Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106
03/24/2015 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS
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HCR 7-CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH 9:07:37 AM CHAIR LYNN announced that the next order of business was HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 7, Proclaiming April 2015 as Child Abuse Prevention Month; and proclaiming April 3, 2015, as Go Blue Friday. 9:08:28 AM RAY FRIEDLANDER, Staff, Representative Geran Tarr, Alaska State Legislature, presented HCR 7 on behalf of Representative Tarr, prime sponsor. She said the proposed concurrent resolution would make April 2015 Child Abuse Prevention Month and proclaim April 3, 2015, as "Go Blue Friday." She explained that blue was the color to represent child abuse prevention, and she indicated that the wearing of blue would show solidarity in putting an end to violence against children. MS. FRIEDLANDER related that for the first time last year, the legislature had passed legislation making April  Child Prevention Month, and then Governor Sean Parnell issued a proclamation for April as Child Abuse and Awareness Month. In 2015, Governor Bill Walker did the same. She stated, "We believe by speaking up and raising awareness, we can be a part of the preventative efforts in ending child abuse in Alaska." MS. FRIEDLANDER said that under the Reagan Administration in 1983, the U.S. Congress proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month as a way to show commitment to finding solutions to end child abuse. Each year, states and their prospective governors used April as a month to stand strong for our children. MS. FRIEDLANDER stated that according to the Child Welfare League of America, Alaska had one of the five highest rates of child abuse in the U.S. In 2014, the Office of Children's Services received more than 40,000 allegations of harm involving tens of thousands of children. She said tragically children subject to abuse are likely to become abusers themselves, engage in criminal activity, and have a whole spread of psychological and physiological issues. Ms. Friedlander stated, "Every child deserves a loving family, a safe home, and the opportunity to grow into an outstanding and responsible member of society ...." She encouraged the committee to support the proposed legislation. 9:11:07 AM CHAIR LYNN asked Ms. Friedlander to explain what changes would be made under a proposed committee substitute for HCR 7. MS. FRIEDLANDER answered that because the issue already had statewide support, there were organizations working toward "Go Blue Friday" on April 10. The bill sponsor had originally intended April 3 as the day; therefore, the proposed committee substitute would change it to April 10, in order to match statewide efforts. 9:11:36 AM REPRESENTATIVE KELLER noted that according to Wikipedia, the color blue is a symbol of twenty different items, but child abuse was not one of them. He asked if there was anything else besides child abuse that "Go Blue Friday" would represent. MS. FRIEDLANDER responded that she could not speak to any other holidays that incorporated blue, but said she knew that organizations had been working for the past few years on using blue as the color of child abuse prevention. In response to Representative Keller, she indicated that the Alaska Children's Trust was the impetus for bringing forward a committee substitute. 9:13:28 AM REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to adopt the proposed committee substitute (CS) for HCR 7, Version 29-LS0684\H, Glover, 3/19/15, as a work draft. There being no objection, Version H was before the committee. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he was aware of "Go Blue Friday" and expressed appreciation for the sponsor's support of it. MS. FRIEDLANDER, in response to a question from Representative Keller, reconfirmed that the term, "Go Blue Friday," as used under HCR 7, was related specifically to child abuse prevention. REPRESENTATIVE KELLER reiterated that he had been intrigued by all the other things he read were symbolized by the color blue. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG emphasized that the use of the color blue was being used very particularly for "Go Blue Friday," which he indicated was a national campaign. CHAIR LYNN closed public testimony on HCR 7. 9:16:19 AM REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to report CSHCR 7, Version 29- LS0684\H, Glover, 3/19/15, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHCR 7(STA) was reported out of the House State Affairs Standing Committee.