Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

04/14/2015 08:00 AM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

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= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Time Change --
Moved CSSB 58(STA) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
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Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Public Testimony --
Moved SB 9 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         SB 89-PARENT RIGHTS: EDUCATION; SCHOOL ABSENCE                                                                     
8:09:48 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE announced the consideration of SB 89.                                                                             
8:10:38 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI joined the committee meeting.                                                                              
SENATOR MIKE DUNLEAVY, Alaska  State Legislature, Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of SB  89, said the purpose of this  bill is to reiterate                                                               
the inherent rights  of parents. He explained that  the rights of                                                               
parents have always  existed and had never  been extinguished. He                                                               
is reiterating these rights because  recently there has been more                                                               
and  more of  a demand  by  practitioners and  state and  federal                                                               
agencies to  assess children, to  take that  data and use  it for                                                               
the stated  purpose of  trying to  help improve  instruction, but                                                               
also to  label schools to see  where they fall; whether  they are                                                               
failing schools or schools that  are actually assisting students.                                                               
He had  no issue with that,  but a growing body  of parents feels                                                               
that they should  be able to opt  out and not be  part of certain                                                               
requests.  These requests  are  a fuzzy  area,  because they  are                                                               
requests, but  they also sometimes  come across as demands  - for                                                               
children to  be in certain classes  that parents may feel  are in                                                               
conflict with their values and may even run counter to them.                                                                    
He elaborate that  most parents believe that you  send your child                                                               
to school to  learn the writing, reading,  math, science, history                                                               
etc. If that's not the case,  parents want to be able to exercise                                                               
their  inherent rights  to  be able  to say  no  to a  particular                                                               
lesson or activity.                                                                                                             
He said SB  89 also has a section that  denies abortion providers                                                               
the right  to be  in the schools,  to be able  to have  a captive                                                               
audience,  which  kids  are.  They  should  take  their  business                                                               
outside of schools.                                                                                                             
8:14:00 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  how  he  defines "abortion  services                                                               
SENATOR   DUNLEAVY  answered   someone  that   provides  abortion                                                               
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if Providence  Hospital provides  an                                                               
abortion  for a  woman who  would  otherwise die  be an  abortion                                                               
service provider.                                                                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  answered that  there could be  some individuals                                                               
that make that  stretch, but generally speaking,  most folks view                                                               
Providence Hospital as a medical provider.                                                                                      
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  said if they provide  abortion services the                                                               
language  says they  are  an abortion  service  provider. So,  he                                                               
asked  if someone  who  is volunteer  at  Providence Hospital  be                                                               
allowed to come in to speak to a group of students.                                                                             
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  answered if one  of the main components  of the                                                               
services that they provide is abortion, then no.                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI pointed out that  the language just says, "A                                                               
school district may  not permit an abortion  services provider or                                                               
an employee  or volunteer of  an abortion services  provider." It                                                               
doesn't say  that is their  main component of business.  It could                                                               
be just  one abortion that was  maybe provided a couple  of years                                                               
ago for  a life-threatening case.  That person would not  be able                                                               
to volunteer at a school.                                                                                                       
SENATOR DUNLEAVY responded that was not what he was saying.                                                                     
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if that language should be clarified.                                                                
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  answered  that  he did  not  believe  so.  The                                                               
purpose is  for those who as  a main component of  their business                                                               
is  providing  abortions  and  he   did  not  believe  Providence                                                               
Hospital's main function was to provide abortions.                                                                              
8:16:28 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if abortion services  provider should                                                               
be defined as some organization  whose main purpose is to provide                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY answered no, although  a discussion could be had                                                               
about it in committee.                                                                                                          
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  what  number of  abortions makes  an                                                               
organization an abortion services provider.                                                                                     
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  answered  that  he didn't  have  a  particular                                                               
number. He just wanted to  prevent abortion providers from having                                                               
a captive audience of children  to peddle their services, values,                                                               
and ideas to. He had no issue  with that if it's after school and                                                               
across the street.                                                                                                              
8:17:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked if he  thinks volunteers at Providence                                                               
Hospital  who perhaps  perform one  abortion a  year are  somehow                                                               
pedaling abortions for  kids in elementary schools.  Is there any                                                               
evidence that this is happening in schools?                                                                                     
SENATOR DUNLEAVY answered that he  didn't believe that Providence                                                               
Hospital's main purpose is abortion.                                                                                            
SENATOR  MCGUIRE   said  they  are   not  really   talking  about                                                               
Providence Hospital,  but it was  probably worth making  sure the                                                               
courts  would view  things  not overly  board.  She said  overall                                                               
asking  a parent  to intersect  with a  school whose  values they                                                               
don't like is a good point.  People find it frightening, but it's                                                               
not. It's  a chance  for families  to sit down  and say  we don't                                                               
want you  to participate in this  activity or in this  test or in                                                               
this thing because our family values are the following.                                                                         
She liked the bill's approach  and didn't think that families are                                                               
as involved anymore as much as  they should be. But when it comes                                                               
to the issue  of human sexuality. She is a  doctor's daughter and                                                               
wanted young people, particularly  teenage children, to have some                                                               
access to  information about what  is happening to  their bodies,                                                               
the changes that  are going on with puberty and  what that means,                                                               
the hormones, how that might  change behavior, and how to respond                                                               
accordingly to  protect themselves in  a way not to  get pregnant                                                               
should they decide to engage in  sex. All parents hope they would                                                               
not, but that is  not the reality. She didn't want  to go too far                                                               
to the  point where young people  can't get some kind  of read on                                                               
what is happening.                                                                                                              
SENATOR  MCGUIRE asked  what  is happening  in  schools that  has                                                               
precipitated this. What  is going on with  Planned Parenthood and                                                               
kids being taught about abortions?                                                                                              
8:20:53 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY answered  that he had received  phone calls from                                                               
constituents  and  others  throughout  the  state  that  abortion                                                               
providers were  providing "lessons, trainings, and  trainings for                                                               
teenagers so they  can talk to others about  sex and reproductive                                                               
issues." This bill  does not prevent health teachers  in a school                                                               
from  teaching  sex education.  This  is  third parties  using  a                                                               
school as  a host to  get between  parents and their  children in                                                               
terms of values regarding reproductive services, sexuality, etc.                                                                
8:22:02 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  COGHILL moved  to adopt  the work  draft CS  for SB  89,                                                               
version 29-LS0735\G, as the working document.                                                                                   
8:22:21 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE objected for an explanation.                                                                                      
BETHANY  MARCUM,   staff  to   Senator  Dunleavy,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,  said the  CS basically  eliminates                                                               
some unfunded  mandates. It eliminates some  unfunded mandates by                                                               
doing three things. One is on  page 4, lines 20-27: it eliminates                                                               
the requirement for a certified  teacher at a child care facility                                                               
to be fingerprinted  twice and provides for a deed  to supply the                                                               
fingerprint  records  to  the Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services (DHSS) at the request of the individual.                                                                               
The  second change  is on  page  4, lines  2-7, that  adds a  new                                                               
subsection saying the  district can't pay for  physical exams for                                                               
teachers. They are not required  by the state, but some districts                                                               
may require them.                                                                                                               
The  third primary  change on  page  4, line  28, eliminates  the                                                               
requirement for  school districts  to provide physical  exams for                                                               
children.  Currently,   the  Department  of  Health   and  Social                                                               
Services (DHSS) can require districts  to conduct physical exams,                                                               
and that  hasn't changed and  they may reimburse the  district as                                                               
required.  This  CS  removes  the   requirement  for  the  school                                                               
districts to provide those exams.                                                                                               
She said  other conforming  language is  made and  explained that                                                               
with  the previous  school district-provided  exam  a report  was                                                               
required to be  provided to parents. That  report would obviously                                                               
would go  away since the  exams would be  going away. That  is on                                                               
page  4,  line  28.  Then  on page  4,  lines  14-18,  conforming                                                               
language is also removed regarding that statute being repealed.                                                                 
CHAIR STOLTZE removed his objection  and version G was before the                                                               
8:24:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if the health  teacher teaching these                                                               
courses was a  volunteer at an abortion  services provider, could                                                               
they not be permitted to teach.                                                                                                 
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  answered that  he didn't  believe that  was the                                                               
case.  He   would  be  teaching  the   school  district  approved                                                               
curriculum  that had  been vetted  by  the school  district in  a                                                               
public forum.  A health teacher  who is contracted by  the school                                                               
district to  be a teacher  with a Type  A, if they  have district                                                               
approved curriculum that has been  vetted, would be able to teach                                                               
most likely  in a  health class the  prescribed curriculum  as it                                                               
applies to human sexuality.                                                                                                     
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  it  was  okay for  a  substitute                                                               
teacher who  is a volunteer  at an abortion services  provider to                                                               
teach health for one day.                                                                                                       
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  replied his intent was  that adopted curriculum                                                               
that has been  vetted by the school board on  human sexuality can                                                               
be taught under this bill.                                                                                                      
8:25:51 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS said  kids graduate from school  and don't object                                                               
to  having a  health teacher  teach them  health curriculum,  but                                                               
that is not what he sends them  to school for. He is with Senator                                                               
Dunleavy on this one.                                                                                                           
8:27:47 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE, finding no further  objections, announced that the                                                               
CS for SB 89 [version G] was before the committee.                                                                              
8:29:59 AM                                                                                                                    
At ease from 8:29 to 8:31 a.m.                                                                                                  
8:31:56 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR STOLTZE opened public testimony on SB 89.                                                                                 
8:32:53 AM                                                                                                                    
APRIL SMITH, representing herself,  North Pole, Alaska, supported                                                               
SB  89.  She said  she  thought  an  abortion provider  would  be                                                               
someone who markets and sells  abortions, not Providence Hospital                                                               
that just provides them as  an extra medical service. She related                                                               
how  she   was  taught  sex   education  in  schools   it  wasn't                                                               
inappropriate but  when she  looked for  more information  from a                                                               
trust worthy source  she was pulled into their  system of defeat.                                                               
She went  to them  for help and  they taught her  how to  lie and                                                               
manipulate  adults  in  her  life.   They  pushed  services  that                                                               
eventually lead to abortion.                                                                                                    
8:36:50 AM                                                                                                                    
HEATHER   FUSSELL,   representing   herself,   Wasilla,   Alaska,                                                               
supported  SB 89.  She  believed  in her  right  as  a parent  to                                                               
determine  what her  children are  exposed to.  Her children  are                                                               
home schooled, but she thought  abortion service providers should                                                               
not be allowed to supply materials  to schools. A majority of the                                                               
money they make is from abortion services.                                                                                      
8:38:29 AM                                                                                                                    
ANDY   HOLLEMAN,  lobbyist,   Anchorage  Education   Association,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  opposed SB  89. He  said he  represents about                                                               
3,500  educators in  the classroom  and everyone  appreciates the                                                               
clarification of  parents' rights to  be informed, but  the local                                                               
school boards that parents participate  in are where it's decided                                                               
which materials come  into the school rooms. But  putting a legal                                                               
question  on  which materials  a  classroom  teacher who  may  be                                                               
looking for  current materials  or outside  expertise to  come in                                                               
isn't  necessarily healthy.  He hoped  they removed  the language                                                               
that prohibits that.                                                                                                            
8:40:34 AM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER   WOOLEY,  representing   herself,  Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
opposed SB 89.  She was a life-long Alaskan and  was proud of the                                                               
state,  but was  dismayed  by its  rate  of sexually  transmitted                                                               
infections (STI) and sexual assault.  Her background is in sexual                                                               
health education  and her  future career is  in medicine,  so she                                                               
sees  the direct  connection between  education  and health.  She                                                               
knew parents' concern lead to  the introduction of this bill, but                                                               
she cautioned  them to consider  the children's parents  who were                                                               
not as involved  as hoped. Under this bill, each  child will have                                                               
the  additional burden  of obtaining  parental consent  to access                                                               
information that  may save their lives.  They may not be  able to                                                               
access the  information they need,  because their  parents aren't                                                               
around. What happens to them then?                                                                                              
She  said   all  children  undoubtedly  benefit   from  medically                                                               
accurate,  age-appropriate  education   about  their  bodies  and                                                               
relationships.  Currently,  parents  can  opt  out,  so  children                                                               
should  not be  punished  by  requiring parents  to  opt in.  She                                                               
encouraged  promoting  health  and  not the  imagined  threat  of                                                               
peddling abortions.                                                                                                             
8:42:19 AM                                                                                                                    
LENA ILLIG,  representing herself, Anchorage, Alaska,  opposed SB
89.   She  said   sex  education   and   education  for   healthy                                                               
relationships  is crucial.  Alaska is  the number  one state  for                                                               
sexual assault, domestic violence  and certain STIs. These issues                                                               
are  personal  to  her  because   she  had  experienced  domestic                                                               
violence  and is  using her  experience to  create awareness  and                                                               
education for others regarding this epidemic in Alaska.                                                                         
She said  that over half  of sexually  active people will  get an                                                               
STI in their life and taking  away sex education only adds to the                                                               
problem. It  will let teenagers  be uninformed on how  to protect                                                               
themselves from  unwanted pregnancy  and STIs. Studies  show that                                                               
comprehensive  sex  education  is effective  in  preventing  teen                                                               
8:44:11 AM                                                                                                                    
JOHN BLAINE, representing himself,  Anchorage, Alaska, opposed SB
89. He supported previous comments  saying that a better place to                                                               
discuss  this matter  are the  local  school boards.  He said  it                                                               
seemed  like  SB   89  was  a  direct   assault  against  Planned                                                               
Parenthood, which  has an admirable reputation  for sex education                                                               
in schools with  the best possible information  given to children                                                               
in an appropriate way and time.                                                                                                 
The  only thing  that  has not  been mentioned  is  how much  the                                                               
family  situation  has  changed   in  the  country.  Parents  and                                                               
children sitting  around a table  talking about sex  education is                                                               
not  exactly the  case. Children  won't  receive the  information                                                               
they  need if  they  don't  have sex  education  in the  schools.                                                               
Statistics show education reduces abortion.                                                                                     
8:46:54 AM                                                                                                                    
ROBIN SMITH, representing herself,  Anchorage, Alaska, opposed SB
89. She said  parental support for school-based  sex education is                                                               
overwhelmingly positive  over the past  20 years in  survey after                                                               
survey.  Local,  state  or national,  80-85  percent  of  parents                                                               
indicate   that   they   want    their   children   to   received                                                               
comprehensive, medically accurate  age-appropriate sex education.                                                               
Parents  see  such  courses and  content  as  supplementing,  not                                                               
supplanting,  their  discussions at  home.  They  say that  their                                                               
children  need both  to be  taught  about delaying  the onset  of                                                               
intimate  sexual   relationships  until   they  are   mature  and                                                               
responsible  and also  getting  the information  and skills  they                                                               
need to use contraception when  they do choose to become sexually                                                               
active. It's not a matter of either or, but both.                                                                               
She  said that  Planned Parenthood  helps fill  an important  gap                                                               
left  by  the  state's  inaction  to  ensure  students  have  the                                                               
information   they  need   to  make   educated  decisions   about                                                               
relationships and  sex. The state  does not have  a comprehensive                                                               
sex education curricula that they  even offer to the schools, let                                                               
alone  require.   Until  Alaska   steps  up  and   provides  this                                                               
comprehensive  medically accurate  sex  health  education to  all                                                               
students communities  will rely  on outside educators  to provide                                                               
One of the  education programs that Planned  Parenthood offers is                                                               
a workshop for  parents. This program encourages  parents to pass                                                               
on  their values  to  their  children, but  also  to become  more                                                               
comfortable  with   engaging  children  on  sexual   issues.  She                                                               
encouraged  them  to  look  at this  curricula  and  others  they                                                               
KENNI LINDEN,  representing herself,  Palmer, Alaska,  opposed SB
89. She was  born and raised in  Palmer and owns a  home with her                                                               
husband  around  the  corner  from   the  elementary  school  she                                                               
attended. Her whole family had  a "fantastic public education" in                                                               
Palmer  public   schools.  The  only  glaring   omission  in  her                                                               
education  was  sexual  health.  She and  her  peers  would  have                                                               
greatly   benefited   from   comprehensive   medically   accurate                                                               
reproductive health  education. She  was sexually  assaulted when                                                               
she  was 15  and  afterwards  she was  unaware  of the  resources                                                               
available to her as a student  to protect her health and to speak                                                               
up  in support  of  healthy relationships  and  consent. She  was                                                               
delighted to  hear that  professionally trained  health educators                                                               
were invited  into schools  to teach sex  education and  hoped it                                                               
would  prevent others  from experiencing  the  sexual trauma  she                                                               
experienced. Although  she has fabulous parents,  she wasn't sure                                                               
that asking them  to opt in for sex education  may have prevented                                                               
her  and  her brothers  from  receiving  any health  information.                                                               
Between  two  households and  three  children,  keeping track  of                                                               
permission slips was  chaos. This bill would add  an undue burden                                                               
on parents and educators.                                                                                                       
8:51:36 AM                                                                                                                    
JARED   MCCLURE,   representing   himself,   Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
supported SB 89. Planned Parenthood's  agenda is to market sex to                                                               
vulnerable  and  impressionable  children  and  trick  them  into                                                               
behaving irresponsibly so  they can sell them  an abortion later.                                                               
If you  want STDs and  illegitimate and underage  pregnancy rates                                                               
to go  down, "just  end the practice  of allowing  these perverse                                                               
abortionists  free  rein  to  market sex  and  abortions  in  our                                                               
school." They make a killing doing the abortions later.                                                                         
8:52:41 AM                                                                                                                    
DEBORAH  WILLIAMS,   representing  herself,   Anchorage,  Alaska,                                                               
opposed SB 89, because it will  cost more money and undermine the                                                               
authority  of local  school districts.  It  will undermine  local                                                               
control.   She  urged   them  to   take   a  hard   look  at   AS                                                               
14.03.016(a)(3),  the opt  in  provision in  it.  It states  that                                                               
schools,  teachers, must  provide parents  notification not  less                                                               
than two  weeks but not more  than six weeks before  any activity                                                               
or  class involving  sexual health  education. The  cost of  this                                                               
notification, the  burden on teachers  of this  notification, the                                                               
problem  with  permission slips  falling  through  the cracks  is                                                               
great. New costs  and new burdens cannot be  imposed on teachers,                                                               
parents, students and particularly on our fiscal constraints.                                                                   
MS. WILLIAMS said the current  opt out provision is working well.                                                               
There is no testimony whatsoever that it is not working well.                                                                   
She also opposed  AS 14.03.83, which prohibits  a school district                                                               
from contracting with  an abortion services provider  for all the                                                               
reasons Senator Wielechowski mentioned.  It is vague and arguably                                                               
unconstitutional and  very problematic, but mostly  it undermines                                                               
the authority  of the local  school districts and  local control.                                                               
She  didn't  think  this committee  wanted  that.  Sexual  health                                                               
education saves  dollars and this  will undermine the  ability to                                                               
save those  dollars; we are in  a fiscal crisis and  can't afford                                                               
to spend more money where we don't have it.                                                                                     
MS. WILLIAMS  closed saying  that she is  aware of  the evidence-                                                               
based  programming  that is  provided  in  the schools  today  on                                                               
sexual  health education.  "They  matter;  they are  outstanding;                                                               
they  are  evidence-based. Please  let  school  districts be  the                                                               
authority  on whether  they  want to  continue  using those,  not                                                               
8:55:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL  PAULEY, Alaska  Family  Action,  Alaska Family  Council,                                                               
Seattle, Washington,  supported SB  89. The most  important words                                                               
in the entire bill  are found in the title: An  act relating to a                                                               
parent's right to direct the education of a child.                                                                              
They believe  that the right  of parents to direct  the education                                                               
of their  child is  inherent. He  said, "Government  doesn't give                                                               
parents that right  any more than government  gives us children."                                                               
Government does have an important  role in helping to protect and                                                               
advance this inherent right and SB 89 is such a measure.                                                                        
He  said  abortion  is  legal,  but so  are  other  things,  like                                                               
cigarettes, and one would want  tobacco companies into schools to                                                               
promote those  in front of impressionable  young people. Religion                                                               
is legal,  too, but a local  Catholic or Mormon church  would not                                                               
get  invited  to  teach  a  sex  education  class.  Yet,  Planned                                                               
Parenthood,  a  highly  political and  ideological  organization,                                                               
acts as  if they  are entitle  to be  peddling their  services to                                                               
children in the schools that citizens pay for.                                                                                  
He said  nothing in SB  89 inhibits public schools  from offering                                                               
sex  education  in classes  provided  they  have the  consent  of                                                               
parents and provided they are not  farming out the task to people                                                               
who sell abortions on the side.                                                                                                 
8:58:25 AM                                                                                                                    
SACHA  PETTITT, representing  herself, Palmer,  Alaska, supported                                                               
SB 89.  She is  a parent and  works as a  teacher for  the Mat-Su                                                               
Borough school district. Parental choice  is an integral part the                                                               
checks and balances that are  needed in the education system. Her                                                               
students have consistently exceeded the statewide standards.                                                                    
She said SB 89 sets up  safety parameters for children and allows                                                               
parents to  not be  steamrolled into an  agenda with  others. She                                                               
didn't feel that  permission slips are a burden.  She thought the                                                               
cost of a ream of paper could easily be fit into the budget.                                                                    
9:00:59 AM                                                                                                                    
ELENA GUSTAFSON, representing herself,  Sitka, Alaska, opposed SB
89  wholeheartedly. Alaska's  devastatingly high  rates of  child                                                               
sexual  abuse were  six times  the  national average;  it is  the                                                               
highest  for teen  dating violence,  teen  pregnancies rates  are                                                               
higher than the national average and  STDs are higher than in any                                                               
other state. She  wasn't proud of these  facts, but comprehensive                                                               
sex education,  which is  being taught at  a large  percentage of                                                               
schools in the States, is known to reduce these.                                                                                
Every  parent already  has  the  right to  be  involved in  their                                                               
child's  education;  they  can remove  their  children  from  the                                                               
classroom if  they believe the  curriculum runs counter  to their                                                               
best  interests. The  current system  already provides  for this,                                                               
she said. It is not an  undue burden on parents to take advantage                                                               
of  the rights  that they  already  have to  object and  withdraw                                                               
their child from tests or any activity.                                                                                         
It is an undue burden on the  most vulnerable in the state to put                                                               
opt-in clauses,  specifically section  (3) in the  working draft,                                                               
on children  who are experiencing  abuse and neglect. If  a child                                                               
is already  being abused  has to ask  permission to  receive what                                                               
may be the only safety resources they have ever had.                                                                            
MS. GUSTAFSON  said she  had worked with  children who  after her                                                               
safety presentations  in elementary  schools had the  language to                                                               
speak up  and get  the safety  they deserved.  If this  bill went                                                               
into effect these children might  be denied that education and be                                                               
stuck in an abusive family  for years. School districts should be                                                               
the ones  to decide  who is  the most  qualified to  provide this                                                               
9:03:48 AM                                                                                                                    
LIBBY  STORTZ, representing  herself, Sitka,  Alaska, opposed  SB
89.  She agreed  with previous  testifiers in  opposition. During                                                               
adolescence most  teens explore their sexuality  through behavior                                                               
and Planned  Parenthood, against whom  this bill is  focused, has                                                               
provided  evidence-based,  accurate,  neutral sex  education  for                                                               
almost 100 years  in the United States. This is  about the health                                                               
and safety of teens. Comprehensive  sex education helps thousands                                                               
of teens who with or without  parental consent will do what comes                                                               
naturally. They  need this information  with or  without parental                                                               
9:06:01 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA   HANEY,  representing   herself,  North   Pole,  Alaska,                                                               
supported SB  89 wholeheartedly.  She understands people  who are                                                               
upset about the abortion provider  provision, but this bill in no                                                               
way blocks sex  education. From her survey of  schools in Alaska,                                                               
sex education is taught by a  member of the bargaining unit; it's                                                               
not taught by Planned Parenthood.                                                                                               
She  said many  districts in  the  state have  parental right  of                                                               
refusal or opt out language, but  not in others. Some schools are                                                               
good at  letting parents  opt out of  sexual education  units but                                                               
not testing. Other  places are really good at letting  you out of                                                               
testing but  not so much  sex education  and she wasn't  sure how                                                               
the two got linked together.  Except for the overriding principal                                                               
which is that the parent should  have the right to say "no, thank                                                               
you,"  that is  already  a right.  She wanted  the  policy to  be                                                               
uniform across the state.                                                                                                       
9:07:52 AM                                                                                                                    
AMY WALKER,  representing herself,  Palmer, Alaska,  supported SB
89. She  said schools should be  a safe place for  our kids where                                                               
they can  feel protected  against propaganda  and indoctrination.                                                               
She wanted to  keep Planned Parenthood out of  the schools; their                                                               
goal  is to  make money  corrupting and  indoctrinating our  kids                                                               
with  premarital sex,  homosexuality,  anti-family and  anti-life                                                               
9:10:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTOPHER  KURKA, Executive  Director,  Alaska  Right to  Life,                                                               
Chugiak, Alaska, supported SB 89.  If Planned Parenthood has been                                                               
successful  in preventing  STDs, then  "they really  suck at  it"                                                               
because there  has been  an extraordinary  rise in  recent years.                                                               
They  don't exhibit  scientific  material, but  material for  the                                                               
purpose  of promoting  promiscuity. This  bill is  about stopping                                                               
organizations  like  Planned Parenthood  who  have  an agenda  to                                                               
promote promiscuity and abortion.                                                                                               
9:12:24 AM                                                                                                                    
ED GRAY,  representing himself, Sitka,  Alaska, supported  SB 89.                                                               
Planned  Parenthood has  been  in their  school  district and  it                                                               
hasn't worked  well. In fact,  the school district has  not acted                                                               
responsibly  in  collecting   all  students'  information,  email                                                               
addresses and turning them over to the abortion industry.                                                                       
9:14:32 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN JENSEN,  representing herself, Sitka, Alaska,  supported SB
89. As a former public  school teacher, she strongly respects the                                                               
right of  parents to determine  what is best for  their children.                                                               
Parents  are legally  responsible for  their children  and should                                                               
therefore   have  the   final  say   over  what   their  children                                                               
participate in and what they are taught.                                                                                        
9:16:32 AM                                                                                                                    
YVONNE  CORDUAN, representing  herself, Sitka,  Alaska, supported                                                               
SB  89, for  all the  previously  stated reasons  and because  it                                                               
protects the inherent  rights of parents to  direct the education                                                               
of  their  children.  Requiring  local  school  boards  to  adopt                                                               
policies recognizing that authority perpetuates that right.                                                                     
9:18:59 AM                                                                                                                    
LISA MELNICK,  representing herself, Sitka, Alaska,  supported SB
89. She  is a mom  raising six kids  in the Alaska  public school                                                               
system  and supported  it  to keep  abortion  providers, such  as                                                               
Planned Parenthood, out of the  schools. They sell the product of                                                               
abortion  and she  did not  want her  girls learning  about their                                                               
bodies  from an  organization that  sells a  product that  she is                                                               
fundamentally against.                                                                                                          
9:20:29 AM                                                                                                                    
JOANIE CLEARY,  representing herself, Anchorage,  Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 89. It is being promoted  as a bill that will protect parents'                                                               
rights,  but as  a  parent who  supports having  a  say in  their                                                               
children's education  especially sexual education, but  this bill                                                               
targets  one of  the most  qualified providers  of comprehensive,                                                               
medically  accurate,   age-appropriate,  sexual   education.  She                                                               
agreed  with other  speaker who  opposed this  bill. Parents  who                                                               
want to teach  their children about sex are  never prevented from                                                               
doing that. She  is an assistant to a guardian  ad litem and sees                                                               
children in the  foster care system who get  no other information                                                               
in their  home. Their  parents are  not available  to them  for a                                                               
variety  of  reasons,  usually   drugs,  alcohol,  mental  health                                                               
problems, and they are just not doing their jobs.                                                                               
She sees  countless teens  of the  system who  are growing  up to                                                               
have  children  of  their  own.  They  didn't  get  a  sufficient                                                               
education  to be  able to  prevent that.  She has  volunteered at                                                               
Planned  Parenthood and  supports them.  Every single  person she                                                               
has  met there  has  been  very dedicated  to  women's and  young                                                               
people's health  and sexual health.  She objected to some  of the                                                               
characterizations that she had heard today.                                                                                     
Finally, Ms.  Cleary said it part  of the intent of  this bill is                                                               
to prevent  abortion, it  is misguided. The  best way  to prevent                                                               
abortion   is  to   provide  comprehensive,   medically  accurate                                                               
information to our youth in every possible way.                                                                                 
9:23:02 AM                                                                                                                    
JUDY MILLER, representing herself,  Anchorage, Alaska, opposed SB
89.  She   respected  the  bill's  intent   to  support  parental                                                               
involvement in  schools, but she  felt that it  damages student's                                                               
ability to  gain access to  vetted, objective  medically accurate                                                               
sexual health information as provided  by Planned Parenthood. The                                                               
opt-out consideration  already exists  for parents  and requiring                                                               
opt-in  for  sex  education  is   counterproductive  and  a  huge                                                               
administrative burden for the schools.                                                                                          
She said  our youth  are being inundated  with sex  messages from                                                               
television,  movies, social  media, and  computer games;  this is                                                               
why  it  is  even  more  important  that  they  receive  unbiased                                                               
medically   accurate   sexual   health  information.   No   other                                                               
organization in the United State  does more to prevent unintended                                                               
pregnancies than  Planned Parenthood. In  preventing pregnancies,                                                               
Planned Parenthood prevents the need for more abortions.                                                                        
9:24:45 AM                                                                                                                    
ZHENIA   PETERSON,  representing   herself,  Anchorage,   Alaska,                                                               
opposed  SB 89.  She is  a student  at the  University of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage  studying   social  work  and  public   health.  It  is                                                               
important that students in high  school get sexual education that                                                               
includes anatomy. It  would be scary to appear  at the university                                                               
level and not understand the basic concepts of how their bodies.                                                                
9:26:36 AM                                                                                                                    
BARBARA MCDANIEL, representing  herself, Wasilla, Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 89, because  it promotes ignorance and she is  a firm believer                                                               
in accurate and fact-based education  delivered in a professional                                                               
and appropriate  manner in all subjects  including and especially                                                               
sexual  health education.  She  is  a parent  and  is happy  that                                                               
Planned  Parenthood is  providing  sexual  health education  from                                                               
more than  1.5 million youths  every nationally. It's  great that                                                               
caring  school and  community  agencies  take responsibility  for                                                               
children's  health and  safety by  seeking and  employing Planned                                                               
Parenthood's  reputable, reliable,  professional, and  thoroughly                                                               
vetted  sexual health  education curriculum  for their  students.                                                               
Alaska's  infamous  sexual  health and  safety  statistics  prove                                                               
Alaska youths do not need any more ignorance.                                                                                   
ALYSON  CURREY,  Planned   Parenthood  Votes  Northwest,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, opposed SB 89. She  said they operate four health centers                                                               
across the  state in Juneau, Anchorage,  Soldotna, and Fairbanks.                                                               
In 2013, they served about  13,000 patients, the vast majority of                                                               
whom come  to them  for non-judgmental  quality care,  namely for                                                               
birth  control and  family planning,  STI testing  and treatment,                                                               
well  room exams  (cervical cancer  screenings and  breast health                                                               
checks) and prenatal  care. She said Planned  Parenthood has also                                                               
been a trusted provider of  comprehensive sexual health education                                                               
in  Alaska for  over  20  years and  throughout  the country  for                                                               
nearly 100 years.                                                                                                               
MS. CURREY  said the collaborative work  between school districts                                                               
and Planned Parenthood is an  important partnership that benefits                                                               
students and  empowers them  to make  safe and  healthy decisions                                                               
about   their   sexual    health.   Their   programs   reinforces                                                               
communication  between parents  and their  children and  provides                                                               
the  tools necessary  to support  parents in  communicating about                                                               
sexuality and sexual health with their children.                                                                                
MS. CURREY  explained that Planned Parenthood  works closely with                                                               
some schools, but they are not  in every school. When invited in,                                                               
they  tailor  their  curriculum on  prevention  per  a  teacher's                                                               
request  and  it  should  be   up  the  schools  to  decide  what                                                               
curriculum comes  into their classrooms. All  of their curriculum                                                               
is vetted for medical accuracy.                                                                                                 
9:31:03 AM                                                                                                                    
DIANNA HOBBS,  representing herself,  Juneau, Alaska,  opposed SB
89. She  is a Thunder  Mountain Junior and opposed  the provision                                                               
that  bans abortion  service providers  from  schools. This  will                                                               
directly affect  the work she  does as a  volunteer/peer educator                                                               
through teen councils that are sponsored by Planned Parenthood.                                                                 
She said there is a  common misconception that Planned Parenthood                                                               
educators  are marketing  abortion  services to  youth in  school                                                               
presentations, but that is "simply not true."                                                                                   
She  said  Teen  Councils  was  created  over  20  years  ago  in                                                               
Washington  State by  Planned Parenthood  of the  Great Northwest                                                               
while the local  Juneau Teen Council formed three  years ago. She                                                               
explained  that  when  invited   into  classrooms,  Teen  Council                                                               
members  teach   peers  about   healthy  sexuality   and  healthy                                                               
relationships and impact  peers through thoughtful, nonjudgmental                                                               
education  and outreach.  The support  of these  organizations is                                                               
needed to help  them learn and teach; it  helps support thousands                                                               
of  teens  and  children  who  add  to  the  state's  tragic  and                                                               
disturbingly high statistics.                                                                                                   
9:32:48 AM                                                                                                                    
KALEY COLUMN,  representing herself,  Juneau, Alaska,  opposed SB
89. She is a 16-year  old sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School                                                               
and a member  of Juneau Teen Council. Since the  beginning of the                                                               
2014/15  school   year,  7  Juneau  Teen   Council  members  have                                                               
collectively   contributed  over   900  volunteer   hours  toward                                                               
learning about  sexuality and developing education  skills. These                                                               
hours  include those  when they  are invited  into classrooms  to                                                               
educated students  about growing up  in their bodies.  Often they                                                               
are invited  by health teachers,  because they don't have  all of                                                               
the information they might need.                                                                                                
She  said  the recently  four  members  received the  prestigious                                                               
statewide  Spirit  of  Youth  Award  for  service  to  peers  for                                                               
creating   a  high   quality  teen   made   video  about   health                                                               
relationships,  healthy sexuality  and nonviolence.  Teen Council                                                               
meets  weekly  for  two-hour training  meetings  on  things  like                                                               
abstinence   and   unintended  pregnancy   prevention,   sexually                                                               
transmitted infection prevention,  healthy relationships, consent                                                               
and teen  dating violence. In  addition, they learn  about things                                                               
like  the  side  effects  of abusing  drugs  and  alcohol,  media                                                               
literacy, social  justice issues  and much more.  She has  left a                                                               
class  and   receive  anonymous   notes  saying  how   much  they                                                               
appreciate their talking to them.  She has received drawings from                                                               
little middle school  girls saying how much  they appreciated her                                                               
coming in and helped them  learn something about what they didn't                                                               
She said  the power  of peer education  is so  important, because                                                               
adolescents listen  to each other  much more often and  with much                                                               
more inherent  respect than listening to  adults. The information                                                               
is learned  with more detail  and more information can  be spread                                                               
in this way.                                                                                                                    
9:36:23 AM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN SCHRADER, representing herself,  Juneau, Alaska, opposed SB
89. She asked  how likely is a  parent who is abusing  a child to                                                               
proactively opt in to have  that child receive sex education that                                                               
might prevent that abuse. Someone  at a previous meeting said she                                                               
received anonymous note  from a youngster if it was  okay for her                                                               
stepfather  to have  sex with  me. How  likely would  that father                                                               
sign  a  permission slip  to  allow  that  child to  receive  sex                                                               
education? STD  statistics will not  be lowered with  this bill's                                                               
Currently  parents have  many ways  to opt  out of  any class  or                                                               
activity they  don't agree with  in a school district;  this bill                                                               
is  unnecessary  and  represents  a misguided  effort  to  put  a                                                               
specific ideology of a few ahead of the health of Alaskans.                                                                     
9:38:23 AM                                                                                                                    
NORM  WOOTEN,  Association  of   Alaska  School  Boards,  Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, opposed SB  89. He addressed only section 3  and said the                                                               
association  had been  involved in  "Alaska Ice,"  the initiative                                                               
for  community  engagement for  20  years.  They try  to  connect                                                               
schools to their communities and as  part of that the provide for                                                               
the administering of the School  Climate and Connectedness Survey                                                               
(SCCS)  that  asks students  about  their  perceptions of  events                                                               
going on  around them.  It's not  about their  personal behaviors                                                               
and  not about  things  that are  going on  in  their family.  He                                                               
explained   that    consultants   constructed   this    test   to                                                               
intentionally avoid  those issues. The  survey is used  by school                                                               
districts  to determine  destructive  activity  such as  bullying                                                               
that may exist  in their schools and to take  actions to create a                                                               
safer  climate within  the school.  It's based  on the  40 assets                                                               
model, that the  more assets a student possesses  the more likely                                                               
they are to succeed both in school  and out of school. SB 89 will                                                               
make it very difficult to obtain  consent from folks to get valid                                                               
data to provide  to school districts. He suggested  that the bill                                                               
goes too far.                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  what  sorts of  questions are  being                                                               
MR. WOOTEN  answered that  he would  provide that  information to                                                               
the chair.                                                                                                                      
CHAIR  STOLTZE invited  parents to  provide written  testimony on                                                               
what questions they might object to that they have been asked.                                                                  
9:41:24 AM                                                                                                                    
CAREN ROBINSON,  lobbyist, Alaska Women's Lobby,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
opposed SB 89. Their mission is  to defend and advance the rights                                                               
and  needs of  women,  children  and families.  This  bill is  an                                                               
example  of state  overreach. Nothing  is more  local than  their                                                               
children's and grandchildren's  schools. Communities elect school                                                               
boards that hire  a superintendent. In Juneau, each  school has a                                                               
parent  council that  hires  the principals.  We  are so  locally                                                               
driven that  one middle school  bans all student  activity travel                                                               
and another that  allows it. It should be up  to local schools to                                                               
decide who  they invite, whether  it's police for DARE  or health                                                               
care providers  to talk  about STIs or  obesity, or  advocates to                                                               
talk about child abuse, dating violence and sexual assault.                                                                     
They also believe that putting  the burden on school districts to                                                               
ask parents to  opt in on almost everything is  costly and waste,                                                               
plus it's just not realistic. She  said the system is not broken;                                                               
parents already  have the authority  to approve  their children's                                                               
participation  in school  activities. They  believe that  schools                                                               
and parents  working together to  decide who can come  into their                                                               
9:43:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MELISSA ENGEL,  representing herself, Juneau, Alaska,  opposed SB
89. She  said, "SB 89 is  masquerading as a parental  rights bill                                                               
and has  dangerous consequences that  puts the health  and future                                                               
of our  youth at risk  by limiting access to  necessary resources                                                               
and information regarding reproductive and sexual health."                                                                      
9:46:28 AM                                                                                                                    
PETER HOEPFNER,  board member, Cordova School  District, Cordova,                                                               
Alaska, opposed  SB 89. He noted  that section 1, the  ability of                                                               
parents  to  opt  out of  standards-based  assessments  or  tests                                                               
required  by  the  state,  hadn't  been  discussed  much.  School                                                               
districts have been asked to  be accountable, and if students are                                                               
opting  out  of this  test  the  results  will be  an  inadequate                                                               
portrayal  of the  total student  performance.  The tests  should                                                               
eliminated rather than giving the option to opt out.                                                                            
Another issue  is if a person  doesn't opt in, you  don't know if                                                               
the student  has lost the slip  or if the parents  have misplaced                                                               
SENATOR STOLTZE said  the teachers he hears from  in his district                                                               
are against more testing.                                                                                                       
9:48:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY  E. KEHRHAHN-STARK,  Planned Parenthood,  Fairbanks, Alaska,                                                               
opposed SB  89. This legislation  will make it harder  for Alaska                                                               
youth to  access crucial sexual  health and social  services they                                                               
need.  Both academic  and  sexual education  are  important in  a                                                               
person's   life.  Today's   culture   offers   an  abundance   of                                                               
opportunity for sexual exploration whether  people want to see it                                                               
or not  and whether  people agree  with it  or not.  Young people                                                               
need to  be armed with as  much knowledge about their  bodies and                                                               
what they  can do to  protect themselves from  unwanted assaults,                                                               
diseases, infections and unplanned pregnancy.                                                                                   
9:51:54 AM                                                                                                                    
JESSICA  CLER, representing  herself, Anchorage,  Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 89.  She had  a great  public school  education in  the Mat-Su                                                               
school district and  was fortunate to have  very engaged parents.                                                               
However,  the one  incredibly important  piece  that was  missing                                                               
from  her public  school  education  was comprehensive  medically                                                               
accurate  sex  education  and  information  on  consent,  healthy                                                               
relationships  and teen  dating  violence.  This information  was                                                               
desperately  needed  because of  Alaska's  high  rates of  sexual                                                               
assault  and   sexual  abuse.  Alaska  already   falls  short  in                                                               
providing this  education; Planned Parenthood fills  an important                                                               
gap left by the state's inaction  and communities rely on them to                                                               
provide  that  information.  In  tight  fiscal  times,  community                                                               
partners,  like Planned  Parenthood, provide  a vital  service to                                                               
the school districts.                                                                                                           
MS.  CLER said  this  bill  is an  additional  burden on  already                                                               
strapped schools and it is written  so broadly that it could have                                                               
dangerous effects in limiting students'  access to sexual assault                                                               
awareness and prevention.                                                                                                       
9:53:42 AM                                                                                                                    
DONNA KLECKA, representing herself,  Eagle River, Alaska, opposed                                                               
SB 89 because of all the reasons people have already iterated.                                                                  
9:54:44 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  STOLTZE,  finding  no   further  comments,  closed  public                                                               
testimony and held SB 89 in committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB58 SSTA Workdraft CS(STA) version P - 4-13-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 58
SB58 Sponsor Statement - Version N.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 58
SB58 Sectional Summary - Version N.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 58
SB89 SSTA Workdraft G - SCS(STA).pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Sectional Summary by Legal Services - Version I - CS(EDC).pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Fiscal Note EED-SSA 4-10-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Explanation of Changes from (S)EDC to Version G.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Consolidated Support Emails to SSTA from 4-8-15 to 4-13-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Consolidated Opposition Emails to SSTA from 4-8-15 to 4-13-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB67 Governor's Transmittal Letter 3-3-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 67
SB67 Sectional Analysis by Department of Administration.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 67
SB67 Supporting Document - Roth 457 FAQs.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 67
SB67 Fiscal Note #1 - DOA-DRB 2-17-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 67
SB67 Support Document - Press Release DOA 3-12-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 67
SB89 Sponsor Statement for CS(EDC) Version.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89
SB89 Opposition Document - Letter Elizabeth Miner - 4-14-15.pdf SSTA 4/14/2015 8:00:00 AM
SB 89