Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

04/09/2019 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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Audio Topic
02:27:59 PM Start
02:28:33 PM HB22
02:33:42 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:30 pm --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 9, 2019                                                                                            
                         2:27 p.m.                                                                                              
2:27:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Wilson called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 2:27 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Neal Foster, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Tammie Wilson, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Jennifer Johnston, Vice-Chair                                                                                    
Representative Dan Ortiz, Vice-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Ben Carpenter                                                                                                    
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Bart LeBon                                                                                                       
Representative Kelly Merrick                                                                                                    
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Representative Geran Tarr, Sponsor                                                                                              
HB 22     EXTEND SUICIDE PREVENTION COUNCIL                                                                                     
          HB 22 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
Co-Chair Wilson reviewed the meeting agenda.                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 22                                                                                                             
     "An Act extending the termination date of the                                                                              
     Statewide Suicide Prevention Council; and providing                                                                        
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
2:28:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN  TARR,  SPONSOR, introduced  the  bill                                                                    
that  would extend  the Suicide  Prevention Council  through                                                                    
2027. The council had been  created through statute in 2001;                                                                    
it   had  been   through  multiple   audits  and   had  been                                                                    
recommended  for continuation  because  it  was meeting  the                                                                    
statutory  requirements.  The current  audit  recommendation                                                                    
was for a  lengthier extension to the full  eight years. She                                                                    
noted  that over  the years  the  recommended extension  had                                                                    
been increased by the auditors.                                                                                                 
Representative  Tarr  highlighted   some  of  the  council's                                                                    
statutory  requirements including  advising legislators  and                                                                    
the  governor  on  ways  to  improve  Alaskans'  health  and                                                                    
wellness  by reducing  suicide, improving  public awareness,                                                                    
enhancing suicide prevention  efforts, working with partners                                                                    
and   faith-based   organizations   to   develop   healthier                                                                    
communities, creating  a statewide suicide  prevention plan,                                                                    
and  building  and  strengthening  partnerships  to  prevent                                                                    
Representative  Tarr shared  that she  had the  privilege of                                                                    
serving on  the council  for the past  four years.  The past                                                                    
fall,  the council  had released  its new  plan for  2018 to                                                                    
2022,  which was  the  third version  of  the State  Suicide                                                                    
Prevention Plan.  The council coordinated the  Department of                                                                    
Education  and  Early   Development  on  getting  prevention                                                                    
grants  into  schools  for primary  prevention.  She  stated                                                                    
there was  substantial promising  work happening  in schools                                                                    
with young  people. She  relayed the  Alaska chapter  of the                                                                    
American  Foundation  for  Suicide Prevention  had  been  in                                                                    
Juneau a  couple of weeks  earlier and had spoken  about its                                                                    
program "I  Talk" that worked  with high school  students on                                                                    
speaking up  when they saw  something. She stated  there was                                                                    
significant  positive  work   occurring.  The  council  also                                                                    
worked with the legislature.                                                                                                    
Representative   Tarr  spoke   to   the  council's   diverse                                                                    
membership. For  example, it  included a  member recommended                                                                    
by the Alaska  Federation of Natives (AFN).  The council had                                                                    
partnered with  AFN to do  prevention education  and healing                                                                    
workshops  at  the annual  AFM  meeting,  which had  been  a                                                                    
powerful  experience   during  her  time  on   the  council.                                                                    
Additionally,  membership  included   individuals  from  the                                                                    
faith-based community,  who were great  partners, especially                                                                    
in  smaller communities  when stability  was important.  She                                                                    
reported  that schools  and  churches  were foundational  to                                                                    
communities  and made  good partners.  She added  that there                                                                    
had been  council members  in those  areas in  recent years.                                                                    
Additionally,  there  were  members   who  were  active  and                                                                    
knowledgeable in health. She  highlighted that the council's                                                                    
strong  partnerships helped  incorporate  the most  relevant                                                                    
and   recent  understanding   of   suicide  prevention   and                                                                    
programs.  She highlighted  trauma-informed  programs as  an                                                                    
example, which  had been implemented  into the  approach for                                                                    
suicide prevention.                                                                                                             
Representative Tarr hoped the  committee would hear from the                                                                    
auditor  at  the  following meeting.  She  noted  the  audit                                                                    
contained   a   couple    of   minor   recommendations   for                                                                    
improvements related  to public notice and  note taking. She                                                                    
believed the  council staff was dedicated  and well prepared                                                                    
to make the improvements and keep the work going.                                                                               
2:32:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Wilson  appreciated  the  bill  introduction.  She                                                                    
relayed  her intent  to hear  from the  auditor Kris  Curtis                                                                    
(legislative auditor, Alaska  Division of Legislative Audit)                                                                    
at the bill's next hearing.  She referenced the audit review                                                                    
titled  "A Sunset  Review of  the Department  of Health  and                                                                    
Social  Services,   Statewide  Suicide   Prevention  Council                                                                    
(council),"  dated  August  3,   2018  (copy  on  file),  in                                                                    
members'  packets. She  asked members  to  review the  audit                                                                    
report prior  to the  bill's next  hearing on  Friday [April                                                                    
12, 2019].  She noted public  testimony would be  taken that                                                                    
day as well.                                                                                                                    
Representative Sullivan-Leonard requested  to hear from DHSS                                                                    
at the following meeting as well.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Wilson  agreed. She intended  to ask  members about                                                                    
their questions prior  to the next bill hearing  in order to                                                                    
be prepared.  She noted  the subject  impacted not  only the                                                                    
schools and young people, but numerous agencies.                                                                                
HB  22  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
2:33:42 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 2:33 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB022 Sectional Analysis 1.10.19.pdf HFIN 4/9/2019 1:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB022 Sponsor Statement 3.15.19.pdf HFIN 4/9/2019 1:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB022 Supporting Document Legislative Budget Review of Suicide Prevention Council 8.3.18.pdf HFIN 4/9/2019 1:30:00 PM
HB 22
HB022 Supporting Documents - Letters of Support 4.2.19.pdf HFIN 4/9/2019 1:30:00 PM
HB 22