Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 106

03/24/2016 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 280 TEACHERS & PUB EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT PLANS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 280 Out of Committee
*+ HB 324 VIOLENT CRIMES COMP BOARD MEMBERSHIP TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 324(STA) Out of Committee
+ HJR 30 POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS INJURY TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
          HB 324-VIOLENT CRIMES COMP BOARD MEMBERSHIP                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:09:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR LYNN announced that the first order of business would be                                                                  
HOUSE BILL NO. 324, "An Act relating to the Violent Crimes                                                                      
Compensation Board."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:10:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COURTNEY ENRIGHT, Staff,  Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  presented HB 324 on  behalf of Representative                                                               
LeDoux, prime sponsor.  She  stated that the proposed legislation                                                               
would  amend the  membership of  the Violent  Crimes Compensation                                                               
Board  (VCCB) to  expand the  possibilities for  board appointees                                                               
and to  aid in recruitment.   She  explained that VCCB  asked for                                                               
this  change   because  of  the  difficulty   in  recruiting  and                                                               
retaining physicians for  the board.  In response  to Chair Lynn,                                                               
she further  explained that physicians  often have  limited time,                                                               
and a nurse  practitioner has suitable medical  knowledge for the                                                               
needs of the board.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:11:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS1479\A.1, Bruce, 3/22/16, which read as follows:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7, following "physician":                                                                                     
          Insert ", a physician assistant."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:12:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SPOHNHOLZ  opined  that   the  amendment  to  add                                                               
physician assistant to HB 324  would serve to recognize the broad                                                               
scope of  paraprofessionals [in Alaska]  and widen the  range and                                                               
number of potential applicants that  are available for VCCB.  She                                                               
added  that both  nurse  practitioners  and physician  assistants                                                               
practice independently and provide a high level of care.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  ENRIGHT   confirmed  for  Chair   Lynn  that   the  proposed                                                               
legislation with the amendment would  add nurse practitioners and                                                               
physician  assistants  to  the  range  of  medical  professionals                                                               
eligible for  appointment by  the governor to  the seat  that now                                                               
must be filled by a physician.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:14:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 8:14 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:14:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES withdrew her objection to Amendment 1.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER withdrew Amendment 1.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:15:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ moved to adopt Amendment 2, labeled 29-                                                                
LS1479\A.1, Bruce, 3/22/16, which read as follows:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7, following "physician":                                                                                     
          Insert ", a physician assistant."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STUTES  objected for discussion, then  removed her                                                               
objection.   [Without further objection, Amendment  2 was treated                                                               
as adopted.]                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:15:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked if there  were times when  the board                                                               
was unable  to function because  of the absence of  the physician                                                               
board member  or if there  were times it was  functioning without                                                               
medical expertise.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. ENRIGHT replied that the  absence of the medical professional                                                               
at board meetings created a challenge  for the board to achieve a                                                               
quorum, since VCCB is only a  three-member board.  She added that                                                               
the  board's discussion  of crimes  requires a  certain depth  of                                                               
medical expertise, and not having that expertise creates issues.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:16:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  HUDSON,  Executive  Director, Violent  Crimes  Compensation                                                               
Board  (VCCB),  Department  of Administration  (DOA),  cited  two                                                               
separate year-long periods in VCCB's  recent history where it has                                                               
been difficult  for the board  to function.   She went on  to say                                                               
that for  a one-year period  there was  a physician on  the board                                                               
who was an absentee board member  - unable to attend meetings and                                                               
not responding  to emails.   She related another  one-year period                                                               
in which the board  was not able to find a  physician to serve on                                                               
the  board.    She  expressed   the  difficulties  of  coming  to                                                               
agreements  on claims  when  there are  only  two board  members,                                                               
since  there  are often  disagreements  and  a majority  vote  is                                                               
needed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:18:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  LYNN asked  if VCCB  members  are paid  or receive  travel                                                               
reimbursement.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON  said that they  are volunteers and  therefore neither                                                               
paid  nor  receive stipends.    She  conceded that  they  receive                                                               
travel reimbursement if away from  their home town, but that does                                                               
not often occur.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:18:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  referred to a letter  from Gerad Godfrey,                                                               
Chair, VCCB,  in the  committee packet, and  relayed that  in the                                                               
letter,  Mr.  Godfrey  explains   the  importance  of  a  medical                                                               
professional serving on the board.   Representative Vazquez asked                                                               
Ms. Hudson to elaborate.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUDSON  responded  that  VCCB often  looks  at  cases  where                                                               
someone has  been physically  injured as the  result of  a crime.                                                               
She went  on to say  that the board assesses  the appropriateness                                                               
of reimbursements  for medical  treatment, physical  therapy, and                                                               
prescriptions and, in her opinion,  it is imperative that someone                                                               
on  the   board  have  the   medical  knowledge  to   make  these                                                               
determinations.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:19:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked Ms. Hudson  to describe the  duty of                                                               
VCCB.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON  stated that  VCCB reviews  claims -  the nature  of a                                                               
crime  and the  nature of  an  injury -  and decides  eligibility                                                               
under  the statutes  and  reasonable expenses.    She added  that                                                               
after  those two  decisions are  made, the  board signs  an order                                                               
form and payment is made.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:20:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ asked  how many  cases were  processed in                                                               
the past year.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON responded that through  fiscal year 2016 (FY 16) there                                                               
were  over  960 claims  processed  -  that is,  new  applications                                                               
received -  but not all were  awarded.  She added  that there are                                                               
usually between 800 and 900 claims  per year, and last year had a                                                               
record number.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  asked if VCCB gets  direct referrals from                                                               
the district attorney's office.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON responded in the  affirmative and added that referrals                                                               
also come from law enforcement,  hospitals, victim advocates, and                                                               
other sources.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ asked Ms. Hudson  for the most common type                                                               
of claim that VCCB processes in terms of cost and injury.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON  expressed that  the question was  a difficult  one to                                                               
answer.   She  offered that  typically  many of  the claims  fall                                                               
under two  categories.   She described the  first as  assaults of                                                               
young men  with facial injuries  and orbital  fractures resulting                                                               
in  about $10,000  in medical  costs.   The second  category, she                                                               
said, is child abuse cases in  which payment is for mental health                                                               
counseling costing anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:23:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ asked how VCCB is funded.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HUDSON responded  that  there are  two  sources of  funding:                                                               
one,  an appropriation  from the  permanent fund  dividend, which                                                               
consists of  a small portion of  the dividends that are  not paid                                                               
to incarcerated  felons; and two,  an annual federal  grant under                                                               
the Victims of Crime Act.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  asked Ms.  Hudson what the  total funding                                                               
was for VCCB for FY 15.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON  responded that in FY  15, the total funding  for VCCB                                                               
was $2.5 million - $2.1  million for victim payments and $400,000                                                               
for operating costs.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  VAZQUEZ asked  what  the staffing  level was  for                                                               
VCCB.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. HUDSON replied that VCCB  has three staff, including herself,                                                               
and they are located in Juneau.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:24:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to report  HB 324, as amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
fiscal  notes.   There  being  no  objection, CSHB  324(STA)  was                                                               
reported from the House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                       

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HB 280 ver A.PDF HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
02 HB 280 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
03 HB 280 Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
04 HB 280 Fiscal Note - DOLWD - 3-15-2016.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
05 HB 280 Letter Support APOA.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
06 HB 280 Support Letters Hueffer, Gregg, Netardus.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
01 HB 324 ver A.PDF HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 324
02 HB 324 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 324
03 HB 324 Supporting Documents-Letter Violent Crimes Compensation Board 3-3-2016.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 324
04 HB 324 Fiscal Note - DOA - 3-18-2016.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 324
01 HJR 30 v.N (MLV).pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
01b HJR 30 v.W.PDF HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
02 HJR 30 - Sponsor Statement - Version N.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
03 HJR 30 - Summary of Changes Vers W to N.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
04 HJR 30 - Fiscal Note - MVA-OVA-03-12-16.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
05 HJR 30 - Fiscal Note- LEG-SESS-03-14-16.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
06 HJR 30 - Supporting Documents - Supporting Argument (Dr Ochberg).pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
07 HJR 30 - Opposing Documents - Opposition Argument (Dr Friedman).pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
08 HJR 30 - Letter of Support - DMVA.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
09 HJR 30 - Letter of Support - Honor For All.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HJR 30
07 HB 280 PowerPoint Presentation wFornia.pptx HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
08 HB 280 Public Pensions Resource Guide.pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 280
05 HB 324 Amendment A.1 (Spohnholz).pdf HSTA 3/24/2016 8:00:00 AM
HB 324