Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/26/2006 01:30 PM HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES


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01:34:33 PM Start
01:37:27 PM SCR28
01:39:35 PM SB281
02:06:21 PM Overview: Obesity Prevention – American Heart Association
02:52:16 PM HB258
03:01:11 PM HB393
03:28:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SCR 28 TECHNOLOGY FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= SB 281 SCHOOL DIST. ENROLLMENT SHARING/CORRESPON TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ OVERVIEW: American Heart Association - TELECONFERENCED
Obesity Prevention
+ HB 258 SEXUAL ASSAULT BY PERSON WITH HIV/AIDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 258(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 393 INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                               
                         April 26, 2006                                                                                         
                           1:34 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Fred Dyson, Chair                                                                                                       
Senator Gary Wilken, Vice Chair                                                                                                 
Senator Lyda Green                                                                                                              
Senator Kim Elton                                                                                                               
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 28                                                                                             
Relating to  the innovative  application of  education technology                                                               
tools  to provide  improved distance  education  programs in  the                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 281                                                                                                             
"An Act  relating to interdistrict  operation of  public schools;                                                               
relating  to  enrollment  of students  by  school  districts  and                                                               
regional educational  attendance areas;  and relating  to charter                                                               
schools and correspondence programs."                                                                                           
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Overview: Obesity Prevention - American Heart Association                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 258(JUD)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to aggravating  factors at sentencing for sexual                                                               
assault and sexual abuse."                                                                                                      
     MOVED CSHB 258(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 393(HES)                                                                                                  
"An  Act  requiring  that certain  health  care  insurance  plans                                                               
provide  coverage for  the costs  of colorectal  cancer screening                                                               
examinations  and   laboratory  tests;   and  providing   for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SCR 28                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: TECHNOLOGY FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/13/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/13/06       (S)       HES                                                                                                    
04/19/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
04/21/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/21/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/24/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/24/06       (S)       SCHOOL          DIST.         ENROLLMENT                                                               
                         SHARING/CORRESPON                                                                                      
04/26/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 281                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL DIST. ENROLLMENT SHARING/CORRESPON                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) DYSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/13/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/06       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
03/01/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/01/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/01/06       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/03/06       (S)       HES AT 2:00 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/03/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/13/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/13/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/13/06       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/27/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/27/06       (S)       <Above Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                          
04/19/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/19/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/21/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/21/06       (S)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
04/24/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/24/06       (S)       HEALTH CARE DECISIONS                                                                                  
04/26/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 258                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ASSAULT BY PERSON WITH HIV/AIDS                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) LYNN                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
04/06/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/06/05       (H)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
02/23/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/23/06       (H)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 2/28/06>                                                                  
02/28/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/28/06       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/21/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/21/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 258(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/21/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/24/06       (H)       HES RPT CS(HES) 7DP                                                                                    
03/24/06       (H)       DP: CISSNA, GATTO, GARDNER, KOHRING,                                                                   
                         ANDERSON, SEATON, WILSON                                                                               
04/10/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
04/10/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 258(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/10/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
04/12/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 5DP 1NR                                                                             
04/12/06       (H)       DP: GARA, WILSON, KOTT, GRUENBERG,                                                                     
                         MCGUIRE;                                                                                               
04/12/06       (H)       NR: COGHILL                                                                                            
04/19/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/19/06       (H)       VERSION:                                                                                               
04/20/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/20/06       (S)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
04/26/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 393                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) ANDERSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
01/25/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/25/06       (H)       L&C, HES                                                                                               
02/03/06       (H)       L&C AT 4:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/03/06       (H)       -- Meeting Canceled --                                                                                 
02/06/06       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM CAPITOL 17                                                                              
02/06/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 393(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/06/06       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
02/08/06       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) 5DP 1NR 1AM                                                                            
02/08/06       (H)       DP: CRAWFORD, LYNN, LEDOUX, GUTTENBERG,                                                                
                         ANDERSON;                                                                                              
02/08/06       (H)       NR: KOTT;                                                                                              
02/08/06       (H)       AM: ROKEBERG                                                                                           
02/14/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/14/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 393(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/14/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/17/06       (H)       HES RPT CS(HES) 6DP                                                                                    
02/17/06       (H)       DP: GARDNER, CISSNA, ANDERSON, GATTO,                                                                  
                         SEATON, WILSON                                                                                         
02/22/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
02/22/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 393(HES)                                                                                 
02/23/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/23/06       (S)       L&C, HES                                                                                               
03/09/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/09/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/09/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/04/06       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/04/06       (S)       Moved CSHB 393(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/04/06       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/05/06       (S)       L&C RPT 5DP                                                                                            
04/05/06       (S)       DP: BUNDE, DAVIS, ELLIS, SEEKINS,                                                                      
                         STEVENS B                                                                                              
04/26/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Wes Keller, Legislative Aide                                                                                                    
Staff to Senator Dyson                                                                                                          
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SCR 28 and SB 281.                                                                           
                                                                                                                              
Suzanne Muenier, Director of Advocacy                                                                                           
American Heart Association                                                                                                      
1057 W Fireweed Ln, Suite 100                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK  99503                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on obesity prevention.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Bob Urata                                                                                                                   
3220 Hospital Drive, Suite 100                                                                                                  
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on obesity prevention.                                                            
                                                                                                                              
Tammy Green, Section Chief                                                                                                      
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion                                                                                 
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-0601                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on obesity prevention.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Rosie Fletcher                                                                                                                  
Task Force on Obesity and Health                                                                                                
Olympic athlete and community volunteer                                                                                         
Girdwood, AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on obesity prevention.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Rob Boyer, Director                                                                                                         
Staffing and Recruitment                                                                                                        
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
4600 DeBarr Road                                                                                                                
PO Box 196614                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska  99519-6614                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on obesity prevention.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 258.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Susan Parkes, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Criminal Division                                                                                                               
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 258.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Michael Sica, Legislative Aide                                                                                                  
Staff to Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on HB 258.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Brenda Standfill, Executive Director                                                                                            
Alaska Center for Nonviolent Living                                                                                             
130 Seward Street, Suite 214                                                                                                    
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on SB 258.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Heath Hilyard, Legislative Aide                                                                                                 
Staff to Representative Anderson                                                                                                
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau, AK  99801                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced HB 393.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Melanie Millhorn, Director                                                                                                      
Division of Retirement and Benefits                                                                                             
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
PO Box 110200                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0200                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 393.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Molly McCammon                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 393.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Emily Nenon, Director of Government Relations                                                                                   
American Cancer Society                                                                                                         
1057 W Fireweed Ln.                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK  99503                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 393.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Daryl McClendon                                                                                                             
3340 Providence Dr. Suite 352                                                                                                   
Anchorage, AK  99508                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of HB 393.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRED DYSON  called the Senate Health,  Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee meeting  to  order  at 1:34:33  PM.                                                             
Present were  Senators Kim Elton,  Donny Olson, Lyda  Green, Gary                                                               
Wilken and Chair Fred Dyson.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
            SCR 28-TECHNOLOGY FOR DISTANCE EDUCATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced SCR 28 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
WES  KELLER, Staff  to Senator  Dyson,  said SCR  28 resolves  to                                                               
encourage  the responsible  application of  education technology,                                                               
the virtual  grouping of students,  the allocation  of technology                                                               
funding to offset  the burden caused by increases  in the student                                                               
teacher  ratio, and  the distribution  of the  resolution to  all                                                               
school board members in the  state.  He recommended the committee                                                               
adopt version F as its working document.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:37:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON moved  the F version and objected for  the purpose of                                                               
discussion.   He remarked  that the  committee's approval  of the                                                               
resolution would  encourage people  who are currently  working on                                                               
issues related to the resolution.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON commented  that most  of  the resolves  in SCR  28                                                               
speak to  rural areas but not  to urban areas.   He remarked that                                                               
the use of technology in schools is also an urban issue.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILKEN  moved  to  report   SCR  28  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations.  There were no objections  and it was                                                               
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
        SB 281-SCHOOL DIST. ENROLLMENT SHARING/CORRESPON                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced SB 281 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
WES KELLER, Legislative  aide to Senator Dyson, said  that SB 281                                                               
authorizes any  school district in  the state to  enroll students                                                               
from  across  the  state  under  the  following  conditions:  the                                                               
program must be chosen by  the resident district and parents, and                                                               
there must be a cooperative  legal agreement between the district                                                               
the student comes  from and the district in which  the student is                                                               
enrolling to provide  the school facility and  supervision of the                                                               
child. If  these conditions are  met, the enrolling  school would                                                               
receive 100 percent  state funding for that  child. Otherwise the                                                               
enrolling school would only receive  80 percent of state funding,                                                               
which is the current funding level for correspondence education.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:42:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON remarked  that the  Attorney  General's (AG)  office                                                               
recently issued  an opinion stating  that while there  is nothing                                                               
in  current statute  to preclude  the aforementioned  cooperation                                                               
between  districts, there  is a  significant chance  it could  be                                                               
challenged because our current  statutes regarding education were                                                               
founded  around   the  presupposition  that  each   district  has                                                               
complete control  over education for  all of the students  in it.                                                               
He said  that SB 281  makes it  clear that districts  could enter                                                               
into cooperative agreements across district lines.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He said  that the  legislation would  allow failing  districts to                                                               
enter  into  cooperative  agreements   with  other  districts  to                                                               
satisfy  the  requirements  of  the  No  Child  Left  Behind  Act                                                               
(NCLBA), most  importantly those  pertaining to  parental choice.                                                               
It  would also  allow  smaller schools  to  cooperate with  other                                                               
districts to establish virtual classes  on specific subjects such                                                               
as art and foreign languages.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON asked  whether students  in private  schools could                                                               
participate in these programs.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLER replied that private  students would not be allowed to                                                               
participate unless they enroll in a public program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:45:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked  whether  the  legislation  would  have  an                                                               
adverse affect on private education.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KELLER replied  that it  would not,  but added  that it  may                                                               
create competition between public and private schools.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:46:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON added  that  this bill  would  not preclude  private                                                               
school  students  from  enrolling   in  virtual  classes  offered                                                               
through public schools.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  asked where  the bill  requires the  permission of                                                               
both school districts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:48:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLER  replied that it appears  on section 5, page  2, lines                                                               
22 through 30.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN asked whether the  bill requires a mutual agreement                                                               
for enrollment or a mutual agreement for 100 percent funding.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KELLER  replied that  the  student  could  not enroll  in  a                                                               
different district if  his home district does not  agree to allow                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  added that  in order for  the enrolling  district to                                                               
receive 100  percent funding,  there must  be a  mutual agreement                                                               
between the districts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  asked whether there  are any schools in  the state                                                               
that accept students from other districts.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLER  replied that Alyeska  Central School  offers distance                                                               
education  to  students  from  all   over  the  state,  but  that                                                               
currently  no  schools  in the  state  accept  non-correspondence                                                               
students from other home districts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN asked  whether the  bill would  apply to  existing                                                               
schools that serve out of district students.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLER replied that the successor  of the Alyeska School is a                                                               
leading example  of what this  bill explicitly allows.   However,                                                               
there is  some question of  whether their current  operations are                                                               
appropriate because,  according to an  AG opinion a  local school                                                               
district operating within  its own boarders is  the foundation of                                                               
the state education system.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  remarked  that   this  bill  explicitly  authorizes                                                               
cooperative agreements between  districts on purchasing, building                                                               
maintenance and renovation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON   asked  whether   anything  in   the  legislation                                                               
prohibits, for  example, the Juneau School  District from opening                                                               
a brick  and mortar  school in  Gustavus.   He asked  whether the                                                               
student  attending that  school  would  be funded  at  80 or  100                                                               
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KELLER replied  that  they  would be  funded  at 80  percent                                                               
unless the home  district provides the supervision  of the child.                                                               
He added that  since the school would receive only  80 percent of                                                               
regular  state  funding,  there  would  be  no  incentive  for  a                                                               
district to open a brick and mortar school in another district.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON referenced the following from the AG's opinion:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The   local  school   district  operating   within  its                                                                    
     boarders is  the foundation of the  state's educational                                                                    
     system;   K-12  is,   by  statutory   design  delivered                                                                    
     locally.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He remarked that legislation that  would allow a district to open                                                               
a brick and  mortar school in another district  seems to directly                                                               
conflict with the AG's opinion.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KELLER   remarked  that   the  AG's   opinion  is   only  an                                                               
interpretation of existing law.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:57:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON  expressed  concern that  this  legislation  would                                                               
allow for a significant change in state policy.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON replied  that he thought a change in  state policy is                                                               
in order.   He said that  this bill would allow  a school failing                                                               
the  standards of  the NCLBA  to enlist  the support  of a  well-                                                               
managed school district.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:00:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON reiterated  that this  legislation would  create a                                                               
significant change in state policy  by allowing a school district                                                               
to operate a brick and  mortar school in another district without                                                               
a contractual arrangement with the local district.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  responded that it  accommodates the  requirements of                                                               
the NCLBA in  that it gives parents the choice  of removing their                                                               
child from a failing school.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  WILKEN   suggested  testing   the  concept   behind  the                                                               
legislation in a  few districts before applying it  to the entire                                                               
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:03:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN asked  Mr.  Keller  to point  out  where the  bill                                                               
requires a cooperative agreement between districts.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. KELLER replied that before  proceeding further, he would like                                                               
some time to work on the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  concurred with Mr.  Keller's suggestion  and added                                                               
that  it  would be  beneficial  for  the  committee to  hear  the                                                               
opinion of some of the districts before proceeding with it.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON moved  to adopt version I as  the committee's working                                                               
document.   There were no objections  and it was so  ordered.  He                                                               
held SB 281 in committee.                                                                                                       
   ^OVERVIEW: OBESITY PREVENTION - AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION                                                               
                                                                                                                              
2:06:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   DYSON  announced   that  the   committee  would   hear  a                                                               
presentation  on  Obesity  Prevention  from  the  American  Heart                                                               
Association.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE   MUENIER,   Director   of   Advocacy,   American   Heart                                                               
Association (AHA),  stated that  childhood obesity has  become an                                                               
epidemic in Alaska and in the  United States.  She introduced the                                                               
following  members  who would  speak  in  the overview,  Dr.  Bob                                                               
Urata, soon to  be president of the AHA for  the Pacific Mountain                                                               
Affiliate, Dr. Robb Boyer, Director  of Staffing and Recruitment,                                                               
Anchorage School  District, and  Rosie Fletcher,  Olympic athlete                                                               
and community volunteer.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. BOB URATA  defined obesity and described the  Body Mass Index                                                               
(BMI)  measurement system  to the  committee.   He said  that the                                                               
term obesity is  not applied to children because  of its negative                                                               
connotations, and  added that children  are deemed to be  at risk                                                               
                                                      thth                                                                      
of being overweight if their BMI is between the 85 and 95                                                                       
percentiles for  people ages two  to twenty.   He said that  if a                                                               
                       th                                                                                                       
child  is over  the  95   percentile  for his  age  group, he  is                                                               
considered to be overweight.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dr. Urata  said that obesity  has increased in the  United States                                                               
over the  past two  years.   When the  Center of  Disease Control                                                               
(CDC) initiated  the Behavioral  Risk Factor  Surveillance System                                                               
in 1985,  no participating state  had a  rate of obesity  over 15                                                               
percent.   In  2004  nine states  showed rates  of  more than  25                                                               
percent  obesity and  33 states  had rates  of between  20 to  24                                                               
percent.   He added that the  obesity rate in Alaska  exceeded 20                                                               
percent in 1998 and has remained near that level.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON expressed  his dismay  that only  three states  have                                                               
obesity rates lower than 19 percent.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:10:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA  said that 63  percent of Alaska's adult  residents and                                                               
60  percent   of  the  national   adult  population   are  either                                                               
overweight  or obese.   He  referenced  a slide  showing that  29                                                               
percent of  male and  22 percent of  female high  school students                                                               
are overweight  or at  risk of being  overweight, and  added that                                                               
over the  last two decades  the rates for  overweight adolescents                                                               
have tripled.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He pointed to some of  the consequences of obesity including high                                                               
blood pressure,  high cholesterol, orthopedic disorders,  type II                                                               
diabetes,  psycho-social  disorders, musculo-skeletal  disorders,                                                               
sleep apnea,  gall bladder  disease and  certain types  of cancer                                                               
including  cancer  of  the  colon,  kidney,  gall  bladder,  post                                                               
menopausal breast  cancer and endometrial  cancer.  He  said that                                                               
if you have a  BMI of over 45 your life  expectancy is reduced by                                                               
over 20 years.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:12:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA said  that obesity costs Alaska $195  million in annual                                                               
direct  medical expenses,  $17 million  of which  is financed  by                                                               
Medicare  and  $29 million  of  which  is financed  by  Medicaid.                                                               
Obesity has  a greater morbidity  than smoking,  problem drinking                                                               
and poverty and  will soon overtake smoking as  the leading cause                                                               
of preventable  death.   The National  Institute of  Health (NIH)                                                               
projects that our  next generation of children will  be the first                                                               
in United  States history whose  life expectancy will  be shorter                                                               
than their parents due to the  impacts of obesity and its related                                                               
health consequences.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:14:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE  MUENIER,  said  that  between   70  and  80  percent  of                                                               
overweight children  would be overweight  as adults.   Eighty-two                                                               
percent of  Alaskan adolescents do not  attend physical education                                                               
classes  on a  daily basis  and 32  percent are  not getting  the                                                               
CDC's  recommendation for  60 minutes  of physical  activity most                                                               
days of  the week.   Only 16  percent of Alaskan  adolescents are                                                               
consuming  the  recommended five  daily  servings  of fruits  and                                                               
vegetables.     She  commented  that  the   AHA  recommends  that                                                               
government institute  policy changes to promote  quality physical                                                               
activity and nutrition.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:16:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
She  said that  schools are  ideally suited  to promote  lifelong                                                               
healthy exercise and diet as  95 percent of children are enrolled                                                               
in  school. A  poll from  "Action  for Healthy  Kids" shows  that                                                               
while  62 percent  of  parents rate  their  children's school  as                                                               
excellent or  good on making  daily physical  education available                                                               
for  all  students,  but  only   5.8  to  8  percent  of  schools                                                               
nationally provide students with daily physical education.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:17:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSIE FLETCHER, Alaskan  Olympic Bronze Medalist, is  a member of                                                               
the Anchorage Mayor's Task Force  on Obesity and Health. She said                                                               
that in  the last five years  she has noticed that  nutrition and                                                               
working out  are taking  a back  seat to  anything technological.                                                               
She shared an experience with  a group of Russian Jack elementary                                                               
school students  on a class  run, which illustrated the  level of                                                               
resistance to  physical endeavor. She then  introduced Robb Boyer                                                               
to present the task force's ten-year plan.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ROBB BOYER,  Director of  Staffing and  Recruitment for  the                                                               
Anchorage School District, is the  District Representative to the                                                               
Mayor's  Task Force,  which was  initiated 10  months ago  amidst                                                               
strong  community support  and  involvement.   He  said that  its                                                               
first  goal  is  to  ensure the  implementation,  oversight,  and                                                               
regulation  of their  ten-year  plan.   To  meet  this goal,  the                                                               
committee divided  its plan into  one, three, five,  and ten-year                                                               
goals  that will  be  reviewed  by a  Health  and Human  Services                                                               
Committee  as well  as  a  standing committee  made  up from  the                                                               
Obesity Task Force.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:24:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The second  goal of the  task force  is to improve  nutrition and                                                               
physical activity  among Anchorage  residents.  He  remarked that                                                               
poor  nutrition  and  inadequate physical  activity  are  complex                                                               
issues requiring  complex solutions. While there  is overwhelming                                                               
support for  increased physical activity in  school programs, the                                                               
costs  associated  with these  programs  make  them difficult  to                                                               
implement.     He  remarked  that   the  task  force's   plan  is                                                               
comprehensive,  providing a  good template  to frame  the issues,                                                               
and a forum for discussion.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:26:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  URATA said  that  the  AHA views  obesity  as  a barrier  to                                                               
achieving  its  goal  of  reducing death  and  disability  by  25                                                               
percent by  2010.  It has  developed a program with  other groups                                                               
such  as   the  Robert  Wood  Johnson   Foundation,  the  Clinton                                                               
Foundation,  and   the  Murkowski  Administration  to   halt  the                                                               
increase of childhood  obesity by 2010 and  reduce the prevalence                                                               
of childhood obesity by 10 percent by 2015.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  concluded the  presentation  by restating  that the  National                                                               
Institute of  Health (NIH) projects  that our next  generation of                                                               
children will  be the first in  the history of the  United States                                                               
whose life expectancy  will be shorter than their  parents due to                                                               
the impacts of obesity and its related health consequences.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:28:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked what is causing the obesity epidemic                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA replied  that there are many  contributing factors such                                                               
as decreased physical activity,  increased use of computers, poor                                                               
dietary  habits, and  a decreasing  awareness  of healthy  eating                                                               
habits.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BOYER added that a  reduction in funding for health programs                                                               
and extracurricular  activities has  contributed to  the problem.                                                               
He said  the availability  of junk food  in vending  machines and                                                               
cafeterias has also contributed to the problem.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:30:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  remarked that  20  to  25  years  ago there  was  a                                                               
significant  fitness   craze  and   asked  whether   the  general                                                               
enthusiasm of that era has changed.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA replied  that while many people still  profess a desire                                                               
to  lead  a healthy  lifestyle,  the  reality  is that  our  busy                                                               
lifestyles have  led to  poor dietary  and exercise  habits among                                                               
the general public.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:32:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked whether there are benefits of obesity.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. URATA replied  that he was not familiar with  any benefits of                                                               
obesity.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked  whether  obesity  offsets  the  chance  of                                                               
developing osteoporosis.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR.  URATA  replied  that  exercise and  a  good  diet  including                                                               
calcium is  very important.  While a heavier  person may  be less                                                               
likely to  develop osteoporosis, the consequences  of obesity are                                                               
so great that an obese  person's overall life expectancy would be                                                               
less than it would be if he were thin and healthy.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked if it is  important for a mother  to be well                                                               
nourished while carrying a child.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:34:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  URATA  replied that  a  fit  mother  with  a good  diet  and                                                               
prenatal  vitamin supplements  should  have  everything that  she                                                               
needs to have a healthy baby.   He added that if his patients are                                                               
obese  he  tries  to  put  them  on  a  healthy  diet  with  five                                                               
vegetables  a  day,  lean  meats, a  snack,  and  their  prenatal                                                               
vitamin  pill.  He  acknowledged  that  obese  women  should  not                                                               
attempt to lose weight during pregnancy.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:38:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked what the  legislature could do to  address the                                                               
problem.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.   MUENIER  replied   that  the   problem   would  require   a                                                               
comprehensive,  collaborative approach.   She  remarked that  the                                                               
legislature  effectively contributed  to the  state's success  in                                                               
curbing tobacco use and suggested  that it might consider using a                                                               
similar approach  to address  the problem of  obesity.   She said                                                               
she did  not come with  any specific policy  recommendations, but                                                               
pledged  the  support of  the  AHA  in helping  the  legislature,                                                               
particularly during the interim months.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:41:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  remarked  that  taxes  were  increased  on  tobacco                                                               
products and asked  whether they should try to  increase taxes on                                                               
junk food a well.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Muenier  replied that  she did not  have information  on that                                                               
suggestion.   She  added  that the  AHA  could offer  suggestions                                                               
based on legislation and programs implemented in other states.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON thanked Ms. Muenier for her work on this problem.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:42:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
      CSHB 258(JUD)-SEXUAL ASSAULT BY PERSON WITH HIV/AIDS                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  announced  CSHB  258(JUD) would  be  taken  up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  BOB  LYNN, sponsor  of  HB  258, said  that  CSHB                                                               
258(JUD) makes  rape or  sexual assault  by anyone  infected with                                                               
HIV/AIDS an aggravating  factor in sentencing.  He  said that how                                                               
or  why the  perpetrator may  have acquired  HIV/AIDS is  not the                                                               
issue,  the sexual  orientation  of the  perpetrator  is not  the                                                               
issue,  and any  perceived  stigma that  someone associates  with                                                               
this life  threatening disease  is not  the issue.   The  bill is                                                               
only  about  whether  a  convicted   rapist  or  sexual  predator                                                               
previously  diagnosed  with  HIV/AIDS  should be  subject  to  an                                                               
aggravating factor  at sentencing  for committing a  horrific and                                                               
life changing crime.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He  said that  this legislation  has received  tremendous support                                                               
from  both  law  enforcement  officials  and  victims  of  sexual                                                               
assault, and  remarked that Anchorage Police  Chief, Walt Monegan                                                               
described a  sexual predator with  HIV/AIDS as an  assailant with                                                               
an  insidious weapon  that  can  be used  to  further strike  out                                                               
against  victims and  victim's loved  ones.   He then  quoted the                                                               
following from Susan Sullivan, Executive  Director of Victims for                                                               
Justice:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Adding months of terror and possibly years of illness                                                                      
      and a shortened life to the horror of rape makes an                                                                       
     attack by an HIV positive rapist a horrendous assault.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN noted that GERAD  G. GODFREY, Chairman of the                                                               
Violent Crimes  Compensation Board,  urges passage of  this bill.                                                               
He stated  that 24 states  throughout the country have  laws that                                                               
specifically  criminalize exposure  or transmission  of HIV/AIDS,                                                               
and that  it is time  that Alaska joins these  states considering                                                               
that it has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked how an aggravating factor affects sentencing.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  PARKES,   Deputy  Attorney  General,   Criminal  Division,                                                               
Department  of Law,  who responded  that an  aggravator allows  a                                                               
judge to go  beyond the presumptive sentencing range  that is set                                                               
for  a  given  offence.    She  added  that  the  finding  of  an                                                               
aggravator does not require a judge to enhance a sentence.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:53:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON remarked that the  committee has heard testimony from                                                               
police  officers who  have had  bodily fluids  thrown at  them by                                                               
persons at least purported to  have HIV.  He asked Representative                                                               
Lynn  whether  he  had  considered that  kind  of  assault  while                                                               
drafting the legislation.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN replied that he had not.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SICA,  staff to Representative  Lynn, noted that  the Alaska                                                               
Correctional   Officers  Association   and   the  Public   Safety                                                               
Employees  Association  support  this  bill   and  see  it  as  a                                                               
protection  for  them, although  the  primary  protection is  for                                                               
victims of sexual assault.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA STANFILL,  from the Center for  Non-Violence, testified in                                                               
support  of   CSHB  258(JUD)  and  made   herself  available  for                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked  whether anyone had testified  in opposition to                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. SICA  replied that  a representative  of the  Alaska Alliance                                                               
for AIDS Awareness testified against  the bill out of concern for                                                               
the stigma that any bill that mentions HIV/AIDS might cause.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:56:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GREEN moved  to report  CSHB 258(JUD)  out of  committee                                                               
with individual  recommendations and no fiscal  notes. There were                                                               
no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
    CSHB 393(HES)-INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced CSHB 393(HES) to be up for consideration.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HEATH  HILYARD, Staff  to Representative  Anderson,  said that  a                                                               
blank committee  substitute (CS)  for the  bill was  submitted to                                                               
the committee.   He remarked  that he  would like to  explain the                                                               
changes within the CS.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  moved to adopt  SCS CSHB  393(HES), version L  of as                                                               
the committee's  working document.   He objected for  the purpose                                                               
of discussion.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILYARD said  that the  only substantial  difference between                                                               
version L  and the  previous version  could be  found on  page 2,                                                               
beginning on line 21.   The change clarifies that notification is                                                               
the responsibility  of the employer,  not the  insurance company,                                                               
unless the  policy is being  purchased directly by  an individual                                                               
from  the  company,  in  which  case  the  standard  notification                                                               
process is in place.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
He said  that colorectal  cancer is the  second leading  cause of                                                               
cancer  deaths in  Alaska  and Alaska  Natives  have the  highest                                                               
rates of  colorectal cancer in  the country.   He added  that the                                                               
survival rate for colorectal cancer  when caught at the localized                                                               
stage through  routine screening  is over 90  percent but,  if it                                                               
progresses to  advanced stages, the  survival rate is  only about                                                               
10 percent.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILYARD   said  that  colonoscopies  are   over  90  percent                                                               
effective at  detecting colon cancer and  can remove precancerous                                                               
polyps.    Screening  is  cost  effective  and  national  studies                                                               
confirm that the cost of  these screenings is minimal when spread                                                               
across the insured population.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked what is  the incidence of  complications for                                                               
colonoscopies.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied that he could not answer that question.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON asked  whether  this bill  allows  the insurer  to                                                               
choose a particular screening method.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:01:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILYARD   replied  that  language   in  the   original  bill                                                               
specifying the  four available  methods for  colorectal screening                                                               
was  removed  in  the CS.    He  added  that  page 2  of  the  CS                                                               
references  the  use of  the  test  recommended in  the  American                                                               
Cancer  Society (ACS)  guidelines for  colorectal screening.   He                                                               
remarked  that many  of the  major insurance  providers recognize                                                               
this test as the gold standard for the procedure.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  asked if he  is correct in his  understanding that                                                               
passage of  the bill would  require insurance companies  to cover                                                               
any one of the four procedures.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  Ms. Millhorn  whether the  administration has                                                               
taken a position on the bill.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE MILLHORN, Director, Division  of Retirement and Benefits,                                                               
replied that her division has not  taken a policy position on the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  asked whether  this  legislation  would affect  the                                                               
state's retirement system.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLHORN  replied that  her division  has concluded  that the                                                               
bill  would have  no impact  on  the state's  active and  retiree                                                               
plans because those plans are not regulated under AS.21.42.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON asked  whether the  state has  adopted the  mandates                                                               
that it has placed on the insurance industry.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILLHORN   remarked  that  only  the   Commissioner  of  the                                                               
Department of  Administration has  the authority to  make changes                                                               
to  the state's  active and  retiree plans.   She  said that  the                                                               
State has  voluntarily adopted some  of the mandated  coverage it                                                               
has  imposed  such  as  mammograms,   pap  smears,  and  prostate                                                               
specific antigen testing.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether  the administration considered amending                                                               
section 39, as well as 42.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied that they had not made that consideration.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON asked  whether the  commissioner  could exclude  a                                                               
benefit from a plan once it had been adopted.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLHORN replied  that might be considered  a diminishment of                                                               
benefits. The Alaska Supreme Court  ruled that the advantages and                                                               
disadvantages of changes  to the retiree health  plan must offset                                                               
one  another.   She added  that colorectal  screening is  covered                                                               
under the State's  active plan so long as a  provider requests it                                                               
and it occurs  within 30 days of the employee's  annual exam, but                                                               
that  preventative colorectal  screening is  not available  under                                                               
the retiree plan except for retirees with a related diagnosis.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:08:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON   asked  whether   the  bill   requires  insurance                                                               
companies to pay the entire cost of colorectal cancer screening.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied  that on page 2, beginning on  lines 1 and 2,                                                               
the  bill states  that  the standard  policy  provisions and  the                                                               
deductible  and copayment  provisions shall  stay in  place.   He                                                               
added that the  sponsor had not considered  a specific percentage                                                               
structure for additional costs.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELTON remarked  that his  provider  recommended that  he                                                               
have   his  procedure   performed  in   Seattle  because   it  is                                                               
significantly cheaper  there than  in Juneau.   He  asked whether                                                               
the bill takes prevailing costs into account.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILLARD replied that is not addressed in the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  remarked  that his  wife's  procedure  cost  nearly                                                               
$5,000,  which  was  outrageous.    He  asked  whether  there  is                                                               
anything the  legislature could do  to address  excessive billing                                                               
from providers.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:12:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLHORN  replied that  that the  state could  advertise cost                                                               
differences in their news breaks.   She added that there are ways                                                               
that the  third party administrator could  negotiate some charges                                                               
through  network savings  and similar  measures on  an individual                                                               
basis.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:13:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  remarked that  someone ought  to review  the medical                                                               
invoices  of State  employees to  ensure that  all of  the billed                                                               
expenses are legitimate.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILLHORN replied  that the division looks into  some of those                                                               
areas, and added  that the state is adopting  another third party                                                               
administrator  from which  it expects  to  receive some  benefits                                                               
that will  save the state money.   She said that  the division is                                                               
considering  making changes  to its  plan configuration  to cover                                                               
air  travel  to places  that  offer  procedures at  significantly                                                               
lower rates.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:15:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether any  representatives from the insurance                                                               
industry were scheduled to testify on this bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied no.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked whether any  representatives from the insurance                                                               
industry had testified on the bill in previous hearings.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD  replied that representatives from  the industry were                                                               
present  at several  of the  House committee  meetings where  the                                                               
bill was discussed.   He said Mr. Reed Stoops  of AETNA testified                                                               
that  his organization  had  concerns about  a  section that  has                                                               
since been changed in the CS.   He said that other than that they                                                               
did not have any opposition to  the bill.  He remarked that AETNA                                                               
and  Blue Cross  already provide  coverage for  the screening  in                                                               
their standard policies.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  remarked that  he  hates  putting mandates  on  the                                                               
private sector,  and that if  spending the  money on the  test is                                                               
going  to  provide  better  health  outcomes  for  patient-client                                                               
policyholders, and save  the insurance company money  in the long                                                               
term, all responsible insurance companies should be doing it.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He related  a conversation he had  with insurance representatives                                                               
five  or  six  years  ago  when dealing  with  this  issue.  They                                                               
admitted that the  screening is good for them  and their clients,                                                               
but wanted  to be sure that  everyone would be required  to cover                                                               
it so that they would not be at a cost disadvantage.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILYARD said  that a  number of  members in  the other  body                                                               
expressed the same philosophical  approach.  The sponsor's office                                                               
has worked with members of  the insurance industry to satisfy any                                                               
concerns with minimal impact, yet  benefit the public health.  He                                                               
restated  that  while he  has  not  received comment  from  small                                                               
private  insurers, the  two major  providers in  this state  have                                                               
expressed their satisfaction with the bill.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:19:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether Linda  Hall, Director of  the Division                                                               
of Insurance (DOI), has commented on this bill.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD  replied that  DOI believes this  bill would  have no                                                               
fiscal impact.  He said that  she did not offer a policy position                                                               
on the bill.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON referenced a statement  from Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                               
of Alaska  that it currently  covers colorectal screening  on all                                                               
of  its plans.  He asked  whether  this benefit  would extend  to                                                               
retirees  without  the  Commissioner's acceptance  of  colorectal                                                               
coverage,  if the  state  adopts Blue  Cross/Blue  Shield as  its                                                               
third party administrator.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  HILYARD replied  that active  members are  currently covered                                                               
for this screening, but retirees are not.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELTON  said he understood  that active state  members are                                                               
only  covered if  a physician  asks  for the  screening but  this                                                               
legislation would  provide that they would  be covered regardless                                                               
of whether or not a physician requests the procedure.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. HILYARD replied that is correct.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:22:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MOLLY McCAMMON, Juneau resident, testified  in support of HB 393,                                                               
saying that she is living proof that screening saves lives.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DARYL McCLENDON,  MD, testified in  support of  HB 393.   He said                                                               
that  coverage  for  colorectal   screening  is  financially  and                                                               
medically prudent  since the lifetime  risk of  colorectal cancer                                                               
is high, one in twenty, and the incidence of survival is much                                                                   
higher when it is caught in the early stages of its development.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON said that the cost of the screening seems to be                                                                     
inordinately expensive in Anchorage and asked whether quality                                                                   
testing is available in other locations.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. McCLENDON replied that he did not know how the costs in                                                                     
Anchorage compare to costs in other areas.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON thanked the witness for his work in Alaska and                                                                      
announced that the bill would be held in committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
CHAIR DYSON adjourned the meeting at 3:28:01 PM.                                                                              

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