Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

05/14/2019 09:00 AM FINANCE

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Heard & Held
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Heard & Held
Heard & Held
<Companion Bill to HB 22>
SENATE BILL NO. 10                                                                                                            
     "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                              
     Statewide Suicide Prevention Council; and providing                                                                        
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
9:47:52 AM                                                                                                                    
JACOB  GARISH, STAFF,  SENATOR SCOTT  KAWASAKI, thanked  the                                                                    
committee  for  hearing  the  bill  that  would  extend  the                                                                    
council  for  another  eight years  as  recommended  by  the                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson spoke to the  new fiscal note from the House                                                                    
Finance Committee  for the Department  of Health  and Social                                                                    
Services  (DHSS). She  relayed that  she changed  the fiscal                                                                    
note  due to  the lack  of response  from the  Department of                                                                    
Education and  Early Development (DEED) to  her requests for                                                                    
further  information  regarding  the list  of  grantees  and                                                                    
specifics about the award amounts  and how they utilized the                                                                    
grant.  She understood  the importance  of  the council  and                                                                    
believed that  it needed additional  funding for  travel and                                                                    
services to respond to emergencies.  She elucidated that she                                                                    
deleted $ 461.7 thousand  from the Grants and  Benefits line                                                                  
and added $61.7 thousand to  the governors  request of $51.3                                                                    
to the Services line to enable  the council to respond to an                                                                    
emergency  in   any  area  of   the  state.   She  expressed                                                                    
discomfort with authorizing funding  for pass through grants                                                                    
without accountability.                                                                                                         
Mr. Garish  pointed out that  AS 14.30.362 (a) and  read the                                                                    
following from the statute:                                                                                                     
     (a) A school district  and the department shall provide                                                                    
     youth   suicide  awareness   and  prevention   training                                                                    
     approved   by  the   commissioner   to  each   teacher,                                                                    
     administrator,   counselor,  and   specialist  who   is                                                                    
     employed  by  the  district or  department  to  provide                                                                    
     services to  students in a  public school in  the state                                                                    
     at no  cost to  the teacher,  administrator, counselor,                                                                    
     or specialist.                                                                                                             
Mr. Garish indicated that currently  the funding through the                                                                    
grant program  was the  only money  available to  the school                                                                    
districts  for   youth  suicide  awareness   and  prevention                                                                    
training.  He was  uncertain  how  the administration  would                                                                    
respond if  the funding was eliminated.  Co-Chair Wilson did                                                                    
not  care how  the administration  was going  to respond  to                                                                    
actions  taken  by  the committee.  She  asserted  that  she                                                                    
understood statute  and countered  that the grants  were not                                                                    
being  utilized for  the intended  purpose. Online  training                                                                    
was currently available at no  cost to the school districts.                                                                    
She  was aware  that the  grant funding  was not  awarded to                                                                    
every district.  She wondered  whether he  had documentation                                                                    
showing how  the grant  money was  spent and  what districts                                                                    
received  the  funding.  Mr. Garish  noted  that  not  every                                                                    
school district received the  grant funding. Co-Chair Wilson                                                                    
maintained that every district was  required to abide by the                                                                    
statute. She asked if her  statement was correct. Mr. Garish                                                                    
replied  in the  negative. Co-Chair  Wilson reiterated  that                                                                    
the  grants were  not going  to every  school district.  She                                                                    
attempted  to get  specifics from  DEED  regarding what  the                                                                    
grants were  being spent  on in the  current year  since the                                                                    
training  was online  and available  to every  district. She                                                                    
restated  her  request  for documentation  about  the  grant                                                                    
awards and purpose. Mr. Garish answered in the negative.                                                                        
9:51:39 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster  concurred that  he would  like to  see more                                                                    
complete information concerning the grants.                                                                                     
Co-Chair Wilson emphasized that she  had tried for one month                                                                    
to  get  the  information.  The grants  passed  through  the                                                                    
department and  she did  not know  what the  districts spent                                                                    
the  money  on. She  reiterated  her  concern that  not  all                                                                    
districts  received a  grant and  that  online training  was                                                                    
available  and was  not an  unfunded  mandate. She  recalled                                                                    
testimony  from  Representative  Tarr  stating  the  council                                                                    
mobilized to  an area when  a suicide happened  and provided                                                                    
services, which  was the reason she  appropriated additional                                                                    
funding to the services line.                                                                                                   
Representative   Josephson   asked  if   Co-Chair   Wilsons                                                                     
proposal  was   to  move  away  from   intervention  and  to                                                                    
prevention. Co-Chair  Wilson answered  in the  negative. She                                                                    
clarified that  she had been  unable to get  any information                                                                    
about the grants;  therefore, she moved some  of the funding                                                                    
to services. She determined that  a very valuable service of                                                                    
the  council was  to  provided services  to  a community  in                                                                    
response  to suicide.  She  appropriated approximately  $110                                                                    
thousand  to   the  council  to  carry   out  the  emergency                                                                    
9:53:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Josephson  remembered that the  committee had                                                                    
previously  approved the  $400 thousand  for grant  funding.                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson agreed  with the  statement. She  recounted                                                                    
that she  had no response  from DEED  on what the  funds had                                                                    
been  spent  on. The  training  was  online  at no  cost  to                                                                    
teachers. Representative Josephson asked  how the other body                                                                    
saw the  matter. He asked  whether the fiscal note  had been                                                                    
funded  by the  Operating Budget  Conference Committee.  Co-                                                                    
Chair Wilson  responded that the  funding was included  in a                                                                    
fiscal  note   and   was   completely  different   than  the                                                                    
operating  budget  and  was a   totally  different piece  of                                                                    
legislation.  She  was unaware  of what  the other  body was                                                                    
Mr. Garish  answered that $70,000  of the grant  funding was                                                                    
appropriated  to the  online modules  and the  other funding                                                                    
went to  various things including competitive  grants in the                                                                    
amount  of $25  thousand  that school  district could  apply                                                                    
for. Co-Chair Wilson asked what  specifically the $25,000 in                                                                    
grant funding  was being used  for. Mr. Garish  replied that                                                                    
he included  supporting documents in the  committee packets.                                                                    
He deferred to the department for details.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Wilson asked  for  specific information  regarding                                                                    
what the  grants were used  for and why some  districts were                                                                    
chosen over others.                                                                                                             
9:55:59 AM                                                                                                                    
SHARON FISHEL, EDUCATION  SPECIALIST, SCHOOL HEALTH, SAFETY,                                                                    
AND  ALTERNATIVE  EDUCATION,  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION  AND                                                                    
EARLY DEVELOPMENT  (via teleconference), indicated  that she                                                                    
managed  the  councils   grant   funds.  She  detailed  that                                                                    
currently  9 school  districts  received  grant funding  for                                                                    
suicide prevention.  She reported that the  Anchorage School                                                                    
District used  the funding  in its most  at risk  schools to                                                                    
train staff.  She listed the following  schools: McLaughlin,                                                                    
New Path  High School, AVAIL, Benson  Secondary/SEARCH, SAVE                                                                    
High  School, and  Crossroads School.  The funding  was used                                                                    
for  Safe  and  Civil   Schools  training  that  fostered  a                                                                    
positive  school climate.  The Mat-Su  School District  used                                                                    
its  funding for  the You  Are Not  Alone Club  that trained                                                                    
students on  peer to peer  modeling to teach  other students                                                                    
on the  warning signs of suicide  prevention. Currently, the                                                                    
district  had trained  over 1,400  students since  November.                                                                    
She  furthered  that  the Kenai  School  District  used  the                                                                    
funding for  the Sources  of Strength  program, which  was a                                                                    
peer  to peer  model. She  informed the  committee that  the                                                                    
Juneau  School   District  also  employed  the   Sources  of                                                                    
Strength  program   and  used   much  of  the   funding  for                                                                    
restorative  practices  at   the  Yaakoosge  Daakahidi  High                                                                    
School.  The  Petersburg  School  District  used  the  grant                                                                    
funding  to provide  mental health  counseling and  positive                                                                    
behavioral  support for  all schools.  The Fairbanks  School                                                                    
District  used  their  funding  for  the  Signs  of  Suicide                                                                    
Prevention  Program  (SOS) in  all  its  schools. The  North                                                                    
Slope District  used the  funding for  restorative practices                                                                    
and  positive  behavioral   intervention  and  support.  The                                                                    
Bering Straits School District directed  its funding for the                                                                    
Youth Leader  Program in coordination  with the  Nome School                                                                    
District, which  trained the students  to become  leaders in                                                                    
suicide awareness  and prevention practices. She  added that                                                                    
the Lower  Yukon School District  used the same  program. In                                                                    
addition  to suicide  prevention in  the schools,  the youth                                                                    
leaders reached out to elders in the community.                                                                                 
10:01:22 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Wilson asked to receive  the information in writing                                                                    
during the current day.                                                                                                         
SB  10  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 10 NEW FN DHSS BH SPC 5.14.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
SB010 Sponsor Statement 5.3.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
SB010 Letters of Support 5.3.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
SB010 Supporting Document SSPC White Paper 5.3.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
HB0159 Supporting Document - ASMA letter of support 5.13.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
HB 159
SB010 Supporting Document SSPC Legislative Audit Report 5.3.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
HB0159 Supporting Document - UW Medicine letter of support 5.13.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
HB 159
SB 10 Response DEED Grants.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 10
HB 79 PERS Plan Comparison.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
HB 79
SB 43 NEW FN DCCED CBPL 5.12.19.pdf HFIN 5/14/2019 9:00:00 AM
SB 43