Call to Order and Roll Call
The1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Thursday, June 13, 2013, at 1:00 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Representative Tanya Pullin, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jimmy Higdon, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Carroll Gibson, Ernie Harris, Christian McDaniel, Dennis Parrett, Jerry P. Rhoads, Albert Robinson, Kathy W. Stein, Whitney Westerfield, and Mike Wilson; Representatives Robert Benvenuti III, Tom Burch, Denver Butler, Leslie Combs, Tim Couch, Will Coursey, Ron Crimm, Myron Dossett, David Floyd, Jeff Greer, Kenny Imes, Martha Jane King, Jimmie Lee, Donna Mayfield, David Meade, Terry Mills, Rick G. Nelson, Tom Riner, Rita Smart, John Tilley, and Russell Webber.
Guests: Judge David Holton II, Jefferson County District Court; Lewis Nicholls and Matthew Mitchell, Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM); Col. (Ret.) David Thompson, Executive Director, Stacey Shane, Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs (KCMA); Alecia Webb-Edgington, Director, Public Information Management Division, Jim Acquisto, Vice President, Government Affairs, Tom Seigle, President of Public Safety, and Ron Hatfield, Program Director of Health Information Solutions, Appriss, Inc.; Ken Lucas, Commissioner, Gilda Hill Executive Director, Office of Kentucky Veteransí Centers, and Dennis Shepherd, Staff Attorney, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs; and Carlos Pugh, Legislative Liaison, Joint Executive Council of Veterans Organizations.
LRC Staff: Erica Warren, Tiffany Opii, Kristopher Shera, and Rhonda Schierer.
Representative Smart read a resolution in memory and honor of Staff Sergeant Daniel Fannin. Representative Dossett read a resolution in memory and honor of Sergeant Michael C. Cable. Representative Pullin moved to adopt the two resolutions. Representative Floyd seconded the motion. The resolutions were adopted.
Veterans Treatment Court
Judge David Holton gave a brief overview of the Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court and the devastation of veterans in the jail system. Judge Holton stated that in Jefferson County alone, there are over 56,000 veterans. He stated that the Jefferson County Treatment Court is based on the drug court model to reduce recidivism and to return veterans into productive lives. Judge Holton stated that the veteransí treatment court is a voluntary program that includes regular court appearances before the judge. Treatment in the program includes weekly individual and group counseling, drug and alcohol testing, mental health treatment, and regular attendance at recovery support/self-help meetings. Judge Holton added that the treatment program is not a get out-of-jail card. He provided a copy of the Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court Participant Handbook which tells veterans what is expected of them and what the program will do for them. A copy of the treatment handbook is on file with the minutes in the LRC Library.
In response to a question from Representative Floyd, Judge Holton stated that the court is happy to serve other counties as well. If another county judge refers a case to him, he asks his team to review to insure that the charges fall within the courtís jurisdiction. Cases that are crimes of violent or sexual nature are not accepted.
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs: Kentucky Veteransí Centers
Gilda Hill testified about the three Kentucky Veterans Centers. Ms. Hill gave the statistics of the three centers in Wilmore, Hazard, and Hanson, Kentucky. Because the number of admissions and deaths are about equal, the centers rarely achieve full capacity. Services provided in the centers include 24 hour medical and nursing care, rehabilitation, nutritional support, recreational therapy, social services, laundry, transportation, spiritual needs, computers, and wireless internet.
Commissioner Lucas discussed the three capital projects. The Radcliff Veterans Home has been bid once and was over budget, but the agency worked closely with architects, engineers, and contractors, and the project has been rebid. The bids are expected in on June 24, and it is believed the process will then be able to move forward. The other two capital projects are the Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center, which needs its heating and air conditioning system revamped, and the Thompson Hood Veterans Center, which needs renovation of two nursing units.
Gilda Hill discussed Medicaid and Medicare preparation for implementation. Implementation was delayed after a live safety review found needed repairs and additional clinical issues to be addressed. The agency will request certification in July and hope all of the work beforehand will lead to certification, at which point billing will begin.
In response to a question from Representative Riner, Gilda Hill stated that there are no more than five veterans in the veteransí homes who have served in Afghanistan or Iran.
Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM)
Lewis Nicholls, with Premier Integrity Solutions, and Matthew Mitchell, Director of Industry Relations, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Ltd., gave a PowerPoint presentation on secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM) and how to improve public safety with transdermal technology. Mr. Mitchell stated that SCRAM advocates the reduction of alcohol related crime with a focus on impaired driving. SCRAM is the most widely used transdermal monitor in the world. Forty-eight states use SCRAM, which has monitored more than 270,000 justice involved alcohol offenders across the country. It has been used in Kentucky since 2007. There are 1,186 offenders monitored on SCRAM with 79.3 percent fully compliant; 99.2 percent of total SCRAM days are sober days. The program is at no cost to the taxpayer. Mr. Nicholls stated that, as a retired judge, he is familiar with the court process. A repeat alcohol offender does not get better simply by being incarcerated. A study from the National Center for the State Courts in 2009 revealed that recidivism rates dropped by 14 percent for all crimes and 45 percent for offenders driving while influenced when using the continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) system, which monitors offenderís alcohol consumption every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. The PowerPoint and information regarding the SCRAM program are on file with the minutes in the LRC Library.
In response to a question from Representative Floyd, Mr. Mitchell stated that the technology to transmit the information from the anklet is a radio frequency signal.
Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs
Col. (Ret.) David Thompson testified on the KCMA. Col. Thompson spoke on Kentuckyís military footprint, protecting and growing Kentucky installations and BRAC, the reductions in Brigade Combat Teams in the Army, and strengthening the defense-related economy. KCMAís mission is guided by Kentucky statute. It takes action to protect and grow military installations, enhance the growth of business, and address all matters of military significance.
Col. Thompson discussed the strategic plans and goals of the KCMA, which are to protect and grow Kentucky DOD installations, strengthen the defense-related economy, communicate strategically, and conduct inter-agency program support for a strong military in Kentucky. The major Kentucky installations are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Fort Knox, Blue Grass Army Depot, Western Kentucky Regional Training Center, and Fort Campbell.
Col. Thompson discussed the impact of the military in Kentucky. Based on 2011 survey, the military had a payroll of $5.5 billion, which is the largest source of earnings in Kentucky. The new budget level for the Department of Defense will rise from FY 2013 to FY 2017. Col. Thompson discussed Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), including BRACís broad reach, the threat and opportunity, and non-BRAC installation actions. Col. Thompson discussed the joint visions for Fort Knox to build on the nexus of Army human resources, recruiting and cadet commands to create further efficiency and saving, reduce duplication, and improve HR and recruiting DOD-wide. Fort Campbell is an ideal site for additional special forces units and USAF units. The Blue Grass Army Depot is an under-recognized jewel in depot capabilities and performance. A PowerPoint presentation and materials given are filed with the minutes in the LRC Library.
In response to a question from Rep. Greer about the Pre-BRAC rating of Fort Knox and Fort Campbell, Col. Thompson stated that the rankings depend on the attributes that are being measured and he sees Fort Knox being ranked highly because of the capability put there in the last BRAC to position Fort Knox for the future.
In response to a question from Sen. Harris, Col. Thompson stated that the Army is drawing down in personnel. If unable to execute a BRAC, or to get its proposed budget, there may need to be additional savings in personnel.
Appriss, Inc.: eWarrants and Victim Information and Notification Everyday
Alecia Webb-Edgington testified about the e-Warrants System. Kentucky is the only state that has a full electronic warrant system from car to execution and to authorization by the judges. The reason for the program was due to a huge public safety gap. A study showed that Kentucky had between 265,000 and 385,000 unserved warrants. On average it was taking 674 days to serve 75 out of 100 warrants. The e-Warrants system generates 1,011 warrants each day. The average time to authorize the warrants is 1.55 days, and the average time to serve warrants is 36.6 days, and for temporary protective orders and domestic violence, summons were served in 3.5 days.
About 20 percent of records are served within one week. Four of ten are served within 24 hours. As of May 28, 2013, there have been 1,107,259 authorized records with 515,913 served and 255,646 rescinded. The estimated base court cost per record is $135.00, which creates millions of dollars of revenue. Ms. Webb-Edgington stated that the eWarrants program allows deputies to serve large number of warrants by giving them efficient tools to organize the workload.
Ron Hatfield discussed how Appriss is using HB 1 and making it more effective and easier for the medical community to comply with prescription monitoring requirements. Appriss has developed a smart hub called the PMP Interconnect, which allows states to securely share information between prescription monitoring programs. It also allows authorized medical practitioners in Kentucky to do KASPER reports every time they write controlled substance prescriptions, and it allows them to have complete access to patientsí histories. Mr. Hatfield stated that there should be 20 to 25 states sharing data by the end of this year.
Tom Seigle testified about the Victim Information and Notification (VINE) program. VINE started in Kentucky in 1994 and has spread to 47 states and Puerto Rico. VINE provides immediate access to offender information and the ability to be notified when the offenderís status changes. It includes a public access web portal www.vinelink.com , where victims have 24/7 web access to review the custody status of offenders. Victims can register for notification of the offenders. VINE allows multiple phone and email numbers to be registered, and includes national victim resources, victim phone portal, and a free VINEmobile public access phone appplication. Services provided through Appriss are VINELink in Spanish, offender photos, SMS (texting), probation and parole notifications, CHOICE a Department of Corrections application. Additional services contracted in Kentucky are the registration link, VINE courts, and VINE protective orders. A PowerPoint presentation is filed with the minutes in the LRC Library.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.