Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/31/1994 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                                      
                         March 31, 1994                                        
                            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                                                               
  OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                    
  Rep. Terry Martin                                                            
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
  HB 210:   "An Act relating to employment of chief school                     
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
  SB 225:   "An Act relating to credits against certain                        
            insurance taxes for contributions to certain                       
            educational institutions; and providing for an                     
            effective date."                                                   
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
  HB 354:   "An Act relating to identification required upon                   
            enrollment in a public school."                                    
            PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                            
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
  DON RENFROE, Superintendent                                                  
  Dillingham City School District                                              
  P.O. Box 170                                                                 
  Dillingham, Alaska 99576                                                     
  Phone:  (907) 842-5223                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in opposition to HB 210                       
                       (spoke via teleconference)                              
  STEPHEN T. McPHETRES, Executive Director                                     
  Alaska Council of School Administrators                                      
  326 Fourth St., Ste. 404                                                     
  Juneau, Alaska 99801-1101                                                    
  Phone:  (907) 586-9702                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in opposition to HB 210                       
  CAROL CARROL, Legislative Aide                                               
  Sen. Jay Kerttula                                                            
  Alaska State Legislature                                                     
  State Capitol                                                                
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Phone:  (907) 465-6600                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of SB 225                          
  AL ALVAREZ, Vice-President                                                   
  University Relations                                                         
  Alaska Pacific University                                                    
  4101 University Dr.                                                          
  Anchorage, Alaska 99508                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 564-8347                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of SB 225                          
  SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant to                                        
  Commissioner Covey                                                           
  Department of Education                                                      
  801 10th St., Ste. 200                                                       
  Juneau, Alaska 99801                                                         
  Phone:  (907) 586-1083                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 354                          
  LIEUTENANT DENNIS CASANOVAS, Commander                                       
  Statewide Criminal Investigation Unit                                        
  5700 E. Tudor Rd.                                                            
  Anchorage, Alaska 99507                                                      
  Phone:  (907) 269-5757                                                       
  Position Statement:  Testified in support of HB 354                          
                       (spoke via offnet)                                      
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
  BILL:  HB 210                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,Kott                                    
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  03/10/93       590    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/10/93       590    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                     
  03/12/93       629    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOTT                               
  03/22/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/22/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/22/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  04/01/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  04/01/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  04/02/93              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  04/02/93              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/30/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  SB 225                                                                
  SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) KERTTULA,Halford,Phillips,Taylor,                     
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/03/94      2452    (S)   PREFILE RELEASED 1/3/94                          
  01/10/94      2452    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/10/94      2452    (S)   HES, JUD, FIN                                    
  01/31/94              (S)   HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH                        
                              ROOM 205                                         
  02/02/94              (S)   HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH                        
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  02/02/94              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  02/04/94      2697    (S)   HES RPT  CS  2DP 3NR                             
                              SAME TITLE                                       
  02/04/94      2698    (S)   FISCAL NOTE TO SB & CS                           
                              PUBLISHED (DCED)                                 
  02/04/94      2698    (S)   ZERO FN TO SB & CS PUBLISHED                     
  02/04/94              (S)   HES AT 01:30 PM BUTROVICH                        
                              ROOM 205                                         
  02/04/94              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  02/23/94              (S)   JUD AT 01:30 PM BELTZ RM 211                     
  02/28/94      2989    (S)   JUD RPT  2DP 2NR  (HES)CS                        
  02/28/94      2989    (S)   PREVIOUS FN (DCED)                               
  02/28/94      2989    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (REV)                           
  03/12/94              (S)   FIN AT 10:00 AM SENATE FINANCE                   
                              ROOM 518                                         
  03/14/94      3183    (S)   FIN RPT  5DP 2NR (HES)CS SAME                    
  03/14/94      3184    (S)   PREVIOUS FN (DCED)                               
  03/14/94      3184    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (REV)                           
  03/14/94              (S)   RLS AT 00:00 AM FAHRENKAMP                       
                              ROOM 203                                         
  03/14/94              (S)   MINUTE(RLS)                                      
  03/15/94      3213    (S)   RULES RPT  4CAL 1NR   3/15/94                    
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                             
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   HES  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                     
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING                        
                              UNAN CONSENT                                     
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME                              
                              CSSB 225(HES)                                    
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   COSPONSOR(S):HALFORD,PHILLIPS,                   
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   TAYLOR, SALO, SHARP, PEARCE,                     
  03/15/94      3214    (S)   ZHAROFF, FRANK                                   
  03/15/94      3215    (S)   PASSED Y15 N3 E1 A1                              
  03/15/94      3215    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE SAME AS PASSAGE                   
  03/15/94      3215    (S)   Kelly  NOTICE OF RECONSID-                       
  03/16/94      3247    (S)   RECON TAKEN UP - IN THIRD                        
  03/16/94      3247    (S)   PASSED ON RECONSIDERATION Y16                    
                              N2 E1 A1                                         
  03/16/94      3247    (S)   EFFECTIVE DATE  SAME AS PASSAGE                  
  03/16/94      3251    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                               
  03/18/94      2861    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  03/18/94      2861    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                     
  03/31/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  BILL:  HB 354                                                                
  JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                     ACTION                                
  01/10/94      2020    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME/REFERRAL(S)                  
  01/10/94      2020    (H)   HES, JUDICIARY                                   
  03/07/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  03/07/94              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                      
  03/30/94              (H)   HES AT 03:00 PM CAPITOL 106                      
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 94-63, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE called the meeting to order at 3:05 p.m., noted                  
  members present and announced the calendar.  He brought HB
  210 to the table.                                                            
  HB 210 - HIRING OF CHIEF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS                               
  CHAIR BUNDE indicated that if it was the desire of the                       
  committee, he would like to move HB 210 out of committee                     
  that day.  He asked REP. TERRY MARTIN to address the bill.                   
  Number 045                                                                   
  REP. TERRY MARTIN, Prime Sponsor of HB 210, stated that the                  
  intent of the bill would repeal a law that demands that each                 
  school district will have a superintendent.  He felt that                    
  the smaller independent school districts are straddled with                  
  an unnecessary administrative burden.  He said the bill                      
  would give these districts the opportunity to combine three                  
  or four school districts together with only one                              
  superintendent.  He asserted the legislation would be a                      
  tremendous cost saving measure and conveyed a situation                      
  where a superintendent's salary was reduced by $22,000 as he                 
  only had 192 students and was earning $85,000 annually.                      
  Number 099                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked if that superintendent was also teaching.                  
  REP. MARTIN said no.  He further indicated that                              
  superintendents receive many other benefits; i.e., up to                     
  $750,000 in life insurance coverage, housing allowances or                   
  free housing, and car allowance ranging up to $900 per                       
  month.  He indicated that the added benefits directly take                   
  away from the average daily membership (ADM).                                
  Number 133                                                                   
  REP. G. DAVIS asked Rep. Martin to expound further on the                    
  insurance as to what it relates to.                                          
  REP. MARTIN explained that contracts vary for the                            
  superintendents, and they can negotiate for what they want.                  
  Packages of insurance can range anywhere from $50,000 to                     
  REP. G. DAVIS asked if he was speaking of life insurance.                    
  REP. MARTIN replied yes and said they also have health                       
  benefits and annuities.                                                      
  REP. G. DAVIS referred to the car allowance and observed                     
  that each school district has the right to negotiate each                    
  contract differently.                                                        
  REP. MARTIN indicated that some salaries as high as $91,000                  
  do not include the car allowance which can be as much as                     
  $800.  He said housing expenses can total $6000 per year.                    
  He asserted that the money would be better spent in the                      
  CHAIR BUNDE directed the committee's attention to an                         
  amendment submitted by Rep. Martin which would increase the                  
  size of a district from 500 to 1000.                                         
  REP. MARTIN stated that the amendment would help to                          
  facilitate the combining of school districts.  The Prince of                 
  Whales Island has three school districts with slightly over                  
  1000 students total.  He said there should be one                            
  superintendent with staff instead of three superintendents,                  
  each with their own staff.                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE said he supported combining school districts.                    
  He made a motion to adopt Amendment 1 for discussion                         
  purposes.  He then asked Rep. Martin to explain specific                     
  savings regarding the increase from 500 to 1000 students.                    
  Number 247                                                                   
  REP. MARTIN explained that he raised the number because                      
  there are 17 school districts in Southeast alone.  He                        
  asserted that at least five or six of those districts could                  
  combine into three.  He indicated that Yukon Koyukuk and                     
  Nenana want to combine districts, and they have over 1200                    
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the figure could be left at 500 and                     
  still leave the option of combining.                                         
  REP. MARTIN said 1000 was recommended and said he was being                  
  ultra-conservative.  He asserted that at 1000 it would be                    
  more likely that districts will join together.                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the figure was left at 500 could the                    
  districts still combine.                                                     
  REP. MARTIN said, "Then they'd have to."                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "Well, they don't have to, if it said they                 
  may if they have five hundred or more."                                      
  REP. MARTIN explained in that case they would combine all                    
  four of the school districts.                                                
  Number 324                                                                   
  REP. KOTT clarified that the amendment was dated 4/1/93.                     
  CHAIR BUNDE concurred.                                                       
  REP. VEZEY said he did not understand the last sentence of                   
  the amendment.                                                               
  REP. MARTIN clarified that a school district may combine                     
  with another school district and have one chief executive                    
  officer.  They can combine their efforts to meet the                         
  guidelines for at least one chief administrator per 1000                     
  REP. VEZEY said he was still confused.                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE explained that if a district does not have 1000                  
  ADM, they may employ a school administrator if the district                  
  shares with another district that also does not meet the                     
  minimum.  The average combined daily membership would then                   
  meet the ADM as required by the amendment.                                   
  REP. VEZEY said that is not what the amendment says.                         
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. Vezey's interpretation of the                         
  language is.                                                                 
  Number 397                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY offered that a district that doesn't meet the                     
  requirements can share an administrator with another                         
  district if the district meets the requirements.                             
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "If the combined average daily membership                  
  of the districts meet the 1000 requirement, two districts of                 
  500 could go together or three districts of 350."                            
  REP. VEZEY said he understood.                                               
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any objections to Amendment                  
  REP. G. DAVIS objected.                                                      
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Rep. G. Davis to speak to his objection.                   
  REP. G. DAVIS explained that there are many problems that                    
  school boards and school districts across the state are                      
  trying to manage.  He felt that the legislation was                          
  micromanagement.  He said he would not consider any                          
  amendments to the original bill until he heard further                       
  Number 470                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote.  Reps. Bunde, Kott, and                     
  Olberg voted Yea and Reps. Toohey and G. Davis voted Nay.                    
  The amendment was not adopted.                                               
  REP. TOOHEY said she would have like to have held the vote                   
  until further testimony could be heard.                                      
  CHAIR BUNDE asserted that he did not want to hear testimony                  
  first and then change the bill.  He indicated that HB 210 as                 
  amended was before the committee.  He asked for                              
  teleconference testimony.                                                    
  Number 498                                                                   
  DON RENFROE, Superintendent, Dillingham City School                          
  District, testified via teleconference in opposition to HB
  210.  He stated the bill shouldn't even be before the                        
  REP. MARTIN asked which committee should address the                         
  MR. RENFROE asserted that the proposal should be a local                     
  decision, not the legislature's.  He indicated that                          
  currently districts have the option of combining or                          
  combining other services.  He felt that a district should                    
  not be forced to make the decision.  He felt it would be                     
  very difficult for a superintendent to serve on two                          
  different school boards with two different educational                       
  plans.  He further indicated that in small districts                         
  superintendents generally do not have staff.  He explained                   
  that there generally is a superintendent, a secretary, an                    
  accountant, and perhaps a principle that serves more than                    
  one school.  Mr. Renfroe asserted that superintendents wear                  
  many hats and they are curriculum directors, personnel                       
  directors, public relations directors, and contract                          
  Number 609                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if Mr. Renfroe was a superintendent.                       
  MR. RENFROE identified himself as being the superintendent                   
  for the Dillingham City School District.  He further                         
  indicated that the Anchorage School Board chose to hire 62                   
  nurses.  He said the salaries of those nurses would pay for                  
  all superintendents' salaries in districts with 1000 or less                 
  ADM in the state.  He said he does not fault the Anchorage                   
  School District for hiring those nurses and said Dillingham                  
  would hire a nurse if they could.  He said the smaller                       
  districts should be able to hire a chief executive officer                   
  if they so choose.                                                           
  CHAIR BUNDE asserted that it is appropriate that HB 210 or                   
  any legislation that concerns education and state financing                  
  should come before the House HESS Committee.                                 
  Number 665                                                                   
  REP. VEZEY asked Mr. Renfroe if he was opposed to the bill                   
  because it prohibits a district from hiring a superintendent                 
  or would he support it if it removed the requirement that a                  
  school district must hire a superintendent.  He then                         
  indicated that current law requires a school district to                     
  hire a superintendent and the proposal would prohibit small                  
  districts from doing so.  He said it could be optional.                      
  MR. RENFROE said he does not think a school district can                     
  operate without a superintendent or a chief executive                        
  officer under the present laws of the state.  He felt                        
  districts should have the option of sharing a superintendent                 
  if they so choose.  He asserted that a school board cannot                   
  administer to a district.  There must be someone to carry                    
  out policy.                                                                  
  Number 714                                                                   
  REP. MARTIN indicated that Mr. Renfroe has half the amount                   
  of children in the Dillingham City School District than he                   
  does in Mountain View Elementary School, just one of eight                   
  elementary schools in his area.  He asserted that Mountain                   
  View Elementary would not want a superintendent for their                    
  school but would want more teachers.  He suggested that                      
  local school districts can choose to combine with another                    
  nearby district and use the excess money for instruction.                    
  He then indicated that the administrative payroll for the                    
  Dillingham City School District is $464,000.                                 
  MR. RENFROE said until someone defines how that figure is                    
  arrived at, he was unsure how it could be used as a                          
  comparison.  He asserted that his central office consists of                 
  himself and his secretary.  He said he reported principles                   
  in his report and asserted that most school districts did                    
  CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. McPhetres to testify.                                  
  Number 773                                                                   
  STEPHEN T. MCPHETRES, Executive Director, Alaska Council of                  
  School Administrators, testified in Juneau in opposition to                  
  HB 210.  He stated that the proposed legislation does not                    
  reflect any cost savings for the state.  He indicated that                   
  in current statute 14.14.130(d) it does not prohibit two or                  
  more school districts from sharing services of a chief                       
  school administrator.  He felt there was no reason to change                 
  current law.  He further indicated that local school board                   
  members are elected officials who are empowered to carry out                 
  policy and the operations of the districts.  He felt part of                 
  their responsibility was to hire a chief school                              
  administrator and to negotiate a reasonable salary and                       
  benefits just as they do with teachers and their salaries                    
  and benefits.                                                                
  MR. McPHETRES reiterated that superintendents wear many                      
  hats.  He stated that current statute already allows for                     
  what is being proposed in HB 210.  He said the school boards                 
  should have the responsibility as elected officials to carry                 
  out their role in the operation of school districts.  He                     
  felt the legislation was unnecessary.                                        
  Number 836                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the state would be saved the cost of                    
  one superintendents' salary if for example Dillingham City                   
  School District combined with Lake and Peninsula School                      
  MR. McPHETRES asserted that the state would not incur any                    
  savings as the money would still go to the district.  The                    
  school board would then decide how to spend the money.                       
  CHAIR BUNDE observed that funding education in Alaska is a                   
  challenge and asserted that it costs more to educate a first                 
  grader in the Lake and Peninsula School District than it                     
  does to send a student to Harvard University.  He suggested                  
  that if administrative overhead could be reduced, perhaps                    
  the foundation formula could be changed.  He argued that                     
  taxpayers and educators are tired of spending exorbitant                     
  amounts of money in the Bush.                                                
  MR. McPHETRES referred to statements made by Rep. G. Davis                   
  and said that the state has to "look at the big picture."                    
  Number 879                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY said that changing the make-up of the school                     
  district was not going to change the amount of funding.  She                 
  maintained that it is up to the school district to either                    
  hire or fire a superintendent and according to current                       
  statute they can do that.                                                    
  REP. MARTIN said it was his intention that a school district                 
  not be straddled with the mandate that requires that a                       
  superintendent be hired.                                                     
  Number 900                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked if, under current statute, a chief school                  
  administrator has to be hired.                                               
  MR. McPHETRES said yes.                                                      
  REP. TOOHEY asked if the superintendent could also be a                      
  MR. McPHETRES said yes.                                                      
  REP. MARTIN reiterated that the district is burdened with                    
  having to have a superintendent of schools.  He explained                    
  that Aleutians East Borough Schools finally combined with                    
  Aleutian Region Schools.  He said together the school board                  
  has more flexibility as to how they're going to spend the                    
  Number 944                                                                   
  MR. McPHETRES said that flexibility is available to all                      
  school districts at this time.                                               
  REP. MARTIN asserted that currently that flexibility is very                 
  REP. G. DAVIS explained that one way to satisfy the concerns                 
  of the general public and legislators is to reduce the wages                 
  of the chief administrative officer.  He said what needs to                  
  be addressed is what percentage of cost goes to                              
  administration.  He felt that changing the name to chief                     
  school administrator would accomplish nothing.  He asserted                  
  that the districts already have the option to combine                        
  districts and who to hire and what duties will be fulfilled.                 
  He reiterated that the legislation is micromanagement.  He                   
  felt that if the state reduces the foundation formula,                       
  school districts will find ways to make cuts, and it will be                 
  the responsibility of the school board to either lay off                     
  teachers or reduce administrative costs.  He argued that the                 
  state will continue to reduce ADM until districts and school                 
  boards become more responsible.                                              
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "I would like to observe that if we take                   
  the hypothetical case that I had mentioned, and we saved                     
  $300,000 in administrative costs, they buy that much more in                 
  teachers, and then we find that we have a teacher pupil                      
  ratio of five or six to one.  Then we find it much easier to                 
  change the ADM or the basic formula and say, `Wait a minute,                 
  you have way more teaching staff than any other part of the                  
  state.  It's time that you become more economical.'  At this                 
  point, it is very difficult to ask them to be more                           
  REP. MARTIN maintained that the proposal would give local                    
  districts more freedom.  He reminded the committee that                      
  every year single site school districts fight for more and                   
  more money.  He said the bill directly relates to those                      
  areas, which he feels receive more than enough money for                     
  ADM.  He reiterated that administrative costs need to be                     
  reduced and referred to contracts that include $750,000 life                 
  insurance coverage.  He indicated that administrative                        
  salaries are much more than that of teachers.                                
  REP. TOOHEY said decisions regarding contracts are up to the                 
  districts, not the legislature.                                              
  Number 047                                                                   
  REP. MARTIN asserted that the state straddles the smaller                    
  districts with having to have a superintendent.  He said                     
  current law says that districts can combine, but they don't.                 
  CHAIR BUNDE disagreed with Rep. Toohey.  He said school                      
  districts are spending state money and the state has an                      
  oversight responsibility.                                                    
  REP. TOOHEY asked if there should be stipulations in the                     
  bill that say a district will not pay more than a certain                    
  amount for an administrator, they will not have car                          
  allowance, and will not have life insurance.  She asked if                   
  the legislation would tell them how to manage their school                   
  REP. MARTIN said the legislation would say that schools                      
  would not have to have a superintendent.                                     
  CHAIR BUNDE said, "I would just observe, Rep. Martin, after                  
  last night's House session, the single site problem may not                  
  exist any more."                                                             
  REP. MARTIN said, "Then they'd be glad to get rid of all                     
  these superintendents."                                                      
  Number 067                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for further questions for Mr. McPhetres.                   
  He closed public testimony and opened the committee to                       
  REP. TOOHEY asserted that the bill is not needed.                            
  REP. MARTIN maintained that the legislation is needed so                     
  that some of the smaller districts will no longer be                         
  straddled with expensive administrative costs.  He said the                  
  excess money could be spent on many other things.                            
  CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no further discussion, asked the                        
  pleasure of the committee.                                                   
  REP. VEZEY made a motion to pass HB 210 as amended out of                    
  REP. TOOHEY objected.                                                        
  CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote.  Reps. Bunde, Vezey, and                    
  Kott voted Yea and Reps. Toohey and G. Davis voted Nay.                      
  Chair Bunde declared that HB 210 as amended was so moved.                    
  He then brought SB 225 to the table.                                         
  SB 225 - INSURANCE TAX CREDIT:  GIFTS TO COLLEGES                            
  CAROL CARROL, Legislative Aide to Sen. Jay Kerttula, Prime                   
  Sponsor of SB 225, stated that presently there is a tax                      
  credit available to most of the industry tax payers in                       
  Alaska regarding gifts to colleges.  She indicated that the                  
  one industry that does not have the ability to take the tax                  
  credit is the insurance industry.  She maintained that the                   
  situation was an oversight when the bill was enacted in                      
  1991.  The legislation would extend that tax credit to                       
  insurance companies.  She indicated that the bill provides                   
  that authorized insurance companies may take as a tax credit                 
  50% of the first $100,000.  She said the industry must be                    
  willing to donate an amount of money that they will not get                  
  credit for.  She explained that Sen. Kerttula believes it is                 
  a good idea to support higher education.  She then noted                     
  that WENDY REDMAN was on teleconference to answer questions.                 
  CHAIR BUNDE further noted that there were also people in                     
  Juneau waiting to testify.                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asked when the idea for the bill was conceived.                  
  MS. CARROL said she was unsure, but it was revised in 1991.                  
  She deferred to WENDY REDMAN.                                                
  CHAIR BUNDE indicated that due to technical difficulties,                    
  the committee was unable to hear teleconference testimony at                 
  that time.  He asked for further testimony.                                  
  Number 097                                                                   
  AL ALVAREZ, Vice-President, University Relations, Alaska                     
  Pacific University (APU), testified in Juneau in support of                  
  SB 225.  He stated that a few years ago legislation was                      
  passed to allow credit on a portion of a gift to an                          
  institution of higher education within Alaska.  He declared                  
  that the current legislation has been quite beneficial and                   
  indicated that the APU is very dependent on private gifts                    
  and grants for its support.  He reiterated that the                          
  insurance industry was overlooked when the current law was                   
  written.  He said it wasn't until APU approached local                       
  insurance companies for gifts to the university that it was                  
  discovered that insurance companies pay a premium tax under                  
  another section of the code.  He urged the committee's                       
  support of SB 225.                                                           
  Number 205                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if WENDY REDMAN was available for                          
  teleconference testimony.  He was then informed that MS.                     
  REDMAN had to catch a plane from Fairbanks and could no                      
  longer wait to testify.  He then asked for further                           
  testimony.  Hearing none, he closed public testimony and                     
  asked the pleasure of the committee.                                         
  REP. KOTT made a motion to pass SB 225 out of committee with                 
  individual recommendations and attached fiscal note.                         
  CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no objections, declared that SB 225 was                 
  so moved.  He then brought HB 354 to the table.  He                          
  indicated that LIEUTENANT CASANOVAS was available to answer                  
  questions via teleconference.                                                
  HB 354 - I.D. REQUIRED TO ENROLL CHILD IN SCHOOL                             
  Number 276                                                                   
  REP. CYNTHIA TOOHEY addressed HB 354.  She stated that the                   
  bill adds a new subsection to AS 14.30.710 that will require                 
  a person who initially enrolls a child in school to provide                  
  a birth certificate or other proof of identity to the school                 
  not more than 30 days after enrollment.  The school will                     
  notify the missing persons information clearinghouse if a                    
  child is enrolled under a name other than what is indicated                  
  on at least one of the child's identifying documents.  She                   
  further explained that law enforcement would be notified and                 
  requested to determine whether the child has been reported                   
  missing if a person fails to produce proof of identity and                   
  any previous school records.  The school will use a form                     
  that contains written notice informing the person enrolling                  
  the child that enrollment under a false name is a criminal                   
  offense and that failure to comply is a violation.  She                      
  asserted that passage of the bill could possibly help in                     
  locating exploited and missing children and it would be                      
  consistent with at least seven other states that require                     
  birth certificates upon enrollment.                                          
  REP. TOOHEY indicated that there was a committee substitute                  
  (CS).  She said the original bill as written requires the                    
  parents to produce any prior school records, which is not                    
  common practice.  A school will send records forward to the                  
  next school, the records are not given to the parent.  She                   
  indicated that the CS rectifies that issue.                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE asked SHEILA PETERSON to come forward to answer                  
  SHEILA PETERSON, Special Assistant to Commissioner Covey,                    
  Department of Education (DOE), testified in support of HB
  354.  She stated that the DOE is appreciative of the hard                    
  work that the HESS Committee staff has offered to the                        
  crafting of the CS.  She said the CS provides a mechanism to                 
  help the Public Safety Division identify missing children.                   
  She indicated that one of the sections in the CS addresses a                 
  situation where a child is using two last names, citing that                 
  the birth certificate may be in the biological father's                      
  name, but the child currently is using the step-father's                     
  last name.  She said the CS requires that at least one                       
  identifying document must have the name the child is                         
  currently using.                                                             
  Number 388                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY made a motion to adopt the CS for HB 354.                        
  CHAIR BUNDE, hearing no objections, stated that the CS for                   
  HB 354 was so moved.  He then asked LIEUTENANT CASANOVAS to                  
  Number 490                                                                   
  LIEUTENANT DENNIS CASANOVAS, Commander, Statewide Criminal                   
  Investigation Unit, said he would be available for                           
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if Lt. Casanovas was in favor of the bill.                 
  LT. CASANOVAS maintained that it was very possible that the                  
  bill would assist in identifying missing children and                        
  reuniting them with their rightful parents.                                  
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for questions.                                             
  REP. VEZEY said he failed to see the benefits of the bill as                 
  he felt that the children are in a safe environment at                       
  school.  He thought the legislation would just create a                      
  tremendous amount of paperwork.                                              
  CHAIR BUNDE responded that a child may be very young,                        
  kindergarten age, and it is very likely that a parent has                    
  kidnapped the child.  He also indicated that some children                   
  have been abducted as early as three years old and are not                   
  inclined to protest.                                                         
  Number 460                                                                   
  REP. TOOHEY asserted that there would not be extra paper                     
  work because children need proof of identification and shot                  
  records anyway.  She said the main thrust of the bill is to                  
  detect if there has been a kidnapping.                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE observed that parents have been known to falsify                 
  children's birth records to enable them to enroll their                      
  children in all-day kindergarten because it is cheaper than                  
  REP. KOTT asked Ms. Peterson if schools in Alaska have                       
  problems obtaining records from schools in other states.                     
  MS. PETERSON said to her knowledge there is no problem.  She                 
  indicated that statutes require a school that is receiving a                 
  transfer student to request within 14 days the records of                    
  the child from the previous school.  She further indicated                   
  that if a child transfers to an Alaskan school from an                       
  Alaskan school, the transcripts must be submitted within 10                  
  days after receiving the request.                                            
  Number 522                                                                   
  REP. KOTT asked how the requesting of a birth certificate                    
  could assist in ascertaining whether or not a child has been                 
  CHAIR BUNDE observed that when the child is first enrolled                   
  in school, a birth certificate is needed as identification.                  
  Then once that proof of identification has been certified,                   
  the record would follow the child to the next school.  He                    
  further explained that if records are coming from out-of-                    
  state, it can take a very long time to receive them and                      
  sometimes they are lost.  He indicated that there have been                  
  cases in Alaska where a noncustodial parent has moved to                     
  rural Alaska with the child.                                                 
  MS. PETERSON clarified that if a person enrolls a child as                   
  Johnny Smith, and that is not his name or the name that he                   
  was enrolled under in the previous school, and the school                    
  was unable to obtain the records by request, it would be                     
  assumed that the current school would follow up and                          
  ascertain as to whether Johnny Smith is really Johnny Smith.                 
  She explained that the school would then contact the missing                 
  persons clearinghouse.                                                       
  Number 591                                                                   
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if the process would be most useful when                   
  the child first enters school and establishes a positive                     
  identity.  Then the record of positive identity would follow                 
  the child.                                                                   
  MS. PETERSON said yes.                                                       
  CHAIR BUNDE asked if a child must establish positive                         
  identity every time there is a change of schools.                            
  MS. PETERSON indicated that a child would need identifying                   
  documents or a birth certificate if the child has not                        
  previously been enrolled in school.                                          
  REP. VEZEY said the legislation only applies to people who                   
  have not previously been enrolled in public school.                          
  CHAIR BUNDE indicated that a youth might register for the                    
  first time in high school because they were in a private                     
  school previously.  He asked for further questions.  He                      
  closed public testimony and asked for further discussion.                    
  REP. G. DAVIS made a motion to pass HB 354 out of committee                  
  with individual recommendations and accompany zero fiscal                    
  CHAIR BUNDE asked for objections.                                            
  REP. VEZEY objected.                                                         
  CHAIR BUNDE called for the vote.  Reps. G. Davis, Kott,                      
  Toohey, and Bunde voted Yea and Rep. Vezey voted Nay.  Chair                 
  Bunde announced that HB 354 was so moved.                                    
  Seeing no further business before the committee, CHAIR BUNDE                 
  adjourned the meeting at 4:07 p.m.                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects