Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/15/1996 03:05 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                                      
                       February 15, 1996                                       
                           3:05 p.m.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Representative Cynthia Toohey, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Con Bunde, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Gary Davis                                                     
 Representative Norman Rokeberg                                                
 Representative Caren Robinson                                                 
 Representative Tom Brice                                                      
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 373                                                          
 "An Act relating to educational benefits for family members of                
 deceased members of the armed services."                                      
      - HEARD AND HELD                                                         
 HOUSE BILL NO. 339                                                            
 "An Act relating to the termination of parental rights of                     
 incarcerated parents."                                                        
      - PASSED CSHB 339(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 HOUSE BILL NO. 60                                                             
 "An Act relating to impairment rating guides used in evaluation of            
 certain workers' compensation claims."                                        
      - PASSED CSHB 60(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
 HOUSE BILL NO. 30                                                             
 "An Act relating to a dress code for public schools."                         
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 73                                                             
 "An Act relating to licensure of manicurists."                                
      - PASSED CSHB 73(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                   
 HOUSE BILL NO. 354                                                            
 "An Act relating to a retirement incentive program for certain                
 employees of school districts under the teachers' retirement system           
 and the public employees' retirement system; and providing for an             
 effective date."                                                              
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 93                                                             
 "An Act relating to the duty-free mealtime for teachers in certain            
 school facilities."                                                           
      - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 373                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MARTIN,BARNES,Mulder,Foster,Kott,Ivan           
 JRN-DATE    JRN-PG                ACTION                                      
 12/29/95      2364    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2364    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2364    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 01/26/96      2548    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  FOSTER                             
 01/31/96      2586    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  KOTT, IVAN                         
 02/13/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 02/13/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 339                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG,Mulder,Robinson                        
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 05/08/95      1976    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 05/08/95      1976    (H)   HES, STATE AFFAIRS, JUDICIARY                     
 01/23/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 01/24/96      2528    (H)   COSPONSOR(S):  MULDER                             
 01/30/96      2573    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROBINSON                            
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB  60                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Rokeberg                                
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        36    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        36    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        36    (H)   L&C, HES, FIN                                     
 03/22/95              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 03/22/95              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 03/24/95       888    (H)   L&C RPT  4DP 3NR                                  
 03/24/95       888    (H)   DP: ROKEBERG,ELTON,KUBINA,PORTER                  
 03/24/95       889    (H)   NR: KOTT, MASEK, SANDERS                          
 03/24/95       889    (H)   2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (LABOR, ADM)                  
 01/23/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/02/96      2615    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG                            
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB  30                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: SCHOOL DRESS CODES                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) B.DAVIS,Rokeberg,Austerman                      
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        28    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        28    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        28    (H)   STA, HES                                          
 02/09/95              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/09/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/14/95              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 519                       
 02/14/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/21/95              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/21/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/23/95       463    (H)   STA RPT 1DP 1DNP 3NR                              
 02/23/95       463    (H)   DP: ROBINSON                                      
 02/23/95       463    (H)   DNP: OGAN                                         
 02/23/95       463    (H)   NR: JAMES, PORTER, WILLIS                         
 02/23/95       463    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DOE)                            
 02/23/95       463    (H)   REFERRED TO HES                                   
 02/23/95              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/23/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/01/95       550    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): ROKEBERG                            
 01/23/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/12/96      2739    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): AUSTERMAN                           
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB  73                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS                                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) BRICE                                           
 JRN-DATE      JRN-PG              ACTION                                      
 01/06/95        39    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/16/95        39    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/16/95        39    (H)   HES, L&C, FIN                                     
 01/16/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/16/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 354                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: RIP FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEES                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MACKIE                                          
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG                ACTION                                     
 12/29/95      2359    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2359    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2359    (H)   HES, STATE AFFAIRS, FINANCE                       
 01/16/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 01/16/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/15/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Aide                                                
 Representative Terry Martin                                                   
 Capitol Building, Room 502                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3783                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement for HB 373                   
 JAN RUTHERDALE, Assistant Attorney General                                    
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSHB 339                                    
 DIANE WORLEY, Director                                                        
 Division of Family & Youth Services                                           
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 110630                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0630                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3191                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSHB 339                                    
 LYNN STIMLER                                                                  
 American Civil Liberties Union                                                
 P.O. Box 102844                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99510                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 258-0044                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on CSHB 339                                    
 STEVE CONN                                                                    
 Alaska Public Interest Research Group                                         
 P.O. Box 101093                                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99510                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 278-3661                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 339 and HB 60                            
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 430                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3875                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 60 and HB 30                               
 SCOTT MCENTIRE                                                                
 6530 E. 16th Street                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska  99504                                                      
 Telephone:  (907) 337-8614                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 60                                       
 PAUL GROSSI, Director                                                         
 Division of Workers' Compensation                                             
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 25512                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-5512                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2790                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 60                              
 JIM SIMEROTH                                                                  
 Kenai Peninsula Education Association                                         
 811 Auk Street, No. 5                                                         
 Kenai, Alaska  99611                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 283-5177                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 30                                       
 ALICE MASSIE                                                                  
 P.O. Box 870212                                                               
 Wasilla, Alaska  99687                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 376-5874                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 73                            
 STORMY JOSTEN                                                                 
 4900 Palmer/Wasilla Highway                                                   
 Wasilla, Alaska  99654                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 373-8477                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 73                            
 DAGMAR STRANAK                                                                
 4900 Palmer/Wasilla Highway                                                   
 Wasilla, Alaska   99654                                                       
 Telephone:  (907) 373-8477                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 73                            
 RAY GOAD, Legislative Assistant                                               
   to Representative Tom Brice                                                 
 Capitol Building, Room 426                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3466                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 73                              
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE                                                   
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol, Room 404                                                       
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4925                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Sponsor of HB 354                                        
 DEBRA GERRISH                                                                 
 9202 Emily Way                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-3236                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 354                           
 SALLY RUE, Vice President                                                     
 Juneau Board of Education                                                     
 7083 Hendrickson Road                                                         
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 789-5516                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 354                                      
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-12, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee            
 was called to order by Co-Chair Bunde at 3:05 p.m.  Members present           
 at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey, Rokeberg             
 and Brice.  A quorum was present to conduct business.                         
 HB 373 - EDUC FOR FAMILY OF DECEASED MILITARY                               
 Number 025                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced the first order of business was HB 373,              
 Education for Families of Deceased Military.  He asked Tom                    
 Anderson, Legislative Aide to Representative Martin, to present the           
 Number 055                                                                    
 TOM ANDERSON, Legislative Aide to Representative Terry Martin, said           
 HB 373 is in response to the Yukla 27 airplane crash in which 24              
 service men lost their lives on September 22, 1995.  A review of              
 the statutes by Mr. Anderson revealed that currently members,                 
 spouses and dependents of service men only receive a free tuition             
 waiver from the university system in the event of a death in the              
 line of duty.   Representative Martin felt it would be appropriate            
 to expand that to include a stipend to pay for fees and expenses,             
 as well as free room.  Mr. Anderson said the fiscal note was based            
 on the assumption that two students per year would request these              
 benefits.  In the last six years, the tuition waiver has been                 
 requested by only four people, so there is no significant fiscal              
 impact anticipated.                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS arrived at 3:07 p.m.                                
 Number 216                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Anderson what the educational support is             
 under current law.                                                            
 MR. ANDERSON referred to Section 1, AS 14.43.085 which states in              
 part, "...member of the armed services and who died in the line of            
 duty or who died as a result of injuries sustained while in the               
 line of duty for the state or federal government or was listed by             
 the United States Department of Defense as a prisoner of war or as            
 missing in action."                                                           
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON arrived at 3:08 p.m.                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if someone serving in Bosnia qualified, why              
 didn't the service men in the airplane crash qualify.                         
 MR. ANDERSON responded they do qualify; HB 373 just expands the               
 current law to include room, board and fees.                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the four individuals who used this in the             
 past had just received tuition waivers.                                       
 MR. ANDERSON responded that was correct.  Of the 24 service men               
 that died, very few of them had children or spouses in the                    
 university system, but there's a few that would take part in this             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the cost of the room, board and books was             
 calculated with the advice of the university.                                 
 MR. ANDERSON replied that it calculates out to $6,800.                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if those costs were based on attending school            
 at a particular location.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON thought it was an average cost for the University of             
 Number 381                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE asked Mr. Anderson if he had an idea of              
 how many people were participating in just the tuition program.               
 MR. ANDERSON said based on information received from the                      
 university, four students have requested the tuition waiver in the            
 last six years.  He added that Representative Martin wanted to                
 further extend assistance to this group of individuals.                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if this applied only to the University of               
 Alaska system.                                                                
 MR. ANDERSON responded any state school.                                      
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY clarified this would not apply to an individual who           
 wanted to get their degree at a school out of the state.                      
 MR. ANDERSON said the individual would have to stay in the state of           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE clarified it would have to be a state school; for              
 example, this would not extend to a tuition waiver from APU, which            
 is a private school.                                                          
 Number 478                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Anderson if he knew what a                  
 Division 1 athletic scholarship at the University of Alaska                   
 Fairbanks would be worth.                                                     
 MR. ANDERSON replied no.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Mr. Anderson to explain the Alaska              
 Naval Militia.                                                                
 MR. ANDERSON said he had never heard of it until he read this bill.           
 He thought it was probably a subsidiary branch of the Armed Forces.           
 REPRESENTATIVE GARY DAVIS noted the fiscal note is not written in             
 the normal manner and actually reflects $13,600 not $13 million.              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said while this is a relatively simply bill, it is             
 the policy of the House HESS Committee not to pass a bill out of              
 committee the first time it's heard.  He asked Mr. Anderson if he             
 would research the question regarding the Alaska Naval Militia as             
 well as the cost of a Division 1 athletic scholarship.  He added he           
 supports the intent of the bill, but would like to have those                 
 questions answered.                                                           
 HB 339 - TERMINATE PARENTAL RIGHTS OF PRISONERS                             
 Number 589                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced asked Representative Rokeberg to give his            
 opening statements regarding HB 339.                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG pointed out the committee substitute,                 
 sectional analysis and a copy of a court case which were added to             
 the original bill packet.                                                     
 Number 663                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to adopt committee substitute                   
 9-LS1124\F dated 2/13/96, as the working document.                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any objections.  Hearing none,             
 committee substitute 9-LS1124\F was adopted for discussion                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the committee substitute addresses the           
 concerns that were raised at the last hearing and since then the              
 Department of Health & Social Services has brought to his attention           
 a new case that was adjudicated by the Alaska Supreme Court on                
 January 26, 1996, which has made a definite impact on their                   
 operations.  He felt it was appropriate to address the concerns               
 that were brought up in that case and as a result, Section 2 of the           
 committee substitute was added.  A purpose section was added to the           
 bill which specifically brings to the attention of not only the               
 legislature but the court system as well, the intent of this                  
 legislation to meet the requests of the Supreme Court in the both             
 cases; that is in Section 1(a) the S.A. and D.A. case and in                  
 Section 1(b) the A.M. case and Nada A. case.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to page 4, line 1 of the committee           
 substitute, and said the word "incarceration" was added to address            
 the concerns brought up at the last meeting about incarceration as            
 a result of a voluntary act committed by a parent.  On page 4 of              
 the committee substitute, language was added to overcome some of              
 the concerns expressed regarding the period of incarceration and              
 its sufficient length.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to page 2, Section 2, line 10 of             
 the committee substitute and said "caring or" has been deleted and            
 the words "and able" have been added.  He pointed out for the                 
 record that the draftsmanship does not remove the caring standard             
 from interpretation in this section, but it also meets the court's            
 concerns as expressed in the S.A. and D.A. case.  He directed                 
 committee members' attention to page 23 of the Supreme Court Case             
 which states "Mere `willingness' is not an acceptable alternative             
 to `caring,' and the legislature did not intend it to be."  It                
 continues that "willingness" which the statute demands must be                
 accompanied with the ability to provide care successfully.  Those             
 key elements are the reason why "caring" was deleted and "able" was           
 inserted in order to provide a higher standard of willing and able            
 in order to allow the court to find a child in need of aid.                   
 Number 939                                                                    
 JAN RUTHERDALE, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Law,                
 pointed out that Section 2, which was added, is really quite simple           
 and basically reflects where the department has been going up until           
 three weeks ago when the Supreme Court reversed course.  She said             
 it's not making something new, but it is fixing the law so the                
 department can go back to where they were up until three weeks ago.           
 It fixes it in two areas:  First, not only does a parent have to be           
 willing, ability has to be read into it and adding the word "able"            
 makes it clear that the parent has to be not only willing to care             
 and be providing care, but actually able to provide the care.                 
 Number 1057                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the Department of Law supports the bill.              
 MS. RUTHERDALE replied yes.                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said when he hears the word able, it raises                    
 questions in his mind about the mentally handicapped who may be               
 willing but not able to care for their children.  He asked Ms.                
 Rutherdale if this was getting into a grey area.                              
 MS. RUTHERDALE responded she didn't believe so, because that issue            
 has been litigated.  There is case law which basically says you               
 can't just terminate parental rights for example if a parent is not           
 able to care for a child just because they are mentally                       
 handicapped.  The court has said a condition is not conduct;                  
 parental conduct has to be looked at.  That doesn't mean a person             
 is protected from the state ever assuming custody just because they           
 are handicapped; they still look at if the parent can provide care.           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the use of the word "able" connotates                 
 conduct, not condition.                                                       
 MS. RUTHERDALE said that was right.  With respect to the changes              
 made regarding the termination, she thinks these changes do address           
 the concerns that were raised by the committee at the last hearing.           
 She had a personal concern with the way the bill was previously               
 drafted in that the court would say you can't get around the fact             
 that incarceration is not conduct, and she feels that issue has               
 been met straight on now by saying that it doesn't matter if                  
 incarceration is not conduct, the definition is being expanded to             
 include parental conduct and incarceration.  She believes the                 
 insertion of the language "sufficiently long to seriously damage              
 the parent and child relationship or to cause serious emotional or            
 physical harm to the child" in Section 3 will help all cases.  What           
 is really being looked at is how does this affect the child, and              
 she feels this is a much cleaner definition.  It focuses on the               
 child and what termination of parental rights can do for the child.           
 Obviously, if the parental condition or incarceration is not going            
 to continue to the point where it's going to be either damaging to            
 the parent/child relationship or causing serious emotional,                   
 physical harm, then the parental rights shouldn't be terminated.              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he assumed it was written that way to allow for           
 judgment in specific cases.                                                   
 MS. RUTHERDALE said that's right, it really is a case-by-case                 
 basis, but she feels it gives the judges a real clear standard to             
 judge the "likelihood to continue" issue.                                     
 Number 1243                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to the wording "likely to continue to           
 exist sufficiently long to seriously damage the parent and child              
 relationship or to cause serious emotional or physical harm to the            
 child" and asked if cigarette smoke, which over a long period of              
 time has been shown to cause serious physical harm, is a concern.             
 MS. RUTHERDALE said first you have to show that the child is a                
 child in need of aid.  It's a two part test.  She thinks                      
 Representative Brice's concern has been addressed because the child           
 would never become a child in need of aid.  Assuming the child is             
 in a safe foster care, it's rare where parental rights need to be             
 terminated to prevent physical harm unless, of course, the child is           
 Number 1322                                                                   
 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family & Youth Services,                  
 Department of Health & Social Services, testified in support of HB
 339.  The division feels the addition of Section 2 as well as the             
 changes made in Section 3 are positive changes for the best                   
 interest of the child.                                                        
 Number 1356                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said in the past there have been some                 
 feelings regarding foster parents getting involved and actually               
 adopting the children.  She believes it should be given some                  
 thought because she personally feels the foster parent should have            
 some rights to adopt the children if they've been caring for the              
 children and have shown to be good parents.                                   
 MS. WORLEY said Representative Robinson was absolutely right and              
 one of the goals of the Division of Family & Youth Services is                
 permanency planning for all children, whether that be continuing in           
 their natural family, returning to their natural family as quickly            
 as possible, or when that is not possible, to find a permanent                
 situation whether it be a guardianship, adoption, relative                    
 placement or whatever that will ensure the child a permanent place            
 and a permanent home with loving, caring and able parents.                    
 Number 1442                                                                   
 LYNN STIMLER, American Civil Liberties Union, said she had been               
 requesting the latest work draft of HB 339 from the Legislative               
 Information Office.  However, the LIO didn't receive it until about           
 3 minutes before the hearing started.  She received work draft C at           
 about 1:30 p.m., and it's very different from the version before              
 the committee.  She was fairly troubled because at least up until             
 work draft C, she had some serious constitutional issues to raise.            
 She said it was very difficult for her to give the committee                  
 (indisc.) testimony, but she would express her concerns, some of              
 which might not apply to this draft.                                          
 MS. STIMLER said up to draft C, the ACLU was concerned about                  
 perhaps unconstitutionally vague language regarding parents failing           
 to make adequate provisions.  Their concern was whether this was              
 open to a constitutional challenge under double jeopardy.  She                
 added new cases are moving through the federal courts where the               
 courts are holding that additional sanctions to prisoners amount to           
 double jeopardy.  The ACLU is also concerned about due process from           
 a prisoner perspective.  She thought there is an issue about                  
 whether incarcerated parents fit cleanly into this statutory scheme           
 and whether the incarcerated prisoner who is a single parent with             
 no family but does have a reasonable relationship with the child,             
 is going to have the ability to contest the termination proceedings           
 in a way that is in the best interest of the family.  She was also            
 somewhat concerned about how the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)              
 fits into this and whether that had been considered by the                    
 legislature.  She commented that a high percentage of the prisoners           
 are Native American.                                                          
 MS. STIMLER concluded that her overall concerns are not of the                
 caliber they would have been if the ACLU had been given a chance to           
 work with other organizations and formulate their testimony.                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE remarked the information had been sent out as                  
 quickly as the committee got it.  To ally some of Ms. Stimler's               
 concerns, he said HB 339 has a State Affairs Committee referral               
 after the HESS Committee, with a further referral to the House                
 Judiciary Committee.  He felt this would allow ample opportunity              
 for Ms. Stimler to testify on the various versions as it goes                 
 MS. STIMLER commented her goal was to ensure the legislature                  
 received quality testimony from the ACLU that can be relied on.               
 Number 1622                                                                   
 STEVE CONN, Executive Director, Alaska Public Interest Research               
 Group, said he was certain the Department of Law was not factoring            
 in the Indian Child Welfare Act and the related case law in its               
 entirety.  The impact of this on Alaska Natives and Alaska Native             
 families, in a legal sense, is going to be truly profound.  In                
 fact, it was Alaska and the termination of parental rights back in            
 the 70s, that led to the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act.             
 He thought there may be problems with cruel and unusual punishment            
 or double jeopardy.  Also, it may be perceived as a bill of                   
 attainder and certainly deserved a fiscal note because it is going            
 to create havoc.  When all the shouting is done, he'd like some of            
 the sponsors of this legislation to go to the Palmer Correctional             
 Facility on visitors day, watch inmates greet their children and              
 their loved ones and then ask yourself if it's not better for child           
 and parent alike that these relationships be sustained and                    
 maintained rather than rendered asunder by legislation such as                
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said he would appreciate Ms. Stimler                  
 contacting his office after her review of the draft committee                 
 substitute.   He reiterated the cases that generated this                     
 legislation are cited in the Purpose Section for case citations.              
 MS. STIMLER replied the ACLU would be contacting his office.                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony and asked what the wishes              
 were of the committee.                                                        
 Number 1717                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY made a motion to pass CSHB 339(HES) out of the                
 House HESS Committee with a zero fiscal note and individual                   
 recommendations.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                    
 HB 60 - IMPAIRMENT RATING GUIDES FOR WORKERS COMP                           
 Number 1750                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Representative Bettye Davis, sponsor of HB 60            
 if she had an opening statement.                                              
 REPRESENTATIVE BETTYE DAVIS, Sponsor of HB 60, said since the last            
 hearing on this bill she has run into a few situations and was                
 happy the HESS Committee was hearing the bill again.  She asked               
 Jonathan Sperber, Legislative Administrative Assistant, to join her           
 at the witness table.                                                         
 Number 1819                                                                   
 STEVE CONN, Executive Director, Alaska Public Interest Research               
 Group, said he was providing the committee with the amicus brief              
 that was filed in the Garcia case by the American Medical                     
 Association which addresses the AMA guides and their appropriate              
 use.  He encouraged committee members to take a good look at the              
 brief prior to voting on this bill.  The AMA makes it clear that in           
 Texas and he suspects in Alaska as well, the AMA guides, though               
 worthy in a certain scientific and academic sense, are being used             
 and abused because it was contemplated they would be combined with            
 other factors to determine the extent to which industrial use of              
 the worker's body would (indisc.).  Also, the AMA expressly advised           
 that one-to-one translation of impairment in disability is a use              
 not intended and totally discouraged.  Finally, no direct                     
 relationship or correlation between physical impairment which the             
 guides were designed to measure, had (indisc.) disability economic            
 loss or economic impairment was contemplated by the authors of the            
 guides.  He would rather the AMA do the talking for the AMA guides,           
 so as mentioned previously he would forward a copy of the AMA's               
 brief.  With regards to the futuristic focus on the drafting                  
 language and the adoption of as yet unwritten collateral material,            
 he deferred to Scott McEntire.                                                
 Number 1900                                                                   
 SCOTT McENTIRE testified from Anchorage that he is an injured                 
 worker who has been in the Workers' Compensation system four years            
 now and has had four evaluations performed under these guides with            
 four different results.  He said the guides are terribly                      
 inconsistent in their application.  He believes this particular               
 bill (indisc.) future editions of the guide that aren't even                  
 published yet is a violation of Article I, Section II, of the state           
 Constitution.  The Supreme Court has ruled that an agency cannot              
 adopt future amendments by reference and their reason stated was              
 "One reason for the prohibition against delegations of the future             
 of law making power of the state to private groups is that when               
 amendments are adopted by these groups, the public does not                   
 necessarily receive notice of or have an opportunity to comment on            
 or criticize the amendments as it does when they are adopted by the           
 legislature or promulgated under the Alaska Administrative                    
 Procedures Act."                                                              
 Number 1989                                                                   
 MR. McENTIRE said referred to "including supplementary materials"             
 and wanted to know what those materials were.  He knows the                   
 American Medical Association has published supplements to the 4th             
 edition of the guide, which is over 200 pages long and they also              
 have a videotape series of the proper use of the guides.  He asked            
 if those were included.  He pointed out HB 60 states the board                
 shall adopt a supplementary recognized schedule that can't be used            
 by the guides and he believes, by nature, any list is incomplete,             
 the guides themselves are a list and they're incomplete, adopting             
 another list will also be incomplete which is delineated in the               
 Gilmore decision.  Mr. McEntire asked the committee to consider             
 Justice Compton's dissenting opinion in the Rydwell v. Anchorage            
 School District decision before passing this legislation.                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE explained that current language indicates any            
 AMA guides can be used.  The proposed legislation would specify the           
 most recent guides were to be used and instead of having to go                
 through the Administrative Procedures Act to establish the newest             
 set of guides, the Department of Labor would be able to accomplish            
 that in a much more efficient, inexpensive way.                               
 MR. McENTIRE suggested reading (indisc.) Statutory Construction,              
 Chapter 4, particularly Section 4.05 and 4.11.                                
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS referenced Mr. McEntire's problem of having           
 been evaluated four times with different documents, and said under            
 this legislation, the most current guide would be used each time              
 which should alleviate that problem.  It was her understanding the            
 AMA supported HB 60.  One of the problems that was identified in              
 the hearing before the Labor & Commerce Committee was that it takes           
 too long for the regulations to be promulgated.  She pointed out              
 the Department of Labor was asked to start the regulation process             
 last April and it still isn't completed.  She does not want to                
 introduce a piece of legislation just for the sake of introducing             
 it, but she understood that it was needed.                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY expressed concern with the provision that requires            
 the board to begin using the new edition not later than 60 days.              
 She asked if there was a possibility it wouldn't be received within           
 60 days.  If so, wouldn't it be better to change it to 90 days.               
 REPRESENTATIVE B. DAVIS said she would not have a problem with it             
 being changed to 90 days.                                                     
 Number 2170                                                                   
 PAUL GROSSI, Director, Division of Workers' Compensation,                     
 Department of Labor, said it could probably be done within 60 days,           
 but 90 days would make it easier and less pressure for the                    
 department.  He pointed out if the committee doesn't pass this                
 legislation, current law will stand and permanent partial                     
 impairments would be rated according to whatever guide is in effect           
 by regulation.  The problem is the length of time involved in                 
 getting regulations promulgated and that problem will exist every             
 time the AMA guide changes and new regulations have to be passed.             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he thought a question had been raised as to               
 whether the AMA guide was the appropriate tool, which is not                  
 addressed in this legislation.  The AMA guide will remain the tool            
 that is used.  If there are concerns about having a different tool            
 or multiple tools available, that would require separate                      
 legislation.  This legislation makes the use of the current tool              
 more efficient.                                                               
 MR. GROSSI said he believed the case in Texas mentioned earlier was           
 on the constitutionality of using the AMA guide.  It was found                
 constitutional.  However, there were a number of questions raised             
 about whether this really talks about disability, and it is                   
 strictly permanent partial impairment which does not address                  
 disability.  Nothing in this legislation would change that, it                
 would just go back to a less efficient way.                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if 60 days would raise a problem for the                
 Department of Labor and if 90 days would make it easier.                      
 MR. GROSSI said 90 days would make it easier.                                 
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS reiterated that she had no problem changing it           
 to 90 days.                                                                   
 MR. GROSSI said with 90 days none of the doctors, insurance                   
 companies or employers would get caught using the wrong impairment            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY closed public testimony.                                      
 Number 2317                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG made a motion to adopt CS version 9-                  
 LS0293\C, dated 1/25/96, as the working document.  Hearing no                 
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 Number 2329                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY offered a friendly amendment to change 60 days to             
 90 days.  Hearing no objection, the amendment was adopted.                    
 Number 2343                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE made a motion to move CSHB 60(HES) out of                
 committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal note.               
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
 TAPE 96-12, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 010                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced that due to time constraints, there was a            
 possibility HB 354 and HB 93 would not be heard.                              
 HB 30 - SCHOOL DRESS CODES                                                  
 Number 047                                                                    
 JIM SIMEROTH, Kenai Peninsula Education Association, testified from           
 Kenai that he had no problem with this bill requiring students to             
 wear a uniform and certainly no problem with prohibiting students             
 from wearing the specified clothing.  He questioned the exclusion             
 in Section 1, (b)(3) and said if we have uniforms in the school,              
 then let's have all the students wear uniforms.                               
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said she believes the parent has a right to              
 decide whether they want their child to wear a uniform or not.                
 Since this is a permissive bill, it should be permissive to the               
 point of allowing a parent to opt out of the program.                         
 Number 115                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said along those same lines, he thought there            
 were certain types of constitutional questions when it gets into              
 religious practices, etc.  The exclusion in (b)(3) allows the                 
 necessary flexibility for parents to decide.                                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE pointed out the religious concerns were addressed in           
 the bill and that school districts currently have the ability to do           
 this.  He asked if there was further testimony on HB 30.  Hearing             
 none, he closed the meeting to public testimony.                              
 Number 152                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass HB 30 out of committee with             
 individual recommendations and attached zero fiscal note.  Hearing            
 no objection, HB 30 moved from the House HESS Committee.                      
 HB 73 - LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS                                            
 Number 171                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said at the last meeting the committee raised            
 a concern relating to the issue of artificial nails and the                   
 application of those nails.  He said the definition of "manicuring"           
 in Section 19 of the committee substitute has been expanded to                
 include artificial nails.  Additionally, there had been some                  
 concern raised by the Division of Occupational Licensing regarding            
 the length of time in transitioning.  It was his understanding that           
 180 days would give the division plenty of time to get the                    
 individuals who are grandfathered under this bill to apply and                
 become licensed.  He noted those two issues had been addressed in             
 Sections 19 and 20 of the committee substitute.                               
 Number 225                                                                    
 ALICE MASSIE testified via teleconference that as a long time                 
 stylist, instructor and salon owner in Alaska.  She said                      
 manicurists were licensed in the past and she thought it was a                
 great injustice that the licensure had been done away with.  There            
 are several health factors related to the industry.  The filing,              
 tools used, and the possibility of fungus are all factors and she             
 feels it is important to have licensure.                                      
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if Ms. Massie had any idea why the licensure            
 was taken away.                                                               
 MS. MASSIE said she didn't know exactly, but added that other                 
 states, for example Washington and California, that did away with             
 the licensure requirement, but now have re-licensure because of the           
 danger factor and misuse of products.                                         
 Number 321                                                                    
 STORMY JOSTEN testified via teleconference and echoed the comments            
 made by the previous testifier.  She has had individuals come into            
 the shop who have file burns and mold.  She commented because there           
 is a chance of blood contact, good sterilization techniques need to           
 be in place and the chemicals if used improperly, can cause some              
 serious health problems.  Given the risk of AIDS or hepatitis, some           
 of the things she has seen and experiences she has heard about is             
 really quite frightening.                                                     
 Number 392                                                                    
 DAGMAR STRANAK testified that she is a shop owner and had worked on           
 legislation three or four years ago which made it to the floor, but           
 was dropped because it was attached to another bill.  She, too, has           
 run into problems with improper application, cross contamination              
 because of product from two different lines being applied that                
 causes an adverse allergic reaction and fungus.  She feels that               
 regulations are needed, particularly in the area of the amount of             
 time an individual should spend learning the trade.                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was any further public testimony on             
 HB 73.  Hearing none, he closed public testimony.                             
 Number 538                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to adopt committee substitute for HB
 73, version 9-LS0358\F, dated 1/24/96.  Hearing no objection, it              
 was so ordered.                                                               
 Number 554                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved to pass CSHB 73(HES) out of committee           
 with individual recommendation and attached fiscal note.                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG referred to the fiscal note and asked if              
 this would actually generate revenue or end up being revenue                  
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE responded it would generate revenue through              
 program receipts every two years.  After further discussion, he               
 suggested that Representative Rokeberg may want to direct his                 
 questions regarding the fiscal note to the Division of Occupational           
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if Representative Brice could confirm           
 that it would have a positive rather than a negative fiscal impact.           
 RAY GOAD, Legislative Assistant to Representative Tom Brice, said             
 the Division of Occupational Licensing is 100 percent funded                  
 through program receipts; that is people applying for licenses pay            
 for the license and the cost of the examination.  The                         
 administrative costs are then borne by the amount of money the                
 division would charge for that license.  He believed the fiscal               
 note prepared by the Division of Occupational Licensing was revenue           
 neutral and reflected revenues collected in license fees, and then            
 go to the administration of examinations.                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there were any objections to the motion to            
 move CSHB 73(HES) with individual recommendations and attached                
 fiscal note.  Hearing none, it was so ordered.                                
 HB 354 - RIP FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPLOYEES                                  
 Number 740                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JERRY MACKIE, Sponsor, said he didn't have much to             
 add to his previous testimony in the last hearing, but in response            
 to the committee's request regarding what kind of savings would be            
 involved with the school districts, Representative Mackie provided            
 committee members with a copy of the estimated cost or savings                
 audit that was done by the Division of Legislative Audit in late              
 1991 and released in early 1992 which was the last time there was             
 a Retirement Incentive Plan (RIP).  The audit indicates the number            
 of school districts, the number of retirees they expected would               
 take advantage of it, and the estimated savings.  Representative              
 Mackie noted this is 1992 information and things are different now,           
 but he believes this gives a ballpark idea of the savings that                
 could be generated through a RIP of this nature.  He said                     
 collectively, with all the school districts listed in the report,             
 this generated nearly $23 million in savings to school districts              
 around the state.  He recognized that probably not all the                    
 districts listed would take advantage of a RIP, but he knew there             
 where some districts not listed that would take advantage of it.              
 He stated at that time, Anchorage suggested they could possibly               
 save $2.6 million, and he understood it would still be in that                
 ballpark.  The Kenai Peninsula School District testified in the               
 last hearing  they could possibly realize somewhere in the                    
 neighborhood of a $2 million savings.  A letter dated January 22,             
 1996, from the Juneau School District indicates a savings of as               
 much as $3 million through a RIP program.  The Hoonah School                  
 District, which is a small district, estimated they could probably            
 save somewhere around $340,000 in the first three years.  That is             
 a huge savings for a district that size.  He cautioned these were             
 estimated savings and added this is clearly an optional program               
 that each school district would need to look at and decide if they            
 wanted to do it.  He advised that school districts are currently              
 working on getting accurate projections for this year.                        
 Number 890                                                                    
 DEBRA GERRISH testified as a parent who has been sitting through              
 the budget crisis for the last two years and looking at different             
 approaches to filling in the gaps in support of HB 354.  She                  
 expressed concern over the increase in pupil/teacher ratio; it's              
 about 30 in the elementary schools.  She said passage of this                 
 legislation would allow more teachers to be hired.  The advantage             
 of this bill, as opposed to a local RIP, is that it allows the                
 school district several years to pay that retirement; whereas, with           
 a local RIP, the district has to come up with the money at the very           
 beginning.  Most of the districts don't have that money up front.             
 She urged committee members to pass HB 354 and to give the                    
 districts a tool that can be used to lower the classroom sizes.               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if there was any guarantee that the cost of             
 the teacher coming in would be quite a bit lower.                             
 REPRESENTATIVE MACKIE said he didn't know how a guarantee could               
 actually be written in to the bill, but noted the districts are               
 going to have to certify that a cost savings will be realized.  He            
 commented that most of the higher end teachers are in the $57,000             
 to $58,000 a year range, and most school districts' starting range            
 for a teacher is in the $30,000 to $32,000 a year range.  That                
 figures to be a $20,000 to $25,000 savings if a high end teacher is           
 retired and a new teacher is hired; that's where the savings would            
 be achieved.                                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said that Co-Chair Toohey's question was                 
 addressed on page 2, line 4 which states, "(b) The organizational             
 units of a plan must be selected so that implementation of the plan           
 results in maximum savings to the school district..."                         
 SALLY RUE, Vice President, Juneau Board of Education, testified the           
 Juneau School District is probably different from some districts,             
 but not terribly unique in that many of the teachers are at the               
 high end of the salary schedule.  More than half of the teachers              
 are at the top.  She said the Juneau School District is under                 
 tremendous pressure with the operating budget.  The budget                    
 currently being worked on for next year indicates a $675,000 budget           
 gap; the following year is projected to be over $1 million.  She              
 remarked that a couple of years ago, all the nontenured teachers              
 were laid off because it was the only way the district could afford           
 to keep the schools going.  As Ms. Gerrish mentioned, that did                
 increase the pupil/teacher ratio.                                             
 MS. RUE concluded there are over 60 teachers that could take                  
 advantage of this RIP and that does not include the three years               
 extra.  They have calculated it would save the district $100,000              
 per teacher over five years.  That would mean a huge difference for           
 the Juneau School District in being able to run the programs.                 
 Instead of increasing the class size each year, that money could be           
 used for more teachers so they can continue operating the programs.           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if there was further public testimony on HB
 354.  Hearing none, he closed public testimony.                               
 Number 1135                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS moved to pass HB 354 out of committee with               
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  Hearing no             
 objection, it was so ordered.                                                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the meeting of the House HESS Committee at           
 4:20 p.m.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects