Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/21/1994 09:13 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE March 21, 1994 9:13 a.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chair Senator Mike Miller, Vice Chair Senator Robin Taylor MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Jim Duncan Senator Johnny Ellis COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 43(FIN) Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the rights of crime victims. HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 26 Declaring 1994 to be the year of Vancouver. CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 249(HES) "An Act relating to assisted living homes; relating to the conversion of an assisted living home to a nursing home; repealing references to residential facilities for dependent adults; abolishing the authority of certain municipalities to license or supervise institutions caring for dependent adults; and providing for an effective date." SENATE BILL NO. 302 "An Act relating to the establishment, modification, and enforcement of support orders and the determination of parentage in situations involving more than one state; amending Alaska Rule of Administration 9; amending Alaska Rule of Civil Procedure 82; and providing for an effective date." PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HJR 43 - See Judiciary minutes dated 11/16/93 and State Affairs minutes dated 3/9/94. HCR 26 - No previous senate committee action. SB 249 - See Health, Education & Social Services minutes dated 2/2/94, 2/4/94, 2/16/94, 2/23/94, and 3/9/94. SB 302 - No previous senate committee action. WITNESS REGISTER Representative Brian Porter State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-4930 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HJR 43 Margot Knuth, Assistant Attorney General Criminal Division Department of Law P.O. Box 110300, Juneau, AK 99811-0300¶465-3428 POSITION STATEMENT: testified on HJR 43 Linda Giguere, Aide Representative Hudson State Capitol, Juneau, AK 99801-1182¶465-6827 POSITION STATEMENT: prime sponsor of HCR 26 Connie Sipe, Executive Director Division of Senior Services Department of Administration P.O. Box 110209, Juneau, AK 99811-0209¶465-3250 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of SB 249 John Mallonee, Deputy Director Child Support Enforcement Division 550 W 7th, Suite 312, Anchorage, AK 99501-3556¶269-6800 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of SB 302 Laraine Derr, Deputy Commissioner Treasury Department of Revenue P.O. Box 110400, Juneau, AK 99811-0400¶465-2302 POSITION STATEMENT: in favor of SB 302 ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 94-18, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN LEMAN calls the Senate State Affairs Committee to order at 9:13 a.m. Number 010 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HJR 43 (RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS) as the first order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman calls Representative Porter as the first witness. Number 018 REPRESENTATIVE BRIAN PORTER states HJR 43 would take statutory rights currently given to victims and make those rights constitutional. This would put the victim's rights on par with those of the defendant. One of the differences between the senate version and the house version on this subject is that the senate version contains the section 12 amendments dealing with penal administration. Representative Porter states that, as sponsor of the house legislation, he would have no problem with the re- insertion of that section in to the house bill. The one qualification of that would be to make sure the legalities of that do not present problems. The only other difference between the two pieces of legislation is the drafting form. Number 045 SENATOR TAYLOR asks what happened to this amendment on the house side. REPRESENTATIVE PORTER responds there was a single subject question, and rather than seek a final answer, the house just separated the two subjects. Number 050 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the Senate State Affairs Committee requested that the Legislative Council to address that. The Legislative Council did say a title amendment to the house bill would require a concurrent resolution and two-thirds vote for passage. Of course it will take a two-thirds vote to pass HJR 43 at any rate. CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he sees three main differences between the house and senate legislation. One difference is the section in the senate bill which addresses penal administration. The second is the format. He thinks it is easier to read if it is numbered, but also thinks the legislation should be consistent with the existing language of the constitution. The third main area of difference is whether these provisions are listed as rights versus allowances, entitlements, or requests. Those are some of the things the committee should address. We also are concerned that the state not take on liability for restitution. Number 101 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER mentions there has been discussion that notifying the victim if the offender escapes from custody should be added to the legislation. CHAIRMAN LEMAN thinks that is a very good point and plans to add that to the new committee substitute (cs). SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to adopt the cs. Number 114 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, states SCS CSHJR 43(STA) has been adopted in lieu of CSHJR 43(STA). The chairman calls Ms. Knuth from the Department of Law to testify. The chairman asks Ms. Knuth how the legislation should be formatted, or if it will be automatically put in the same format as the rest of the constitution when it is inserted. Number 125 MARGOT KNUTH, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, Department of Law says she cannot answer the chairman's question about how the bill should be formatted. However, she doesn't think the type of format would make a substantive difference. Just for consistency, there is an argument to be made in that no other part of the constitution is formatted in this style. She does not think it should be a matter of major concern though. Number 141 MS. KNUTH expresses appreciation that the reference to the juvenile justice system was omitted on the proposed amendment to section 12, article 1, section 12. That will help keep the juvenile justice system a little neater. She has a minor concern that including restitution from the offender could be used as a defendant's right, instead of a victim's right. We are careful to set out the rights of victims of crimes separately, while restitution is listed in a different section. Defendants will argue that that needs to be a factor during sentencing. She would hope the courts would reject that argument, but we have had some less than reasonable rulings from the courts. If this is the wish of the legislature, then that is fine, but she simply wants to make the committee aware of that argument. Number 178 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states the scenario Ms. Knuth just mentioned was exactly what he had in mind: that restitution could be considered part of a sentence. We do change, to some extent, the way we look at penal administration. The chairman is not interested in releasing people who are dangerous to the public simply for the purpose of restitution. But he is interested in using restitution in those cases where the other conditions are met. Restitution should be a part of the penal administration, in his opinion. Number 189 SENATOR TAYLOR believes strongly in restitution, but is concerned about restitution possibly taking the place of part or all of serving a sentence. He has just seen on TV that Michael Jackson can sleep with any little boys he wants; all he has to do is pay them enough money and they disappear. If that isn't restitution, Senator Taylor does not know what it is. He is concerned that if a person is wealthy enough, they can continue to violate any laws they want to, as long as they pay for it. We need to be very serious in giving consideration to restitution being used as a portion of sentencing, and he does not want to see people being able to buy their way out of the process of justice. Number 207 CHAIRMAN LEMAN responds inserting restitution probably wouldn't change the case just mentioned by Senator Taylor, or other similar cases, since restitution is listed as a lower priority than community condemnation of the offender and public protection. The chairman asks if there is further discussion or anyone else wishing to testify on HJR 43. Hearing none, he announces HJR 43 will be held over until Wednesday's meeting. He hopes the committee will be able to move the bill out at that time. Number 223 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up HCR 26 (DECLARING 1994 THE YEAR OF CAPT VANCOUVER) as the next order of business before the Senate State Affairs Committee. The chairman asks for testimony from the prime sponsor. Number 227 LINDA GIGUERE, Aide to Representative Hudson, says HCR 26 was introduced to bring attention to the 200th anniversary of the voyages of Captain Vancouver. There will be many educational activities going on to celebrate these voyages, and Representative Hudson thought a resolution would be a nice way to focus attention on the activities. CHAIRMAN LEMAN thanks Ms. Giguere for bringing the anniversary to the committee's attention. The chairman asks if there is any discussion on the resolution. Hearing none, he asks the pleasure of the committee SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge HCR 26 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 240 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders HCR 26 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 242 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up SB 249 (REGULATION OF ASSISTED LIVING HOMES) as the next order of business before the committee. The chairman calls a representative from the Department of Administration to testify. Number 246 CONNIE SIPE, Executive Director, Division of Senior Services, Department of Administration states CSSB 249(HES) is a governor's bill and is also supported by the Industry of Adult Foster Homes and Adult Residential Care Centers, The Alaska Hospital & Nursing Home Association, the Pioneer Homes Advisory Board, the Older Alaskans' Commission, the Pioneers of Alaska, and the AARP. MS. SIPE states there are three key points the bill would address which she would like to summarize. SB 249 takes a new approach to living outside of one's own home and outside a nursing home. It creates a consumer protection or a landlord-tenant type of atmosphere of adequate disclosure to the consumer. It allows access to health care in a home-like setting, instead of forbidding people to get any health care help between the doors of their own home and those of a nursing home. And it transfers all the licensing responsibility from DFYS (Division of Family & Youth Services) for licensing adult type care homes to two agencies with program experience serving adults. Homes that serve primarily the elderly and physically disabled will be licensed by the Division of Senior Services within the Department of Administration, and homes such as group homes for developmentally disabled will be licensed by the Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities within the Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS). There are provisions for dealing with overlap of jurisdiction so that the person in the private sector who is running this business is not burdened. MS. SIPE says she would be glad to answer any questions. She knows quite a few members of the committee are familiar with the bill, so she won't go into it in great length, but would be glad to highlight any parts the chairman wishes. Number 271 CHAIRMAN LEMAN thanks Ms. Sipe and asks if there are questions from committee members. The chairman notes many members of the State Affairs Committee are familiar with SB 249 because of all the work that was done on it in the Health, Education & Social Services Committee. Number 280 SENATOR TAYLOR asks if the state is now going into the licensing business. Number 283 MS. SIPE responds the state currently licenses adult foster homes and adult residential care centers, all states do license some level of adult care facility, the licensing responsibility is simply being transferred. However, the whole bill is less of a licensing type of bill than it is a landlord-tenant type of bill. SB 249 contains residents and landlords rights and responsibilities explicitly laid out. The current licensing system labels all the adults who live in these facilities "dependant", treats them like they were wards of the state, and does not require them to get much disclosure of what they are purchasing from a dependant care facility. MS. SIPE says this would encourage small developers who are interested in building assisted living homes to do so. Current licensing is not favorable to assisted living. The pioneers homes can handle assisted living because they are not required to be licensed. Literally, if someone cannot take the cap off their medication bottle, they cannot be in an adult foster home, even if that home is run by a registered nurse. If they are bedridden with bronchitis for five days, they are supposed to be discharged to a nursing home. SB 249 would allow them to have access to health care in assisted living homes. The state currently licenses, but this is a change in licensing. It hopefully will require less state oversight. Number 310 SENATOR TAYLOR is concerned that pioneers homes are not licensed. MS. SIPE states the pioneers homes would become licensed under this bill. But SB 249 was not proposed for the purpose of licensing the pioneers homes, it was proposed for the private sector. This will allow the private sector to grow. It will not change the activities of the pioneers homes, it will not require pioneers homes to have assisted living, although pioneers homes would be subject to getting licensed under SB 249. Number 325 SENATOR TAYLOR is concerned with the length of the bill. On page 18 of the bill, language says, "this chapter does not preclude a state agency from imposing additional requirements or standards on an assisted living home in order for the home to receive state or federal payment for services." There is a blank check for DEC or the Fire Marshall. Senator Taylor says over the years, he has watched these agencies with dictatorial power have great effect on businesses. Senator Taylor says the only reason this is a growing industry is no one can afford to put their relatives into our state-supported facilities. So now we are going to let the state get involved in the private sector. That indicates to him, that the price for the private sector services will have to increase. Number 349 MS. SIPE replies the state has the same concern: they do not want to over-regulate. Senior Services plans to handle this with one licensing worker. They are going from one year licenses to two year licenses renewals. The state is trying to minimize the regulations. The state is de-regulating one and two person foster homes, so that if you want to arrange with a retired nurse who is your neighbor, to take care of your mother, you can do that and they will not be regulated at all. SB 249 actually contains quite a few deregulatory provisions. By requiring disclosure by the home, we feel that the state can stay further out of that relationship and just do the minimal amount of licensing needed. MS. SIPE says she would like to address Senator Taylor's comments about the Fire Marshall and DEC, but SB 249 does not address that issue. That is a whole other area of law. The industry has great difficulty with the Fire Marshall, partially because of conflicting local jurisdiction interpretations. Local jurisdictions can have their own interpretations of law, and can enforce more stringently than the State Fire Marshall. However, Ms. Sipe has checked with the State Fire Marshall and they are not interested in a state over-ride in this bill at this time. They have promised to work with the Department of Administration to try to get more uniformity in interpretation. The private sector is running into some of the problems mentioned by Senator Taylor. DEC is not as big a problem as the Fire Marshall. The Fire Marshall is the problem Ms. Sipe hears all over the state. She is sorry this bill does not have a cure for that problem. Ms. Sipe points out that what to some people is a problem, to the Municipality of Anchorage is a local control issue; it depends on which way you look at it. Number 368 MS. SIPE introduces Pat Denny from the Older Alaskan's Commission and notes that the commission supports SB 249. There is a position paper from them in the committee's bill packet. Number 378 SENATOR TAYLOR comments he is concerned with SB 249 because he is new to it. He believes in the concept of the bill. Number 384 SENATOR MILLER makes a motion to discharge SB 249 from the Senate State Affairs Committee with individual recommendations. Number 385 CHAIRMAN LEMAN, hearing no objection, orders SB 249 released from committee with individual recommendations. Number 388 CHAIRMAN LEMAN brings up (SB 302 UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT) as the next order of business before the committee. The chairman calls Mr. Mallonee to testify. Number 395 JOHN MALLONEE, Deputy Director, Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED), Department of Revenue states SB 302 addresses one of the most complex and difficult areas of child support establishment and enforcement, since we have to deal with multiple states, that have varying laws and procedures within their own child support enforcement and establishment. This bill will clarify the procedures used among the states when this legislation has been passed by all the states. Currently, these laws are not federally mandated, however, there are bills in congress which may mandate this legislation in the future. This legislation has been passed in eight states, and is pending in twenty-five additional states. Number 405 CHAIRMAN LEMAN states that would bring the total number of states with this legislation to 33, assuming all twenty-five states in which legislation is pending, passed that legislation. The chairman asks if there are questions from committee members. The chairman comments uniform acts tend to be quite long pieces of legislation, and he has not had time to review SB 302 in detail. The chairman notes SB 302 is supported by the U.S Commission on Interstate Child Support, the American Bar Association, and the state Child Support Enforcement Division. Number 418 CHAIRMAN LEMAN notes that the analysis for fiscal note #2 states the "U.S. Commission on Interstate Child Support recommends verbatim enactment of this legislation, under penalty of losing federal funding." The chairman says he does not want to tinker just for the sake of tinkering, and asks if it is Mr. Mallonee's opinion that even changing something small would put the state in jeopardy of losing federal funds. MR. MALLONEE does not think minor changes would create problems for the state or problems with the other states. The problem with changes to a uniform bill, however, is that it needs to be as uniform as possible throughout the states. Minor changes should not be a problem, but no substantive changes should be made. CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if there have been any other hearings in the legislature on SB 302. MR. MALLONEE responds this hearing is the first. Number 438 SENATOR TAYLOR states he is concerned with the 1.5 million projected operating costs. CHAIRMAN LEMAN replies 1.5 million is a revenue fund source, not an operating cost. Number 443 MR. MALLONEE says SB 302 will not so much simplify the procedure of interstate child support, as it will clarify who has responsibility for certain aspects of the procedure. This bill has several requirements which will increase the work of CSED. One, is that certain notices will have to be given within 48 hours. Another is that there will be more persons utilizing the child support enforcement system when this legislation is enacted. Those things will increase the caseload to some extent. CSED's caseload consists of approximately 30% to 35% interstate cases. Mr. Mallonee believes this percentage will increase as procedures are simplified. Number 464 SENATOR TAYLOR asks where the funding is coming from for the revenue fund source on fiscal note #2 LARAINE DERR, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Revenue clarifies Senator Taylor is looking at an old fiscal note. The current fiscal note was signed 3/10/94. CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he is looking at the fiscal note dated 1/31/94. MS. DERR states the original fiscal note was revised to show CSED's best guess as to increased caseload. Number 490 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says CSED expects an increased caseload, but that in all cases, revenues coming in will exceed expenditure. The money coming in will exceed money spent by the state on such things as welfare. MS. DERR says half the money brought into the state is reimbursed to the federal government. MR. MALLONEE states those would be interstate collections of AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependant Children) disbursements. Number 499 CHAIRMAN LEMAN asks if CSED has any comparisons between URESA (Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement Support Act) and UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). MR. MALLONEE replies he does not have anything at hand, but can put something together. Number 512 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says he would like to get a little more familiar with SB 302. The committee could bring the bill back up Wednesday morning, if the committee can get some information by Tuesday afternoon. Number 516 SENATOR TAYLOR asks where the provisions are in SB 302 concerning visitation. MR. MALLONEE responds there are no provisions in SB 302 which specifically address visitation. Number 520 SENATOR TAYLOR says there were provisions addressing visitation in URESA. MR. MALLONEE replies SB 302 deals strictly with enforcement of child support and establishment of paternity. SENATOR TAYLOR asks if the administration is going to address the issue of visitation, or is the administration only concerned with the amount of money non-custodial parents are expected to pay. MR. MALLONEE says he does not have the answer to that question. He does realize that visitation has become a key word for many people, and he understands the concern with visitation. However, visitation is not for CSED to determine. The courts determine visitation. Number 534 CHAIRMAN LEMAN says the question that needs to be answered is, if URESA is repealed, and UIFSA does not address visitation, how will the issue of visitation be affected? The chairman asks Ms. Derr and Mr. Mallonee to look at that issue and be prepared to address it on Wednesday. The chairman asks if anyone else wishes to testify. Hearing none, he announces the committee will hear the bill again on Wednesday, March 23, 1994. Number 548 CHAIRMAN LEMAN adjourns the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting at 9:55 a.m.