Legislature(1993 - 1994)
04/18/1994 01:39 PM Senate HES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced HB 429 (SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICE AGENCY) as the next order of business before the committee. SENATOR DUNCAN said that HB 429 removes the Governor's Council on Disability and Special Education from being the governing organization of the Special Education Service Agency (SESA). He felt that the desire to have a more consumer oriented governing board for SESA was commendable. He inquired as to why that board should not be created now. He thought that they had requested that the consumer oriented board be proposed in order to put it into this legislation. MARGARET LOWE, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), pointed out that the composition of the board is on page 3 of the by-laws in the committee's packet. She reviewed the composition of the board which contains nine members representing various groups and individuals effected by this. SENATOR ELLIS thought that there would have been a CS or an amendment from the department in order to create this board. SENATOR DUNCAN felt that with the by-laws, the board is well- structured. He expressed concern with the position paper which indicated that HB 429 could result in the establishment of a more consumer oriented board. He reiterated the need to create the board in this legislation. MARGARET LOWE noted that the composition of the board in the by- laws was created by the Governor's Council who stands behind it. CHAIRMAN RIEGER thought that reasons could arise to amend the board and therefore, it would not be as wise to give that much specificity in statute. He said that the by-laws seem good and by- laws are not easily amended. SENATOR DUNCAN asked if the statute requires that the composition of the board shall be determined by the by-laws. MARGARET LOWE said no and noted that the by-laws had been adopted by the board. Number 224 DIANE BROWN, Department of Education (DOE), agreed with Chairman Rieger that the composition of the board be in the by-laws instead of statutes. There was no need to have the composition of the board specifically outlined in statute. She explained that they were concerned with the possibility of the need to change the board's composition which would necessitate returning to the legislature. She said that they trusted that the SESA by-laws would be followed. SENATOR ELLIS moved that the composition of the board of directors as specified in the Governor's Council adopted by-laws be adopted in order to establish in statute a new governing board for the agency. He expressed uneasiness with eliminating the existing governing board without replacing it with something in statute. SENATOR SALO concurred with Senator Ellis' concern. She felt that it should go back to drafting because AS 14.30.610, which is repealed, is the section dealing with the governing body. She suggested that Senator Ellis' amendment should be incorporated into that section. She did not know what the other statute which is repealed in HB 429 involves. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that he would prefer to move this bill; however, he objected to the amendment for purposes of discussion. MARGARET LOWE said that she felt comfortable moving the bill as it is currently. She pointed out that there is oversight by DOE and the Governor's Council which should serve as a safeguard. Upon a hand vote, Senators Ellis and Salo voted "Yea" while Senators Rieger, Miller, Sharp, and Leman voted "Nay." The motion failed. SENATOR MILLER moved HB 429 out of committee with individual recommendations. Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.