Legislature(1997 - 1998)

04/18/1997 09:05 AM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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      SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE                     
                         April 18, 1997                                        
                           9:05 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. 117                                                           
 "An Act relating to an infant care curriculum in the public school            
 system."                                                                      
                                                                               
  - MOVED SB 117 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                              
                                                                               
 CONFIRMATIONS: University of Alaska Board of Regents - Michael                
                Burns, Elsa Demeksa                                            
                                                                               
 SENATE BILL NO. 164                                                           
 "An Act relating to the authority of an emergency medical                     
 technician at the scene of an accident or emergency."                         
                                                                               
  - MOVED CSSB 164(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                       
                                                                               
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
                                                                               
 SB 117 - No previous Senate action to record.                                 
                                                                               
 SB 164 - See Senate Health, Education & Social Service minutes                
          dated 4/16/97.                                                       
                                                                               
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
                                                                               
 Senator Donley                                                                
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99801-1182                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Prime Sponsor of SB 117.                               
                                                                               
 Tom Dean, Chief                                                               
 Tok EMS                                                                       
 PO Box 811                                                                    
 Tok, Alaska 99780                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Encouraged passage of CSSB 164(HES).                   
                                                                               
 Craig Lewis                                                                   
 Alaska EMS Association                                                        
 Interior Region Emergency Medical Services Council                            
 3522 Industrial Avenue                                                        
 Fairbanks, Alaska 99701                                                       
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Present for questions.                                 
                                                                               
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
                                                                               
  TAPE 97-41, SIDE A                                                           
                                                                               
        SB 117 INFANT CARE CURRICULUM IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS                       
                                                                              
 Number 001                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  called the Senate Health, Education & Social                
 Services Committee (HES) to order at 9:05 a.m. and introduced                 
 SB 117  as the first order of business before the committee.                  
                                                                               
  SENATOR DONLEY , Prime Sponsor, said that SB 117 adds the language           
 "including infant care" to the suggested health curriculum for                
 Alaska's public school system.  Senator Donley pointed out that the           
 committee packets included a chart which illustrates why Alaska               
 needs better infant care.  The chart shows that Alaska has the                
 fewest low weight births, the best early prenatal care, and the               
 fewest births by mothers under 18 years of age.  However, the chart           
 shows that Alaska has the highest rate of infant mortality, infants           
 three months to one year, in the nation.  This data indicates that            
 something is going wrong during the three months to one year time             
 period.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Senator Donley hoped that health classes in the public schools                
 could educate students on caring for a baby.  For example,                    
 informing the students of SIDS and the need for a baby to sleep on            
 its back not its stomach.  The class could educate students in the            
 proper way to hold and feed a baby.  The class could provide                  
 general information that everyone should learn because not only the           
 mother will be taking care of the baby.                                       
   In response to Chairman Wilken,  SENATOR DONLEY  explained that the         
 initial data came from the University of Washington, but his staff            
 has spent much time compiling the data.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 087                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  pointed out that the sponsor statement refers to            
 requiring infant care, but this would be voluntary.   SENATOR DONLEY          
 clarified that SB 117 would only add infant care to those suggested           
 for education under the existing law.                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  noted that SB 117 has a zero fiscal note.                   
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  asked if any school system has a curriculum that               
 includes infant care in its health curriculum.   SENATOR DONLEY  had          
 not checked every school district in Alaska, but the Anchorage                
 School District does not.  Senator Donley informed the committee              
 that the Anchorage School District just performed a review of the             
 health care curriculum, but no one brought forth this issue.                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  said that he had discussed this with a Fairbanks'           
 School Board member who indicated that the Fairbanks' School Board            
 had discussed such curriculum.  This member believed that SB 117              
 would encourage further discussion of the issue.                              
                                                                               
  SENATOR GREEN  moved to report SB 117 out of committee with                  
 individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.             
 Without objection, it was so ordered.                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  moved to the nominees of the Board of Regents as            
 the next order of business before the committee.                              
                                                                               
 Number 137                                                                    
                                                                               
  MIKE BURNS , UA Board of Regent nominee, said that it was an honor           
 to be nominated for this position.  Mr. Burns informed the                    
 committee that he came to Alaska in 1985 as the President of Alaska           
 Pacific Bank, Key Bank, and continues in that position today.  By             
 training Mr. Burns is a lawyer, but is not admitted to practice in            
 Alaska.  Mr. Burns listed the following civic affairs:  Chair of              
 the Anchorage Telephone Utility, Governor's Commission on Tort                
 Reform, YMCA Board, Nature Conservancy Board, United Way, etc.                
                                                                               
  SENATOR GREEN  inquired as to the university's stand on resource             
 management and agricultural related programs.    MIKE BURNS  said             
 that he had not gotten into the programs yet.  Mr. Burns sensed               
 that the university is now at the point of doing less with less due           
 to declining budgets.  Mr. Burns did not know how agriculture fits            
 into all of this.                                                             
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  said that as budget reductions continue, the Board of          
 Regents need to review how to make the university system work.                
 Senator Ward suggested reducing the campuses down to two; one in              
 Fairbanks and the other in Anchorage.  By keeping all the                     
 satellites open, some of the core activities of 80 percent of the             
 university population are being damaged.   MIKE BURNS  said that it           
 is a grave situation and the university needs to determine how to             
 do less because there is less.  Before reviewing issues of what is            
 being done, issues of how efficient things are done must be                   
 determined.  The structure of the administration of the university            
 must be reviewed in order to determine if the correct                         
 administrative model is in place for the future.  Mr. Burns                   
 believed that some things can be done cheaper, perhaps not enough             
 cheaper to salvage everything that is provided today.                         
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  informed the committee that the concept of scaling             
 down to only two campuses comes from the student body of the                  
 University of Alaska-Anchorage.                                               
                                                                               
  MIKE BURNS  believed that some input from the Legislature is                 
 necessary regarding the direction and scope of the university.                
 With any further cuts, the university will not be able to continue            
 doing what it does today for the next year.  Mr. Burns commented              
 that in the short time of his involvement with the university, he             
 has been struck by the involvement of the student body.  For                  
 example, there is a proposed technology fee and the students'                 
 responses indicate that they realize the need for other resources             
 beyond the traditional channels.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 291                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS  noted that he and Mr. Burns served on the Governor's          
 Task Force on Tort Reform where Senator Ellis was impressed with              
 Mr. Burns.  From that experience, Senator Ellis believed that Mr.             
 Burns would make a good regent.                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN  informed the committee that he was visited by some            
 UAA students today who were concerned with appropriations for                 
 periodicals at the UAA Library in order to maintain its                       
 accreditation.  Senator Leman referred the students to the regents.           
 Senator Leman encouraged Mr. Burns to work within the budget                  
 constraints.   MIKE BURNS  stressed that the funding of the books is          
 an important issue for accreditation.  Mr. Burns understood that in           
 the past two years, money has been moved from that area and has               
 been placed into instructional programs.  The highest spending                
 priority is what effects the students and accreditation is vital.             
 Mr. Burns said that Peter was being robbed to pay Paul.                       
                                                                               
  SENATOR ELLIS  commented that 18 years ago when he was a member of           
 the UAA Student Government Senate he was sent to Juneau to lobby              
 for books and periodicals for the UAA Consortium Library.                     
                                                                               
  MIKE BURNS  pointed out that the aforementioned technology fee would         
 add to the internet capability and help with the periodicals,  but            
 does not add hard copies of books.                                            
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN ,  SENATOR LEMAN ,  SENATOR WARD , and  SENATOR ELLIS        
 noted that they all had accounts with Key Bank.                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  said that he was concerned about the lack of                
 knowledge by the Legislature with regard to what the university               
 needs and does for Alaska.  Chairman Wilken said that he would work           
 on that during the interim.  Chairman Wilken believed that the                
 university and the Legislature should have a banking relationship             
 with the Legislature as the banker.  Chairman Wilken has observed             
 in his 16 weeks with the Legislature, that the university and the             
 Legislature do not talk nor do they understand the needs of one               
 another.  Chairman Wilken stressed the need for the university                
 system to be held in the same esteem as the K-12 education; that is           
 a goal.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Chairman Wilken read the following statement which conveyed his               
 concerns, "It is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the Board            
 of Regents', Governor's, and Legislature's goals to provide a                 
 quality and affordable education for Alaskans and promote Alaska              
 jobs and economic development."  He said that if there are goals of           
 those three groups, he had not seen those goals and he bet that               
 none of the three groups know the others' goals.  Chairman Wilken             
 said that determining what the Regents, the Governor, and the                 
 Legislature want is a place to begin.                                         
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  commented that Wendy Redman has been the glue holding          
 the three groups together.  Senator Ward pointed out that Senator             
 Wilken had been designated to work with the university through the            
 interim to present information back to the next legislative                   
 session.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 406                                                                    
                                                                               
  ELSA DEMEKSA , UA Board of Regent nominee, informed the committee            
 that she was a local business owner and mother of two children.               
 Ms. Demeksa has been a resident of Alaska for about 19 years.  With           
 a son that will be ready for college in about three years, Ms.                
 Demeksa has a personal interest in the university.  Ms. Demeksa               
 noted her degree in English Literature and graduate work in Mass              
 Media.  Ms. Demeksa has served on several boards and just completed           
 a five year term on the Alaska State Board of Parole.  Ms. Demeksa            
 said that she had the time, willingness, and energy to commit to              
 the university.                                                               
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  commented that after talking with people in the halls          
 about Ms. Demeksa, everyone has spoken very highly of her.                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN  asked if Ms. Demeksa had any vision for the                   
 university in the future.  With the money constraints, Senator                
 Leman mentioned the possibility of consolidation of rural campuses            
 and what the main campuses would offer.  He asked if Ms. Demeksa              
 had any thoughts on that.   ELSA DEMEKSA  felt that the status quo            
 needs to be challenged.  The reduction in funding from the                    
 Legislature indicates the need to streamline and re-examine the               
 structure of the university.  Ms. Demeksa believed that the                   
 university needs to review other sources of funding and perhaps,              
 the community could play a larger role.                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  asked Ms. Demeksa if he could count on her to               
 encourage and participate in the discussion between the Board of              
 Regents and the Legislature.   ELSA DEMEKSA  replied, absolutely.             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  thanked the nominees and noted his intent for the           
 letter of confirmation to be signed and forwarded to President                
 Miller.                                                                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
            SB 164 AUTHORITY OF EMERGENCY MED TECHS                           
                                                                              
 Number 478                                                                    
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  announced that  SB 164  was the final order of              
 business before the committee.  Chairman Wilken noted that there              
 was a committee substitute for consideration.                                 
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  moved that CSSB 164(HES) be adopted.                           
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  explained that the CS changed lines 6-8 to require          
 that to be covered by this statute a current EMT identification               
 card must be on the person.  Chairman Wilken pointed out that lines           
 10-13 on page 2 address the enforcement issue.  This is just like             
 the fire fighter code in that an EMT cannot enforce the law, the              
 EMT can take the name of the person disobeying instructions and               
 pass that name to the troopers.  The troopers decide whether                  
 prosecution is in order in a particular situation.                            
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  said that he had no problem as long as the person              
 claiming to be an EMT was clearly identifiable.                               
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  noted that people are almost always in uniform, but         
 if not the person is now required to carry identification.                    
                                                                               
  TOM DEAN  encouraged passage of CSSB 164(HES).                               
                                                                               
  CRAIG LEWIS  said that he was present for questions.                         
                                                                               
 Number 511                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR LEMAN  moved to report CSSB 164(HES) out of committee with           
 individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal note.             
 Without objection, it was so ordered.                                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN WILKEN  asked if there was anything else to come before the         
 committee.                                                                    
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  noted that he had a suggestion from the public.  The           
 suggestion was to take 10 million acres of State of Alaska land and           
 place that into an educational endowment for K through university             
 level.  The 10 million acres would have a formula for development             
 to develop so many acres per year or else the land would transfer             
 back to the state.  The person that suggested this is a miner.                
  SENATOR LEMAN  commented that he had supported several land grant            
 proposals for the university and would be open to looking into the            
 concepts.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATOR WARD  interjected that this suggestion emphasized the need           
 to lease, develop, or explore on a phased basis or the land reverts           
 back to the state over a 20 year period.                                      
                                                                               
 There being no further business before the committee, the meeting             
 was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.                                                    
                                                                               

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