Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/26/1996 01:08 PM JUD

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 Number 1830                                                                   
 TOM WRIGHT, staff to Ivan Ivan, read the sponsor statement                    
 regarding HB 493 into the record.                                             
 "Representative Ivan introduced HB 493 as one of the solutions to             
 assist with the public inebriate problem faced by many communities            
 throughout the state.                                                         
 "Under current statute, AS 47.37.190, provisions allow for the                
 involuntary commitment of alcoholics.  These provisions allow for             
 30 day commitments with recommitment for 90 days.  This current law           
 has been found to be unwieldy, expensive and treatment options are            
 not readily available.  According to a community survey report by             
 the City/Borough of Juneau, in March 1993, communities use the                
 commitment policy sparingly, if they use it at all.  This report              
 also stated that the current commitment process simply is not                 
 "Under HB 493, the involuntary commitment process is similar to               
 those found in the involuntary mental health commitments.                     
 "It is not Representative Ivan's intent to impose unlawful                    
 restrictions on an individual.  However, by using the involuntary             
 commitment process, he hopes that lives may be saved.  He also                
 hopes that the financial impacts on different agencies may be                 
 lessened if the revolving door process many inebriates find                   
 themselves when the protective custody statues are applied."                  
 MR. WRIGHT also added that work was done on this legislation with             
 the Department of Law and the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.             
 He noted the CS as well with explanations about the changes to it.            
 Number 1930                                                                   
 ART SNOWDEN, II, Administrative Director, Alaska Court System                 
 stated that they had a lot of small questions which they have no              
 answers to and some suggestions about this bill.  He did give these           
 questions and suggestions to the sponsor's aid.                               
 MR. SNOWDEN referred to page 1, line 7 - 15.  The courts want to              
 know if there is a reason why this new commitment standard and the            
 addition of drug abusers was included in the involuntary commitment           
 statute, section 190 and was not included in the emergency                    
 commitment statutes section 180.  If the current standard is                  
 inappropriate for regular commitments, why does it remain                     
 appropriate for emergency commitments.  These are the types of                
 issues they are most concerned with and felt confident that staff             
 could work these out.  He noted their next comment regarded page 1,           
 line 11, and noted that the following words appear to be missing,             
 between the words health and despite, which are "and who continue             
 to use alcohol or drugs."  He pointed out as a comparison on page             
 5, lines 23 and 24 where these words are spelled out.  There are              
 additional technical sections such as this which could be cleaned             
 up as necessary.                                                              
 MR. SNOWDEN stated that the fiscal note attached to this                      
 legislation is just under $80,000.  Their fiscal note could be cut            
 more than in half if some small changes were made.  On the original           
 bill and also in the present draft, on page 2, line 26, it is                 
 suggested that the court would appoint a guardian ad litem.  The              
 courts would have to do this privately and it has a cost.  If it              
 was stated rather that the court could appoint the Office of Public           
 Advocacy (OPA), who has guardian ad litem services, then it                   
 wouldn't have a cost for the court system.  OPA presently has some            
 of the best trained guardian ad litem representatives in the                  
 MR. SNOWDEN stated that if the court has to pay for appointed                 
 counsel, perhaps it should be in OPA, for example, now the public             
 defender does represent people who have been committed based on               
 mental illness.  The only significant comment Mr. Snowden wished to           
 make other than the technical, was that the courts think there is             
 an unworkable provision in the bill, which requires the                       
 respondent's next-of-kin be notified of the commitment petition and           
 be given notice of a hearing.  It is often the case that                      
 respondents in this type of hearing are very transient and                    
 uncooperative, or might have mental illness and don't know who                
 their next-of-kin is.  It is very hard to make these notifications,           
 if not impossible.  The courts believe that this legislation should           
 allow a provision for a waiver of this requirement.  If not a                 
 waiver, at least a notice in the newspaper.                                   
 Number 2182                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked in his long history of handling these             
 involuntary commitments, did Mr. Snowden feel that these ever                 
 MR. SNOWDEN pointed out that his job is to administer the court and           
 keep it efficient.  He felt as though judge's opinions on this                
 subject would vary.  A lot of people might say that it's good to              
 get these individuals off the street since they pose a danger to              
 themselves or others, but there are some people who say that this             
 commitment process would not make a difference one way or another.            
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY said she feared that this type of commitment            
 would be very expensive.  She also questioned this procedure being            
 applied in small villages which might not have incarceration                  
 facilities.  Would these individuals be shipped to Anchorage or               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if there was a requirement for appointed                
 counsel under the current commitment procedure.                               
 MR. SNOWDEN responded that they have done this, but it's very rare.           
 However, the court felt that under the terms of this bill that the            
 appointment of an attorney for indigent people, which would cost              
 over $45,000 of this bill's fiscal note which would go to the                 
 private bar.  He thought a guardian ad litem provision would cut              
 the cost in half.                                                             
 Number 2300                                                                   
 DON DAPCEVICH, Executive Director, Governor's Advisory Board on               
 Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, testified in support of HB 493.  In                  
 preparation for this hearing his staff prepared a cost benefit                
 analysis related to commitments, based on commitments executed in             
 the community of Juneau.  Juneau is the only community which uses             
 the commitment law presently in place.  Mr. Dapcevich was the                 
 treatment director for this program in a previous life and he's had           
 the opportunity to bring 35 commitments, a first hand exposure to             
 the process.                                                                  
 MR. DAPCEVICH felt as though this commitment process was a humane             
 way to treat people who are not willing or unable to recognize                
 their needs for intervention.  The board recognizes that the                  
 treatment success rate is fairly low with this population, but the            
 successes which do take place are best measured in a legal sense              
 and a legislative sense, in terms of dollars and cents in relieving           
 human suffering.  In the cost analysis, people who undergo                    
 treatment under an involuntary commitment have less need for                  
 services, such as dependency treatment, medical care and the police           
 services after commitment, much less than before.  The cost                   
 analysis tracked those people six months prior to their commitment            
 and six months after their commitment to see if there was a                   
 difference in their use of a 12 hour hold in community corrections,           
 in emergency room use, transportation of community service patrol             
 and the police transportation associated with administering to                
 them.  Mr. Dapcevich noted his staff person, Steve Hamill, was                
 available to answer any questions about the cost benefit analysis.            
 Number 2414                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY asked if they had tracked individuals for               
 more than one year and were the summer months considered when                 
 natives go back to their villages.  Are these people employed.  She           
 felt as though one year for a program which costs over a half a               
 million dollars was not a fair way to spend this type of money.               
 Representative Toohey said she was opposed to this because if she             
 wanted to be a size 12, with a 24 inch waist, that's her problem,             
 not his.  Nobody is feeding her the food that she eats, nobody is             
 feeding her the alcohol that she drinks.  Until she is able to                
 recognize it is her problem then she is the only one who can do               
 anything about this.  She felt as though the state, municipalities,           
 and the cities have all tried to take care of this problem.  It               
 can't be taken care of by committing someone and forcing them to              
 rehabilitate.  It has to come from inside.                                    
 MR. DAPCEVICH agreed that she should have this choice as long as              
 she can make this rational decision.  This program does not deal              
 with people who can make wise choices.  They're dealing with people           
 who don't make these choices and if it's not made for them, they              
 create enormous costs to their fellow citizens.  He noted an                  
 example of one patient who ended up costing over $100,000, someone            
 who could not make a rational choice regarding treatment.  He also            
 mentioned the first person he ever committed six years ago who is             
 celebrating his 5th year of sobriety right now.  He is a productive           
 member of this community.  This program does work to produce                  
 permanent sobriety for a long period of time, if not a lifetime,              
 for a very few.  For nearly all, it produces some sobriety, some              
 lessening of the burden that their placing on their fellow                    
 taxpayers and that's what the board is really concerned about.                
 TAPE 96-24, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 033                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY felt as though they were missing the boat and           
 if he thought this is a mental illness problem, then maybe they               
 should be put into a different slot.  They should be put in Alaska            
 Psychiatric Institute (API) or somewhere where they are committed             
 mentally.  If this is a disease which can only be cured by someone            
 else, rather than the patient, then it might be a whole different             
 ball game.  She felt as though they were going about it the wrong             
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVID FINKELSTEIN stated that it seemed from the               
 presented analysis that these people are being treated regardless.            
 One way or another they are being treated and the recommendation              
 the committee is receiving is that it's more cost effective to                
 treat under a commitment program.  The decision to be made here is            
 what's the best program to run these individuals through, what's              
 best for society and this individual.                                         
 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked Mr. Dapcevich if it was their intent to track           
 these individuals further than six months after a commitment.                 
 MR. DAPCEVICH said absolutely and they wanted to be more                      
 comprehensive in the way they track these individuals.  They've               
 only been able to track the community of Juneau.  Also, they were             
 only able to, in the short time they had to prepare for this                  
 hearing, look at the costs in only a few other communities as a               
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted an Alcoholic Task Force study and an                    
 Ombudsman inquiry regarding Alaska's alcohol problem sometime ago             
 which indicated that the programs tasked to mission to and address            
 these problems really didn't have an evaluation component which was           
 reliable.  These studies measured more the amount of people the               
 programs touched, rather than those people's behaviors the programs           
 were able to change.  He felt Mr. Dapcevich's analysis is on target           
 in terms of meaningfulness, rather than how many individuals cycle            
 through the system.  The longer this evaluation can be extended,              
 the more valuable this information will be.                                   
 Number 154                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked how this legislation would affect                  
 Anchorage's repealed law against public drunkenness.                          
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that the public drunkenness ordinances                 
 around the state were criminal statutes and that this was a civil             
 involuntary commitment procedure.  Within the structure that                  
 statutorily exists now, this civil procedure has been found not to            
 raise constitutional problems, which criminal statutes do.                    
 Generally, he noted a Supreme Court case which found that                     
 alcoholism, as opposed to a crime which encompasses intent, is a              
 condition which takes away the ability for a person to make cogent            
 decisions for themselves.  Consequently this nullifies the                    
 requisite intent requirement for criminal violations.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN pointed out that Mr. Dapcevich had indicated             
 that before commitment there is a $9,000 cost as versus $6,800                
 after, which is a savings of better than 25 percent.  He asked if             
 this included all kinds of inebriants.  Does this comparison                  
 include some of those who are habitual, as opposed to some of those           
 picked up once or twice.  Representative Green also asked if the              
 response of the committed person wanes after a few days or weeks of           
 drying out.                                                                   
 MR. DAPCEVICH noted that these individuals are chronic, they don't            
 have the hills and valleys which would normally be seen in a                  
 problem drinker.  If these people don't have their drink, they go             
 into withdrawal.  The detox facilities are taxed around the state,            
 but their taxed by a very small number of people who go through               
 over and over again.  The wide majority go through detox once or              
 twice, enter complete treatment and lead productive lives for a               
 period of years, if not a lifetime afterwards.                                
 MR. DAPCEVICH pointed out that in regards to evaluation, the                  
 legislators should have received the new independent, standards               
 study done regarding the quality and outcomes in treatment                    
 throughout the state which was recently published.  The assessment            
 regarding these programs was extremely positive and very comparable           
 with the best treatment programs available in other states.  The              
 Advisory Board on Alcohol has recently taken the lead in                      
 quantifying and qualifying the treatment outcomes in the state.               
 People from their board, treatment providers and state government             
 people have come together to hammer out some standardized outcome             
 measures that will be used for all programs in the state.                     
 STEVE HAMILTON, Research Analyst, Advisory Board on Alcoholism and            
 Drug Abuse responded to Representative Green's question about the             
 numbers Representative Green previously cited about what group of             
 people are these, treatable or chronic, or a mix of both which the            
 cost analysis addresses.  The numbers for all the commitments were            
 a core of people that were the repeat offenders, people who                   
 accessed all of the services, both police, ambulance, hospital,               
 etc. repeatedly.  He cited numbers related to one year's worth of             
 consecutive admissions to detox recovery in Juneau.  Out of 897               
 admissions for that year there were 17 individuals who accounted              
 for 231 admissions.  This is 4 percent of the people accounted for,           
 25.4 percent of all of admissions.  When this core of 17                      
 individuals are identified, they become the committed population.             
 Other communities have these same core situations.                            
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if they measurably see as an improvement           
 in this hard core, habitual population.  If these people, for                 
 example, have been in the program for an extended period of time              
 and they go through a commitment program.  If it's decided that               
 they're not as bad as they were before, what relatively do they               
 look at to make this determination.                                           
 MR. HAMILTON stated that they look at the number of times these               
 individuals are subjected to either a Title 47 hold or a detox                
 admission as surrogate markers for impacting the system.  In                  
 Juneau, when these people start drinking again and it gets out of             
 control they invariably go into detox or a Title 47 hold with the             
 police department.  These are the surrogate markers which they use            
 to determine whether they are impacting the system again.  Rarely             
 do they show up at the jail or the hospital on their own.                     
 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if these individuals do or don't come              
 back as often in the six month period.                                        
 MR. HAMILTON said they do not come back as often.                             
 MR. DAPCEVICH added that they did not look at admissions to detox,            
 but those individuals who went through a 30 or more day commitment            
 It was those people after the commitment who did not come back to             
 detox, did not use the ambulance, etc.                                        
 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that detox is where individuals go after the           
 community service patrol finds that person incapacitated.                     
 MR. DAPCEVICH added that these individuals, as soon as they're                
 sobered up, they're back on the street.  Four or five years ago the           
 board tracked people with 100 detoxes, which were targeted for                
 commitment.  Now they target people with far fewer detoxes.  In               
 Fairbanks, Dillingham, and Bethel the 12 hour, Title 47 holds are             
 very high and would be impacted dramatically if these communities             
 intervened, even in very small numbers.  The board doesn't                    
 anticipate a large number of commitments to done once the statute             
 is changed.  Mr. Dapcevich said that they're not changing the basic           
 tenants of the statute, but making it more user friendly.  The                
 fiscal note for the first year would be zero.                                 
 Number 667                                                                    
 LOREN JONES, Director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse,                 
 Department of Health and Social Services, testified in support of             
 HB 493 and thought that the issues raised by Mr. Snowden could be             
 worked out.  He then outlined the history behind this legislation.            
 The original statute was written back in the 1970's and has not               
 been changed significantly since.  The commitment concept has been            
 used on an off-again and on-again basis, often times at the                   
 initiative of a particular person who's committed to making this              
 concept work in their community.  When this person moves on and               
 changes jobs, the program falls off.  The Attorney's Office in the            
 City and Borough of Juneau, supports this program to help alleviate           
 the hospital and police department costs, etc.   As noted by the              
 cost analysis, Mr. Jones said that this legislation has some good             
 financial benefits on other parts of the system and have provided             
 individuals with a needed break.                                              
 MR. JONES said the division would like to take this Juneau example            
 and over the next year work with their providers to identify those            
 high risk persons who are impacting the system in extreme fashions,           
 teach them how build the history required to go to court to                   
 undertake a commitment and he pointed out that this is not                    
 something they do lightly.  In essence, this procedure takes away             
 the individual's liberty and the court system wants to know if                
 other alternatives have been tried before taking these steps of               
 commitment.  He said they want to train these people to work with             
 the programs and get them ready.  In the second year he hopes there           
 are enough providers interested in trying this program, in order              
 that money gets put aside to off-set the legal costs.                         
 MR. JONES stressed that unlike the mental health commitment, the              
 alcohol and drug use commitment is a private one.  A spouse,                  
 guardian, private physician, and the program director of a private            
 or publicly funded treatment program can do these commitments.                
 In the circumstances of a private facility, they usually don't have           
 an attorney on staff who is familiar with commitments that include            
 clinical diagnosis, medical records, and dealing with the court.              
 There has to be some support for these programs to get the                    
 attorneys to represent them.                                                  
 MR. JONES noted that it's obvious from the statements made today              
 there still is an inebriate problem on the streets and because of             
 this most people might think that treatment must not work.  Unless            
 the division can reduce the numbers of these people, they will have           
 a hard time convincing people otherwise.  This commitment tool will           
 keep these inebriates in a program long enough that their treatment           
 be more effective.  He noted the severe cases of people who have              
 done neurological damage to themselves, so extensively that they              
 don't understand the concept of intensive treatments or are unable            
 to hold down a job.   They need a place for these individuals.                
 MR. JONES mentioned the issue of a jury trial in the first 30 days            
 if a person requests it.  At a recommitment a person can ask for a            
 jury trial and they kept this clause in the new legislation,                  
 although not in the first 30 days. This is an impediment, because             
 the time it takes to impanel a jury.  The CS goes a long way to fix           
 some of the problems that the Department of Law had with it.                  
 Number 1023                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS agreed that this process would make it            
 easier for them to commit people, but she doesn't understand when             
 Mr. Jones says this would decrease costs.  She thought it would               
 increase because the money needs to loaded on the front end.  There           
 are not enough programs to solve this problem.  She asked who would           
 treat these people and where will the beds come from.                         
 Number 1070                                                                   
 MR. JONES noted that for them it's a matter of priorities.  They              
 realize that the division could put in a large fiscal note, since             
 they have hugh waiting lists, some 500 people.  The division has              
 considered putting certain priorities on certain populations for              
 treatment.  Pregnant women, for instance, get treatment right away            
 and they anticipate doing these same types of things with persons             
 who they were committed to serve.  They're not about to commit                
 someone they don't feel they can bring into treatment.  Some                  
 individuals may need to wait longer, but these people probably                
 won't have an impact on police, emergency rooms, etc.                         
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS made the argument that as they begin to put              
 these people at the top of the list, they leave the people on the             
 waiting list even longer.  These kinds of people might not be going           
 to hospitals or jails on a regular basis, etc., but their children            
 might be in custody or the children are at home in marginal                   
 situations.  There has to be some money put in this legislation or            
 the home system will be upset.                                                
 Number 1188                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FINKELSTEIN assumed that this involuntary commitment           
 is tried where there are beds available in a particular community,            
 at a particular time.  The issue of bed availability might affect             
 this legislation, but he noted this involuntary commitment does not           
 get used very much and if it does get used more it will be when               
 beds are available.                                                           
 MR. JONES said that the main reason this commitment process is not            
 used more is because programs feel as though it's a cumbersome                
 process.  Attorney's have to be hired.  Given even existing beds,             
 if this process was made easier, programs would use it more.                  
 Juneau serves a lot of southeast for outpatient and residential               
 treatment.  Juneau has been very successful finding places for                
 these people without significantly impacting others.                          
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY noted the breakdown of the survey group                 
 studied as indicated by race.  She pointed out that this is largely           
 a problem that deals with the native community.  It's a major                 
 problem and something Alaska has been dealing with for years.                 
 Number 1379                                                                   
 MR. JONES said that the numbers which Representative Toohey                   
 referenced came from the Department of Corrections and deals with             
 those individuals by race who have been put into jail on existing             
 12 hour protective custody (indisc.).  In a five year period, 85              
 percent of the admissions were individuals committed once, twice or           
 three times.  Over five years, this is not a large impact.  One               
 person in the study had 170 admissions to a jail in a five year               
 period.  This type of person they would like to get into an                   
 involuntary program.                                                          
 CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that two things were happening at the same              
 time.  He felt as though this legislation was a good idea.  A                 
 person can't be helped unless they can be held for a certain amount           
 of time based on individual need.  Also, the sobriety movement has            
 been embraced by the native population which exemplifies and gives            
 real validity to the movement.  It is the best hope this state has            
 ever had, but it has to have the support of this program to help              
 people who need to get to a level where they can recognize the                
 value of sobriety.   This legislation will target many of these               
 people, to get them into this position and then many of the                   
 communities which have these problems now, along with this sobriety           
 movement, can help these people.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE TOOHEY absolutely agreed with these statements and             
 agrees that the sobriety movement has impacts.  It's a shining                
 light, but committing over half a million dollars of state money              
 which will be used up anyway... what happens to Indian Health                 
 monies, where does their money come in with any kind of mental                
 health.  Is there any commitment by the INS to commit to mental               
 health.   She questioned what involuntary commitment would come               
 under, whether under mental health, as a physical illness, etc.               
 MR. JONES stated that Indian Health Service currently funds                   
 significant portions of the alcohol and drug abuse prevention and             
 treatment effort throughout Alaska.  Through their existing                   
 contract mechanisms many of the programs use the state's money,               
 Indian Health Service money and local money.  This doesn't change             
 under the commitment process.  The commitment process is unique by            
 statute to an approved alcohol and drug abuse treatment program.              
 The division approves programs, even those they don't fund.  Under            
 existing legislation, an individual can be committed to a private             
 treatment agency, one that receives absolutely no funds.                      
 Alcoholism is a complex, physical and psychological disease.  It              
 can be successfully treated very well.  Alcoholism is not just a              
 mental health problem, a physical problem, or an addiction problem,           
 they all work together.  The physical toxicity has to get out of              
 the system before the individual can address the rest of the                  
 problem.  The division, through the process of commitment is trying           
 to get the body less toxic enough for a person to handle their                
 remaining issues.                                                             
 Number 1697                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked if Mr. Jones could project three to five           
 years down the road how this legislation would impact the programs            
 and does he anticipate what kind of an increased need would exist.            
 MR. JONES noted that this was a long way down the road.  If the               
 division instigates a significant amount of commitments, the                  
 division may want to do some unique treatment for these individuals           
 in order to move them out of the existing treatment system.  This             
 is reflected in the fiscal note.  He felt as though the way in                
 which individuals in the substance abuse field are being treated is           
 under a lot of scrutiny and change.  Issues around managed care,              
 patient placement, matching a client to appropriate treatments are            
 really making changes in how the division delivers services.  He              
 noted a move from less residential into more intensive out patient            
 for those individuals who are able to move into less restrictive              
 kinds of care and treated more cost effectively.                              
 MR. JONES added that three years from now Alaska will be further              
 along in this process and new ways of treatment for people of                 
 different cultures, or from rural or urban settings across the                
 state will be taken into effect.  They will never have enough                 
 available to treat everybody on a treatment demand basis.  He noted           
 that the division has a strong prevention and education message.              
 Given the resources the division does have and the new state-of-              
 the-art treatment available, he felt as though they could keep                
 their heads above water.                                                      
 Number 1886                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE asked about these revolving clients helping to           
 pay for their own treatment through private contributions.                    
 MR. JONES noted that the department currently requires all of their           
 programs to charge on a sliding fee scale and to look at how a                
 client can contribute to a program.  He mentioned clients working             
 off some of their treatment through volunteer work.  They also look           
 at the permanent fund as a source of money too.  Some of the                  
 voluntary commitments may be able to tap veteran's benefits or                
 native corporation benefits, as well as social security monies.               
 The department looks at all of these sources.  It is in their                 
 statute, that the inability to pay, is not a determinate as to                
 whether or not they receive treatment or whether these individuals            
 stay in treatment.                                                            
 MR. JONES noted that in a lot of ways the permanent fund is                   
 untouchable, if a person is on social security and they're medicaid           
 eligible, they can tap these resources, but if they're in an                  
 ineligible service status, the programs aren't allowed to bill the            
 patient under federal law.  Some of their treatment is not covered            
 under medicaid because of federal rules.  In some cases the                   
 individual is billed, but they might refuse to pay.  There are some           
 limitations.  In regards to the permanent fund, a person may not              
 have applied for one, or it might already be seized because of                
 taxes, or child support enforcement, it might be taken by the                 
 Department of Corrections for the person's incarceration costs.  If           
 an individual has been convicted on felony charges and                        
 incarcerated, they are not eligible for the permanent fund.                   
 Number 2317                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BUNDE made a motion to adopt CS HB 493 (C/2/26/96)             
 for the committee's consideration.  Hearing no objection it was so            
 Number 2395                                                                   
 MR. JONES responded to a question by Representative Toohey                    
 regarding situations where an involuntary client might sue the                
 state and what the state is fiscally responsible for in such an               
 instance.  He outlined that under a commitment proceeding, the                
 state of Alaska is not involved in the commitment process at all on           
 the legal end.  They might be the funder of the treatment program             
 and they do the approval of commitment.  Under the commitment act,            
 as it currently stands, the persons who have standing to bring a              
 commitment proceeding are a legal guardian, spouse, etc.                      
 TAPE 96-25, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 MR. JONES said of the person requests an attorney appointed by the            
 court, then the court would appoint that attorney.  Under current             
 law, the state would pay for this service if the person was unable            
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS requested that when the Department of Law and            
 the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse work the language changes           
 to the legislation, as well as, the numbers regarding the fiscal              
 note, could they also talk to other agencies to see what their                
 impacts will be as they shift this procedure from the court to                
 these other agencies.  She would like to know what the costs will             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects