Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1994-01-14 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1994-01-14                     House Journal                      Page 2066
HB 376                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 376 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act relating to services for and protection of vulnerable                 
adults; and providing for an effective date."                                  
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education & Social         
Services, Judiciary and Finance Committees.                                    

1994-01-14                     House Journal                      Page 2067
HB 376                                                                       
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
	Fiscal notes (3), Dept. of Health & Social Services, 1/14/94                  
	Fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 1/14/94                                 
	Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Administration, 1/14/94                            
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated January 14, 1994, appears             
"Dear Speaker Barnes:                                                          
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a bill relating to services for and protection of vulnerable      
adults.  This bill will place responsibility for the delivery of services      
to vulnerable adults within the Department of Administration.  This bill       
also extends the scope of existing adult protective services to include        
all vulnerable adults who are in need of such services.                        
Section 1 of the bill clarifies the circumstances that give rise to a duty     
to make a report of a vulnerable adult.  The circumstances are                 
abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect.  Under this        
section, the report will be made to the Department of Administration.          
This section also deletes the existing liability immunity provisions,          
which are later reestablished in sec. 6 of the bill.                           
Section 2 sets out the duties of the Department of Administration              
regarding services and protection for vulnerable adults.  The duties           
include establishing a central information and referral service for            
vulnerable adults, establishing criteria and procedures for the delivery       
of community-based services, designation of local service providers as         
department designees to meet local service needs, and adoption of              
regulations to implement the program.                                          
Section 2 also sets out provisions regarding certain reports of                
abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect, or self-neglect, and                

1994-01-14                     House Journal                      Page 2068
HB 376                                                                       
regarding the action that is to be taken on all reports.  The                  
investigation required to be done by the Department of Administration          
includes a face-to-face interview and a written report of findings.            
Section 2 also provides for delivery of protective services and assures        
that, to the extent practicable, the services will be delivered in a timely    
and culturally relevant manner.                                                
Section 2 provides authorization for family members or friends to be           
surrogate decision makers for a vulnerable adult who is in need of             
protective services but is unable to consent to services.  This provision      
allows for the delivery of necessary protective services without the           
necessity of seeking an emergency guardianship in adult abuse cases.           
Section 2 also sets out the procedures available for providing                 
protective services when court action to protect the adult is necessary.       
Section 3 repeals and reenacts an existing statute to provide for              
monitoring of vulnerable adults who are receiving ongoing protective           
services.  Section 4 addresses the confidentiality of reports made under       
these provisions; sec. 5 requires that regulations being adopted by the        
Department of Administration be provided to the Older Alaskans                 
Commission; and sec. 6 provides for immunity from liability for                
individuals who make reports of vulnerable adults.                             
Section 7 sets out, in a more appropriate location, definitions for terms      
used in AS47.24.  The existing definition section is repealed in sec.          
8.  Section 8 of the bill also repeals existing statutes that address          
reports of abuse of elderly and disabled persons to the Department of          
Health and Social Services.                                                    
Section 11 provides a July 1, 1994 effective date for the statutory            
changes made by the bill.                                                      
If this bill is enacted into law, the revisor of statutes will need to make    
appropriate changes to the existing article structure of AS47.24.              

1994-01-14                     House Journal                      Page 2069
HB 376                                                                       
I urge your support of this important legislation.                             
											Walter J. Hickel