Legislature(2013 - 2014)BUTROVICH 205

02/11/2013 01:30 PM HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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01:32:08 PM Start
01:32:30 PM SB39
01:52:38 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
           SB 39-STATUTORY REFS TO MENTAL RETARDATION                                                                       
1:32:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STEDMAN noted  that documents  related to  SB 39  have not                                                               
been posted in  BASIS due to technical difficulties.  He said the                                                               
bill before the committee was SB 39.                                                                                            
1:34:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, sponsor of  SB 39, introduced the  bill. He                                                               
related that  when he  was doing work  on Fetal  Alcohol Syndrome                                                               
(FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum  Disorder (FASD) legislation, he                                                               
saw the  term "mental retardation"  used for  mental disabilities                                                               
in many  state statutes.  Over time, that  label has  become more                                                               
derogative and is now used to degrade and insult individuals.                                                                   
He stated that by using  more respectful terminology, Alaska will                                                               
become one  of 40  states that  have done so.  He noted  that the                                                               
federal  government,  the Center  for  Disease  Control, and  the                                                               
World Health  Organization have also  done away with  the "mental                                                               
retardation"  designation. He  said  the bill  strikes a  balance                                                               
between  being respectful  without changing  any services.  It is                                                               
simply a label change.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  MEYER noted  that there  was a  new CS  that makes  some                                                               
changes to SB 39.                                                                                                               
SENATOR KELLY moved  to adopt the proposed CS for  SB 39, labeled                                                               
28-LS0247\U, as the working document before the committee.                                                                      
CHAIR STEDMAN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                 
He  requested a  comparison of  the proposed  CS to  the original                                                               
1:36:36 PM                                                                                                                    
EDRA MORLEDGE, staff, Senator Kevin  Meyer, explained that the CS                                                               
for SB 39  simply adds two new  sections at the end  of the bill;                                                               
Section 28 and Section 29, beginning on page 14.                                                                                
She  related  that  Section  28   clarifies  the  intent  of  the                                                               
legislation, so  that nothing in  this Act would be  construed to                                                               
alter  the coverage,  eligibility,  rights, responsibilities,  or                                                               
definitions  referred to  in the  statues  that are  going to  be                                                               
amended by this legislation. Section  28 relates to some concerns                                                               
the  Department  of  Law brought  up  about  criminal  competency                                                               
before  the courts.  It clarifies  that it  is a  simple language                                                               
change   from   "mental   retardation"   to   "intellectual   and                                                               
developmental disability."                                                                                                      
She said that Section 29, on  pages 14 and 15, addresses concerns                                                               
that the Department  of Health and Social Services  had about the                                                               
fiscal burden  placed on the  department to make all  the changes                                                               
in their  administrative code. The language  clarifies that there                                                               
is not anticipated fiscal impact to the department.                                                                             
CHAIR STEDMAN removed his objection to adopting the proposed CS.                                                                
There being no objection, Version U was adopted.                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER said he had nothing more to add.                                                                                  
CHAIR STEDMAN listed  four fiscal notes: a zero  fiscal note from                                                               
the   Department   of   Commerce,   Community,   and   Economical                                                               
Development, a zero fiscal note  from the Department of Education                                                               
and Early Development,  and one fiscal note from  the Division of                                                               
Administrative   Services,  Department   of  Health   and  Social                                                               
Services in the  amount of $10,000 in general funds  for FY 14 to                                                               
cover the  costs of changing  regulations, and  one indeterminate                                                               
fiscal note from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.                                                                              
CHAIR STEDMAN opened public testimony.                                                                                          
1:38:54 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR KELLY said  he understood that all fiscal  notes are zero                                                               
notes due to the changes in Version U.                                                                                          
1:39:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN agreed. He noted the  new CS has zero fiscal notes.                                                               
He added that there is no Senate Finance Committee referral.                                                                    
1:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MILLIE  RYAN,  Executive  Director,  REACH,  Inc.,  testified  in                                                               
support of SB  39. She stated that replacing  hurtful language is                                                               
more than just  semantics. She said, "Changing how  we talk about                                                               
people with disabilities  is a critical step  towards making sure                                                               
they are valued  and contributing members of  the community." She                                                               
described  how being  labeled by  hurtful  language keeps  people                                                               
from   asking  for   help.  It   limits  their   expectations  of                                                               
themselves, as  well as  the expectations  of those  around them.                                                               
She thanked Senator Meyer for introducing the bill.                                                                             
CHRISTOPHER BRENNER, Advocate, REACH,  Inc., testified in support                                                               
of  SB 39.  He described  himself  as twenty-three  years old,  a                                                               
client of  REACH, and  labeled mentally  retarded. He  shared his                                                               
personal  experience. He  said that  as an  adult, he  works full                                                               
time, pays rent and taxes, and  is his own conservator. He agreed                                                               
to be  the voice  representing people  like himself.  He strongly                                                               
urged the language change and stated support for SB 39.                                                                         
1:43:16 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM  CHAMPNEY,  President,  Alaska Association  of  Developmental                                                               
Disability (AADD),  testified in  support of  SB 39.  She related                                                               
that AADD  is a trade organization  representing approximately 40                                                               
service providers in  Alaska. Some of the  larger members include                                                               
Hope  Community  Resources,  the  ARC of  Anchorage,  REACH,  and                                                               
Fairbanks  Resource  Agency  and  Assets. She  said  she  has  no                                                               
reservations about SB 39.                                                                                                       
1:44:24 PM                                                                                                                    
RIC NELSON,  Vice Chair, Governor's  Council on  Disabilities and                                                               
Special Education,  testified in support  of SB  39.  He  said he                                                               
has always  been teased  and made  fun of  and people  called him                                                               
retarded.  He  shared  a  personal  story.  He  said  he  is  not                                                               
retarded,  but  instead has  a  mental  disability. He  suggested                                                               
changing the wording in the statute.                                                                                            
1:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC  GEBHART,  Chair,  Governor's Council  on  Disabilities  and                                                               
Special Education,  testified in support  of SB 39. He  said that                                                               
the   Council   members  consist   of   the   State  Council   on                                                               
Developmental  Disabilities,   the  Special   Education  Advisory                                                               
Panel, and  the Interagency Coordinating Council  for Infants and                                                               
Toddlers with Disabilities. The Council's  focus is to advise the                                                               
state  on  issues  that  affect  individuals  with  developmental                                                               
disabilities.  The Council's  mission  is to  create change  that                                                               
improves the lives of individuals  with disabilities. He said the                                                               
Council supports SB 39 because it meets the Council's mission.                                                                  
He  thanked Senator  Meyer, the  co-sponsors, and  the House  for                                                               
passing  the  bill.  He  discussed  the  negative  influences  of                                                               
"mental  retardation."   He  said   it  was  time   to  eliminate                                                               
stereotypes and  barriers of  the disabled.  He noted  efforts in                                                               
other states and in federal law to change this wording.                                                                         
1:51:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STEDMAN closed public testimony.                                                                                          
He thanked the testifiers for  their contributions to the meeting                                                               
to help move the bill forward.                                                                                                  
CHAIR STEDMAN set SB 39 aside.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB039-DCCED-CBPL-02-11-13.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB039-DHSS-API-2-8-2013.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB039-DHSS-ASS-2-8-2013.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB039-EED-TLS-2-4-13.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Sponsor Statement.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Sectional Analysis.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Rosas Law Article.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 PLAW-111publ256.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 Medscape Reference Article.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
SB 39 AAIDD Article.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39
CSSB 39 ver. U.pdf SHSS 2/11/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 39