Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/14/2018 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Moved HB 138 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invited and Public> --
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled:
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                         March 14, 2018                                                                                         
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator David Wilson, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Natasha von Imhof, Vice Chair                                                                                           
Senator Peter Micciche                                                                                                          
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Cathy Giessel                                                                                                           
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 138                                                                                                              
"An Act establishing the month of March as Sobriety Awareness                                                                   
     - MOVED HB 138 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 81                                                                                                              
"An Act relating  to criminal and civil  history requirements and                                                               
a registry  regarding certain licenses,  certifications, appeals,                                                               
and  authorizations  by  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 138                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                                    
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) SPOHNHOLZ                                                                                         
02/22/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/17       (H)       HSS, CRA                                                                                               
03/07/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/07/17       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/07/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/23/17       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
03/23/17       (H)       Moved HB 138 Out of Committee                                                                          
03/23/17       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
03/24/17       (H)       HSS RPT 6DP 1NR                                                                                        
03/24/17       (H)       DP: JOHNSTON, TARR, EDGMON, SULLIVAN-                                                                  
                         LEONARD, KITO, SPOHNHOLZ                                                                               
03/24/17       (H)       NR: EASTMAN                                                                                            
04/04/17       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/04/17       (H)       Moved HB 138 Out of Committee                                                                          
04/04/17       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
04/05/17       (H)       CRA RPT 5DP                                                                                            
04/05/17       (H)       DP:    WESTLAKE,   SADDLER,    TALERICO,                                                               
                       DRUMMOND, FANSLER                                                                                        
04/07/17       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
04/07/17       (H)       VERSION: HB 138                                                                                        
04/10/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/10/17       (S)       HSS, STA                                                                                               
02/12/18       (S)       RETURNED TO HOUSE PER REQUEST                                                                          
02/14/18       (H)       BILL RECEIVED IN HOUSE                                                                                 
02/14/18       (H)       BILL REPRINTED 2/14/18                                                                                 
02/14/18       (H)       RETURNED TO SENATE                                                                                     
03/14/18       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
BILL: SB  81                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DHSS CENT. REGISTRY; LICENSE; BACKGROUND CHECK                                                                     
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
03/08/17       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/08/17       (S)       HSS, JUD                                                                                               
02/02/18       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/02/18       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/02/18       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/05/18       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/05/18       (S)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/14/18       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE IVY SPOHNHOLTZ                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor HB 138.                                                                                           
TASHA ELEZARDE, Intern                                                                                                          
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional analysis for HB 138                                                               
on behalf of the sponsor.                                                                                                       
TIFFANY HALL, Executive Director                                                                                                
Recover Alaska                                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 138.                                                                                         
CATHERINE MCGLASHAN, Representing Self                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 138.                                                                                         
GREGORY NOTHSTINE, President                                                                                                    
Sobermiut: Reviving Our Spirit                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 138.                                                                                         
CARRIE AMOTT, Representing Self                                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Supported HB 138.                                                                                         
STACIE KRALY, Chief Assistant Attorney General                                                                                  
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Human Services Section                                                                                                          
Department of Law                                                                                                               
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented information on SB 81.                                                                           
KATE BURKHART, Ombudsman                                                                                                        
Alaska Office of the Ombudsman                                                                                                  
Legislative Agencies and Offices                                                                                                
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified on SB 81.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:31:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVID WILSON  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  von Imhoff,  Micciche, Begich  and                                                               
Chair Wilson.                                                                                                                   
             HB 138-MARCH: SOBRIETY AWARENESS MONTH                                                                         
1:31:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of HB 138.                                                                             
1:32:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE IVY SPOHNHOLTZ,  Alaska State Legislature, sponsor                                                               
of HB 138 presented HB 138.  She said alcohol and substance abuse                                                               
in the  state of Alaska  has dramatic  impacts. Alaska is  at the                                                               
top  in  the nation  for  addiction  to  drugs and  alcohol.  The                                                               
McDowell report estimates the cost  of drug and alcohol abuse was                                                               
$3 billion  in 2015. Sobriety  is a constructive solution  to the                                                               
problems  that the  state faces.  HB  138 permanently  designates                                                               
March as  Sobriety Awareness Month. It  recognizes and celebrates                                                               
Alaskans  who  choose to  live  a  sober lifestyle  by  providing                                                               
opportunities   for   Alaskans   to  promote   sobriety   through                                                               
activities  and  celebrations   throughout  the  state.  Sobriety                                                               
Awareness Month  has a long history  in Alaska. It is  an Alaska-                                                               
only solution.  It is not  recognized in any other  state because                                                               
it comes from the AFN  (Alaska Federation of Natives). The Alaska                                                               
Native  community,  AFN  in  particular,   led  the  creation  of                                                               
Sobriety  Awareness Month  as part  of its  sobriety movement  to                                                               
celebrate sobriety as a healthy choice for Alaska Natives.                                                                      
She related that in 1992, Mike  Williams, a musher from Akiak and                                                               
sobriety  activist, ran  the  Iditarod  carrying signatures  from                                                               
individuals throughout the state  who had pledged sobriety. March                                                               
was  chosen   as  Sobriety  Awareness  Month   to  recognize  the                                                               
Iditapledge event.  In 1995 the legislature  designated the first                                                               
sobriety month.  Every year between  1995 and 2006,  the governor                                                               
issued a  declaration declaring  March Sobriety  Awareness Month.                                                               
In 1996 the Alaska Legislature  unanimously passed House Bill 523                                                               
to amend the Uniform Alcoholism and  Treatment Act to add that it                                                               
is  the  policy  of  the  state  to  recognize,  appreciate,  and                                                               
reinforce the examples set by  its citizens who lead, believe in,                                                               
and support  a life of  sobriety. That set  the tone for  how the                                                               
state  approaches addiction  treatment. Sobriety  Awareness Month                                                               
fits the purpose  of this amendment while continuing  to focus on                                                               
sobriety  as a  positive  solution to  the  problem of  substance                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ added that  HB 138 acknowledges sobriety                                                               
as a healthy  life style choice. She shared that  she has been in                                                               
recovery for about 15 years. Those  who have chosen sobriety as a                                                               
lifestyle should stand up proudly as  a way of setting a positive                                                               
example for the state's children  and others in the community who                                                               
may continue to struggle with addiction.                                                                                        
1:36:05 PM                                                                                                                    
TASHA  ELEZARDE,  Intern,  Representative Ivy  Spohnholz,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented the following sectional  for HB 138                                                               
on behalf of the sponsor:                                                                                                       
      Section 1. Uncodified Law. states that the State of                                                                     
        Alaska recognizes the importance of sobriety in                                                                         
     Alaskan lives.                                                                                                             
     Section 2. AS 44.12.150. adds  a new section of statute                                                                  
     designating March  of every year as  Sobriety Awareness                                                                    
     Month,  where  schools,  community groups,  public  and                                                                    
     private  agencies, and  individuals can  celebrate with                                                                    
     activities related to sobriety.                                                                                            
SENATOR  MICCICHE asked  Ms. Elezarde  how she  envisions getting                                                               
the message about the importance  of sobriety out to young people                                                               
in schools and communities around Alaska.                                                                                       
MS.  ELEZARDE said  the sponsor's  office  is communicating  with                                                               
many organizations as they are  working on passing the bill. They                                                               
received  a letter  of  support from  the  student government  of                                                               
Soldotna High  School. They are  reaching out to  Recover Alaska.                                                               
They are reaching  out to tribal organizations  because this bill                                                               
and this  month are founded  in the Alaska Federation  of Natives                                                               
sobriety awareness movement. They will  continue to reach out and                                                               
she expects that Representative Spohnholz  has more ideas for the                                                               
future  of  Sobriety  Awareness  Month if  the  bill  passes  the                                                               
SENATOR  BEGICH  referenced  the  Healthy  Alaskans  2020  health                                                               
assessment and  asked how outcomes  associated with  sobriety can                                                               
be measured.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  said  there  is  no  good  measure  of                                                               
sobriety in Alaska.  The state has not tried to  measure it. They                                                               
would need to  intentionally add a question to some  of the polls                                                               
being  done. The  state asks  high school  students whether  they                                                               
have consumed  alcohol recently. The  state has seen  a promising                                                               
downward trend for that.                                                                                                        
1:40:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  he likes  the  bill because  it offers  the                                                               
potential to measure good behavior instead of negative outcomes.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  said  the behavioral  health  research                                                               
study  shows that  the vast  majority  of young  people who  were                                                               
measured  do   not  consume  alcohol  of   drugs.  Some  positive                                                               
messaging  is  starting  to   come  about  celebrating  sobriety,                                                               
particularly by  Recover Alaska.  Students compare  themselves to                                                               
what they think  their peers are doing. They  hear about negative                                                               
things  and think  the vast  majority  of their  peers are  doing                                                               
those things.  That isn't necessarily  the case and when  that is                                                               
celebrated,  more  people  see  that as  the  norm.  It's  called                                                               
positive social norming.                                                                                                        
SENATOR  MICCICHE observed  that the  McDowell Group  report does                                                               
not address  the causes of  alcohol and substance abuse.  He said                                                               
the state  sometimes gets  the message out  that sobriety  is the                                                               
right path,  but more Alaskans  than anywhere else choose  a less                                                               
positive  path. He  wonders  how they  determine  the causes  and                                                               
frontload  a  solution  as  opposed to  always  dealing  with  an                                                               
existing problem.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  said  the McDowell  Group  report  was                                                               
designed to measure  the economic impacts, not  to understand the                                                               
causation of  addiction. She  shared that she  took over  as bill                                                               
sponsor because positive social  norming helps reduce alcohol and                                                               
drug abuse  and because  it is  more than  a one-time  thing. The                                                               
bill establishes  March Sobriety  Awareness Month as  a permanent                                                               
event, so  activists can  focus on  making change  in communities                                                               
throughout the state.                                                                                                           
CHAIR  WILSON  said  he  recently  came from  an  agency  with  a                                                               
substance  abuse  treatment  facility  and  his  wife  manages  a                                                               
substance abuse  treatment program  in Anchorage. He  opined that                                                               
this is an important thing for Alaska.                                                                                          
1:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
TIFFANY HALL,  Executive Director,  Recover Alaska,  supported HB
138.  She  said Recover  Alaska  is  a multisector  action  group                                                               
working to reduce excessive alcohol  use and its harms statewide.                                                               
Recover  Alaska partners  include  the  Rasmuson Foundation,  the                                                               
Alaska  Mental   Health  Trust   Authority,  the   Mat-Su  Health                                                               
Foundation,  Providence  Health  and Services,  the  Southcentral                                                               
Foundation,  State  of Alaska  Department  of  Health and  Social                                                               
Services  and a  dozen other  partners across  the state  who all                                                               
support the  bill. The vision  of Recover Alaska is  for Alaskans                                                               
to live free from the consequences  of alcohol misuse so that all                                                               
are  empowered  to  achieve  their  full  potential.  Their  work                                                               
requires individual,  social, and systemic change,  which they do                                                               
by  making  connections,  raising  awareness of  the  impacts  of                                                               
alcohol misuse,  advocating for policy  change to create  a safer                                                               
environment, and by shifting perceptions.                                                                                       
Recover Alaska  wants to make  it more normal and  comfortable to                                                               
talk  about substance  use  disorder. They  want  to correct  the                                                               
falsehood that addiction  is a moral failing and  recognize it as                                                               
the chronic disease  that it is. They know  that treatment works,                                                               
and that  recovery is possible.  They are not  an abstinence-only                                                               
initiative.  They promote  healthy  drinking,  at whatever  level                                                               
that might be. She shared that  she has been sober for 8.5 years.                                                               
Her  experience  has been  that  talking  about alcoholism  makes                                                               
people very  uncomfortable. For some, there  is stigma associated                                                               
with sobriety so  anything to reduce the stigma of  sobriety is a                                                               
positive thing.                                                                                                                 
When she  disclosed her  substance use disorder  early on  in her                                                               
recovery to her doctor, her doctor  advised her not to tell other                                                               
medical professionals about  her disease. This was a  slap in the                                                               
face just as  she was coming to terms with  the devastating shame                                                               
of  her substance  use disorder.  Her doctor  advised her  not to                                                               
share her  health history because insurance  parity doesn't exist                                                               
and because so  many people would view her  differently. This was                                                               
a setback  to her self-worth, but  she's stronger for it  and has                                                               
found her voice.                                                                                                                
MS. HALL said  she owes her life to recovery.  She is humbled and                                                               
proud to share  her story, but she is even  more honored to stand                                                               
for  the  hundreds  of  people  across  the  state  who  live  in                                                               
recovery.  Designating March  as Sobriety  Awareness Month  gives                                                               
everyone  the  opportunity to  step  away  from the  shroud  that                                                               
alcohol places  over Alaska and to  be proud of their  choices to                                                               
take  back  their  lives.  Whatever   the  reason  for  sobriety,                                                               
everyone should celebrate  that choice. Alcohol is  related to so                                                               
many  negative  consequences  that  choosing  to  abstain  has  a                                                               
positive  effect,  not just  on  the  individual but  the  entire                                                               
community.  Representative  Spohnholz  already mentioned  the  $3                                                               
billion cost  every year. Alaska's  mortality rate is  over twice                                                               
as high as the rest of nation.                                                                                                  
1:50:58 PM                                                                                                                    
She said  by encouraging,  celebrating, and  supporting sobriety,                                                               
Alaska can  improve its fiscal  climate as well as  helping human                                                               
lives.  Recovery  Alaska  focuses   on  the  full  spectrum  from                                                               
prevention, to  treatment, to recovery.  People so often  want to                                                               
see metrics  that it  is easy  for recovery to  be pushed  to the                                                               
back burner. It is difficult  to track people's success when they                                                               
stop  showing up  in  the emergency  department  or stop  getting                                                               
arrested. It is  really difficult to highlight  all the positives                                                               
things  that  come from  that,  especially  because the  negative                                                               
associations  with substance  use disorders  make people  want to                                                               
hide  that part  of themselves.  There aren't  many studies  that                                                               
track people  once they get  sober. Additionally, relapses  are a                                                               
common part of  recovery. It takes most people  about seven times                                                               
before they  maintain long-term  recovery, but  it's so  easy for                                                               
people to see  that as a failure. They do  have some quantitative                                                               
feedback. Recovery  Alaska shares  stories through their  Day One                                                               
video series.                                                                                                                   
MS. HALL said many people have  shared and liked them and written                                                               
their  own  stories  on  Facebook. People  are  hungry  for  this                                                               
conversation. Designating a  full month to call  attention to the                                                               
benefits of sobriety justify her  organization's efforts in doing                                                               
things like making  sure there are nonalcoholic  drink options at                                                               
every  restaurant  and  bar  in  the  state  and  that  they  are                                                               
highlighted for  throwing sober dance  parties. They  always hear                                                               
thank  you and  please keep  doing this  when they  have sobriety                                                               
events. Designating  Sobriety Awareness Month is  a wonderful way                                                               
of showcasing  sobriety stories. It  is also an important  way to                                                               
get sobriety stories in the  media. It validates the choice those                                                               
in recovery  have made. They  fight for their lives  every single                                                               
day, knowing they can't do it alone.                                                                                            
She  said as  far as  causes,  they know  that Adverse  Childhood                                                               
Experiences (ACEs),  intergenerational trauma,  and the  cycle of                                                               
abuse really play into this.  Her opinion, supported by research,                                                               
is that  isolation is one of  worst things for people.  This bill                                                               
champions  connections for  people who  feel less  than or  not a                                                               
part of things. This is a  good step toward allowing the state to                                                               
move toward sobriety and recovery.                                                                                              
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  called her testimony  compelling. He  hoped that,                                                               
working together,  they could  find ways  to measure  and promote                                                               
positive outcomes instead of dwelling on the negative.                                                                          
MS.  HALL said  78 percent  of youth  are not  currently drinking                                                               
alcohol.  Positive social  norms are  absolutely the  way to  go.                                                               
They are  working with the  Alaska Wellness Coalition to  do more                                                               
of this positive messaging, especially for youth.                                                                               
1:56:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHERINE MCGLASHAN,  Representing Self,  said she  is affiliated                                                               
with the  Cook Inlet Tribal  Council Inc. Recovery  Services, and                                                               
the Alaska  Therapeutic Court Alumni.  She shared that she  is in                                                               
long-term recovery;  she has not  used a  mind-altering substance                                                               
since July 2012. Her story is  similar to Ms. Hall's, but because                                                               
her  story involves  prescription abuse,  she received  47 felony                                                               
counts of  misconduct with a  controlled substance. In  2012, she                                                               
was  finally ready  to  give up  after 20  years  with drugs  and                                                               
alcohol and incarceration.                                                                                                      
She  said that  drugs and  alcohol  cause isolation  for so  many                                                               
people.  They are  at  a point  in the  movement  where they  are                                                               
finally  allowing  people  to  talk about  it  and  removing  the                                                               
stigma, allowing  people to be  vulnerable and  transparent about                                                               
what is going on in their  lives or their families' lives. Naming                                                               
it Sobriety Awareness  Month goes to another level.  They need to                                                               
provide  awareness,  and providing  awareness  turns  it into  an                                                               
action plan. She  is still in recovery and works  in the recovery                                                               
field. The other  day she heard someone say that  when they start                                                               
to  change the  people  they  start to  change  the village.  The                                                               
transparency  effort  and  celebration  of  sobriety  can  change                                                               
Alaska, start  changing the  youth, and  make this  attractive to                                                               
people. They need  dances and opportunities to  socialize so they                                                               
can continue to live everyday lives in recovery.                                                                                
MS. MCGLASHAN  said she struggled  her whole life  with substance                                                               
use disorder. She  went into her first treatment  facility at age                                                               
13.  A  lot  of  it  stems from  insecurities,  an  inability  to                                                               
socialize, and  a lot  of traumatic  childhood events.  Since she                                                               
has been  in recovery, she has  been able to change  her family's                                                               
life--nieces, nephews,  a ripple  effect. She  is 100  percent in                                                               
support of HB 138  to bring any awareness to what  is going on in                                                               
the state, especially in some of the villages.                                                                                  
2:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
GREGORY  NOTHSTINE, President,  Sobermiut:  Reviving Our  Spirit,                                                               
supported HB 138.  He thanked the committee on behalf  of all the                                                               
people  who are  testimony that  life  can be  lived and  enjoyed                                                               
without consuming mind-altering  substances. When the legislature                                                               
amended  the Uniform  Alcoholism and  Treatment Act  in 1996,  AS                                                               
47.37.010, he was the AFN  sobriety coordinator. Since 2006 there                                                               
has been no  champion to introduce the  resolution about sobriety                                                               
awareness.  He  said  the  legislature   has  been  proactive  by                                                               
recognizing the merits  of a positive lifestyle  led by thousands                                                               
of  Alaskans. They  benefit Alaska  by improving  the quality  of                                                               
life for  themselves, their  families, and  communities, reducing                                                               
the incidence and  social ills caused by alcohol  and drug abuse,                                                               
and helping  to reduce  the burden on  local, state,  and federal                                                               
government in  having to pay  for all  the social ills  caused by                                                               
alcohol and drug abuse.                                                                                                         
He  recalled collecting  10,000 signatures  for the  AFN sobriety                                                               
movement  and handed  them  to  musher Mike  Williams.  It was  a                                                               
symbolic gesture  of how they need  to start a discussion  of how                                                               
to curb and mitigate the  problems that many of their communities                                                               
were  facing. He  said perhaps  everyone  remembers the  Pulitzer                                                               
Prize-winning series  A People  in Peril  in the  Anchorage Daily                                                               
News  documenting the  tragedy  and trauma  of  alcohol and  drug                                                               
abuse at that  time. When the AFN sobriety  movement started, the                                                               
chairman was the late General  John Schaeffer who asked what they                                                               
will do differently because there  are already so many prevention                                                               
MR. NOTHSTINE said members of the  council said that no one talks                                                               
about Mr. and  Mrs. Joe Smith who never drink  who are being shut                                                               
out of all the important  decisions. They wanted to support them,                                                               
which led  to a grass  roots sobriety  movement. As time  went on                                                               
people began to  appreciate the idea of sobriety.  It became okay                                                               
to talk about  being in recovery, but after a  while it subsided.                                                               
After 2006, the  sobriety awareness month message  lost focus and                                                               
championship. Then  the heroin epidemic came.  He emphasized that                                                               
a  way must  be found  to acknowledge  and support  people living                                                               
sober lifestyles. They are a protective factor.                                                                                 
2:10:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
CARRIE AMOTT, Representing  Self, stated support for  HB 138. She                                                               
said she helps run a  recovery community organization and her job                                                               
is to organize  sobriety events in the hopes of  building a sober                                                               
community among Juneau  residents. The idea is to  form a network                                                               
of people to lift each other  up and provide peer support. She is                                                               
in long-term  recovery with  three years  of sobriety.  She knows                                                               
how  important it  is to  have community  surrounding efforts  to                                                               
stay sober and  learn how to have a productive,  healthy, and fun                                                               
lifestyle. A  month to recognize  sobriety brings it  into public                                                               
view.  Celebrating  sobriety  champions  healthy  lifestyles  and                                                               
makes it cool.  Recognizing sobriety provides a  platform for all                                                               
community members to make positive choices.                                                                                     
2:14:14 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
SENATOR MICCICHE  said people  are focused  on the  opioid issue,                                                               
but a statement from the  police yesterday was "alcohol, alcohol,                                                               
alcohol,  and then  alcohol," so  they should  not lose  focus on                                                               
alcohol. Things have  changed so that it seems almost  cool to be                                                               
in  recovery  instead  of hiding  it.  He  referenced  Protective                                                               
Factors for  Youth Substance Abuse  and Delinquency: The  Role of                                                               
Afterschool Programs from  the McDowell Group. He  asked Ms. Hall                                                               
how to break the cycle for the next generation.                                                                                 
MS.  HALL  said there  is  a  national  shift about  recovery  in                                                               
general. More  and more  musicians and actors  are coming  out as                                                               
being  in  recovery.  Recover Alaska  has  over  11,000  Facebook                                                               
followers.  When  they  share  recovery  stories,  especially  of                                                               
famous people, people love them.  Sober is sexy. Sobriety apparel                                                               
is available  because they are  saying they don't need  drugs and                                                               
alcohol to  be crazy and  have a  good time. Parents  are telling                                                               
kids to expect  lots of drinking in college and  that it's a rite                                                               
of passage, but many youth are  saying that is not what they want                                                               
to do. A lot  of pushback they get about the  78 percent of youth                                                               
who do  not drink are  from adults  saying that is  not possible,                                                               
but the numbers show that  underage drinking is going down. There                                                               
is   hope  for   future   generations,   particularly  with   the                                                               
afterschool idea.                                                                                                               
She said she went to Iceland  last fall with a group. Iceland has                                                               
reduced underage drinking from nearly  40 percent to 5 percent in                                                               
the  past  20  years.  There  were policy  changes.  The  age  of                                                               
adulthood  changed  from 16  to  18.  They increased  residential                                                               
treatment opportunities  for youth, but primarily  they hear from                                                               
people  running afterschool  programs.  In  partnership with  the                                                               
Mat-Su  Health  Foundation and  the  Children's  Trust, they  are                                                               
applying for a grant from  the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for                                                               
more  afterschool programs  in the  Mat-Su Valley.  If it  works,                                                               
they would seek to expand that to the rest of the state.                                                                        
MS. HALL said the Alaska Resilience  Initiative is doing a lot of                                                               
work around some of these causes  and how to stop abuse before it                                                               
starts.  What they  hear from  a  lot from  youth, especially  in                                                               
rural Alaska, is they don't know  what else to do because in some                                                               
of  the  really  small  villages,  the  majority  of  adults  are                                                               
drinking in the afternoon when a  shipment comes in and the youth                                                               
go to  the free  events because of  the food.  It's heartbreaking                                                               
and not  what they  want. They  are trying to  figure out  how to                                                               
bring  programs and  services out  there to  show another  way of                                                               
life.  No  one  grows  up  saying,   "I  really  want  to  be  an                                                               
2:20:05 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE noted  Senator Giessel's bill on  beefing up the                                                               
funding  for  substance  programs for  kids  through  afterschool                                                               
programs that the  Alaska Children's Trust, Boys  and Girls Club,                                                               
and other organizations will assist  with that are very promising                                                               
at stopping those risks early.                                                                                                  
MS. HALL said the biggest factor  in the lives of youth are their                                                               
parents and  other respected  adults to be  good models  and have                                                               
conversations with their children or  other young people who look                                                               
up to them. Talk about it early, talk about it often.                                                                           
2:22:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
CHAIR  WILSON  entertained  a  motion   to  move  the  bill  from                                                               
2:22:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  VON IMHOF  moved to  report HB  138 from  committee with                                                               
individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.                                                                           
CHAIR WILSON found no objection and  HB 138 moved from the Senate                                                               
Health   and  Social   Services  Standing   Committee  with   the                                                               
understanding that  Legislative Legal  is authorized to  make any                                                               
necessary technical or conforming adjustments.                                                                                  
SENATOR MICCICHE  asked Chair Wilson  to clarify that  the fiscal                                                               
note is zero.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  WILSON clarified  that the  Division of  Behavioral Health                                                               
submitted a zero fiscal note.                                                                                                   
2:23:06 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
      SB 81-DHSS CENT. REGISTRY; LICENSE; BACKGROUND CHECK                                                                  
2:25:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WILSON  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration of  SB 81. He  reopened public testimony  and noted                                                               
that  the Department  of Health  and Social  Services (DHSS)  has                                                               
been  working with  the  Department of  Law  and the  Ombudsman's                                                               
Office  to  produce  a committee  substitute.  He  entertained  a                                                               
motion to adopt the work draft.                                                                                                 
2:26:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR VON  IMHOF moved to  adopt the work  draft CS for  SB 81,                                                               
labeled 30-GS1676\D, as the working document.                                                                                   
2:26:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                               
2:26:27 PM                                                                                                                    
STACIE KRALY,  Chief Assistant Attorney General,  Civil Division,                                                               
Human  Services Section,  Department  of  Law, said  SB  81 is  a                                                               
technical  bill  to  make corrections  to  the  background  check                                                               
process used  by DHSS, as well  as to make some  small changes to                                                               
the licensing statutes  found in AS 47.32.  The background checks                                                               
statute  has been  on the  books  for 15  years and  needs a  few                                                               
technical  adjustments. She  reminded  members that  in the  last                                                               
meeting DOL said  it would meet with committee  staff, staff from                                                               
the  other  body,  and  the   Ombudsman's  Office  to  develop  a                                                               
committee  substitute  to  address  the concerns  raised  by  the                                                               
Ombudsman's Office.                                                                                                             
2:27:47 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KRALY reviewed  the following summary of changes  in CSSB 81,                                                               
version D:                                                                                                                      
     Section  1  contains  the amendment  requested  by  the                                                                    
     Department of  Public Safety to ensure  compliance with                                                                    
     federal  laws  relating  to  the  sharing  of  criminal                                                                    
     history information  with the Department of  Health and                                                                    
     Social Services.                                                                                                           
     Section  2 contains  a technical  fix that  removes the                                                                    
     word  "registry" and  instead  refers  to databases  to                                                                    
     avoid  the concern  raised by  the Ombudsman  regarding                                                                    
     confusion over the term "registry."                                                                                        
     Old  Section 7  was  deleted as  it  was determined  in                                                                    
     consultation  with legislative  legal  the section  was                                                                    
     redundant. It  was determined that keeping  what is now                                                                    
     section 7 in the CS  was sufficient to require relative                                                                    
     placement to have background checks.                                                                                       
     Section  10  is  re-written  to  address  the  concerns                                                                    
     raised  by the  Ombudsman's  office. Specifically,  the                                                                    
        • Removes the confusion caused by using the word                                                                        
          "registry." Similar to Sections 2, 8, 18, and 21,                                                                     
         the change redefines registry to "databases";                                                                          
2:29:28 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MICCICHE asked if this was  an attempt to delete the word                                                               
"registry"  from the  legal  definitions  because certain  groups                                                               
have decided they  are sensitive to that term. He  asked if it is                                                               
a registry  or a database and  if the term "registry"  would ever                                                               
be used again.                                                                                                                  
MS. KRALY said registries still exist  in state law and this bill                                                               
still  has  a registry.  In  this  context,  a registry  was  not                                                               
created. The  reason for  removing the  word "registry"  from the                                                               
bill  is  that  it  indicated  that  the  state  was  creating  a                                                               
registry, which is not the case.  It was renamed  a civil history                                                               
database check  because  it is a more  accurate representation of                                                               
what is happening.                                                                                                              
2:31:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. KRALY continued to review the changes to Section 10.                                                                        
        • Clarifies that the department is looking to                                                                           
          evaluate health,  safety, and welfare  issues when                                                                    
          reviewing databases related  to licensed entities,                                                                    
          not  technical  violations  that  may  lead  to  a                                                                    
          nonrenewal,   suspension   or  revocation   of   a                                                                    
        • Clarifies that the department is looking to                                                                           
          identify persons whose children  are subjects of a                                                                    
          child in need of aid petition;                                                                                        
        • ?Clarifies that the department is looking to                                                                          
          evaluate health,  safety, and welfare  issues when                                                                    
          reviewing databases related  to licensed providers                                                                    
          (occupational   licensing   under  AS   08),   not                                                                    
          unrelated technical violations;                                                                                       
        • Adds that a person who works for the state  not                                                                      
          just the Department of  Health and Social Services                                                                    
           is  subject to a  barring condition if  they are                                                                    
          terminated  from  employment for  a  substantiated                                                                    
          allegation    of   assaultive,    neglectful,   or                                                                    
          exploitive behavior.                                                                                                  
     Section 12  is amended as requested  by the Ombudsman's                                                                    
     Office  to clarify  persons who  are seeking  variances                                                                    
     have  access  to  information they  need  to  pursue  a                                                                    
     Section 14 adds a new  section to effectuate the access                                                                    
     of information under AS 47.10 for variance committees.                                                                     
     Section  17 (former  Section 16)  contains a  technical                                                                    
     fix  that  remove the  word  "registry"  that refer  to                                                                    
     databases  to avoid  confusion  as  articulated by  the                                                                    
     Section 19  (former Section  18) removes  the qualifier                                                                    
     of "unsupervised" before "volunteer"  as to persons who                                                                    
     can be  investigated. The Department  wants to  be able                                                                    
     to   investigate  any   volunteer     unsupervised  or                                                                    
     otherwise  who has  engaged in abusive, neglectful, or                                                                    
     exploitative  behavior  against  a child  or  adult  in                                                                    
     Sections  20   is  added  to   this  CS  to   amend  AS                                                                    
     47.32.140(d) to remove the  word "registry" and instead                                                                    
     refer to databases  to avoid the concern  raised by the                                                                    
     Ombudsman   regarding    confusion   over    the   term                                                                    
     Section 22 (former Section 20)  is amended to add a new                                                                    
     subsection to  clarify that  information can  be shared                                                                    
     with  law enforcement  if that  information  is from  a                                                                    
     concurrent investigation.                                                                                                  
2:34:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WILSON  removed   his  objection.   Finding  no   further                                                               
objection, CSSB 81, version D, was adopted.                                                                                     
2:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
KATE  BURKHART,  Ombudsman,  Alaska   Office  of  the  Ombudsman,                                                               
Legislative Agencies  and Offices, said the  committee substitute                                                               
addresses  the   concerns  of  the   Office  of   the  Ombudsman,                                                               
particularly around  whether a substantiated  report of  harm was                                                               
sufficient cause  for a 10-year  barrier. She was  duly convinced                                                               
of that many  people involved in a substantiated  claim would not                                                               
be part of a  Child in Need of Aid action because  they are not a                                                               
parent.  They would  want to  sweep  those up  in the  background                                                               
check   program.  The   committee   substitute  strengthens   the                                                               
background check  program, which is  a critical component  to the                                                               
child protection system, as well  as those professions that serve                                                               
vulnerable children and adults.                                                                                                 
2:37:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON held SB 81 in committee.                                                                                           
2:37:42 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Wilson adjourned  the Senate  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
Standing Committee at 2:37 p.m.                                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 138 Version D.PDF SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Sponsor Statement.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Sectional Analysis .docx SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Fiscal Note.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Leg Research Report - Sobriety Awareness Month.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 A.S.47.37.010 Uniform Alcoholism and Intoxication Treatment Act.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Economic Costs of Alcohol Abuse in Alaska 2017 Presentation by McDowell.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 AFN Resolution.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 HCR 18 Sobriety Awareness Month in 2000.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HCR 18
HB 138 Support - League of Women Voters.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Support Letters 3.13.18.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Youth Substance Abuse Report 2018 McDowell.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
SB0081A.PDF SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB 81 WORKDRAFT 30-GS1676 vsn D.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB081 Governor Transmittal Letter.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB081 Sectional.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB 81 Fiscal Note - DHSS Health Care Svcs - Residential Licensing.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
Ombudsman Complaint A2013-0776.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB 81 Alaska Ombudsman Letter.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB081 Supporting Documents - FAQS on DHSS Background Checks.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
SB081 Supporting Documents-Proposed Background Check Process.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
HB162 SB81 - FAQs 050317.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 162
SB 81
SB81 - Summary of Changes to CS SB 81 v D Feb 21 2018.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 81
HB 138 Economic Costs of Alcohol Abuse in Alaska 2017 by McDowell.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138
HB 138 Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in Alaska 2016 by McDowell.pdf SHSS 3/14/2018 1:30:00 PM
HB 138