Legislature(2021 - 2022)DAVIS 106

05/06/2021 03:00 PM House HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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Audio Topic
03:04:42 PM Start
03:05:27 PM Presentation: Children's Justice Act Task Force
04:05:57 PM HB105
04:30:23 PM HB13
05:08:07 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Children's Justice Act Task Force TELECONFERENCED
by Kathy Baldwin-Johnson & Jared Parish
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 105(HSS) Out of Committee
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      HOUSE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                     
                          May 6, 2021                                                                                           
                           3:04 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Liz Snyder, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
Representative Christopher Kurka                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: CHILDREN'S JUSTICE ACT TASK FORCE                                                                                 
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                              
"An  Act   relating  to  the   duties  of  the   commissioner  of                                                               
corrections;  relating to  the detention  of minors;  relating to                                                               
minors  subject to  adult courts;  relating to  the placement  of                                                               
minors  in adult  correctional facilities;  and providing  for an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 105(HSS) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 13                                                                                                               
"An Act relating to shared  child custody; relating to relocation                                                               
of a  child out of  state; and relating  to a presumption  of the                                                               
best  interests of  the  child in  child  custody and  visitation                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HB 105                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DETENTION OF MINORS                                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
02/19/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/19/21       (H)       JUD, HSS                                                                                               
03/05/21       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/05/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/05/21       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/08/21       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/08/21       (H)       <Bill Hearing Canceled>                                                                                
03/10/21       (H)       JUD AT 1:30 PM GRUENBERG 120                                                                           
03/10/21       (H)       Moved CSHB 105(JUD) Out of Committee                                                                   
03/10/21       (H)       MINUTE(JUD)                                                                                            
03/12/21       (H)       JUD RPT CS(JUD) 4DP 3NR                                                                                
03/12/21       (H)       DP: DRUMMOND, SNYDER, KREISS-TOMKINS,                                                                  
03/12/21       (H)       NR: EASTMAN, VANCE, KURKA                                                                              
04/15/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/15/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/15/21       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
04/27/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/27/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/27/21       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
04/29/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
04/29/21       (H)       -- MEETING CANCELED --                                                                                 
05/04/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
05/04/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/04/21       (H)       MINUTE(HSS)                                                                                            
05/06/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
BILL: HB  13                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SHARED CHILD CUSTODY: BEST INTEREST                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RAUSCHER                                                                                                            
02/18/21       (H)       PREFILE RELEASED 1/8/21                                                                                
02/18/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/18/21       (H)       HSS, STA                                                                                               
02/19/21       (H)       JUD REPLACES STA REFERRAL                                                                              
02/19/21       (H)       BILL REPRINTED                                                                                         
05/06/21       (H)       HSS AT 3:00 PM DAVIS 106                                                                               
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CATHY BALDWIN-JOHNSON, MD                                                                                                       
Board Member, Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force                                                                          
Medical Director, The Children's Place                                                                                          
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-provided a presentation  titled, "Alaska                                                             
Children's Justice  Act Task Force,  State of  Alaska's Children:                                                               
2021 Update".                                                                                                                   
JARED PARRISH, PhD                                                                                                              
Board Member, Alaska Children's Act Task Force                                                                                  
Senior Epidemiologist, MCH-Epi                                                                                                  
Division of Public Health (DPH)                                                                                                 
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-provided a presentation  titled, "Alaska                                                             
Children's Justice  Act Task Force,  State of  Alaska's Children:                                                               
2021 Update".                                                                                                                   
HEIDI REDDICK                                                                                                                   
Board Member, Alaska Children's Justice Act Task Force                                                                          
Deputy Director of Operations                                                                                                   
Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)                                                                                              
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Co-provided a presentation  titled, "Alaska                                                             
Children's Justice  Act Task Force,  State of  Alaska's Children:                                                               
2021 Update."                                                                                                                   
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  During the  hearing on HB 105, explained the                                                             
reasons for the two proposed amendments.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE RAUSCHER                                                                                                  
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, presented HB 13.                                                                       
DAVID VESPER, Legislative Director                                                                                              
The Fathers' Rights Movement                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  on HB  13,  provided                                                             
invited testimony in support of the bill.                                                                                       
DIXIE BANNER, State Director                                                                                                    
Alaska Fathers' Rights Movement                                                                                                 
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION  STATEMENT:   During  the  hearing  on HB  13,  provided                                                             
invited testimony in support of the bill.                                                                                       
ALLEN BAILEY, Esq.                                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 13.                                                                   
RITA ALLEE, Esq.                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 13.                                                                        
MARIANNA MALLORY                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 13.                                                                        
ALESHA P.                                                                                                                       
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 13.                                                                        
TARYN BIRD, Esq.                                                                                                                
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 13.                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:04:42 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY  called  the House  Health and  Social                                                             
Services  Standing  Committee  meeting  to  order  at  3:04  p.m.                                                               
Representatives  McCarty,  Fields,   Snyder,  and  Zulkosky  were                                                               
present at the  call to order.   Representatives Spohnholz, Prax,                                                               
and Kurka arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                               
^PRESENTATION: Children's Justice Act Task Force                                                                                
        PRESENTATION: Children's Justice Act Task Force                                                                     
3:05:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY announced  that  the first  order of  business                                                               
would  be a  presentation from  the Children's  Justice Act  Task                                                               
3:06:21 PM                                                                                                                    
CATHY  BALDWIN-JOHNSON,  MD,   Board  Member,  Alaska  Children's                                                               
Justice Act  Task Force, Medical Director,  The Children's Place,                                                               
co-provided  a presentation  titled,  "Alaska Children's  Justice                                                               
Act Task  Force, State of  Alaska's Children: 2021 Update".   She                                                               
displayed the  second slide, "Introduction to  the Alaska CJATF,"                                                               
and  explained that  the  task force  is  federally mandated  and                                                               
funded.    She  related  that  the task  force's  mission  is  to                                                               
identify  areas  where improvement  is  needed  in the  statewide                                                               
response to  child maltreatment,  make recommendations,  and take                                                               
action  to improve  the  system.   Past  work  of this  statewide                                                               
multidisciplinary task force has  included legislation to improve                                                               
protection and justice  for children.  The task  force focuses on                                                               
education about  child abuse in Alaska,  mandatory reporting, and                                                               
best  practices  for  the  multidisciplinary  response  to  child                                                               
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  proceeded to the third  slide, "Key Points",                                                               
and  said today's  presentation would  include an  update on  the                                                               
newest research on  child abuse and neglect in  Alaska, review of                                                               
the pandemic  impact on  [the state]  system's response  to child                                                               
maltreatment,  ideas  to help  families  with  children who  have                                                               
problematic  sexual  behaviors,  and recommendations  to  improve                                                               
future child safety and well-being.                                                                                             
3:08:53 PM                                                                                                                    
JARED  PARRISH, PhD,  Board Member,  Alaska  Children's Act  Task                                                               
Force, Senior Epidemiologist, MCH-Epi,  Division of Public Health                                                               
(DPH),  Department  of Health  and  Social  Services (DHSS),  co-                                                               
provided a  presentation titled,  "Alaska Children's  Justice Act                                                               
Task  Force,  State  of  Alaska's Children:  2021  Update".    He                                                               
addressed the  fourth slide,  "Building a  stronger Alaska".   He                                                               
pointed out  that when thinking about  child abuse, maltreatment,                                                               
and  neglect, the  thinking should  be about  the removal  of the                                                               
child's internal  strength.   He compared  this removal  of inner                                                               
strength to a tree having  its inner trunk invisibly destroyed by                                                               
bugs such  that when winds (stressors  in the case of  the child)                                                               
come along  the tree (child) ends  up toppling over a  little bit                                                               
easier.  He said a variety  of resources and strengths need to be                                                               
done collectively  to intervene  and have  a stronger  effect for                                                               
helping the child.                                                                                                              
3:10:18 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  discussed the fifth slide,  "Prevent further                                                               
child abuse & neglect".  She  said the task force recommends that                                                               
legislators  support programs  that  strengthen families  because                                                               
strong,  stable,  nurturing  families create  strong,  healthier,                                                               
safer  children going  forward.   She added  that the  task force                                                               
encourages  legislators  to  continue   to  support  local  child                                                               
advocacy  centers  (CACs), and  that  the  task force  recommends                                                               
making some  essential changes  to the  current multidisciplinary                                                               
team (MDT) statute to allow CACs  to provide services to kids and                                                               
families when state agencies opt out.                                                                                           
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  continued  to   the  sixth  slide,  "Budget                                                               
considerations".     She  cited   a  recently   published  study,                                                               
["Economic Costs of Child Abuse  and Neglect in Alaska in 2019"].                                                               
This  study, she  reported, determined  that costs  for non-fatal                                                               
child abuse cases in Alaska  include an estimated $710 million in                                                               
"human  capital"  costs  for   health,  child  welfare,  criminal                                                               
justice system,  special education, and productivity  loss.  That                                                               
cost  reached   $2.3  billion,  she  continued,   when  premature                                                               
mortality and quality of life were looked at.                                                                                   
3:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON showed  the  seventh slide,  "Child Abuse  &                                                               
Neglect in Alaska,  How are the children?"  She  proceeded to the                                                               
eighth  slide,  "Adverse  Childhood Experiences",  and  explained                                                               
that a  large, collaborative  study was done  by the  Centers for                                                               
Disease Control  and Prevention and  Kaiser Permanente,  a health                                                               
maintenance organization in  San Diego.  She  specified that over                                                               
17,000  adults  were  interviewed  from a  group  that  would  be                                                               
considered  relatively low  risk in  that they  were middle-aged,                                                               
mostly  white, and  most had  had some  college education.   They                                                               
were asked  questions about abuse,  neglect, and  five categories                                                               
of household  dysfunction that  had happened  to them  before age                                                               
18.  One point was given  for each of those categories to provide                                                               
an adverse childhood experience (ACE) score.                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  moved to the  nineth slide,  "Findings: ACEs                                                               
Are Common".  She related  that the researchers were surprised to                                                               
find  that   ACEs  were  common   in  this   relatively  low-risk                                                               
population.  Over  25 percent of these adults  reported a history                                                               
of  physical  abuse, 21  percent  reported  a history  of  sexual                                                               
abuse, over  25 percent had [household]  substance abuse present,                                                               
[19  percent]  reported  [household]   mental  illness,  and  [13                                                               
percent] saw their mother beaten up.                                                                                            
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON proceeded  to the  tenth slide,  "ACES: It's                                                               
Not Just  One Bad  Thing".   She  recounted that  the researchers                                                               
found it  wasn't just one  bad thing  that had happened  to these                                                               
adults when  they were children.   The researchers found  that if                                                               
any one ACE category was present,  there was an 87 percent chance                                                               
that at least one other  category was experienced by these adults                                                               
as children,  and a 50 percent  chance that three or  more of the                                                               
categories had been experienced.                                                                                                
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON displayed  the  eleventh  slide, "ACEs  have                                                               
consequences:".   She related that  when looking at  adult health                                                               
and  well-being,  the researchers  found  that  the more  ACEs  a                                                               
person had  experienced the more likely  the person was to  be in                                                               
poor physical or mental health.                                                                                                 
3:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON spoke to the  twelfth slide, "ACEs in Alaska:                                                               
Snapshot".   She said  the data  for ACEs in  Alaska is  like the                                                               
findings  elsewhere  - many  adults  in  Alaska have  experienced                                                               
various kinds  of adversities as  children and those  impacts are                                                               
seen in the  state.  Adults with higher ACE  scores are much more                                                               
likely  to  be  unemployed,  unable to  work,  living  below  the                                                               
poverty  line, and  to  report  that they  have  poor mental  and                                                               
physical health.                                                                                                                
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  addressed the table on  the thirteenth slide                                                               
depicting  household  dysfunction  and  abuse  in  Alaska.    She                                                               
related that  an adult with  a history of having  been physically                                                               
abused  had an  almost  36  percent chance  of  also having  been                                                               
sexually abused, and an over 42  percent chance that one of their                                                               
parents or  caregivers was  mentally ill.   So, for  Alaska, like                                                               
elsewhere, it's never just one bad thing, she pointed out.                                                                      
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  moved to the fourteenth  slide, "Life course                                                               
perspective", and noted  the graph shows there  is an opportunity                                                               
to change the  trajectory of children's lives.  She  stated it is                                                               
known  that  the  higher  the  number of  bad  things  thrown  at                                                               
children, the  more likely they are  to be on a  poor life health                                                               
trajectory.   The San Diego study  found that people with  an ACE                                                               
score of six or greater lived on average 20 years less.                                                                         
3:16:26 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. PARRISH discussed  the fifteenth slide, "ALCANLink    A mixed                                                               
design approach".   He said  the Alaska Longitudinal  Child Abuse                                                               
and Neglect  (ALCAN) linkage  project is  a unique  data resource                                                               
where a longitudinal  birth cohort is followed over time.   It is                                                               
built upon the  back of the Pregnancy  Risk Assessment Monitoring                                                               
System  Survey (PRAMSS),  which  is conducted  in  nearly all  50                                                               
states, he explained.  It  samples approximately one out of every                                                               
six  live births  in  Alaska  each year.    It is  systematically                                                               
sampled and weighted to the  birth population so population-based                                                               
inferences  can be  made.   It  is integrated  with a  three-year                                                               
follow-up  survey called  Alaska  CUBS, as  well  as linked  with                                                               
administrative  data from  child welfare  and the  permanent fund                                                               
dividend  so  the  root  sensor   can  be  administered  when  an                                                               
individual  leaves  the  state.   With  this  longitudinal  birth                                                               
cohort, he further explained, how  the family was existing before                                                               
the child's birth can be looked  at and then what they experience                                                               
over time can be followed.                                                                                                      
DR. PARRISH proceeded to the  graph shown on the sixteenth slide,                                                               
"Among  children born  during 2009-2011  in  Alaska (n=33,417)                                                                  
Before  their  11    birthday:".     Immediately  detected  while                                                               
following this  cohort over  time, he related,  is just  how many                                                               
kids over their  life course have contact with  the child welfare                                                               
system.  He  said the graph depicts that for  kids born in Alaska                                                               
between 2009 and 2011, almost  40 percent experience at least one                                                               
report to  child protective services  before their 11   birthday,                                                               
which  is one  out of  every 2.5  births.   Nearly 33  percent of                                                               
those  first reports  are  screened in,  he  continued, about  13                                                               
percent experience  a substantiated report, and  almost 8 percent                                                               
will  experience a  removal before  their 11th  birthday for  any                                                               
amount of time.                                                                                                                 
3:18:41 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.   PARRISH  moved   to   the   seventeenth  slide,   "Maternal                                                               
experiences likely provide  an 'early warning'".   He stated that                                                               
this  data   set  is  powerful  because   researchers  can  start                                                               
understanding what the  factors are that predict  contact with or                                                               
engagement  with the  child welfare  system.   It was  found that                                                               
maternal experiences  likely provide an early  warning signal for                                                               
the  stress  that  is  going  on in  the  home,  he  related;  if                                                               
addressing those things  can be started, an impact  might be had.                                                               
[An ALCANLink study] published in  2008 showed that children were                                                               
76  percent  more  likely  to be  reported  to  child  protective                                                               
services if they  were born to a mother who  experienced at least                                                               
one stressful life event during  the 12 months before childbirth.                                                               
He noted that the eight  stressful life events depicted in orange                                                               
on the right  side of the slide are  adverse childhood experience                                                               
components that  are often referred to  as household dysfunction.                                                               
A decision  was made,  he continued, that  instead of  looking at                                                               
ACEs scores  as something that  is measured from birth  until age                                                               
17, to look at the household before  the kid is born and see what                                                               
that relationship is.                                                                                                           
DR. PARRISH  continued to  the eighteenth  slide and  stated that                                                               
the risk  of contact with child  welfare systematically increases                                                               
with  the  increased  number of  pre-birth  household  challenges                                                               
reported by  the mother.   The more  experiences the  mother says                                                               
she had during that 12-month  window, he related, the more likely                                                               
it is that  that child will have contact with  child welfare.  He                                                               
said  this  is not  surprising  because  the more  stresses  that                                                               
existed before the child's birth,  there is a high probability of                                                               
that  stress continuing.   It  was decided  to not  only look  at                                                               
contact with  child welfare,  he continued, but  to also  look at                                                               
the child's ACEs score at age three.                                                                                            
DR. PARRISH  proceeded to  the nineteenth slide  and said  it was                                                               
found  that for  each  additional  pre-birth household  challenge                                                               
reported by the mother, there  was a systematic relative increase                                                               
in  the average  childhood ACE  score  that was  observed in  the                                                               
child  at age  three.   So, the  household dysfunctions  that are                                                               
present in the  pre-birth window continue into  the child window.                                                               
He explained  that this provided the  idea for moving away  a bit                                                               
from  thinking  about individuals  in  their  own context  to  an                                                               
intergenerational  context  that   things  transition  throughout                                                               
3:21:24 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH turned  to the  two graphs  on the  twentieth slide,                                                               
"Two main  groups identified in  the pre-birth period".   He said                                                               
three things  were measured - household  challenges before birth,                                                               
household challenges during early  childhood, and child abuse and                                                               
neglect  as reported  to child  welfare.   An  analysis of  those                                                               
measurements,  he  continued,  found   that  two  primary  groups                                                               
emerged in that  pre-birth [period]   a low-risk  group with zero                                                               
or one reported  stressor and a high-risk group with  two or more                                                               
reported  stressors.   He  pointed out  that  among the  low-risk                                                               
group  are some  common stressors  that are  benign when  thought                                                               
about in context   a move or  a death   and then it substantially                                                               
drops off.   Among the  high-risk group, a  move and a  death are                                                               
also seen, but then things  are seen related to economics, drugs,                                                               
depression,  homelessness, and  jail.   He said  a look  was then                                                               
taken at the trajectories of  children born into a low-risk group                                                               
and children born into a high-risk group.                                                                                       
DR. PARRISH spoke  to the twenty-first slide,  "Changes in number                                                               
of  household  challenges  is  associated   with  risk  of  being                                                               
reported to  OCS".   He said  a look was  taken at  two different                                                               
trajectories  for families  in the  pre-birth low-risk  and high-                                                               
risk  categories.    For  families   in  the  pre-birth  low-risk                                                               
category, if  in early  childhood the  mother then  reported more                                                               
stressors it  transitioned her  into a  higher risk  category and                                                               
the risk  of a  report to  OCS increased by  140 percent;  if the                                                               
mother stayed low  risk the risk didn't change  and remained low.                                                               
For families in  the pre-birth high-risk category,  if the mother                                                               
reported an increased number of  stressors during early childhood                                                               
the risk  didn't change,  it remained  a high-risk  household and                                                               
the  risk for  child welfare  stayed  the same;  however, if  the                                                               
number of  household stressors decreased,  the risk of  report to                                                               
OCS  decreased by  43 percent.   So,  he continued,  the evidence                                                               
from  longitudinal  data  is  that if  the  household  number  of                                                               
stressors  decreases   it  can  be  expected,   with  statistical                                                               
reliance, that  a fewer  number of children  will be  reported to                                                               
child welfare.                                                                                                                  
3:24:25 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH   addressed  the  twenty-second   slide,  "Pre-Birth                                                               
Maternal Stressors and  Reading Scores".  He pointed  out that in                                                               
looking at  the links  with education records  it was  found that                                                               
household   stressors  have   effects   not   only  on   violence                                                               
potentially,  but also  early school  readiness and  performance.                                                               
Relative  to  children born  to  mothers  reporting zero  to  one                                                               
household stressors,  he continued, the children  born to mothers                                                               
reporting two  or three stressors  are 28 percent more  likely to                                                               
score below  or far below  on their [third grade]  reading score,                                                               
and children  born to  mothers reporting  four or  more stressors                                                               
are 43 percent  more likely to score below or  far below on their                                                               
reading score.                                                                                                                  
DR. PARRISH  proceeded to the twenty-third  slide, "Children with                                                               
a  report  to  Child  Welfare  are:".   He  conveyed  that  these                                                               
children are 16 percent more likely  to score lower on the Alaska                                                               
Developmental Profile,  which is administered at  kindergarten as                                                               
a measure of school readiness.   Further, he said, these children                                                               
are 42 percent  more likely to score below or  far below on their                                                               
third grade  reading score  and 120 percent  more likely  to have                                                               
chronic absenteeism.  He said he  knows that much effort is being                                                               
put into improving school  performance, readiness, and addressing                                                               
child maltreatment,  so everyone is talking  about similar things                                                               
regarding strengthening  the family  very early on  and providing                                                               
continued supports in a variety of ways.                                                                                        
3:26:07 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH showed  the twenty-fourth  slide,  "A connected  and                                                               
comprehensive approach required to  support child wellbeing!"  He                                                               
concluded his portion of the  presentation by advising that it is                                                               
important  to  remember  that  these factors  don't  occur  in  a                                                               
vacuum, they  cluster together.   For example, for  the offspring                                                               
of mothers  experiencing some form  of mental illness in  the 12-                                                               
month window before  birth, 62 percent have  impulse or emotional                                                               
control  problems in  kindergarten,  77 percent  have poor  third                                                               
grade reading scores, and 44 percent  have a report to OCS before                                                               
age 9.   These children, he continued, have an  ACE score that is                                                               
two times as high as  their counterparts whose parents don't have                                                               
mental illness.  Also, these  children have on average over three                                                               
co-existing  stressors   and  those  co-existing   stressors  can                                                               
include  a  mother  being   treated  violently,  an  incarcerated                                                               
caregiver, substance  use, or  financial issues.   The  family is                                                               
like a small  business, he further advised.   When thinking about                                                               
the  types  of interventions,  what  is  being talked  about  are                                                               
multi-faceted  and well-coordinated  efforts  that  are aware  of                                                               
what the  others are doing and  how all these efforts  are trying                                                               
to  support the  family  that  makes up  the  core  of all  these                                                               
3:27:31 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  moved to  the twenty-fifth  and twenty-sixth                                                               
slides, "From  Alaska Maternal Child Death  Review", and provided                                                               
additional  data.   She  explained  that  the [2016-2019]  Alaska                                                               
Maternal Child Death  Review (MCDR) is a summary  of [502] deaths                                                               
of Alaska  children up to  the age of 17.   Of those  deaths, she                                                               
reported,  19  percent  were felt  to  be  maltreatment  related,                                                               
meaning that  maltreatment (either  abuse and/or  neglect) either                                                               
caused or was  a contributing factor to that child's  death.  She                                                               
further reported that abuse or  neglect contributed to 40 percent                                                               
of child  deaths from firearms,  31 percent of child  deaths from                                                               
suicide,  29  percent  of sudden  unexpected  infant  deaths,  17                                                               
percent  of  child  deaths  from motor  vehicle  crashes,  and  8                                                               
percent  of child  deaths  from  medical causes.    She said  the                                                               
review also found that [55] percent  of the children who died had                                                               
a parent  or caregiver  who had maltreated  either this  child or                                                               
another child  in the past, and  that in 80 percent  of the child                                                               
deaths at  least one of the  child's caregivers had a  history of                                                               
substance  misuse.   She  noted  that  for comparison,  of  child                                                               
deaths not  related to maltreatment,  47 percent had  a caregiver                                                               
with substance abuse.                                                                                                           
3:29:02 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON displayed  the graph  on the  twenty-seventh                                                               
slide,  "How do  we create  the  best future  for our  children's                                                               
lives?"   She showed the twenty-eighth  slide, "Recommendations",                                                               
and then moved to the  twenty-ninth slide, "Support programs that                                                               
strengthen families".   She explained that because  the family is                                                               
like a  small business, programs  are needed that  are supportive                                                               
and  help to  strengthen  families.   She  said examples  include                                                               
"Help me grow",  a free program under the umbrella  of All Alaska                                                               
Pediatric  Partnership that  provides resources  and supports  to                                                               
promote  healthy   child  development;  the   "Alaska  Resilience                                                               
Initiative",  which is  under the  umbrella of  Alaska Children's                                                               
Trust,  a support  network of  various  organizations working  to                                                               
reduce ACEs  and build resilience  in Alaska's children;  and two                                                               
"Nurse-Family Partnership  Programs", one through  Providence and                                                               
one through  Southcentral Foundation Nutaaqsiivik,  which include                                                               
home visitation  programs that provide  education and  support to                                                               
pregnant women and their children  for the children's first three                                                               
years of life.                                                                                                                  
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  drew  attention  to  the  thirtieth  slide,                                                               
"'Strengthening Families'  program", and  recommended legislative                                                               
support  for  this program.    This  program, she  explained,  is                                                               
through  the Child  Welfare Academy  and its  goal is  to support                                                               
child and family  well-being.  The program is  research based and                                                               
helps families to reduce their  stress and risk factors to reduce                                                               
that "ACE dose" to their  kids and promote healthy development of                                                               
their  kids.   She  related  that the  Child  Welfare Academy  is                                                               
willing  to provide  legislators and  staff with  training via  a                                                               
full  or abbreviated  educational course,  as well  as provide  a                                                               
presentation at [the legislature's weekly] Lunch and Learn.                                                                     
3:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.   BALDWIN-JOHNSON  continued   to  the   thirty-first  slide,                                                               
"Support programs  that strengthen  communities".   She explained                                                               
that  these   programs  are  collective  impact   initiatives  in                                                               
communities.   Two examples, she  said, are Raising  Our Children                                                               
with  Kindness   (ROCK)  Mat-Su  and  Southern   Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP).                                                                 
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON turned to  the thirty-second slide, "Pandemic                                                               
impact  on our  ability  to  protect children".    She related  a                                                               
descriptive  statement from  an  OCS staff  person    "Everything                                                               
that was hard before is harder now."                                                                                            
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON spoke  to the  thirty-third slide,  "What is                                                               
known".  She  said prior research has shown  that emergencies and                                                               
disasters create increased stress on  families.  For example, she                                                               
continued, during  the Great Recession of  2007-2009, an increase                                                               
in high frequency  spanking was reported.   After Hurricane Floyd                                                               
[in 1999] it  was found that intentional  and unintentional child                                                               
traumatic brain  injury increased up  until six months  after the                                                               
disaster.  After  the 1989 Loma Prieta  earthquake in California,                                                               
it was found  that the physical abuse of children  was higher and                                                               
persisted for  months afterward.   Other studies show  that child                                                               
maltreatment  tends  to  increase following  disasters,  such  as                                                               
physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.                                                                     
3:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON proceeded  to the  thirty-fourth slide,  "In                                                               
Alaska".   She reported  that the  pandemic has  increased stress                                                               
for many  Alaskan children  and families.   She said  this stress                                                               
was  due to  unemployment, loss  of employment  related benefits,                                                               
food  insufficiency, housing  instability, education,  childcare,                                                               
and illness and death of family  members due to COVID-19 or other                                                               
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON discussed the  thirty-fifth slide, "Survey of                                                               
7179 Alaskan  adults, (11-12/2020)",  which was done  through the                                                               
Maternal Child  Health Epidemiology unit  of DPS.   She specified                                                               
that  almost  two-thirds  of  these  adults  said  their  overall                                                               
emotional health had gotten worse,  over one-third were concerned                                                               
about  the stability  of their  living situation  (and low-income                                                               
adults were  much more worried about  their financial stability),                                                               
50  percent were  more  worried or  stressed  about paying  their                                                               
bills,  almost two-thirds  were  more worried  or stressed  about                                                               
obtaining  medical  care  and   medications,  and  almost  three-                                                               
quarters of  these adults had  skipped their preventive  care due                                                               
to COVID-19.                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON showed the  thirty-sixth slide, "COVID impact                                                               
on  families, cont.",  and further  specified  that these  adults                                                               
said  the  pandemic  was  also affecting  their  families.    She                                                               
conveyed that 88  percent of these adults said  they were worried                                                               
about the impact of the  pandemic on their child's mental health,                                                               
83 percent said their children  were stressed by changes in their                                                               
family routine, 68 percent said  their children were more anxious                                                               
than usual,  67 percent said  their kids were more  irritable and                                                               
easily angered, and  80 percent were worried about  the impact of                                                               
the pandemic on their child's education long term.                                                                              
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  spoke to  the thirty-seventh  slide, "Mental                                                               
health care".   She pointed out  that there have been  impacts on                                                               
the ability  to provide  mental health care  for people  who need                                                               
it.  While  there has been increased stress on  kids and families                                                               
there has been  reduced access for help, she  continued.  Despite                                                               
the innovations  in technology such  as Zoom and Teams,  for many                                                               
children  this virtual  contact  is not  the  same as  one-on-one                                                               
3:35:55 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON moved  to  the  thirty-eighth slide,  "Child                                                               
abuse  & neglect".    She noted  that there  has  been a  drastic                                                               
increase in serious  child abuse and neglect  cases that required                                                               
hospitalization [37 cases  in 2018, 26 in 2019, and  71 in 2020].                                                               
She said serious  cases from around the state  are transferred to                                                               
Providence  Alaska  Medical  Center   (PAMC)  and  Alaska  Native                                                               
Medical  Center (ANMC)  in Anchorage,  and that  Alaska CARES,  a                                                               
child advocacy center,  responds to those cases  and provides in-                                                               
patient consults.                                                                                                               
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON addressed  the  thirty-nineth slide,  "Child                                                               
Protection".   She related that  in terms of the  Alaska system's                                                               
ability  to  respond with  child  protection,  it is  known  that                                                               
children have had fewer contacts  with mandated reporters because                                                               
they haven't  been in school  and Alaska's education system  is a                                                               
big source of  reports to child welfare.  Also,  children are not                                                               
coming  in for  regular  well-child visits  and  the health  care                                                               
system is  another source  of those reports.   From  talking with                                                               
OCS, she  continued, it is  known that the lower  priority cases,                                                               
especially  at  the  beginning of  the  pandemic,  weren't  being                                                               
evaluated  because of  COVID-19; as  well, there  were delays  in                                                               
seeing children due to COVID-19.                                                                                                
3:37:23 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  PARRISH reviewed  the  fortieth  slide, "COVID-19:  Reported                                                               
victims to  OCS".  He  said the graph  on this slide  depicts his                                                               
emerging  work  to  get  an   estimate  of  how  much  unreported                                                               
maltreatment  likely has  occurred  since the  pandemic began  13                                                               
months ago.   He qualified  that the data is  preliminary because                                                               
this work is  still emerging.  He specified that  the red line on                                                               
the  graph  denotes  the  monthly  number  of  unique  victimized                                                               
individual children reported  to child welfare and  noted that in                                                               
March 2020 the  number dropped precipitously and  "tanked out" in                                                               
April.   He explained that he  built a simple model  that allowed                                                               
for some  month-to-month variation in  the model because  OCS has                                                               
detected a pattern  where it looks like a heartbeat  that goes up                                                               
and  down, with  the  down-spikes generally  associated with  the                                                               
summer months  and the  up-spikes associated  with the  fall, and                                                               
then  a  little  up-spike  after Christmas  break.    He  further                                                               
explained  that  the  black  dotted line  is  assuming  that  the                                                               
pandemic did not exist and  the [monthly] variability carried on,                                                               
so  this line  estimates  what  would have  been  expected to  be                                                               
observed  for continued  month-to-month victimization.   He  said                                                               
the  pink shading  between the  solid red  line and  dotted black                                                               
line represents how  many cases likely went  unreported, with the                                                               
model  finding that  9,680 children  likely  went unreported  for                                                               
this 13-month span.  To address  the concern that there will be a                                                               
surge given  all the  stressors, he shared  that he  is currently                                                               
working   on  quantifying   the  variability   around  that   and                                                               
developing some  surge projection  models to give  some estimates                                                               
of what Alaska may be looking at.   He further noted that he will                                                               
be  looking  at  regional  comparisons   on  those  regions  that                                                               
experienced  lockdowns and  mandates  which  changed exposure  to                                                               
mandated reporters to  also give an idea of the  surge that might                                                               
be expected.                                                                                                                    
3:39:45 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  outlined   the  forty-first  slide,  "Child                                                               
protection".   She noted  that when it  came to  child protection                                                               
response OCS  staff had  many challenges.   She pointed  out that                                                               
initially OCS  staff lacked  personal protection  equipment (PPE)                                                               
and arranging  visitation for children  in care  was challenging.                                                               
Vising with a  parent via Zoom is not the  same as in-person, she                                                               
added.  There  were many delays in child  protection hearings and                                                               
trials, she  reported, plus  there was a  25 percent  increase, a                                                               
record high, in turnover of OCS staff.                                                                                          
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON proceeded  to the  forty-second slide,  "Law                                                               
enforcement".    She specified  that  it  became very  difficult,                                                               
especially in  rural areas, to  get children in and  evaluated at                                                               
their regional  child advocacy center because  of restrictions on                                                               
travel in  and out of  communities, plus there  were restrictions                                                               
on bringing  children in if a  child or family member  was ill or                                                               
had recently traveled.                                                                                                          
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  reviewed   the  forty-third  slide,  "Other                                                               
downstream effects".  She pointed  out that not just families are                                                               
stressed  by the  pandemic but  also the  service providers,  and                                                               
some of this  may be unknown for months or  years.  Additionally,                                                               
she said, this  pandemic is additive to the  historical trauma in                                                               
Alaska which includes prior devasting disease epidemics.                                                                        
3:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON brought attention  to the forty-fourth slide,                                                               
"Recommendations".   She advised that the  Children's Justice Act                                                               
Task Force is  recommending support for those  programs that help                                                               
to  strengthen families  and communities.    She further  advised                                                               
that  kids  haven't  been  having  contact  with  their  mandated                                                               
reporters  who would  normally be  there,  so the  task force  is                                                               
recommending some  amendments [to AS  47.17] to help  [expand the                                                               
list] of  mandated reporters to  include [more  professionals and                                                               
paraprofessionals] who  have contact with  children.   She stated                                                               
that the [current] list of  mandated reporters wasn't meant to be                                                               
an exclusive list, but some  people think that because their role                                                               
isn't specifically  on the  list it means  they are  not mandated                                                               
reporters.  For  example, she said it would help  protect kids if                                                               
people who  work at  public and private  animal shelters  were on                                                               
the list  of mandated  reporters, given  the link  between animal                                                               
abuse and  child abuse.  As  well, she continued, the  task force                                                               
recommends  that first  responders,  people employed  by OCS  and                                                               
equivalent agencies,  and clergy (with certain  exceptions) be on                                                               
the list  of mandated  reporters.   Dr. Baldwin-Johnson  moved to                                                               
the forty-fifth  slide and continued  outlining the  task force's                                                               
recommendations.    She  stated  that   because  kids  cannot  be                                                               
protected from  everything, the task  force is recommending  - in                                                               
addition  to preventative  efforts    ongoing  support for  child                                                               
advocacy centers for early and effective intervention.                                                                          
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON displayed  the  forty-sixth slide,  "Another                                                               
area of  concern: Children with  sexual behavior problems".   She                                                               
proceeded  to  the  forty-seventh   slide,  "What  is  it?",  and                                                               
qualified that those  kids who "play doctor with  other kids" are                                                               
not being talked  about here.  She deferred to  Ms. Heidi Reddick                                                               
to discuss this topic further.                                                                                                  
3:43:39 PM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI REDDICK,  Board Member, Alaska Children's  Justice Act Task                                                               
Force,  Deputy  Director  of  Operations,  Division  of  Juvenile                                                               
Justice (DJJ),  Department of Health and  Social Services (DHSS),                                                               
co-provided  a presentation  titled,  "Alaska Children's  Justice                                                               
Act Task  Force, State of  Alaska's Children: 2021 Update."   She                                                               
noted she serves  on the task force board as  a child welfare and                                                               
criminal justice participant.                                                                                                   
MS. REDDICK resumed  discussion of the forty-seventh  slide.  She                                                               
stated that over the years several  cases and issues have come up                                                               
that aren't issues  handled by [DJJ] or OCS by  the nature of the                                                               
way the statutes are written.    She presented the [hypothetical]                                                               
example of  Billy, age 10,  who has been having  unwanted sexual-                                                               
related  contact with  other  kids in  his  classroom at  school.                                                               
Billy is  removed from  school, but OCS  doesn't get  involved if                                                               
OCS  cannot substantiate  a finding  of abuse  or neglect  by the                                                               
parent.   Due to his  age Billy wouldn't necessarily  be referred                                                               
for  DJJ support  or services,  and  as a  result he  may not  be                                                               
referred to  a child advocacy  center for services.   Ms. Reddick                                                               
said this type of example  has been an identified ongoing problem                                                               
for many  years, and  while it  may not  happen often  it happens                                                               
enough that  the [task  force] thinks it  needs to  be addressed.                                                               
She presented  another [hypothetical]  example of Johnny,  age 9,                                                               
who has been reported as  having forceful sexual contact with his                                                               
8-year-old sister.  It could  be reported to law enforcement, but                                                               
Johnny  is  too  young  to  prosecute and  therefore  he  is  not                                                               
forwarded to  DJJ and is not  necessarily forwarded to a  CAC for                                                               
referral and  services.  She said  [the task force] is  hoping to                                                               
identify those  gaps and determine if  there is a legal  way that                                                               
those families can  be referred to services.  But  right now, she                                                               
advised, it gets  "stuck in the pipe" because it  doesn't fit all                                                               
the right places that it should.                                                                                                
3:45:40 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. REDDICK skipped the forty-eighth  slide and went on to detail                                                               
the forty-nineth  slide, "Why  is this  important?"   She pointed                                                               
out  that  sexual  behavior  problems  are  common,  and  studies                                                               
indicate  that 25-40  percent of  the offenders  on children  are                                                               
children.   She  said it  may indicate  that the  child has  been                                                               
sexually  abused  or  physically abused,  neglected,  exposed  to                                                               
pornography, or  exposed to adult  sexual activity.   She advised                                                               
that  it is  an opportunity  to  protect the  child from  further                                                               
harm.   She noted that  sexual attraction to children  can become                                                               
"hardwired" as some  studies indicate that 75 percent  or more of                                                               
adult sex offenders started offending  as children at the average                                                               
age of  12-14 years old.   The kids being talked  about here, she                                                               
continued, are  those who are  having sex with their  siblings or                                                               
neighbors, and  they don't  fall into the  right category  to get                                                               
referred for services.                                                                                                          
MS. REDDICK  moving to  the fiftieth slide  also titled,  "Why is                                                               
this important?"   She explained  that this is  important because                                                               
it has significant impact on  both children and their families in                                                               
the community.   She said treatment  at an early age  can be very                                                               
effective    statistics  from  the  National Children's  Alliance                                                               
show that children aged 7-12  have a 98 percent long-term success                                                               
rate and  youth aged  13-18 have a  97 percent  long-term success                                                               
rate.  She stated that what  [the task force] is talking about is                                                               
putting  more   services  in  place  looking   at  the  emotional                                                               
development of the children   how  they can be supported in their                                                               
schools, how to  not alienate them, and how families  can get the                                                               
training and support they need.                                                                                                 
3:47:19 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON spoke to the  chart on the fifty-first slide,                                                               
again titled  "Why is this  important?"  She explained  that five                                                               
years of  data from OCS  is represented on  the chart.   She said                                                               
there  was a  total of  804 screened-in  cases of  child-on-child                                                               
sexual behavior  problems.   But, she  continued, there  were 758                                                               
cases  that didn't  meet the  initial assessment  criteria to  be                                                               
screened  into  OCS,  so  lots  of kids  are  out  there  needing                                                               
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON  turned to the fifty-second  slide, "What are                                                               
barriers to helping  families?"  She pointed out  that many cases                                                               
don't meet  the criteria for OCS,  law enforcement, or DJJ.   She                                                               
explained  that  if  OCS screens  out  a  child,  confidentiality                                                               
statutes and policies prohibit OCS  from sharing information with                                                               
other agencies.   Additionally, she  said, if a school  reports a                                                               
child with a behavior problem and  OCS screens it out, the parent                                                               
of that child may  not even be aware that a report  was made.  In                                                               
many  of these  cases,  she continued,  OCS  and law  enforcement                                                               
response can  be intrusive and  not welcomed by the  family, plus                                                               
it may not be the appropriate  response.  She further pointed out                                                               
that parents  and local  medical or  mental health  providers may                                                               
not be  equipped to know  how to respond.   As a result  of these                                                               
barriers,  she continued,  these kids  and families  fall through                                                               
the cracks.                                                                                                                     
3:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON drew  attention  to  the fifty-third  slide,                                                               
"Recommendations".   She  related  that  the National  Children's                                                               
Alliance,  an  umbrella  organization   for  the  child  advocacy                                                               
centers  around the  US, has  determined that  CACs are  the best                                                               
equipped to  see these cases and  most CACs in Alaska  are ready,                                                               
willing, and  able to respond to  these cases.  She  advised that                                                               
this requires  changes to Alaska's  MDT statute  [AS.14.300], and                                                               
to  OCS  regulations to  allow  the  sharing of  information  and                                                               
referral  to  OCS  or  referral  to CACs  when  these  cases  are                                                               
screened out.                                                                                                                   
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON proceeded  to the  fifty-fourth slide,  "Our                                                               
data suggests that:".  In summary,  she stated that:  Many Alaska                                                               
adults  bear the  burden  of a  lifetime  accumulation of  family                                                               
violence  and dysfunction;  Alaska's children  start accumulating                                                               
these  adverse events  early in  life and  start off  "behind the                                                               
eight ball"  when they are  born; Alaska's children  and families                                                               
bear  the  burden; and  Alaska's  economy  and society  bear  the                                                               
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  continued  to the  fifty-fifth  slide,  "To                                                               
reduce  this burden  we  need:".   Continuing  to summarize,  she                                                               
stated  that  what  is  needed to  reduce  this  burden  includes                                                               
prevention;  early  recognition;  early,  effective,  and  timely                                                               
intervention;  effective  treatment;  and legislation  that  will                                                               
help to better protect children.   She said this focus is to have                                                               
families that  are healthy, stable,  safe, and nurturing  so that                                                               
Alaska's children  can be healthy  and successful adults  and the                                                               
communities are wonderful places in which to grow up.                                                                           
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON displayed the  photographs on the fifty-sixth                                                               
slide,  "Build a  stronger Alaska".   She  said [the  task force]                                                               
wants  strong and  healthy children  rather  than children  whose                                                               
cores have  been eaten away  by higher  doses of adversity.   She                                                               
moved to  the photograph  on the  fifty-seventh slide,  "How will                                                               
you  be  a  champion  for  Alaskan  families?",  and  urged  that                                                               
legislators be  champions for  Alaska's kids.   She  concluded by                                                               
showing the fifty-eighth slide depicting credits for the data.                                                                  
3:52:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS referred  to the  twenty-nineth slide  and                                                               
asked about  the number of  children needing one of  the programs                                                               
listed on  the slide and  being reached by these  programs versus                                                               
children needing one  of these programs but not  being reached by                                                               
the programs.   For those children who are not  being reached, he                                                               
further inquired about what the  budget or policy vehicle is that                                                               
legislators should consider for closing that gap.                                                                               
3:53:18 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
3:53:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FIELDS restated his question.                                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON replied  that off  the top  of her  head she                                                               
doesn't have  the pre-pandemic information  on how many  kids are                                                               
enrolled in all these various programs  and how many kids are out                                                               
there.    She  said  one   estimate  is  Dr.  Parrish's  research                                                               
[fortieth  slide]  which  estimates   the  number  of  unreported                                                               
children due to the pandemic.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FIELDS stated  he would  be interested  in seeing                                                               
this information later.                                                                                                         
3:54:59 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  commented that the committee  needs to spend                                                               
more time  discussing the  information on  these slides  and what                                                               
the committee needs to do.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA concurred  with  Representative  Prax.   He                                                               
drew attention to the twelfth  slide, "ACEs in Alaska: Snapshot",                                                               
and inquired  about the effect of  mental illness in the  home on                                                               
childhood trauma and which shows the number of 21.9 percent.                                                                    
DR.  BALDWIN-JOHNSON  responded  that  the data  comes  from  the                                                               
[2013]   Alaska  Behavioral   Risk  Factor   Surveillance  Survey                                                               
(BRFSS).    She  explained  that these  are  the  percentages  of                                                               
Alaskan  adults who  reported any  of these  things happening  to                                                               
them before the  age of 18.  For example,  she said, 11.5 percent                                                               
of these  adults reported having  an incarcerated  family member,                                                               
14.8 percent  reported they  had been  sexually abused,  and 18.7                                                               
percent reported witnessing domestic violence.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  KURKA asked  whether it  is being  said that  the                                                               
mental illness in the home is caused from the abuse.                                                                            
DR. BALDWIN-JOHNSON answered no.   She explained it is what these                                                               
Alaskan adults reported  that they had experienced    there was a                                                               
parent or  caregiver in their home  who was mentally ill  - these                                                               
are reports  of what  Alaskan adults  experienced when  they were                                                               
3:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 3:58 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.                                                                       
4:00:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ commented that  this is important to the                                                               
committee  as policy  makers  in  adverse childhood  experiences.                                                               
She noted  that the research  is about  25 years old,  broad, and                                                               
well documented.  She stated  that most of the challenges related                                                               
to   household  function   as   defined   by  adverse   childhood                                                               
experiences  are  addressable problems,  which  was  seen in  the                                                               
presentation,   and   are   problems   within   the   committee's                                                               
jurisdiction.   She  pointed out  that  in addition  to the  $2.3                                                               
billion in  annual cost  to the  state, there is  a human  cost                                                                 
each number is  a real person who has experienced  this and lives                                                               
with it  for his  or her  whole life.   This also  impacts school                                                               
readiness, she  continued.  These  linkages cannot be  ignored by                                                               
policy makers when having  conversations about public assistance,                                                               
the operating  budget, and unemployment.   Regarding child sexual                                                               
abuse and  child on child  sexual abuse, for which  treatment has                                                               
been shown to have long term  success, she asked whether there is                                                               
adequate  treatment within  Alaska  or whether  children must  be                                                               
sent elsewhere for treatment.                                                                                                   
MS. REDDICK  replied that  those statistics  were taken  from the                                                               
national coalition.   She offered her understanding  that much of                                                               
the treatment  at that level  is a direct  individualized project                                                               
and program that  can be handled with the referrals  from the CAC                                                               
to local  providers.  She  agreed there is opportunity  there and                                                               
said she will get more information  [to the committee].  She said                                                               
the  issue   is  that   current  confidentiality   laws  preclude                                                               
referring those families  over.  She advised that  the task force                                                               
is continuing to  work on it and will bring  more information and                                                               
possible recommendations on how to address it.                                                                                  
                   HB 105-DETENTION OF MINORS                                                                               
4:05:57 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY  announced that  the  next  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL NO. 105,  "An Act relating to  the duties of                                                               
the  commissioner of  corrections; relating  to the  detention of                                                               
minors; relating to  minors subject to adult  courts; relating to                                                               
the  placement of  minors in  adult correctional  facilities; and                                                               
providing  for  an  effective  date."    [Before  the  committee,                                                               
adopted  as  a  working  document   on  5/4/21,  was  a  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for HB  105,  Version  32-LGH1576\I,                                                               
Radford, 5/1/21 ("Version I").]                                                                                                 
4:06:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SNYDER moved to adopt Amendment  1 to HB 105, Version I,                                                               
labeled 32-GH1576\I.1, Radford, 5/5/21, which read:                                                                             
     Page 1, line 2, following "Services; ":                                                                                  
          Insert "relating to the right to representation                                                                     
     by the Public Defender Agency;"                                                                                          
     Page 8, following line 4:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 13. AS 18.85.100(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
          (a)  An indigent person who is under formal                                                                           
       charge of having committed a serious crime and the                                                                       
     crime has been the subject  of an initial appearance or                                                                    
     subsequent  proceeding, or  is being  detained under  a                                                                    
     conviction of  a serious crime,  or is on  probation or                                                                    
     parole,  or is  entitled  to  representation under  the                                                                    
     Supreme  Court  Delinquency or  Child  in  Need of  Aid                                                                    
     Rules or at a review  hearing under AS 47.12.105(d), or                                                                
     is  isolated, quarantined,  or  required  to be  tested                                                                    
     under an  order issued under AS 18.15.355  - 18.15.395,                                                                    
     or  against  whom  commitment  proceedings  for  mental                                                                    
     illness have been initiated, is entitled                                                                                   
               (1)  to be represented, in connection with                                                                       
     the crime  or proceeding,  by an  attorney to  the same                                                                    
     extent as  a person retaining an  attorney is entitled;                                                                    
               (2)  to be provided with the necessary                                                                           
     services   and  facilities   of  this   representation,                                                                    
     including investigation and other preparation."                                                                            
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 33, lines 12 - 13:                                                                                                    
          Delete "sec. 22"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 23"                                                                                                      
     Page 33, line 13:                                                                                                          
          Delete "secs. 2 - 8 and 22"                                                                                           
          Insert "secs. 2 - 8 and 23"                                                                                           
     Page 33, line 15:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 21"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 22"                                                                                                      
     Page 33, line 18:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 21"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 22"                                                                                                      
     Page 33, line 25:                                                                                                          
          Delete "Section 56"                                                                                                   
          Insert "Section 57"                                                                                                   
     Page 33, line 26:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 57"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 58"                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY objected for discussion purposes.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  SNYDER explained  that  Amendment 1  would addresses  a                                                               
concern relating  to the  right to  representation by  the public                                                               
defender agency.  She deferred to  Ms. Nancy Meade to explain the                                                               
4:07:33 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY MEADE,  General Counsel, Alaska  Court System,  stated that                                                               
Amendment  1 could  be viewed  as  a conforming  amendment.   She                                                               
explained that Section  25 of HB 105, Version I,  has a provision                                                               
for those minors  who are waived into adult court;  it is a long-                                                               
standing part of  Alaska statutes that 16-  or 17-year-old minors                                                               
who have committed more egregious  types of crimes are treated as                                                               
adults.  When minors are treated  as adults, they are outside the                                                               
juvenile  delinquency statutes  and  are not  part  of AS  47.12.                                                               
However, Sec.  47.12.105, which  is added  in Section  25, brings                                                               
those  minors who  are  otherwise treated  as  adults under  this                                                               
chapter  just for  the only  purpose of  possibly having  a judge                                                               
determine  where  they  should  be detained,  with  a  preference                                                               
expressed  generally in  that provision  for having  those minors                                                               
detained  in a  juvenile facility,  although a  judge can  decide                                                               
otherwise if  requested to do  so; for  example, if the  minor is                                                               
particularly  violent.   That  provision  in  the bill  sets  out                                                               
standards the  court must use  to make that determination.   That                                                               
minor is  entitled to a hearing  every 30 days to  make sure that                                                               
if they  are detained in  an adult  facility they should  stay in                                                               
that adult facility, and the  judge makes that determination at a                                                               
review hearing.                                                                                                                 
MS. MEADE continued explaining Amendment 1.   She said page 18 of                                                               
Version I,  lines 9-10, state  that the waived minor  is entitled                                                               
to representation  at that  review hearing,  given the  minor has                                                               
some important  rights at  issue.   She pointed  out that  when a                                                               
statute says somebody  is entitled to counsel, if  that person is                                                               
indigent  there needs  to be  a change  to the  public defender's                                                               
authorization statute  to let  them represent  these folks.   So,                                                               
while  the case  is ongoing  for an  indigent person,  the public                                                               
defender is defending  them because they are an  adult accused of                                                               
a serious  crime.  However, some  of these minors will  have been                                                               
sentenced already  so the case  is closed, the  public defender's                                                               
representation has ended,  but there might still  be these review                                                               
hearings  called  for  under  this  provision.    Therefore,  she                                                               
explained,  Amendment   1  would  amend  the   public  defender's                                                               
authority  statute, which  lists  all the  things  they cover  to                                                               
authorize  them to  give them  the  duty to  represent people  at                                                               
these review  hearings.   Ms. Meade related  that she  has spoken                                                               
with  the public  defender's office  about this,  and the  public                                                               
defender  is fine  with it;  plus, the  public defender  probably                                                               
will have  represented the  minor throughout the  case and  so it                                                               
makes sense  that they would  be the entity to  do so.   She said                                                               
this basically  ensures it is covered  so a hole isn't  caused by                                                               
this statute in 47.12 that says that they get an attorney.                                                                      
4:11:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  offered   his  understanding  that  this                                                               
process  would bring  continuity of  care representation  all the                                                               
way  through until  the  person  is fully  in  the Department  of                                                               
MS. MEADE replied correct, the  entity that represented the minor                                                               
before  will keep  doing so  for the  review hearings  that might                                                               
occur after the case is otherwise closed.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY removed her objection.   There being no further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
4:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SNYDER moved to adopt Amendment  2 to HB 105, Version I,                                                               
labeled 32-GH1576\I.2, Radford, 5/5/21, which read:                                                                             
     Page 26, following line 18:                                                                                                
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
      "* Sec. 39. AS 47.12.300 is amended by adding a new                                                                   
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
          (i)  Except as provided in (f) of this section,                                                                       
     this section does  not apply to the records  of a minor                                                                    
     who is  waived into  adult court under  AS 47.12.030 or                                                                    
     47.12.100 and  is subject to  this chapter only  to the                                                                    
     extent that AS 47.12.105 applies to the minor."                                                                            
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
     Page 33, line 25:                                                                                                          
          Delete "Section 56"                                                                                                   
          Insert "Section 57"                                                                                                   
     Page 33, line 26:                                                                                                          
          Delete "sec. 57"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 58"                                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY objected for discussion purposes.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR  SNYDER  explained that  Amendment  2  would add  a  new                                                               
subsection addressing the issue of  public records of court cases                                                               
as  related to  waived  minors.   She deferred  to  Ms. Meade  to                                                               
explain the amendment.                                                                                                          
4:12:31 PM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE stated that Amendment 2  is a small technical fix.  She                                                               
explained  that  under AS  47.12.300,  Court  Records, the  court                                                               
records  of juvenile  delinquency  cases  are confidential,  with                                                               
exceptions  for  victims and  foster  parents  to get  access  to                                                               
information.    Waived  minors are  treated  as  adults,  usually                                                               
because  the crime  they are  accused of  is more  egregious, and                                                               
those records like all criminal  records are public records.  The                                                               
statute on court records in  the delinquency law says the court's                                                               
records prepared  under this chapter are  confidential.  However,                                                               
Section 25 of the bill  relating to 47.12.105 brings those waived                                                               
minors  under this  chapter for  that very  small piece  of their                                                               
case of  when the judge  determines where they should  be housed.                                                               
So, in  reading the court  records provision  specifically, those                                                               
would be records  prepared under this chapter that  could be read                                                               
to make  at least that  part of that person's  case confidential.                                                               
But, Ms.  Meade continued, the whole  rest of the case  is public                                                               
because the waived minor is an  adult, and it is a criminal case.                                                               
Since it makes  sense to keep the whole case  public, Amendment 2                                                               
would write an exception and make  public that small portion of a                                                               
waived minor's case that is  under the 47.12 juvenile delinquency                                                               
laws  for the  purpose of  having the  judge determine  where the                                                               
waived  minor is  detained.    Because a  waived  minor is  being                                                               
treated like  an adult, he  or she would  not get the  benefit of                                                               
the confidentiality provision that  applies to the other juvenile                                                               
delinquency cases.                                                                                                              
4:14:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  requested a  restatement of  the explanation                                                               
of Amendment 2.                                                                                                                 
MS. MEADE  responded that  minors who  are of  a certain  age who                                                               
have  committed basically  more egregious  crimes are  treated as                                                               
adults, which means their case  is public like any criminal case.                                                               
But, she continued, the existing  law in the juvenile delinquency                                                               
rules  says that  the case  of any  minor under  this chapter  is                                                               
confidential, which  hasn't been  a problem because  those minors                                                               
aren't under  this chapter.  But,  HB 105 would add  this chapter                                                               
about a  judge deciding where  these waived minors get  housed so                                                               
they would  now be under  this chapter.   The question,  then, is                                                               
whether  their case  is confidential,  but the  policy throughout                                                               
the statutes  is those minors  are adults just like  any criminal                                                               
case.   Often the media cares  about a case like  that, Ms. Meade                                                               
noted,  and they've  always  been  public.   It's  almost like  a                                                               
loophole  because the  waived  minor would  get  the benefits  of                                                               
confidentiality,  which  would  conflict  with the  rest  of  the                                                               
policy reflected  that those minors  have possibly done  the type                                                               
of offense  that the public  has a right  to know about.   [Under                                                               
Amendment 2,  waived minors] would  not get the benefit  of their                                                               
case being confidential because they  are in an adult world where                                                               
criminal  cases are  all public,  the court  is transparent,  and                                                               
people know what is happening with criminal cases.                                                                              
4:16:40 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KURKA  offered his understanding that  Amendment 2                                                               
would  clarify that  [waived minors]  don't  get privacy  because                                                               
they  are being  tried as  an adult  even though  they are  still                                                               
residing in a juvenile detention center.                                                                                        
MS. MEADE confirmed that that is one way to look at it.                                                                         
4:17:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  opined that public access  has some benefits                                                               
and some drawbacks.   He stated he is  not necessarily interested                                                               
in the media getting access  to information because generally the                                                               
media's interest  is to  make a  spectacle of  it, but  for those                                                               
people  who are  more intimately  involved  and have  a need  for                                                               
access the  confidentiality gets  in the  way of  doing something                                                               
good.  He asked whether there is any way to strike a balance.                                                                   
MS. MEADE  answered that  the default  of Alaska's  public access                                                               
rules is  that all court  records are  public.  Records  are only                                                               
confidential if  a statute,  special court  order, or  court rule                                                               
[says so].   She suggested that  perhaps a middle ground  is that                                                               
somebody can always move the court;  there can be a discussion if                                                               
there  is a  particular reason  to  vary from  the general  rules                                                               
about access.   A very fundamental one of  Alaska's public access                                                               
rules  is criminal  cases are  public.   There  isn't an  overall                                                               
reason to  keep criminal cases  confidential, she  continued, but                                                               
there is  for juvenile delinquency  because a minor  has enhanced                                                               
privacy interests.   She  said there  is more  of an  emphasis on                                                               
rehabilitation when  it is  a Division  of Juvenile  Justice case                                                               
and on  outcomes that will  enhance the  future of that  minor so                                                               
that  the  minor  doesn't  begin  or  keep  on  with  a  life  of                                                               
criminality.  However,  Ms. Meade added, a  regular criminal case                                                               
is  public so  that people  can know  what is  going on  and have                                                               
public trust and  confidence in what their court  system is doing                                                               
and in issues that are a matter of public interest.                                                                             
4:20:12 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX asked  whether it  is fair  to say  that for                                                               
purposes of this  bill it is just whether they  fit as a juvenile                                                               
or a juvenile is charged as an adult.                                                                                           
MS. MEADE replied that the  statutes already contain the decision                                                               
that a 16-  or 17-year-old who committed a more  heinous crime is                                                               
an  adult for  all purposes.   It  would be  a little  bit of  an                                                               
anomaly  to say  but for  confidentiality purposes  they get  the                                                               
juvenile  delinquency benefits,  she continued,  so that  is what                                                               
this ensures does not happen.                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  PRAX  asked  whether figuring  out  that  balance                                                               
would be  worth a discussion  at some point,  but not as  part of                                                               
this bill.                                                                                                                      
MS.  MEADE responded  that the  legislature may  want to  discuss                                                               
that,  but  it  is  beyond  her area  because  it  would  be  the                                                               
legislature's policy decision.   She said she is  willing to talk                                                               
privately with Representative Prax  about the merits of something                                                               
like that.                                                                                                                      
4:21:33 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KURKA  stated that the public  and the legislature                                                               
need  to know  what  is going  on  in the  court  system for  the                                                               
purpose of accountability.  He said  he thinks there is a balance                                                               
with  Amendment  2 because  of  the  protection of  privacy  that                                                               
Alaska has for  minors.  The whole intent  with juvenile justice,                                                               
he added, is less toward  justice and more toward rehabilitation.                                                               
But, he  continued, there  comes a  point where  the focus  is no                                                               
longer on rehabilitation when a  17-year-old, still technically a                                                               
minor who will  still go to go the juvenile  detention center, is                                                               
treated  legally  as  an  adult   because  his  or  her  act  was                                                               
[extremely  serious] and  not that  of a  child.   There are  the                                                               
rights  of the  accused, but  there are  also the  rights of  the                                                               
victims, he  added, and having  that public transparency  is very                                                               
4:23:34 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY  asked whether  he  is  correct that  the                                                               
concern is  that this [waived]  minor doesn't get any  perks, the                                                               
minor  is being  tried as  an adult,  and all  is exposed  to the                                                               
public.  Amendment 2 would clean  up the language so that housing                                                               
a  [waived] minor  in  the juvenile  detention  center could  not                                                               
produce  a  potential  loophole for  things  the  [waived]  minor                                                               
should not be privileged to.                                                                                                    
MS. MEADE confirmed that that is correct.                                                                                       
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY removed her objection.   There being no further                                                               
objection, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                                             
4:24:41 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KURKA  commented that the  joining of HB  116 with                                                               
HB  105 has  created  a monster  of  a  bill.   He  said he  will                                                               
therefore be  carefully looking  through it  to make  an informed                                                               
decision on the bill's passage.                                                                                                 
4:25:04 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SNYDER moved  to report  the  proposed CS  for HB  105,                                                               
Version  32-LGH1576\I,  Radford,  5/1/21,   as  amended,  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  105(HSS)  was                                                               
reported out  of the  House Health  and Social  Services Standing                                                               
4:25:33 PM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 4:25 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.                                                                       
           HB 13-SHARED CHILD CUSTODY: BEST INTEREST                                                                        
4:30:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  ZULKOSKY announced  that  the final  order of  business                                                               
would be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 13,  "An Act  relating to  shared child                                                               
custody;  relating to  relocation of  a child  out of  state; and                                                               
relating to a  presumption of the best interests of  the child in                                                               
child custody and visitation determinations."                                                                                   
4:30:43 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GEORGE  RAUSCHER,  Alaska State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor,  presented HB 13.   He  explained that HB  13, the                                                               
shared  parenting bill,  recognizes  that  children deserve  both                                                               
parents if they  are fit, loving, and capable.   He said research                                                               
has shown  children have the  most productive outcomes  when both                                                               
parents  are  active  in their  children's  life,  regardless  of                                                               
current  marital  status.   The  bill  intends to  mitigate  high                                                               
conflict  situations  seen  in   child  custody  cases  with  the                                                               
presumption that  both parents have  equal parenting time  in the                                                               
best  interest of  the  child, he  continued.   Current  statutes                                                               
state neither  parent may have  preference over the  other parent                                                               
and  allow  for 50/50  physical  custody  to  occur, but  do  not                                                               
presume both  parents are  equal under  the law.   Representative                                                               
Rauscher stated that  the government cannot compel  parents to be                                                               
active parents, but the government  can allow for the environment                                                               
to occur,  except in  cases where  the mother  or father  or both                                                               
seriously  endanger  the  child's  physical,  mental,  moral,  or                                                               
emotional health.  He said HB  13 would allow for the presumption                                                               
to be  rebutted through clear  and convincing evidence  under the                                                               
child's best  interest guideline  [AS 25.25.150(c)].   He further                                                               
related  that the  bill would  allow  both parents  to develop  a                                                               
[parenting] plan conductive to their child's best interest.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  maintained that current  statutes create                                                               
a winner-take-all  mentality in favor  of one parent  through at-                                                               
fault  litigation practices.    He stated  that  if the  presumed                                                               
custodial parent  wins physical  or sole custody,  conditions for                                                               
parental  alienation,   custodial  interference,   absence,  high                                                               
conflict, or ancillary  effects such as alcohol,  drug abuse, and                                                               
mental  health collapses  can take  root if  the parent  is still                                                               
pursuing high conflict methods and tactics.   He said HB 13 would                                                               
place children  first by giving  them the opportunity  to develop                                                               
strong parent-child relationships,  place mediation for parenting                                                               
plans  ahead of  litigation,  allow for  stability by  tightening                                                               
relocation  loopholes,   mitigate  parental  alienation   to  the                                                               
targeted  parent   and  extended   family,  and   strengthen  the                                                               
intergenerational   connection  in   families.     Representative                                                               
Rauscher  added that  he  believes shared  parenting  is a  human                                                               
right  and that  children  have  a human  right  for a  positive,                                                               
healthy parent-child relationship regardless of marital status.                                                                 
4:35:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  provided a sectional analysis  of HB 13.                                                               
He said Section 1 would  add intent language stating the ensuring                                                               
of frequent, continuing,  and meaningful contact of  a child with                                                               
each parent  and that  the shared responsibility  is in  the best                                                               
interest of the child.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER said  Section 2  would define  parenting                                                               
time and  state that  the best  interest of  the child  is shared                                                               
parenting but would allow that  presumption to be rebuttable with                                                               
clear  and  convincing  evidence that  shared  physical  custody,                                                               
joint legal custody, and equal parenting  time is not in the best                                                               
interest  [of the  child].   He  related that  [Section 3]  would                                                               
require  the parents  to consult  one another  when making  major                                                               
decisions regarding  the child's  health, education,  and general                                                               
welfare.  He explained that  [Section 4] deals with relocation of                                                               
a  child and  would  provide for  constant  procedures from  both                                                               
parents.  It  describes the items necessary for  a court accepted                                                               
parenting plan and would provide  for a rebuttal presumption that                                                               
a parenting  plan, as agreed to  by both parents, is  in the best                                                               
interest of the child.                                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  specified that Section 5  would amend AS                                                               
25.20.090 by  replacing the term  "child custody"  with "physical                                                               
custody" or "joint  legal custody" and would direct  the court on                                                               
what factors  to consider,  such as  the child's  preference, the                                                               
child's needs, home stability, and  willingness of each parent to                                                               
facilitate  a  continuing  close   relationship  with  the  other                                                               
parent.  He conveyed that Section  6 would allow for the rebuttal                                                               
presumption when  determining the best  interest of a child.   He                                                               
said Section  7 provides that  denial of shared  physical custody                                                               
or joint legal custody shall be stated on the record.                                                                           
4:37:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER stated  that  Section 8  deals with  the                                                               
modification  of a  custody visitation  order while  a parent  is                                                               
deployed.   He related that  Section 9  would allow the  court to                                                               
award attorney fees and cost  of actions when attempting to alter                                                               
custody awards,  and it  would direct the  court to  consider the                                                               
financial resources of  each party.  He said  Section 10 provides                                                               
definition for  joint legal custody and  shared physical custody.                                                               
He conveyed  that Section 11  would provide that  determining the                                                               
best interest of  a child shall [include]  two additional factors                                                               
   the distance  between a  child's residence  and each  parent's                                                               
residence, and if a parent is incarcerated.                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  explained that Section 12  would replace                                                               
"joint" physical  custody with "shared"  physical custody  in [AS                                                               
25.24.150(g)] regarding a history of  domestic violence.  He said                                                               
Section 13 would  provide that the court shall  consider false or                                                               
frivolous  allegations  of  sexual  assault;  domestic  violence;                                                               
child  abuse,  abandonment, or  neglect;  or  [the providing  of]                                                               
false  or deceptive  financial information  [to the  court].   He                                                               
stated  that Section  14 would  include a  parenting plan  in the                                                               
written  agreement of  the financial  decree of  the dissolution.                                                               
He said  Section 15  would repeal AS  25.20.060(c), which  is the                                                               
current  [subsection]   of  statute  regarding   awarding  shared                                                               
custody to both  parents.  He concluded by  relating that Section                                                               
16  would  [add  a  new  section]  providing  that  this  Act  is                                                               
applicable to  custody orders  issued on  or after  the effective                                                               
date of this Act.                                                                                                               
4:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY expressed his support  for HB 13.  He said                                                               
he still needs to review the  bill, but that there is a desperate                                                               
need for this,  and the courts need direction as  to what are the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER stated he doesn't  bring HB 13 before the                                                               
committee believing it is  ready to go out the door.   He said he                                                               
is open and  acceptable to any comments that would  make the bill                                                               
be what it should be.                                                                                                           
4:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PRAX  remarked that  the committee needs  to think                                                               
about HB 13 quite a bit before acting on it.                                                                                    
4:41:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SNYDER  stated she  is trying  to better  understand the                                                               
context and scenarios  that would be impacted or  result from the                                                               
proposed  legislation.   Regarding  the need  for  the bill,  she                                                               
inquired about  the frequency  of the problems  that the  bill is                                                               
trying to address.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  responded  that the  invited  testimony                                                               
would help provide an answer.                                                                                                   
4:43:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY opened invited testimony on HB 13.                                                                            
4:43:20 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID   VESPER,  Legislative   Director,   The  Fathers'   Rights                                                               
Movement, provided  invited testimony  in support of  HB 13.   He                                                               
stated  that Alaska  has a  winner-take-all  judicial system  for                                                               
child   situations,  and   that  many   Alaskans  lack   adequate                                                               
representation heading into a child  custody case.  He maintained                                                               
that  current  statutes  encourage  high  conflict  relationships                                                               
between  parents  that  can   result  into  parental  alienation,                                                               
domestic  violence,  drug  and alcohol  abuse,  criminality,  and                                                               
mental health  issues for  the parents,  and that  children often                                                               
suffer  from   abuse,  mental  health  issues,   and  challenging                                                               
outcomes going into  adulthood.  These issues can  be both inter-                                                               
generational and inter-sectional, he added.                                                                                     
MR. VESPER  said social science and  psychological research shows                                                               
that children  benefit the  most with  intact families,  but when                                                               
this  is impractical  researchers  assert that  equal and  shared                                                               
physical  custody  offers the  next  best  possible outcomes  for                                                               
children.  He stated that  current Alaska statutes do not presume                                                               
both parents  with equal custody, they  only allow it.   He cited                                                               
Alaska Civil  Rule 90.3 as  defining joint physical custody  as a                                                               
period [specified] in writing [in  the custody order] of at least                                                               
30 percent  of the  year.   However, he  continued, no  child has                                                               
ever said  they love one  parent 30 percent  of the time  and the                                                               
other parent 70 percent of the time.                                                                                            
4:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. VESPER argued  that the judge is placed  in an uncompromising                                                               
position when  determining if any  allegations cited in  the case                                                               
go against  AS 25.24.150(c) and to  what degree.  So,  he stated,                                                               
common tactics in litigation can  include allegations of parental                                                               
alienation, domestic  violence, drug and alcohol  abuse, military                                                               
status, physical  and psychological health, and  even immigration                                                               
status; all of  which have been used against the  other parent in                                                               
Alaska.   The judge  must award custody,  he continued,  which is                                                               
much like awarding the winner in this winner-take-all system.                                                                   
MR. VESPER further  argued that this is a human  rights issue for                                                               
children as well  as a civil rights issue.   Regarding racism, he                                                               
stated  that parents  who  are black,  indigenous,  or people  of                                                               
color (BIPOC)  are most  likely to lose  their children  then are                                                               
white  or Asian  parents; and  BIPOC and  bi-racial children  are                                                               
less  likely to  be  reunited  with their  parents  or the  other                                                               
parent if  that happens.   Regarding  gender inequities,  he said                                                               
mothers are  awarded either  sole custody  or primary  custody 85                                                               
percent  of  the  time.   He  maintained  that  these  inequities                                                               
permeate  into  the next  and  succeeding  generations or  become                                                               
intersectional  by  affecting  society with  increased  drug  and                                                               
alcohol  abuse,  lowered  education attainments,  higher  suicide                                                               
rates, higher  teen-age pregnancy rates, higher  crime rates, and                                                               
increased  sexual,  domestic,  intimate  partner  violence.    He                                                               
stated that fixing  the family will begin to fix  the issues that                                                               
plague Alaska's society  and that cost the state  millions if not                                                               
billions of dollars.                                                                                                            
MR. VESPER  noted that this  type of legislation  recently became                                                               
law in  Kentucky, Arkansas,  and West  Virginia.   He said  HB 13                                                               
would  place  mediation  ahead  of  litigation,  expand  judicial                                                               
discretion,  address  the  relocation  issue  with  many  Alaskan                                                               
families, and  preserve the child's  best interest standard.   In                                                               
response to  Representative Kurka,  Mr. Vesper agreed  to provide                                                               
the data cited in his testimony.                                                                                                
4:50:44 PM                                                                                                                    
DIXIE BANNER,  State Director,  Alaska Fathers'  Rights Movement,                                                               
provided invited testimony  in support of HB 13.   She stated she                                                               
is  representing  the  grandparent  rights  integrated  into  the                                                               
family  rights.   She  said  both  genders  are impacted  by  the                                                               
current laws.   She related that in her own  family the issue has                                                               
gone on for  45 years - her  mother left when she  was five years                                                               
old  and her  father took  over the  children, now  she has  gone                                                               
through her own  traumas, and her son is  presently going through                                                               
this with  his stepson.   The system must change,  she advocated,                                                               
or it will continue.                                                                                                            
MS. BANNER  noted that abuse  and neglect have financial  cost to                                                               
the state  along with  human cost.   If  parents are  required to                                                               
take accountability  for their children,  she stated,  there will                                                               
be fewer  social issues.  She  related that her husband  has been                                                               
alienated  [from  his  children]  for  19  years  and  the  cycle                                                               
continues  with alienation  from  his grandchildren.   She  urged                                                               
that this  issue be fixed so  this broken system will  stop.  She                                                               
said if  other states can  change the system and  reduce domestic                                                               
violence, it can also be done  in Alaska.  She noted she believes                                                               
in the parenting plan because  it would require that both parents                                                               
be involved and held accountable for their children's actions.                                                                  
4:54:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY opened public testimony on HB 13.                                                                             
4:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
ALLEN BAILEY,  Esq., testified that  he has been a  family lawyer                                                               
in Anchorage for 37 years and  a prosecutor for an additional 10-                                                               
11  years.    During  these   years,  he  related,  he  has  been                                                               
representing clients who have been  impacted by domestic violence                                                               
and their families  in family law matters such  as child custody,                                                               
divorce, custody modification, and relocation.                                                                                  
MR. BAILEY said children  are not an animal like a  dog or cat so                                                               
that time  can be divided  without affecting  their developmental                                                               
issues, nor are  children an item of property like  a truck or an                                                               
investment  account that  can be  divided  down the  middle.   He                                                               
stated that developments  in family law are  really society's way                                                               
of permitting people who have  been victimized, or who would like                                                               
to end  their relationship, to  achieve a future  without someone                                                               
else controlling them  or someone else abusing them.   He said he                                                               
will submit further written remarks to the committee.                                                                           
4:57:41 PM                                                                                                                    
RITA ALLEE,  Esq., testified in  opposition to  HB 13.   She said                                                               
she has been a domestic relations  lawyer in Alaska for 46 years.                                                               
She stated  that the  subject of the  complaint is  AS 25.24.150,                                                               
the  statute  which addresses  the  needs  of the  children,  the                                                               
capability and desire  of the parents to foster  those needs, the                                                               
child's  preference, love,  and  affection  existing between  the                                                               
parent and child, the length of  time the children have been in a                                                               
stable environment, the ability of  the parties to facilitate the                                                               
relationship  with the  other parent,  and questions  of domestic                                                               
violence  and substance  abuse in  the home.   This  statute, she                                                               
explained,  is   directly  targeted   to  issues   of  importance                                                               
regarding the  best interest  of the  children, and  this statute                                                               
requires that  the judge hearing  the case make findings  of fact                                                               
on each of these cited elements.                                                                                                
MS. ALLEE related that foundational  to Alaska custody law is the                                                               
belief  that  a robust  relationship  between  a child  and  both                                                               
parents  is  in  the  best  interest  of  the  child.    That  is                                                               
foundational  to  the  court's  examination of  this  issue,  she                                                               
further related, and there will be  a direct finding in each case                                                               
regarding  facilitation  of  that  relationship by  each  of  the                                                               
parties.   She stated that the  complaint seems to be  that it is                                                               
necessary to focus on 50/50  timesharing between the parents, the                                                               
point of  which can only be  a focus on fairness  to the parents.                                                               
She  said  it's  important  to recognize  that  fairness  to  the                                                               
parents is, by definition, not  necessarily the same thing as the                                                               
best interest  of the children.   She further stated  that Alaska                                                               
has  a  gender-neutral  statute  closely  targeted  to  the  best                                                               
interest  of the  children.   The proposed  statute, she  argued,                                                               
focuses  on something  entirely different,  which is  fairness to                                                               
the parents, and therefore she is opposed to HB 13.                                                                             
5:00:51 PM                                                                                                                    
MARIANNA MALLORY testified  in opposition to HB 13.   She related                                                               
her belief  that the bill  would be harmful to  domestic violence                                                               
victims and  their children.   She said  the current  practice in                                                               
Alaska  is  already  shared  custody, but  it  is  not  presently                                                               
mandated.   This proposed change  in law, she stated,  would make                                                               
shared  custody  the standard  for  all  families and  raise  the                                                               
burden  on victims  to overcome  that standard.   She  maintained                                                               
that raising this burden of  proof will negatively impact victims                                                               
who cannot  afford attorneys  and do  not have  the skills  of an                                                               
experienced litigant.                                                                                                           
MS. MALLORY  said another matter  of concern is the  proposed new                                                               
best interest factor  that adds whether a parent made  a false or                                                               
frivolous allegation of sexual  assault, domestic violence, child                                                               
abuse,  child abandonment,  child neglect,  or provided  false or                                                               
deceptive financial  information to the  court.  She  argued that                                                               
if a victim is ultimately  unable to properly articulate her case                                                               
and the crimes committed against  her, this new proposed interest                                                               
factor  would punish  her  for presenting  her  concerns at  all.                                                               
Victims  are often  inundated with  false claims  and accusations                                                               
from the  perpetrator of violence following  their reporting, she                                                               
continued.     Blanket   denials  of   all  allegations   by  the                                                               
perpetrator are common, she added, and  if the victim does a poor                                                               
job presenting her  case this bill would increase  the ability of                                                               
the  perpetrator  of  violence  to use  the  system  against  the                                                               
victim.   Ms. Mallory stated  that victims of  domestic violence,                                                               
sexual  assault, or  child abuse  are  already often  justifiably                                                               
skeptical and  mistrustful of the  Alaska court system,  and they                                                               
often  do not  feel  it is  designed to  protect  them and  their                                                               
children.   This  [proposed] change,  she  further stated,  would                                                               
only instill further fear in  victims of the justice system while                                                               
creating barriers  by preventing  meaningful access  and creating                                                               
an order that is not truly in a child's interest.                                                                               
5:03:50 PM                                                                                                                    
ALESHA P. testified  in opposition to HB 13.   She stated that it                                                               
sounds like  somebody who is  an abuser, whether male  or female,                                                               
woke up  one day and said,  "I need more rights  because it's not                                                               
working  in the  courtroom  ?  they are  ruling  against me,  and                                                               
abusers like me."  She said she therefore opposes HB 13.                                                                        
5:04:31 PM                                                                                                                    
TARYN BIRD,  Esq., testified in opposition  to HB 13.   She noted                                                               
she  is a  divorce and  custody attorney  who has  specialized in                                                               
domestic violence  and family  law for seven  years.   She stated                                                               
she  agrees with  Mr. Allen  Baily and  Ms. Rita  Allee regarding                                                               
their sentiments  and concerns  with HB 13,  and she  agrees with                                                               
their position.  She said  that this proposed legislation ignores                                                               
the reality of  the landscape of civil divorce  and custody cases                                                               
in Alaska.  Most of [her]  litigants, she related, are pro se and                                                               
under  the current  statute  it  is hard  enough  as a  practiced                                                               
attorney  to fight  for  the rights  of the  victim  and for  the                                                               
safety of children when there  is a preponderant standard for the                                                               
domestic  violence presumption.    She argued  that  HB 13  would                                                               
create a  windfall to individuals  who can  afford representation                                                               
and would  disadvantage those  who cannot,  which most  often are                                                               
victims of crimes of domestic violence or children of abuse.                                                                    
MS.  BIRD noted  that  multiple concerning  provisions with  this                                                               
bill were voiced a few years  ago when a similar bill was brought                                                               
before  this committee,  and [concerns]  were voiced  recently by                                                               
many  attorneys in  Alaska when  this  legislation was  proposed.                                                               
She asked  the committee  to consider  what HB  13 fails  to say.                                                               
What deficiency  is this  bill addressing?   She  maintained that                                                               
the  law  presently does  not  have  the  issues that  have  been                                                               
presented  by the  writers of  the bill.   She  said the  vaguely                                                               
referenced  custody  issues  and  statistical  facts  from  other                                                               
states do not define the state  of Alaska, do not define Alaska's                                                               
law, and do  not define how Alaska's judges  interpret the facts,                                                               
look at the evidence, and  make a determination in the children's                                                               
best interest.  The execution of  the law by the courts following                                                               
the  best interest  statute,  she continued,  does  lead to  good                                                               
orders that  consider the children's  needs and not  the parents'                                                               
5:07:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY  closed public testimony  on HB 13.   She urged                                                               
that anyone else wishing to  testify submit their comments online                                                               
to the committee.                                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR ZULKOSKY announced that HB 13 was held over.                                                                           
5:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Health and Social Services standing Committee meeting was                                                                       
adjourned at 5:08 p.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Key Findings_03_2021.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
CJA Brochure 2016 Update.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
2017-PSB-Fact-Sheet-Overview-What we Can Do.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
CJA Members List 5-5-20 (002).pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
CJATF2021 Presentation.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
CSA Final Draft.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
Economic Value of Community services for YSBP.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
Harmful Sexual Behavior Framework.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
HB 13 Version A.PDF HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 13
HB 13 Sponsor Statement Version A.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 13
HB 13 Sectional Analysis version A.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 13
HB 105 Amendment 1_Snyder.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105
HB 105 Amendment 2_Snyder.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105
HB 105 Detention of Minors Sectional Analysis Version 32 GH1576 I.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105
DHSS comparison of HB116 (HB105 or SB91) with notes.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105
HB 116
SB 91
CS for HB 105.pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105
CJATF2021LegV3.1COMPRESSED.pptx HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
Children's Justice Act Task Force
DRAFT-HB105-DHSS-PS (003).pdf HHSS 5/6/2021 3:00:00 PM
HB 105