Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/28/1996 02:05 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                                      
                         March 28, 1996                                        
                           2:05 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                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 HOUSE BILL NO. 529                                                            
 "An Act giving notice of and approving the entry into, and the                
 issuance of certificates of participation in, a lease-purchase                
 agreement for a centralized public health laboratory."                        
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 HOUSE BILL NO. 535                                                            
 "An Act relating to postsecondary education."                                 
      - PASSED CSHB 535(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 HOUSE BILL NO. 435                                                            
 "An Act relating to employment contributions and to making the                
 state training and employment program a permanent state program;              
 and providing for an effective date."                                         
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 384                                                          
 "An Act relating to payment requirements for retention in the                 
 Pioneers' Home; and providing for an effective date."                         
      - PASSED CSHB 384(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 HOUSE BILL NO. 348                                                            
 "An Act requiring that all official interviews with children who              
 are alleged to have been abused or neglected be videotaped or                 
      - PASSED CSHB 348(HES) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                  
 CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 159(HES) am                                            
 "An Act relating to advance directives for mental health                      
      - PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
 BILL:  HB 529                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               DATE                                        
 02/28/96      2912    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/28/96      2912    (H)   HES, FINANCE                                      
 03/14/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/19/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/26/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/28/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 535                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION                                          
 SPONSOR(S): HEALTH, EDUCATION & SOCIAL SERVICES                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               DATE                                        
 02/29/96      2962    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 02/29/96      2962    (H)   HES                                               
 03/05/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/05/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/07/96              (H)   HES AT  8:30 AM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/19/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/19/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/26/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/28/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 435                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                  
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   LABOR & COMMERCE, HES, STA, FINANCE               
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   3 FISCAL NOTES (2-DCRA, LABOR)                    
 01/19/96      2488    (H)   GOVERNOR'S TRANSMITTAL LETTER                     
 02/07/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/07/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/14/96              (H)   L&C AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 17                        
 02/14/96              (H)   MINUTE(L&C)                                       
 02/15/96      2772    (H)   L&C RPT  2DP 3NR                                  
 02/15/96      2773    (H)   DP: ELTON, KOTT                                   
 02/15/96      2773    (H)   NR: ROKEBERG, KUBINA, PORTER                      
 02/15/96      2773    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (GOV)                            
 02/15/96      2773    (H)   3 FNS (2-DCRA,LABOR) 1/19/96                      
 03/21/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/21/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 03/26/96              (H)   HES AT  3:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 03/26/96              (H)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 BILL:  HB 384                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: PIONEERS' HOME - INABILITY TO PAY                                
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) ROKEBERG                                        
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 12/29/95      2366    (H)   PREFILE RELEASED                                  
 01/08/96      2367    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/08/96      2367    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, HES, FINANCE                       
 02/15/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/15/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/21/96      2827    (H)   STA RPT  CS(STA) 3DP 1NR 3AM                      
 02/21/96      2828    (H)   DP: JAMES, OGAN, PORTER                           
 02/21/96      2828    (H)   NR: IVAN                                          
 02/21/96      2828    (H)   AM: WILLIS, ROBINSON, GREEN                       
 02/21/96      2828    (H)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (ADM)                            
 03/28/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  HB 348                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) JAMES,Therriault,Kelly,Toohey                   
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 05/13/95      2173    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 05/13/95      2174    (H)   STATE AFFAIRS, HES, JUD, FINANCE                  
 08/26/95              (H)   STA AT  1:00 PM                                   
 08/26/95              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 01/08/96      2383    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KELLY, TOOHEY                       
 01/23/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 01/23/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 02/10/96              (H)   STA AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 102                       
 02/10/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/07/96              (H)   STA AT  8:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 03/07/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/09/96              (H)   STA AT 10:00 AM CAPITOL 102                       
 03/09/96              (H)   MINUTE(STA)                                       
 03/13/96      3108    (H)   STA RPT  CS(STA) NT 3DP 2NR                       
 03/13/96      3109    (H)   DP: JAMES, PORTER, ROBINSON                       
 03/13/96      3109    (H)   NR: GREEN, IVAN                                   
 03/13/96      3109    (H)   2 ZERO FISCAL NOTES (DHSS, DPS)                   
 03/28/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 BILL:  SB 159                                                               
 SPONSOR(S): SENATOR(S) RIEGER, Ellis, Taylor, Salo, Duncan,                   
 Zharoff, Lincoln;                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE(S) Toohey                                                      
 JRN-DATE     JRN-PG               ACTION                                      
 04/13/95      1026    (S)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 04/13/95      1026    (S)   HES, JUD                                          
 02/14/96              (S)   HES AT  9:00 AM BUTROVICH ROOM 205                
 02/14/96              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/14/96              (S)   MINUTE(HES)                                       
 02/15/96      2444    (S)   HES CS 4DP 1NR            SAME TITLE              
 02/15/96      2444    (S)   ZERO FISCAL NOTE (DHSS)                           
 02/15/96      2447    (S)   COSPONSOR(S):  ELLIS                              
 03/13/96              (S)   JUD AT  1:30 PM BELTZ ROOM 211                    
 03/13/96              (S)   MINUTE(JUD)                                       
 03/14/96      2734    (S)   JUD RPT  5DP (HES)CS                              
 03/14/96      2734    (S)   PREVIOUS ZERO FN (DHSS)                           
 03/18/96              (S)   RLS AT 12:20 PM FAHRENKAMP RM 203                 
 03/20/96      2806    (S)   RULES TO CALENDAR  3/20/96                        
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   READ THE SECOND TIME                              
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   HES  CS ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                      
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   AM NO  1     ADOPTED UNAN CONSENT                 
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   ADVANCED TO THIRD READING UNAN                    
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   READ THE THIRD TIME  CSSB 159(HES) AM             
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   COSPONSORS:  TAYLOR, SALO, DUNCAN,                
 03/20/96      2809    (S)   ZHAROFF, LINCOLN                                  
 03/20/96      2810    (S)   PASSED Y20 N-                                     
 03/20/96      2817    (S)   TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                
 03/21/96      3233    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 03/21/96      3233    (H)   HES                                               
 03/21/96      3260    (H)   CROSS SPONSOR(S): TOOHEY                          
 03/28/96              (H)   HES AT  2:00 PM CAPITOL 106                       
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
 DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director                                             
 Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; and                             
 Executive Officer, Alaska Student Loan Corporation                            
 3030 Vintage Boulevard                                                        
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2113                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 535                                      
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General                                   
 Fair Business Practices Section                                               
 Department of Law                                                             
 1031 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200                                               
 Anchorage, Alaska  99501-1994                                                 
 Telephone:  (907) 269-5100                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 535                             
 MIKE FORD, Attorney                                                           
 Legislative Legal and Research Services                                       
 130 Seward Street, Suite 409                                                  
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-2105                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2450                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 535                                      
 KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Assistant Attorney General                               
 Civil Division                                                                
 Department of Law                                                             
 P.O. Box 110300                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0300                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3600                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 535                                      
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                             
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 21149                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-1149                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 435                           
 JOE ALTER                                                                     
 Box 20304                                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99082                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-6680                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 384, but in                   
                      opposition to CSHB 384(STA)                              
 ALISON ELGEE, Deputy Commissioner                                             
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110200                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0200                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2200                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 384                                      
 JAMES KOHN, Deputy Director                                                   
 Division of Senior Services                                                   
 Department of Administration                                                  
 P.O. Box 110211                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0211                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2159                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions on HB 384                             
 GENE DAU, Representative                                                      
 American Association of Retired Persons; and                                  
 Veterans of Foreign Wars                                                      
 Box 20995                                                                     
 Juneau, Alaska  99802                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-3816                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 384                           
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES                                                
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 Capitol Building, Room 102                                                    
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1182                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3743                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Prime sponsor of HB 348                                  
 DIANE WORLEY, Director                                                        
 Division of Family & Youth Services                                           
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 P.O. Box 1106330                                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0630                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3191                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 348                                      
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
 TAPE 96-34, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 The House Health, Education and Social Services Standing Committee            
 was called to order by Co-Chair Con Bunde at 2:05 p.m.  Members               
 present at the call to order were Representatives Bunde, Toohey,              
 Davis, Rokeberg and Vezey.  Members absent were Representatives               
 Brice and Robinson.  A quorum was present to conduct business.                
 HB 529 - APPROVE CENTRALIZED PUBLIC HEALTH LAB                              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE announced the first order of business to come before           
 the committee was HB 529, "An Act giving notice of and approving              
 the entry into, and the issuance of certificates of participation             
 in, a lease-purchase agreement for a centralized public health                
 laboratory."  He noted that testimony had previously been taken               
 and the committee had received written comments on the questions              
 that were raised at an earlier hearing on the bill.  He asked if              
 there were any additional questions from committee members.                   
 Hearing none, he closed public testimony.                                     
 Number 054                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE NORM ROKEBERG moved to pass HB 529 out of committee            
 with individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes.  Hearing           
 no objection, it was so ordered.                                              
 CO-CHAIR CYNTHIA TOOHEY stated she hoped the Department of Health             
 & Social Services would take into consideration the economic                  
 problems facing the state and keep the cost of the project under              
 budget as much as possible.                                                   
 HB 535 - POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION                                            
 Number 134                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE stated this was the second hearing on HB 535 after             
 many subcommittee meetings of the HESS Committee.  The committee              
 had a committee substitute before them.                                       
 Number 219                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to adopt CSHB 535, Work Draft 9-                
 LS1748\K, Ford, dated 3/27/96.  Hearing no objection, the committee           
 substitute was adopted.                                                       
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE arrived at 2:08 p.m.                                 
 Number 241                                                                    
 DIANE BARRANS, Executive Director, Alaska Commission on                       
 Postsecondary Education and Executive Officer, Alaska Student Loan            
 Corporation, said she had reviewed the committee substitute and               
 believed there were portions of the bill that support their                   
 commitment to make changes necessary for the financial success of             
 the loan program.  She pointed out the Executive Order introduced             
 by the Governor earlier in the session and disapproved by the                 
 legislature, would have consolidated all agency functions under one           
 board with a clear and distinct focus on the general welfare of the           
 program and their customers.  She said this legislation makes some            
 positive changes in the way of separating the institutional                   
 authorization function by leaving it to the staff of the Department           
 of Education, while moving the administration of the loan fund and            
 the loan program to the Department of Revenue under the Alaska                
 Student Loan Corporation.  This legislation does however, leave               
 unresolved the question of why two boards would continue to exist.            
 When she was asked the question of why the institutional                      
 authorization function was not simply transferred to an already               
 existing body within the Department of Education, the State Board             
 of Education, she was unable to respond with any convincing or                
 compelling reason.  Under this legislation there would still be               
 some inefficiencies of a state agency having to administer the                
 functions of separate entities without a clear basis for why one              
 would not suffice.  By that she was referring to the fact that the            
 Department of Education already is subject to direction by the                
 Board of Education, a Board that is subject to legislative                    
 confirmation and that is a function they could incorporate in their           
 existing activities already.  However, having raised these                    
 concerns, she pointed out the clear benefits to some of the changes           
 in the legislation.                                                           
 Number 385                                                                    
 MS. BARRANS said the size of the administrative body (the                     
 corporation under the bill) and the commission would be reduced               
 from 17 to 10, with 3 ex officio members.  This change would                  
 provide for some cost reductions similar to the fiscal note the               
 ACPE attached to the Governor's Executive Order.  It would also be            
 easier to arrange meetings and to conduct Board business because of           
 the smaller number of members and the expectation of achieving a              
 quorum with less trouble.  It does move the corporation to the                
 Department of Revenue and consolidates all administrative activity            
 with respect to the loan program into the one governing body.  It             
 also refines the focus on the financial basis.  The legislation               
 moves the institutional authorization function away from the loan             
 program to be staffed by an entirely separate governmental agency.            
 This would be part of refining the focus to eliminate the blurring            
 between institutional authorization activities and student loan               
 activity, which currently is a concern and does create some legal             
 liability for the loan program, as well.  It also provides cleanup            
 to the archaic or unnecessary language that currently exists in law           
 which was discussed previously.  She was appreciative on behalf of            
 the management team at the loan program, for the improvements over            
 the current situation that have been attempted in this legislation.           
 She reiterated that the Department of Education would probably have           
 some concerns with respect to having responsibility not only for              
 additional functions, but for overseeing the activity of another              
 board or commission.                                                          
 REPRESENTATIVE CAREN ROBINSON arrived at 2:12 p.m.                            
 Number 550                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referenced the institutional authorization function            
 being transferred to an already existing body - the Board of                  
 Education, and asked if the Board of Education had ever had a role            
 before where they authorized institutions?                                    
 MS. BARRANS said to her knowledge they have not; however, it is               
 certainly a goal of the current Commissioner of Education to look             
 at authorizing or accrediting institutions at the elementary and              
 the secondary level.  It would be a natural next step that the                
 board would look at the entire K-12+ spectrum of institutions                 
 within the state.                                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the Board of Education had been just K-12,            
 not postsecondary education to this point?                                    
 MS. BARRANS responded that was correct.                                       
 Number  649                                                                   
 TERESA WILLIAMS, Assistant Attorney General, Fair Business                    
 Practices Section, Department of Law, said she would be available             
 via teleconference to answer questions.  She advised the committee            
 that someone from the Attorney General's office would also be                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that Kathleen Strasbaugh was present from the            
 Attorney General's office as well as Mike Ford from the Division of           
 Legislative Legal Services.  He reiterated that HB 535 was an                 
 attempt to streamline the postsecondary education commission and              
 get it to the point of reflecting reality, while still maintaining            
 legislative oversight of the appointments to the board.  He asked             
 if there were any questions or further testimony on HB 535.                   
 Hearing none, he closed public testimony.                                     
 Number 710                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON asked why the decision had been made to               
 have the board confirmed by the legislature.  She recalled the                
 discussion that took place in the State Affairs Committee about               
 what groups could be confirmed and which ones could not.  It was              
 her understanding having this board subject to confirmation would             
 be in violation of the state Constitution.                                    
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the question was why his goal was to keep the             
 legislature involved with the postsecondary education commission              
 and the student loan process as much as possible.  He noted that in           
 discussions with the various attorneys, concern was expressed to              
 ensure that we were in sync with the state Constitution.  There is            
 always a possibility of court challenges and a variety of opinions.           
 However, the bill has been drafted so the postsecondary education             
 corporation maintains a quasi-judicial role; that is it meets on              
 appeals for the institutional authorization and is the ultimate               
 court of appeals, via the executive director, for loans to students           
 who were turned down.  In Co-Chair Bunde's mind that maintains the            
 quasi-judicial requirement that is necessary for legislative                  
 confirmation.  He asked Mr. Ford if he had correctly characterized            
 the bill.                                                                     
 Number 843                                                                    
 MIKE FORD, Attorney, Legislative Legal and Research Services, said            
 the power of the legislature to confirm flows from certain                    
 functions of the agency.  Under this draft, the agency would still            
 have a regulatory function over postsecondary institutions which is           
 a function it currently has, so the function is being maintained              
 for the commission.  By virtue of maintaining that, the legislature           
 has power of confirmation over the board members.  He believed that           
 in this particular draft the concept is to also have an influence             
 over the loan program, which would be moved to the corporation.               
 (Indisc.) the governing bodies of the corporation and the                     
 commission are the same people, that legislative connection is                
 maintained.  (Indisc.) have a power of confirmation over the                  
 members of the public corporation because they are wearing two hats           
 in this situation; they are also the head of the commission and by            
 virtue of the commission having regulatory functions, there is also           
 the power of confirmation.                                                    
 Number 906                                                                    
 KATHLEEN STRASBAUGH, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division,              
 Department of Law, said the two different boards do indeed have a             
 different status under the Constitution.  The loan corporation is             
 not subject to confirmation.  She noted in glancing at the latest             
 draft, it appeared to her the postsecondary commission is similar             
 to the status quo and has a variety of functions including                    
 regulatory activity.  There is a potential argument that the                  
 regulatory activity might subject this board to confirmation, but             
 it has never been confirmed and it has been the opinion of the                
 Department of Law since 1977 that it should not be.  She believed             
 the history had to do with that regulation is only a part of what             
 they do.  She pointed out that governors of both parties have                 
 tolerated legislative membership on the commission and in the loan            
 corporation, even though it's not constitutional because it didn't            
 spend a lot of time performing its regulatory function.  That                 
 approach had to do with the fact that it was not subject to                   
 confirmation and the trade-off was there were two legislators to              
 observe and participate.  Consequently, the history is that this              
 board is not subject to confirmation.  In her view there would only           
 be a strong argument for confirmation if the function was solely              
 regulatory.  She disagreed with the statement that the loan                   
 application function presents a regulatory or quasi-judicial                  
 function sufficient to bring the board under Article 3, Section 26            
 of the Constitution which states what boards are to be confirmed.             
 The processing of loans and taking appeals is incidental to the               
 main function which is to raise the money and to make sure the                
 program operates.  She commented there is a fairly substantial                
 amount of case law which supports the notion that the public                  
 corporations, as Mr. Ford said, are not subject to confirmation and           
 in particular, public corporations that float loans.  She thought             
 there was a fundamental difference as to what would happen if this            
 were to be argued, but no one has yet argued it, so that                      
 institutional dispute which has always been there would remain if             
 this legislation was passed.                                                  
 Number 1060                                                                   
 MS. STRASBAUGH said there have been boards with dual functions                
 before, so she couldn't say that a board couldn't wear two hats.              
 She noted that was previously done with the Personnel Board and the           
 Labor Relations Agency before they were split, but in both those              
 cases they were clearly regulatory and quasi-judicial.  At any                
 rate, she thought it would remain a substantially up in the air               
 question with respect to the postsecondary as it is drafted in the            
 committee substitute.                                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for Ms. Williams' comments.                              
 Number 1094                                                                   
 MS. WILLIAMS said she would defer the question of confirmations to            
 Kathleen Strasbaugh as that was her area of expertise.                        
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY noted there was legislative confirmation of           
 the PERS and TERS Boards.                                                     
 MS. STRASBAUGH said the appeals that come before those boards are             
 really substantial.  She represents the administrator in those                
 appeals and they are full trial type proceedings with evidence                
 being presented and it is one of their chief functions.  She said             
 there was some difference, at least in how much time they spent on            
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY agreed there was some difference, but asked if           
 their duties weren't almost the same.                                         
 MS. STRASBAUGH said they might occupy the same number of pages in             
 the statute books, although she thought it might even be shorter,             
 but one of their central functions is to hear those appeals.                  
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked what the disadvantage would be of having           
 legislative confirmation?                                                     
 MS. STRASBAUGH replied because it's not constitutional.                       
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said, "You can't tell me that the duties, if             
 you don't quantify them just list them, you can't tell me the                 
 duties of this new board doesn't look very similar to dozens of               
 other boards with legislative confirmation."                                  
 MS. STRASBAUGH disagreed with Representative Vezey.                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the past policy of the postsecondary education            
 commission sitting as a quasi-judicial body was to hear, with some            
 inconsistency granted, student appeals on loans from people who               
 were having problems with their loans.                                        
 MS. STRASBAUGH said that was correct.                                         
 MS. WILLIAMS said that is not a quasi-judicial role, as quasi-                
 judicial roles are viewed as more of a role of a lender making                
 decisions on what sort of leeway that lender is going to give under           
 the law.  It's not an APA hearing, for example.  It's a real                  
 distinction if the institution authorization (indisc.) clearly APA            
 and you're sitting with a quasi-judicial body determining what kind           
 of institutions will remain open.                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Williams to take it to the next step which           
 would be if an institution did not receive authorization and wished           
 to appeal to the board, would that be quasi-judicial in her                   
 MS. WILLIAMS responded yes, because they are sitting as the agency            
 under the APA that makes the ultimate decision of whether or not              
 that institution is going to stay open.                                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Ms. Barrans if people who have had problems              
 with their authorizations in the past have come to the board and              
 asked for an appeal.                                                          
 MS. BARRANS said she believed in the last five years, which is what           
 she could address with certainty, there had been one such appeal.             
 MS. STRASBAUGH asked to make a correction for the record that the             
 three members on the PERS are the Personnel Board, which makes                
 personnel rules and conducts hearings under the Personnel Act.                
 Number 1327                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE asked why the student was a nonvoting member?            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said one of the goals in reducing the membership of            
 the commission was to eliminate designated seats.  He has heard               
 that students have been assured that a student would be appointed             
 to the board, but we can't always depend on future executives being           
 as enlightened as this Governor.  He added it wasn't that he didn't           
 want a student, but the concern was that if a student had a seat on           
 the board, other people would lobby heavily for a seat as well and            
 the board would begin to grow.                                                
 MS. BARRANS referred to page 2, line 19, and said one of the issues           
 they had requested was that the loan origination fees be deposited            
 into the origination fee account.  She pointed out this is the                
 Alaska Student Loan reference, and the same language is in Section            
 30 of the committee substitute with reference to the Memorial                 
 Scholarship Loan.  She said the language in Section 30, has the               
 preferred reference where it simply indicates a direct deposit of             
 origination fees into the origination fee account, without the                
 subject to appropriation language.                                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE questioned what her intended goal was.                         
 MS. BARRANS responded the goal is to have consistent language with            
 respect to the treatment of the origination fee in both the                   
 Memorial Scholarship Loan Fund and the Alaska Student Loan Fund.              
 She thought it may have just been an oversight.                               
 Number 1458                                                                   
 MR. FORD said it is the belief of the Legislative Legal Services              
 staff that the Section 22 language should remain because the                  
 amounts are subject to appropriation.  To delete it was, while not            
 constitutionally significant, of some instruction to the public and           
 to the legislature.  With regard to the language in Section 30, he            
 didn't know why that hadn't been changed, but thought perhaps it              
 should be changed as well.                                                    
 Number 1515                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the committee members would be comfortable            
 with considering this as a conceptual amendment for technical                 
 MR. FORD stated he thought the language should be consistent.                 
 MS. BARRANS informed the committee that the bond counsel to the               
 corporation would have an opinion on whether or not these fees                
 would be subject to appropriation.  She suggested getting advice              
 from the corporation's bond counsel on the appropriate language,              
 which would be conveyed to Mr. Ford.                                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Mr. Ford if he had sufficient guidance from              
 the committee to make the language consistent.                                
 MR. FORD said he could phrase the question to make sure it was                
 clear to everyone:  The question is whether these fees are subject            
 to appropriation by the legislature?  He said legally they are,               
 that's why the language was included originally.  He added that he            
 would be glad to review it if the commission had a different                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE thought it was something that needed to be looked              
 at.  He referred to the last sentence on page 5 and the first                 
 sentence on page 6, and said he thought it had been duplicated.               
 Co-Chair Bunde mentioned it is very likely there will be a fiscal             
 note which meant the bill would end up in the Finance Committee so            
 these issues could be addressed in Finance.                                   
 Number 1599                                                                   
 MS. WILLIAMS suggested that "program" be changed to "programs" on             
 page 4, line 21.                                                              
 MS. STRASBAUGH referred to page 4, line 29, and said it needed to             
 be clear that under the procurement act and in general, that all              
 legal counsel is subject to the approval of the attorney general.             
 It doesn't mean that private counsel won't be retained from time-             
 to-time, but ultimately those contracts require the approval of the           
 attorney general.  The language in the committee substitute creates           
 some confusion because there are procurement code sections relative           
 to that.  She suggested that it might be better to leave out                  
 subsection (b) and have it track with existing legislation.                   
 MR. FORD said he had no problem with that suggestion.                         
 MS. BARRANS believed the language on page 3, line 6, should read,             
 "...a person representing the Department of Education..."                     
 MR. FORD pointed out "department" is defined as the Department of             
 Education in the Definitions Section of the bill.                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented that since the bill would definitely go to           
 the Finance Committee because of the fiscal note, he would like the           
 question reviewed about the appropriation and then it could be                
 addressed in the Finance Committee.                                           
 Number 1702                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved to pass CSHB 535(HES) to the next committee             
 of referral with individual recommendations and no fiscal note.               
 MS. BARRANS said that a fiscal note from both the Alaska                      
 Postsecondary Education Commission and the Department of Education            
 would be available on Monday, April 1.                                        
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE made a friendly amendment to the motion to include             
 "anticipated fiscal notes."  Hearing no objection, CSHB 535(HES)              
 moved from the House HESS Committee.                                          
 HB 435 - STATE TRAINING & EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM                                
 Number 1778                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON commented she had contacted Greens Creek to           
 find out what kind of involvement they planned to have in this                
 program.  She received a letter in response from the lobbyist                 
 representing Greens Creek which indicated their definite plans to             
 participate with the university in this program, in addition to               
 training of the individuals they plan to hire in the future.                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Dwight Perkins of the Department of Labor to             
 briefly address the concerns raised by committee members in the               
 last hearing on HB 435.                                                       
 Number 1806                                                                   
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Labor, directed committee members' attention to his             
 letter to Representative Rokeberg which addressed the question                
 concerning how the distribution of State Training & Employment                
 Program (STEP) funds is determined and what communities were                  
 located within each state delivery area (SDA).  In response to                
 Representative Rokeberg's request earlier that day about numbers of           
 people for each area, Mr. Perkins said he had the total numbers,              
 but apologized for not having it broken down by area.  He did                 
 however have the State Training & Employment Program subgrants by             
 service delivery area, which included statewide, Anchorage-Mat/Su             
 and Fairbanks SDA.                                                            
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY inquired as to Representative Rokeberg's reason for           
 the question; had he heard of anyone in Anchorage being denied                
 training by STEP?                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the nature of his question was based             
 on the idea that all the state workers throughout the state pay for           
 this, and his concerns were in regard to the methodology used in              
 applying these monies.  Therefore, he had asked the department to             
 supply information as to the numbers and dollars put into specific            
 communities and locales.  He didn't think it was unfair to ask the            
 department how much money goes to specific areas when they are                
 spending $3.5 million to $4 million.  Additionally, he was curious            
 about the formula used.  For example, the city of Wrangell is                 
 experiencing substantial unemployment because of the closure of the           
 mill and he wondered if there was anything in the formula that                
 would accommodate additional job training in a situation like that.           
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she could appreciate Representative Rokeberg's           
 thoughts, but asked how would people be trained in a profession               
 that is not ongoing in their community.                                       
 Number 1986                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said it was her understanding that through            
 the university system, the mining industry for example has                    
 contributed equipment and money to a small mine outside of Juneau.            
 When the underground mining training is offered in Juneau, there              
 are individuals that come from all over the state and when they               
 have completed the training they go work in other mines or fill               
 existing jobs in Juneau.  Therefore, it may not necessarily be a              
 program that's offered in a specific community to address a                   
 specific job need, but it brings people from all over the state who           
 get training and go to work in that field.                                    
 Number 2053                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said there was nothing in the formula                 
 mentioned in Mr. Perkins' letter that indicates general employment            
 and wondered if unemployed parents inferred that unemployment is a            
 major portion of the statistical formula for the allocation.                  
 MR. PERKINS said as was mentioned in his March 28 letter, the                 
 formula was updated annually using labor market statistics.                   
 Pertinent statistics, by service delivery area, include the number            
 of the six factors listed in his letter.  He said we're going after           
 a work force of people who are out of work, people who are looking            
 to upgrade their training skills, or workers making less than the             
 average annual wage.  He referenced Representative Rokeberg's                 
 concern about whether people were being trained in an industry                
 where there are no jobs, for example the mining industry, and said            
 yes, people have been trained and have gone to work in mines in               
 other parts of the state.                                                     
 Number 2132                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG expressed disappointment that the                     
 department wasn't able to furnish a better breakdown as to where              
 the money was going.                                                          
 MR. PERKINS noted that he had provided an extensive package of                
 information last week.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said the information contained the areawide           
 SDA, the Anchorage SDA and the Fairbanks SDA, but it didn't have              
 the names of individual programs.                                             
 MR. PERKINS pointed out there was a breakdown in committee packets            
 that showed the FY 95 actual statewide service delivery area grant            
 line items.  The total was footed through the breakdown of the                
 different names of businesses and training groups that had received           
 the amounts, the locations, and the total amount.  Unfortunately,             
 it didn't indicate the exact number of people, except for the                 
 Fairbanks service delivery area which specified the names of the              
 people, how much was spent, the industry specific on-the-job                  
 training, participants at UAF for training, upgrading skills, etc.            
 Mr. Perkins offered to provide Representative Rokeberg with the               
 information to his liking if Representative Rokeberg would let him            
 know exactly what information he was seeking.                                 
 Number 2254                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE closed public testimony.                                       
 Number 2259                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON moved HB 435 out of committee with                    
 individual recommendations and attached fiscal notes to the next              
 committee of referral.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted for the record there were corrected fiscal               
 notes.  Fiscal notes 3 and 4, and a new fiscal note from the                  
 Department of Community & Regional Affairs dated 3/18/96 were the             
 corrected fiscal notes.                                                       
 HB 384 - PIONEERS' HOME - INABILITY TO PAY                                  
 Number 2297                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG, Sponsor, said House Bill 384 provides a              
 statutory protection for the residents of the state's Pioneers'               
 Homes.  It has always been the policy of the state of Alaska not to           
 evict a resident if they did not have the resources or the money to           
 pay.  Currently, 86 of the approximately 600 residents of the                 
 Pioneers' Homes in the state do not pay the full rent.  He                    
 expressed concern that when the Governor, with the concurrence of             
 the Senior Commission in the state, advised and agreed to raise               
 significantly the rents in the Pioneers' Homes this year, the                 
 residents of the homes became very fearful of what was going to               
 happen to them.  He became aware of this because his mother is a              
 resident of the Anchorage Pioneer Home in the first level of basic            
 assisted living.  He noted for the record that his mother is fully            
 capable and has sufficient net worth to withstand any increase in             
 the rates, so that's not why he's interested in this bill.                    
 TAPE 96-34, SIDE B                                                            
 Number 001                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG commented that he has made many friends in            
 the Pioneers' Homes and his interest stems from the fear and                  
 concern he has seen in the eyes of those residents of the homes.              
 These people have extraordinary concerns because they know they               
 don't have the ability to meet the new rate schedules.  They are              
 fearful to this day because they don't understand how politics work           
 and the way the world works.  All they know is that the rates are             
 going up, they don't have the money to pay for it and are fearful             
 of being thrown out in the street.                                            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it was kind of ironic that he first              
 became aware of the legal circumstance and the lack of any                    
 statutory protection for the residents when Representative Davis,             
 Representative Robinson and he were on a subcommittee last year and           
 there was testimony by Director Connie Sipe as to the fact that               
 there was no statutory authority.  It's just something that all               
 residents of the state of Alaska truly believe because it has been            
 the policy since 1913 that no one would be thrown out due to their            
 inability to pay.                                                             
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said HB 435 memorializes the state policy             
 in statute.  He said normally most legislators are concerned about            
 the fiscal notes attached to their bills, but he felt he could take           
 the fiscal note and the footnote to the fiscal note and make it his           
 sponsor statement for this legislation.  The administration is                
 fully supportive of this bill.  It has a zero fiscal note as it               
 will not have any fiscal impact on the state because of the                   
 existing state policy.                                                        
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG directed the attention of the committee to            
 the Ombudsman Office report, specifically area 4 which states, "The           
 legislature should insist by either enacting statute or adopting a            
 resolution that the state agencies unwritten policies be set out              
 either in statute, regulation or departmental policy and procedures           
 manuals so that the affected members of the public are informed of            
 the policies and procedures that apply to them when dealing with              
 state agencies."  He said it has been the unwritten state policy              
 never to throw anyone out of a Pioneers' Home, and it needs to be             
 given statutory authority.  He referred to the memorandum in the              
 committee packets dated March 13, 1996, addressed to him from James           
 Kohn, Deputy Director of the Division of Senior Services and said             
 his mother's rate for the basic assisting living was $860 per                 
 month.  He noted that had been increased twice in the last two                
 fiscal years; this year there was no increase because they were               
 anticipating another raise.  In any event, it's been raised 10                
 percent in the two fiscal years it was raised.  Starting July 1,              
 1996, her rent will go up 50 percent to $1289, and there will be a            
 one-seventh increment each succeeding fiscal year.  In FY 98, it              
 will raise to $1718 which is about a 33 percent increase from the             
 current rate; $2147 in FY 99 which is a 25 percent raise, and so on           
 up to $3,862 in just seven years.  He said there is no question               
 this is a bargain.  He thought the committee should guard against             
 discussing the entire philosophy of the Pioneers' Homes, but on the           
 other hand the nature of these homes should be addressed which is             
 to provide a place of care.                                                   
 Number 174                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG noted this bill had a hearing before the              
 State Affairs Committee where committee members expressed concern             
 about the future fiscal realities of the state and the ability of             
 the Pioneers' Homes to exist.  Therefore, they insisted that a                
 change be made in the language to indicate that as of the effective           
 date of this bill, only those people who were presently residents             
 of the Pioneers' Homes would be protected as far as being evicted.            
 Thus, any future resident could potentially be evicted if they did            
 not have the money to pay.  Representative Rokeberg said he agreed            
 to the amendment only to move the bill along in the process, but as           
 the bill stands now with the State Affairs committee substitute, he           
 would withdraw the bill unless it was amended in the HESS                     
 committee.  He noted that he had prepared an amendment.                       
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to the memorandum regarding the rate                  
 increase and said obviously the Administration's goal was to raise            
 the rate in 2003 to the level of the estimated monthly cost, but              
 that's the monthly cost in 1996.  Using the basic assisted living             
 as an example, he pointed out that presently the cost to provide              
 the service is $3,000 more per month than the rent.  He questioned            
 when the cost to provide the service reaches $3,862 a month in the            
 year 2003 how will that relate to the actual cost?                            
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said that Mr. Kohn was available to respond           
 but he wanted to comment that those are the costs of the state                
 running an operation.  He said to him, that doesn't necessarily               
 mean what the private sector costs are and he believes there are              
 ways that monies can be saved even with the existing program.  In             
 other words, he believes that efficiencies could be implemented to            
 offset any inflationary costs (indisc.-paper shuffling).                      
 Number 303                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said he appreciated the amendment and agreed             
 wholeheartedly that segregating the new residents from existing               
 residents was wrong.  He also suggested that perhaps the logic                
 behind the State Affairs Committee was that the future fiscal                 
 impact was faulty by not having this language in the bill.                    
 Number 344                                                                    
 JOE ALTER testified that he had a deep interest in Pioneers' Homes.           
 He is currently serving as chairperson for a volunteer board made             
 up of representatives from each of the geographic areas where                 
 Pioneers' Homes are located.  He noted that once a year the entire            
 board visits each Pioneers' Home for the purpose of holding a                 
 public hearing in which the residents, family members and community           
 persons may participate.  He said that last fall the board visited            
 each of the homes, which is what led him to testify in opposition             
 to CSHB 384, but in support of the original HB 384.  He advised               
 that in the hearings throughout the state, there was fear expressed           
 that the rates would be raised in the Pioneers' Homes to help close           
 the fiscal gap and residents were concerned about what would happen           
 if they were unable to pay the rate.  The board debated these                 
 issues, but the board in its knowledge of the need to close the               
 fiscal gap and its need to make the payments more fair for each of            
 the residents, particularly those who could pay more than what they           
 have been paying, adopted a recommendation.  The recommendation was           
 made to the Governor in letter form dated October 9, 1995, that               
 recovery of the full cost of care be made over about a seven year             
 time period, with the idea the board was doing their part in trying           
 to cooperate in meeting the fiscal gap and yet dealing with people            
 in a humane way.  He said the residents expressed concern, even               
 more than before, about what would happen to them when they were              
 unable to pay their rent.  He noted the third paragraph of the                
 October 9 letter, states these are crossroads times in which we               
 need to define public policy in relation to the Pioneers' Homes.              
 He said particularly it needs to be defined for the comfort and the           
 ability to live a healthy life for those people who are now living            
 in the Pioneers' Homes as well as future residents.                           
 MR. ALTER stated with those thoughts in the background, he had no             
 other recourse than to say he supports the original bill.  He felt            
 that if the State Affairs committee substitute was adopted, a mixed           
 public policy message would be sent in that one group of residents            
 would be treated differently than the other residents.  He asked              
 what would happen to people if they were thrown out and who pays              
 the bill?  In his opinion, it would be the same person that's                 
 paying when they can't afford to pay, whether they're in a                    
 Pioneers' Home or outside of the Pioneers' Home.                              
 MR. ALTER said that since most of the people in Pioneers' Homes are           
 suffering from Alzheimer's or related dementia, and currently there           
 isn't any other place for them to go other than the Pioneers' Home,           
 unless they were sent to a mental hospital where the cost is                  
 significantly more.                                                           
 Number 543                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY noted there is no mental hospital that accepts                
 Alzheimer's patients.  The Alaska Psychiatric Institute does not              
 take Alzheimer's and Harborview is being closed.  She referred to             
 a letter dated December 15, 1994, from Connie Sipe, Director of               
 Senior Services, which states, "The new rates will be effective               
 beginning February 1, 1995.  If you have income or assets, you must           
 pay the rate charged.  If you do have sufficient income or assets,            
 please talk to the social worker or a business office staff member            
 for assistance.  No one who is unable to pay the full rate will be            
 asked to leave the Home or be discriminated against in any way."              
 She asked Mr. Alter if anyone has ever led him to believe there is            
 any other plan that would cause people not to believe the letter?             
 MR. ALTER responded that question comes up repeatedly from the                
 residents in the Pioneers' Homes.                                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked him if the residents were not made aware of             
 the letter.                                                                   
 MR. ALTER said yes, but generally when people address the issue               
 with the residents of the homes, it is usually prefaced with "It              
 has been the policy to do this, but we don't know what the policy             
 is going to be in the future."  He added that based on the past 80            
 years, the policy has been not to throw people out.                           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE made reference to the Board's proposal to the                  
 Governor that residents pay gradually up to the cost, and the                 
 memorandum from Deputy Director Kohn that indicates the cost in               
 2003 will be the same as the cost is now and said he didn't think             
 people were getting the full information.                                     
 MR. ALTER said Co-Chair Bunde's point was well taken.  The Board              
 was under the impression that the estimated cost for the year 2003            
 is estimated to be the full cost of care at that time for the type            
 of service that the homes are rendering.  He added that the homes             
 are gradually zeroing in on not being everything to everybody, but            
 focusing on where the greatest need can be met for the greatest               
 number of people.                                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said if mixed messages were being sent to the                  
 public, it needed to be stopped.                                              
 Number 682                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON thought some of the fears stem from the               
 residents hearing about government downsizing, budget cutting,                
 privatizing and not quite understanding how politics work.  For               
 many of them receiving a letter from the government indicating                
 there will not be a problem if they are unable to pay their rent is           
 not enough security for them.                                                 
 Number 735                                                                    
 ALISON ELGEE, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Administration,              
 testified that Co-Chair Bunde was correct in talking about the                
 potential for people to be misled about what the full cost of care            
 will be in the year 2003, but it is the department's intent to be             
 at full cost of care by dividing by the remaining number of years,            
 each year as the rate adjustments are done.  She said, "The concern           
 we had in trying to project what that cost of care would be is                
 that, when we look at the historical patterns of the Pioneers'                
 Homes, in fact we are appropriating less money today for the                  
 Pioneers' Home operations than we were three or four years ago                
 because the nature of the business has changed."  She emphasized              
 that the department would do everything they could to hold the cost           
 down in providing these services.  She commented that rather than             
 using some projected inflationary cost to demonstrate what that               
 rate would be, the department was basing it on today's full cost of           
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said he takes comfort that the department is working           
 toward an undetermined but real number at some time and people                
 would be kept informed.  He questioned the zero fiscal note and               
 asked if there was a fiscal note somewhere that reflected the cost            
 of the Pioneers' Homes?                                                       
 MS. ELGEE responded the Pioneers' Home budget is a part of the                
 Department of Administration budget and the proposal for FY 97                
 reflected an increase in the designated receipts that come from               
 residents based on this plan to raise rates effective July 1.                 
 Number 817                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked how diligent the department was in following            
 up on residents' assets and incomes?                                          
 MS. ELGEE replied the department was currently in the process of              
 drafting new regulations for the (indisc.-paper shuffling) rate               
 increases and the existing regulations will be substantially                  
 modified to more closely correspond to the spousal impoverishment             
 statutes for Medicaid, so people are not put in a position of one             
 family member living in a Pioneers' Home and another family member            
 still living in a private residence.  The department does not want            
 to jeopardize that kind of environment.                                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked if the department tracked the other assets.             
 She said it is very clear that an individual cannot live in a                 
 Pioneers' Home and then go to their empty home on the weekend.  She           
 was personally aware of cases in Anchorage where that was                     
 happening.  She objected to that because there were people trying             
 to get into the Pioneers' Home who don't have the money and qualify           
 for the original intent of the Pioneers' Home, which was to help              
 indigent Alaskans.  Her concern was if the department was not                 
 following up on this, then the services are not being provided to             
 the people who really need the service of the Pioneers' Home.  In             
 her opinion, this bill was not really needed because there is                 
 assurance that people are not going to be kicked out of the                   
 Pioneers' Home because of their inability to pay.                             
 MS. ELGEE stated that just one of the outcomes of the announcement            
 that rates were going to be raised, is that those individuals who             
 don't really need the services of the Pioneers' Home are in fact              
 relocating out of the Pioneers' Home.                                         
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked Co-Chair Toohey if there was an amendment to             
 the bill that would require enforcement of regulations.                       
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY thought the best thing to do was to review the                
 entire program.  She reiterated she just did not see the need for             
 this legislation.                                                             
 MS. ELGEE said as the department has gone into this regulation                
 development process, their attorneys have advised them that the               
 existing statute is being stretched to put into regulation the                
 statement that admission will not be disallowed based on ability to           
 pay or kick people out.  The attorneys would be more comfortable if           
 this policy statement was set in statute, and it would be helpful             
 to the department in that respect.  It has always been the policy,            
 and it is the department's intent to continue the policy, but they            
 would be on firmer ground if it was in statute.                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE commented he is a member of the Legislative Budget             
 and Audit Committee and if Co-Chair Toohey felt the regulations               
 were not being judiciously applied, he would be happy to                      
 investigate and precipitate an audit.                                         
 Number 1021                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked Ms. Elgee to respond to the statement           
 under number 3, reasons for termination of contract of the                    
 Pioneers' Home Assisted Living Contract which reads, "for violation           
 of the terms of the residential services contract, including                  
 failure to pay costs incurred under the contract."                            
 MS. ELGEE asked Mr. Kohn, Deputy Director of the Division of Senior           
 Services to respond.                                                          
 Number 1070                                                                   
 JAMES KOHN, Deputy Director, Division of Senior Services,                     
 Department of Administration, said the department is moving toward            
 implementing the assisted living legislation that was passed last             
 year and all the Pioneers' Homes will be assisted living                      
 facilities, which require under that legislation, that contracts be           
 drawn up between the resident and the Pioneers' Homes.  The                   
 contract in the committee packets is a draft of the contract and              
 changes have since been made.  For example, a parenthetical                   
 statement has been added following the statement referred to by               
 Representative Rokeberg which indicates it is based on the                    
 resident's ability to pay and advises residents of their rights               
 under the Administrative Code to apply for the stipend.  He pointed           
 out that couldn't pay and won't pay are two different things; there           
 have been people who could pay, but wouldn't pay and then there               
 have been residents who can't pay.  The department requires a full            
 disclosure of assets and income for residents who can't pay and               
 then the department determines what they are able to pay.  The                
 amount the individual is unable to pay is maintained in a ledger as           
 a debt to the state and if there is an estate at the time of the              
 resident's death, the department applies to the estate for the                
 indebtedness.  Often times there is nothing in the estate.                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY commented that often times there is a spouse living           
 in the original residence which she believes should certainly                 
 continue.  She questioned if the state has the ability to apply to            
 the estate at the time of the spouse's death.                                 
 MR. KOHN said the department's regulations at the present time are            
 unclear about that; however, they have attempted to put a lien on             
 the estate at the time of the resident's death so the estate                  
 couldn't be transferred without payment of the lien.  The                     
 department has done that at times; however, it is few and fairly              
 far between because usually when the resident gets to that point              
 there are not many assets left.  He reiterated that regulations are           
 being rewritten and will focus on the aspect of spousal                       
 Number 1260                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked where and when the department would have the            
 ability to collect Medicare?                                                  
 MR. KOHN said that Medicare is for hospital care.                             
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY interjected Medicaid, SSI or any help for people              
 who are unable to pay.                                                        
 MR. KOHN said he would not say never; however, he thought that with           
 certain changes at the federal and state level there is a                     
 possibility that in the next few years something like that could              
 happen.  He hastened to point out that if the federal government              
 caps the amount of money given to the state, it isn't really going            
 to help the state because it's not new money.  It appeared to him             
 that it would be better to get the new money from the residents who           
 can pay and decrease the dependence of the Pioneers' Homes on                 
 general fund monies by, they predict, 50 percent over the next                
 seven years rather than go after federal funds that most likely               
 won't be there.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the spend down requirement included the               
 residents' permanent fund dividend?                                           
 MR. KOHN replied it included all income to the resident.  He noted            
 the spend down requirement was not the same as it was for Medicaid.           
 The department requires residents to spend their assets to pay for            
 their rent, for their care and for their expenses.  However, in the           
 case of a spouse living in the original residence, the state does             
 not require the house to be sold; a lien is placed on it later on.            
 He added the department will probably place a lien sooner rather              
 than waiting until the resident dies.  He pointed out the                     
 regulations are fairly old and have been changed in bits and                  
 pieces.  He emphasized the whole Pioneer's Home system was built on           
 the premise that the resident is indigent; that's how it got                  
 started and it was that way until 1990 when the legislature changed           
 from giving preference to indigents to allowing people to come in             
 as their name came up on the list.  He informed the committee the             
 statute written for Pioneers' Homes is based on indigency, but for            
 about the last six years the program has been operating not based             
 on indigency.  He felt that was another reason to support this                
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if Mr. Kohn felt there was a need for an                 
 entire legislative cleanup of the statutes?                                   
 MR. KOHN replied absolutely.  He explained that the statute still             
 reflects a 15-year residency before getting on the waiting list for           
 the Pioneers' Homes, the levels of care in the statute are not                
 reflective of what is being done, the focus of the program has                
 changed and there are a number of things that are not longer                  
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if the department had any way of tracking the            
 average length of residency in Alaska.                                        
 MR. KOHN replied that 95 percent of people presently on the active            
 waiting list have been in the state in excess of 15 years.  Five              
 percent of people on the waiting list have been in the state for              
 less than 15 years and the average of that is about 7 1/2 years.              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY asked what the department's time frame was for                
 revising the statutes?                                                        
 MR. KOHN commented it is a very big job and the department is                 
 trying to start from the inside out.                                          
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she didn't even want to consider legislation             
 that would jeopardize that process in any way.  She commented that            
 she personally would like to see this bill stay in the HESS                   
 Committee until it is really needed.                                          
 Number 1546                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said it appears that the time is approaching             
 where we are differing public policy as it relates to the Pioneers'           
 Homes and he felt that Mr. Alter's argument for not accepting the             
 committee substitute was that it is different public policy.  The             
 wording in the committee substitute was fine with him in that it              
 didn't restrict the department from establishing an eviction policy           
 if that's what was needed in the near or far future and it assures            
 current residents that they won't be evicted.                                 
 Number 1660                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE didn't think there was anything that would               
 stop the legislature from revisiting the statutes associated with             
 the Pioneers' Homes if the need existed.  He felt it was the                  
 prerogative of the HESS Committee and this legislature to move on             
 this bill.  He added it addresses the needs now as well as the                
 needs of the future.  He moved the amendment presented by                     
 Representative Rokeberg.                                                      
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if there was further public                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said there was no one else signed up to testify.               
 GENE DAU, Representative for the American Association of Retired              
 Persons and Veterans of Foreign Wars, indicated he would like to              
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE withdrew his motion.                                     
 Number 1730                                                                   
 MR. DAU referred to Co-Chair Toohey's comment that residents of the           
 Pioneers' Homes do not need to be concerned about the rate increase           
 because the state will pay it and remarked that many of the                   
 residents do not understand politics nor do they know who the                 
 legislators are.  However, he felt it would be a sense of security            
 for residents if the current policy was placed in statute.                    
 Number 1837                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE moved to adopt Amendment 1.                              
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS objected.                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to the memorandum from Terri                    
 Lauterbach dated February 26, 1996, and said he believed the                  
 argument was made that CSHB 384(STA) establishes some shaky                   
 constitutional questions relating to the Pioneers' Homes.  He                 
 believed the Pioneers' Homes and its administration had been in the           
 courts enough and it was better to error on the side of safety with           
 respect to this issue.  He remarked there was no need to                      
 differentiate between the current residents of the Pioneers' Homes            
 and those individuals who will be there arbitrarily the day after             
 this bill is signed into law.  He doesn't believe the fiscal impact           
 is going to be associated with whether or not someone can be                  
 evicted, but rather people will pay what they can pay which is the            
 whole nature of the Pioneers' Home.  He said it's a community, not            
 a nursing home.  In his opinion the amendment goes a long way                 
 toward bringing the Pioneers' Home back to the ideal of a                     
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he didn't understand what the amendment             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the committee substitute states the provisions            
 of this bill only apply to the people currently in the Pioneers'              
 Homes and future residents could be evicted.  The amendment removes           
 that and provides that all residents be treated the same.                     
 Number 2025                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said he felt there was ample opportunity to              
 discuss with the department the impacts of this as it relates to              
 future policy.  He understood the intent and said he could pursue             
 this later, so he withdrew his objection.                                     
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY maintained the objection.  He asked if the               
 intent was to go back to the language in the original bill?                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG explained there was a slight change in the            
 wording with regard to income and assets.  He added that it does              
 take it back to the original bill in concept.                                 
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY sought clarification that the committee substitute            
 allowed an exemption only for current residents of the Pioneers'              
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE further explained that the amendment removes that.             
 He asked if there was further objection to the amendment.                     
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY replied yes.                                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG said it's clear that we can discriminate in           
 certain instances, but usually between different classes of people.           
 All the residents of the Pioneers' Homes are of the same class,               
 therefore, their constitutional grounds and equal protection clause           
 would be a lead pipe (indisc.), citing Vest and Zobel.                        
 TAPE 96-35, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 017                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON spoke in strong support of the amendment.             
 She did not support the change made to the bill in the State                  
 Affairs Committee and commented there was nothing to lose by                  
 setting this policy in statute.  She discussed the security it                
 would provide to the residents of the Pioneers' Homes to know  they           
 would not be subject to eviction if there were rate increases and             
 were not longer able to pay the full rate.  She urged committee               
 members to support the amendment.                                             
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for a roll call vote.  Voting to adopt                   
 Amendment 1 were Representatives Brice, Robinson, Vezey, Davis,               
 Rokeberg, Toohey and Bunde.                                                   
 Number 145                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE moved to pass CSHB 384(HES) out of committee             
 with individual recommendations and accompanying zero fiscal note.            
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
 HB 348 - VIDEO/AUDIOTAPE INTERVIEW OF ABUSED MINOR                          
 Number 291                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE JEANNETTE JAMES, Prime sponsor, said she had                   
 introduced a bill in the Eighteenth Legislature which required                
 mandatory videotaping of all interviews in suspected abuse cases.             
 That bill was hotly contested and had a large fiscal note.                    
 However, this year she thought a good compromise had been worked              
 out by deciding what they were hoping to accomplish, and that issue           
 was accountability.  The Department of Health & Social Services               
 admitted they wanted to establish accountability and understood               
 they were having a problem in that area, but they were willing to             
 do whatever needed to be done.  As a result, this legislation was             
 put together that doesn't make anything really mandatory, but it              
 sets up a criteria for the establishment of a working group between           
 the Departments of Public Safety, Education, Law and Health &                 
 Social Services to establish a most effective method of                       
 interviewing children that might include videotaping, audiotaping,            
 team interviews, note taking, documentation and enforcing the file            
 content standards which has been a big complaint in that enough               
 information has not been left behind after an interview has been              
 conducted.  One of her complaints about the interviews and why she            
 supported videotaping of interviews is that she thinks it is                  
 unnecessary to put children through multiple interviews.  Also, she           
 felt it was important to cause as little stress as possible on the            
 families.  She said frankly, the people who wanted her to file the            
 original bill, hate this piece of legislation and don't think she             
 has done anything.  She agrees this legislation is a far cry from             
 what they asked for and wanted; however, she feels it's a step in             
 the right direction.  She noted it doesn't have a fiscal note                 
 although she would liked to have had some funds for training and              
 equipment, but the department is willing to let it go forward                 
 without a fiscal note because they believe it is an important tool.           
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the State Affairs Committee had worked              
 hard on the bill and felt the language was about as good as it                
 could be.  She added the departments are being asked to put                   
 together some policies which will be made available to the public             
 for comment.  If there are some valid concerns raised, the                    
 departments would have the ability to change the policy.  She noted           
 there is a bill similar to her original bill currently in the                 
 Senate, but she didn't know the status of it.  The bottom line of             
 her interest is that HB 348 will make some difference.  It won't be           
 an overnight fix, but she felt it was very important that children            
 be treated kindly and when there is a suspected abuse or neglect,             
 not to make the child a victim twice nor make the family a victim             
 if they are not a victim.  There have been cases of suspected abuse           
 in which the staff of the department have been very ardent in their           
 duties to find the problem, when in fact the problem hasn't been              
 there.  There have been numerous discussions with the departments             
 involved on these issues and she is convinced at this point in time           
 that this will be a good thing to move in the direction of                    
 accountability and more respect for family unity.  She said the               
 only concern she has heard is that this legislation calls for a               
 work group of four people.  Originally, there were five which                 
 included two people from the Department of Health & Social                    
 Services; one from the department and definitely one from the                 
 Division of Family & Youth Services.  Concern was expressed that              
 the group was overloaded with Health & Social Services people.                
 Also, there had been discussions about a public member being                  
 included in the working group but they couldn't figure out how that           
 person would get chosen and who that person should be.                        
 Number 710                                                                    
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY expressed concern that there was no mental health             
 directive in this group.  She felt that good mental health                    
 directives were vital when dealing with traumatic children, and she           
 wondered which department would direct that.                                  
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said it would be the Department of Health &              
 Social Services.                                                              
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY felt it was important to have input from a child              
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES responded that she would have liked five                 
 people instead of four making the policy, but there was a problem             
 in the State Affairs Committee in deciding who that fifth person              
 should be.                                                                    
 Number 787                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON believed this bill had come around to be an           
 excellent piece of legislation.  She felt it definitely set out               
 accountability and she was not concerned with the number of people            
 in the work group.  She suggested that language could be added that           
 these four people shall work with all their existing divisions                
 which would address Co-Chair Toohey's concern.  She was confident             
 the commissioners of the departments involved would ensure the                
 people participating in the work group would be the working                   
 advisors for their respective department.                                     
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE noted that Diane Worley was present to testify and             
 asked her to come forward.                                                    
 Number 897                                                                    
 DIANE WORLEY, Director, Division of Family & Youth Services,                  
 Department of Health & Social Services, testified the department              
 supports HB 348 and extended the department's sincere thanks to               
 Representative James and her staff for their hard work on this                
 legislation.  She noted the department was extremely distressed               
 with the mandatory aspect of the first legislation Representative             
 James had introduced.  She stated this is the direction the                   
 department wants to be moving.  In fact she is already moving in              
 this direction with better training for her staff, particularly in            
 the area of interviewing, working jointly with the Department of              
 Public Safety in doing joint interviews, looking at when it is                
 appropriate to use videotaping and moving in the direction of                 
 audiotaping, whenever possible.  Based on Co-Chair Toohey's                   
 comments, she recommended that perhaps two people from the                    
 department could participate in the work group; one from the                  
 Division of Mental Health and one from the Division of Family &               
 Youth Services.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY interjected as long as the mental health person is            
 qualified.  For example, there are people involved with mental                
 health for geriatrics who are not qualified for pediatrics.  She              
 indicated she would like to see that included in the bill.                    
 Number 986                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIS said, "It appears the thrust of this group is            
 from a legal aspect, documenting and legal and I don't know exactly           
 what the file would contain - the purpose of all this.  But it                
 seems to me as indicated already, there's a psychological aspect              
 and I would think there would also be a medical aspect."                      
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said the file referred to in the legislation             
 is the file that is kept by the person interviewing the child.  She           
 noted that the problem experienced in the past was that notes were            
 taken when an interview took place and it turned out to be a                  
 suspected case not a valid case, so when the Ombudsman's Office               
 went to investigate, there was no record of what took place.                  
 That's what is being addressed by setting a standard of what  kinds           
 of things should be contained in the file to back up the action               
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY said she understood what Representative James was             
 saying, but on page 1, lines 7 and 8 state, "The interagency work             
 group to increase agency accountability for and to improve methods            
 of interviewing minors..."  She said there is a certain way to ask            
 questions of these children and if they are asked the wrong way,              
 you'll get a different answer.  She felt that aspect was very                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE referred to Ms. Worley's suggestion of changing the            
 composition of the work group and asked if this required an                   
 The response is inaudible due to more than one person speaking at             
 the same time.                                                                
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said it would change the number of                       
 representatives from four to five representatives.  Two would be              
 from the Department of Health & Social Services; one from                     
 children's mental health and one from the Division of Family &                
 Youth Services.                                                               
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked if changing the make up of the work group from           
 four to five would still maintain zero fiscal impact?                         
 MS. WORLEY nodded in the affirmative.                                         
 Number 1128                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROBINSON said Yvonne Chase who is the Deputy                   
 Commissioner of the Department of Health & Social Services is one             
 of the most knowledge people in the world; hence, she would rather            
 it be left to read two people from the department and as far as the           
 rest of the participants, she was certain the commissioner would              
 determine who the most qualified person was to participate in the             
 group.  She would like to leave the designation of the two                    
 participants in Health & Social Services to the commissioner.                 
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE asked for Ms. Worley's reaction.                               
 Number 1190                                                                   
 MS. WORLEY felt there was validity in both arguments.  She                    
 understood Co-Chair Toohey's comments regarding children's mental             
 health, which is a big concern during the interview process and               
 also something the department deals with.  On the other hand, she             
 understood Representative Robinson's comments and concerns as well.           
 She didn't think the department would have a problem either way.              
 REPRESENTATIVE JAMES said since it is the family and youth services           
 and children's mental health issues we want to address, she would             
 feel more comfortable if it was so stated.  She added this is                 
 designed to be revamped with a new administration, so while we may            
 be comfortable with the individual now making the decision, she               
 felt it might be wise to state exactly what we want rather than               
 leaving it open to interpretation.                                            
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the amendment would change the language on page           
 1, line 12, to read, "two people from the department, one from the            
 Division of Family & Youth Services and one from the area of                  
 Children's Mental Health" and on page 1, line 9, delete "four" and            
 insert "five".                                                                
 Number 1261                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved to adopt Amendment 1.  Hearing no objection,            
 Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                      
 Number 1274                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG moved to pass CSHB 348(STA) am out of                 
 committee with individual recommendations and zero fiscal notes.              
 Hearing no objection, CSHB 348(HES) moved out of committee.                   
 Number 1300                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE said the next item before the committee was CSSB
 159(HES) amended, which was virtually identical to HB 318 that was            
 heard in the HESS Committee earlier and was now in the House Rules            
 Number 1309                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY commented HB 318 passed out of committee with five            
 "Do Pass" and one "Do Not Pass."  This bill allows the mental                 
 health directives.  She noted that her bill, HB 318, and Senator              
 Reiger's bill, SB 159 came to the exact same place at the exact               
 same time.  It was her agreement that he could certainly carry the            
 Number 1334                                                                   
 CO-CHAIR TOOHEY moved to pass CSSB 159(HES) amended out of                    
 committee.  Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                          
 CO-CHAIR BUNDE adjourned the House Health, Education & Social                 
 Services Committee at 4:01 p.m.                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects