Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/22/1994 01:36 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 454 "An Act making a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Law to pay costs of certain continuing legal proceedings; and providing for an effective date." JIM BALDWIN, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF LAW urged the Committee to support HB 454. He noted that the Legislature has financed oil and gas litigation on a half year basis so that activities can be reviewed at the beginning of each legislative session. He stressed that oil and gas litigation is a constantly shifting activity. He observed that the Department of Law was funded for FY 94 at the same level as FY 93. The Department had requested $25 million dollars for FY 94. He maintained that the pace of the current litigation requires additional funds. Mr. Baldwin advised that the amount requested in HB 454 needs to be increased by an additional $2.5 million dollars. Co-Chair Larson stated that the Department's amended request would be for $13,837.5 million general fund dollars and $4,612.5 million dollars in Permanent Fund Corporation receipts. Co-Chair Larson MOVED to ADOPT the new total amount of $18,450.0 million dollars, $13,837.5 million general fund dollars and $4,612.5 million dollars in Permanent Fund Corporation receipts. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Mr. Baldwin noted that the matters funded in HB 454 are in active litigation. He expounded that the amount of money that the Department intends to expend for various aspects of the litigation is subject to the attorney/client privilege. Co-Chair Larson stressed that under AS 44.62.310 executive sessions are allowed for matters of personnel, finances, litigation, matters that may effect the operations of state government or attorney/client privileges. He reiterated that the matter before the Committee could effect 2 attorney/client privileges. EXECUTIVE SESSION Co-Chair MacLean MOVED that the Committee meet in EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purpose of discussing matters in CSHB 454 (FIN) that could effect finances of the State of Alaska and attorney/client privileges. There being NO OBJECTION, the House Finance Committee met in EXECUTIVE SESSION from 1:45 p.m. to 2:23 a.m. REGULAR SESSION Co-Chair Larson RECONVENED the Committee in REGULAR SESSION at 2:23 a.m. Co-Chair Larson reiterated that the total amount appropriated by CSHB 454 (FIN) to the Department of Law is $18,450.0 million dollars, $13,837.5 million general fund dollars and $4,612.5 million dollars in Permanent Fund Corporation receipts. Representative Navarre MOVED to report CSHB 454 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. CSHB 454 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation. sb54 SENATE BILL NO. 54 "An Act relating to violations of laws by juveniles; and providing for an effective date." Co-Chair Larson noted that HCS CSSB 54 (FIN) was adopted by the House Finance Committee during the 2/11/94 meeting. He explained that transmittal of the bill was held to allow agencies an opportunity to revise their fiscal notes for consideration by the Committee. CAROL COLLINS, STAFF, HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE clarified that HCS CSSB 54 (FIN) (version, 8-LS0384\G) was previously adopted by the Committee. She observed that departments had submitted the following revised fiscal notes; five zero fiscal notes, two by the Department of Administration, one by the Department of Public Safety, one by the Department of Law and one by the Department of Health and Social Services; and with four fiscal impact notes, two by the Department of Health and Social Services, one by the Department of Corrections, and one by the Alaska Court System. She added that the Committee did not consider the letter of intents by the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee during previous 3 action. Representative Parnell MOVED to RESCIND the Committee's action in reporting from Committee HCS CSSB 54 (FIN). There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Ms. Collins clarified that a drafting error was made in section 13 of the previous version of HCS CSSB 54 (FIN). The error was corrected in the version before the Committee. Representative Hanley noted that the Department of Health and Social Services submitted a revised fiscal note for $1,125.0 million dollars. ELMER LINDSTROM, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES expresed the Department's concern that the Department would be required to place juveniles in private treatment facilities as defined on page 15. He observed that in-state costs for a private treatment facility could be as high as $18 thousand dollars a month. He emphasized that the Department of Law has assured the Department of Health and Social Services that the placement of juveniles into a private facility would be optional. He stressed that the option to use private treatment facilities would remain but that the Department did not anticipate exercising the option. If the Department exercised the options of a private treatment facility the cost would be born by the Division of Medical Assistance in the medicaid budget. Mr. Lindstrom stated that the Department of Health and Social Services was withdrawing their two fiscal impact notes, for $1,125.0 million dollars and $0.2 hundred dollars with the understanding that the Department would not be compelled to make placements in private facilities. Representative Hanley provided members with AMENDMENT 1 (copy on file). Amendment 1 would delete on page 15, lines 13 - 16, "treatment facilities' means a hospital, clinic, institution, center, or other health care facility that has been designated by the department for the treatment of juveniles." Representative Brown stressed that the language gives the Department the option of placing juveniles in private facilities. She observed that there are currently four juveniles being held who are awaiting treatment beds. She noted that construction of treatment beds would be expensive. She suggested that it may be possible to meet the needs for treatment through contract with private facilities. She recommended that the language be kept in the legislation. 4 MARGOT KNUTH, CRIMINAL DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LAW clarified that under AS 47.10.080(b)(i) placement in a private treatment facility is discretionary. She acknowledged that litigation could result from the language. She estimated that there is a 85 percent chance that the court would rule in favor of the state with regards to the state's failure to make placements in private facilities. Representative Hanley MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 1. Representative Brown OBJECTED. In response to a question by Representative Grussendorf, Ms. Knuth observed that juveniles awaiting placement in the MacLaughlin correctional facility are held at the Johnson detention facility. Ms. Knuth was not aware of any litigation initiated by a juvenile awaiting placement in a juvenile treatment facility. A roll call vote was taken on the motion to adopt AMENDMENT 1. IN FAVOR: Parnell, Hanley, Martin, Larson OPPOSED: Brown, Foster, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre, MacLean Representatives Therriault was not present for the vote. The MOTION FAILED (4-6). Representative Brown noted that the content of the legislation has changed. She questioned the applicability of the letter of intents. Members decided to address the letter of intents when the legislation is before the House. (Tape Change, HFC 94-38, Side 1) Representative Foster MOVED to report HCS CSSB 54 (FIN) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.