Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

03/09/2021 01:30 PM Senate HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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01:31:20 PM Start
01:31:45 PM Confirmation Hearing (s)
01:51:06 PM SB91
02:39:37 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees to the TELECONFERENCED
State Medical Board - Steve Parker
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ -- Invited & Public Testimony -- TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
      SENATE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                    
                         March 9, 2021                                                                                          
                           1:31 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator David Wilson, Chair                                                                                                     
Senator Shelley Hughes, Vice Chair                                                                                              
Senator Lora Reinbold                                                                                                           
Senator Tom Begich                                                                                                              
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Mia Costello                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
State Medical Board                                                                                                           
Steve Parker - Palmer                                                                                                           
     - ADVANCED                                                                                                                 
SENATE BILL NO. 91                                                                                                              
"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."                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: SB  91                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: DETENTION OF MINORS                                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
02/22/21       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/22/21       (S)       HSS, STA                                                                                               
03/09/21       (S)       HSS AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
STEVE PARKER, M.D., Appointee                                                                                                   
State Medical Board                                                                                                             
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified as the governor's appointee to the                                                              
State Medical Board.                                                                                                            
TRACY DOMPELING, Director                                                                                                       
Division of Juvenile Justice                                                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Introduced SB 91 on behalf of Senate Rules                                                                
by request of the governor.                                                                                                     
MATT DAVIDSON, Social Services Program Officer                                                                                  
Division of Juvenile Justice                                                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS)                                                                                 
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Presented the sectional for SB 91.                                                                        
NANCY MEADE, General Counsel                                                                                                    
Alaska Court System                                                                                                             
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about SB 91.                                                                           
AMY GORN, Chair, Alaska Juvenile Advisory Committee                                                                             
Wasilla, Alaska                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT: Testified in favor of SB 91.                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:31:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DAVID WILSON  called the Senate Health  and Social Services                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:31 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call to order  were Senators Hughes, Reinbold,  Begich, and Chair                                                               
^Confirmation Hearing (s)                                                                                                       
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
                      State Medical Board                                                                                     
1:31:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON announced the consideration of the governor's                                                                      
appointee to the State Medical Board. He called on Dr. Parker.                                                                  
1:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
STEVE  PARKER,  M.D.,  Appointee, State  Medical  Board,  Palmer,                                                               
Alaska, said  he has been  a private  physician in Palmer  for 12                                                               
years. He  served in the military  for 10 years. His  interest in                                                               
the medical board is that he  wants to protect patients from poor                                                               
practices,  help  physicians  improve  their  care,  and  protect                                                               
colleagues from  bureaucratic overreach.  Without a  reasoned and                                                               
measured approached,  Alaska can become an  undesirable place for                                                               
the specialists the state desperately  needs. He has had exposure                                                               
to medicine at various levels  and with various leadership roles.                                                               
He  has served  on  many  committees with  similar  goals to  the                                                               
medical  board. He  already has  one  year of  experience on  the                                                               
1:33:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD asked  him why he thought he was  chosen and why                                                               
does he want to serve.                                                                                                          
DR. PARKER answered  that not a lot of other  people volunteer to                                                               
serve. The main  reason he wants to serve is  that he has noticed                                                               
practices within Alaska  the community that concern  him. He also                                                               
wants   to  protect   colleagues.  The   medical  board   can  be                                                               
problematic as far  as making practice in  Alaska undesirable. He                                                               
wants  to make  sure the  medical  board is  fair, reasoned,  and                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD  answered she appreciated the  answer. She asked                                                               
how  the state  could improve  handling the  COVID disaster  with                                                               
limited impact  on people while always  protecting constitutional                                                               
DR.  PARKER  replied  that  people at  greatest  risk  should  be                                                               
protected and  everyone else should  use their best  judgement to                                                               
manage things.  The best  way to  handle that  is to  educate the                                                               
public on the  most useful ways to protect  themselves from COVID                                                               
and let each individual make the  best decision. That is the only                                                               
way to handle things in an open and free society.                                                                               
SENATOR  REINBOLD said  that is  an outstanding  answer. That  is                                                               
what the  Great Barrington Declaration  discusses. Constitutional                                                               
rights  are of  utmost importance.  She thanked  him for  opening                                                               
Capstone Clinic  in Eagle River.  She supports the repeal  of the                                                               
Certificate of Need because Eagle  River needs an emergency room.                                                               
The  chair is  sponsoring that.  She said  that Dr.  Parker noted                                                               
that he is continuing to  run an independent family practice that                                                               
is HIPAA  (Health Insurance  Portability and  Accountability Act)                                                               
compliant. She asked him to explain what HIPAA-compliant means.                                                                 
DR.  PARKER  explained that  it  means  that he  doesn't  discuss                                                               
patient care or  patients outside of his office  in any capacity.                                                               
His office  protects computer resources and  has multiple shields                                                               
for  people accessing  the computer  system. HIPAA  is protecting                                                               
patient  information while  being  open to  interacting with  his                                                               
colleagues and  making sure  they get  the information  they need                                                               
without significant roadblocks.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  REINBOLD  said   then  HIPAA-compliant  means  basically                                                               
protecting patient privacy, including with computers.                                                                           
DR. PARKER  answered yes,  but it is  often forgotten  that HIPAA                                                               
was  not  meant  as  a   way  to  block  medical  providers  from                                                               
interacting   with    each   other.   That   is    one   of   the                                                               
misunderstandings of HIPAA.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  REINBOLD  shared  that   her  committee,  Judiciary,  is                                                               
dealing with Senator Kiehl's curbside  immunity bill. She thanked                                                               
him for his willingness to serve.                                                                                               
1:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said that she  appreciates the care he provides to                                                               
the  Palmer community.  The committee  has heard  over the  years                                                               
about  the  length  of  time  it  takes  for  someone  to  become                                                               
licensed. It seems  to be slower than in other  states. She asked                                                               
him  if he  has any  ideas on  how to  improve that  process. She                                                               
knows that things were expedited during the COVID period.                                                                       
DR. PARKER  answered that the  board had regular  weekly meetings                                                               
to expedite the  work, rather than having  quarterly meetings. So                                                               
many people  applying have  30-40 medical  licenses, such  as the                                                               
locum tenens or  radiologists who are not  actually practicing in                                                               
Alaska. When  the board is  being inundated with people  who have                                                               
numerous licenses,  it probably requires  a lot of more  work. He                                                               
doesn't  do  in-the-trenches work  for  that,  but 30-40  medical                                                               
boards  around the  country must  be contacted.  Some states  are                                                               
recognizing other  state licenses without going  through the full                                                               
inquiry.  That will  have a  big benefit,  hopefully in  the near                                                               
SENATOR HUGHES said  that would be reciprocity,  which would have                                                               
to  be a  statute  change. She  asked if  the  medical board  has                                                               
discussed that.                                                                                                                 
DR. PARKER  responded that the  board has only  briefly discussed                                                               
it. To him, that is critical in the long term.                                                                                  
SENATOR HUGHES said  that she understands that  the medical board                                                               
met  more often  than  any  other board  in  the  past year.  She                                                               
thanked him  for all the  extra time.  He is in  family medicine.                                                               
She asked if that  is a particular seat on the  board and what is                                                               
the makeup of the board.                                                                                                        
DR. PARKER  said the  seats are for  physicians but  not specific                                                               
specialties.  The other  five positions  on the  board come  from                                                               
various specialties.                                                                                                            
SENATOR HUGHES asked if he is  the only primary care physician on                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
DR. PARKER answered  yes, although one other person  is in family                                                               
medicine,  but she  is mostly  involved with  pain and  addiction                                                               
1:44:03 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if Dr.  Parker had  said that the  board is                                                               
working on regulations for reciprocity.                                                                                         
DR. PARKER answered  no. It was just mentioned  as something that                                                               
other states are doing. The board  has not discussed asking for a                                                               
legislative or regulation change at this time.                                                                                  
SENATOR BEGICH  asked if  he understood  that a  statutory change                                                               
would be required.                                                                                                              
DR. PARKER replied yes. It has  just been mentioned in passing by                                                               
the board.                                                                                                                      
SENATOR BEGICH said  he wanted to reinforce that the  board has a                                                               
lot  of responsibilities  and takes  disciplinary action,  but it                                                               
cannot change the law.                                                                                                          
DR.  PARKER  answered that  he  completely  understands that.  He                                                               
thinks  reciprocity  is a  great  idea,  but  the board  has  not                                                               
discussed it any great detail.                                                                                                  
SENATOR BEGICH asked  if Dr. Parker has given any  thought to the                                                               
implications for the Alaska workforce.                                                                                          
DR. PARKER  replied no.  He hasn't  thought about  the unintended                                                               
consequences. He  clarified that Senator Begich  meant whether it                                                               
would undermine local physicians.                                                                                               
SENATOR BEGICH  replied yes. That  means the board  will consider                                                               
unintended consequences and he looks  forward to hearing what the                                                               
board comes up with.                                                                                                            
DR.  PARKER said  good debate  goes  on with  the board.  Members                                                               
spend a  lot of time  thinking and pondering about  these things.                                                               
At the most,  they could send a letter suggesting  that this is a                                                               
good idea. The group is  open to questioning and reviewing things                                                               
before anything is done.                                                                                                        
1:47:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON thanked Dr. Parker  for his willingness to serve. He                                                               
opened  public testimony  and after  ascertaining there  was none                                                               
closed public testimony. He asked for the will of the committee.                                                                
1:48:19 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES stated  that in accordance with  AS 39.05.080, the                                                               
Senate  Health and  Social Services  Standing Committee  reviewed                                                               
the following  and recommends the  appointment be forwarded  to a                                                               
joint session for consideration:                                                                                                
State Medical Board                                                                                                           
Steve Parker  Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                    
She  reminded   members  that   signing  the   reports  regarding                                                               
appointments  to  boards  and  commissions  in  no  way  reflects                                                               
individual members'  approval or  disapproval of  the appointees;                                                               
the nominations are merely forwarded  to the full legislature for                                                               
confirmation or rejection.                                                                                                      
1:48:39 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
                   SB  91-DETENTION OF MINORS                                                                               
1:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR   WILSON  reconvened   the   meeting   and  announced   the                                                               
consideration  of SENATE  BILL NO.  91, "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."  He stated his                                                               
intent  to  hear  an  overview   of  the  bill  and  hear  public                                                               
testimony. He invited Director Dompeling to introduce the bill.                                                                 
1:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
TRACY   DOMPELING,  Director,   Division  of   Juvenile  Justice,                                                               
Department of Health and Social  Services (DHSS), Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
said that  SB 91  will bring Alaska  into compliance  with recent                                                               
changes to  the Juvenile Justice  and Delinquency  Prevention Act                                                               
(JJDPA).  The  JJDPA  was  first enacted  in  1974  and  recently                                                               
reauthorized in 2018.  The JJDPA is the primary  piece of federal                                                               
legislation  that guides  juvenile justice  practices around  the                                                               
country.  Alaska's Division  of  Juvenile Justice  (DJJ) lack  of                                                               
compliance with the  JJDPA will lead to grant  penalties with the                                                               
division's major federal grants.                                                                                                
MS. DOMPELING said  that SB 91 makes two changes  in statute that                                                               
will  help  bring  the  state into  compliance.  First,  it  will                                                               
require that minors who have  been waived into the adult criminal                                                               
justice system  be held in  juvenile facilities until  they reach                                                               
the age  of 18. Currently  minors who are subject  to autowaivers                                                               
or discretionary  waivers statutes  are held  in adult  jails and                                                               
correctional facilities in the state  of Alaska. Second, the bill                                                               
expands   the   court  findings   that   are   necessary  for   a                                                               
nondelinquent minor to  be held temporarily in  a secure juvenile                                                               
facility. The bill  is limited in scope and  intentionally has no                                                               
impact on  the crimes or sentences  of minors who are  subject to                                                               
waiver into the adult justice system,  nor will the bill have any                                                               
net fiscal impact.                                                                                                              
MS.  DOMPELING said  if implemented,  the bill  will improve  the                                                               
conditions of  confinement for minors  who are currently  held in                                                               
adult  facilities. Minors  who are  being held  in Department  of                                                               
Corrections  (DOC) facilities  are  usually  difficult to  manage                                                               
there  and are  often held  in segregation  units. The  bill will                                                               
require  the  Department of  Corrections  and  the Department  of                                                               
Health  and Social  Services (DHSS)  to develop  agreements about                                                               
how to  hold minors in  DOC custody in juvenile  facilities. Data                                                               
provided  last year  by DOC  identified  six youth  total in  DOC                                                               
facilities  under the  age of  18,  so it  is a  small number  of                                                               
1:54:22 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  DOMPELING said  the second  change  in the  bill deals  with                                                               
limited  circumstances under  which nondelinquent  minors may  be                                                               
held temporarily  in secure  juvenile justice  facilities pending                                                               
another  placement.   These  situations   are  very   rare.  They                                                               
generally  involve  minors  in  the  custody  of  the  Office  of                                                               
Children's  Services   (OCS)  who   are  chronic   runaways  from                                                               
placement and  put themselves in  dangerous situations.  In those                                                               
circumstances the state seeks a  court finding under the existing                                                               
statute,  AS  47.10.141,  that  allows these  youth  to  be  held                                                               
securely  for  a  short  period of  time,  pending  placement  in                                                               
another,  nonsecure setting.  The new  federal JJDPA  expands the                                                               
court findings necessary to hold  those minors and further limits                                                               
the duration of a secure hold.  These are very rare cases. During                                                               
the last three  fiscal years, there were three youth  held in DJJ                                                               
facilities  under these  types of  circumstances  each year.  DJJ                                                               
appreciates the governor's support  on this important legislation                                                               
and the cooperation of the  Department of Corrections, Department                                                               
of Public Safety,  and Department of Law with  the development of                                                               
this proposal. Since the introduction,  the division has received                                                               
good feedback from  the court system and  other stakeholders that                                                               
the division hopes to address during the process.                                                                               
1:56:01 PM                                                                                                                    
MATT  DAVIDSON,  Social  Services Program  Officer,  Division  of                                                               
Juvenile  Justice,  Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services                                                               
(DHSS), Juneau,  Alaska, said  that SB 91  is a  tightly tailored                                                               
bill.  The three  major elements  are  a minor  amendment to  DOC                                                               
statute, and two sections that  address child protection statute,                                                               
and then  the rest of  the bill  is mostly conforming  changes to                                                               
delinquency statutes to  allow the division to  handle minors who                                                               
aren't generally  delinquents but  are considered  to be  part of                                                               
the adult court system, not  the delinquency system. He presented                                                               
the sectional analysis:                                                                                                         
     Section   1:   Amends   AS   33.30.011(a)   Duties   of                                                                    
     commissioner to  expand the duties of  the Commissioner                                                                    
     of  the   Department  of  Corrections  to   enter  into                                                                    
     agreements  with the  Department of  Health and  Social                                                                    
     Services for the  detention and care of  minors who are                                                                    
     waived into the adult criminal justice system.                                                                             
MR.  DAVIDSON  said Sections  2  and  3 deal  with  nondelinquent                                                               
minors   and  expands   the  court   findings   limits  on   when                                                               
nondelinquents can be held in secure juvenile facilities.                                                                       
     Section 2:  Amends AS 47.10.141(c) Runaway  and missing                                                                    
     minors  to reference  a new  subsection  that adds  new                                                                    
     requirements  for  court  findings related  to  holding                                                                    
     non-delinquent minors in secure juvenile facilities.                                                                       
     Section  3: Amends  AS  47.10.141  Runaway and  missing                                                                    
     minors  to add  a  new subsection  to include  expanded                                                                    
     requirements   for  court   findings   before  a   non-                                                                    
     delinquent  minor  can be  held  in  a secure  juvenile                                                                    
     Section 4:  Amends AS 47.12.020  Jurisdiction to  add a                                                                    
     new  subsection  related  to the  jurisdiction  of  the                                                                    
     Division  of Juvenile  Justice to  detain and  care for                                                                    
     minors under Department of Corrections custody.                                                                            
     Section   5:   Amends   AS   47.12.022   Applicability;                                                                    
     inclusion  of   certain  persons  as  minors   to  make                                                                    
     conforming amendments to include  minors subject to the                                                                    
     adult court  processes in the definition  of "minor" in                                                                    
     delinquency statute.                                                                                                       
     Section   6:   Amends    AS   47.12.030(a)   Provisions                                                                    
     inapplicable  to add  a reference  to the  "autowaiver"                                                                    
     statute the  new practice of holding  minors subject to                                                                    
     adult court proceedings  in secure juvenile facilities.                                                                    
     The  section also  includes the  term "transported"  to                                                                    
     the  adult processes  that apply  to  waived minors  to                                                                    
     reflect current practices.                                                                                                 
     Section   7:   Amends   AS   47.12.100(a)   Waiver   of                                                                    
     jurisdiction to  add a reference to  the "discretionary                                                                    
     waiver" statute  the new practice  of holding  of minor                                                                    
     offenders subject to adult  court proceedings in secure                                                                    
     juvenile  facilities.  The  section also  includes  the                                                                    
     list  of  adult court  practices  that  apply to  these                                                                    
1:58:35 PM                                                                                                                    
MR. DAVIDSON  said the  meat of  the bill  and what  receives the                                                               
most attention  is Section  8, which deals  with minors  who have                                                               
been waived to adult court and  the duty to hold them in juvenile                                                               
facilities until  age 18. The  section also includes  the limited                                                               
circumstances  and processes  under  which  the department  would                                                               
seek a waiver  from rule. These cases will be  rare. The division                                                               
believes it  can handle  most of these  minors in  its facilities                                                               
until they are 18. The exceptions  to the rule were allowed under                                                               
the federal act and included in this bill.                                                                                      
     Section  8:   Adds  a   new  section   47.12.105  Minor                                                                    
     offenders  subject  to  adult  court  to  describe  the                                                                    
     process, requirement, and  exceptions for holding minor                                                                    
     offenders  in   the  custody   of  the   Department  of                                                                    
     Corrections  in  secure  Division of  Juvenile  Justice                                                                    
     facilities until  age 18.  This section  also describes                                                                    
     the  court  process and  findings  that  may allow  for                                                                    
     minors  to  be  held  in adult  facilities  in  certain                                                                    
     Section  9:  Amends   AS  47.12.150(a)  Legal  custody,                                                                    
     guardianship,   and   residual  parental   rights   and                                                                    
     responsibilities to make  conforming changes to clarify                                                                    
     that  minors  in  the  custody  of  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Corrections  detained in  Division of  Juvenile Justice                                                                    
     facilities are  subject to  the same  residual parental                                                                    
     rights as other minor offenders.                                                                                           
     Section  10:   Amends  AS  47.12.160(e)   Retention  of                                                                    
     jurisdiction over  minor to make conforming  changes to                                                                    
     the dual sentencing provisions.                                                                                            
     Section 11: Amends AS  47.12.240(a) Detention of minors                                                                    
     to make conforming changes.                                                                                                
1:59:44 PM                                                                                                                    
MR.  DAVIDSON  said that  most  of  47.12 deals  with  delinquent                                                               
minors.  These minors  are not  considered  delinquent. They  are                                                               
subject to  adult court processes,  and they will  be temporarily                                                               
held in  DJJ facilities until  their 18th birthday.  The division                                                               
felt  it   was  important  to   recognize  that   throughout  the                                                               
delinquency  statute. This  is  a special  class  of minors  that                                                               
hasn't been considered except for in the waiver statute.                                                                        
     Sections  12-13:   Amends  AS   47.12.250(a)  Temporary                                                                    
     Detention  and  Detention  Hearing to  make  conforming                                                                    
     Section 14:  Amends AS  47.12.310(a) Agency  Records to                                                                    
     apply   the  same   confidentiality  requirements   for                                                                    
     information about waived minors  as other minors served                                                                    
     by the  Division of Juvenile Justice,  unless otherwise                                                                    
     allowed by statute.                                                                                                        
MR. DAVIDSON  said information  will be  shared with  DOC because                                                               
the minors  will be turned  over to  DOC custody after  they turn                                                               
     Section 15:  Amends AS  47.12.310(b) Agency  Records to                                                                    
     specifically  allow  information  sharing  between  the                                                                    
     Division  of Juvenile  Justice  and  the Department  of                                                                    
     Corrections about former  juvenile offenders and minors                                                                    
     in  DOC  custody  held in  secure  juvenile  facilities                                                                    
     until age 18.                                                                                                              
     Section 16: Repeals sections for conforming purposes.                                                                      
     Section 17: Applicability clause applies to minors in                                                                      
       Department of Corrections custody on or after the                                                                        
     effective date.                                                                                                            
     Section 18: Revisor's instructions.                                                                                        
      Section 19: Special effective date clause. This Act                                                                       
     takes effect on July 1, 2021.                                                                                              
MR. DAVIDSON said  the effective data of July 1,  2021, will help                                                               
the division be in compliance with federal law.                                                                                 
2:02:09 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON clarified  that regarding Section 3  and runaway and                                                               
missing minors,  Mr. Davidson said  that applies to a  low number                                                               
of  minors.  Chair  Wilson  asked  if  that  is  because  of  DJJ                                                               
nonsecure, 24-hour holds in various communities.                                                                                
MS. DOMPELING  replied that  the division  has those  options for                                                               
secure holds,  but these  are special,  high-needs youth  in OCS.                                                               
OCS can place them in a  nonsecure setting anyway with or without                                                               
the nonattendant shelter bed. These  are kids who will not remain                                                               
in a placement. This  gives OCS a limited time to  keep them in a                                                               
safe place until OCS finds a new option for them.                                                                               
CHAIR  WILSON asked  how many  children this  would apply  to. He                                                               
asked  about  the  possibility  of  getting  a  five-to-ten  year                                                               
lookback at  how many  children went  through the  autowaiver and                                                               
discretionary waiver.                                                                                                           
MS. DOMPELING  said she will try  to give him some  good numbers.                                                               
DOC would  provide the  best numbers about  how many  people were                                                               
held.  The issue  with being  able  to provide  numbers of  total                                                               
youth charged  as adults is that  it is not necessarily  in DJJ's                                                               
management information system. In the  past, when DJJ was looking                                                               
at this  issue, it was  a combination of court  records, juvenile                                                               
justice records, and some coordination with DOC.                                                                                
CHAIR WILSON said  he wanted the best guesstimate  about how many                                                               
youth might be in these  circumstances. That information could be                                                               
helpful to the committee.                                                                                                       
2:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR REINBOLD noted  that the bill was  introduced on February                                                               
22 and  the fiscal  notes were  ready. She has  not seen  that in                                                               
recent  days. She  liked that  the bill  is trying  to honor  and                                                               
respect parental rights. If she  understands this bill correctly,                                                               
the  division  basically wants  youth  in  youth facilities.  One                                                               
facility is  unfinished at  this time.  She asked  if that  is an                                                               
issue  or is  the bill  just  about conforming  to a  law at  the                                                               
federal level.                                                                                                                  
MS. DOMPELING  replied that  it is just  about conforming  at the                                                               
federal level.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR REINBOLD said that the  division had said something about                                                               
protecting the privacy  of patients, the juveniles.  She asked if                                                               
the  division   has  to  comply  with   HIPAA  (Health  Insurance                                                               
Portability and Accountability  Act) or do the  minors lose those                                                               
rights in these facilities.                                                                                                     
MS.  DOMPELING answered  the division  does have  to comply  with                                                               
SENATOR REINBOLD asked what type  of federal grants would be lost                                                               
without the changes in the bill.                                                                                                
MS.   DOMPELING  replied   that  it   specifically  impacts   the                                                               
division's  Title  II grant.  In  federal  FY20, that  grant  was                                                               
$424,752. When  a state  is not  in compliances  with one  of the                                                               
core  mandates  from  JJDPA,  the state  receives  a  penalty  of                                                               
$20,000  off the  top. For  Alaska,  that is  about $85,000.  The                                                               
state is required to use 50  percent of the remaining grant award                                                               
to get into compliance with  that particular core mandate, so the                                                               
state  would  then  be  required   to  use  $170,000  to  get  in                                                               
compliance.  One of  the concerns  about  the grant  is that  the                                                               
division is very  general fund heavy. This is a  small portion of                                                               
the division's  grant funds,  but what the  division can  do with                                                               
the grant funds  is what it cannot do with  other funds, which is                                                               
prevention  activities to  hopefully keep  kids out  of detention                                                               
units.  The grant  also supports  nonattendant  care shelter  bed                                                               
grants  for placement  of youth  who may  have committed  a crime                                                               
that don't  necessarily meet the  statutory requirement to  be in                                                               
detention.  It  keeps those  lower-risk  youth  out of  detention                                                               
facilities  with less  restrictive alternatives.  The concern  is                                                               
that  the  little   bit  the  division  can   do  for  prevention                                                               
activities will impact the state if the division cannot do that.                                                                
2:09:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  REINBOLD said  she  wants  to make  sure  that this  has                                                               
nothing  to  do  with  the executive  branch  mandates  regarding                                                               
COVID.  She needs  to  make sure  of that  because  she wants  to                                                               
protect  constitutional  liberties,  even among  detained  youth.                                                               
Those  detained  now  should  have   the  ability  to  see  their                                                               
families.  She noted  that the  the sectional  analysis was  well                                                               
CHAIR  WILSON said  he also  appreciates people  who do  not just                                                               
read the sectional analysis.                                                                                                    
MS. DOMPELING  replied that there  is no involvement  with COVID.                                                               
The reauthorization  occurred in  December of 2018.  The division                                                               
knew this change would need to be made.                                                                                         
2:10:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGHES shared  that  this is  a new  area  for her.  She                                                               
understands  the main  idea is  to get  into compliance  with the                                                               
federal requirements. She asked if  there is anything in the bill                                                               
that is not related to compliance with the federal law.                                                                         
MR.  DAVIDSON answered  that DJJ  has  another bill  that is  the                                                               
omnibus, fix-the-statute bill. That is  SB 99. The Senate has two                                                               
juvenile justice bills  this year. This bill  is closely tailored                                                               
just to bring  DJJ into compliance. The reason for  the number of                                                               
sections is  just to  fix delinquency statutes  to allow  for the                                                               
holding  of  nondelinquents  in  DJJ  facilities  and  allow  the                                                               
division to manage them appropriately.                                                                                          
SENATOR HUGHES  said that Ms.  Dompeling mentioned that  the bill                                                               
will  limit   the  temporary   holding  of   nondelinquents,  the                                                               
runaways, to  up to  seven days.  She asked  what the  hold times                                                               
have been in the past for nondelinquent youth.                                                                                  
MS.  DOMPELING answered  that  in federal  FY20,  with the  three                                                               
instances of youth  being held, one was 25 hours,  another was 50                                                               
hours, and another was 40. In  federal FY19, one was 24, a second                                                               
24, and  another was 40. In  federal FY18, one was  25 hours, one                                                               
was 74 hours, and one was 761 hours.                                                                                            
SENATOR HUGHES  observed that  it seemed  that the  division will                                                               
not have too much trouble  complying. Without a limit, it doesn't                                                               
push anyone  to resolve the  problem as  quickly. She is  glad to                                                               
hear that  it seems the  division was  pushing to get  the minors                                                               
into a better arrangement.                                                                                                      
2:13:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH  said that the  JJDPA was amended by  the Juvenile                                                               
Justice  Reform  Act  in  2018.   These  seem  to  be  comporting                                                               
elements. There doesn't  seem to be much else in  here except for                                                               
one exception.  On page 7,  line 22,  in the new  subsection that                                                               
Mr. Davidson  said would  cause the most  questions, it  says, "A                                                               
minor  shall  be  transferred  to  a  facility  operated  by  the                                                               
Department of Corrections when the  minor turns 18 years of age."                                                               
When a  minor turns  18 under  current state  law, the  minor can                                                               
chose  to stay  in  DJJ custody  until  the age  of  20. That  is                                                               
because of  the services that  can be  provided to a  minor until                                                               
the  age  of  20.  Those   services  are  limited  in  the  adult                                                               
correction system. When minors finish  their sentences, they come                                                               
back  into the  community.  The state  wants to  do  its best  to                                                               
rehabilitate them. He asked if it  is is federal law that it says                                                               
"a minor shall  be transferred" and if it is  required, does that                                                               
negate the minor's ability to stay  in the DJJ jurisdiction up to                                                               
MS. DOMPELING replied that she  does not believe that it requires                                                               
the division to  move a juvenile at  age 18. She may  need to get                                                               
back on the specifics of that.                                                                                                  
2:16:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BEGICH said  the words in the bill are  "A minor shall be                                                               
transferred  to   a  facility  operated  by   the  Department  of                                                               
Corrections when the  minor turns 18 years of age."  That is very                                                               
specific to  an age and specific  to shall language. That  is why                                                               
he is  concerned. It takes  the division  ability to work  with a                                                               
minor until the age of 20 away.                                                                                                 
MR. DAVIDSON said  that section as drafted  has caused confusion.                                                               
The intent is a minor subject  to this section. In the other body                                                               
that was  flagged and the  division is  working to fix  that. The                                                               
intent is not  to change of the age of  DJJ jurisdiction. This is                                                               
just  for minors  who  are  subject to  waiver  and  who will  be                                                               
transferred from a  DJJ facility to a DOC facility  at age 18. It                                                               
is only  for the minors waived  to the adult court.  They will be                                                               
held in DOC  facilities starting at age 18. It  is not delinquent                                                               
minors who are covered by delinquency statutes.                                                                                 
SENATOR  BEGICH said  it sounds  like that  language needs  to be                                                               
amended. He  asked if  the chair would  object to  Senator Begich                                                               
working with DJJ on the language that may be needed there.                                                                      
CHAIR WILSON  asked if the  department has language ready  for an                                                               
amendment for consideration by the committee.                                                                                   
MR. DAVIDSON replied yes. The  division has an amendment that has                                                               
been   drafted  by   Legislative   Legal  that   will  be   under                                                               
consideration tomorrow in the other body.                                                                                       
CHAIR WILSON  asked him to please  forward that to his  office to                                                               
be shared with committee members.                                                                                               
2:18:38 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  BEGICH said  that  page  8, lines  16  and  17, has  the                                                               
opposite  problem. He  didn't think  the phrase  "minor expressly                                                               
waives this  limitation" is in federal  law. If it is,  if minors                                                               
are in an adult correctional system  and are making the choice to                                                               
expressly waive the ability to  be removed from the adult system,                                                               
the bill is  giving them the power  to do so. A  minor exposed to                                                               
the correctional system and choosing  to stay in the correctional                                                               
system,  which   has  far  fewer  opportunities   for  reform  or                                                               
reformation  or other  kinds  of things  to  improve lives,  that                                                               
decision by  virtue of the  nature of the jurisdiction  might not                                                               
be the  healthiest choice  made by  a minor.  He asked  if "minor                                                               
expressly waives  this limitation" is  part of federal law  or is                                                               
it a policy change that doesn't need to be there.                                                                               
MR. DAVIDSON  responded that language  about exceptions  to those                                                               
rules in Section 9  is from the federal law. Page  8, line 14, is                                                               
a minor  that the department has  requested be moved to  an adult                                                               
facility rather than  a juvenile facility and a court  has made a                                                               
finding every  30 days that the  minor should remain in  an adult                                                               
facility  and  not be  moved  to  a  juvenile facility.  This  is                                                               
someone subject  to the autowaiver who  is 16 or 17.  The federal                                                               
law says that at 180 days,  a judge must make another finding and                                                               
must have  good cause for an  extension and the minor  must agree                                                               
to that exception  and remain in an adult  facility. The division                                                               
mirrored that federal language in the  bill. The 180 days and the                                                               
court process every 30 days is  required by the act. The division                                                               
could  remove the  allowance  for  beyond 180  days  and be  more                                                               
stringent about minors  held in adult facilities,  but having the                                                               
expressly waived language  would be required if  the bill allowed                                                               
for extensions beyond 180 days.                                                                                                 
SENATOR  BEGICH said  Mr. Davidson  described  it in  a way  that                                                               
makes Senator Begich more comfortable  with it. Mr. Davidson said                                                               
the extension requires  both the judge and the minor  to agree to                                                               
MR. DAVIDSON replied that that was his understanding.                                                                           
SENATOR BEGICH said to let him  think about the language and make                                                               
sure it does what Mr. Davidson  says it does. He thinks that that                                                               
is right, but he needs to think about that for a little bit.                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if the word  "or" on line 16  should be the                                                               
word "and."                                                                                                                     
SENATOR BEGICH said that she might  be right. He will report back                                                               
to  the chair  about  his  thoughts on  that.  When the  Juvenile                                                               
Justice  Reform Act  passed,  it wasn't  only  changing the  laws                                                               
reflected in  this bill.  There are other  elements he  hopes the                                                               
committee will  have an opportunity  to talk about  regarding the                                                               
division progress.  He is  encouraged to see  this bill.  The DJJ                                                               
has done a  great job capturing what the federal  act intended to                                                               
do. He looks forward to moving this out of committee.                                                                           
2:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGHES said to  go back to page 8, she  asked why a minor                                                               
would be waiving that limitation and not a parent or guardian.                                                                  
MS. DOMPELING  responded that  is a good  question. This  is from                                                               
federal language. That is something  to consider. In that Section                                                               
2, lines  14-16, she sees  that 180 days  is six months  that the                                                               
department has  gone back to  court to discuss findings  for that                                                               
juvenile to still  be held in an adult facility  and not count as                                                               
a  penalty toward  Alaska. She  sees that  as a  little bit  of a                                                               
reprieve for  the court. If  the behaviors and reasons  are still                                                               
in existence  for six  months, does  there need  to be  a hearing                                                               
every  30 days  from that  point. Everyone  is hopeful  that this                                                               
will not  happen often.  She and  Mr. Davidson  have said  in the                                                               
past  that with  the skills  of staff  working with  adolescents,                                                               
that  they are  able  to  manage most  of  these  kids. When  the                                                               
division worked with  Oregon Youth Authority in  March, she asked                                                               
them about  how they  handle this.  They said  this section  is a                                                               
relief valve. In  certain circumstances, Oregon has  had youth in                                                               
its  system  who  were  unable  to be  managed  in  the  juvenile                                                               
detention milieu and Oregon needed  the relief to move that youth                                                               
to an adult correctional facility. She  sees this as a little bit                                                               
of reprieve  for the  court after  six months  of going  back and                                                               
hearing the same  evidentiary hearing about why  the youth should                                                               
remain in  the adult system.  That is  a good question  about the                                                               
parent and whether the parent or minor can consent.                                                                             
SENATOR HUGHES  said that  to go  back to page  7, about  the 18-                                                               
year-old  "shall be,"  and  that would  only  apply to  offenders                                                               
subject to  adult court.  She is assuming  that these  crimes the                                                               
youth committed  are severe yet at  the same time they  are young                                                               
and will have life left to  live when released after 20-30 years.                                                               
She  believes  that  when  those   offenders  are  released,  the                                                               
legislature wants  to make sure that  they are in the  best shape                                                               
possible so that communities are safer  when they get out. She is                                                               
concerned  about  these  offenders  who  have  committed  serious                                                               
crimes  and  tried in  adult  court.  Now  they will  be  without                                                               
juvenile   services.  She   would  hope   that  DOC   would  have                                                               
opportunities for inmates to have  an education and opportunities                                                               
in the  adult system to  make up for  what they would  receive in                                                               
the juvenile system.  She asked if there has  been any discussion                                                               
of that  because these youth will  be back on the  street. If the                                                               
state can give  them the opportunity to turn  their lives around,                                                               
the state needs to do it so they won't recommit crimes.                                                                         
MS. DOMPELING  said that she  cannot speak for the  Department of                                                               
Corrections. There  is an alternative school  in Anchorage called                                                               
New  Path High  School.  The principal  at  the McLaughlin  Youth                                                               
Center oversees  both schools. That  is available  to individuals                                                               
up to  their 24th birthday.  There are  educational opportunities                                                               
available with DOC up to age 24.                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES asked if there  are statutes requiring services be                                                               
provided to juveniles up to age 20.                                                                                             
MS. DOMPELING replied  that is required by statute  for youth who                                                               
fall under the  delinquency statute. It is not  for the automatic                                                               
waiver  youth.  DJJ   is  responsible  for  the   care  of  those                                                               
individuals in their secure facilities. That includes education.                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  asked if the  committee could  get a list  of the                                                               
services that DJJ must provide.                                                                                                 
CHAIR WILSON  asked Ms. Dompeling  to provide that to  his office                                                               
so he would distribute that to committee members.                                                                               
MS. DOMPELING answered that she would.                                                                                          
CHAIR WILSON asked Ms. Meade for any comments about Section 8.                                                                  
2:31:15 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  MEADE,  General  Counsel,  Alaska  Court  System,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, said the court system  has been discussing provisions and                                                               
some  changes  may be  coming  to  the  committee. DJJ  has  been                                                               
responsive to  the court's  concerns. She  will continue  to work                                                               
with the division  on a couple of other minor  changes that would                                                               
be helpful to the court system.                                                                                                 
CHAIR WILSON asked if other than  that amendment for Section 8 if                                                               
any other amendments or concerns will come to the committee.                                                                    
MR.  DAVIDSON  answered that  in  the  other  body and  with  Ms.                                                               
Meade's help,  a drafting error  was identified in Section  2. He                                                               
will  provide that  to  the committee  at the  same  time as  the                                                               
Section 8 amendment.                                                                                                            
SENATOR BEGICH  shared that  he found in  his paperwork  that the                                                               
JJDPA, pages  26 and 27,  has that section word-for-word.  As Mr.                                                               
Davidson said  earlier, it is  literally word-for-word  the same,                                                               
with the exception of "juvenile"  and "minor" being interspersed.                                                               
DJJ may  be required to  have this exact language,  including the                                                               
"or" clause  and 180 days  and all  those things. His  sister was                                                               
the former Anchorage School District  principal of McLaughlin and                                                               
New Path  and two  other alternative  facilities. There  are some                                                               
minimal  services  provided.  Spring  Creek  Correctional  Center                                                               
segregates the younger population  and that population has access                                                               
to GED and other resources until age  24 and then they are put in                                                               
general population.                                                                                                             
2:34:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON opened public testimony.                                                                                           
2:35:06 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY  GORN, Chair,  Alaska Juvenile  Advisory Committee,  Wasilla,                                                               
Alaska, said  that the Alaska Juvenile  Advisory Committee (AJAC)                                                               
is  the  state  advisory  group   through  the  Juvenile  Justice                                                               
Delinquency and  Prevention Act. State advisory  groups guide the                                                               
compliance  of  JJDPA  for  core  mandates.  AJAC  also  supports                                                               
reducing  and  preventing  juvenile  crime  while  ensuring  that                                                               
Alaska youth  are provided  meaningful opportunities  to succeed.                                                               
DJJ  is in  compliance with  the critical  requirements with  the                                                               
federal  legislation. SB  91 is  addressing an  update to  one of                                                               
these core mandates.  The sight and sound  separation of juvenile                                                               
and  adult offenders  must now  include youth  awaiting trial  as                                                               
adults. The  JJDPA was  reauthorized by Congress  in 2018.  It is                                                               
important to AJAC  that Alaska remain in  compliance with federal                                                               
legislation. The proposed agreement  and coordination between DJJ                                                               
and DOC as  presented in SB 91 will fulfill  this requirement and                                                               
more importantly, improve the safety  of minor offenders, prevent                                                               
the segregation  of juveniles and  their possible  isolation, and                                                               
may  positively  impact  recidivism  as research  shows  a  lower                                                               
likelihood  of  minors  reoffending when  remaining  in  juvenile                                                               
justice custody. AJAC is in support of SB 91.                                                                                   
2:37:20 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
SENATOR REINBOLD  said this  is one of  the most  organized bills                                                               
she  has  seen.  The  fiscal  notes were  there.  She  liked  the                                                               
presentation of the sectional. They  were clear with concerns and                                                               
forthcoming amendment. She was impressed.                                                                                       
SENATOR  BEGICH  said  he  wanted   to  echo  Senator  Reinbold's                                                               
comments and he takes enormous pride  that he was employed by DJJ                                                               
and was chair  of AJAC. He could  not be prouder of  the group of                                                               
people working in the division.                                                                                                 
2:38:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WILSON  said he loves the  folks in the Mat-Su.  He held SB
91 in committee and will await amendments from the division.                                                                    
2:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
There being  no further  business to  come before  the committee,                                                               
Chair  Wilson adjourned  the Senate  Health  and Social  Services                                                               
Standing Committee meeting at 2:39 p.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 91 Transmittal Letter.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 Version 32 GS1576 A.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 Sectional Analysis Version 32 GS1576 A.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 Fiscal Note 1 DPS AST.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 Fiscal Note 2 DHSS DJJ.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB 91 Fiscal Note 3 DOC.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
SB091-JUD-ACS-03-05-2021.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SB 91
HSS_Steve Parker Resume_Redacted.pdf SHSS 3/9/2021 1:30:00 PM
SHSS Governor's Appointees to the State Medical Board