Legislature(1995 - 1996)

1995-03-08 House Journal

Full Journal pdf

1995-03-08                     House Journal                      Page 0645
HB 244                                                                       
HOUSE BILL NO. 244 by the House Rules Committee by request of                  
the Governor, entitled:                                                        
"An Act relating to administrative establishment of paternity and             
establishing paternity by affidavit; relating to child support                 
enforcement; and providing for an effective date."                             
was read the first time and referred to the Health, Education & Social         
Services, Judiciary and Finance Committees.                                    
The following fiscal notes apply:                                              
Fiscal note, Dept. of Health & Social Services, 3/8/95                         
Fiscal note, Dept. of Revenue, 3/8/95                                          
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Health & Social Services, 3/8/95                    
Zero fiscal note, Dept. of Law, 3/8/95                                         
The Governor's transmittal letter, dated March 6, 1995, appears below:         
"Dear Speaker Phillips:                                                        
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am     
transmitting a bill relating to the administrative determination of            
paternity by the Department of Revenue, child support enforcement              
division (CSED) and addressing the establishment of paternity based            
on voluntary acknowledgement of paternity by appropriate parties.              
The bill would amend relevant portions of the laws currently found in          
AS 25.27 to allow CSED to administratively determine the paternity             
of children.  The bill also amends AS18.50.160, relating to the                
identification of parents on birth certificates by voluntary                   
acknowledgement.  The bill does not affect any existing court rules.           
Under recent federal regulations adopted in December 1994, time                
frames for the establishment of paternity and support orders have been         
significantly shortened.  In order to determine how best to meet these         

1995-03-08                     House Journal                      Page 0646
HB 244                                                                       
deadlines, CSED has reviewed the relevant Alaska statutes and its              
administrative procedures to identify areas that could be handled more         
efficiently than under the current state statutes and regulations.  One        
such area is the determination of paternity.  Under current state law,         
such determinations may only be made by a court.                               
This bill establishes a procedure by which CSED may determine                  
paternity administratively, without resort to the courts.  Under the           
proposed statute changes, CSED may initiate an administrative                  
proceeding to determine paternity upon application of the child's              
mother or guardian or upon application of the State of Alaska or of            
another state.  The proceeding is initiated through service of a Notice        
of Paternity and Financial Responsibility, together with an                    
administrative order requiring the parties to submit to genetic testing.       
Unless paternity is admitted or the alleged father fails to respond to the     
notice, CSED's determination of paternity will be based upon the               
results of the genetic testing and other evidence.  In conjunction with        
the paternity proceeding, CSED also may establish the amount of the            
support obligation, which CSED is already permitted to do under                
existing law.                                                                  
Through an appeal process, the bill safeguards the alleged father's            
rights with respect to the determination of paternity.  Once CSED has          
issued its finding of paternity, the alleged father may request a formal       
hearing, after which the alleged father also will be entitled to judicial      
review if a timely appeal is filed with the superior court.                    
The bill amends the state law relating to the identification of parents        
on a child's birth certificate.  The bill would allow the Bureau of Vital      
Statistics to enter a father's name on a child's birth certificate based on    
voluntary acknowledgements of paternity by the appropriate parties.            
If the child was born in wedlock (and, thus, the mother's husband is           
the legally presumed father), affidavits must be provided by the               
mother, her husband, and the alleged father, attesting that the husband        
is not the child's father and that the alleged father is the father of the     
child.  If the child was born out of wedlock, affidavits are needed only       
from the mother and the alleged father, attesting that the alleged father      
is the child's father.                                                         

1995-03-08                     House Journal                      Page 0647
HB 244                                                                       
The bill also recognizes the growing use of administrative procedures          
in addition to or in place of judicial proceedings in the establishment        
of paternity and the establishment and enforcement of support orders.          
The changes proposed in the bill are intended to increase the efficiency       
of the child support enforcement process by allowing CSED and, in              
certain cases the parties themselves, to determine the paternity of            
I urge prompt consideration and passage of this bill.                          
									Tony Knowles