Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

02/08/2022 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
01:31:16 PM Start
01:32:19 PM Dhss Cyberattack Update
01:59:32 PM SB132
02:04:37 PM HB133
02:15:25 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: State of Alaska IT Protocols and TELECONFERENCED
DHSS Cyberattack Updates by Bill Smith, DOA,
Chief Information Officer (OIT)
Sylvan Robb, DHSS, Assistant Commissioner
Scott McCutcheon, DHSS, Chief Information Officer
+= SB 132 CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 132 Out of Committee
-- Invited Testimony --
+= HB 133 AK ED SAVINGS PROGRAMS/ELIGIBILITY TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                        February 8, 2022                                                                                        
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Senator David Wilson, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DHSS CYBERATTACK UPDATE                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 132                                                                                                             
"An Act exempting veterinarians from the requirements of the                                                                    
controlled substance prescription database."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 132 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 133(L&C)                                                                                
"An  Act relating  to  the Alaska  savings  program for  eligible                                                               
individuals; relating to education  savings programs; relating to                                                               
the Education  Trust of  Alaska; relating  to the  Alaska advance                                                               
college tuition  savings fund; relating  to the  Alaska education                                                               
savings  program for  children;  and relating  to the  Governor's                                                               
Council on Disabilities and Special Education."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 132                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) HOLLAND                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
04/28/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/28/21       (S)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
02/03/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/08/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 133                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: AK ED SAVINGS PROGRAMS/ELIGIBILITY                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/10/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/10/21       (H)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/17/21       (H)       L&C AT 5:45 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/17/21       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/19/21       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
03/19/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/19/21       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/24/21       (H)       L&C AT 3:15 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/24/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 133(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/24/21       (H)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
03/24/21       (H)       L&C AT 5:45 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
03/24/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
03/25/21       (H)       L&C RPT CS(L&C) 6DP 1NR                                                                                
03/25/21       (H)       DP: SNYDER, SCHRAGE, MCCARTY, NELSON,                                                                  
                         SPOHNHOLZ, FIELDS                                                                                      
03/25/21       (H)       NR: KAUFMAN                                                                                            
04/07/21       (H)       HSS REPLACES FIN REFERRAL                                                                              
04/07/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
04/20/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/20/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/20/21       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
04/22/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/22/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 133(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/22/21       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
04/26/21       (H)       HSS RPT CS(L&C) 5DP 1NR                                                                                
04/26/21       (H)       DP:    FIELDS,    SPOHNHOLZ,    MCCARTY,                                                               
                        ZULKOSKY, SNYDER                                                                                        
04/26/21       (H)       NR: KURKA                                                                                              
05/07/21       (H)       TRANSMITTED TO (S)                                                                                     
05/07/21       (H)       VERSION: CSHB 133(L&C)                                                                                 
05/10/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/10/21       (S)       HSS, L&C                                                                                               
02/03/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/03/22       (S)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
02/08/22       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SYLVAN ROBB, Assistant Commissioner                                                                                             
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-presented an update on DHSS Cyberattack.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT MCCUTCHEON, Information Technology Manager                                                                                
Finance and Management Services                                                                                                 
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Co-presented an update on DHSS Cyberattack.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZACK FIELDS                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HB 133.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
TRISTAN WALSH, Staff                                                                                                            
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions on HB 133.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK STOCKS, Attorney                                                                                                        
Disability Law Center of Alaska                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified by invitation on HB 133.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:16 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 Reinbold, Begich,  Hughes, and Chair                                                               
Wilson.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
^DHSS Cyberattack Update                                                                                                        
                    DHSS CYBERATTACK UPDATE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                              
1:32:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of an update by the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on cyberattacks.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:33:13 PM                                                                                                                    
SYLVAN ROBB, Assistant Commissioner,  Office of the Commissioner,                                                               
Department of Health and Social  Services (DHSS), Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
introduced herself.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:33:46 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:34:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:34:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ROBB  stated  that  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services  (DHSS)  manages 600  servers  that  operate around  350                                                               
applications and must adhere to  Health Insurance Portability and                                                               
Accountability  Act (HIPAA)  requirements. Instances  exist where                                                               
DHSS utilizes  services outside of  the Office of  Innovation and                                                               
Technology (OIT) to maintain HIPPA compliance.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB  turned to slide 2  and stated that on  May 5, personnel                                                               
in  OIT  noticed malicious  activity  happening  within the  DHSS                                                               
system. The impacted systems were  immediately taken offline, law                                                               
enforcement  was  notified, and  an  incident  response team  was                                                               
assembled. On May 10, 2021,  an experienced global contractor was                                                               
hired to address the sophistication of the attack.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:36:38 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROBB said  the contractor completed system checks  on May 17.                                                               
Nineteen   systems  were   identified  as   having  elements   of                                                               
compromise.  Sites  taken down  included  the  DHSS website,  the                                                               
background check unit,  Alaska's Automated Information Management                                                               
System  (AKAIMS), grants  management, and  vital records.  On May                                                               
18,  the  public was  notified  of  the  attack through  a  press                                                               
release and  social media. HIPAA  guidelines require a  low level                                                               
of   information  compromise.   Therefore,   in  September,   the                                                               
department  notified  all  Alaskans  of the  breach  and  offered                                                               
credit monitoring.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:38:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT  MCCUTCHEON, Information  Technology  Manager, Finance  and                                                               
Management  Services, Department  of Health  and Social  Services                                                               
(DHSS), Juneau,  Alaska, said the cyberattack  response consisted                                                               
of three phases. The detection  and analysis phase determined the                                                               
scope of the intrusion, date, length, and reason.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The containment  and eradication  plan was  created in  phase one                                                               
but carried  out in  phase two.  The containment  and eradication                                                               
plan  involved isolating  affected  systems, disabling  accounts,                                                               
and resetting, then rotating,  privileged account passwords every                                                               
other  day  across  the  enterprise.   Malware  provided  by  the                                                               
contractor  was   distributed  across  the  enterprise   to  find                                                               
additional signs of compromise.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCUTCHEON  said the third phase  was post-incident activity.                                                               
It  involved  reviewing  and  improving  server  and  application                                                               
hardening processes recommended by  the contractor. Code scanning                                                               
of the software applications was  implemented before bringing the                                                               
systems  back   to  production.  Penetration  tests   were  later                                                               
conducted on each  system to determine reasonable  assurance of a                                                               
secured system.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:40:15 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROBB  advanced to slide  5 and announced that  eleven systems                                                               
had been restored to date,  including those mentioned on slide 3.                                                               
The remaining eight systems are  in various stages of the 23-step                                                               
restoration  process.  Although  time-consuming, the  19  systems                                                               
will be hardened and more robust than before the attack.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
An appropriation is  in the fast track supplemental  budget for a                                                               
Security  Program  Assessment  for  DHSS.  DHSS  is  hopeful  the                                                               
assessment will  occur as  soon as  possible. A  contractor would                                                               
work with the  department to make all DHSS systems  as secure and                                                               
robust as possible.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD  commented that the  State of Alaska  paying for                                                               
credit monitoring does not correct  Alaskan's data being taken in                                                               
a cyberattack. She opined that Alaskans  have a right to know who                                                               
took their data.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROBB replied it was  a sophisticated state-sponsored attacker                                                               
and that law enforcement requested details not be shared.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD  responded that  cyber security should  be taken                                                               
seriously and more should be done for Alaskans.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  asked  for clarification  on  what  occurred  in                                                               
September.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB  answered that  at the request  of law  enforcement DHSS                                                               
waited to alert the public of the HIPAA breach until September.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:44:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked  if state or federal law  enforcement made the                                                               
request.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:34 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MCCUTCHEON replied  that state  and federal  law enforcement                                                               
are  involved  in the  ongoing  investigation  across the  United                                                               
States.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES asked  why the  HIPAA breach  notification people                                                               
took four months  when the cyberattack had  already been publicly                                                               
announced                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:45:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ROBB  stated that  the  delay  was  at  the request  of  law                                                               
enforcement, who  are conducting an active  investigation. Due to                                                               
the nature of the attack and  the breadth of services provided by                                                               
DHSS,  the state  used the  Permanent Fund  Dividend database  to                                                               
notify individual Alaskans of the breach.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES   stated  she  understands  information   can  be                                                               
withheld  because  of an  investigation  but  opined that  people                                                               
should have been  informed promptly of their  data being breached                                                               
so they could monitor their  interests. She analogized the breach                                                               
to  a  house being  robbed.  The  homeowner  is informed  of  the                                                               
robbery even though  the investigation is ongoing.  She found the                                                               
length of  time the  information was withheld  to be  curious and                                                               
would like an explanation from law enforcement.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:47:22 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked if HIPPA has  a timeframe for reporting a data                                                               
breach.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB replied  that HIPPA does have a  notice requirement. The                                                               
requirement  allows for  notice  to be  delayed  for purposes  of                                                               
investigation. Notifications were made as required by HIPPA.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR REINBOLD asked if it is  correct to assume that a foreign                                                               
bad  actor took  Alaskans'  names, social  security numbers,  and                                                               
other private information.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ROBB replied  that  HIPPA notification  is  required if  the                                                               
state cannot  assert that there  was a low probability  that data                                                               
was not taken. Items such  as social security numbers, names, and                                                               
addresses are  information DHSS has  in its database.  Still, due                                                               
to  the nature  of the  attack,  the department  cannot say  with                                                               
certainty what information was taken.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD stated  that the assumption that can  be made is                                                               
obvious. She asked how many people were impacted by the breach.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB replied  that all Alaskans were notified.  The number of                                                               
individuals impacted is indeterminable.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:49:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked how many people could have been exposed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD   interjected  that  the  number   of  Alaskans                                                               
receiving public assistance  is 300,000 and asked if  that is the                                                               
number or could it be more.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MCCUTCHEON  stated   that  the  amount  and   type  of  data                                                               
exfiltrated  in   the  potential   HIPAA  breach  could   not  be                                                               
determined.  The extent  would  be the  department's data  input.                                                               
According to  HIPAA regulations,  the department could  not prove                                                               
that data was not taken; therefore, Alaskans were notified.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON asked  how many Alaskans were notified  of the HIPPA                                                               
breach.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB stated  that everyone in the PFD  database was notified.                                                               
The breach  had nothing to do  with the Department of  Revenue or                                                               
the  PFD. The  PFD  database was  used because  it  was the  most                                                               
comprehensive and up-to-date database for contacting Alaskans.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON  reiterated  that   all  Alaskans  who  received  a                                                               
dividend received notice of the HIPPA breach.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB replied yes.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON asked if that notice was in the year 2020 or 2021.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB answered that contact  information was received from the                                                               
Department of Revenue in September 2021.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:51:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  commented  that about  675,000  Alaskans  were                                                               
notified  that their  information  might  have been  compromised.                                                               
Legislators  need  answers  for constituents.  When  DHSS  evades                                                               
basic questions  and does  not provide a  number when  asked, the                                                               
department gives the appearance of hiding information.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:52:16 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROBB  responded that the  department does not mean  to appear                                                               
evasive. In  truth, even  with the help  of a  global contractor,                                                               
the department is  unable to identify the exact  number of people                                                               
whose data may have been taken.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD   retorted  that   an  exact  number   was  not                                                               
requested.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:52:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  WILSON interjected  that he  understands how  it could  be                                                               
challenging to make  contact since people's data  can change with                                                               
time. He  remarked that  11 systems had  been restored  and asked                                                               
how many remained.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB stated  that eight systems are in the  process, and four                                                               
are waiting to begin restoration.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WILSON asked  if there  is an  expected timeframe  for all                                                               
systems to be online.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB deferred to Mr. McCutcheon.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. MCCUTCHEON stated that a  timeline is not feasible since each                                                               
system  is being  rebuilt. It  is expected  to take  several more                                                               
months.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:54:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON stated that the  budget for this year contains costs                                                               
for systems  that have  been rebuilt.  He asked  if there  was an                                                               
estimated cost for the remaining systems.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB  answered that the  supplemental item in the  budget for                                                               
the cyberattack includes the systems  waiting to be finished. The                                                               
amount in the budget is  $2.4 million of new unrestricted general                                                               
funds (UGF), with a portion having matched federal funds.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:55:06 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD  asked  when the  Security  Program  Assessment                                                               
would be completed and the database made as secure as possible.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB replied  that funds for the  Security Program Assessment                                                               
are in the  fast track supplemental. The department  is eager and                                                               
will begin once the funds are released to the department.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  REINBOLD stated  it has  been  almost a  year since  the                                                               
cyberattack. She asked if the  first step to making DHSS's system                                                               
secure is a  $4 million assessment followed by  an unknown amount                                                               
to complete the work.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:56:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. ROBB apologized if her  words were confusing and replied that                                                               
the item in the fast  track supplemental for the Security Program                                                               
Assessment is $1.9 million.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   REINBOLD  restated   her   question   and  asked   when                                                               
information in the DHSS database would be secure.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS. ROBB stated  that the department was trying  to be proactive.                                                               
The cost of the assessment  would be $400,000. The remaining $1.5                                                               
million will be used to harden the system as recommended.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:57:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON asked for further  comments, and Ms. Rob thanked the                                                               
committee for hearing DHSS's cyberattack recovery update.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:57:39 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        SB 132-CONTROLLED SUB. DATA: EXEMPT VETERINARIAN                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:59:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WILSON  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of   SENATE  BILL   NO.  132  "An   Act  exempting                                                               
veterinarians from  the requirements of the  controlled substance                                                               
prescription database."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:00:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HOLLAND stated  that  the  Prescription Drug  Monitoring                                                               
Program  (PDMD)  is important  in  Alaska  for medical  purposes;                                                               
however,  34 other  states realized  it  does not  work well  for                                                               
veterinarians.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  thanked Senator  Begich  for  noting that  HIPPA                                                               
requirements  do  not bind  veterinarians.  She  stated that  the                                                               
presentation  and testimonies  convinced the  committee that  the                                                               
PDMP  is not  an appropriate  program  for veterinarians.  Having                                                               
veterinarians   participate  in   the   PDMP  puts   them  at   a                                                               
disadvantage. It also risks exposure  of clients' HIPPA protected                                                               
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:02:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  moved to report  SB 132, work  order 32-LS0861\A,                                                               
from  committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  attached                                                               
fiscal note(s).                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:02:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON found no objection and  SB 132 was reported from the                                                               
Senate Health and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:02:42 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
           HB 133-AK ED SAVINGS PROGRAMS/ELIGIBILITY                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:04:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WILSON  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration of CS FOR HOUSE  BILL NO. 133(L&C) "An Act relating                                                               
to the Alaska savings program  for eligible individuals; relating                                                               
to education  savings programs; relating  to the  Education Trust                                                               
of  Alaska;  relating  to  the  Alaska  advance  college  tuition                                                               
savings fund;  relating to the  Alaska education  savings program                                                               
for  children;   and  relating  to  the   Governor's  Council  on                                                               
Disabilities and Special Education."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:05:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZACK FIELDS,  Alaska  State Legislature,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  stated that  an update  to the  Achieving a  Better Life                                                               
Experience  (ABLE)  Act  was necessary  because  federal  changes                                                               
occurred  after the  program was  established in  Alaska. Federal                                                               
changes  included  the  potential   to  increase  account  sizes,                                                               
account flexibility, and age limit.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:06:08 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:06:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON reconvened the meeting.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  asked for the  new federal disability  age limit.                                                               
She  recalled  hearing  49  but  could  only  find  documentation                                                               
stating age 26.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS responded  that the age is  46; however, HB
133  was  written  with  conforming   language.  If  the  federal                                                               
government makes  changes in the  future, the age in  Alaska will                                                               
automatically change.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:07:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES asked if the age change might be in regulation.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS deferred the question to his staff.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:08:20 PM                                                                                                                    
TRISTAN WALSH,  Staff, Representative  Zack Fields,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, replied  that federal legislation to                                                               
raise  the onset  age of  disability to  46 was  debated but  not                                                               
finalized.  HB 133  will keep  state  statutes mirroring  federal                                                               
law.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES reiterated  that the federal age is  still 26, but                                                               
the federal government is considering 46.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  BEGICH sought  clarification  that HB  133 would  follow                                                               
federal regulatory changes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS stated that is correct.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:09:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON opened invited testimony.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:09:54 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK  STOCKS,  Attorney,  Disability  Law  Center  of  Alaska,                                                               
Anchorage,  Alaska,  stated that  the  Disability  Law Center  of                                                               
Alaska is  the Protection  and Advocacy  System (P&A's)  agent in                                                               
Alaska. In 2016 it advocated for the passage of the ABLE Act.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ABLE accounts  have been the  solution that allows  many disabled                                                               
individuals  to   go  to  school,  maintain   housing  or  obtain                                                               
employment while still receiving benefits.  The account is a tax-                                                               
preferred  savings  vehicle  that   essentially  does  not  count                                                               
against asset  limits for Medicaid, Financial  Services Institute                                                               
(FSI), and public assistance programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. STOCKS explained that HB  133 would allow rollovers from ABLE                                                               
and  529 accounts,  giving disabled  individuals greater  control                                                               
over saving and spending for  disability-related expenses. HB 133                                                               
also  ties   ABLE  state  requirements  to   controlling  federal                                                               
requirements,  allowing  federal   changes  to  immediately  take                                                               
effect at the state level, saving the agency time and resources.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:13:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  opened public testimony  on HB 133; he  found none,                                                               
and closed public testimony.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:13:48 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES suggested Alaska's congressional delegation be                                                                   
encouraged to support an increase in the onset age of                                                                           
disability.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS agreed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:14:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON held HB 133 in committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:15:25 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business to come before the committee,                                                                   
Chair Wilson adjourned the Senate Health and Social Services                                                                    
Standing Committee meeting at 2:15 p.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 133 Sectional Analysis Ver I 1.31.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Fiscal Note UA-SYSBRA 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Version I 1.19.2022.PDF SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 ver I Sponsor Statement 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Supporting Document - UA Press Release 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Supporting Document - IRS ABLE Accounts Info 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Sponsor Presentation UPDATED 2.1.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Supporting Document - 10 Things You Should Know About ABLE 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
CSHB 133 Summary of Changes ver B to ver I 1.19.2022.pdf SHSS 2/3/2022 1:30:00 PM
SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
HB 133 FN UofA.pdf SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
HB 133
DHSS 2-8-21 SHSS Cyber Security presentation-final.pdf SHSS 2/8/2022 1:30:00 PM
Cybersecurity