Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/24/2015 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Moved HB 142 Out of Committee
Moved CSHCR 7(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHJR 14(STA) Out of Committee
Moved CSHCR 4(STA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HB 142-ESTABLISH ELDERS' DAY                                                                              
8:44:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  announced that the  next order of business  was HOUSE                                                               
BILL NO. 142, "An Act establishing Elders' Day."                                                                                
8:44:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE NEIL  FOSTER, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor, introduced his staff, Ms. Watts, to present HB 142.                                                                    
8:45:12 AM                                                                                                                    
ANDREA  WATTS, Staff,  Representative Neil  Foster, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  HB  142   on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Foster, prime sponsor, as follows:                                                                                              
     Elders of  all cultural  and ethnic backgrounds  hold a                                                                    
     special  place  in the  hearts  of  Alaskans.   Elders'                                                                    
     knowledge and experiences provide  a link from the past                                                                    
     to  the  present -  a  link  that  connects us  to  our                                                                    
     ancestors.  Elders also serve  a vital role as teachers                                                                    
     and  mentors, guiding  younger generations  through the                                                                    
     many facets  of life.  Celebrating  and honoring elders                                                                    
     on Winter  Solstice - a  time of change and  optimism -                                                                    
     not  only  recognizes  the value  of  those  that  came                                                                    
     before us,  but the  significant lessons  and knowledge                                                                    
     they selflessly  leave behind for  us to take  into the                                                                    
MS. WATTS offered to answer questions.                                                                                          
CHAIR LYNN asked  if, under HB 142, the term  "elder" was limited                                                               
to Alaska Natives.                                                                                                              
MS. WATTS answered  that it would include [elders]  of all ethnic                                                               
and cultural backgrounds.                                                                                                       
CHAIR LYNN remarked that elders have a lot to contribute.                                                                       
8:46:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ said  she liked HB 142,  but suggested the                                                               
word "elder"  had a more  cultural connotation.  She  said people                                                               
of  a certain  age were  considered "seniors,"  and she  said she                                                               
would like "to see this bill encompass that group, too."                                                                        
CHAIR  LYNN echoed  that older  people who  were non-Native  were                                                               
usually referred to as seniors.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  agreed  that   the  term  "elder"  was                                                               
usually used  to recognize  a Native Alaskan  senior.   He opined                                                               
that a definition,  one way or the other, was  necessary to avoid                                                               
CHAIR LYNN  said when  he hears  the word  "elder," he  thinks of                                                               
"Native Americans of one type or another."                                                                                      
8:48:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER talked  about strengthening  "some of  the                                                               
terms that were  already out there."  For example,  he said there                                                               
was  already   an  "Older  Alaskans'   Day."    He   indicated  a                                                               
willingness to accept an amendment.                                                                                             
CHAIR  LYNN asked  for information  related  to "Older  Alaskans'                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG  asked  for  the  citation  related  to                                                               
"Older Alaskans' Day."                                                                                                          
8:49:56 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. WATTS  related that in  2006, Senate Bill 224  was introduced                                                               
by  Senator Gary  Stevens to  establish the  second Wednesday  in                                                               
September each year as "Older  Alaskans Day".  She explained that                                                               
the sponsor's choice  to use the word "elder" was  because of its                                                               
definition,  which denoted  a  person who  was  respected in  the                                                               
community  and  who had  passed  on  his/her knowledge  to  other                                                               
generations, regardless of  ethnicity or cultural identification.                                                               
She  said the  sponsor felt  that "elder"  reflected "an  Alaskan                                                               
perspective  on  an older  person."    Notwithstanding that,  she                                                               
echoed the bill  sponsor's willingness to modify  the language of                                                               
the bill for clarification.                                                                                                     
CHAIR LYNN indicated  he had no objection to the  use of the word                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER said he liked  the word "elder", thought it                                                               
was  understood  and had  a  unique  meaning, and  leaned  toward                                                               
keeping it in the bill.                                                                                                         
CHAIR LYNN said he thought of an elder as an older, wise person.                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG again requested the citation.                                                                          
8:52:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  WATTS said  it  was found  in AS  44.12.100,  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
     Sec. 44.12.100.  Older Alaskans' Day.                                                                                      
     The  second  Wednesday of  September  of  each year  is                                                                    
     established as  Older Alaskans' Day to  honor residents                                                                    
     of the state  who are 60 years of age  or older for the                                                                    
     many  contributions  made  by  older  Alaskans  to  the                                                                    
     state. The  day may be celebrated  by public ceremonies                                                                    
     and by quiet appreciation.                                                                                                 
8:52:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  said  he   thought  "elder"  had  various                                                               
connotations.   Another  use  of  the word  was  in reference  to                                                               
church elders.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  asked the  bill sponsor  if it  was his                                                               
intent to also honor church elders under HB 142.                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  answered, "Our  intent  is  to honor  all                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG  said that added another  dimension, and                                                               
he asked,  "Is there anybody  else within the meaning  of 'elder'                                                               
that you're thinking of including?"                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  answered  that  his  intent  was  not  to                                                               
specify what  kind of elder,  but "to strengthen  the celebration                                                               
of older  Alaskans, older Americans,  [and] elders."  He  said he                                                               
thought there  were a lot of  terms that could explain  that, and                                                               
he thought it was fitting to  add "elders" to the lexicon because                                                               
there  was already  such  a  heavy use  of  the  word "elder"  in                                                               
8:55:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO stated  his  substantial preference  for                                                               
the term "elder" over "senior."   He mentioned Elderhostel groups                                                               
in Alaska.   He said ["elder"]  was a term of  respect and, while                                                               
"senior" may  be commonly  used in legal  matters, on  a personal                                                               
basis  people  tend  to  use  the term  "elder"  in  a  fond  and                                                               
compassionate way.                                                                                                              
CHAIR LYNN said he thought of an elder as a respected senior.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  STUTES  said  she  would  echo  "that  very  same                                                               
sentiment."   She said she  liked the  definition of an  elder as                                                               
someone who had  passed down his/her knowledge.   She agreed with                                                               
Representative Talerico  regarding the  preference of  elder over                                                               
8:56:40 AM                                                                                                                    
ALBERT NINGEULOOK said  he was an elder  at 69 years of  age.  He                                                               
talked about his background and  schooling, including his current                                                               
effort to earn  a Ph.D. in Political  Science.  He said  he was a                                                               
member of the local elders committee  in Shishmaref, as well as a                                                               
member of  the local school's  strategic planning committee.   He                                                               
stated his support of HB 142.   He said there were many elders in                                                               
Alaska, from different ethnic groups,  who had guided him and had                                                               
a great  impact on  the person  he had become.   He  recalled one                                                               
elder  telling him  that opening  one's eyes  in the  morning was                                                               
like opening  a present on Christmas  because each day was  a new                                                               
8:59:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. NINGEULOOK  recited a poem  he wrote  in 1986, which  read as                                                               
follows [handwritten, with original punctuation provided]:                                                                      
                         A CHILD'S PLEA                                                                                       
     A CHILD WONDERING...                                                                                                       
         WHERE LOVED ONES HAD GONE                                                                                              
           HOW LIFE BEGAN IN CHANGING TIMES                                                                                     
             AND HOW LIFE WILL BE IN THE GROWN-UP YEARS                                                                         
     A PRECIOUS CHILD                                                                                                           
       SO FULL OF LIFE AND JOY                                                                                                  
        WHOSE SHINING FACE RADIATES HOPE AND LOVE TO ALL                                                                        
          THE WORLD                                                                                                             
           AND A CHILD WHOSE SOUL IS SO INNOCENTLY PURE                                                                         
             UNBLEMISHED FROM THIS WORLD'S STRIFE AND CARE                                                                      
     A WONDERFUL CHILD                                                                                                          
         ABOUT SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS                                                                                     
           OF THINGS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND                                                                                      
     THIS BEAUTIFUL UNREPLACEABLE CHILD                                                                                         
       PLEADING FOR HELP                                                                                                        
         IN THESE CHANGING TIMES                                                                                                
           TIMES THAT CREATE CLOUDS OF QUESTIONS AND                                                                            
             IN A PRECIOUS CHILD'S MIND, HEART AND SOUL                                                                         
     AND THE PAIN AND WONDERMENT OF NOT FINDING ANSWERS                                                                         
       OR TO FIND A CARING PERSON TO ASK                                                                                        
         MAKES A CHILD CREATE LINES OF WONDERMENT                                                                               
         ON A BEAUTIFUL FACE UNMARKED AND UNTOUCHED BY                                                                          
          WORRYING ABOUT LIFE                                                                                                   
      IT IS THEN THAT CARING PARENTS, RELATIVES AND SENIOR                                                                      
       CAN HELP THE CHILD BY ANSWERING AND SHOWING THE WAY                                                                      
         WITH PATIENT UNDERSTANDING AND LOVING COMPASSION                                                                       
          AND UNCLOUDING THE QUESTIONS AND WONDERMENTS                                                                          
     WE ALL CAN HELP TO GUIDE A PRECIOUS CHILD                                                                                  
       WITH LOVE AND TENDER CARE                                                                                                
         A PRECIOUS CHILD WHO IS PLEADING FOR HELP AND                                                                          
           IN THESE CHALLENGING CHANGING TIMES!!!                                                                               
MR. NINGEULOOK said he  wrote the poem in 1986.   He said he went                                                               
to high school at Mr. Edgecombe,  and he mentioned a now deceased                                                               
elder who  was like  a mother  to him  in Sitka.   He  stated his                                                               
belief that "there are no sunsets in  each one of our lives."  He                                                               
encouraged the committee  to take the time needed  to approve the                                                               
proposed  legislation.    He talked  about  Winter  Solstice  and                                                               
preparing for a harsh climate.   He explained he had selected his                                                               
poem  to read  to  emphasize  a child's  point  of  view and  the                                                               
importance of elders.                                                                                                           
9:03:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  said it  seemed that  Mr. Ningeulook  exemplified the                                                               
definition of  an elder,  and he  expressed appreciation  for Mr.                                                               
Ningeulook's previous remarks  about opening one's eyes  to a new                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked about Mr. Ningeulook's Ph.D.                                                                     
MR.  NINGEULOOK  reiterated  that  he was  focused  on  political                                                               
science.    He indicated  that  he  was  taking classes  via  the                                                               
Internet, and he  expressed appreciation for the  ability to earn                                                               
a  degree at  his age.   He  reemphasized his  concern about  the                                                               
guidance of  the next generation.   He ventured that  selecting a                                                               
specific date  on which to  honor elders may remind  young people                                                               
about the vast knowledge that elders have.                                                                                      
CHAIR LYNN closed public testimony on HB 142.                                                                                   
9:06:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ withdrew  her  previously stated  concern                                                               
about  using  "elders" versus  "seniors".    She noted  that  the                                                               
aforementioned  statute,  AS  44.12.100,  covers  seniors.    She                                                               
indicated  that  she  liked  the  term  "elder"  because  of  the                                                               
connotation of wisdom.                                                                                                          
9:07:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HB  142 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 142 was reported out of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
10 HCR4 Draft Proposed Blank CS ver E.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
01 HB 77 - Bill ver. W.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
02 HB 77 Sponsor Statement 2.4.15.docx.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
03 HB 77 Sectional Analysis ver. W.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
04 HB 77 - Supporting document,Letter Juanita Webb.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
05 HB 77 - Supporting Documents, Support Wallbusters Disability Info.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
06 HB 77 Supporting Documents-Letter Frank Ron.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
07 HB 77 Supporting Documents - Letter Lance Ostnes.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
08 HB 77 Supporting Document - How Misunderstanding Disability Leads to Police Violence.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
09 HB 77 Supporting documents - 5 Letters of Support-.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
10 HB 77 Supporting Documents - Article People with disabilities half of people killed by cops.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
11 HB 77 Supporting Documents - Letter Lance Ostnes.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
12 HB 77 Supporting Documents-Letter Frank Ron.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
13 HB77 Fiscal Note DOA-DMV.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77
01 HB142 Version W.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
02 HB142 Sponsor Statement v.W.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
03 HB142 Fiscal Note DOA-GS.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 142
01 HCR7 verA.PDF HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
01a CS HCR7 verH.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
01b HCR7 Summary of Changes v.A to v.H.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
02 HCR7 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
03 HCR7 Supporting Documents- Article Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
04 HCR7 Supporting Documents- Website Casashaw Go Blue.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
05 HCR7 Supporting Documents- Website Providence Hospital.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
06 HCR7 Supporting Documents- Website US Dept HESS National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2015.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
07 HCR7-LEG-SESS-03-20-15.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
14 HB 77- Letter of Support- Denise Daniello- 3-21-15.pdf HSTA 3/24/2015 8:00:00 AM
HB 77