Legislature(2019 - 2020)GRUENBERG 120

01/27/2020 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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01:49:37 PM Start
01:50:23 PM HB142
02:10:30 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
            HB 142-NATIVE ORGANIZATIONS TANF PROGRAM                                                                        
[Contains discussion of HB 42.]                                                                                                 
1:50:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  BILL   NO.  142,  "An   Act  relating  to   Alaska  Native                                                               
organizations;  relating to  the  village  public safety  officer                                                               
program;  and   relating  to  the  Alaska   temporary  assistance                                                               
1:50:47 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIN HARRINGTON,  Staff, Representative  Jonathon Kreiss-Tomkins,                                                               
Alaska State Legislature, explained the  changes from HB 142 that                                                               
would be made by a  proposed committee substitute.  She explained                                                               
that  the first  four  sections  of HB  142  address the  Village                                                               
Public Safety  Officer (VPSO) program  and were "rolled  into the                                                               
crime omnibus  that was passed  last year."   She said  that left                                                               
only Section  5 in  the bill,  which addresses  administration of                                                               
the  Temporary Assistance  for Needy  Families  (TANF) by  Alaska                                                               
Native organizations.   The remaining  language is what  makes up                                                               
the  proposed committee  substitute  (CS), [Version  31-LS0535\G,                                                               
Marx, 1/23/20, included in the committee packet].                                                                               
1:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARRINGTON  stated that  the  proposed  CS would  repeal  AS                                                               
47.27.070(c), which read as follows:                                                                                            
          (c)  Notwithstanding  other   provisions  of  this                                                                    
     section, the department may  coordinate with an Alaskan                                                                    
     Native organization under (a)  of this section only if,                                                                    
     for  purposes  of  this   chapter,  the  Alaska  Native                                                                    
     organization  incorporates  a  nonprofit  entity  under                                                                    
     state law  and the  nonprofit entity  is active  and in                                                                    
     good  standing,  as  determined by  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.                                                                             
MS.   HARRINGTON   said    the   language   in   [subsection](a),                                                               
[paragraph](10)  clearly shows  the  intent is  to allow  Central                                                               
Council  Tlingit &  Haida  Indian Tribes  of  Alaska ("Tlingit  &                                                               
Haida") to  administer TANF; however, [subsection]  (c) prohibits                                                               
Tlingit  & Haida  from doing  so, because  Tlingit &  Haida is  a                                                               
tribe rather  than a  regional nonprofit,  such as  Tanana Chiefs                                                               
Conference and  Kodiak Area Native  Association.  She  noted that                                                               
[subsection]   (a),  in   particular,  is   modeled  on   federal                                                               
legislation that was  passed in 1996.  She  relayed that although                                                               
the  Department of  Law (DOL)  and the  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social Services  (DHSS) would  not be testifying  on HB  142, she                                                               
had  spoken  with  representatives  from  both  departments,  who                                                               
helped to  find a  solution to the  problem of  [subsection] (c).                                                               
That solution,  to repeal AS  47.27.070(c), is what  the proposed                                                               
committee substitute would do.                                                                                                  
1:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   CLAMAN   offered   his  understanding   that   the   four                                                               
aforementioned sections that would  be removed under the proposed                                                               
CS were enacted in law under HB 49.                                                                                             
1:56:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  moved  that the  House  Judiciary  Standing                                                               
Committee  adopt the  proposed committee  substitute (CS)  for HB
142, Version 31-LS0535\G, Marx, 1/23/20,  as a work draft.  There                                                               
being no objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                         
1:56:55 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX questioned who  identified the problem that                                                               
Version G would address.                                                                                                        
1:57:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARRINGTON deferred to representatives from Tlingit & Haida.                                                                
1:58:18 PM                                                                                                                    
KENDRI CESAR,  Outside Counsel, Central  Council Tlingit  & Haida                                                               
Indian Tribes of Alaska, explained  that Tlingit & Haida receives                                                               
grants from  the State of Alaska  and works with DHSS.   She said                                                               
presently Tlingit  & Haida is at  the end of a  three-year grant.                                                               
The issue  came to light for  the first time at  the beginning of                                                               
that grant application  period.  She said that is  when Tlingit &                                                               
Haida worked  with DOL to  pursue "a  statutory fix in  the three                                                               
years  of  this  grant  period."   In  response  to  a  follow-up                                                               
question  from  Representative  LeDoux, she  confirmed  that  the                                                               
departments  have  no  position   on  the  issue,  although  they                                                               
assisted in bringing the issue to light and finding a solution.                                                                 
1:59:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  ascertained that Tlingit &  Haida was formed                                                               
in 1936.   He offered his  understanding that "the state  was not                                                               
recognizing tribes at  that time as formal  governments"; that is                                                               
why the  nonprofits were created.   He asked whether  the changes                                                               
made regarding the VPSO program  were similar to the change being                                                               
discussed that would allow Tlingit & Haida [to manage TANF.]                                                                    
2:01:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CESAR responded that there  is a similarity, even though "the                                                               
statutory issue was  a little bit different."  She  said the crux                                                               
of the issue  is that Tlingit & Haida has  never been a nonprofit                                                               
but  is a  regional tribe.   She  said the  regional approach  to                                                               
delivery of  services in Southeast  Alaska is different,  in that                                                               
Southeast Alaska Regional Health  Consortium (SEARHC), the tribal                                                               
health organization,  is focused  on health care  services, while                                                               
Tlingit &  Haida, Southeast, focuses  on social services  and the                                                               
VPSO program.  She said this  is unique to Southeast Alaska.  She                                                               
echoed Ms.  Harrington's remark  that federal  statute authorizes                                                               
numerous tribal health organizations and Tlingit & Haida.                                                                       
2:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP summarized  that  the problematic  language,                                                               
which would  be repealed under Version  G, is the reference  to a                                                               
nonprofit entity.   He noted that Ms. Cesar had  pointed out that                                                               
Tlingit & Haida has been running [TANF] for decades as a tribe.                                                                 
2:03:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CLAMAN  questioned  whether  Tlingit &  Haida  would  risk                                                               
losing state funding  for some of its programs  if this statutory                                                               
change is not made.                                                                                                             
2:03:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CESAR surmised  that Tlingit  & Haida  would work  with "the                                                               
department"  for another  solution, but  she does  not know  what                                                               
that solution would be.                                                                                                         
2:03:38 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN questioned whether if  another entity came along and                                                               
offered programs, then  the legislature would have  to change the                                                               
statute again.                                                                                                                  
2:04:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CESAR  responded that federal  law allows Lower 48  tribes to                                                               
operate  TANF, and  there is  a special  rule in  Alaska allowing                                                               
regional tribal health  organizations and Tlingit &  Haida to run                                                               
the  program.   She  surmised  that [the  federal  law] does  not                                                               
currently  open  the door  for  other  organizations to  run  the                                                               
program; therefore,  a federal statutory  fix may be  required if                                                               
another entity was interested in running the program.                                                                           
2:05:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN  concluded that since  it would be federal  law that                                                               
would need to be changed, there  is no point in giving the option                                                               
"for  somebody else  to  come  in" [under  Alaska  statute].   He                                                               
added,  "And then  we'll  have  enough time  to  wake  up and  do                                                               
whatever the feds did."                                                                                                         
2:05:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CESAR responded, "Yes."                                                                                                     
2:05:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE EASTMAN asked whether the  intent is to "open that                                                               
door  so that  some other  organization  in the  future can  walk                                                               
through it."                                                                                                                    
2:06:05 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CESAR  answered no.   She clarified  that [Version  G] simply                                                               
would remove  a requirement  from state statute  that was  not in                                                               
federal law  to allow Tlingit &  Haida to continue to  "carry out                                                               
the [TANF] program."                                                                                                            
2:06:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES questioned whether  there is something that                                                               
would preclude Tlingit & Haida  from forming its own nonprofit to                                                               
fit into the existing category.                                                                                                 
2:06:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. CESAR answered  that Tlingit & Haida has never  operated as a                                                               
nonprofit corporation, and  to do so would add  "another layer of                                                               
bureaucracy,  significant time  and  expense, and  change to  the                                                               
structure,  without  actually adding  value  to  services."   She                                                               
added, "That is  something that we discussed  with the department                                                               
early on when this issue was  identified and why we agreed that a                                                               
statutory fix was necessary."                                                                                                   
2:06:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX said she would like  to hear from DOL as to                                                               
the  process of  identifying a  problem, working  with Tlingit  &                                                               
Haida  to solve  the  problem,  and then  not  taking a  position                                                               
regarding the solution.                                                                                                         
2:07:26 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  CESAR  offered  her  understanding that  DOL  had  not  been                                                               
available  for   today's  meeting,   but  may  be   available  on                                                               
2:07:35 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN questioned who, from  DOL, might likely be available                                                               
to come before the committee on Wednesday.                                                                                      
2:07:46 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HARRINGTON offered  her understanding  that the  person from                                                               
DOL would  be Stacie Kraly,  who was  involved on this  issue and                                                               
works on matters relating to health and social services.                                                                        
2:08:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX requested  that whoever  comes before  the                                                               
committee  from   the  department  be  equipped   to  answer  her                                                               
2:08:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. HARRINGTON said  she and Ms. Kraly had  a conversation "about                                                               
this very thing, this morning," but  she stated she does not want                                                               
to  "characterize  their  position."    She  told  Representative                                                               
LeDoux that  she would  ensure someone from  DOL was  prepared to                                                               
answer her question.                                                                                                            
2:09:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR CLAMAN announced that HB 142 was held over.                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 142 Work Draft Committee Substitute v. G 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 v. K 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Sponsor Statement v. G 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
SCRA 3/17/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Summary of Changes v. K to v. G 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
SCRA 3/17/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Additional Document - Sec 47.27.020 TANF Language 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
SCRA 3/17/2020 3:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Additional Document - Summary of Technical Amendment to TANF Statute 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Fiscal Note DPS-VPSO 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 142
HB 142 Fiscal Note DHSS-ATAP 1.27.2020.pdf HJUD 1/27/2020 1:30:00 PM
HJUD 1/29/2020 1:30:00 PM
HB 142