Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

02/24/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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Moved CSSB 83(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       February 24, 2005                                                                                        
                           8:40 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess via teleconference                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
SENATE BILL NO. 83                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to the  retaining of  certain privileges  of a                                                               
parent in a relinquishment and  termination of a parent and child                                                               
relationship  proceeding; relating  to eligibility  for permanent                                                               
fund dividends for certain children  in the custody of the state;                                                               
relating  to  child  in  need of  aid  proceedings  and  juvenile                                                               
delinquency proceedings; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
     MOVED CSSB 83(JUD) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                        
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 84(HES)                                                                                                  
"An Act relating to the  confidentiality of investigations, court                                                               
hearings, and public agency records  and information in child-in-                                                               
need-of-aid  matters   and  certain  child   protection  matters;                                                               
relating  to  immunity  regarding disclosure  of  information  in                                                               
child-in-  need-of-aid  matters   and  certain  child  protection                                                               
matters; amending  Rules 3 and  22, Alaska  Child in Need  of Aid                                                               
Rules of Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
     HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB 83                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: TERM. PARENTAL RTS/CINA/DELINQUENCY CASES                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
01/26/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/05       (S)       HES, JUD                                                                                               
02/14/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/14/05       (S)       Moved SB 83 Out of Committee                                                                           
02/14/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/16/05       (S)       HES RPT 1DP 4NR                                                                                        
02/16/05       (S)       DP: DYSON                                                                                              
02/16/05       (S)       NR: ELTON, WILKEN, OLSON, GREEN                                                                        
02/23/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/23/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/23/05       (S)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
BILL: SB 84                                                                                                                   
SHORT TITLE: CHILD PROTECTION CONFIDENTIALITY                                                                                   
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
01/26/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
01/26/05       (S)       HES, JUD, FIN                                                                                          
02/07/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/07/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/07/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/09/05       (S)       HES AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/09/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 84(HES) Out of Committee                                                                    
02/09/05       (S)       MINUTE(HES)                                                                                            
02/14/05       (S)       HES RPT CS 4DP 1NR SAME TITLE                                                                          
02/14/05       (S)       DP: DYSON, ELTON, WILKEN, GREEN                                                                        
02/14/05       (S)       NR: OLSON                                                                                              
02/23/05       (S)       JUD AT 8:30 AM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
02/23/05       (S)       Scheduled But Not Heard                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Ms. Stacey Kraly, Senior Assistant Attorney General                                                                             
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 83 and SB 84                                                                             
Ms. Marcia Kennai, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                          
Department of Health & Social Services                                                                                          
PO Box 110601                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99801-0601                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 83 and SB 84                                                                             
Ms. Linda Wilson, Deputy Director                                                                                               
Alaska Public Defender Agency                                                                                                   
900 W 5 Ave Ste 200                                                                                                             
Anchorage, AK  99501                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Commented on SB 83 and SB 84                                                                             
Mr. Scott Calder                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, AK                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to SB 84                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CHAIR  RALPH   SEEKINS  called  the  Senate   Judiciary  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 8:40:12 AM.  Present were Senators                                                             
Hollis French,  Charlie Huggins, Gretchen Guess,  and Chair Ralph                                                               
        SB 83-TERM. PARENTAL RTS/CINA/DELINQUENCY CASES                                                                     
CHAIR SEEKINS announced SB 83 to be up for consideration.                                                                       
SENATOR HUGGINS moved  Version \G as the  working document before                                                               
the committee. Hearing no objections, the motion carried.                                                                       
8:41:28 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  noted no  additional witnesses  were signed  up to                                                               
testify on the bill.                                                                                                            
8:42:23 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. STACEY  KRALY, senior assistant attorney  general, Department                                                               
of  Law  (DOL)  and  Ms.   Marcia  Kennai,  deputy  commissioner,                                                               
Department   of  Health   and  Social   Services  (DHSS)   seated                                                               
themselves at the witness table.                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGGINS asked  the witnesses whether there  was a problem                                                               
involving military service personnel  regarding child custody. He                                                               
referred to Section 2.                                                                                                          
8:43:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Therriault joined the committee.                                                                                        
MS. KRALY  admitted the language  in Section 2 was  baffling. She                                                               
offered to research it and get back to the committee.                                                                           
SENATOR  GUESS  explained  the  language  was  moved  to  another                                                               
paragraph  so as  to keep  the language  referring to  a national                                                               
military emergency in the bill.                                                                                                 
8:45:28 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  LINDA WILSON,  attorney, public  defender agency,  asked for                                                               
the working version.                                                                                                            
CHAIR SEEKINS had his aide fax the document to her.                                                                             
8:47:59 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILSON said  she supervises the handling of child  in need of                                                               
aid  (CINA)  cases. Section  1  [allowing  the parent  to  retain                                                               
conditional privileges]  re-establishes old  practice. It  can be                                                               
used to  the best interest of  the child but needs  to go further                                                               
because it  is not enforceable.  If a parent  relinquishes rights                                                               
and  then is  not  allowed  visitation they  are  not allowed  to                                                               
withdraw   their  relinquishment.   The  termination   proceeding                                                               
happens  in the  CINA  courts  but the  adoption  is a  different                                                               
proceeding. Section 1  is commendable but should do  more for the                                                               
8:50:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Ms. Wilson  whether it would be  a detriment                                                               
to adoptive parents if termination were enforceable.                                                                            
MS. WILSON  said possibly. A  mechanism in the  adoption statutes                                                               
for the parents to stay involved post-termination would help.                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS  said people are  trying to  look out for  the best                                                               
interest  of the  child and  a  certain amount  of authority  for                                                               
adoptive parents should  go along with that. He does  not want to                                                               
cause  prospective  adoptive  parents  to be  deterred  from  the                                                               
MS.  WILSON   said  the  adoptive   court  would   consider  that                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS noted often adults  twist the minds of children for                                                               
their own benefit.                                                                                                              
8:54:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  said if  the court  has terminated  a relationship                                                               
there is  a problem with  the relationship.  Prospective adoptive                                                               
parents  can  offer  stronger   relationships.  Children  can  be                                                               
manipulated by their birth parents.                                                                                             
SENATOR FRENCH said in terms  of finality it seems inefficient to                                                               
add provisions that undo all the  work of the conditions to which                                                               
the parents are allowed visitation.                                                                                             
MS. KRALY  said the purpose of  the sentence is to  have finality                                                               
with the relinquishment in the  proceedings. The CINA proceedings                                                               
are separate and distinct from the adoption proceedings.                                                                        
8:57:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Ms. Wilson the solution to her concern.                                                                     
MS.  WILSON said  Section 1  was good  but somewhat  illusory. It                                                               
would allow  the parent to retain  a privilege but in  reality it                                                               
is not  enforceable. She suggested  putting a  retained privilege                                                               
in the  adoption decree  so the  biological parent  could address                                                               
their court appointed visitation rights.                                                                                        
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked whether she  was suggesting an  amendment to                                                               
SB 83.                                                                                                                          
MS. WILSON said no.                                                                                                             
8:59:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILSON continued  Section 6 would present  problems with ICWA                                                               
law [Indian  Child Welfare Act],  which requires that  before you                                                               
can terminate parental rights, the  state must show evidence. You                                                               
cannot  terminate  parental rights  unless  the  state can  prove                                                               
beyond a reasonable  doubt (and it has to include  testimony of a                                                               
qualified  expert witness)  that continued  custody is  likely to                                                               
result  in serious  emotional or  physical damage  to the  child.                                                               
That  is  federal  law.  Allowing an  offer  of  proof  situation                                                               
without having an expert could be challenged legitimately.                                                                      
9:01:39 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WILSON continued there were  many conditions in Section 6 for                                                               
someone to reach some sort of judicial notice.                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS clarified  her interpretation is a  court could say                                                               
"A qualified  witness would  have found this  way so  therefore I                                                               
rule this way."                                                                                                                 
MS. WILSON said  that is exactly what the paragraph  is trying to                                                               
do and that is inappropriate.  An expert witness is not difficult                                                               
to get.                                                                                                                         
SENATOR FRENCH said he thinks it  pertains to a narrow finding in                                                               
a  set of  narrow circumstances.  The parent  would be  willfully                                                               
absenting himself or herself from  the child and the situation is                                                               
that the parent cannot be found.                                                                                                
9:04:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS agreed.                                                                                                           
SENATOR THERRIAULT suggested  changing the wording on  line 20 to                                                               
say "...the court may conclude  that the continued custody of the                                                               
child is not in the child's best interest."                                                                                     
CHAIR  SEEKINS speculated  there  was tension  between state  and                                                               
federal law.                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH said that was his guess.                                                                                         
CHAIR  SEEKINS  said they  would  be  accomplishing the  step  by                                                               
allowing the court  to insert its judgment as  a qualified expert                                                               
SENATOR FRENCH agreed.                                                                                                          
SENATOR THERRIAULT  noted the witness  has to actually  come into                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS said no.                                                                                                          
SENATOR FRENCH said, "Not if we pass this law."                                                                                 
SENATOR THERRIAULT  asked if  the extra  verbiage was  to satisfy                                                               
the federal law.                                                                                                                
MS. KRALY said yes.                                                                                                             
9:06:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked Ms.  Kraly whether  it was  the department's                                                               
opinion  the extra  verbiage would  satisfy  tension between  the                                                               
state and federal law.                                                                                                          
MS.  KRALY said  we  believe so.  ICWA requires  a  finding by  a                                                               
qualified expert and the offer  of proof, which is basically what                                                               
this would be.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Ms. Wilson the best interest of the child.                                                                  
MS. WILSON responded  to run the proceedings the  way federal law                                                               
set them  up. The bill does  not specify a time  frame or whether                                                               
it was a reasonable search for the parent.                                                                                      
9:08:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked whether  the opinion  of a  qualified expert                                                               
witness could be done by affidavit.                                                                                             
MS. WILSON stated the bill says testimony.                                                                                      
MS. KRALY said she hadn't thought  it out. There are other issues                                                               
regarding affidavits. The premise under  Section 6 is four months                                                               
to  a year.  The  court  would also  make  the  burden of  proof.                                                               
Conditions safeguard the absent parent.                                                                                         
9:11:19 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked the number of notices sent to a parent.                                                                    
MS.  KRALY informed  currently they  attempt contact  through the                                                               
Department of  Corrections both in  state and out;  child support                                                               
enforcement, PFDs,  taxes, and they contact  other jurisdictions.                                                               
They use certified mail and the public defenders.                                                                               
CHAIR SEEKINS noted there was no one else slated to testify.                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS said Section 6  needs clarification regarding the                                                               
presence of the expert witness.                                                                                                 
9:16:49 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS noted the only  thing being eliminated was physical                                                               
presence of the expert witness.                                                                                                 
MS. KRALY agreed. The DOL offers numerous proofs in CINA cases.                                                                 
CHAIR SEEKINS said  he is satisfied the safety  and best interest                                                               
of  the child  was being  provided for  because qualified  expert                                                               
witnesses would have already made their conclusions.                                                                            
SENATOR FRENCH  added expert witnesses  were not  being dispensed                                                               
of. It is just on one narrow point about absent parents.                                                                        
SENATOR  HUGGINS  asked Ms.  Kennai  whether  there is  generally                                                               
prior  evidence  of  the  parents  history  that  would  leave  a                                                               
reasonable person to conclude the  parents did not care about the                                                               
child's fate.                                                                                                                   
MS.  KENNAI said  many cases  are  looking at  parents who  could                                                               
never be found from the very beginning.                                                                                         
9:20:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  THERRIAULT  moved  CSSB   83(JUD)  from  committee  with                                                               
individual considerations  and attached zero fiscal  notes. There                                                               
being no objections, the motion carried.                                                                                        
             SB 84-CHILD PROTECTION CONFIDENTIALITY                                                                         
9:21:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  MARCIE KENNAI,  deputy  commissioner,  Office of  Children's                                                               
Services (OCS), Department of Health  and Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
advised  SB  84  proposes new  child  protection  confidentiality                                                               
legislation that would allow DHSS  to provide more information to                                                               
the  public  about agency  actions  surrounding  child abuse  and                                                               
neglect  cases.   The  child's  privacy  would   continue  to  be                                                               
protected  while providing  for some  disclosure of  state agency                                                               
information.  The bill  would make  OCS more  accountable to  the                                                               
public. The state, municipality,  officers and employees would be                                                               
immune  from any  action for  damages based  on information  that                                                               
might be disclosed.                                                                                                             
SB 84 would do four major things:                                                                                               
Open  all  CINA   hearings  to  the  public   except  in  certain                                                               
   · Allow DHSS to release the name and picture of a child in a                                                                 
    CINA proceeding for the purposes of achieving permanency                                                                    
   · Expand the circumstances under which DHSS is required to                                                                   
     share confidential information                                                                                             
   · Allow DHSS to share confidential information with the                                                                      
     public under three circumstances:                                                                                          
          Parental disclosure                                                                                                   
          Perpetrator charge with abuse or neglect                                                                              
          Report of harm resulting in fatality or near fatality                                                                 
9:25:47 AM                                                                                                                    
States  have been  debating the  pros  and cons  of relaxing  the                                                               
confidentiality statutes for years.  Some pros include increasing                                                               
public  awareness and  education of  child abuse  in general.  It                                                               
would  provide for  better  accountability of  staff  and of  the                                                               
SENATOR  THERRIAULT asked  Ms. Kennai  how  the department  would                                                               
comment once a parent has gone public.                                                                                          
MS. KENNAI responded DHSS would  respond with discretion and only                                                               
concerning whether  the department acted accordingly.  The public                                                               
deserves to hear how the department acted in certain cases.                                                                     
9:27:24 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked the section of SB 84 that describes that.                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS  advised the version  before the committee  was 24-                                                               
MS. KRALY answered it was Section 13.                                                                                           
SENATOR FRENCH noted  the type of information  the department may                                                               
disclose is in subsection (l).                                                                                                  
9:30:13 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  whether there  was a  requirement that  the                                                               
department   consult   with   an   attorney   before   disclosing                                                               
MS. KRALY answered  Page 8 line 4  contemplates consultation with                                                               
a prosecuting attorney.                                                                                                         
CHAIR SEEKINS noted the department could already do that.                                                                       
9:32:38 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KRALY  clarified Section 13  would allow the DHSS  and/or the                                                               
DOL to respond to allegations and  reports of what they have done                                                               
in direct response to a case.                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Ms. Kraly the reason for subsection (l).                                                                    
MS. KRALY  advised it was  to make  sure of a  coordinated effort                                                               
between OCS and the district attorneys office.                                                                                  
CHAIR SEEKINS  asked whether the  department would respond  to an                                                               
interested individual or a neighbor.                                                                                            
MS.  KRALY said  under subsection  (n) the  statute requires  the                                                               
department  to adopt  regulations to  interpret the  duties under                                                               
the section.  There would be  a limitation  on who could  ask for                                                               
the information and whom the department could reply to.                                                                         
SENATOR HUGGINS  asked the definition  of "persons  of legitimate                                                               
MS. KENNAI responded the parents and sometimes the press.                                                                       
SENATOR HUGGINS  expressed that notification  of the  press makes                                                               
him nervous.                                                                                                                    
9:37:08 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked who has authority within the departments.                                                                  
MS. KENNAI advised the commissioner or commissioner's designee.                                                                 
9:40:33 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  whether  the  DHSS and  the  DOL would  be                                                               
opposed to  adding language that  identifies the  commissioner or                                                               
the  commissioner's  designee  as   the  person  responsible  for                                                               
disclosing information.                                                                                                         
MS.  KENNAI noted  she thought  it was  already in  the bill  but                                                               
couldn't locate it.                                                                                                             
Chair Seekins announced a brief recess at 9:41:19 AM.                                                                         
Chair Seekins reconvened the meeting at 9:47:36 AM.                                                                           
MS. KENNAI  clarified the DHSS has  a clear policy on  who speaks                                                               
to media. For  purpose of SB 84 she suggested  to add verbiage in                                                               
Section  13 to  clarify  the commissioner  or the  commissioner's                                                               
designee as the person responsible for media communication.                                                                     
CHAIR SEEKINS proposed Amendment 1.                                                                                             
     Section 13(k), delete "the department", and insert "the                                                                    
     commissioner or the commissioner's designee..."                                                                            
Hearing no objections, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                 
SENATOR GUESS  asked Ms. Kraly  to comment  on why the  bill uses                                                               
the word "may" instead of "shall" in Section 13(l).                                                                             
9:49:57 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KRALY   responded  the  reason   is  because   of  differing                                                               
circumstances.  The   department  wants   the  ability   to  keep                                                               
information out on a case-by-case analysis.                                                                                     
9:51:40 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH shared the concern of Senator Guess.                                                                             
CHAIR  SEEKINS  noted  the concern  was  regarding  discretionary                                                               
MS. KRALY agreed that made sense.                                                                                               
SENATOR GUESS proposed Amendment 2.                                                                                             
     Section 13 (l)(1) delete "may" and insert "shall..."                                                                       
Hearing no objections, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                 
9:54:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SEEKINS proposed Amendment 3.                                                                                             
     Section 13 (l)(2) delete "may" and insert "shall..."                                                                       
9:55:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT objected and then withdrew his objection.                                                                    
Hearing no further objections, Amendment 3 was adopted.                                                                         
SENATOR  THERRIAULT questioned  the  reason for  the verbiage  of                                                               
"non-disclosure" in  Section 14. He  cited an example of  why the                                                               
department should  he held responsible for  not notifying someone                                                               
of important information.                                                                                                       
CHAIR  SEEKINS asked  whether Section  14 deals  with information                                                               
requested by individuals.                                                                                                       
9:58:05 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KRALY responded with respect to Section 13, yes.                                                                            
CHAIR SEEKINS said  he has no problem  indemnifying disclosure or                                                               
non-disclosure  of  requested  information  from  people  with  a                                                               
substantial interest.                                                                                                           
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  the  intersection  and separation  between                                                               
juvenile delinquency information and CINA information.                                                                          
MS. KRALY  said it was  an important distinction.  The provisions                                                               
in Section 14 deal with  the disclosure or non-disclosure in CINA                                                               
proceedings under Title 47.10. The  juvenile justice process is a                                                               
separate  process  governed  by   separate  statutes.  There  are                                                               
instances where  they do overlap such  as when a child  in a CINA                                                               
case  is also  under custody.  If OCS  has custody  of the  child                                                               
Section 14  would apply for the  purpose of the DOL  with respect                                                               
to  the   juvenile  justice  process.  SB   84  doesn't  envision                                                               
addressing those issues.                                                                                                        
10:01:03 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  FRENCH asked  whether it  would be  a CINA  case in  the                                                               
example of a 16 year old harming a 14 year old.                                                                                 
MS. KRALY said probably not.                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH asked what if it happens in the same household.                                                                  
MS. KRALY noted it would depend on the situation.                                                                               
SENATOR  FRENCH expressed  concern regarding  immunity and  total                                                               
10:04:28 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. KRALY  explained in a  gross negligence scenario the  DOL and                                                               
DHSS would  have a  discussion. The grant  of authority  could be                                                               
limited  so   that  gross  negligence  could   be  excluded  from                                                               
SENATOR THERRIAULT said there is  now complication because of the                                                               
separation of CINA and the  juvenile justice system. He asked the                                                               
recourse when non-disclosure results in harm.                                                                                   
10:07:15 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  KRALY said  the general  immunity provisions  under Title  9                                                               
would  provide  some  level of  protection.  An  employee  acting                                                               
within the  scope of  their employment would  be defended  by the                                                               
state. Currently  AS 47.10.093 provides  a list  of circumstances                                                               
where the  department and its employees  can disclose information                                                               
to  a  guardian ad  litem  and  to  other agencies  working  with                                                               
children. The  non-disclosure component  of the  immunity section                                                               
under Section 14 may be directly  related to Section 13 where the                                                               
committee just amended "may" to "shall."                                                                                        
10:11:17 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR SEEKINS said that makes sense.                                                                                            
MS. KRALY added now that the  bill is changed there is no ability                                                               
not to disclose so there wouldn't be a non-disclosure issue.                                                                    
MR. SCOTT CALDER testified in opposition of SB 84.                                                                              
10:12:34 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  CALDER identified  two different  classes of  victims, those                                                               
who society  is trying to help  and those created by  the DOL and                                                               
DHSS. People who  have been victimized by the  department can pin                                                               
point  circumstances   of  negligence   by  the   department.  He                                                               
suggested the  burden should be  on the department to  decide who                                                               
has a  legitimate interest. A  parent absent any  criminal priors                                                               
has  the  highest  need-to-know basis  regarding  information  of                                                               
their own child.                                                                                                                
10:17:39 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SEEKINS  asked Mr.  Calder  his  opinion about  disclosing                                                               
information that could interfere with a criminal investigation.                                                                 
MR. CALDER  said the  interest of  the parent  to guard  the best                                                               
interest of  the child is  more important  for the well  being of                                                               
society than  it is the  interest of the department.  Most people                                                               
do  the right  thing,  he said,  and it  should  be important  to                                                               
protect the rights of the majority of the people.                                                                               
10:21:00 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  CALDER  asserted  the law  should  protect  innocent  people                                                               
10:23:09 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  LINDA  WILSON,  deputy   director,  Alaska  Public  Defender                                                               
Agency, said the  first part of SB 84 is  a significant change to                                                               
current statute. Eighteen states have  open CINA hearings but the                                                               
majority of states keep them closed.  There is a lot of sensitive                                                               
information  disclosed in  the court  cases and  it will  require                                                               
excessive  litigation  to  close   the  hearings.  Witnesses  may                                                               
hesitate to testify due to the open forum.                                                                                      
CHAIR SEEKINS held the bill in committee.                                                                                       
10:29:59 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business  to come before the committee, he                                                               
adjourned the meeting at                                                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects