Legislature(1993 - 1994)
1994-01-14 House JournalFull 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 below: "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. Sincerely, /s/ Walter J. Hickel Governor"