Legislature(1995 - 1996)

03/08/1996 09:07 AM Senate HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                         March 8, 1996                                         
                           9:07 a.m.                                           
  MEMBERS PRESENT                                                              
 Senator Lyda Green, Chairman                                                  
 Senator Loren Leman, Vice-Chairman                                            
 Senator Mike Miller                                                           
  MEMBERS ABSENT                                                               
 Senator Johnny Ellis                                                          
 Senator Judy Salo                                                             
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
 SENATE BILL NO. 259                                                           
 "An Act removing the requirement for sunset review of the Alaska              
 Commission on Aging; and providing for an effective date."                    
 SENATE BILL NO. 214                                                           
 "An Act making appropriations for the operating expenses of the               
 state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and                   
 providing for an effective date."                                             
  PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION                                             
 SB 259 - No previous action to record.                                        
 SB 214 - No previous action to record.                                        
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Nelson Page, Chair                                                            
 Mental Health Trust Authority                                                 
 3601 C Street, Suite 742                                                      
 Anchorage, Alaska 99503                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Reviewed the Vision and Mission Statement as             
                      well as the guiding principles of the Mental             
                      Health Trust Authority.                                  
 Karen Perdue, Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Health & Social Services                                        
 PO Box 110601                                                                 
 Juneau, Alaska 99811-0601                                                     
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed her view of the program.                       
 Kay Burrows, Chair                                                            
 Planning & Program Group                                                      
 Mental Health Trust Authority                                                 
 2711 West 84 Avenue                                                           
 Anchorage, Alaska 99502                                                       
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Discussed budget aspects of the program.                 
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
 TAPE 96-17, SIDE A                                                            
            SB 259 NO SUNSET FOR COMMISSION ON AGING                          
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN GREEN called the Senate Health, Education and Social                 
 Services (HESS) Committee to order at 9:07 a.m. and introduced                
 SB 259  as the first order of business before the committee.                  
 SENATOR MILLER believed that all commissions should have a sunset             
 date in order to make the commission more accountable.  The Alaska            
 Commission on Aging has been doing a good job.  Senator Miller                
 moved a conceptual amendment to make the sunset date the year                 
 2,000.  Hearing no objection, the conceptual amendment was adopted.           
 SENATOR LEMAN moved that CSSB 259(HES) be moved out of committee              
 with accompanying fiscal note and individual recommendations.                 
 Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                                      
            SB 214 APPROPRIATIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH                           
 Number 050                                                                    
 NELSON PAGE, Chair of the Mental Health Trust Authority, informed             
 the committee that the authority is almost a year old.  One of the            
 most important aspects of the settlement is the idea that the Trust           
 Authority would work with the Department of Health & Social                   
 Services (DHSS) to create a comprehensive plan for providing mental           
 health services for the people of Alaska.  The Trust Authority has            
 adopted a vision statement and some guiding principles which have             
 been given to the committee.  Mr. Page pointed out that the Vision            
 and Mission Statement contain the following important                         
 responsibilities:  to continue and plan in perpetuity, to enhance             
 and protect the trust, to provide leadership, to advocate and plan,           
 and to implement and fund.  The ultimate goal of the Trust                    
 Authority is to improve the life and circumstances of the                     
 beneficiaries which therefore, would improve the lives and                    
 circumstances of all Alaskans.                                                
 Number 113                                                                    
 Mr. Page highlighted the following guiding principles of the Mental           
 Health Trust Authority:                                                       
  * the comprehensive plan should be an agent for change with                  
    the funding recommendations and planning strategies designed               
    to act as a catalyst to achieve improvement in the system;                 
  * the Mental Health Program and its services must be consumer                
    driven and outcome oriented;                                               
  * the Mental Health Program must have measurable criteria                    
    which have some meaning in the lives of the beneficiaries                  
    from which evaluations can be made of the services and                     
     possible changes (the data should provide a correlation                   
    between the plan and the beneficiary information);                         
  * the concept of integration and efficiency should be                        
    addressed in the planning process.                                         
 The overall progress of the authority thus far has lead to a better           
 focus of all the beneficiaries, the advocacy groups, and the                  
 agencies.   Mr. Page said that it had been a pleasure to work with            
 DHSS and Commissioner Perdue.  The authority and the department               
 have worked closely on this program.  He thanked Commissioner                 
 Perdue for her assistance in this matter.                                     
 Number 184                                                                    
 KAREN PERDUE, Commissioner of the Department of Health & Social               
 Services, echoed Mr. Page's sentiments regarding the two groups               
 work together.  The department and the Mental Health Program share            
 the goals of the Trust Authority.  Enough time has been spent                 
 reviewing the vision and mission in order to correlate the goals,             
 now is the time to move forward with practical work.  One of the              
 shared goals, is to obtain basic information by July of 1996 for              
 the Mental Health Trust Authority and the beneficiary boards to               
 utilize in preparation for next year's budget process.                        
 Commissioner Perdue stated that everyone involved wants to do                 
 program budgeting.  In closing, Commissioner Perdue indicated that            
 in the long-term this project would create a big return on the                
 KAY BURROWS, Chair of the Planning & Program Group for the Mental             
 Health Trust Authority, informed the committee that the group has             
 been trying to integrate and create a program approach through the            
 four beneficiary groups and boards.  She mentioned that last year             
 the board sent the authority approximately $25 million in                     
 priorities.  About $5.9 million, of General Fund money as well as             
 Trust Authority money, was agreed upon as recommendations to the              
 Governor.  The Mental Health Program Improvements in the Governor's           
 budget amount to $2.15 million, including the Trust Authority's               
 money, and is before the committee.  About $3.8 million is left in            
 recommended Program Improvements from the Trust Authority which are           
 not specifically in the Governor's budget.                                    
 Number 235                                                                    
 Ms. Burrows explained that the Trust Authority had attempted to               
 leverage Trust account money to continue to move people from                  
 Harborview and close it.  Furthermore, the Trust Authority has also           
 tried to get the State's money into the communities earlier in                
 order to create the necessary wrap around services.  The Governor's           
 budget contains an additional $585,000 which were savings from                
 Harborview.  Ms. Burrows hoped the savings could be leveraged into            
 the communities.  In the supplemental recommendations of the                  
 Governor's budget, $100,000 of the $585,000 is to be placed into              
 leverage savings for communities.  With regards to the Capital                
 Budget, the authority has a few line items for which the authority            
 suggested it would prioritize Trust Authority money.  If there were           
 matching General Funds for transportation vehicles and for adaptive           
 devices for the developmentally disabled community, the authority             
 would prioritize Trust Authority money for those areas.  There were           
 no General Funds in the Governor's budget so the Trust Authority              
 decided not to provide the Trust Authority money either.  Ms.                 
 Burrows mentioned that the authority would be determining where               
 additional money for FY 97 would be prioritized.                              
 NELSON PAGE reiterated the fact that the Trust Authority has an               
 interest in working with the committee in order to create and                 
 implement an appropriate plan and approach.  Mr. Page thanked the             
 Number 270                                                                    
 SENATOR MILLER moved that SB 214 be moved out of committee with               
 individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.  Hearing            
 no objection, it was so ordered.                                              
 There being no further business before the committee, the meeting             
 was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.                                                    

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