Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/03/2003 03:04 PM House HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 167-ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ABUSE GRANTS                                                                                       
Number 1420                                                                                                                     
CHAIR WILSON announced that the  final order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 167,  "An Act relating  to grants  for alcoholism                                                               
and drug  abuse programs; and  providing for an  effective date."                                                               
Chair Wilson  noted that  this is the  fourth hearing  before the                                                               
House Health,  Education and  Social Services  Standing Committee                                                               
for this bill.                                                                                                                  
Number 1428                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  told the committee she  is very concerned                                                               
about alcoholism  in the  state.  She  said the  Building Bridges                                                               
campaign is in town and had  walked through the [Capitol]; one of                                                               
the  issues  the  campaign  brought   up  is  the  difficulty  of                                                               
individuals with mental  illness who are trying  to get substance                                                               
abuse treatment, because those  individuals are dually diagnosed.                                                               
She said a  lot of treatment facilities do not  have the capacity                                                               
to deal with  these problems and there are long  waiting lists at                                                               
every treatment facility.   She said a substance  abuser does not                                                               
put his  or her  drinking on hold  until getting  treatment; that                                                               
person's  kids and  families suffer,  domestic violence  is high,                                                               
and  accidental deaths  are more  frequent.   In  fact, she  said                                                               
there was a  recent accidental death in Southeast in  which a 23-                                                               
year-old asphyxiated due to alcohol abuse.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER said  she  believes if  the state  spends                                                               
money for  treatment, there will be  savings in the long  term in                                                               
health   care,   correctional   costs,   public   safety   costs,                                                               
educational costs,  and Fetal Alcohol  Syndrome (FAS).   She said                                                               
almost every area  of the state will save money  in the long term                                                               
if there is a commitment to substance abuse treatment.                                                                          
Number 1512                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  offered Amendment 1, which  read [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     Section 1. AS.47.30.475(c) is amended to read:                                                                             
     Line 5:                                                                                                                    
          (c) Grants shall be awarded in a ratio of 85 [90]                                                                     
     percent state money to 15 [10]                                                                                             
Number 1520                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL objected for purposes of discussion.                                                                     
     REPRESENTATIVE SEATON explained that  Amendment 1 is an                                                                    
     effort   to  phase-in   the   local   match,  so   that                                                                    
     communities do  not have to  "jump" from 10  percent to                                                                    
     25  percent in  one  year,  which is  a  lot for  local                                                                    
     communities.   He  said the  first year  would be  17.5                                                                    
     percent  or  half  of the  amount;  the  increase  that                                                                    
     communities  would  have  to  match  would  be  up  7.5                                                                    
     percent from  the current  10 percent.   Representative                                                                    
     Seaton explained  that the following  year it  would go                                                                    
     up 7.5 percent to the 25 percent match.                                                                                    
Number 1569                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE CISSNA said  she believes the amendment  is a good                                                               
concept;  however,  she  would  like  the match  to  be  a  lower                                                               
percent.   She said  when she  came to Alaska  35 years  ago, the                                                               
state led the  nation in alcoholism.   Representative Cissna said                                                               
Alaska is paying  the price for that now, and  part of that price                                                               
is the  care and treatment  of [fetal alcohol effects  (FAE)] and                                                               
FAS individuals.   Over the last two decades, she  said the state                                                               
has made some changes to  increase the number of programs dealing                                                               
with  alcohol abuse.   She  suggested  that Alaska  would pay  an                                                               
enormous  price  in terms  of  domestic  abuse, child  abuse  and                                                               
neglect, and  other violent  behavior if the  state did  not turn                                                               
this around.   Representative Cissna said she  believes there are                                                               
other    alternatives   that    this   administration    is   not                                                               
Number 1681                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL withdrew his objection.                                                                                  
Number 1682                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  objected to  Amendment 1.   She  told the                                                               
committee she does  not like the bill and the  amendment does not                                                               
make it much better.                                                                                                            
Number 1686                                                                                                                     
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Wilson,  Seaton,                                                               
Cissna, Gatto,  Wolf, and Coghill  voted in favor of  Amendment 1                                                               
to HB 167.  Representative  Kapsner voted against it.  Therefore,                                                               
Amendment  1  passed  the  House  Health,  Education  and  Social                                                               
Services Standing Committee by a vote of 6-1.                                                                                   
Number 1696                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to report  HB 167, as amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER objected to the motion.                                                                                  
A  roll call  vote was  taken.   Representatives Wilson,  Cissna,                                                               
Gatto,  Wolf, Coghill,  and Seaton  voted in  favor of  CSHB 167.                                                               
Representatives   Kapsner   voted   against   it.      Therefore,                                                               
CSHB 167(HES)  was reported  out of  the House  Health, Education                                                               
and Social Services Standing Committee by a vote of 6-1.                                                                        

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