Legislature(2017 - 2018)BELTZ 105 (TSBldg)

03/19/2018 01:30 PM JUDICIARY

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSB 122(JUD) Out of Committee
Moved HB 312 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                SB 122-OCS CITIZEN REVIEW PANEL                                                                             
1:32:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL  announced the  consideration of  SB 122  and noted                                                               
the proposed committee substitute (CS).                                                                                         
1:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COSTELLO  moved  to  adopt   the  work  draft  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for  SB 122, version 30-LS0047\O,  as the working                                                               
1:33:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL objected for an explanation of the changes.                                                                       
1:33:23 PM                                                                                                                    
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,   Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, Juneau, Alaska, reviewed  the following changes made                                                               
to version O of SB 122:                                                                                                         
        · Page 1, line 8, after the word "ombudsman":                                                                           
     ". For budgetary purposes, the panel is located in the                                                                     
     office of the ombudsman."                                                                                                  
        · Page 2, line 4:                                                                                                       
     Deleted  language  describing qualifications  of  panel                                                                    
     members. Subsection  [(e)] has  been amended  to direct                                                                    
     the  Ombudsman's  Office  to  by  regulation  establish                                                                    
     guidelines for the operation of the panel, including:                                                                      
          [(1)] qualification of members                                                                                        
          [(2)] policies for recruitment and appointment of                                                                     
          [(3)] tenure of members; and                                                                                          
          [(4)] policy for selection of leadership                                                                              
        · Page 5, line 27:                                                                                                      
     Delete: and                                                                                                            
        · Page 6, line 3:                                                                                                       
     Insert after "best interest":                                                                                              
          [.] ; and                                                                                                         
          (16) the office of the ombudsman.                                                                                 
        · Page 7, line 3:                                                                                                       
     Adds an immediate effective date for the Citizens Review                                                                   
1:36:04 PM                                                                                                                    
KATE BURKHART,  Ombudsman, Office of the  Ombudsman, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska,  said  she  appreciates  that  the                                                               
committee is considering the changes  that appear in version O of                                                               
SB  122. She  provided  the following  comments  on the  proposed                                                               
        · Her office requested removing the language about                                                                      
          placing the  panel in the  Office of the  Ombudsman for                                                               
          budgetary  purposes   because  that  would   limit  the                                                               
          ability of the ombudsman to supervise the staff.                                                                      
        · Her office can handle recruitment, appointment, and                                                                   
          qualifications through  regulation in  partnership with                                                               
          the  members of  the  Citizens  Review Panel.  However,                                                               
          it's more  detailed than initially anticipated  and the                                                               
          timeline for  the regulatory package  would need  to be                                                               
          extended from a year to a year and a half or so.                                                                      
        · The Office of the Ombudsman is added to AS                                                                            
          47.10.093(b)  because that  statute  is interpreted  to                                                               
          preclude  speaking  with ombudsman  investigators.  The                                                               
          Office   of   Children's    Services   readily   shares                                                               
          information when  the ombudsman needs to  investigate a                                                               
          complaint, but  they have  run into  an issue  with the                                                               
          guardians ad litem  that work for the  Office of Public                                                               
          Advocacy.  Adding the  Office of  the Ombudsman  to the                                                               
          statute makes sense, especially  if the Citizens Review                                                               
          Panel would  have access  to the  data through  its co-                                                               
          location with the ombudsman.                                                                                          
MS.  BURKHART  stated that  the  changes  proposed in  version  O                                                               
address the  concerns her office  had regarding their  ability to                                                               
implement the  intent of SB  122 and  allows them to  support the                                                               
co-location of the Citizens Review Panel.                                                                                       
CHAIR  COGHILL  asked  if  the  ombudsman  receives  confidential                                                               
information in other areas where it does investigations.                                                                        
MS.   BURKHART   said   yes;    the   ombudsman   statute   says,                                                               
"notwithstanding  any other  provision of  law." AS  47.10.093(b)                                                               
was adopted after the legislation  that created the Office of the                                                               
Ombudsman  and it's  interpreted to  mean that  the ombudsman  is                                                               
intentionally not on the list. That created the hiccup.                                                                         
CHAIR COGHILL said  he wanted the members to  understand that the                                                               
ombudsman  has  had access  to  confidential  information in  all                                                               
other areas of law. It's necessary to do the job.                                                                               
He noted who was available to answer questions.                                                                                 
1:39:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SHOWER referenced the deleted  language in subsection (c)                                                               
on page 2, lines 1-4. He  asked how they would focus the criteria                                                               
for  who would  serve  on  the board  to  ensure  that the  panel                                                               
members have the specialty or expertise needed.                                                                                 
MS. BURKHART clarified  that the regulations would  be adopted in                                                               
partnership  with  the Citizens  Review  Panel.  She offered  her                                                               
perspective of the board, which would  have 15 or 16 members with                                                               
designated  constituencies  and areas  of  expertise  as well  as                                                               
public members.                                                                                                                 
   · A seat that was designated specifically to someone living                                                                  
     off the road system; potentially someone who was nominated                                                                 
     by the Alaska Federation of Natives or First Alaskans.                                                                     
   · Someone with the specific clinical area of behavioral                                                                      
     health of child abuse and prevention and treatment.                                                                        
   · Someone with experience with the child in need of aid                                                                      
     (CINA)  process through  the courts.  This could  be someone                                                               
     from the Office of Public  Advocacy or the Public Defender's                                                               
     Office or  a guardian ad  litem, not the  attorney general's                                                               
     office because they represent the agency.                                                                                  
   · Someone with a background with the Indian Child Welfare                                                                    
     system (ICWA) is an important constituency given the                                                                       
     overrepresentation of Alaska Native children in the foster                                                                 
     care system.                                                                                                               
   · Consumer representation such as a foster parent or young                                                                   
     adult who has been in foster care.                                                                                         
   · A parent who has been engaged with the Office of Children's                                                                
     Services. This is a constituency that seldom has a voice at                                                                
     the policy-making level.                                                                                                   
   · Representation from the school is something to consider                                                                    
     since schools are often ground zero for the effects of                                                                     
     child abuse and child maltreatment. Teachers are mandatory                                                                 
     reporters, but they don't often have a voice in policy-                                                                    
     making regarding child protection issues.                                                                                  
   · A medical practitioner such as a pediatric nurse                                                                           
     practitioner or a pediatrician would be beneficial.                                                                        
   · Seats designated for interested members of the public who                                                                  
     may not fit into one of these specialized seats. Sometimes                                                                 
     these folks are your best members.                                                                                         
SENATOR  SHOWER asked  if  discretion  is left  to  the board  to                                                               
determine which citizens will be on the panel.                                                                                  
MS. BURKHART said she believes  that those criteria that appeared                                                               
in the original draft would appear in regulation.                                                                               
MS. MOSS  clarified that the intent  is for the criteria  for the                                                               
panel to  be set  in regulation. Federal  law is  vague regarding                                                               
how states  are to select  panel members, but public  members who                                                               
are not connected to the system  are required. She noted that she                                                               
recently found  a document  that was written  in 1998  that talks                                                               
about panel selection.                                                                                                          
SENATOR SHOWER  said thanks; he  didn't understand it  would come                                                               
through regulation.                                                                                                             
SENATOR COSTELLO  commented that someone from  Facing Foster Care                                                               
in Alaska would be a good candidate for the panel.                                                                              
CHAIR COGHILL asked Ms. Burkhart to comment on the fiscal note.                                                                 
MS. BURKHART said  the fiscal note contemplates  staffing for the                                                               
panel.  It was  drafted  when the  ombudsman  had no  supervisory                                                               
authority  and  it  contemplated  a high  level  of  professional                                                               
staff.  If the  bill  moves forward  as  currently drafted,  less                                                               
expensive staffing is possible.                                                                                                 
MS. MOSS  advised that the bill  has two fiscal notes.  [The DHSS                                                               
fiscal note is zero.]                                                                                                           
1:47:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR COGHILL removed his objection and version O was adopted.                                                                  
1:47:20 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR COSTELLO  moved to report the  CS for SB 122,  work draft                                                               
30-LS0047\O, from  committee with individual  recommendations and                                                               
attached fiscal note(s).                                                                                                        
1:47:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  COGHILL announced  that without  objection, CSSB  122(JUD)                                                               
moved from the Senate Judiciary Standing Committee.                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 214 - Version A.PDF SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 214 - Sponsor Statement.pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 214 - Sectional Summary (ver. A).PDF SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 214
SB 122 - Version O.pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 122
SB 122 - Summary of Changes (ver. J to ver. O).pdf SJUD 3/19/2018 1:30:00 PM
SB 122