Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

02/24/2014 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 131 SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 162 HYDROCODONE PRESCRIPTION BY OPTOMETRISTS
Moved SB 162 Out of Committee
= SB 169 STATEWIDE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM
Moved CSSB 169(HSS) Out of Committee
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                       February 24, 2014                                                                                        
                           1:32 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Peter Micciche, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 169                                                                                                             
"An  Act establishing  in  the Department  of  Health and  Social                                                               
Services a  statewide immunization program and  the State Vaccine                                                               
Assessment  Commission; creating  a  vaccine assessment  account;                                                               
requiring a  fee assessment from  health care insurers  and other                                                               
program  participants   for  statewide   immunization  purchases;                                                               
repealing  the temporary  child and  adult immunization  program;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSSB 169(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 162                                                                                                             
"An  Act  authorizing  a  licensed  optometrist  to  prescribe  a                                                               
pharmaceutical agent containing hydrocodone."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 162 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 131                                                                                                             
"An Act adding  to the powers and duties of  the State Commission                                                               
for Human Rights; and relating  to and prohibiting discrimination                                                               
based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 169                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: STATEWIDE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM                                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GIESSEL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/10/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/10/14       (S)       HSS                                                                                                    
02/21/14       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/21/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/14       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/24/14       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 20                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 162                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HYDROCODONE PRESCRIPTION BY OPTOMETRISTS                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) OLSON                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
02/07/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/07/14       (S)       HSS                                                                                                    
02/21/14       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/21/14       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/21/14       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/24/14 (S) HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 20                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 131                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) GARDNER                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
01/22/14       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/22/14       (S)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
02/24/14       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 169.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVID SCOTT, Staff                                                                                                              
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Reviewed SB 162 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BERTA GARDNER                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 131.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS PRESLEY, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Berta Gardner                                                                                                           
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 131 on behalf of the sponsor.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JOSHUA DECKER, Interim Executive Director                                                                                       
American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL DUNSMORE, representing himself                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
GLENN CRAVEZ, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE LINDHOLM, Graduate Student                                                                                              
University of Alaska, Fairbanks                                                                                                 
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
NICOLE CONDIFF, Member                                                                                                          
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays                                                                                        
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
VICTORIA GREEN, representing herself                                                                                            
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOSH HEMSATH, Regional Development Organizer                                                                                    
Pride Foundation                                                                                                                
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
FELIX RIVERA, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
THEDA PITTMAN, representing herself                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN TOW, representing herself                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DREW PHOENIX, representing himself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JULIE SCHMIDT, representing herself                                                                                             
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
GAYLE SCHUH, representing herself                                                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CAMDEN YEHLE, representing herself                                                                                              
Alaskans Together for Equality                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DIANE MEAD, representing herself                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MILDRED BOESSER, representing herself                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KIMBERLY HUBBARD, representing herself                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARGUERITE LAURI, representing herself                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TERRI LAUTERBACK, representing herself                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARY GRAHAM, representing herself                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JEFF ROGERS, representing himself                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOHN ROXBURGH, representing himself                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN TIBBITTS, representing herself                                                                                           
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
LIN DAVIS, representing herself                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MAUREEN LONGWORTH, M.D., representing herself                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MARY NANUWAK, representing herself                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified against of SB 131.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JANET FORBES, representing herself                                                                                              
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CAREN ROBINSON, Lobbyist                                                                                                        
Alaska Women's Lobby                                                                                                            
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 131.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BERT STEDMAN  called the Senate Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:32 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call to order  were Senators Ellis, Micciche,  and Chair Stedman.                                                               
He noted that three bills were before the committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
             SB 169-STATEWIDE IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:33:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN  announced that the  first order of  business would                                                               
be SB 169.  He said this is  the second hearing on  the bill. The                                                               
first hearing  was on  February 21,  where the  committee adopted                                                               
version P, heard the sponsor  introduce the bill, and took public                                                               
testimony. The  intent today  is to have  the sponsor  review the                                                               
bill and hear the will of the committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR CATHY GIESSEL, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor  of SB  169, explained  that the  bill is  part two  of a                                                               
statewide vaccine  program, legislation she introduced  two years                                                               
ago.  The program  would use  state funds  to create  a statewide                                                               
vaccine assessment council and operate  under the auspices of the                                                               
Department  of   Health  and  Social  Services   (DHSS)  and  the                                                               
commissioner  of that  department. The  council would  consist of                                                               
eight   members  who   would   serve   without  compensation   or                                                               
reimbursement of  expenses. It  would manage  funds that  will be                                                               
assessed  to  statewide  insurance  companies  who  will  pay  in                                                               
advance for  vaccines that will  be distributed around  the state                                                               
to help care  providers who will participate in  the program. The                                                               
state of  Alaska will use  its buying power through  the contract                                                               
with  the Centers  for Disease  Control  to get  the lowest  cost                                                               
possible  for the  vaccines and  expand the  program so  that all                                                               
Alaskans will be covered.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN noted  there were  no changes  in the  five fiscal                                                               
notes.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE  moved to  report [CS] for  SB 169  from committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN announced that without  objection, CSSB 169(HSS) is                                                               
reported  from the  Senate Health  and  Social Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN announced the arrival of Senator Meyer.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
        SB 162-HYDROCODONE PRESCRIPTION BY OPTOMETRISTS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:37:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
SB 162. He related that it is  the second hearing on the bill. It                                                               
was heard for  the first time on February 21.  The committee also                                                               
heard from the sponsor and took public testimony.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DAVID   SCOTT,  Staff,   Senator   Donny   Olson,  Alaska   State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau,  Alaska, reviewed  SB 162  on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor.  He said  the  bill does  not expand  the  scope of  the                                                               
practice of optometry or their  ability to prescribe hydrocodone.                                                               
It  would  ensure there  is  not  a  lapse  in their  ability  to                                                               
prescribe a  limited amount  of hydrocodone.  He shared  that the                                                               
FDA is proposing  to reschedule hydrocodone from  Schedule III to                                                               
Schedule II.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN noted one fiscal  note from Department of Commerce,                                                               
Community and Economic Development.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MICCICHE asked  why  other pain  relievers  are not  used,                                                               
considering the risks with hydrocodone.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. SCOTT  did not know.  He offered to find  further information                                                               
about that issue.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR MICCICHE wished to understand the reason.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:40:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  MEYER  moved  to  report  SB  162  from  committee  with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN  announced  that  without  objection,  SB  162  is                                                               
reported  from the  Senate Health  and  Social Services  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
            SB 131-SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:41:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be SB  131. He said  this is the first  hearing on the  bill. The                                                               
intent is to  allow the bill sponsor to introduce  the bill, take                                                               
public testimony, and set the bill aside.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR BERTA GARDNER, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of  SB 131,  explained that  the bill  is a  civil rights                                                               
bill  and people  all  over  the state  are  watching with  great                                                               
interest and  concern. It  is about the  right of  individuals to                                                               
pursue  their  constitutional right  to  life,  liberty, and  the                                                               
pursuit  of happiness,  without fear  - without  fear that  their                                                               
deeply felt  personal gender identity and  gender expression, can                                                               
result in  the loss  of employment  or the  loss of  housing. She                                                               
opined that  SB 131 is a  very, very simple piece  of legislation                                                               
with  deep meaning.  She suggested  if  one is  inclined to  feel                                                               
differently about it, inserting,  in place of sexual orientation,                                                               
gender  identity,   or  expression,  the  words   female  gender,                                                               
Norwegian  heritage, or  Native Alaskan  heritage. She  said that                                                               
might bring home the real importance of the legislation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS  PRESLEY,  Staff,  Senator  Berta  Gardner,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,  introduced SB 131 on  behalf of the                                                               
sponsor. He said that SB  131 expands current anti-discrimination                                                               
statutes to  include sexual orientation and  gender identity. The                                                               
Alaska State  Commission on  Human Rights  would be  charged with                                                               
enforcing those protections.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He noted the sectional analysis  in members' packets. He said, in                                                               
general, the  sections make conforming  amendments to  the Alaska                                                               
State Commission on Human Rights  statutes by inserting the words                                                               
"sexual  orientation"  and  "gender identity"  to  statutes  with                                                               
regards to  fair employment, housing,  and financing. He  noted a                                                               
definition section in the bill.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.   PRESLEY  referred   to  a   document  containing   a  brief                                                               
description on what  the Alaska State Commission  on Human Rights                                                               
does.  The  Commission  was  created in  1963  and  it  currently                                                               
protects  from discrimination  based  on  race, color,  religion,                                                               
sex,  national origin,  physical  and  mental disabilities,  age,                                                               
marital  status,  pregnancy,  or parenthood.  The  Commission  is                                                               
charged   in   statute   with   eliminating   discrimination   in                                                               
employment, places  of public accommodation,  the sale  or rental                                                               
of  real property,  financing and  credit, and  practices by  the                                                               
state in its political subdivision.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
He turned  attention to the Anchorage  LGBT Discrimination Survey                                                               
done  by  University  of Alaska  researcher  Melissa  Green.  The                                                               
survey is  probably the most  comprehensive look  at self-reports                                                               
of discrimination in Anchorage.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:45:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRESLEY  reviewed  the  findings in  the  survey.  About  76                                                               
percent  of the  sample of  respondents,  and 68  percent of  the                                                               
sample  that had  lived in  Anchorage for  less than  five years,                                                               
have reported either  verbal abuse or name-calling.  He said that                                                               
73  percent   of  that  sample   reported  hiding   their  sexual                                                               
orientation, gender  identity, or gender transition  to avoid job                                                               
discrimination and  44 percent reported  having been  harassed by                                                               
their  employer or  other employees.  In housing,  a little  over                                                               
18.5  percent of  respondents reported  having  been harassed  by                                                               
landlords or  other tenants. In school  and educational settings,                                                               
41 percent reported  having been bullied or  harassed. The report                                                               
also includes  statistics about  discrimination in  child custody                                                               
hearings and access to public services.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He noted that transgender respondents  reported much higher rates                                                               
of  discrimination,  including  verbal  and  physical  abuse.  He                                                               
related  that the  largest  national survey  done  in 2010  asked                                                               
transgender respondents  about harassment at work  and found that                                                               
78 percent had experienced discrimination in their workplace.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  encouraged the  committee  to read  the  personal letters  in                                                               
their packets.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:47:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.   PRESLEY   said   19  states   currently   protect   against                                                               
discrimination  with regards  to sexual  orientation and  16 have                                                               
statutes that reflect  the bill before the  committee today. Both                                                               
Alaska Senators  have voted for passage  of SB 815, which  is the                                                               
United  States Employment  Non-discrimination  Act  of 2013.  The                                                               
effect of that  bill in employment reflects what SB  131 is doing                                                               
today.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  PRESLEY highlighted  two  studies from  Utah  and Iowa  that                                                               
discuss  discrimination  and  show results  consistent  with  the                                                               
Anchorage LGBT Community  Survey. The Ohio study  also looks into                                                               
wage inequality for  men in same sex couples and  shows that laws                                                               
such as SB 131 do reduce discrimination against LGBT people.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He  indicated that  the Anchorage  Chamber  of Commerce  recently                                                               
focused  on a  presentation called  the "Commerce  of Diversity."                                                               
The  Chamber partnered  with the  Anchorage Economic  Development                                                               
Corporation for  the "One Anchorage, One  Economy Initiative." He                                                               
added  that  a  number  of Fortune  500  companies  have  adopted                                                               
nondiscrimination policies.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:41 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  PRESLEY  concluded  by  commenting  that  discrimination  is                                                               
taking place in  Alaska and it affects people's  ability to enjoy                                                               
fair  employment, housing,  and  credit  opportunities. The  bill                                                               
would give  victims of discrimination recourse.  The Alaska State                                                               
Legislature  has  a  strong   tradition  of  protecting  minority                                                               
rights. He  noted the  House passed  HB 211,  an act  relating to                                                               
education  and employment  of individuals  with disabilities.  He                                                               
stated that  there are benefits with  non-discrimination policies                                                               
that are economic and otherwise.  He said he has received letters                                                               
of  support from  around  the  state and  over  300 postcards  in                                                               
support of the bill.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN  noted one  fiscal note  from Governor's  office on                                                               
behalf  of the  Human Rights  Commission for  $58,500 in  general                                                               
funds for an additional half-time investigator.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
He opened public testimony.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:01 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSHUA  DECKER,   Interim  Executive  Director,   American  Civil                                                               
Liberties  Union  of  Alaska,  Anchorage,  Alaska,  testified  in                                                               
support  of  SB 131.  He  noted  that  he has  submitted  written                                                               
testimony  to  the  committee. He  remarked  that  Mr.  Presley's                                                               
information demonstrates  that discrimination  is real  and there                                                               
is  a  factual need  for  the  bill.  He  maintained that  it  is                                                               
unconstitutional to  discriminate against minorities and  to deny                                                               
LBGT  individuals  benefits  of marriage,  employment,  or  civil                                                               
rights. The bill  will bring the protection  of those individuals                                                               
under the protection of Alaska's non-discrimination law.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:54:20 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  DUNSMORE,   representing  himself,   Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of SB  131. He  said he would  benefit from                                                               
the bill, even  as a heterosexual. He said it  affects the entire                                                               
community when members of it  are being discriminated against. He                                                               
spoke of a  dilemma for LBGT individuals when  interviewing for a                                                               
job, whether  to share their  sexual identity with  the employer.                                                               
Currently,  there   is  not  protection  against   that  type  of                                                               
discrimination in  Alaska. He opined  that the bill is  not about                                                               
morality;  it  is  strictly   about  not  discriminating  against                                                               
members of the community. The bill  would also allow the state to                                                               
collect information and investigate discrimination.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:57:00 PM                                                                                                                    
GLENN CRAVEZ, representing  himself, Anchorage, Alaska, testified                                                               
in support of SB 131. He said he  is a parent of one straight son                                                               
and one  gay son. He  wants both sons to  be treated the  same in                                                               
the eyes  of the law, to  have the same opportunities,  and to be                                                               
judged on  the quality  of their  work and  the content  of their                                                               
character.  He referred  his  support for  the  Live, Work,  Play                                                               
Initiative of the Anchorage  Economic Development Corporation, as                                                               
well  as the  One Anchorage  - One  Economy Initiative,  which he                                                               
helped establish with the Anchorage  Chamber of Commerce. He said                                                               
SB 131  works hand  in hand  with the  efforts of  those business                                                               
organizations  to  strengthen  the community  and  economy.  Non-                                                               
discrimination  will  help  grow  the  economy  and  attract  new                                                               
businesses.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:00:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE  LINDHOLM,   Graduate  Student,  University   of  Alaska,                                                               
Fairbanks,  Fairbanks, Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 131.                                                               
She said  she is a  member of  Gender and Sexuality  Alliance and                                                               
Gender Pioneers.  She wished  to see  equal rights  in employment                                                               
and housing for everyone in the groups she represents.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:01:15 PM                                                                                                                    
NICOLE  CONDIFF,  Member, Parents  and  Friends  of Lesbians  and                                                               
Gays,  Fairbanks, Alaska,  testified in  support of  SB 131.  She                                                               
said  many people  other than  LGBT individuals  are affected  by                                                               
discrimination, such as  family and friends. She  shared that she                                                               
has  personally  seen  the   effects  of  discrimination  against                                                               
individuals  and families,  due to  their sexual  orientation, in                                                               
housing   and  employment   matters.  She   addressed  additional                                                               
stressors  on community  agencies  and programs  as  a result  of                                                               
discrimination.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:02:28 PM                                                                                                                    
VICTORIA   GREEN,   representing  herself,   Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
testified in support  of SB 131. She shared her  background as an                                                               
Alaska  resident,  federal  government  employee,  U.S.  veteran,                                                               
recently  retired   after  30   years  in   the  Air   Force  and                                                               
International Guard, full-time student,  parent of four children,                                                               
as well  as a person  in a  committed relationship. She  spoke of                                                               
her advocacy for  foster and adopted children. She  noted she and                                                               
her partner were  nominated by Senator Lisa Murkowski  in 2012 as                                                               
Angels in  Adoption for their  work with children in  foster care                                                               
and for  their role with  adoption in Alaska.  She said she  is a                                                               
member of  the PTA, of a  local church, a property  owner, and an                                                               
educator, and also a lesbian.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She stated that  her designation as a lesbian is  at stake today.                                                               
She said at  stake are her freedom and her  children's freedom to                                                               
live, work, and enjoy the  liberties afforded every other citizen                                                               
in this country.  She noted she is safe from  discrimination as a                                                               
federal employee,  but at  the end  of a  work day,  those rights                                                               
end.  She  stressed  that  the  bill  is  a  step  in  the  right                                                               
direction. All Alaskans have the  right to live safely, securely,                                                               
and without  fear of  discrimination based on  who they  love and                                                               
who they have chosen as their life partner.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:05:25 PM                                                                                                                    
JOSH HEMSATH,  Regional Development Organizer,  Pride Foundation,                                                               
Eagle River,  Alaska, testified  in support of  SB 131.  He urged                                                               
the  committee to  add sexual  orientation,  gender identity  and                                                               
expression to  Alaska's Human  Rights Act. He  spoke of  his role                                                               
with Pride Foundation in promoting  equality for all. He said the                                                               
Pride Foundation will continue to  work tirelessly with community                                                               
partners  to   ensure  that  all   Alaskans  are   protected.  He                                                               
maintained that  equality is  good for business  and spoke  of 88                                                               
percent of Fortune 500 companies'  policies of prohibiting sexual                                                               
discrimination.  He encouraged  making  Alaska  welcoming to  all                                                               
kinds of  people in order  to remain competitive. He  pointed out                                                               
that  the committee  can  help  to create  a  safe and  inclusive                                                               
environment for all Alaskans.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
FELIX RIVERA, representing  himself, Anchorage, Alaska, testified                                                               
in  support  of   SB  131.  He  called  the   bill  common  sense                                                               
legislation. He  provided an  example of a  friend who  was fired                                                               
for  her lifestyle.  He said  this  type of  discrimination is  a                                                               
detriment to business.  He concluded  that there is a need for SB                                                               
131 in communities.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:09:52 PM                                                                                                                    
THEDA   PITTMAN,   representing   herself,   Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
testified in support  of SB 131. She  said it is an  easy bill to                                                               
understand and it adds to the  list of "classes" against which it                                                               
is  illegal   to  discriminate.  She  shared   two  events  which                                                               
demonstrate the need for the  legislation. The Anchorage Assembly                                                               
passed  an  anti-discrimination  ordinance for  private  industry                                                               
which was vetoed by Mayor  Sullivan. Yet, an administrative order                                                               
from   2002  provides   protection  against   sexual  orientation                                                               
discrimination for state  employees, and in 2010  a University of                                                               
Alaska  policy  was  amended  to  do  the  same.  She  urged  the                                                               
committee to pass SB 131.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:12:01 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN TOW, representing herself,  Anchorage, Alaska, testified in                                                               
support of SB  131. She said she represents herself  and all LGTB                                                               
community  members  who  are threatened  by  discrimination.  She                                                               
listed several  incorrect statements  made in the  news regarding                                                               
LGTB  individuals.  Many  families  are afraid  of  losing  jobs,                                                               
housing, and  their livelihood.  She shared  her experience  as a                                                               
retired disabled  U.S. Air  Force Master Sergeant  and as  a LGTB                                                               
individual. She said she now works  for a company that values her                                                               
for  herself.  She  concluded that  during  twenty-two  years  of                                                               
military service  she had  to hide her  identity and  her family.                                                               
The repeal of Don't Act/Don't  Tell has corrected that situation.                                                               
She urged equality for all Alaskans and support for SB 131.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:15:45 PM                                                                                                                    
DREW PHOENIX, representing  himself, Anchorage, Alaska, testified                                                               
in support of SB 131. He  explained that he is a transgender male                                                               
and he has  experienced a history of discrimination.  He shared a                                                               
personal story  of his attempts  to rent. When he  explained that                                                               
he was  transgender he  was denied  housing. Other  LGBT Alaskans                                                               
have been  discriminated against simply  for being who  they are.                                                               
He urged support for SB 131.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIE  SCHMIDT,   representing  herself,  Eagle   River,  Alaska,                                                               
testified  in  support  of  SB   131.  She  shared  that  she  is                                                               
representing herself and  her wife, who have been  married for 35                                                               
years, as  well as friends  and acquaintances. She said  the bill                                                               
will have a tremendous positive  impact on Alaskans. She provided                                                               
information about Article 3, civil  rights under the Alaska State                                                               
Constitution. She  stressed that it  is time for  the legislature                                                               
to  guarantee that  all  Alaska citizens  have  equal rights  and                                                               
correct the omission of LGBT individuals.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:20:24 PM                                                                                                                    
GAYLE SCHUH,  representing herself, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in  support   of  SB  131.   She  shared  a  personal   story  of                                                               
discrimination  when disclosing  who she  is. Ten  years ago  she                                                               
said she had  to make a decision before  disclosing her identity.                                                               
She suggested that Alaska make  a law that encourages respect for                                                               
everyone.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CAMDEN  YEHLE,   representing  herself,  Alaskans   Together  for                                                               
Equality, Anchorage, Alaska, testified in  support of SB 131. She                                                               
spoke of the positive consequences  of the bill; keeping the best                                                               
and brightest in  the state in order to prevent  brain drain, and                                                               
maintaining a thriving and competitive state.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:23:32 PM                                                                                                                    
DIANE  MEAD, representing  herself, Anchorage,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in  support   of  SB   131.  She   shared  personal   stories  of                                                               
discrimination  in renting  and at  a hospital  as a  transgender                                                               
individual. She  said the  bill is  central to  protecting people                                                               
from discrimination for perceived differences.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:25:33 PM                                                                                                                    
MILDRED BOESSER, representing  herself, Juneau, Alaska, testified                                                               
in support of  SB 131. She shared her personal  story as a parent                                                               
and as  a Christian. She said  she is saddened that  a person can                                                               
be fired,  evicted, and  denied credit  and financing  because of                                                               
who they  love. She said she  could not imagine what  it would be                                                               
like  to  keep  secret  her   orientation  out  of  fear  of  the                                                               
consequences if she "came out." She  said at issue is the ability                                                               
to  live  "freely and  openly,  without  abuse or  harassment  or                                                               
reprisal, as the person you really are."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:28:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELLIS thanked  Ms.  Boesser for  her  years of  bravery,                                                               
courage, and support for equality in Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:28:47 PM                                                                                                                    
KIMBERLY   HUBBARD,   representing   herself,   Juneau,   Alaska,                                                               
testified  in  support of  SB  131.  She  spoke of  her  personal                                                               
experience  of  discrimination  in  the private  sector  and  the                                                               
safety  net as  a state  employment.  She spoke  of the  anxiety,                                                               
stress, and fear she has  experienced having to hide her identity                                                               
as a  lesbian because there  is no legal protection  or recourse.                                                               
She  said that  Administrative  Order 195  enacted  12 years  ago                                                               
assuaged some of those concerns.  She noted Governor Parnell said                                                               
that it  is the continued goal  of Alaska to choose  respect. She                                                               
pointed  out that  SB  131 is  a very  clear  opportunity to  end                                                               
discrimination against LBGT.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:30:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MARGUERITE   LAURI,   representing   herself,   Juneau,   Alaska,                                                               
testified  in support  of SB  131. She  said as  state of  Alaska                                                               
employees, she and  her wife are fortunate to  be protected under                                                               
former-Governor  Tony  Knowles'  Administrative  Order  195.  She                                                               
urged the  committee to advance  equality in Alaska.  All persons                                                               
have a natural right to  life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness,                                                               
and  the enjoyment  of the  rewards  of their  own industry.  All                                                               
persons  are   entitled  to  equal  rights,   opportunities,  and                                                               
protection under the law.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:32:23 PM                                                                                                                    
TERRI   LAUTERBACK,   representing   herself,   Juneau,   Alaska,                                                               
testified in support of SB 131.  She shared her personal story as                                                               
a parent  and as a  state worker for 30  years. She spoke  of how                                                               
she could  not cover her  and her partner's children  with health                                                               
insurance benefits. She  noted that she does not  know the modern                                                               
arguments against  a bill such  as SB  131. She pointed  out that                                                               
the Human  Rights Act covers parenthood,  marriage, and religion,                                                               
divorcees and  unwed mothers. All should  have fair opportunities                                                               
to have a job and a home and a loan from a bank.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
She brought up  the idea that some  legislators fear constituents                                                               
may not be pleased with a vote in  favor of SB 131. Those are the                                                               
constituents who  will decide  to discriminate  or not  over jobs                                                               
and  housing  of  future generations.  She  emphasized  that  all                                                               
Alaskans must  be judged fairly  on qualifications and  on merit.                                                               
She said SB 131 would be a great step in that direction.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:35:57 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY GRAHAM,  representing herself, Juneau, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
support  of SB  131. She  said she  has been  testifying on  this                                                               
issue since 1982 and it is time  to pass the bill to bring Alaska                                                               
into the  21st Century. She  said it  would make Alaska  a strong                                                               
place  where  people  want  to raise  their  families  and  where                                                               
businesses can attract the best and brightest people.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:36:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JEFF ROGERS,  representing himself, Juneau, Alaska,  testified in                                                               
support  of  SB 131.  He  said  he  does  not benefit  from  this                                                               
legislation because he is a  state employee, nor does his partner                                                               
who is a  small business owner. He shared his  personal story and                                                               
he  related it  to  discrimination legislators  might see  toward                                                               
their  own family  members. He  shared his  father's story  about                                                               
earning  a wage  through a  person's  own efforts.  He hoped  the                                                               
committee would  correct the  situation where  a person  might be                                                               
fired from a job because of who he or she loved.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:39:03 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  ROXBURGH, representing  himself, Juneau,  Alaska, testified                                                               
in support  of SB 131. He  shared his personal story.  He pointed                                                               
out   the   fragility  in   the   lack   of  protection   against                                                               
discrimination.  He noted  legal protections  since the  mid-60's                                                               
against discrimination for  race and gender and said  it is clear                                                               
that  protection  is needed  for  sexual  orientation and  gender                                                               
identity. He opined  that SB 131 is riding the  crest of the wave                                                               
of history.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
LAUREN TIBBITTS, representing  herself, Juneau, Alaska, testified                                                               
in support  of SB 131. She  shared her personal story  as a young                                                               
LGBT member of the Alaskan community.  She said 100 years ago she                                                               
would  have been  denied opportunities  because she  is a  woman.                                                               
Also,  75 years  ago she  could have  been discriminated  against                                                               
because she  is Korean. Today,  she can be  discriminated against                                                               
for jobs, housing, and other  things. She shared a personal story                                                               
from when she  was 15. She said Alaska has  been at the forefront                                                               
of civil  rights; however,  today there  is still  a need  to end                                                               
discrimination  of LGBT  individuals.  She said  it is  important                                                               
that SB 131 is passed because  it provides a legal buffering from                                                               
people who don't agree.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
LIN  DAVIS, representing  herself, Juneau,  Alaska, testified  in                                                               
support of  SB 131. She shared  her personal story. She  said she                                                               
worked at  the Juneau  Job Center  for 15  years where  she heard                                                               
many stories of LGBT discrimination,  many of whom were preparing                                                               
to leave the state. She said  Alaska is not yet a welcoming state                                                               
for  LBGT and  it  communicates disfavor.  She  said many  people                                                               
confided  that  they did  not  understand  Alaska's civil  rights                                                               
issues. Now, after the Windsor  case, many Americans wish LGBT to                                                               
have the  same rights. There  is a hunger  now in Alaska  to make                                                               
things right and equal for the LGBT community.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She described  three special information  projects in  the works.                                                               
One is  a three-volume  encyclopedia on the  LGBT history  in all                                                               
states. The  second project is  statewide Alaskan  LGBT archiving                                                               
of  personal   records  and  journals.   The  third   project  is                                                               
historical research of the Juneau  blue and pink tickets, one-way                                                               
tickets handed  out in the 60's  to those who were  gay or deemed                                                               
to be gay. She concluded that now  is the perfect time for SB 131                                                               
to go forward.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:49:36 PM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN  LONGWORTH, M.D.,  representing herself,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
testified  in  support of  SB  131.  She  shared  her life  as  a                                                               
physician.  She said  the American  Academy of  Family Physicians                                                               
agrees  that  legislation  that  furthers  equality  increases  a                                                               
healthy  environment  and  lessens disease.  All  Academies  have                                                               
national guidelines to support equal  rights to LGBT members. She                                                               
shared several  personal stories  of discrimination  against LBGT                                                               
individuals. She  asked the committee  to be "pro-life"  and pass                                                               
SB 131.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:53:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY NANUWAK, representing  herself, Anchorage, Alaska, testified                                                               
against SB  131. She voiced  concern that Alaska Natives  are not                                                               
getting  services they  deserve.  She maintained  that people  in                                                               
rural areas are going to suffer if LBGT people receive services.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:56:09 PM                                                                                                                    
JANET FORBES, representing herself,  Juneau, Alaska, testified in                                                               
support  of SB  131.  She spoke  of her  career  in the  Criminal                                                               
Justice  System and  her  wife's career  in  Child Services.  She                                                               
shared that when her wife was  diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, she                                                               
was denied  Family Medical Leave  Act (FMLA) and was  fearful for                                                               
her job. She said she was  not protected. She urged the committee                                                               
to pass the bill.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR ELLIS asked what FMLA stood for.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. FORBES said Family Medical Leave Act.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:58:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CAREN ROBINSON,  Lobbyist, Alaska Women's Lobby,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
testified in  support of SB 131.  She shared a personal  story of                                                               
her parents  and their neighbors who  were gay. She said  she was                                                               
proud   of  her   parents   for  becoming   aware   of  how   bad                                                               
discrimination  is. She  requested  that the  committee move  the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:00:32 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GARDNER  voiced  appreciation  for  all  of  the  moving                                                               
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN held the SB 131 in committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:01:38 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Stedman adjourned  the Senate  Health and  Social Services                                                               
Standing Committee at 3:01 p.m.                                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB0131A.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131Sponsor Statement.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Sectional Analysis.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness Members _ Resources _ Human Rights Campaign.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
AK community survey.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 AK Human Rights Commission.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Gov fiscal note.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 States with NonDiscrimination.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Susan Tow testimony.docx SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB131 Media-Chamber Mag.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB131 Study-Utah Discrimination.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Letters of Support.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Warbelow Testimony.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 ACLU Testimony.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Green testimony.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Hemsath testimony.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 Pittman testimony.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131
SB 131 AARP support.pdf SHSS 2/24/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 131