Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/14/1993 03:00 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           HOUSE HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SERVICES                         
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                         April 14, 1993                                        
                            3:00 p.m.                                          
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
  Rep. Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                                
  Rep. Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                                     
  Rep. Gary Davis, Vice Chair                                                  
  Rep. Al Vezey                                                                
  Rep. Pete Kott                                                               
  Rep. Harley Olberg                                                           
  Rep. Bettye Davis                                                            
  Rep. Irene Nicholia                                                          
  Rep. Tom Brice                                                               
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  *HJR 36:  Urging the federal Department of Health and Human                  
            Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to                 
            employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and                   
            to replace it with a regulation that will serve as                 
            an incentive for AFDC recipients to accept                         
            part-time employment.                                              
            PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS                             
  HB 106:   "An Act establishing the Alaska education                          
            technology program; and providing for an effective                 
            PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS                             
  HCR 17:   Relating to a health insurance pool established                    
            for residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.                      
  Confirmation Hearing - Board of Psychologist and                             
  Psychological Associate Examiners                                            
  (* First public hearing.)                                                    
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  JAN HENSEN, Director                                                         
  Division of Public Assistance                                                
  Department of Health and Social Services                                     
  P.O. Box 110640                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0640                                                    
  (907) 465-2680                                                               
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HJR 36                          
  KAREN CRANE, Director                                                        
  Archives, Libraries, Museum                                                  
  Department of Education                                                      
  P.O. Box 110571                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0571                                                    
  Phone:  (907) 465-2910                                                       
  Position statement:  Testified in support of HB 106                          
  KEN SYKES, Insurance Analyst                                                 
  Division of Insurance                                                        
  Department of Commerce and Economic Development                              
  P.O. Box 110805                                                              
  Juneau, Alaska 99811-0805                                                    
  Phone:  (907) 465-2564                                                       
  Position statement:  Raised questions on HB 106                              
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HJR 36                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: REPEAL 100 HOUR RULE FOR AFDC PROGRAM                           
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BRICE,Navarre,B.Davis,                         
  TITLE: Urging the federal Department of Health and Human                     
  Services to repeal the "100-hour rule" relating to                           
  employment of certain persons receiving AFDC and to replace                  
  it with a regulation that will serve as an incentive for                     
  AFDC recipients to accept part-time employment.                              
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  03/26/93       793    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/26/93       793    (H)   HEALTH, EDUCATION AND SOCIAL                     
  04/07/93      1094    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): MENARD                             
  04/14/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  HB 106                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM                                    
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BROWN,Ulmer,Davidson,                          
  TITLE: "An Act establishing the Alaska education technology                  
  program; and providing for an effective date."                               
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/29/93       180    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/29/93       180    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                     
  03/10/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/10/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  04/14/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  HCR 17                                                                
  SHORT TITLE: KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL                                  
  BILL VERSION:                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) G.DAVIS                                        
  TITLE: Relating to a health insurance pool established for                   
  residents of the Kenai Peninsula Borough.                                    
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  03/24/93       760    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/24/93       760    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, FINANCE                   
  04/06/93              (H)   L&C AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 17                       
  04/06/93              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                      
  04/07/93      1057    (H)   L&C RPT  6DP                                     
  04/07/93      1057    (H)   DP: PORTER, MACKIE, MULDER,                      
  04/07/93      1057    (H)   DP: GREEN, HUDSON                                
  04/07/93      1057    (H)   -ZERO FISCAL NOTE(H.L&C/ALL                      
  04/13/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  04/13/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  04/14/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-65, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m., noted                  
  members present, and announced the calendar.  He called                      
  HJR 36 to the table.                                                         
  HJR 36:  REPEAL 100-HOUR RULE FOR AFDC                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that Rep. Brice had a committee substitute                 
  (CS) for HJR 36 with amendments suggested by the Department                  
  of Education.  He invited Rep. Brice to present his CS,                      
  after which the committee would take public testimony.                       
  REP. BRICE MOVED the committee adopt CSHJR 36 (LSO911\k) as                  
  a working document.                                                          
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections, and heard none.  He                        
  invited Rep. Brice to speak to his CS.                                       
  Number 052                                                                   
  REP. BRICE said he had a position paper from the Department                  
  of Health and Social Services, and said the CS addressed the                 
  department's concerns.  He noted the sponsor statement                       
  outlining the need for the resolution and encouraging the                    
  administration to support it.  He offered to answer                          
  Number 067                                                                   
  THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, testified in                   
  Juneau in support of HJR 36.  She said that the department                   
  had been considering seeking some kind of waiver of the 100-                 
  hour rule when it was considering welfare reform earlier in                  
  the year.  She said her division had given a position paper                  
  to Gov. Walter Hickel, who had transferred it to President                   
  Clinton, which outlined six or seven areas in which the                      
  state hoped to see changes in welfare, including repeal of                   
  the 100-hour rule.  She said that because Alaska had high                    
  pay standards, residents were discouraged from accepting                     
  full-time employment.  She said encouraging the federal                      
  government to change its regulations would cost the state                    
  much less than having to go through a waiver process.                        
  (Rep. B. Davis arrived at 3:13 p.m.)                                         
  REP. VEZEY asked for an explanation of the changes in the                    
  REP. BRICE said that the change came on page 2, lines 9-10,                  
  asking the federal government to adopt regulations to                        
  encourage AFDC recipients to accept employment regardless of                 
  the number of hours they work, remaining eligible for                        
  benefits as long as they earned no more than the state                       
  standard of need.                                                            
  MS. HENSEN said that the key change was that the original                    
  bill referred to part-time employment which was already                      
  allowed.  She said the most significant change permitted the                 
  state to allow AFDC recipients to accept full-time work of                   
  more than 100 hours.                                                         
  Number 125                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said the only change seemed to be on lines 9-11,                  
  and that he did not see a big change.  He asked if there                     
  were other changes.                                                          
  MS. HENSEN said there were changes on lines 3 and 4 that                     
  would allow AFDC recipients to accept work of more than 100                  
  hours per month as an incentive.                                             
  REP. VEZEY said he did not see that the change was                           
  necessary, but thanked Ms. Hensen anyway.                                    
  Number 141                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said the change sounded like a good idea.  He                  
  asked if other states had successfully gotten such waivers.                  
  MS. HENSEN said no state had succeeded in getting the                        
  federal government to change the regulation.  However, she                   
  said she believed there was a strong consensus among states                  
  for a repeal of the federal 100-hour rule.  She said it did                  
  not matter to some states that pay very little, and in some                  
  Southern states where pay is low, people working 100 hours a                 
  week (month) would not qualify for welfare.  It is more of                   
  an issue in states with more moderate payment standards.                     
  She said the pressure from a variety of forces and states                    
  seeking repeal of the rule could persuade the federal                        
  government to drop it, she said.                                             
  Number 161                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked what the resolution would actually                         
  MS. HENSEN said that if the resolution did not work, the                     
  state would next seek a waiver of the rule.  She said the                    
  state strategy was to influence the federal government, as                   
  the 100-hour rule was not in statute, but in regulation.                     
  She said Alaska, other states, and some advocacy think-tanks                 
  believed that the Clinton administration could make the                      
  change.  She said efforts to influence the rule were not a                   
  futile exercise.                                                             
  Number 174                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked the minimum wage a person could accept in a                 
  full-time job and justify getting off public assistance.                     
  MS. HENSEN asked if the question was how much income would                   
  put a person over the needs standard.                                        
  Number 182                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY said no, but no one would have the economic                       
  incentive to leave welfare rolls and work for the minimum                    
  wage, as it would be a cut in income.  He asked how much a                   
  full-time job would have to pay to induce a person to leave                  
  public assistance.                                                           
  MS. HENSEN said she did not have that figure, but could get                  
  it for him.  She said she could calculate the break-even                     
  point, and said a department study on welfare's impact on                    
  self-sufficiency showed what welfare recipients said they                    
  needed to get off public assistance.                                         
  Number 198                                                                   
  REP. BRICE noted that an article reporting the welfare and                   
  dependency study was present in the bill packets for HJR 36.                 
  MS. HENSEN said that, as reported on page 14 of the article,                 
  11 percent of clients said a monthly salary of up to $1,100                  
  would be enough to make them drop welfare; 14 percent said                   
  from $1,100 and $1,300; 21 percent said $1,300 to $1,500;                    
  and 21 percent said they required at least $2,000 per month                  
  before they would give up welfare benefits.                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE said that 21 percent of the clients responding                   
  could leave welfare to work for the legislature.                             
  Number 216                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY added that he would divide the monthly pay levels                 
  by 173 hours to arrive at an hourly wage.                                    
  REP. OLBERG said that $1,100 per month equalled about $6 per                 
  Number 226                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for any other questions or testimony on                    
  the measure, then asked the pleasure of the committee.                       
  WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS.                                             
  CHAIR BUNDE called for objections and, hearing none,                         
  RECOMMENDATIONS.  He then brought HB 106 to the table.                       
  HB 106:  EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE noted that it was the second time the bill had                   
  been before the committee.  He invited Rep. Kay Brown to                     
  speak to the bill.                                                           
  Number 244                                                                   
  REP. KAY BROWN, PRIME SPONSOR, gave a brief presentation on                  
  the provisions of HB 106.  (Rep. Brown gave a detailed                       
  presentation on HB 106 on March 10, 1993.  The records of                    
  that meeting are on file.)  She said HB 106 would establish                  
  an Education Technology Program in the Department of                         
  Education.  She gave the program's highlights: technological                 
  assistance to school districts and libraries; training for                   
  teachers; a plan for computer networks; a departmental                       
  directive to coordinate existing resources; establishment of                 
  a fund requiring matching funds (though HB 106 did not                       
  deposit money into the fund).  She said another bill in the                  
  committee, HB 107, provided for capitalization of the fund.                  
  She said HB 106 also established eligibility pre-requisites                  
  for libraries or districts for grants.                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE observed that the local match formula in HB 106                  
  was based on the formula contained in HB 82, and that HB 82                  
  had been amended to include a five percent minimum match and                 
  to exclude a sliding scale.                                                  
  Number 274                                                                   
  REP. BROWN said she had asked Rep. MacLean, chair of the                     
  House Finance Committee, whether she anticipated more                        
  changes to the matching formula in HB 82, and was answered                   
  that such changes were likely.  Rep. Brown said she was                      
  willing to adjust her matching formula with the formula in                   
  HB 82 as amended.  She said that if the bill passed in its                   
  current form, she would move a conforming amendment in the                   
  House Finance Committee.                                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE said he would prefer the matching formula in                     
  HB 106 coincide with the formula in the committee substitute                 
  for HB 82 as amended by the HESS Committee.                                  
  REP. BROWN also said HB 106 would provide for an education                   
  technology committee to develop funding distribution                         
  guidelines; would amend the school report card to include                    
  reporting on technology; and would require a survey of                       
  public school and library technology resources.                              
  Number 306                                                                   
  REP. BROWN noted that there were two fiscal notes from the                   
  Department of Education, and that the third fiscal note,                     
  from the Department of Revenue's treasury division, would                    
  not apply until the fund was capitalized.  She claimed broad                 
  support from educators for her bill.  She said the Alaska                    
  Association of School Boards liked the bill and was                          
  concerned about technology as an important element of                        
  education that was absent in the Alaska 2000 reform effort.                  
  She said passing HB 106 was important, even before the                       
  Education Technology Fund was capitalized.                                   
  Number 327                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Brown how she would define an                         
  equitable distribution of funds.                                             
  Number 330                                                                   
  REP. BROWN said one measure would be per-capita basis.  She                  
  said other criteria would be the current level of technology                 
  in a particular school; the size of classes; the number of                   
  teachers; and the location of the school.  She said it was                   
  probably better not to legislate a specific formula.  She                    
  said it would be easier to allocate money after knowing how                  
  much money was available to allocate.                                        
  Number 360                                                                   
  THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, testified in Juneau to                          
  reiterate the support of the commissioner and the department                 
  for HB 106.  She noted that the commissioner felt that the                   
  bill, and technology, should play a strong role in the                       
  Alaska 2000 effort.  She noted that the bill also had the                    
  support of the Alaska Library Association, as the bill also                  
  addressed library needs.                                                     
  Number 375                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Brown if she would consider as a                      
  friendly amendment a change to HB 106 calling for the                        
  matching formula would be the same as that in CSHB 82(HES).                  
  (Rep. Toohey arrived at 3:32 p.m.)                                           
  REP. BROWN responded she would consider that a friendly                      
  amendment.  She noted that the language was on page 6                        
  starting with line 5.  She added that the HESS Committee had                 
  not adopted the proposed committee substitute, which she                     
  identified as being drafted by Ford and dated 2/16/93.  She                  
  said the CS made minor changes relating to libraries, upon                   
  which she had worked with Ms. Crane.                                         
  Number 402                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if Rep. Brown was referring to the CS of                   
  HB 106.                                                                      
  REP. BROWN answered yes, and pointed out the location of the                 
  amendment on page 6 of the CS.  She asked if CSHB 82(HES)                    
  included a phase-in period.                                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE answered that it did not.                                        
  Number 406                                                                   
  REP. BROWN noted that page 9 of her proposed CS did have a                   
  phase-in provision, modeled after that in the governor's                     
  original version of HB 82, but which had been cut from HB 82                 
  by the HESS Committee.  She said, "The committee might wish                  
  to adopt a conceptual amendment and direct the drafters to                   
  make this language conform to the earlier - that's what I                    
  did in requesting this draft, was asking them to make it                     
  conform to HB 82."                                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE said the HESS Committee wanted the language in                   
  the CSHB 106 to conform to the HESS committee version of                     
  HB 82 instead of the governor's original version.                            
  (Rep. Toohey arrived at 3:32 p.m.)                                           
  Number 415                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said that he needed a motion to adopt the CS                     
  version of HB 106 in order to proceed procedurally.                          
  (Rep. Kott arrived at 3:35 p.m.)                                             
  REP. BRICE MOVED the committee adopt CSHB 106 as a working                   
  draft of the bill.                                                           
  Number 420                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections and heard none.  He said                    
  the amendment before the committee was the conceptual                        
  amendment that he and Rep. Brown had been discussing, which                  
  would amend the matching grant provisions in CSHB 106 to                     
  match the provisions in CSHB 82(HES).                                        
  REP. BRICE MOVED the conceptual amendment suggested by Chair                 
  Number 425                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections and heard none.  He                         
  declared that the committee was now considering CSHB 106 as                  
  amended.  He asked for further discussion.                                   
  REP. B. DAVIS asked if there were other people wanting to                    
  testify on the bill.                                                         
  CHAIR BUNDE said he had heard none.  He then closed public                   
  testimony and asked the pleasure of the committee.                           
  Number 438                                                                   
  WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS and asked for unanimous                      
  REP. OLBERG OBJECTED.                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE invited Rep. Olberg to speak to his objection.                   
  REP. OLBERG declined.                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE called for a roll call vote on the motion.                       
  Those voting yes were:  Reps. Toohey, Bunde, G. Davis, Kott,                 
  B. Davis and Brice.  Those voting no were:  Reps. Vezey and                  
  Olberg.  The motion PASSED 6-2.  Chair Bunde declared CSHB
  106 as amended by the Hess Committee had PASSED WITH                         
  INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS.  He then brought HCR 17 to the                   
  HCR 17:  KENAI PENINSULA INSURANCE POOL                                      
  Number 455                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS said that the CS for HCR 17 addressed the                      
  concerns raised by the committee during the previous day's                   
  discussion of the resolution.  He said that the change on                    
  page 1, line 4, changed the language to "a significant                       
  number of residents" instead of nearly 90,000 residents.  He                 
  said page 3, lines 9-12, changed the language to reflect                     
  more generic language instead of the detailed aspects of the                 
  Kenai Peninsula Borough's (KPB) proposed plan.  He said                      
  there had been concern expressed the day before over the                     
  zero fiscal note which included a request for financial                      
  support.  He said that language on page 3, line 14, of the                   
  original resolution had been changed to request the governor                 
  and commissioner of Health and Social Services to offer                      
  support and assistance to the Kenai council, instead of                      
  financial support.  However, he said he hoped that such                      
  support might include some degree of financial support.  He                  
  said the Division of Insurance had raised questions                          
  concerning the resolution, but he said they were not                         
  relevant to the insurance investigation.  He said it was up                  
  to the council to make sure they met state statutes in                       
  working on the program.                                                      
  Number 493                                                                   
  (Rep. Brice departed at 3:42 p.m.)                                           
  asked Rep. G. Davis what was meant on page 3, line 17, of                    
  CSHCR 17 which mentioned a "modified Health Maintenance                      
  Organization" (HMO).                                                         
  REP. G. DAVIS answered that the Kenai Peninsula Borough Task                 
  Force (KPBTF) was proposing an organization that they did                    
  not feel was a true HMO and so coined the term "modified                     
  HMO" to describe an element of its proposal.                                 
  Number 511                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY thanked Rep. G. Davis for making elements of                     
  HCR 17 less precise, and said she did not believe the state                  
  should be held to anything in the resolution.  She said she                  
  believed the KPBTF health plan was imperfect, as were                        
  others.  She said for the record that HCR 17 merely                          
  encouraged the KPB, upon a vote by the people, to try out a                  
  system.  She asserted that the resolution created no                         
  obligation on anyone.                                                        
  REP. G. DAVIS agreed with Rep. Toohey.  He said it had been                  
  overlooked during the prior day's discussion that page 3,                    
  line 9, of the resolution included a "resolved" clause that                  
  made the plan subject to a referendum vote by borough                        
  REP. TOOHEY said she appreciated that, and she wished the                    
  residents of the KPB great luck with the plan.                               
  Number 528                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony on the resolution, but                   
  continued committee discussion of the resolution.                            
  REP. KOTT said he could not recall spending so much time on                  
  a simple concurrent resolution.  However, he said that he                    
  would be more comfortable with the original language which                   
  was replaced by the words "significant number of residents"                  
  on page 1, line 4.  However, he said his discomfort would                    
  not force him to vote against the resolution.                                
  Number 541                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said that significant was a statistical measure,                 
  meaning enough so that it mattered.                                          
  REP. KOTT said that it must therefore be necessary to                        
  address the confidence level of the statistical analysis.                    
  CHAIR BUNDE indicated that he was duly impressed and one-                    
  upped by the statistical knowledge demonstrated by his                       
  Number 548                                                                   
  REP. OLBERG commented, "If this resolution was a horse, we'd                 
  all be in jail for animal abuse.  Unless someone else wants                  
  to beat this thing to death, I would be prepared to make a                   
  motion if the chair would be so inclined."                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE invited him to do so.                                            
  REP. B. DAVIS asked if the committee had yet adopted the CS.                 
  REP. OLBERG amended his motion to include adopting the CS.                   
  Number 553                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE repeated the motion to adopt the CS to HCR 17,                   
  and to pass it from the committee with individual                            
  recommendations.  Hearing no objections, he declared CSHCR
  17(HES) PASSED WITH INDIVIDUAL RECOMMENDATIONS.                              
  CHAIR BUNDE then brought to the table the confirmation                       
  hearings for two appointees to the Board of Psychologist and                 
  Psychological Associate Examiners.                                           
  PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATE EXAMINERS                                            
  Number 560                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE called for public testimony on the confirmation                  
  of Bruno M. Kappes, Ph.D. to the Board of Psychologist and                   
  Psychological Associate Examiners and, hearing none, closed                  
  public testimony.  He asked the pleasure of the committee.                   
  REP. TOOHEY MOVED the committee pass the appointment on to                   
  the floor of the House.                                                      
  REP. KOTT asked if any member knew of any reason why the                     
  appointment should not be passed along.                                      
  CHAIR BUNDE said that if there were, he would have noted it.                 
  Number 571                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections to the motion, and hearing                  
  TO THE HOUSE.  He noted that the members should sign the                     
  regular form indicating that they had studied his record,                    
  but was making no representations as to how they would vote                  
  on the final confirmation on the floor.                                      
  CHAIR BUNDE announced that the committee would hold a brief                  
  meeting the following day.  He then ADJOURNED the meeting at                 
  4:50 p.m.                                                                    

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