Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

04/14/2009 03:00 PM House HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
Moved CSHB 50(HSS) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 190(HSS) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 71(HSS) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
HB 190-CHILDREN'S TRUST GRANT FOR ENDOWMENT                                                                                   
3:26:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER announced  that the next order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE BILL NO. 190,  "An Act privatizing the Alaska children's                                                               
trust   as  a   separate   endowment  fund;   providing  for   an                                                               
administrator for  the assets of  the former  trust; establishing                                                               
conditions  for a  grant  of  the balance  of  the former  Alaska                                                               
children's trust;  designating certain receipts as  available for                                                               
grants to the  trust's successor; and providing  for an effective                                                               
3:26:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON moved to adopt  the proposed Committee Substitute                                                               
(CS) for  HB 190, Version  26-LS0502\C, Mischel, 4/10/09,  as the                                                               
working document.                                                                                                               
3:27:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                         
3:27:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ANNA  FAIRCLOUGH,  Alaska State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor  of HB 190,  explained the changes  incorporated in                                                               
Version C:   Section 1  stipulates that the  annual appropriation                                                               
would be  equivalent to 5  percent of  the market value  ["of the                                                               
unencumbered  balance  of  the   trust  income  and  principle"];                                                               
Section 2 adds the areas  of sexual assault and domestic violence                                                               
as those  in which  the public members  [appointed to  the Alaska                                                               
Children's  Trust Board]  could  have  experience and  expertise;                                                               
Section  3 describes  the powers  and  duties of  the ACT  Board,                                                               
including that  it monitors grants,  raises funds for  the trust,                                                               
and  approves  written findings  to  the  named recipient,  which                                                               
essentially mirrors  the duties  already existent in  state code;                                                               
Section  4 amends  AS 37.14.240  to allow  the average  of the  5                                                               
percent  of  market   value  to  be  appropriated   to  the  main                                                               
participant, as well  as allowing $150,000 from  the principle of                                                               
the trust to  be used for administrative  expenses, which, except                                                               
for  the percent  of  market value,  is  consistent with  current                                                               
statute; and Section 5 allows  the legislature to appropriate the                                                               
funds  to  a recipient  that  is  a  nonprofit dedicated  to  the                                                               
reduction  and  prevention  of   child  abuse  and  neglect,  and                                                               
requires  the main  recipient to  comply with  grant requirements                                                               
imposed through HB 190.                                                                                                         
3:29:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON indicated  that  Version  C would  address                                                               
many of  the concerns of  the committee.   He asked what  time of                                                               
year the aforementioned balance would be judged as unencumbered.                                                                
3:30:22 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH noted  that there  are two  amendments                                                               
for the  consideration of the  committee.  One of  the amendments                                                               
would change the market value to  the average and specify a date,                                                               
while the other would add one nonvoting member [to the board].                                                                  
3:31:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER  removed his objection.   There being  no further                                                               
objection,  Version C  was before  the committee  as the  working                                                               
3:31:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH said  her  office reached  out to  the                                                               
administration over the  last 30 days, asking for help  in how to                                                               
address the  issue of child  abuse and  neglect in Alaska,  and a                                                               
week  ago  met with  the  administration  in  the Office  of  the                                                               
Governor;  however, she  said there  was no  response until  five                                                               
minutes  before this  House Health  and Social  Services Standing                                                               
Committee meeting,  when the administration stated  that it would                                                               
like to  "hold off  and wait a  little bit more."   She  said the                                                               
administration has  provided no  specific recommendations  on how                                                               
to "do anything  differently."  She emphasized  the importance of                                                               
moving  the  bill  through  the first  committee,  at  least,  to                                                               
continue its  discussion.   She said she  cannot move  forward on                                                               
this issue  when being told  by the administration that  it wants                                                               
to wait.                                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH  noted that  in  2009,  there will  be                                                               
$186,799   distributed   to   community  members,   whereas   the                                                               
distribution in 2008 was $557,473.   The bill would stabilize the                                                               
funding stream  into the prevention  of child abuse  and neglect.                                                               
The occurrence of that abuse and  neglect rises in homes during a                                                               
downturn in the economy, she noted.                                                                                             
3:34:03 PM                                                                                                                    
PANU LUCIER,  Executive Director,  Alaska Children's  Trust (ACT)                                                               
and Friends of  the Alaska Children's Trust  (FACT), testified in                                                               
support  of  CSHB  190, Version  26-LS0502\C,  Mischel,  4/10/09.                                                               
Version  C   would  allow  FACT,  as   a  nonprofit  organization                                                               
established in  1997, to continue  to raise  funds and set  up an                                                               
endowment  fund outside  of  the state.    The organization  then                                                               
could guarantee that "donor intent  is honored."  Version C would                                                               
also allow for a more  streamlined process for distributing grant                                                               
funds,  Ms.  Lucier  related.   She  opined  that  Representative                                                               
Fairclough's  comment regarding  the  lack of  funding this  year                                                               
illustrates the  need to set up  an endowment to enable  the FACT                                                               
Board to  be successful in  raising funds to support  the mission                                                               
of addressing child  abuse and neglect.  Ms.  Lucier concluded by                                                               
stating  that both  ACT and  FACT  support amending  the bill  to                                                               
include a five-year average percent of market value.                                                                            
3:35:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SAMMYE  POKRYFKI, Vice  Chair, Friends  of the  Alaska Children's                                                               
Trust  (FACT), testified  in  support of  CSHB  190, Version  26-                                                               
LS0502\C, Mischel, 4/10/09.                                                                                                     
3:36:29 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  moved to adopt Amendment  C.1, labeled 26-                                                               
LS0502\C.1, Mischel, 4/14/09, which read:                                                                                       
     Page 2, line 8:                                                                                                            
          Delete "."                                                                                                            
          Insert "; and"                                                                                                    
     Page 2, following line 8:                                                                                                  
          Insert new paragraphs to read:                                                                                        
               "(5)  one nonvoting member appointed by the                                                                  
     speaker of the house of representatives;                                                                               
               (6)  one nonvoting member appointed by the                                                                   
     president of the senate."                                                                                              
3:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER objected.                                                                                                       
3:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH explained Amendment C.1.                                                                              
[Co-Chair Keller's objection was treated as withdrawn.]                                                                         
3:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON objected for the purpose of discussion.                                                                   
3:37:45 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER expressed his support  of Amendment C.1.  He said                                                               
he gets uneasy  when the legislature appropriates  money and does                                                               
not pay  attention to how  it is being  spent.  The  proposed two                                                               
nonvoting members would provide a link to the legislature.                                                                      
3:38:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  said he appreciates that  the members that                                                               
would be  added by Amendment  C.1 would be nonvoting  members, so                                                               
that there would  be no problems regarding a quorum.   He removed                                                               
his objection.   There being no further  objection, Amendment C.1                                                               
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
3:38:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HERRON  moved  to  adopt  Amendment  C.2,  labeled  26-                                                               
LS0502|C.2, Mischel, 4/14/09, which read:                                                                                       
     Page 1, line 5:                                                                                                            
          Delete "market value of the unencumbered balance"                                                                     
          Insert "average of the market values"                                                                                 
     Page 1, line 6, following "principal":                                                                                     
          Insert "on June 30 for the first five of the six                                                                      
     fiscal years immediately preceding that fiscal year"                                                                       
3:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER objected.                                                                                                       
3:39:15 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE FAIRCLOUGH explained  that Amendment C.2 addresses                                                               
concerns raised by proposing to  let the Department of Revenue do                                                               
what it  does best - average  the market values -  and by setting                                                               
the date of June 30.                                                                                                            
3:39:43 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR KELLER  removed his objection.   There being  no further                                                               
objection, Amendment C.2 was adopted.                                                                                           
3:39:56 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CISSNA  related that  she  has  watched ACT  over                                                               
time,  and  "the  community"  relies on  grants  to  improve  the                                                               
conditions of children.  She said  she wants to move forward with                                                               
the bill.                                                                                                                       
3:41:07 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HOLMES  spoke in  support of  HB 190,  noting that                                                               
she is a co-sponsor of  the proposed legislation.  She emphasized                                                               
the hard work of ACT and  FACT over the last several years toward                                                               
this legislation,  along with the  efforts of the  prime sponsor.                                                               
The proposed  bill will help obtain  two main goals:   to "steady                                                               
out the stream  of money that's available" and to  have an entity                                                               
who can receive private donations  to supplement the funds coming                                                               
from the  state.  She  said the bill  is not the  ideal solution,                                                               
but is "an excellent compromise."                                                                                               
3:42:49 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON noted that language  on page 1 of Version C                                                               
states  that   the  legislature   may  appropriate  to   a  named                                                               
recipient,  while on  page  2, the  language  specifies that  the                                                               
board shall  appropriate to a  named recipient.   He asked  if it                                                               
would  be a  variable named  recipient, and  whether that  is the                                                               
same grant being referenced on pages 1 and 2.                                                                                   
3:43:38 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FAIRCLOUGH responded  that the  ACT Board  issues                                                               
grants to  the named recipient,  and then after that  will review                                                               
what  that  named recipient  does  regarding  "subgrantees."   In                                                               
response  to  a  request for  clarification  from  Representative                                                               
Seaton, she  stated that the  board, under state statute,  is the                                                               
entity  that  makes the  award  to  the recipient;  however,  the                                                               
Alaska State  Legislature is the  appropriation power.   Once the                                                               
legislature  chooses to  appropriate  the funds,  the board  goes                                                               
through the grant writing process to name that recipient.                                                                       
3:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HERRON  moved to report  CSHB 190,  Version 26-LS0502\C,                                                               
Mischel, 4/10/09,  as amended, out  of committee  with individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection, CSHB  190 (HSS) was reported from  the House Health                                                               
and Social Services Standing Committee.                                                                                         
The committee took an at-ease from 3:46 p.m. to 3:51 p.m.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Backup.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Backup - Ca. study.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Sponsor Statement.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Sectional.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
CS Version C.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
CS version P.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Departments Affected.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Local Educational Agency Requirements.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126
Newspaper article.PDF HHSS 4/14/2009 3:00:00 PM
HB 126