Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/28/2006 01:30 PM HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 281 SCHOOL DIST. ENROLLMENT SHARING/CORRESPON TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+= HB 442 HEALTH CARE DECISIONS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 442(JUD) am Out of Committee
+= SB 287 POSTSECONDARY TUITION FOR FOSTER CHILDREN TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
= HB 393 INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
Moved SCS CSHB 393(HES) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
SENATE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                               
                         April 28, 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                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 442(JUD) am                                                                                               
"An  Act  relating  to  the   validity  of  advance  health  care                                                               
directives,  individual  health  care instructions,  and  do  not                                                               
resuscitate orders; relating to  the revocation of advance health                                                               
care directives; relating to do  not resuscitate orders; relating                                                               
to  resuscitative   measures;  relating  to  the   liability  and                                                               
discipline   of   health   care  providers,   institutions,   and                                                               
facilities;   relating  to   proceedings  for   judicial  relief;                                                               
relating  to  an individual's  capacity  for  making health  care                                                               
decisions; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
     MOVED CSHB 442(JUD) am OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 287                                                                                                             
"An  Act  establishing a  higher  education  savings program  for                                                               
eligible persons  who were  placed in foster  care by  the state;                                                               
and providing  for confidentiality of identifying  information of                                                               
a beneficiary under the program."                                                                                               
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                                                
     MOVED SCS CSHB 393(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                           
     SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 442                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HEALTH CARE DECISIONS                                                                                              
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) WEYHRAUCH                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
02/10/06       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/06       (H)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
02/21/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/21/06       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
02/23/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/23/06       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/28/06       (H)       HES AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/28/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 442(HES) Out of Committee                                                                   
02/28/06       (H)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
03/03/06       (H)       HES RPT CS(HES) NT 4DP 1NR                                                                             
03/03/06       (H)       DP: SEATON, GARDNER, KOHRING, WILSON;                                                                  
03/03/06       (H)       NR: CISSNA                                                                                             
03/24/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/24/06       (H)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
03/27/06       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
03/27/06       (H)       Moved CSHB 442(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/27/06       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/29/06       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) NT 5DP                                                                                 
03/29/06       (H)       DP: GARA, COGHILL, GRUENBERG, KOTT,                                                                    
                         MCGUIRE                                                                                                
04/10/06       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/10/06       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 442(JUD) AM                                                                              
04/12/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/12/06       (S)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
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)       POSTSECONDARY    TUITION   FOR    FOSTER                                                               
                         CHILDREN                                                                                               
04/25/06       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/25/06       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
04/28/06       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 287                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: POSTSECONDARY TUITION FOR FOSTER CHILDREN                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) ELLIS                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/13/06       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/06       (S)       HES, FIN                                                                                               
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)       Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled                                                                       
04/28/06       (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                                                                           
04/26/06       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/26/06       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Jacqueline Tupou, Legislative Aide                                                                                              
Staff to Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Alaska State Capitol                                                                                                            
Juneau AK 99801-1182                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented sponsor statement for HB 442.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Eric Jenkins, Attorney at Law                                                                                                   
Representing Providence Anchorage Anesthesia Medical Group                                                                      
Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP                                                                                                      
Suite 800, 701 W. 8th Avenue                                                                                                    
Anchorage AK 99501-3468                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 442.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 287.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Gabriel Aceves, Legislative Aide                                                                                                
Staff to Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                   
State Capitol Bldg.                                                                                                             
Juneau AK 99801                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 287.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Julie Morris, Council                                                                                                           
Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives                                                                                 
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau AK 99801-0601                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 287.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mike Lesmann, Community Relations Manager                                                                                       
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Office of Children's Services                                                                                                   
130 Seward Street, Room 406                                                                                                     
P.O. Box 110630                                                                                                                 
Juneau AK 99811-0630                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 287.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Chip Waggoner, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Conference of Catholic Bishops                                                                                           
Archdiocese of Anchorage                                                                                                        
Anchorage AK                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 287.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
James F. Lynch                                                                                                                  
Associate Vice President for Finance                                                                                            
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
P.O. Box 757500                                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, AK 99775                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 287                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Amanda Metivier, Student                                                                                                        
University of Alaska Anchorage                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 287                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Emily Nenon                                                                                                                     
Alaska Government Relations Director                                                                                            
American Cancer Society                                                                                                         
1057 W Fireweed Lane # 204                                                                                                      
Anchorage AK 99503-1760                                                                                                         
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSHB 393.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR FRED DYSON  called the Senate Health,  Education and Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee meeting  to  order  at 1:34:39  PM.                                                             
Present were  Senators Gary  Wilken, Donny  Olson, Kim  Elton and                                                               
Chair  Fred  Dyson. Senator  Lyda  Green  joined the  meeting  in                                                               
progress.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
            CSHB 442(JUD) am - HEALTH CARE DECISIONS                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   DYSON  announced   CSHB  442(JUD)   am  to   be  up   for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JACQUELINE  TUPOU,  Staff   to  Representative  Bruce  Weyhrauch,                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature, presented  the sponsor  statement. She                                                               
said  that  this narrowly  crafted  cleanup  bill is  simply  for                                                               
liability relating  to people who  carry out Advance  Health Care                                                               
Directives, and that the sponsor does  not want to open the whole                                                               
issue again.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUPOU  explained that the  bill amends the legal  standard to                                                               
which  doctors are  held, from  "reasonable" to  "good-faith". It                                                               
also allows  doctors to  correct their  own mistakes  when people                                                               
have an Advance Health Care  Directive. For example, if a patient                                                               
with cancer  had a Do  Not Resuscitate (DNR) directive  but broke                                                               
his hip and  required surgery under anesthesia,  the doctor could                                                               
revive him if  necessary due to a problem  resulting from medical                                                               
error  during  that   procedure.  Furthermore,  doctors  honoring                                                               
Advance  Health Care  Directives would  not be  subject to  civil                                                               
liability if, for instance, relatives  disagreed with a decision.                                                               
Ms.  Tupou emphasized  the  importance of  having  the wishes  of                                                               
people who have  an Advance Health Care Directive  carried out by                                                               
their families and loved ones.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether there  had been any opposition  to the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TUPOU  answered  that  there   was  minor  opposition  among                                                               
attorneys   about   providing   indemnity,   but   Representative                                                               
Weyhrauch, a former president of  the Alaska Bar Association, was                                                               
familiar with that, and decided that was the best policy.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN arrived at 1:38:22 PM.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:38:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON asked whether the  medical community had offered an                                                               
opinion on the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. TUPOU replied that physicians  brought this issue forward and                                                               
added that Eric Jenkins Esq.  was available via teleconference to                                                               
answer  questions for  the Alaska  State Medical  Association and                                                               
the "physicians and anesthesiologists groups."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:39:09 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC JENKINS,  Attorney-at-Law, Davis  Wright Tremaine  LLP, said                                                               
that he was representing  Providence Anchorage Anesthesia Medical                                                               
Group, and confirmed  that his association is very  much in favor                                                               
of this bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON  asked  why the  term  "attending  physician"  was                                                               
replaced by the term "physician".                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  TUPOU  replied  that,  as   she  understands  it,  the  term                                                               
"attending physician" is passé,  since numerous doctors might see                                                               
a patient once  he is admitted to a hospital.  The sponsor wanted                                                               
to clarify  that any  physician attending  a patient  would honor                                                               
his Advance Health Care Directives.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  moved to report  CSHB 442(JUD) am  from committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and no  fiscal  note.  Without                                                               
objection, CSHB 442(JUD) am was  reported from the Senate Health,                                                               
Education and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:41:59 PM                                                                                                                    
        SB 287-POSTSECONDARY TUITION FOR FOSTER CHILDREN                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced SB 287 to be up for consideration.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHNNY ELLIS,  sponsor, presented the bill.  He said that                                                               
in any given  year there are approximately 1500  children in some                                                               
form  of foster  care in  the state  due to  abuse or  neglect in                                                               
their homes.  Of that number,  approximately 300 are 16,  17, and                                                               
18 year  olds who  are aging  out of the  foster care  system and                                                               
that  the state  offers very  little, if  any, support  for these                                                               
individuals.  He  said  that  SB   287  proposes  using  existing                                                               
agencies and establishing a statute  that would allow cooperation                                                               
among state agencies,  the University of Alaska  (UA), the Office                                                               
of Children's Services  (OCS), and the Office  of Faith-Based and                                                               
Community  Initiatives (OFBCI),  to  establish education  savings                                                               
accounts for these children.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  ELLIS said  that the  University of  Alaska 529  college                                                               
savings accounts  are managed by  T. Rowe  Price and are  said by                                                               
experts to  be among the  finest educational savings  programs in                                                               
the  nation. He  remarked that  the  529 savings  accounts are  a                                                               
great tool for getting these children off to a good start.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
He  emphasized  that  the   proposed  arrangement  would  require                                                               
nothing more than a statute  and cooperation among existing state                                                               
agencies  and  would  not  require the  establishment  of  a  new                                                               
program or new government funding.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON moved  to adopt  SB  287 Version F,  as the  working                                                               
document, and objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:46:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked  whether people are permitted  to establish the                                                               
scholarship funds for foster children at the present time.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
GABRIEL ACEVES, staff  to Senator Johnny Ellis,  replied that the                                                               
University of  Alaska College Savings  Plan accepts  donations to                                                               
open 529 accounts. However, the state  does not have a program to                                                               
advertise  the  opportunity  for  a friend  or  relation  of  the                                                               
beneficiary to make donations.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELLIS remarked  that  currently,  someone interested  in                                                               
making  such a  donation would  have no  way of  knowing who  the                                                               
foster children  are, due  to privacy  and protection  issues. He                                                               
said  that  is  why  it is  necessary  to  establish  cooperation                                                               
between the  University, OCS, which  knows the identities  of the                                                               
foster  children,  and  OFBCI, which  would  be  responsible  for                                                               
promoting the idea.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:48:02 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE  MORRIS,  from  the Office  of  Faith-Based  and  Community                                                               
Initiatives, asked Mike Lesmann,  Community Relations Manager for                                                               
the Department  of Health and  Social Services (DHSS),  Office of                                                               
Children's Services, to join her before the committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MIKE LESMANN, introduced himself.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:48:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MORRIS said  that she is excited about this  bill because she                                                               
sees the OFBCI as the vehicle  to target foster children who have                                                               
aged  out  of  the  system  at 18  and  might  otherwise  end  up                                                               
homeless, with nothing, and nowhere to go.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She  said that  the bill  would allow  the OFBCI  to target  non-                                                               
profits,  community  and  faith-based  organizations  that  would                                                               
donate to these  programs so that, working together  with the the                                                               
OCS,  they could  create a  program  that is  not an  entitlement                                                               
program. She  added that there  are a lot  of people who  want to                                                               
contribute to foster care children but have no way to do it.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:50:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked what prevents the OFBCI from doing this now.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MORRIS  replied  that  the  office,  which  has  only  three                                                               
employees, is  heavily burdened  by the  current demands  of that                                                               
office. She  added that  it has a  tremendous need  for technical                                                               
assistance  and for  assistance  applying for  grants since  many                                                               
non-profits  and faith-based  organizations  do not  know how  to                                                               
partner with government.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
She said  that partnering  with the OCS  makes sense  because the                                                               
privacy  laws governing  foster  children and  children in  state                                                               
custody  are very  strict and,  through their  partnership, OFBCI                                                               
could maintain  that confidentiality and still  provide a service                                                               
to these kids.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON said  that his  question  was "What  keeps you  from                                                               
doing it?"  and part of her  answer was that OFBCI  does not have                                                               
the manpower.  He remarked  that he  does not  see how  this bill                                                               
would change that.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORRIS replied  that their office has only  been in existence                                                               
for a  year and  is still  trying to  establish itself.  She said                                                               
that about  $275,000 was cut  from the  House and that  money was                                                               
needed to  put an office together  and hire a program  officer to                                                               
work with OCS.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:53:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GREEN asked why there is no fiscal note.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON said that he is not clear on that.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:53:50 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. LESMANN said  that the Office of Children's  Services is also                                                               
excited about this program, and supports  SB 287. He said that it                                                               
has  two  suggestions for  consideration.  First,  adding an  age                                                               
requirement to  focus on  youth who  have been  in custody  on or                                                               
after age 16. The existing  language states that "eligibility for                                                               
the program  is contingent on  having been placed in  foster care                                                               
for not less than two years", so  a child who was in foster care,                                                               
for example, from age one to age three, would be eligible.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Second, the  OCS understands that  the sponsors do not  intend to                                                               
restrict eligibility  for children  who have  been placed  with a                                                               
relative  who  may not  be  a  licensed  foster  parent or  in  a                                                               
residential treatment facility,  but language on page  2, line 14                                                               
talks about the "child who has  been placed in a foster home". It                                                               
would  recommend  replacing  "a foster  home"  with  "out-of-home                                                               
care",  so that  it is  clear that  the language  applies to  any                                                               
child who was taken into state  custody and placed outside of his                                                               
or her own home.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:55:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked him how long he has been with the department.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN replied  that he had been with the  OCS since May 20,                                                               
2000.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON recalled  working with  Karen  Perdue, the  previous                                                               
commissioner, on  other things for  kids who are "aging  out" and                                                               
said  he  believed  that  one  of  them  addressed  postsecondary                                                               
education. He asked if he had any knowledge of that.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LESMANN  responded  that  OCS   has  a  program  called  the                                                               
Education and Training Voucher Program  (Alaska ETV Program) that                                                               
began  in 2001  when the  federal government  passed the  Federal                                                               
Chaffee  Foster  Care  Independence  Act. It  set  up  money  for                                                               
postsecondary education  for children in the  foster care system.                                                               
Students can receive up to  $5,000 per year for academic expenses                                                               
through it. Also,  the University offers up to  five Foster Youth                                                               
Tuition  Waiver Scholarships  per  year. The  OCS  has a  program                                                               
coordinator   in  the   deputy  commissioner's   office  who   is                                                               
responsible for an  independent living program and, in  each of 4                                                               
regions in  the state,  they have a  dedicated caseworker  who is                                                               
assigned to each of the children aging out of foster care.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:58:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  asked if he  could provide documentation  to explain                                                               
those programs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN replied that he would be happy to do so.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  asked what  keeps the things  that Senator  Ellis is                                                               
talking about in SB 287 from happening now.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN answered he is not  sure how to answer that question,                                                               
because he  doesn't understand the University's  current program.                                                               
The Office  of Faith-Based and Community  Initiatives, because it                                                               
is part of DHSS, as is  OCS, has no confidentiality issues within                                                               
the department. The OCS obviously knows  who the kids are and who                                                               
might be  appropriate for a  savings account, but  the procedures                                                               
are not set up and they are not referenced in state law.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:59:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR ELTON  said that  it seems  important to  include younger                                                               
children because  foster parents  and out-of-home  care providers                                                               
often  form   attachments  with  a   foster  child  and   may  be                                                               
particularly interested  in providing  for the education  of that                                                               
child.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN replied that it is  probably a public policy call and                                                               
the OCS's  recommendation is based  on criteria from  the Chaffee                                                               
Foster Care  Independence Act, which  established that  the child                                                               
                                               th                                                                               
must have  been in  custody on or  after his 16   birthday  to be                                                               
eligible  for  the Education  and  Training  Voucher Program.  He                                                               
asked the  committee to consider  a young  child who has  been in                                                               
state custody  and placed outside  his home  from age one  to age                                                               
three, and  who is then  reunited with his parents  and dismissed                                                               
from state  custody. The OCS would  have to track that  child for                                                               
the next 15 years, until he became eligible for the benefit.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:02:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON remarked  that the Senate passed HB  408 yesterday or                                                               
the day before,  which cleaned up a lot  of child-related issues.                                                               
One  section of  that  bill stipulated  that  the permanent  fund                                                               
dividend  (PFD) belonging  to a  child  in out-of-home  placement                                                               
must  be held  in  an interest-bearing  trust  or escrow  account                                                               
until  the child  is adopted.  He asked  how the  OCS anticipates                                                               
disbursing PFD funds and accumulated  interest to the 18-year-old                                                               
who is just getting out of state custody.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LESMANN  replied   that  a  number  of   scenarios  must  be                                                               
considered.  If a  child  were released  from  state custody  and                                                               
reunited with  his parents before  the age  of 18, the  PFD trust                                                               
account  would   be  released  to  the   biological  parents.  If                                                               
reunification with the biological parents  was not possible and a                                                               
legal  guardian  was named,  HB  408  stipulated that  the  trust                                                               
account would  remain protected  until the  child reached  18 and                                                               
would then be released to the child.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked how the funds would be released to the child.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN  responded that if the  child was no longer  in state                                                               
custody and  no caseworker or  independent living  specialist had                                                               
been assigned, there would be little or no further oversight.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON said  he  appreciates that  for  most purposes  this                                                               
state  considers  an 18-year-old  an  emancipated  adult, but  he                                                               
wondered  under   what  circumstances   the  state   would  offer                                                               
additional services  to a child  after age  18. He said  that his                                                               
understanding was  that, unless  he were of  diminished capacity,                                                               
the  state would  offer a  child additional  services only  if he                                                               
specifically asked for them.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN confirmed that understanding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:06:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  asked whether  there are any  limits on  the federal                                                               
money that Mr. Lesmann mentioned earlier in his testimony.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LESMANN  responded  that the  federal  government  gave  OCS                                                               
$176,000  during the  past year  for  the Alaska  ETV Program,  a                                                               
little less than during the prior year.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON calculated  that OCS could give $6,000 to  28 kids or                                                               
$3,000 to 50 kids and asked  how many children are actually aging                                                               
out each year with no  guardian, no reunification with biological                                                               
parents, and no adoption.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN responded that he  doesn't have that number; he knows                                                               
how many children  age out each year based on  age range, but not                                                               
in terms of status and a permanency plan.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. MORRIS showed Mr. Lesmann the sponsor statement.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LESMANN  said  that the  sponsor  statement  indicates  that                                                               
nearly 500  children in state custody  age out each year  with no                                                               
permanency plan.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON said  that he  questions that  number, but  does not                                                               
have the  information. He asked Mr.  Lesmann if he could  stay to                                                               
answer questions later in the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN said yes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:07:58 PM                                                                                                                    
CHIP WAGGONER, Executive Director,  Alaska Conference of Catholic                                                               
Bishops, the  public policy arm  of the Roman Catholic  Church in                                                               
Alaska,  commended  Senator  Ellis  for his  innovative  idea  to                                                               
assist  foster   children  who   want  to   attend  postsecondary                                                               
education  and thanked  members of  the committee  who have  been                                                               
involved  with   foster  care  issues  both   professionally  and                                                               
personally.  Mr. Waggoner  pointed  out that  children need  many                                                               
things:  love,  an  adult  who cares  for  them,  continuity  and                                                               
certainty,  which provide  a sense  of security.  He related  the                                                               
story of a foster child who was  assigned to a group home and had                                                               
the  opportunity  to  get  into  a  better  academic  environment                                                               
through the assistance of a caring  adult. He said that this bill                                                               
would allow  other foster children  to have the  same opportunity                                                               
by bringing  the issue forward to  people who are in  a financial                                                               
position to donate. Also, this bill  would make it clear that the                                                               
OCS could  share information with  the University to  ensure that                                                               
the program  gets implemented.  He stressed  his support  for the                                                               
bill and urged the committee to push it through.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:12:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON said  that nothing  precludes Mr.  Waggoner and  the                                                               
Archdiocese  from setting  up scholarships  now  and making  them                                                               
available to kids who are aging out.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. WAGGONER  responded that  is probably  correct, but  that the                                                               
Alaska Conference  of Catholic Bishops  didn't know about  it and                                                               
he doubted  that members  of his  church knew  about it.  He said                                                               
that the  instruction to "identify  donors and  beneficiaries" is                                                               
important, because  it would  allow the  OFBCI to  put it  on its                                                               
website.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked Mr. Waggoner whose website he had referred to.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  WAGGONER  responded  that  the  Office  of  Faith-Based  and                                                               
Community Initiatives, OCS, University  of Alaska, and the Alaska                                                               
Conference of Catholic Bishops could put it on their websites.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON said he  does not mean to argue, but  he is not aware                                                               
of anything  that prevents  any of those  groups from  doing that                                                               
now.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:13:34 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES F. LYNCH, Associate Vice  President for Finance, University                                                               
of Alaska, Fairbanks, testified by  teleconference in favor of SB                                                               
287. He was  the drafter of the  original college-savings program                                                               
for the  University in 1991,  and of the current  college savings                                                               
program,  the goal  of which  is to  create access  to continuing                                                               
education,  and to  change the  mindset of  children and  parents                                                               
from "if  I go  to college" to  "when I go  to college."  He said                                                               
that  the   University  of  Alaska  contributes   five  four-year                                                               
scholarships every year through the federal program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
He said  that, as  a result  of the  permanent fund  dividend and                                                               
promotion  of  the  college  savings  program,  approximately  56                                                               
percent  of their  participants  come from  families with  annual                                                               
household  incomes  of  less than  $52,000.  A  similar  national                                                               
program  shows  only  17  percent  of  participants  with  annual                                                               
household incomes of less than $52,000.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH said  that the college savings program  has a provision                                                               
for state agencies and non-profits  to open and maintain accounts                                                               
for  beneficiaries  and  has   special  provisions  for  un-named                                                               
accounts on which the opening agency  is the owner; but he thinks                                                               
it  is desirable  to have  a program  structured specifically  to                                                               
meet the  goals of OCS  with regard  to foster children.  He also                                                               
pointed out that this type of  program is long-term and it may be                                                               
20  or more  years before  the money  is taken  out and  used for                                                               
education, so  it is important  that the program  be administered                                                               
by an  organization or  agency that  is going  to be  around that                                                               
long.  A  non-profit  could  administer   the  program,  but  its                                                               
objectives may  not be  the same  as the OCS,  and there  is less                                                               
assurance that it  will be in existence long enough  to serve the                                                               
participants. He  views this  program as  a fairly  low-cost tool                                                               
the department can use to meet its objectives.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:19:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  LYNCH said  the university  manages 176,000  college savings                                                               
accounts, so  it is  important, administratively,  not to  have a                                                               
subgroup of accounts with special rules.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
He said  that very little  information would be  needed regarding                                                               
the beneficiaries.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LYNCH  requested   a  change  on  page  1,   Section  1,  AS                                                               
47.05.400(a)(2)  which   reads,  "create  a  mechanism   for  the                                                               
University  of Alaska  to establish  and  maintain accounts".  He                                                               
said it  should read, "create  a mechanism for the  department to                                                               
establish and maintain accounts".                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON said  that there are two places in  the bill where it                                                               
adds language about confidentiality: page 4, line 5...                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  replied that the  college savings programs  are exempt                                                               
from  the  Public   Records  Act  and  that   those  records  are                                                               
maintained on a confidential basis.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked if state code  needed amending to make what the                                                               
committee is trying to do happen.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LYNCH replied  no, that  the records  will be  confidential,                                                               
however the OCS  might need authorization to  give the University                                                               
the names.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:23:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WILKEN  commented  that   Mr.  Lynch  crafted  the  1991                                                               
legislation  that created  the college  savings  plan and  helped                                                               
Senator Tim  Kelly in 1998 to  reauthorize and expand it.  It was                                                               
recently recognized by either Financial  World or the Wall Street                                                               
Journal as  the best in  the nation.  He commended Mr.  Lynch for                                                               
his work and thanked him for his effort.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON asked Mr. Lynch  if, in his opinion, this legislation                                                               
is necessary to enable private donations to foster children                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH replied that it would be extremely helpful.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON asked Mr. Lesmann  to convince the committee that his                                                               
department  can  handle  the   coordination  and  maintenance  of                                                               
records  for  this program  with  existing  manpower and  without                                                               
additional expense,  in order to  deal with the matter  without a                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. LESMANN said that he would  not try to persuade the committee                                                               
in  that regard.  He admitted  that the  department's failure  to                                                               
provide   a   fiscal  note   was   an   oversight  and   accepted                                                               
responsibility   for  that.   The  OFBCI   would  probably   need                                                               
approximately $80,000  to add one full-time  program coordinator,                                                               
if  the money  that  was removed  from the  House  budget is  not                                                               
restored. He  said that  the department  would submit  an $80,000                                                               
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:26:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. LYNCH  interjected that once  an account is  established, the                                                               
college-savings program would do all the recordkeeping.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON  stated he was  having trouble reconciling  that with                                                               
what  Mr. Lynch  said  earlier.  He pointed  out  that Mr.  Lynch                                                               
wanted the committee to amend page 1, line 12.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. LYNCH  stated that the  OCS would  be the account  owner, and                                                               
the  University  would  seek  approval  from  the  department  to                                                               
withdraw funds. If  the funds weren't claimed  by the beneficiary                                                               
for whom they  were originally intended, they  would be available                                                               
to the department for use by another claimant.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:28:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  said that  he would  hear from  one more  person and                                                               
then the committee would set the  matter aside for a few minutes,                                                               
to  allow the  sponsor to  decide what  to do  with the  proposed                                                               
amendments and/or the fiscal note.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
AMANDA  METIVIER a  former  foster  child and  a  student at  the                                                               
University  of Alaska,  Anchorage,  testified in  support of  the                                                               
bill. She  said that, although there  are opportunities available                                                               
through the Alaska  ETV Program and the tuition  waiver, they are                                                               
not  enough. She  disagreed with  the implementation  of an  age-                                                               
eligibility  requirement of  16 or  over and  cited her  sister's                                                               
experience as  an example. Her  sister was placed in  foster care                                                               
at age 12  and placed with a  legal guardian at 15,  so she would                                                               
not be  eligible for this program  even though she is  now 18 and                                                               
without educational resources.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:30:46 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON thanked Ms. Metivier for her testimony.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He announced that SB 287 would be set aside.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
  SCS CSHB 393 (HES)-INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:31:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  DYSON   announced  SCS   CSHB  393(HES)   to  be   up  for                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
EMILY  NENON,  Alaska  Government  Relations  Director,  American                                                               
Cancer Society, said  that she had spoken  with committee members                                                               
and staff in  advance to ensure that her  testimony would address                                                               
all of the questions that they  might have, but that she would be                                                               
happy to answer any additional questions that might arise.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
She  said  that   when  Heath  Hilyard  presented   the  bill  on                                                               
Wednesday,  he talked  about the  fact that,  if colon  cancer is                                                               
identified before  symptoms appear,  there is  a greater  than 90                                                               
percent survival rate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
According to  Cancer Facts  and Figures  2006, which  publishes a                                                               
five-year average  of cancer incident  rates, Alaskan  women have                                                               
had the  highest colon cancer  rate in  the nation over  the past                                                               
five years. The rate of colon  cancer in Alaskan Native people is                                                               
nearly double that of the U.S. white population.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:33:54 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  NENON said  that  this bill  provides  guidelines for  colon                                                               
cancer screening. For the general  population, anyone over age 50                                                               
should be  screened, but  people are  generally not  eligible for                                                               
Medicare  until age  65, which  leaves a  15-year window  of time                                                               
when  screening  is  recommended  but   may  not  be  covered  by                                                               
insurance.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The Institute of Medicine reports  that the death rate from colon                                                               
cancer could drop by up to  80 percent if a majority of Americans                                                               
were screened  regularly. The current  annual expenditure  in the                                                               
United  States on  colorectal cancer  health care  costs is  $6.5                                                               
billion and part of  the reason for that is that  it is not being                                                               
identified early enough.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
The New England Journal of  Medicine published an article in July                                                               
of  2004  called "The  Price  tag  on  Progress," that  is  about                                                               
chemotherapy  for colorectal  cancer.  It states  that "the  near                                                               
doubling of  the median survival  achieved over the  past decade,                                                               
has been  accompanied by a  staggering 340 fold increase  in drug                                                               
costs" just for the initial  eight weeks of treatment. Assuming a                                                               
patient continues to  receive treatment until the  median time to                                                               
progression, eight  months of front-line therapy  followed by 4.1                                                               
months of Cetuximab and Irinotecan therapy would cost $161,000.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:37:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DYSON  said that the issue  the committee has to  decide is                                                               
whether or  not to mandate  that insurance carriers  provide this                                                               
service to their clients between the ages of 50 and 65.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON  said that is  correct, and  that 18 other  states have                                                               
already taken  this action. She recognizes  that state government                                                               
doesn't  regulate  every  insurance  plan,  but  sees  it  as  "a                                                               
critical  piece  of  the puzzle."  The  American  Cancer  Society                                                               
worked hard to get Medicare  coverage for screening added in 2001                                                               
and, working with federal employee  health benefit plans over the                                                               
past three years, has increased  the number of federal plans that                                                               
cover the  full range  of colon  cancer screening  from 25  to 70                                                               
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:38:37 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  OLSON asked  how this  would decrease  the incidence  of                                                               
colorectal  cancer  among  Alaskan Natives,  particularly  women,                                                               
when they are  dealing with issues such as a  lack of clean water                                                               
and inadequate sewage treatment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  NENON  responded  that  DHSS   has  been  working  with  the                                                               
Comprehensive  Cancer   Control  (CCC)  partnership  to   form  a                                                               
colorectal  cancer joint  task force  between  the Alaska  Native                                                               
Tribal Health consortium and the  state's CCC program to consider                                                               
those  issues.  They are  looking  at,  among other  things,  the                                                               
possibility  of sending  gastrointestinal doctors  from Anchorage                                                               
to regional hospitals to do mass screenings.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON asked whether these  would be private physicians or                                                               
doctors from  Alaska Native Medical  Center (ANMC) and  who would                                                               
be paying for it.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON responded that it would  be a joint effort and they are                                                               
still working on the funding,  but that some doctors in Anchorage                                                               
have  offered to  donate their  time.  They anticipate  receiving                                                               
some regular reimbursement for those procedures.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  commented that he  assumed these  physicians would                                                               
be gastrointestinal internists who  have already been trained and                                                               
are not going out for the experience.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON replied yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:40:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN  said that most of  the committee is of  an age to                                                               
consider  this issue  seriously and  commented on  an article  he                                                               
read  about  a month  ago  in  Scientific  American about  a  new                                                               
digital  screening  procedure  that   may  replace  the  existing                                                               
sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy within the next 10 years.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. NENON said that she is looking forward to that.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:42:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WILKEN moved  to report SCS CSHB  393(HES) from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  said that she  did not object, but  was indisposed                                                               
to introduce anything that is a mandate on anyone.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON agreed that it presents  a real concern for him also,                                                               
particularly when he considers  the insurance companies' previous                                                               
remarks about this matter.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GREEN  commented that, unlike  the lower 48  states, when                                                               
the  legislature  makes a  law  in  Alaska that  impacts  private                                                               
programs and plans, a large part  of the state is not impacted by                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON  announced that  without  further  comment SCS  CSHB                                                               
393(HES) was reported from committee.                                                                                           
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair Dyson adjourned the meeting at 2:44:24 PM.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects