Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

01/27/2016 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= SB 145 DAY CARE ASSISTANCE & CHILD CARE GRANTS
Heard & Held
+= SB 147 SENIOR BENEFITS PROG. ELIGIBILITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
+= HB 8 POWERS OF ATTORNEY TELECONFERENCED
Moved SCS CSHB 8(HSS) Out of Committee
+= SB 98 PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYS. EXAM. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 76 GOV COUNCIL ON DISABILITIES/SPECIAL ED TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 76 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                        January 27, 2016                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Cathy Giessel, Vice Chair                                                                                               
Senator Pete Kelly                                                                                                              
Senator Bill Stoltze                                                                                                            
Senator Johnny Ellis                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 98                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to diagnosis,  treatment, and  prescription of                                                               
drugs without a physical examination."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 8(JUD) AM                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to  powers of  attorney  and other  substitute                                                               
decision-making documents; relating to  the uniform probate code;                                                               
relating  to  notaries public;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SCS CSHB 8(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 76                                                                                                               
"An Act  relating to the  Governor's Council on  Disabilities and                                                               
Special Education."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HB 76 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 145                                                                                                             
"An  Act relating  to the  recovery of  overpayments of  day care                                                               
assistance and child care grants;  and providing for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 147                                                                                                             
"An Act relating to eligibility requirements of the Alaska                                                                      
senior benefits payment program; and providing for an effective                                                                 
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 98                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYS. EXAM.                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) MICCICHE                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
04/07/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/07/15       (S)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
04/13/15       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/13/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/13/15       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
01/25/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/25/16       (S)       Scheduled but Not Heard                                                                                
01/27/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 8                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: POWERS OF ATTORNEY                                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): HUGHES                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/9/15                                                                                
01/21/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/21/15       (H)       JUD                                                                                                    
02/13/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/13/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/13/15       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/23/15       (H)       JUD AT 1:00 PM CAPITOL 120                                                                             
02/23/15       (H)       Moved CSHB 8(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                     
02/23/15       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
02/25/15       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 2DP 4NR                                                                                
02/25/15       (H)       DP: LYNN, KELLER                                                                                       
02/25/15       (H)       NR: MILLETT, CLAMAN, GRUENBERG, FOSTER                                                                 
03/09/15       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
03/09/15       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 8(JUD) AM                                                                                
03/11/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/11/15       (S)       HSS, JUD                                                                                               
04/10/15       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/10/15       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/10/15       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
01/27/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 76                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: GOV COUNCIL ON DISABILITIES/SPECIAL ED                                                                             
SPONSOR(s): MILLETT                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
01/23/15       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/23/15       (H)       HSS                                                                                                    
03/03/15       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/03/15       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/03/15       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/05/15       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/05/15       (H)       Moved HB 76 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/05/15       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/06/15       (H)       HSS RPT 5DP                                                                                            
03/06/15       (H)       DP: TARR, VAZQUEZ, TALERICO, WOOL,                                                                     
                         SEATON                                                                                                 
04/10/15       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/10/15       (H)       VERSION: HB 76                                                                                         
04/11/15       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/11/15       (S)       HSS, EDC                                                                                               
01/25/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
01/25/16       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
01/25/16       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
01/27/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 145                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DAY CARE ASSISTANCE & CHILD CARE GRANTS                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/16       (S)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
01/27/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 147                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SENIOR BENEFITS PROG. ELIGIBILITY                                                                                  
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
01/19/16       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/19/16       (S)       HSS, FIN                                                                                               
01/27/16       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PETER MICCICHE                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of SB 98.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KEN MCCARTY, Executive Director                                                                                                 
Discovery Cove Counseling                                                                                                       
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in support of SB 98.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY HUGHES                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 8.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GINGER BLAISDELL, Staff                                                                                                         
Representative Shelley Hughes                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information regarding HB 8.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
GRACE ABBOTT, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on HB 76.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SEAN O'BRIEN, Director                                                                                                          
Division of Public Assistance (DPA)                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 145 and SB 147.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
STACIE KRALY, Assistant Attorney General                                                                                        
Human Services Section                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 145.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
JANICE BRADEN, Program Manager                                                                                                  
Child Care Program Office                                                                                                       
Division of Public Assistance (DPA)                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 145.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MONICA MITCHELL, Chief                                                                                                          
Policy and Program Development                                                                                                  
Division of Public Assistance                                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions related to SB 147.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BERT STEDMAN  called the Senate Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:31 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call to  order were Senators  Giessel, Kelly, Stoltze,  and Chair                                                               
Stedman. Senator Ellis arrived shortly thereafter.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
             SB 98-PRESCRIPTION WITHOUT PHYS. EXAM                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:32:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced that the  first business would be SB 198.                                                               
He noted the  bill was previously heard on April  13, 2015. After                                                               
a  presentation  by  the  bill's   sponsor,  an  amendment  by  a                                                               
committee member will be offered.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:33:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR PETER  MICCICHE, Alaska State Legislature,  sponsor of SB                                                               
98, summarized  that SB 98  is about improving the  efficiency of                                                               
medical services delivered in Alaska.  It is primarily focused on                                                               
Medicaid  efficiency,  but  also  allows  for  the  expansion  of                                                               
telemedicine. Many companies include  the option of telemedicine,                                                               
but, currently, there are restrictions regarding it.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL moved to adopt Amendment 1:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                      A M E N D M E N T 1                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2, following "examination":                                                                                 
          Insert "by a physician; relating to the delivery                                                                    
     of  services  by  a  licensed  professional  counselor,                                                                  
     marriage    and    family   therapist,    psychologist,                                                                  
     psychologist  assistant, and  social  worker by  audio,                                                                  
     video, or data communications"                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 3:                                                                                                  
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
        "* Section  1. AS 08.29.400 is  amended by  adding a                                                                
     new subsection to read:                                                                                                    
          (b)  The board may not impose disciplinary                                                                            
     sanctions on a licensee  for the evaluation, diagnosis,                                                                    
     or treatment of a person  through audio, video, or data                                                                    
     communications  when  physically   separated  from  the                                                                    
     person if                                                                                                                  
               (1)  the licensee or another licensed health                                                                     
     care provider  is available to provide  follow-up care;                                                                    
     and                                                                                                                        
               (2)  the licensee requests that the person                                                                       
     consent  to  sending  a  copy of  all  records  of  the                                                                    
     encounter to  a primary  care provider if  the licensee                                                                    
     is not the  person's primary care provider  and, if the                                                                    
     person consents, the licensee  sends the records to the                                                                    
     person's primary care provider.                                                                                            
        *  Sec. 2.  AS 08.63.210  is amended  by adding  new                                                                  
     subsections to read:                                                                                                       
          (c)  The board may not impose disciplinary                                                                            
     sanctions on a licensee  for the evaluation, diagnosis,                                                                    
     supervision, or  treatment of  a person  through audio,                                                                    
     video,   or   data   communications   when   physically                                                                    
     separated from the person if                                                                                               
               (1)  the licensee or another licensed health                                                                     
     care provider is available to provide follow-up care;                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
               (2)  the licensee requests that the person                                                                       
     consent  to  sending  a  copy of  all  records  of  the                                                                    
     encounter to  a primary  care provider if  the licensee                                                                    
     is not the  person's primary care provider  and, if the                                                                    
     person consents, the licensee  sends the records to the                                                                    
     person's primary care provider; and                                                                                        
               (3) the licensee meets the requirements                                                                          
     established by the board in regulation.                                                                                    
          (d) The board shall adopt regulations restricting                                                                     
     evaluation,   diagnosis,  supervision,   and  treatment                                                                    
     authorized under  (c) of  this section  by establishing                                                                    
     standards  for training,  confidentiality, supervision,                                                                    
     practice, and related issues."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 4:                                                                                                            
          Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                  
          Insert "Sec. 3"                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, following line 16:                                                                                                 
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
        "* Sec. 5.  AS 08.86.204 is amended by  adding a new                                                                
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
          (c) The board may not impose disciplinary                                                                             
     sanctions on a licensee  for the evaluation, diagnosis,                                                                    
     or treatment of a person  through audio, video, or data                                                                    
     communications  when  physically   separated  from  the                                                                    
     person if                                                                                                                  
               (1) the licensee or another licensed health                                                                      
     care provider  is available to provide  follow-up care;                                                                    
     and                                                                                                                        
               (2) the licensee requests that the person                                                                        
     consent  to  sending  a  copy of  all  records  of  the                                                                    
     encounter to  a primary  care provider if  the licensee                                                                    
     is not the  person's primary care provider  and, if the                                                                    
     person consents, the licensee  sends the records to the                                                                    
     person's primary care provider.                                                                                            
        * Sec.  6. AS 08.95.050 is  amended by adding  a new                                                                  
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
     (b) The board may  not impose disciplinary sanctions on                                                                    
     a licensee for the  evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment                                                                    
     of   a   person   through   audio,   video,   or   data                                                                    
     communications  when  physically   separated  from  the                                                                    
     person if                                                                                                                  
               (1) the licensee or another licensed health                                                                      
     care provider  is available to provide  follow-up care;                                                                    
     and                                                                                                                        
               (2) the licensee requests that the person                                                                        
     consent  to  sending  a  copy of  all  records  of  the                                                                    
     encounter to  a primary  care provider if  the licensee                                                                    
     is not the  person's primary care provider  and, if the                                                                    
     person consents, the licensee  sends the records to the                                                                    
     person's primary care provider."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN objected for discussion.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:34:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  explained that Amendment  1 adds four  groups of                                                               
behavioral  health care  providers to  the option  of telehealth,                                                               
providing services in  various ways. She said  the amendment adds                                                               
professional   counselors,   marital   and   family   therapists,                                                               
psychologists  and psychologic  associates,  and social  workers.                                                               
The  statue change  would authorize  the option  for the  related                                                               
regulatory  boards to  allow telehealth  services  by these  four                                                               
provider groups. She stated that they  are not mandated to do so.                                                               
She stressed the need for  expanded behavioral health services in                                                               
the  state, which  can be  effectively  delivered by  telehealth,                                                               
especially in rural areas where there are limited providers.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN   asked  Senator  Micciche  for   his  opinion  of                                                               
Amendment 1.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:36:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE stated  that SB 98 is a good  bill and Amendment                                                               
1 makes it a better bill. He  noted that the absence of travel to                                                               
obtain  medical treatment  provides the  greatest efficiency.  He                                                               
said the involvement  of the boards and the  addition of specific                                                               
skill sets  provided by the amendment  make SB 98 a  better bill.                                                               
He concluded  that he is  very much  in support of  the amendment                                                               
and appreciates Senator Giessel's efforts.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:37:14 PM                                                                                                                    
KEN  MCCARTY,  Executive  Director,  Discovery  Cove  Counseling,                                                               
testified in  support of SB  98. He  said his business  would use                                                               
telemedicine for psychotherapy. He said  the amendment would be a                                                               
big asset to his business.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN  withdrew  his  objection   and  Amendment  1  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN  said the  amendment  will  be rewritten  in  bill                                                               
format  and brought  back  to the  committee. He  held  HB 98  in                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                    HB 8-POWERS OF ATTORNEY                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:39:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEDMAN announced  the consideration  of HB  8, which  was                                                               
previously heard  by the  committee on April  10, 2015.  He noted                                                               
that  there  was  a  new committee  substitute  (CS)  before  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:40:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SHELLEY HUGHES,  Alaska State Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HB  8, explained that HB  8 would help protect  older Alaskans                                                               
who  might  be susceptible  to  fraud  and financial  abuse.  She                                                               
stressed the  importance of protecting vulnerable  older Alaskans                                                               
by clarifying  what is being signed  in a Power of  Attorney. She                                                               
said HB 8 updates the statutory form.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
She  related that  there are  over 600  allegations of  financial                                                               
exploitation in Alaska,  many of which involve the  elderly. HB 8                                                               
strengthens  the statute  by clarifying  responsibilities of  the                                                               
person who  is receiving  the Power  of Attorney,  customizing it                                                               
specifically for Alaska,  as well as for parties  who live across                                                               
state lines.  She opined  that the  updates will  help vulnerable                                                               
Alaskans to understand what they are signing.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN noted the arrival of Senator Ellis.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:42:29 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  moved to adopt the  SCS for CSHB 8,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS0055\N.A, as the working document before the committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:35 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL  amended her  motion to say  "version G",  as the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:43:25 PM                                                                                                                    
GINGER  BLAISDELL, Staff,  Representative Shelley  Hughes, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature, presented information regarding HB 8.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN requested  a brief  explanation  of the  technical                                                               
clean ups.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE also requested a brief presentation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN noted  that the bill has  been thoroughly explained                                                               
and said he wanted to hear of the changes in the new CS.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL explained  that version  G  improves the  existing                                                               
Power  of   Attorney  by   updating  terminology   regarding  the                                                               
"principal" who  owns the  finances and  the "agent,"  the person                                                               
who  is acting  on  the principal's  behalf.  The definition  for                                                               
"signing"  the  document has  been  updated  and now  allows  the                                                               
individual  who may  not  be able  to write  their  name, to  use                                                               
another form  of a signature, such  as an audible signature  or a                                                               
signer on their behalf. It identifies  the duties of an agent and                                                               
states  the  responsibility of  the  agent  to  act in  the  best                                                               
interests of the principal.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BLAISDELL stated  that version  G  also adds  a new  section                                                               
dealing  with judicial  relief,  which allows  family members  or                                                               
professionals who are familiar with  the principal to ask a court                                                               
to review an agent's actions.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
She noted,  at the  request of  the committee,  version G  adds a                                                               
signature verification  line that a  notary public would  have to                                                               
accept and  recognize the  information of a  person who  might be                                                               
signing on  behalf of the  principal. It also adds  a requirement                                                               
that the principal must sign  the form unless they are physically                                                               
unable to.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE asked how incapacitation relates to the bill.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES explained how  the changes would protect an                                                               
incapacitated person.  Previously, the  principal might  not have                                                               
known what  they were  signing due  to the  wording on  the form.                                                               
She noted  wide-spread support for  the bill from  the Commission                                                               
on Aging, AARP,  Association of Mature Americans,  and the Mat-Su                                                               
Coalition on Aging.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:49:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN requested  a review from the  Lt. Governor's Office                                                               
in  order to  minimize the  potential of  someone taking  abusive                                                               
action over someone else's finances.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN removed his objection and version G was adopted.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES thanked the committed for their support.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL moved  to report  SCS CSHB  8 (HSS),  version G,                                                               
from committee with individual  recommendations and attached zero                                                               
fiscal notes. There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 76-GOV COUNCIL ON DISABILITIES/SPECIAL ED                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:51:13 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced the consideration  of HB 76. He noted the                                                               
bill was previously heard on January 25, 2016.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:51:34 PM                                                                                                                    
GRACE  ABBOTT,  Staff,  Representative Charisse  Millett,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented information  on HB 76.  She related                                                               
that  the bill  removes  the word  "gifted"  from the  Governor's                                                               
Council   on  Disabilities   and  Special   Education's  enabling                                                               
statute. The  responsibility for  gifted students now  rests with                                                               
school districts.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN noted  the committee has heard the  bill and public                                                               
hearing has been held.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:43 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GIESSEL moved to report  HB 76, version 29-LS0369\A, from                                                               
committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached  zero                                                               
fiscal note. There being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
         SB 145-DAY CARE ASSISTANCE & CHILD CARE GRANTS                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:53:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced the consideration  of SB 145. He noted it                                                               
is the first  hearing on the bill and is  sponsored by the Office                                                               
of the Governor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SEAN  O'BRIEN, Director,  Division  of  Public Assistance  (DPA),                                                               
Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  (DHSS),  presented                                                               
information on  SB 145.  He related that  the Child  Care Program                                                               
Office administers  the federal  Child Care  Development Program,                                                               
which  provides  child  care funding  for  qualified  low  income                                                               
individuals. It  offers temporary assistance programs  to support                                                               
those individuals so  they can return to work.  He explained that                                                               
SB 145  would allow  for the collection  of overpayments  and the                                                               
garnishment  of  PFDs  when  necessary.  There  is  currently  no                                                               
garnish option, only voluntary repayment.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  O'BRIEN stated  that  the bill  addresses  four aspects:  it                                                               
supports the  compliance with the Child  Care Development Program                                                               
to recover  improper or fraudulent  payments and addresses  a gap                                                               
in  DPA's  authority  to  refute   those  payments,  it  provides                                                               
consistency  of  collection  and practices  within  DPA  programs                                                               
streamlining the  collection process  and releasing an  amount of                                                               
staff  time in  collection  attempts, it  enables an  alternative                                                               
source  of recruitment  when the  recipient does  not voluntarily                                                               
repay the overpayment, and it  allows the division to leverage an                                                               
estimated $500,000 in  the future to help cover the  cost of this                                                               
effort.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:56:28 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  O'BRIEN reported  that Section  1 of  the bill  contains the                                                               
statutes that would  allow the division to move  forward. He said                                                               
the bill provides for a  long-needed change. He noted an attached                                                               
zero fiscal note.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:57:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE  asked how  far the reach  back to  recover funds                                                               
goes.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN said the effectual date of the bill is July 1, 2016.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked if the bill reaches back to FY 15.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN deferred to Ms. Kraly to answer.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:58:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACIE   KRALY,  Assistant   Attorney  General,   Human  Services                                                               
Section,  Department of  Law, answered  questions  related to  SB                                                               
145. She  said the effective date  is July 1, 2016,  which allows                                                               
the  Division to  garnish  the  2016 PFD  and  also collect  past                                                               
debts.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked  if collected funds go back  to the general                                                               
fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN  explained that  the monies  collected would  go back                                                               
into the federal fund account.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:00:41 PM                                                                                                                    
JANICE  BRADEN,  Program  Manager;  Child  Care  Program  Office,                                                               
Division  of Public  Assistance (DPA),  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social  Services (DHSS),  answered questions  related to  SB 145.                                                               
She  agreed that  all collected  funds would  be returned  to the                                                               
federal account.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked for the method of appropriation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BRADEN offered to get back to the committee on that.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:02:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GIESSEL referred  to page  2, line  2, of  the bill  and                                                               
inquired how far back the recovery process could go.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN  understood that  the program  would have  a one-year                                                               
look back period from July 1, 2016.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  STEDMAN requested  more information  about  the amount  of                                                               
unpaid monies looking back.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STOLTZE  asked whether  a  federal  audit initiated  the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:04:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BRADEN  explained that the  Child Care Assistance  Program is                                                               
funded  through the  Child Care  and Development  Fund and  has a                                                               
requirement to recoup improper or  fraudulent payments. There are                                                               
regulations in  place that support that  policy. Currently, there                                                               
is no ability for anything but a voluntary repayment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked what caused the overpayments.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR   STEDMAN  requested   that  the   division  provide   that                                                               
information at a later date.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:06:15 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  ELLIS provided  a  brief history  of  the program  under                                                               
Governor Wally Hickel. He shared  a story about Governor Hickel's                                                               
plan to  get rid of  day care  assistance and child  care grants.                                                               
The  legislature informed  Governor Hickel  that the  monies were                                                               
primarily  federal funded.  Senator Ellis  described a  button he                                                               
made that said "Day Care  Prevents Welfare," which was noticed by                                                               
Mrs.  Hickel  who  then influenced  the  Governor's  decision  to                                                               
continue to  accept federal funding  for day care  assistance and                                                               
child care.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:07:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN  opened public hearing,  and seeing  no testifiers,                                                               
closed public hearing.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN held SB 145 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. O'BRIEN offered  to provide the requested  information to the                                                               
committee at the next hearing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
            SB 147-SENIOR BENEFITS PROG. ELIGIBILITY                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:09:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN announced that the final bill would be SB 147.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SEAN   O'BRIEN,   Director,   Division  of   Public   Assistance,                                                               
Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  (DHSS),  presented                                                               
information on  SB 147.  He said  that the  bill pertains  to the                                                               
Senior  Benefits Program,  which is  a cash  benefit program  for                                                               
Alaska seniors age 65 and older  with low or moderate income. The                                                               
monthly  cash  benefits  range  from  $125  to  $250  per  month,                                                               
depending on the level of income  and are directly tied to Alaska                                                               
Federal Poverty Guidelines.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He explained  that the bill's intent  has four areas; it  adds an                                                               
additional  eligibility  requirement  that  a  recipient  of  the                                                               
Senior Benefits  program must be  a citizen of the  United States                                                               
or  a  qualified alien,  and  it  aligns  with all  other  public                                                               
assistance  programs.  It corrects  the  original  intent of  the                                                               
program,  which was  to be  in  alignment with  the Adult  Public                                                               
Assistance  Program, and  it is  estimated to  save approximately                                                               
$43,000 annually, based on current enrollment numbers for FY 15.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:11:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR STOLTZE  asked who  would be  excluded from  the benefits                                                               
with this change.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:12:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MONICA MITCHELL, Chief, Policy  and Program Development, Division                                                               
of Public Assistance,  answered questions related to  SB 147. She                                                               
said  the division  has identified  16 individuals  who would  be                                                               
excluded, but there may be more.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   STOLTZE   requested    more   information   about   the                                                               
qualifications of a qualified aliens.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL explained that a  qualified alien could be a refugee                                                               
or other category.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR STOLTZE asked if the unqualified aliens are criminals.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. MITCHELL said she would have  to look at individual cases and                                                               
follow up with that information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR STEDMAN  requested more specific  information about  the 16                                                               
identified qualified aliens.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
He opened  public hearing  and, seeing  no testifiers,  closed it                                                               
again.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:15:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN held SB 147 in committee.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:16:16 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Stedman adjourned  the Senate  Health and  Social Services                                                               
Standing Committee at 2:16 p.m.                                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 145 ver A.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 145
SB 145 Sectional Analysis.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 145
SB 145 Governor Transmittal Letter.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 145
SB 147 version A.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 147
SB 147 Sectional Analysis.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 147
SB 147 Governor Transmittal Letter.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 147
SCS CSHB 8(HSS) changes to ver G 1-25-2016.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
SCS CSHB 8(HSS).pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
SB 147 Fiscal Note HSS 1-23-16.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 147
SB 98 Amendment from Giessel.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 98
SB 98 Letter of Support Board of Marital and Family therapy.PDF SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
SB 98
HB 8 Supporting Documents - AMAC.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB 8 Supporting Documents - Com on Aging letter.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB 8 Supporting Documents - LTCO.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8
HB 8 Supporting Documents - AARP letter.pdf SHSS 1/27/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 8