Legislature(2013 - 2014)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/10/2014 01:30 PM Senate FINANCE

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SB 197 Out of Committee
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                 SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      April 10, 2014                                                                                            
                         1:40 p.m.                                                                                              
1:40:37 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Meyer  called the Senate Finance  Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 1:40 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Pete Kelly, Co-Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Anna Fairclough, Vice-Chair                                                                                             
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                           
Senator Donny Olson                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
David  Stutzer,  Self,   Juneau;  Ryan  Stanley,  President,                                                                    
Academic  Policy Committee,  Juneau Charter  School, Juneau;                                                                    
Dona  Helmer, Self,  Juneau;  Tam Agosti-Gisler,  President,                                                                    
Anchorage  School  Board,  Juneau; Natasha  VonImhof,  Vice-                                                                    
President,  Anchorage  School  Board, Juneau;  David  Scott,                                                                    
Staff, Senator  Donald Olson;  Roger Healy,  Chief Engineer,                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities;  Amy                                                                    
Saltzman,   Staff,   Senator    Lesil   McGuire;   Christine                                                                    
Marasigan, Staff Senator  Kevin Meyer; Representative Tammie                                                                    
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
Arlene  Dilts   Jackson,  Tribal   Administrator,  Ketchikan                                                                    
Indian  Community,  Ketchikan;  Bob Griffin,  Alaska  Policy                                                                    
Forum,  Eagle River;  Michael  Rehberg, Winterberry  Charter                                                                    
School,  Eagle  River;   Shanna  Mall,  Winterberry  Charter                                                                    
School, Anchorage; Linda Evans,  Effie Kokrine Early College                                                                    
Charter School,  Fairbanks; Lisa  Rieger, Cook  Inlet Tribal                                                                    
Council,  Anchorage;  Cheryl   Silcox,  Winterberry  Charter                                                                    
School, Anchorage; Betsy Brenna,  Member, Nome School Board,                                                                    
Nome;  Meghan  Steenburgh,  Self,  Anchorage;  Erin  Merrym,                                                                    
Erin's  Law,  Chicago;   Jessica  Lawmaster,  Chair,  Alaska                                                                    
Children's Alliance, Homer;                                                                                                     
SB 197    NATURALLY OCCURRING ASBESTOS                                                                                          
     SB 197 was  REPORTED out of Committee with  a "do pass"                                                                    
     recommendation  and  with previously  published  fiscal                                                                    
     note: FN1 (DOT).                                                                                                           
SB 216    SEXUAL ABUSE/ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                              
     CSSB  216(FIN)  was HEARD  and  HELD  in committee  for                                                                    
     further discussion.                                                                                                        
CSHB 268(FIN)                                                                                                                   
         BIG BULL MOOSE DERBIES; SNOW TOWN ICE CL.                                                                              
     CSHB  268(FIN)  was HEARD  and  HELD  in committee  for                                                                    
     further consideration.                                                                                                     
CSHB 278(FIN) am                                                                                                                
     CSHB  278(FIN)  was HEARD  and  HELD  in committee  for                                                                    
     further consideration.                                                                                                     
CSHCR 15(FIN)                                                                                                                   
          TASK FORCE ON UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS                                                                               
     CSHCR 15(FIN) was SCHEDULED but NOT HEARD                                                                                  
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 278(FIN) am                                                                                               
     "An Act increasing the base  student allocation used in                                                                    
     the  formula for  state  funding  of public  education;                                                                    
     relating  to  the  exemption   from  jury  service  for                                                                    
     certain  teachers;  relating  to   the  powers  of  the                                                                    
     Department   of   Education  and   Early   Development;                                                                    
     relating to  high school  course credit  earned through                                                                    
     assessment;  relating  to school  performance  reports;                                                                    
     relating to  assessments; establishing a  public school                                                                    
     and  school   district  grading  system;   relating  to                                                                    
     charter  schools and  student transportation;  relating                                                                    
     to residential school  applications; relating to tenure                                                                    
     of  public school  teachers;  relating to  unemployment                                                                    
     contributions for  the Alaska technical  and vocational                                                                    
     education  program;  relating  to earning  high  school                                                                    
     credit for  completion of vocational  education courses                                                                    
     offered   by  institutions   receiving  technical   and                                                                    
     vocational  education  program   funding;  relating  to                                                                    
     schools  operated by  a federal  agency; relating  to a                                                                    
     grant for  school districts; relating to  education tax                                                                    
     credits;   establishing  an   optional  municipal   tax                                                                    
     exemption for  privately owned real property  rented or                                                                    
     leased  for  use as  a  charter  school; requiring  the                                                                    
     Department of Administration to  provide a proposal for                                                                    
     a salary  and benefits  schedule for  school districts;                                                                    
     making  conforming  amendments;  and providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
1:41:57 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  STUTZER,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in  support  of  the                                                                    
vocational funding in HB 278.  He stressed the importance of                                                                    
vocational  education and  believed  that it  could help  to                                                                    
decrease dropout  rates. He thought that  language should be                                                                    
added  to  the  bill   that  highlighted  institutions  that                                                                    
specialized in  hiring the trainees of  vocational education                                                                    
programs. He expressed  concern that the bill  gave too much                                                                    
funding  to the  University.  He thought  that  it was  more                                                                    
important  to   get  students   into  vocation   trades  and                                                                    
suggested that more funding be added for the AVTEC program.                                                                     
1:45:49 PM                                                                                                                    
RYAN STANLEY,  PRESIDENT, ACADEMIC POLICY  COMMITTEE, JUNEAU                                                                    
CHARTER SCHOOL,  JUNEAU, testified in support  of Section 14                                                                    
of  SB 149:  if  there  were less  than  150  students in  a                                                                    
charter school, the  school would be calculated  as if there                                                                    
were  400  students,  which presented  an  inequity  to  the                                                                    
school of  $200,000 in comparison  to a  neighborhood school                                                                    
of the  same size. He stated  that the charter school  had a                                                                    
budget  of $977,000  yearly budget,  $100,000  of which  was                                                                    
paid  to a  private corporation  for the  lease of  building                                                                    
space  for classrooms.  He stated  that the  school did  not                                                                    
have  a  cafeteria, gym,  or  playground.  He noted  several                                                                    
successes in academics that could be boasted by the school.                                                                     
1:49:00 PM                                                                                                                    
DONA  HELMER, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  about the  importance of                                                                    
education in life  and urged the committee to  keep the star                                                                    
system  written  in  the bill.  She  supported  keeping  the                                                                    
tenure to  3 years.  She opined that  the Anchorage  had not                                                                    
been  able  to  fill  open  positions  for  librarians  with                                                                    
instate hire,  but rather  had been  forced to  recruit from                                                                    
outside Alaska.                                                                                                                 
1:53:24 PM                                                                                                                    
TAM  AGOSTI-GISLER,   PRESIDENT,  ANCHORAGE   SCHOOL  BOARD,                                                                    
JUNEAU, related a dream that  she had had the evening before                                                                    
that related to education in the state.                                                                                         
1:56:03 PM                                                                                                                    
NATASHA  VONIMHOF, VICE-PRESIDENT,  ANCHORAGE SCHOOL  BOARD,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  spoke to  way in  which Massachusetts  had improved                                                                    
its educational system. She said  that a 3 year funding plan                                                                    
would allow the district to fund programs to fruition.                                                                          
1:58:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Fairclough appreciated  that the Anchorage School                                                                    
District had  explored what Massachusetts  had done  for its                                                                    
schools. She believed that it was a model worth evaluating.                                                                     
1:59:40 PM                                                                                                                    
ARLENE  DILTS   JACKSON,  TRIBAL   ADMINISTRATOR,  KETCHIKAN                                                                    
INDIAN COMMUNITY, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
that KIC was committed  to establishing a Southern Southeast                                                                    
Alaska Technical  Education Centre as a  means of delivering                                                                    
much   needed   vocational   and   technical   training   in                                                                    
individuals residing in  Southern Southeast communities. She                                                                    
stated  that  the  kind  of   funding  that  would  be  made                                                                    
available through  the bill would help  with the development                                                                    
of  the  types  of  training  opportunities  that  residents                                                                    
needed  to be  gainfully  employed. She  requested that  the                                                                    
program be re-included in the legislation.                                                                                      
2:02:24 PM                                                                                                                    
BOB  GRIFFIN,   ALASKA  POLICY   FORUM,  EAGLE   RIVER  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in support  of the  Houses amendment                                                                    
to change  the school grading  system. He believed  that the                                                                    
new  system  would make  it  easy  for  parents to  see  how                                                                    
schools  were doing,  and that  it would  be a  catalyst for                                                                    
improvement.  He believed  that the  reform had  been proven                                                                    
cost  effective  in  other  states.   He  thought  that  the                                                                    
provision could  be considered the "consumer  reports" of K-                                                                    
12 education.                                                                                                                   
2:05:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  REHBERG, WINTERBERRY  CHARTER  SCHOOL, EAGLE  RIVER                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  in  support  of the  provision                                                                    
that  added  a  facility  funding  arrangement  for  charter                                                                    
schools. He  fully supported  the charter  school provisions                                                                    
in the  legislation. He  advocated for  a state  per student                                                                    
facility  funding arrangement  directed directly  to charter                                                                    
schools to offset facility expenses.  He also requested that                                                                    
assurances be made  that money requested outside  of the BSA                                                                    
be  directed to  charter schools  as well  as the  districts                                                                    
that housed them.                                                                                                               
2:08:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SHANNA  MALL,  WINTERBERRY  CHARTER SCHOOL,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support per  people  facilities                                                                    
allowance, outside of the BSA,  to fully fund facilities for                                                                    
charter schools.                                                                                                                
2:10:46 PM                                                                                                                    
LINDA  EVANS, EFFIE  KOKRINE EARLY  COLLEGE CHARTER  SCHOOL,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoke in support  of HB 278                                                                    
and  requested the  consideration  of  a facility  allowance                                                                    
that was exclusive  of the BSA. She testified  in support of                                                                    
language that would clarify and  mandate pass through monies                                                                    
to charter schools.                                                                                                             
2:13:37 PM                                                                                                                    
LISA  RIEGER,  COOK  INLET TRIBAL  COUNCIL,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support  of reinstating  the                                                                    
increase in  the residential stipend  that had  been removed                                                                    
from the  bill. She relayed  that the council  supported the                                                                    
changes  to  the  charter  school   law,  expansion  of  the                                                                    
educational tax credits, and the increase in the BSA.                                                                           
2:15:34 PM                                                                                                                    
CHERYL  SILCOX, WINTERBERRY  CHARTER SCHOOL,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support for  fair  funding  for                                                                    
charter schools,  facility costs in particular.  She relayed                                                                    
the various virtues of charter schools.                                                                                         
2:19:10 PM                                                                                                                    
BETSY  BRENNA,   MEMBER,  NOME   SCHOOL  BOARD,   NOME  (via                                                                    
teleconference), strongly  supported an increase to  the BSA                                                                    
for all  public schools across  the state. She  detailed the                                                                    
budgetary struggles that would  be alleviated by an increase                                                                    
in the BSA.                                                                                                                     
2:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
MEGHAN  STEENBURGH,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of the  legislation  and  encouraged                                                                    
further  strengthening of  charter  schools provisions.  She                                                                    
opined the  lack of additional funding  for existing charter                                                                    
schools in the bill.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                         
2:24:07 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer discussed housekeeping.                                                                                          
CSHB 278(FIN)  was HEARD and  HELD in committee  for further                                                                    
2:26:03 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:30:35 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 197                                                                                                             
     "An  Act   extending  the   termination  date   of  the                                                                    
     Department  of  Transportation and  Public  Facilities'                                                                    
     interim   project  authorization   regarding  naturally                                                                    
     occurring  asbestos;  and  providing for  an  effective                                                                    
2:31:05 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID  SCOTT,  STAFF,  SENATOR  DONALD  OLSON,  presented  a                                                                    
sectional analysis.  He stated  that Section 1  would extend                                                                    
the authority if the underlying  bill from December 31, 2013                                                                    
through  December  31, 2014.  Section  2  provided that  the                                                                    
authority  was   retroactive  from  January  1,   2014,  the                                                                    
authorization  would  be  extended  to DOT  for  the  entire                                                                    
calendar  year of  2014. Section  3  provided and  immediate                                                                    
effective date.                                                                                                                 
2:33:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Fairclough  asked whether  DOT could  explain why                                                                    
the project  had been  delayed. She  explained that  she had                                                                    
worked in  the past  with other  lawmakers to  provide lower                                                                    
cost  gravel  and aggregate  materials  to  people in  rural                                                                    
2:34:00 PM                                                                                                                    
ROGER  HEALY, CHIEF  ENGINEER, DEPARTMENT  OF TRANSPORTATION                                                                    
AND PUBLIC FACILITIES,  said that the department  was in the                                                                    
process  of  issuing  draft   regulations  and  that  public                                                                    
meetings had been scheduled in  Juneau, Fairbanks and Ambler                                                                    
in the following weeks. The  process should be concluded and                                                                    
regulations  should be  issued by  mid-July 2014.  He stated                                                                    
that  the timeframe  identified in  the bill  was sufficient                                                                    
for the department.                                                                                                             
2:34:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson  asked whether one  year would be  enough time                                                                    
to  craft  and  implement  the  regulations  so  that  state                                                                    
sponsored projects related to  schools and airports could be                                                                    
Mr.  Healy   replied  yes.  He   said  that   the  timeframe                                                                    
identified I the bill would  allow for the completion of the                                                                    
regulations;  what was  already  in place  were the  interim                                                                    
guidelines that were issued after the original bill passed.                                                                     
He furthered that the program  was unique and required a lot                                                                    
of coordination within state agencies.  He added that hiring                                                                    
someone to draft the regulations had taken time.                                                                                
2:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer OPENED public testimony.                                                                                         
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                         
Vice-Chair  Fairclough  MOVED  to   REPORT  SB  197  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal  note(s). There  being NO  OBJECTION, it                                                                    
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
2:37:19 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                                                                             
     "An  Act relating  to sexual  abuse and  sexual assault                                                                    
     awareness  and prevention  efforts  in public  schools;                                                                    
     establishing a  task force in  the Council  on Domestic                                                                    
     Violence  and  Sexual  Assault; and  providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
AMY SALTZMAN, STAFF, SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE, testified that                                                                      
SB  216 also  known  as "Erin's  Law"  would require  school                                                                    
districts   to   implement  age-appropriate   training   and                                                                    
curricula  on   sexual  abuse  and  assault   awareness  and                                                                    
prevention  for students,  kindergarten through  12   grade.                                                                    
The bill was  part of a national effort  spearheaded by Erin                                                                    
Merryn.  Erin, an  advocate and  sexual abuse  survivor, had                                                                    
made  it her  mission to  enact this  legislation in  all 50                                                                    
Ms. Saltzman  stated that,  to date,  version of  Erin's Law                                                                    
had  been  enacted in  9  states  and 25  states,  including                                                                    
Alaska, had proposed versions on  the law and were currently                                                                    
in  progress.   She  shared   that  the   governor  strongly                                                                    
supported the legislation. She relayed  that child abuse was                                                                    
a  devastating epidemic  that affected  the most  vulnerable                                                                    
Alaskans.  Most  victims  suffer in  silence  with  lifelong                                                                    
trauma and  stigma. She shared that  according to statistics                                                                    
from the Office  of Children's Services, in  2013 there were                                                                    
more than 2,000 allegations of  child sexual abuse in Alaska                                                                    
with more  than 1,800 individual  victims, over 40%  of whom                                                                    
were Alaska Native children.   National statistics estimated                                                                    
that  one  in four  girls  and  one  in  six boys  would  be                                                                    
sexually  abused before  their  eighteenth birthday.  Ninety                                                                    
percent of these crimes were  committed by someone the child                                                                    
knew  and trusted.  There were  currently forty  two million                                                                    
survivors of  sexual abuse in  America alone.  Three million                                                                    
of  those survivors  are children.  She pointed  out to  the                                                                    
committee that  schools educated children on  the dangers of                                                                    
smoking and  drugs, conducted earthquake drill,  but did not                                                                    
provide  education for  this real  world danger.  She quoted                                                                    
     "Had someone taught me about  safe touch, unsafe touch,                                                                    
     safe secrets and unsafe secrets,  I would have known it                                                                    
     was  safe  to  tell.  Instead  I  lived  my  horror  in                                                                    
     silence. I am now on  a mission to give children across                                                                    
     the country the voice I never had as a child."                                                                             
2:42:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Fairclough  noted that both House  and Senate had                                                                    
been working  on these issues  for many years.  She wondered                                                                    
about  the progress  of the  person that  was hired  to deal                                                                    
directly with DEED for training on the issue.                                                                                   
Ms. Saltzman replied that the  person was Patty Owen and she                                                                    
worked  for DEED.  She said  that the  training could  be in                                                                    
consultation  with  the  Council on  Domestic  Violence  and                                                                    
Sexual Assault.  She assured the  committee that  the intent                                                                    
was  not  to burden  districts  and  that working  with  the                                                                    
council  would allow  for training  opportunities and  for a                                                                    
broader information base.                                                                                                       
Vice-Chair Fairclough  informed the committee  that training                                                                    
had been  adopted and  curriculum had  been created  for the                                                                    
Anchorage School  District. She  wondered about the  cost to                                                                    
other  districts  to  implement   training.  She  said  that                                                                    
members  of  Standing  Together   Against  Rape  (STAR)  had                                                                    
master's degrees  in women's health and  had been successful                                                                    
in producing educational opportunities.                                                                                         
Ms. Saltzman  replied did  not thing that  it was  Ms. Owens                                                                    
job to implement  training programs in schools,  but just to                                                                    
offer  the  curriculum.  She  said   that  most  all  school                                                                    
districts already had a curriculum in place.                                                                                    
2:46:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Fairclough recalled  that during  her first  two                                                                    
years  in elected  office, providing  training  had been  an                                                                    
issue.  She requested  and update  from Ms.  Owen as  to the                                                                    
progress of primary prevention curriculum.                                                                                      
2:47:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer understood that families  could chose to have                                                                    
their child opt out of  the training in schools. He wondered                                                                    
how  that could  be reconciled  if the  abuse was  happening                                                                    
within the family.                                                                                                              
Ms. Saltzman  thought that having  resources in  the schools                                                                    
would be helpful  for children that had problems  at home so                                                                    
that  they could  get the  help  that they  might need.  She                                                                    
thought  if other  students were  provided information  then                                                                    
maybe they could help those who were in possible danger.                                                                        
Co-Chair Meyer OPENED public testimony.                                                                                         
2:50:00 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIN  MERRYM,  ERIN'S  LAW,  CHICAGO  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
shared that  the law had  been passed  in 12 states  and was                                                                    
currently being voted  on in 25 additional  states. She said                                                                    
that  the intent  of the  bill  was to  educate and  empower                                                                    
children and to  give them the tools  pertaining to personal                                                                    
body  safety to  speak up  and tell  someone about  physical                                                                    
abuse. She offered prepared testimony:                                                                                          
     "My name is Erin Merryn  I come here today from Chicago                                                                    
     to speak  on a  very important topic  that is  near and                                                                    
     dear to my heart. A topic I am very passionate about."                                                                     
     "One  in  four  girls  and  one in  six  boys  will  be                                                                    
     sexually abused  before their eighteen  birthday. There                                                                    
     are  currently forty  two million  survivors of  sexual                                                                    
     abuse  in America  alone. Three  million  of those  are                                                                    
     children.  We are  just  talking  about America.  Those                                                                    
     three  million  kids  could  fill  forty  six  national                                                                    
     football  stadiums.  As  I   often  tell  people  these                                                                    
     children are  sitting in our  classrooms. Yet  we often                                                                    
     fail  to  address the  warning  signs.  We often  label                                                                    
     these  kids behavior  disorder, emotionally  disturbed,                                                                    
     but we never  get to the root of the  problem.  We give                                                                    
     them  aids, we  hold them  back, and  we put  all these                                                                    
     resources into these children but  we are often failing                                                                    
     these kids  because we are  not educating them.  We are                                                                    
     not giving  them a voice  and empowering them  to speak                                                                    
     up  and   tell  if  someone  is   ever  doing  anything                                                                    
     When I  was just a  little six year  old I met  my best                                                                    
     friend in  school her  name was Ashley.   Ashley  and I                                                                    
     began doing everything together  and it was at Ashley's                                                                    
     house I  had my first sleepover.   I was so  excited as                                                                    
     that little six year old  going off to my best friend's                                                                    
     house. I  fell asleep that  night only to wake  up that                                                                    
     night to  her uncle coming  into the room  and sexually                                                                    
     abuse  me for  the  first  time. This  man  went on  to                                                                    
     sexually abuse  me many more  times in my  childhood. I                                                                    
     didn't go  home and tell  my parents the next  day what                                                                    
     he  had  done. No  I  stayed  silent because  the  only                                                                    
     message I  was getting  as a child  from this  man was,                                                                    
     "this is our  little secret, I will come  get you Erin,                                                                    
     I know where  you live, if you tell  anyone nobody will                                                                    
     believe you."  I was being  brainwashed with this  so I                                                                    
     continued to stay  silent. At seven years  old this man                                                                    
     raped me.  I can  remember that day  as if  it happened                                                                    
     yesterday.  This man  continued  to  sexually abuse  me                                                                    
     until I  was 8 1/2  years old. Finally my  saving grace                                                                    
     came when I  moved to a new house. But  moving only got                                                                    
     me that much  closer to my next abuser.  It wasn't that                                                                    
     stranger danger  I was taught  about every  year, don't                                                                    
     go look  for the lost  puppy, don't talk  to strangers,                                                                    
     or as I put in my  childhood diary, "I sobbed the whole                                                                    
     way home over and over in  my head I thought about what                                                                    
     just happened. In school a  guy called officer friendly                                                                    
     teaches us about strangers, never  answer the door when                                                                    
     my  parents  aren't  home, I  thought  people  like  my                                                                    
     cousin jumped out of bushes  and attacked you at night,                                                                    
     they don't  warn us  about our  own family,  they don't                                                                    
     teach us that in school."                                                                                                  
     You see  from ages eleven  to thirteen an  older cousin                                                                    
     was sexually abusing  me.  Once again  getting the only                                                                    
     message  this is  our secret  Erin nobody  will believe                                                                    
     you. I  knew as a  child how to  duck and cover  from a                                                                    
     tornado, how to  run out of a burning  building, how to                                                                    
     evacuate a  school bus, how to  tell a teacher if  I am                                                                    
     being bullied,  internet safety,  and what  to do  in a                                                                    
     lock  down  situation  if  there was  a  gunman  in  my                                                                    
     school, but we fail to  teach kids on the prevention of                                                                    
     sexual abuse. On empowering them  if someone is abusing                                                                    
     you, you  speak up and  tell a  safe adult. You  tell a                                                                    
     parent,  a teacher,  a school  social worker,  a family                                                                    
    member, somebody but you don't keep this a secret.                                                                          
     I  was  also taught  DARE  we  teach this  across  this                                                                    
     country. I  am sure we  teach it right here  in Kansas.                                                                    
     You see  DARE teaches us  the eight  ways to say  no to                                                                    
     drugs but I  ask you today where are the  eight ways on                                                                    
     how to get  away and tell today. They never  came in my                                                                    
     childhood and  the only message  as I mentioned  that I                                                                    
     got, "This  is our  little secret, nobody  will believe                                                                    
     you, I will come hurt you."                                                                                                
     How   did  I   finally   find  my   voice  then?   Well                                                                    
     unfortunately  it was  learning my  little 11  year old                                                                    
     sister was  also being molested by  this same relative.                                                                    
     You  see these  perpetrators live  in our  backyards. I                                                                    
     guarantee every  single one of  you knows  someone that                                                                    
     has been  sexually abused.  We live  in a  society that                                                                    
     looks the other  way, pretends it isn't  going on, when                                                                    
     it is really in our faces  all the time we just fail to                                                                    
     recognize  it. There  are  people  like Jerry  Sandusky                                                                    
     living in all our communities. There out there.                                                                            
     Erin's  Law  will  give  children   the  tools  on  the                                                                    
     difference between a safe touch  and unsafe touch, safe                                                                    
     secret  and unsafe  secret, how  to get  away and  tell                                                                    
     today. I want  educators to be educated  on the warning                                                                    
     signs to look for and the  proper way to handle a child                                                                    
     that discloses abuse.  I want that seven  year old that                                                                    
     is being sexually abused tonight  to be educated on how                                                                    
     to  tell through  age  appropriate  curriculum. So  she                                                                    
     will  go  to school  tomorrow  and  report it.  Because                                                                    
     right now  in our society  that little 7 year  old will                                                                    
     stay silent  and continue  to be  abused by  that step-                                                                    
     father   for years and it  isn't until she is  30 years                                                                    
     old in  drug rehab  finally coming  to terms  with what                                                                    
     she  never dealt  with because  she wasn't  educate. My                                                                    
     goal here  and across  this nation is  to get  this law                                                                    
     passed  in  every state.  Every  child  deserves to  be                                                                    
     empowered  with their  voice  and not  to  keep this  a                                                                    
     secret. Every  child should  know how  to speak  up and                                                                    
     tell,  the  same way  they  know  how  to not  talk  to                                                                    
     strangers  or  use  drugs. I  say  to  all  legislators                                                                    
     across  this  country  the only  ones  that  should  be                                                                    
     against  this  bill  to  help give  kids  a  voice  and                                                                    
     educate   our  educators   are  the   sexual  offenders                                                                    
     themselves.  Help me  protect kids  by giving  them the                                                                    
     voice I  never had.  Help the  children of  Alaska know                                                                    
     how to speak up and tell. Thank you!"                                                                                      
2:59:36 PM                                                                                                                    
JESSICA LAWMASTER, CHAIR,  ALASKA CHILDREN'S ALLIANCE, HOMER                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  SB  216.  She                                                                    
relayed that  she had  forensically interviewed  hundreds of                                                                    
child victims of sexual abuse;  at the end of each interview                                                                    
she would  ask each child  to identify safe adults  in their                                                                    
lives to  whom they  could report  further harm.  She opined                                                                    
that some children were unable  to name a single person. She                                                                    
stated that when children struggled  to think of safe adults                                                                    
to talk  to because they  did not know  that it was  okay to                                                                    
talk  to   trusted  adults  about  something   so  personal,                                                                    
uncomfortable,  and  confusing.  She  asserted  that  shame,                                                                    
blame, and  other negative reactions  from adults  that they                                                                    
seek to  please, kept children  from speaking  their truths.                                                                    
She believed that  passage of the bill would  help to reduce                                                                    
stigma around  disclosing abuse and assure  children that it                                                                    
was okay to  tell. She noted that, for decades,  it has been                                                                    
expected of children  to simply say no to abuse,  as if they                                                                    
had the power or responsibility  to prevent it on their own;                                                                    
the message had  been sent to children that it  was not only                                                                    
up to  them to  know what  is inappropriate  but to  make it                                                                    
stop by  simply saying "no".  She said that the  reality was                                                                    
that   children  were   exceptionally  vulnerable   and  the                                                                    
dynamics of  child sexual abuse  were complex.  She stressed                                                                    
that it could even be  difficult for adults to discuss child                                                                    
sexual  assault,  but  that it  was  the  responsibility  of                                                                    
adults and  leaders in  the state  to protect  children. She                                                                    
reiterated  the statistics  of child  sexual assault  in the                                                                    
state. She related  that in most cases the  sexual abuse was                                                                    
perpetrated by a trusted family  member: a parent, guardian,                                                                    
step-parent,  or the  partner of  their primary  care giver.                                                                    
She said that  it was presumed that the  numbers known about                                                                    
sexual  abuse perpetrated  by  parents  and caregivers  were                                                                    
underrepresented because those were  the cases that involved                                                                    
the highest  level of secrecy  and isolation.  She explained                                                                    
that  perpetrators  in the  home  who  abuse their  children                                                                    
strategically  threaten,   manipulate,  and   isolate  their                                                                    
children to the extent where  many of the never tell anyone.                                                                    
She hoped that when parents  could not be present to protect                                                                    
children that there would be  other trusted adults available                                                                    
who could.  She believed  that the  bill was  most important                                                                    
for the  children of  Alaska whose homes  were not  safe and                                                                    
were isolated and bound by  the chains of secrecy imposed on                                                                    
them by  people they love  and trust the most.  She stressed                                                                    
that  she had  heard from  young children  who had  grown up                                                                    
with sexual abuse so normalized  they never realized that it                                                                    
was not okay and no one had ever told them different.                                                                           
3:04:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                         
Vice-Chair Fairclough  MOVED to ADOPT to  CSSB 216(FIN), 28-                                                                    
LS1617/Y,  4/10/2014. There  being  no OBJECTION  it was  so                                                                    
3:04:52 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE  MARASIGAN, STAFF  SENATOR KEVIN  MEYER, spoke  to                                                                    
the changes in  the new CS. She stated that  the only change                                                                    
could be found  on the last line of the  bill, which changed                                                                    
the effective date to coincide with the fiscal year.                                                                            
3:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:09:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CSSB 216(FIN)  was HEARD and  HELD in committee  for further                                                                    
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 268(FIN)                                                                                                  
     "An Act relating to big bull moose derbies and the                                                                         
     Snow Town Ice Classic; and relating to permits for                                                                         
     games of chance and contests of skill."                                                                                    
3:10:50 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
3:11:23 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   TAMMIE   WILSON,    presented   a   sponsor                                                                    
     House Bill 268 would allow the Tanana Valley Sportsmen                                                                     
     Association and the Advocates for Victims of Violence                                                                      
     to raise funds for their nonprofit organizations.                                                                          
    The big bull moose derbies would be managed by the                                                                          
     Tanana Valley Sportsmen Association and will operate                                                                       
     much like other contests already allowed under                                                                             
     statute. This will take place during the annual moose                                                                      
     season, by individuals that have acquired all the                                                                          
     proper documentation already implemented by the State                                                                      
     of Alaska to stay within the legal boundaries of the                                                                       
     moose season. Participants must purchase a derby                                                                           
     ticket prior to the open day of the season. Prizes are                                                                     
     awarded based on the size or spread of the moose                                                                           
     antlers. Anyone who enters a bull would, regardless of                                                                     
     the antler spread, be entered into a drawing for                                                                           
     The Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Association is a                                                                             
     nonprofit organization that hosts training and                                                                             
     completion events for the nationally ranked University                                                                     
     of Alaska Nanooks Rifle Team as well as the local high                                                                     
    schools. It is home to a multitude of community and                                                                         
     school events; NCAA tournaments, biathlon training &                                                                       
     competition, gun safety and personal protection                                                                            
     classes are among the many. House Bill 268 would allow                                                                     
     the raising of funds to further the use of the Tanana                                                                      
     Valley Sportsmen's Association club house and support                                                                      
     the efforts of the nationally ranked UAF Nanooks Rifle                                                                     
     team who has produced Olympic level competitors.                                                                           
     The Snow Town Ice Classic will be operated and                                                                             
     administered by the Advocates for Victims of Violence.                                                                     
     Participants must purchase a ticket and guess the                                                                          
    total of snow accumulation in the town. Winners are                                                                         
     determined by the closest guess of what the total snow                                                                     
     The Advocates for Victims of Violence is a nonprofit                                                                       
     organization that is committed to ending domestic                                                                          
     violence and sexual assault. Advocates for Victims of                                                                      
     Violence provide confidential services to victims and                                                                      
     their families and operates a safe shelter for woman                                                                       
     and their children. A total of 18 communities are                                                                          
     directly served by Advocates for Victims of Violence                                                                       
     including Chitina, Glennallen, McCarthy, and Valdez.                                                                       
    House Bill 268 would allow the raising of funds to                                                                          
    help serve the women and children that stay in the                                                                          
     shelter and allow the Advocates for Victims of                                                                             
     Violence to continue to strive to end domestic                                                                             
     violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.                                                                                 
3:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Senator Olson asked whether the bill had faced any                                                                              
Representative Wilson that there was one individual that                                                                        
had opposed the legislation on the grounds that the contest                                                                     
would draw too many out-of-state hunters.                                                                                       
3:14:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Meyer noted that public testimony on the bill                                                                          
would be taken at a later date. He discussed housekeeping                                                                       
for the following day and into the weekend.                                                                                     
3:15:55 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:16 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 197 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 197
Erin's Law Map.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 16
Letter of Support - SB 216.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Sectional CSSB 216.doc SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Sponsor Statement Senate Bill 216.docx SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Supporting Document HB233 Letters of Support.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 233
Supporting Document Prevention.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Supporting Documents 5 STEPS BOOKLET.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Supporting Documents Child Sexual Abuse in the Bering Strait Region.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Supporting Documents NBER-Does Child Maltreatment Lead to Crime.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Testimony of Erin Merryn.docx SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
Explanation of Changes CSSB 216 (EDC )Version P.doc SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216
SB216 work draft version Y.pdf SFIN 4/10/2014 1:30:00 PM
SB 216