Legislature(2019 - 2020)DAVIS 106

03/12/2020 03:00 PM House HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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03:07:08 PM Start
03:07:54 PM HB305
04:02:34 PM Confirmation Hearing(s):|| Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
04:35:28 PM State Medical Board
04:58:22 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
- Mental Health Trust Authority Board of
Trustees: Anita Halterman, Rhonda Boyles
- State Medical Board: David Boswell,
Richard Wein, Steve Parker
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                         March 12, 2020                                                                                         
                           3:07 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Chair                                                                                          
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative Geran Tarr                                                                                                       
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE BILL NO. 305                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the persons required to report child abuse                                                                  
or neglect or a threat of harm to a child; and providing for an                                                                 
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                        
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                        
     Anita Halterman - Eagle River                                                                                              
     Rhonda Boyles - Anchorage/Fairbanks                                                                                        
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
State Medical Board                                                                                                           
     David Boswell - Fairbanks                                                                                                  
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 305                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: MANDATORY REPORTERS TO OCS; JUDGES                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES                                                                                            
03/04/20       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/04/20       (H)       HSS, JUD                                                                                               
03/12/20       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
KATY GIORGIO, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented a sectional analysis of HB 305 on                                                              
behalf of the bill sponsor, the House Health and Social Services                                                                
Standing Committee, with the use of a PowerPoint presentation.                                                                  
GAYLE GARRIGUES                                                                                                                 
Children's Justice Act (CJA) Task Force                                                                                         
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during hearing on HB 305.                                                                      
PAM KARALUNAS                                                                                                                   
Children's Justice Act (CJA) Task Force                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during the                                                              
hearing on HB 305.                                                                                                              
CHRISSY VOGELEY, Community Relations Manager                                                                                    
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Office of Children's Services (OCS)                                                                                             
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions during the                                                              
hearing on HB 305.                                                                                                              
ANITA HALTERMAN, Appointee                                                                                                      
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) Board of Trustees                                                                  
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Alaska Mental                                                              
Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.                                                                                       
RHONDA BOYLES, Appointee                                                                                                        
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                          
Anchorage/Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                     
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as appointee to the Alaska Mental                                                              
Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees.                                                                                       
CHARLES McKEE                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  during the Alaska  Mental Health                                                             
Trust Authority (AMHTA) Board of Trustees confirmation hearing.                                                                 
DAVID BOSWELL, Appointee                                                                                                        
State Medical Board                                                                                                             
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified as  appointee to the State Medical                                                             
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  TIFFANY  ZULKOSKY  called  the  House  Health  and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:07  p.m.                                                               
Representatives  Zulkosky, Spohnholz,  Claman, Tarr,  and Jackson                                                               
were present  at the call  to order.  Representatives  Pruitt and                                                               
Drummond  joined  (via  teleconference)  as the  meeting  was  in                                                               
           HB 305-MANDATORY REPORTERS TO OCS; JUDGES                                                                        
3:07:54 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL  NO. 305, "An Act relating to  the persons required                                                               
to report child abuse or neglect or  a threat of harm to a child;                                                               
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
3:08:19 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
[Chair Zulkosky passed the gavel to Vice Chair Spohnholz.]                                                                      
3:09:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY introduced  HB 305 on behalf  of the bill                                                               
sponsor,  the House  Health and  Social Services  (HHSS) Standing                                                               
Committee.   She reminded  the committee  of the  presentation at                                                               
the 2/13/20  [HHSS Standing Committee] meeting,  entitled "Alaska                                                               
Children's Justice  Act Task  Force," by  task force  members Pam                                                               
Karalunas, Gayle Garrigues,  and Mike Hopper, PhD,  giving a 2020                                                               
update  on  child  abuse  in   Alaska.    She  relayed  that  the                                                               
Children's  Justice Act  (CJA) Task  Force is  federally mandated                                                               
and  funded;   the  CJA  Task  Force   identifies  areas  needing                                                               
improvement  in the  statewide response  to child  maltreatment -                                                               
particularly child  sexual abuse - and  makes recommendations for                                                               
actions  that the  state can  take to  improve the  system.   She                                                               
referred  to  the CJA  Task  Force's  recommendations during  the                                                               
presentation;  one  recommendation  focused on  closing  gaps  in                                                               
mandatory  reporters     individuals who  must  report  suspected                                                               
cases of child abuse    which will offer earlier interventions to                                                               
protect Alaska's  children.  She  stated that  by the end  of the                                                               
2/13/20 committee  meeting, there  was broad consensus  among all                                                               
committee  members to  join  the CJA  Task  Force in  championing                                                               
Alaska's  children and  families.   She  offered that  HB 305  is                                                               
aligned with  the recommendations  made to  the committee  in the                                                               
2/13/20 hearing.                                                                                                                
3:11:31 PM                                                                                                                    
KATY  GIORGIO,  Staff,  Representative Tiffany  Zulkosky,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature, on  behalf of  the  HHSS Standing  Committee,                                                               
sponsor of  HB 305, directed  the committee's attention  to slide                                                               
1, entitled "Section  1. Reporting of Imminent  Threat to Child,"                                                               
which read:                                                                                                                     
     Section 1. AS 22.35 is  amended by adding a new section                                                                    
     to read:  Sec. 22.35.040. Reporting of  imminent threat                                                                    
     to child.  "A judge of  the superior court  or district                                                                    
     court shall  immediately report  to the  nearest office                                                                    
     of a  law enforcement agency  of the state a  threat of                                                                    
     imminent harm  to a child  if the judge  has reasonable                                                                    
     case to  suspect that there  is a threat  that imminent                                                                    
     harm will occur  to a child between the  time the judge                                                                    
     issues  a   protective  order  under  AS   18.65.850                                                                       
     18.65.870 or  AS 18.66.100- 18.66.180 and  the time the                                                                    
     protective order is served."                                                                                               
     This  section may  be  problematic  (redundant) as  the                                                                    
     issuance of a protective order  is, in and of itself, a                                                                    
     report to  law enforcement  that there exists  a threat                                                                    
     of harm.                                                                                                                   
     There   have   been    recent   conversations   between                                                                    
     representatives  of   the  Alaska  Court   System,  law                                                                    
     enforcement, and OCS  regarding possible administrative                                                                    
     fixes  to address  gaps  related  to domestic  violence                                                                    
     protective orders.                                                                                                         
MS. GIORGIO  explained the administrative fixes  would consist of                                                               
a series  of "red  flags" for  a judge,  such as  the perpetrator                                                               
mentioning weapons  or harming a person.   She offered that  in a                                                               
subsequent version of the proposed  legislation, Section 1 may be                                                               
3:13:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO moved on to slide 2, which read:                                                                                    
                 AS 47.17.020 CHILD PROTECTION/                                                                                 
                   PERSONS REQUIRED TO REPORT                                                                                   
     PERSONS WHO,  IN THE PERFORMANCE OF  THEIR OCCUPATIONAL                                                                    
     OR  APPOINTED  DUTIES,  WHO HAVE  REASONABLE  CAUSE  TO                                                                    
     SUSPECT THAT A  CHILD HAS SUFFERED HARM AS  A RESULT OF                                                                    
     CHILD ABUSE  OR NEGLECT,  SHALL IMMEDIATELY  REPORT THE                                                                    
     HARM TO THE OFFICE OF CHILD SERVICES.                                                                                      
     AS  47.17.020  CHILD  PROTECTION/ PERSONS  REQUIRED  TO                                                                    
     REPORT HB 305 AMENDS SECTION  2 TO REPLACE THE LANGUAGE                                                                    
     "OCCUPATIONAL DUTIES"  AND "APPOINTED DUTIES"  TO READ:                                                                    
     (A) THE  FOLLOWING PERSONS WHO,  IN THE  PERFORMANCE OF                                                                    
     THE DUTIES  ASSOCIATED WITH A  POSITION LISTED  IN THIS                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO explained that Section 2 of HB 305 would reword AS                                                                  
47.17.020(a) for clarification.                                                                                                 
3:13:29 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO turned to slide 3, entitled "Current List of                                                                        
Mandatory Reporters, which read:                                                                                                
        square4 (1) practitioners of the healing arts                                                                           
        square4 (2) school teachers and school administrative                                                                   
          staff members of public and private schools                                                                           
        square4 (3) peace officers and officers of the Department                                                               
          of Corrections                                                                                                        
        square4 (4) administrative officers of institutions                                                                     
        square4 (5) childcare providers                                                                                         
        square4 (6) paid employees of domestic violence  and                                                                    
          sexual assault  programs, and  crisis intervention                                                                    
          and prevention programs                                                                                               
        square4 (7) paid employees of an  organization  that                                                                    
          provides  counseling or  treatment to  individuals                                                                    
        seeking to control their use of drugs or alcohol                                                                        
        square4 (8) members of a child fatality review  team                                                                    
          established under AS  12.65.015(e) or 12.65.120 or                                                                    
          the   multidisciplinary   child  protection   team                                                                    
          created under AS 47.14.300                                                                                            
        square4 (9) volunteers who interact with children in a                                                                  
          public  or private  school 20  for more  than four                                                                    
          hours a week                                                                                                          
MS. GIORGIO relayed that the  essence of the proposed legislation                                                               
is  the  addition of  categories  of  mandatory reporters.    She                                                               
referred to  slide 4, entitled    ection 2 Proposed  Additions to                                                               
Mandatory Reporters," which read:                                                                                               
        square4 (10) priests, ministers, and other individuals                                                                  
          who  are  ordained,   anointed,  or  appointed  to                                                                    
          perform religious duties                                                                                              
        square4 (11) individuals who work at public and private                                                                 
          animal  shelters,  whether  as paid  employees  or                                                                    
        square4 (12) individuals who are  employees  of   or                                                                    
          volunteers   with   a   fire   department   of   a                                                                    
          municipality,    including     firefighters    and                                                                    
          emergency medical technicians                                                                                         
        square4 (13) individuals appointed by a court to act as                                                                 
          guardians ad litem for children.                                                                                      
3:14:19 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO moved on to slide 5, entitled "Potential                                                                            
Alignment/Language   Clean-up   with   Mandatory   Reporters   of                                                               
Vulnerable Adult Abuse," which read in part:                                                                                    
                 VULNERABLE ADULTS (AS 47.24.010)                                                                               
        square4 (1) a physician or other licensed health care                                                                   
        square4 (2) a mental health professional as defined in AS                                                               
          47.30.915 and including a marital and family                                                                          
          therapist licensed                                                                                                    
        square4 (5) a guardian or conservator                                                                                   
        square4 (6) a police officer                                                                                            
        square4 (7) a village public safety officer                                                                             
        square4 (8) a village health aid                                                                                        
        square4 (9) a social worker                                                                                             
        square4 (10) a member of the clergy                                                                                     
        square4 (11) a staff employee of a project funded by the                                                                
          Department of Administration  for the provision of                                                                    
          services  to  older  Alaskans, the  Department  of                                                                    
          Health  and Social  Services,  or  the Council  on                                                                    
          Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault                                                                                  
        square4 (13) an emergency medical technician or a mobile                                                                
          intensive care paramedic                                                                                              
MS. GIORGIO  pointed out that mandatory  reporting for abuse                                                                    
of vulnerable adults - or elder  abuse - is also in statute.                                                                    
She offered that  after comparing the two  sets of statutes,                                                                    
she recognized  an opportunity to align  the definitions and                                                                    
make  improvements  to  statutory  language.   She  gave  an                                                                    
example:   (6)  a police  officer and  (7) a  village public                                                                    
safety   officer  under   the  vulnerable   adult  mandatory                                                                    
reporters  could  be  combined  into  one,  like  (3)  peace                                                                    
officers and officer of the  Department of Corrections under                                                                    
the child protection mandatory reporters.                                                                                       
3:15:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY  pointed  out  that  "a  member  of  the                                                               
clergy" is  listed under the  mandatory reporters  for vulnerable                                                               
adults  but not  under child  protection mandatory  reporters and                                                               
reiterated there is  opportunity for alignment of  the two lists.                                                               
She  mentioned a  forthcoming committee  substitute  (CS) for  HB
3:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  asked what the difference  was between the                                                               
two categories of mandatory reporters  - "a member of the clergy"                                                               
under  vulnerable   adults  [AS   47.24.010]  and   the  proposed                                                               
mandatory reporter category  for child protection under  HB 305 -                                                               
"priests,  ministers, and  other  individuals  who are  ordained,                                                               
anointed, or appointed to perform religious duties".                                                                            
MS.  GIORGIO   responded  by  referring  to   slide  6,  entitled                                                               
"Additional Language Fixes & Classes," which read in part:                                                                      
     (10) priests, ministers, and other individuals who are                                                                     
     ordained, anointed, or appointed to perform religious                                                                      
                          replace with:                                                                                         
     (10)  Clergy members,  including priests;  rabbis; duly                                                                    
     ordained,  commissioned,  or  licensed ministers  of  a                                                                    
     church;  members  of  religious orders;  or  recognized                                                                    
     leaders of any religious bodies                                                                                            
        Language is more inclusive of all types of clergy                                                                       
MS.  GIORGIO  stated  that she  researched  statutes  from  other                                                               
states to draft language that was  more inclusive than that in HB
305; in other  words, if someone is serving in  the capacity of a                                                               
clergy  member,  regardless  of the  religion,  he/she  would  be                                                               
included in the category.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  PRUITT  agreed  with the  importance  of  clearly                                                               
defining the category.                                                                                                          
3:19:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO referred to the second part of slide 6, which read:                                                                 
              ANIMAL SHELTER WORKERS / VETERINARIANS                                                                            
     (11) individuals who work at public and private animal                                                                     
     shelters, whether as paid employees or volunteers                                                                          
                          replace with:                                                                                         
     (11) individuals who work at public and private animal                                                                     
       shelters and veterinarian clinics, whether as paid                                                                       
     employees or volunteers                                                                                                    
     To include veterinary workers that may also see abused                                                                     
3:19:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  brought up the consideration  for internal                                                               
consistency in  Alaska Statutes and mentioned  statutes regarding                                                               
people who perform marriages in  Alaska.  He asked whether mental                                                               
health professionals,  social workers,  and village  health aides                                                               
are practitioners  of the healing arts  under AS 47.17.020(a)(1).                                                               
He expressed  the importance  of consulting  veterinarians before                                                               
adding them to the categories  of mandatory reporters.  He asked,                                                               
"How far are we going on some of these?"                                                                                        
3:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   ZULKOSKY  stated   that  the   intention  behind                                                               
introducing HB 305  was to create a starting  point for committee                                                               
conversation on the issue.  She  reiterated that there would be a                                                               
forthcoming  CS to  address additional  concerns.   She mentioned                                                               
that  her   staff  has  performed  outreach   to  the  veterinary                                                               
community regarding HB 305.                                                                                                     
3:22:30 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. GIORGIO  stated that she  sent the first  draft of HB  305 to                                                               
members  of  the  veterinarian   community,  and  they  expressed                                                               
concerns.   One  concern was  training of  volunteer staff.   She                                                               
said that  she very much  believes in stakeholder  engagement and                                                               
will ensure  that the groups  representing the new  categories of                                                               
mandatory  reporters  are  engaged   and  their  points  of  view                                                               
considered.    She  referred  to   the  full  list  of  statutory                                                               
definition  comparisons   in  the  committee   packet  indicating                                                               
definition crossovers and opportunities  to align definitions and                                                               
3:23:54 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ asked whether  "practitioners of the healing                                                               
arts" was defined in statute.                                                                                                   
MS.  GIORGIO referred  to  a legal  memo  listing the  categories                                                               
included  under  practitioners  of  the  healing  arts,  and  the                                                               
category  includes  physicians.   She  stated  that the  term  is                                                               
vague, she is not fond of it, but the list helps to define it.                                                                  
VICE CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  expressed the need for  more specificity as                                                               
she  did not  readily  recognize  a physician  as  being in  that                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY agreed and  mentioned that when she hears                                                               
"healing arts"  she thinks of  massage therapists,  not medically                                                               
licensed professionals.                                                                                                         
3:25:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GIORGIO  relayed  that several  more  categories  are  being                                                               
considered to  add to the  list - probation and  parole officers,                                                               
unpaid childcare volunteers, and substitute teachers.                                                                           
3:26:31 PM                                                                                                                    
GAYLE  GARRIGUES,  Children's  Justice   Act  (CJA)  Task  Force,                                                               
offered her support  for HB 305 on behalf of  the CJA Task Force.                                                               
She  stated  that  there  is   a  detailed  definition  under  AS                                                               
47.17.290(14), which read:                                                                                                      
     "practitioner  of the  healing arts"  includes athletic                                                                    
     trainers,  chiropractors,   mental  health  counselors,                                                                    
     social  workers,  dental hygienists,  dentists,  health                                                                    
     aides,  nurses,  nurse practitioners,  certified  nurse                                                                    
     aides,  occupational  therapists, occupational  therapy                                                                    
     assistants,   optometrists,  osteopaths,   naturopaths,                                                                    
     physical   therapists,  physical   therapy  assistants,                                                                    
     physicians,   physician's  assistants,   psychiatrists,                                                                    
     psychologists,  psychological associates,  audiologists                                                                    
     and  speech-language  pathologists  licensed  under  AS                                                                    
     08.11,  hearing aid  dealers licensed  under AS  08.55,                                                                    
     marital and family therapists  licensed under AS 08.63,                                                                    
     behavior   analysts,   assistant   behavior   analysts,                                                                    
     religious  healing  practitioners, acupuncturists,  and                                                                    
MS. GARRIGUES described the process  whereby a mandatory reporter                                                               
reports that  a child has been  injured due to abuse  or neglect:                                                               
the reporter calls the 1-800  number for the Office of Childrens                                                                
Services  (OCS)   [Department  of  Health  and   Social  Services                                                               
(DHSS)];  the  reporter  answers   questions  from  a  protective                                                               
services  specialist; the  reporter's name  does not  have to  be                                                               
disclosed, but if it is,  it is kept confidential; the specialist                                                               
checks the Online Resource for  the Children of Alaska (ORCA) for                                                               
prior reports; the  case is screened and a  determination made as                                                               
to  whether it  should  be pursued.   For  a  case that  warrants                                                               
further investigation,  it is referred to  the initial assessment                                                               
and  investigation unit;  an investigation  is  performed; and  a                                                               
determination  is made  as to  whether  the abuse  or neglect  is                                                               
substantiated and whether the court  system needs to be involved.                                                               
She explained  that what is  being asked  is that someone  with a                                                               
reasonable  suspicion or  concern -  a  low standard  of proof  -                                                               
report that  some harm occurred  to a child resulting  from child                                                               
abuse or neglect.                                                                                                               
3:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ clarified that  from her  experience filing                                                               
numerous reports, the  reporter does not always  speak to someone                                                               
on the phone.   She said that she has never  spoken to someone on                                                               
the phone but has left detailed  messages with her name and phone                                                               
number,  and sometimes  she gets  a  call back  depending on  the                                                               
action taken.   She pointed  out that there are  several decision                                                               
points in  the process in which  an action could be  taken or not                                                               
3:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  GARRIGUES offered  that  her experience  is  from the  court                                                               
phase of an  action and thanked Representative  Spohnholz for her                                                               
clarification.     She  expressed  her  support   for  the  broad                                                               
definition of  clergy under  HB 305.   She reviewed  the statutes                                                               
that refer  to clergy:   clergy is  not defined under  reports of                                                               
harm to vulnerable adults [AS  47.24.010(a)(10)]; there is a list                                                               
of people who may solemnize a  marriage [AS 25.05.261].  She also                                                               
mentioned the brief definition of  clergy under the [Alaska Court                                                               
System] Rules of Evidence, Rule 506(a)(1), which read:                                                                          
     A member  of the clergy  is a minister,  priest, rabbi,                                                                    
     or   other   similar   functionary   of   a   religious                                                                    
     organization, or  an individual reasonably  believed so                                                                    
     to be by the person consulting the individual.                                                                             
MS. GARRIGUES added  that under the rules, the  concept of clergy                                                               
is not  so broad as to  include self-determined, self-denominated                                                               
ministers.     She  said  that   there  is  case   law  regarding                                                               
communication with  a clergy  member who is  a counselor  and the                                                               
distinction between the two.                                                                                                    
MS. GARRIGUES offered her concern  regarding clergy as protectors                                                               
of offenders.                                                                                                                   
3:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  referred to  AS 47.17.290(14)  and pointed                                                               
out  "paramedics"  did  not  appear  to  be  included  under  the                                                               
definition of "practitioner of the  healing arts".  He reiterated                                                               
the  importance of  including clergy  as  mandatory reporters  of                                                               
child abuse and neglect, which had been lacking in statute.                                                                     
3:40:07 PM                                                                                                                    
PAM  KARALUNAS,   Children's  Justice   Act  (CJA)   Task  Force,                                                               
expressed her  support for HB 305.   She mentioned that  Dr. B.J.                                                               
Coopes and  Dr. Cathy  Baldwin-Johnson are both  on the  CJA Task                                                               
Force and both trained emergency  medical technicians (EMTs) from                                                               
around the  state.  Some  EMTs believed they should  report child                                                               
abuse and neglect;  others did not believe they  were mandated to                                                               
report because  EMTs are  not included  in statute  [as mandatory                                                               
reporters].   She said that  a child  who has witnessed  a brutal                                                               
crime  or  trauma has  suffered  and  must  be interviewed  as  a                                                               
witness and assessed  for needing services.   She emphasized that                                                               
EMTs have a rare opportunity to assist children early.                                                                          
MS.  KARALUNAS stated  that the  connection between  animal abuse                                                               
and child abuse is very well  documented.  It is not uncommon for                                                               
animal abuse  to be reported  before child abuse; the  very first                                                               
child  abuse case  in the  country had  to be  investigated under                                                               
prevention of cruelty to animal  laws because there were no child                                                               
abuse laws.   She maintained that people who  provide services to                                                               
animals need to be included  as mandatory reporters, and there is                                                               
free  online  training for  that.    She mentioned  that  several                                                               
states include  animal care providers as  mandatory reporters and                                                               
some pair  social workers with  animal control agents when  it is                                                               
known children  are in the home  when a report of  animal cruelty                                                               
is investigated.                                                                                                                
MS. KARALUNAS explained a concern  of the CJA Task Force relating                                                               
to educators.  She said  that despite educators being statutorily                                                               
mandated  to   directly  report  to  OCS,   some  educators  have                                                               
expressed  to  her  that  they   are  required  to  report  their                                                               
suspicions of  child abuse or  neglect to their  school principal                                                               
who in  turn would decide whether  a report needed to  be made to                                                               
OCS.   She  stated  that some  school  districts were  conducting                                                               
their  own  "investigations"  before  reporting  to  OCS  or  law                                                               
enforcement.    She emphasized  that  school  officials were  not                                                               
trained  investigators and  should  not  be investigating  felony                                                               
crimes such as child sexual abuse.   She stated Ms. Garrigues has                                                               
drafted  language that  the  committee may  want  to review  that                                                               
addresses this concern.                                                                                                         
3:44:53 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR SPOHNHOLZ  asked how  long the  free online  training                                                               
MS. KARALUNAS replied that the  training is still in development;                                                               
it  may be  about  four hours;  it  is designed  to  be taken  in                                                               
3:45:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  suggested that the requirement  for training                                                               
be  incorporated  into  statute  and be  available  on  the  DHSS                                                               
MS. KARALUNAS  concurred with both  suggestions.  She  stated the                                                               
current training  was available on  the DHSS website and  the new                                                               
training - when  complete - will be  there as well.   The goal is                                                               
for  the new  training  to  be complete  no  later than  November                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE   TARR  offered   her  assistance   with  drafting                                                               
language for the provision.                                                                                                     
VICE  CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ invited  the  representative  from OCS  to                                                               
3:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISSY  VOGELEY, Community  Relations  Manager, Central  Office,                                                               
Office  of Children's  Services (OCS),  Department of  Health and                                                               
Social   Services  (DHSS),   confirmed  the   mandatory  reporter                                                               
training was available  on the OCS website;  OCS also distributed                                                               
training via flash  drives; the training took about  one hour and                                                               
included many videos; and one  could print out a certificate upon                                                               
completion.  She  agreed there is currently  no statute requiring                                                               
mandatory  reporters to  provide  proof of  having completed  the                                                               
training.   She  suggested consulting  legal experts  in drafting                                                               
the  legislation  regarding  the   requirement  of  training  for                                                               
mandatory reporters.                                                                                                            
3:50:08 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT asked  what the burden is  on the mandatory                                                               
reporter  to recognize  the abuse  or neglect  and the  liability                                                               
ramifications of not recognizing it.                                                                                            
MS. VOGELEY  said she is not  a lawyer and not  familiar with the                                                               
ramifications  of  a  mandatory  reporter  not  reporting.    She                                                               
referred  to   the  issues  and   the  question   of  appropriate                                                               
consequences regarding enforcement for mandatory reporters.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  expressed his concern that  the people who                                                               
should  be penalized  be  penalized  and not  those  who have  no                                                               
experience with detecting child abuse and neglect and                                                                           
understandably missing it.                                                                                                      
3:53:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  said that the proposed  legislation was a                                                               
good  starting point  in that  it  would make  the categories  of                                                               
mandatory reporters aware of their responsibility.                                                                              
3:55:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  cited AS 47.17.068,  Penalty for  failure to                                                               
report, which read:                                                                                                             
     A person who fails to  comply with the provisions of AS                                                                    
     47.17.020 [child abuse or  neglect] or 47.17.023 [child                                                                    
     pornography]  and who  knew or  should have  known that                                                                    
     the circumstances gave  rise to the need  for a report,                                                                    
     is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  pointed out the high  standards of knowingly                                                               
and  willingly  failing  to report;  under  those  circumstances,                                                               
there would  likely be physical  signs and  indisputable evidence                                                               
that the child  was in harm's way.   She offered the  goal was to                                                               
have  "more eyes"  to keep  children safe,  not turn  people into                                                               
criminals due  to non-reporting.   She pointed  out there  was no                                                               
civil  penalty  in  statute; the  proposed  legislation  did  not                                                               
appear  to   add  any  undue  responsibilities   that  would  get                                                               
[potential reporters] in  trouble and was meant  to be practical.                                                               
She  maintained requiring  a one-hour  training was  a reasonable                                                               
ask and will try to put that in statute.                                                                                        
3:58:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  VOGELEY  mentioned  the  updates to  the  training  were  in                                                               
response to  HB 49 [signed  into law 7/8/19]; an  earlier version                                                               
of HB  49 required  an annual mandatory  reporter training.   She                                                               
offered   an  annual   training   might   have  been   considered                                                               
burdensome;  however,  for  an  inexperienced  volunteer,  annual                                                               
training could  possibly be considered a  positive reinforcement.                                                               
She confirmed  for Representative Spohnholz the  training was not                                                               
an annual requirement.                                                                                                          
3:59:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY reiterated  the intent  of the  original                                                               
draft of the proposed legislation was  to provide a narrow fix to                                                               
close some of  the reporting gaps and to have  more "eyes" in the                                                               
community to ensure that children  were kept safe.  She mentioned                                                               
her staff would  work with committee members on  the next version                                                               
of HB 305.                                                                                                                      
VICE  CHAIR  SPOHNHOLZ  commented   on  the  unified  support  in                                                               
committee for reducing child abuse and neglect.                                                                                 
[HB 305 was held over]                                                                                                          
4:01:22 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 4:01 p.m. to 4:02 p.m.                                                                       
[Vice Chair Spohnholz returned the gavel to Chair Zulkosky.]                                                                    
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                                     
^Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S):                                                                                
     Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                 
4:02:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY announced  the next  order of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation  hearings  for  appointments to  the  Mental  Health                                                               
Trust Authority Trust Board of Trustees.                                                                                        
4:02:48 PM                                                                                                                    
ANITA HALTERMAN, Appointee, Alaska  Mental Health Trust Authority                                                               
(AMHTA) Board of  Trustees, reviewed her work  experience - staff                                                               
during the  Twenty-Ninth Alaska State Legislature,  member of the                                                               
U.S. Army, seven  years as program manager for  the Department of                                                               
Health  and  Social  Services  (DHSS)   Division  of  Senior  and                                                               
Disabilities  Services  (SDS),  and  positions  with  the  Alaska                                                               
Department  of  Public  Safety  (DPS),  the  Iowa  Department  of                                                               
Corrections, and the Division of  Public Assistance for both Iowa                                                               
and Alaska.  She stated that  she has devoted her life to working                                                               
with underserved  populations and  finds it rewarding  to improve                                                               
the programs and systems that support them.                                                                                     
MS. HALTERMAN described her self-employment  work as a consultant                                                               
and independent insurance  agent as well as  an account executive                                                               
for  an information  technology  company.   She said  positioning                                                               
risk management  and human resource solutions  for businesses has                                                               
given her new  perspective about health care  needs for privately                                                               
insured  individuals and  expanded  her  understanding of  global                                                               
workforce issues  Alaska faced.   She  expressed her  interest in                                                               
using  her experiences  in helping  reform programs  in order  to                                                               
sustain  them for  the populations  who  needed them  most.   She                                                               
stated she  looked forward to  continuing efforts to  improve the                                                               
lives of  AMHTA ("Trust") beneficiaries -  working in partnership                                                               
with  DHSS  and  other  stakeholders   to  build  an  integrated,                                                               
comprehensive mental  health program that better  meets the needs                                                               
of the beneficiaries.                                                                                                           
4:07:31 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  referred to  the series of  issues that                                                               
have  been highlighted  over the  last couple  years illustrating                                                               
the failure  of Alaska's mental  health system to meet  the needs                                                               
of Alaskans  who experienced serious  mental health issues:   the                                                               
challenges at  the Alaska  Psychiatric Institute  (API) resulting                                                               
in it  not being  as safe  and therapeutic as  it should  be; the                                                               
lack of  community-based support;  the criminalization  of mental                                                               
health leading  to lawsuits;  and the  recent decision  of Alaska                                                               
Superior  Court Judge  William Morse  [to disallow  the State  of                                                               
Alaska from  housing psychiatric  patients in  jail].   She asked                                                               
what the Trust should do to address those significant gaps.                                                                     
MS. HALTERMAN  answered first the  Trust must examine  the issues                                                               
that have  failed Alaska in  the past;  the Trust had  begun that                                                               
effort.  She  stated she has followed API and  had great sympathy                                                               
for those affected.  She  expressed her conviction that the Trust                                                               
had an  obligation to meet  the beneficiaries' needs in  a better                                                               
way; it needed to listen to  the advocates who testified at Trust                                                               
meetings; these advocates have experience  with the mental health                                                               
care  system.    She  added  the  Trust  needed  to  protect  its                                                               
resources, properly allocate its  resources, and make investments                                                               
in  the  most financially  sound  way  possible.   The  resources                                                               
should  be  used to  employ  beneficiaries,  as well  as  provide                                                               
services.   The  Trust should  take a  more holistic  approach to                                                               
meeting the beneficiaries' needs.   The Trust needed to study the                                                               
past,  move  forward  with  new  technologies,  improve  systems,                                                               
engage  in   cooperative  efforts  and  partnerships,   and  work                                                               
collaboratively with  stakeholders and  the legislature  to solve                                                               
problems.   She maintained it would  not be easy; the  Trust must                                                               
think things  through in  a different manner;  it must  do things                                                               
4:10:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  asked whether  Ms. Halterman  intended to                                                               
stay with this appointment.                                                                                                     
MS. HALTERMAN responded that she  had made many sacrifices in her                                                               
life  working  for  DHSS;  she   didn't  do  this  work  for  the                                                               
compensation but to help people.   She said what motivated her in                                                               
her early career  continued to motivate her as  she moved forward                                                               
into  her later  years.   She acknowledged  serving on  the AMHTA                                                               
board  prevented  her  from  working  for  DHSS,  which  she  was                                                               
interested in doing; however, she  said that she was committed to                                                               
[AMHTA]  work and  would look  for opportunities  in the  private                                                               
sector,  which  would broaden  her  ability  to understand  in  a                                                               
better and more  meaningful way the issues that faced  all of the                                                               
stakeholders.   She offered  she is limited  in her  knowledge of                                                               
the  impact to  the private  sector,  because she  has worked  in                                                               
government  most of  her life.   She  maintained she  is devoted,                                                               
would stay  on the board  for the duration  [of her term]  if she                                                               
could  find  [private  sector]  work,  and  intended  to  make  a                                                               
significant difference through her contribution to the board.                                                                   
[The  confirmation  for Ms.  Halterman  was  advanced during  the                                                               
House Health  and Social Services  Standing Committee  meeting of                                                               
March 17, 2020.]                                                                                                                
4:13:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY moved on to the next appointee's testimony.                                                                      
4:14:06 PM                                                                                                                    
RHONDA BOYLES,  Appointee, Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Authority                                                               
(AMHTA) Board of  Trustees, reviewed her history:   she has lived                                                               
in Fairbanks since 1975; she  relocated to Phoenix to provide her                                                               
husband  with the  medical care  he needed;  she has  owned three                                                               
Wendy's  franchises  and  a  dinner   house;  she  has  performed                                                               
volunteer  work  with  various  service  organizations;  and  she                                                               
served as the  Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor,  a position in                                                               
which  she gained  budget and  land management  experience.   She                                                               
mentioned   her   financial   background,  explained   that   she                                                               
understood why the Trust was  developed, and said she believed it                                                               
to be  a brilliant entity  established to support  physically and                                                               
mentally  challenged beneficiaries.    She  cited her  experience                                                               
with her husband's  dementia and expressed a  special interest in                                                               
the  Trust's efforts  regarding dementia  and senior  care.   She                                                               
acknowledged the fiduciary and legal  responsibility of the Trust                                                               
board to  benefit its beneficiaries and  expressed her dedication                                                               
to contribute to that mission.   She emphasized the importance of                                                               
the work:   it  represented substantive  service; and  it touched                                                               
many lives.   She said  she would commit  to the 5-year  term and                                                               
mentioned she had only attended one board meeting to date.                                                                      
4:19:20 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked whether  the meeting she attended was                                                               
before her appointment or after.                                                                                                
MS.  BOYLES   answered  she  attended   the  meeting   after  her                                                               
appointment,  and  it  was  a two-day  intensive  meeting.    She                                                               
clarified  she  was  currently  in Phoenix;  she  asked  for  and                                                               
received permission  to attend  the meeting  and attended  at her                                                               
own expense.                                                                                                                    
4:20:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked for  confirmation the meeting did not                                                               
discourage her from serving on the board.                                                                                       
MS.  BOYLES  replied  she  took  many notes  and  talked  to  the                                                               
presenters.   She said attending  the meeting reassured  her that                                                               
she had  the skills to  serve on the  board and the  board needed                                                               
people like her                                                                                                                 
4:21:54 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked where her official residence was.                                                                   
MS. BOYLES said  her residence was in Alaska even  during the two                                                               
years she  was in Phoenix  with her  husband.  She  confirmed for                                                               
Representative  Claman  her  residence   was  in  Fairbanks,  not                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked  whether she would be  able to attend                                                               
meetings even while wintering in Phoenix.                                                                                       
MS.  BOYLES   answered  she  would  fulfill   her  obligation  by                                                               
traveling to Anchorage  to attend board meetings and  would do so                                                               
at her own expense.                                                                                                             
4:23:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  acknowledged Ms.  Boyles's  political,                                                               
business, and  land management experience,  but offered  that the                                                               
Trust  board focused  on beneficiaries  and identifying  ways the                                                               
Trust   could  maximize   its  resources   for  the   benefit  of                                                               
beneficiaries.   She mentioned confusion  of some  previous board                                                               
members as to  the role of the board, which  led to a legislative                                                               
audit and major  changes in Trust procedures.   She offered board                                                               
members were spending  more time on resource  development than on                                                               
meeting the needs of the beneficiaries.   She asked Ms. Boyles if                                                               
she read  the report from  the audit  and understood her  role on                                                               
the Trust board.                                                                                                                
MS.  BOYLES responded  she became  aware of  how little  she knew                                                               
when she attended the board meeting.   She offered she had gained                                                               
some knowledge  of beneficiary categories through  experience and                                                               
knew  a  great  deal  about dementia  because  of  her  husband's                                                               
illness.  She  acknowledged that she has much  to learn regarding                                                               
what the Trust does, what  DHSS does, and the partnership between                                                               
the  two.   She maintained  the board  must balance  the services                                                               
with the financial performance that  enabled the Trust to provide                                                               
those services.   She  expressed her belief  that a  board member                                                               
needed knowledge  of both financial  and resource  management, as                                                               
well as  knowledge of the  beneficiaries.   She stated that  as a                                                               
board  member   she  would  rely   on  AMHTA  staff  to   be  the                                                               
administrators; and she was very  impressed with the staff at her                                                               
first meeting.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  said   she  appreciated  Ms.  Boyles's                                                               
recognition of the distinction between  the role of the board and                                                               
the role  of staff.  She  stated Alaska had not  been meeting the                                                               
needs of  its beneficiaries;  decisions in  the 1990s  focused on                                                               
downsizing API  and expanding community-based  services; however,                                                               
API  was downsized  but the  community-based services  were never                                                               
expanded to meet  the needs of the beneficiaries.   She stated it                                                               
had been  25 years  since those decisions  were made  without the                                                               
vision  behind  them realized.    She  maintained that  concerted                                                               
leadership would be  needed to resolve the issues  that have been                                                               
identified by Judge  Morse's finding and the systems   gaps.  She                                                               
asked  how Ms.  Boyle  intended to  approach  this important  and                                                               
considerable task.                                                                                                              
4:27:39 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. BOYLES relayed she had  not read the entire legislative audit                                                               
on  the  purchase  of  the  property;  she  understood  that  the                                                               
purchase  was  outside  the  parameters of  the  Trust,  but  the                                                               
investment was doing  well.  She agreed to read  the report.  She                                                               
said  while  she attended  an  "Alaska  picnic" in  Phoenix,  she                                                               
talked  to a  woman  at great  length who  claimed  that her  son                                                               
should  be  in  API  but  was  in  jail.    The  woman  had  many                                                               
suggestions.  Ms.  Boyles acknowledged there was much  work to be                                                               
done; the  state was continually  changing; Alaska may  have more                                                               
beneficiaries than previously identified.   She promised to learn                                                               
about the categories of beneficiaries.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  recommended Ms.  Boyle read  the report                                                               
and  pointed out  while the  commercial property  development was                                                               
performing  well, it  was  not statutorily  allowed.   The  audit                                                               
clearly  said if  the Trust  wished  to make  such purchases,  it                                                               
should request  the statutory  authority to do  so.   She offered                                                               
she appreciated  Ms. Boyles's interest and  efforts to understand                                                               
the scope  of issues.   Alaska has a  crisis; if the  Trust board                                                               
focused all its time and  energy on serving beneficiaries, Alaska                                                               
could  make significant  improvements in  its mental  health care                                                               
system; the  land development and  investments should be  left to                                                               
the professionals whose job it is to do that.                                                                                   
4:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN  recommended  Ms.   Boyles  ask  AMHTA  to                                                               
arrange for her  to visit the crisis  intervention center [Peoria                                                               
Recovery Response Center  (RRC)] near Phoenix.   He asserted that                                                               
a tour of  that center would give her further  insight on some of                                                               
the issues on which the Trust is working.                                                                                       
[The confirmation  for Ms. Boyles  was advanced during  the House                                                               
Health and  Social Services Standing  Committee meeting  of March                                                               
17, 2020.]                                                                                                                      
4:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY opened  public testimony  on the  AMHTA Board  of                                                               
Trustees confirmation hearing.                                                                                                  
4:32:17 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES  McKEE   mentioned  events  in  AMHTA's   history  -  its                                                               
dissolution, the  class action  lawsuit, and  its reconstitution.                                                               
He relayed other  information not related to  the confirmation of                                                               
appointees on the board of trustees.                                                                                            
4:35:24 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY closed public testimony.                                                                                         
^State Medical Board                                                                                                            
                      State Medical Board                                                                                   
4:35:28 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be confirmation hearings for the State Medical Board.                                                                           
4:35:47 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID BOSWELL,  Appointee, State  Medical Board, relayed  that he                                                               
was an  Alaska minister at  the Northern Lights Church  of Christ                                                               
in Fairbanks.   He has  eight children,  four of whom  he adopted                                                               
out of  the Alaska foster care  program.  He and  his family were                                                               
active  in  the music  community  of  Fairbanks.   He  cited  his                                                               
volunteer work  in the community in  his role as a  minister - at                                                               
the  Hospice   of  the  Tanana  Valley,   at  Fairbanks  Memorial                                                               
Hospital,  at the  Denali  Center [a  short-  and long-term  care                                                               
facility], and  at the  [Fairbanks] Pioneer Home.   He  served on                                                               
the  Governor's Council  on  Disabilities  and Special  Education                                                               
(GCDSE).    He mentioned  his  interest  in medicine  and  taking                                                               
classes  in  genetics  and  biochemistry  at  the  University  of                                                               
Alberta.    He  expressed  his  desire  to  "give  back"  to  the                                                               
community in  a meaningful  way by serving  on the  State Medical                                                               
4:38:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  Mr. Boswell  for more  detail about                                                               
his work at the hospital.                                                                                                       
MR.  BOSWELL  replied that  as  a  minister  he spent  time  with                                                               
patients, most of whom were  in long-term or emergent situations.                                                               
He encountered physicians who were treating the patients.                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  whether his  visitations were  with                                                               
members of his church or with  patients who had requested to have                                                               
clergy visit.                                                                                                                   
MR. BOSWELL  answered most patients  he visited had  been members                                                               
of  his  congregation  or  members   of  the  community  who  had                                                               
requested the  visit.  He added  while he is in  the hospital, he                                                               
often visited with others and encouraged them.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN asked  Mr. Boswell  how he  would approach                                                               
his duty  on the  medical board if  his personal  views disagreed                                                               
with decisions  of the  Alaska Supreme Court.   He  asked, "Would                                                               
you be  able to nevertheless serve  on the medical board  ... and                                                               
offer opinions consistent  with the way the  Alaska Supreme Court                                                               
has issued decisions addressing medical treatment?"                                                                             
MR.  BOSWELL  stated that  he  considered  himself a  fair-minded                                                               
individual  and  would  want  to  uphold the  law  in  every  way                                                               
possible.   He added he had  been trained in ethics  and believed                                                               
he  could consider  all information,  representing  the State  of                                                               
Alaska to the best of his ability.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  relayed that the Alaska  Supreme Court had                                                               
issued  decisions about  abortion  rights and  the provisions  of                                                               
abortion  by   physicians  in  Alaska.     He  added   there  are                                                               
individuals  who didn't  agree  with the  court's  decision.   He                                                               
asked,  "To the  extent  you may  personally  disagree with  that                                                               
decision of the  Alaska Supreme Court, will you be  able to serve                                                               
on this board and make votes  that recognize that decision of the                                                               
supreme  court  and  the  need  for the  medical  board  to  make                                                               
decisions that don't conflict with  the existing decisions of the                                                               
Supreme Court?"                                                                                                                 
MR. BOSWELL said, "Yes, I believe I can."                                                                                       
4:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  cited  Mr. Boswell's  service  to  the                                                               
community and broad  range of experience but pointed  out none of                                                               
it was  related to  the issues  of licensure  or the  practice of                                                               
medicine.  She  asked what motivated his interest  for serving on                                                               
the State Medical Board, given  the technical work that the board                                                               
MR. BOSWELL answered  he had always been  interested in medicine;                                                               
he  began  his education  with  it  in  mind.   He  expressed  he                                                               
considered  serving  on  the  board an  opportunity,  as  he  had                                                               
interacted with several  physicians in the past  ten years; also,                                                               
all his  adopted children  had varying  degrees of  fetal alcohol                                                               
spectrum  disorders  (FASD).    He  offered that  he  has  had  a                                                               
positive  impact on  many lives.   He  stated that  the licensure                                                               
aspect of  the position would  be new to him,  but he is  a quick                                                               
learner and would be happy to serve.                                                                                            
4:44:01 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR ZULKOSKY asked Mr. Boswell  to discuss his familiarity with                                                               
rural  communities off  Alaska's road  system and  his experience                                                               
traveling throughout the state.                                                                                                 
MR. BOSWELL replied he was  familiar with many of the communities                                                               
on the road system and had  traveled on the Alaska Marine Highway                                                               
System.   He stated he had  not flown into the  small communities                                                               
and hoped to explore that avenue.                                                                                               
CHAIR   ZULKOSKY  asked   him  to   discuss  his   knowledge  and                                                               
familiarity with health care, the  variety of health institutions                                                               
that   provided   care   throughout   rural   Alaska,   and   his                                                               
understanding  of  the needs  of  communities  off Alaska's  road                                                               
MR.  BOSWELL   responded  that  most  of   his  understanding  of                                                               
conditions in rural  Alaska was regarding the  need for assisting                                                               
children  in rural  communities;  his involvement  in the  foster                                                               
care program had made him  aware of many underserved communities.                                                               
He  expressed  an  interest  in   helping  children  be  properly                                                               
4:46:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked Mr.  Boswell  what  he hoped  to                                                               
achieve  by serving  on the  State  Medical Board  as the  public                                                               
MR.  BOSWELL answered  he  hoped  to represent  others  and be  a                                                               
"voice  for those  [who didn't]  have  a voice."   He  maintained                                                               
doing so  is an  important role  for a volunteer.   He  added the                                                               
board has an important role and he wanted to contribute.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  asked   for  specifics  regarding  the                                                               
statement "being a voice for those [who didn't] have a voice."                                                                  
MR.  BOSWELL  answered that  as  a  minister he  had  encountered                                                               
people who  felt they were not  heard; he had referred  people to                                                               
the medical  community in  his ministerial  work on  occasion; he                                                               
believed  he  had  given   the  medical  community  encouragement                                                               
through his ministry; and he  tried to encourage and allow people                                                               
to be represented.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ asked  for clarification  regarding his                                                               
testimony in which  he was encouraging people  to be represented.                                                               
She  relayed the  State Medical  Board's function  was to  ensure                                                               
medical providers  in Alaska were meeting  licensure requirements                                                               
and were practicing  medicine within the scope  of their training                                                               
and the bounds of  the law.  She asked, "Who do  you think is not                                                               
being represented in the execution of that duty?"                                                                               
MR. BOSWELL mentioned he understood  the question to be about his                                                               
personal history that  guided him in the direction  of serving on                                                               
the State  Medical Board.   He stated  he understood the  role of                                                               
the board to look at licensures.                                                                                                
4:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR mentioned the  professions that are regulated                                                               
by the  board are  osteopaths, paramedics,  physicians, physician                                                               
assistants, and  pediatrists.  She  stated she had not  heard any                                                               
testimony  that  his interest  involved  the  licensure of  those                                                               
health care  professionals in Alaska.   She asked him  to discuss                                                               
his interest in the professional licensure of those professions.                                                                
MR. BOSWELL answered  there were members of  his congregation who                                                               
were  osteopaths and  physicians; he  has had  conversations with                                                               
members of  his community and  people across the  state regarding                                                               
the need for  more health care providers in the  state and timely                                                               
licensing.   He maintained he  was interested in  ensuring enough                                                               
[health] care throughout  the state and in  having more [medical]                                                               
specialties available to more communities in Alaska.                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE TARR acknowledged his  interest but questioned his                                                               
background   of  knowledge,   experience,  and   deep  level   of                                                               
understanding  of  the health  care  community  to serve  on  the                                                               
board.    She mentioned  Alaska's  health  care system  with  the                                                               
COVID-19 [a novel coronavirus disease]  pandemic was fragile; she                                                               
expressed it would  concern her if a member of  the board did not                                                               
have a deeper experience in some form of health care delivery.                                                                  
4:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  referred to Mr. Boswell's  desire to speak                                                               
for  people  who  might  not  be  heard.   He  asked  if  he  had                                                               
encountered people  who interacted  with hospitals,  doctors, and                                                               
people in the medical profession with such experiences.                                                                         
MR. BOSWELL  answered his personal  experiences with  the medical                                                               
professionals in the  state had been mostly positive.   He stated                                                               
he has heard  of people being less than satisfied.   He mentioned                                                               
that most people in Fairbanks  had a good relationship with their                                                               
medical providers.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE PRUITT  asked Mr.  Boswell whether  he anticipated                                                               
taking  the  concerns  of  the people  he  encountered  into  the                                                               
setting  of  the State  Medical  Board.    He reminded  him  that                                                               
licensing included making  sure the customer - the  patient - was                                                               
being served.                                                                                                                   
MR.  BOSWELL  replied, "Yes.    I  believe  that is  exactly  the                                                               
perspective that  I think I will  bring to the board  and be able                                                               
to represent that patient's perspective."                                                                                       
CHAIR ZULKOSKY  stated that  by statue,  the State  Medical Board                                                               
must  ensure  license  renewal   was  contingent  upon  proof  of                                                               
continued competency.   She asked  Mr. Boswell how -  with little                                                               
experience - he would assess  the competency of providers seeking                                                               
license renewal.                                                                                                                
MR.  BOSWELL  said  he was  familiar  with  continuing  education                                                               
requirements but  acknowledged that he  would need to  learn more                                                               
specifics.   He maintained he  anticipated learning  from medical                                                               
providers on the board.                                                                                                         
4:55:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  ZULKOSKY stated  that the  State Medical  Board is  tasked                                                               
with  adopting   regulations  that  established   guidelines  for                                                               
physicians  and different  types of  providers.   She asked  what                                                               
experience and qualifications have prepared him for this task.                                                                  
MR.  BOSWELL  answered  his  ethics  and  theology  training  had                                                               
prepared  him, as  well as  his  work with  GCDSE advocating  for                                                               
better policy for Alaskans.                                                                                                     
4:57:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  asked for  the  length  of his  service  on                                                               
MR. BOSWELL responded that he was appointed to the council                                                                      
August 2019.                                                                                                                    
[The confirmation for Mr. Boswell was advanced during the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting of March                                                                  
17, 2020.]                                                                                                                      
4:58:22 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services Standing Committee meeting was                                                                       
adjourned at 4:58 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0305A.PDF HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 Sponsor Statement 03.12.2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 Sectional Analysis v. M 03.12.2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
HB 305 PowerPoint 03-12-2020.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
HB 305
Anita Halterman Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Rhonda Boyles Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Anita Halterman Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Rhonda Boyles Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
Dave Boswell Board Application_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board
Richard Wein Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board
Steve Parker Resume_Redacted.pdf HHSS 3/12/2020 3:00:00 PM
Appointee to the State Medical Board