed and then referred to the appropriate intervention or treatment. Then the individual can have a life and stop the cycle. Currently, an assessment is done, but there is no follow-up or place to refer the minor. SENATOR WARD inquired as to the amount of time spent on honoring sobriety in society during the Youth Congress. CESAR DIMATTEO noted that SB 71 was one of the over 100 recommendations during the Youth & Justice Conference. Further, the Prevention Group attempted to recommend a marketing plan submitting the positive aspects of youth to newspapers. Mr. DiMatteo stressed the need for a constituency for the youth recovering. Mr. DiMatteo informed the committee that he was a recovering person. TAPE 97-19, SIDE A SENATOR WARD stressed that this includes everyone from youth to seniors. Senator Ward said that when a solution is highlighted and the people are treated with honor, it grows as is the case in Anchorage in segments of Mountain View. Senator Ward did not know if such could even be legislated. VALERIE THERRIEN noted that students were being honored through the Youth Congress which she felt should be done through every community. CESAR DIMATTEO informed the committee that there are prevention and intervention models such as Risk & Resiliency - Protective Factors and Asset Building. The Search Institute developed Asset Building which determined that if a minor has 25-40 assets, that minor has a minimal ability of participating in drugs and alcohol. Mr. DiMatteo emphasized that there are options which are not being used. VALERIE THERRIEN , a recovering person, noted that many of the minors present for the Youth Congress are either peer helpers or natural helpers who are trained to intervene with other minors. Ms. Therrien reiterated that prevention and education work. Number 075 CHAIRMAN WILKEN requested that the public defenders fiscal note needed to be developed further. Chairman Wilken referred to paragraph nine of the DHSS fiscal note when requesting that DHSS specify what the $500,000 would accomplish with examples. Further, the numbers on the fiscal note from the Department of Public Safety is remarkable. Chairman Wilken directed the committee to paragraph four of the DHSS fiscal note which says that the numbers of second and third time offenders is about equal to the numbers of first time offenders which indicates that something is broken. Chairman Wilken announced that SB 71 would be held. REX CARVER , Chaperon of the Youth Congress, introduced the other chaperon Denise Weyhmiller. Mr. Carver works at the Sitka Teen Resource Center which provides alcohol information schools. Ms. Martinson coordinated the Youth Conference where youth will learn more about drug and alcohol issues and how students can impact these issues. Mr. Carver, through his work, felt that giving communities the endorsement for early intervention is crucial and beneficial. Mr. Carver believed that law enforcement could improve if avenues were in place to send minors. CHAIRMAN WILKEN thanked everyone for participating. Chairman Wilken announced that the foundation formula subcommittee would be meeting soon. There being no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m.