Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Location Change --
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Moved HB 166 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
            HB 166-MUSEUM CONSTRUCTION GRANT PROGRAM                                                                        
8:04:05 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  FANSLER  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL  NO.  166, "An  Act  establishing a  museum                                                               
construction  grant  program  in   the  Department  of  Commerce,                                                               
Community, and Economic Development."                                                                                           
8:04:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  whether   the  bill  sponsor  had                                                               
determined how  the State Library,  Archives & Museum  (SLAM) was                                                               
8:05:05 AM                                                                                                                    
LISA  WORL, Staff,  Representative  Justin  Parish, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, on  behalf of  Representative Parish,  prime sponsor                                                               
of HB  166, prefaced her response  by noting that the  SLAM would                                                               
not be  qualified to receive  any benefit  under HB 166,  and she                                                               
indicated that is  because it is also a state  library.  She said                                                               
the  SLAM was  funded through  capital project  funding, and  she                                                               
suggested that  Patience Frederiksen, the director  of Libraries,                                                               
Archives and Museums, could offer more information.                                                                             
8:06:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  PARISH, as  prime  sponsor of  HB  166, questioned  how                                                               
germane the question was to the issue at hand.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  explained he  would like  the information                                                               
in  order to  establish  what the  current  funding mechanism  is                                                               
before considering  a new  one.   He then  asked how  much money,                                                               
under  HB  166,  would  be available  to  museums  seeking  state                                                               
support to construct new facilities.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  PARISH  answered that  initially  the  amount would  be                                                               
zero, because the  amount would be subject  to future allocation.                                                               
He  added, "And  I  do not  believe that  the  bill that  Senator                                                               
Stevens introduced  and that  I'm carrying on  this side  ... has                                                               
dollar amounts  in it."   In response to  Representative Saddler,                                                               
he  confirmed that  HB  166 does  not have  an  effect until  the                                                               
legislature appropriates  money, and although he  knows there are                                                               
"a host of  ... potential museums" that have put  in requests, at                                                               
present the capital budget is  constrained and even a request for                                                               
only  10  percent  funding  would  likely be  turned  down.    He                                                               
clarified  that  under  HB  166,   50/50  would  be  the  minimum                                                               
participation from local  and non-profit sources, but  if he were                                                               
the  Department of  Commerce,  Community  & Economic  Development                                                               
(DCCED), he  would favor those able  to fund "a higher  degree of                                                               
outside participation."                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER asked  what HB 166 would  accomplish if it                                                               
has no  funding attached to it  and its sponsor does  not plan to                                                               
amend the state budget to derive funding for it.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  PARISH  answered  that  HB 166  "opens  the  door"  and                                                               
provides the option for communities  to talk to their legislators                                                               
to try  to convince them  that [their museum projects]  should be                                                               
priorities of the state.                                                                                                        
8:10:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  noted that  the committee, at  a previous                                                               
hearing,  had  heard that  HB  166  is  modeled on  a  successful                                                               
library grants program.  He  asked the sponsor if any information                                                               
is  available  showing  whether there  have  been  grants  issued                                                               
through that program.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR PARISH answered yes.   He pointed to a handout [included                                                               
in the committee  packet], which shows that 15  libraries, out of                                                               
the 27 that applied, received grants under AS 37.05.315.                                                                        
8:11:33 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  for  confirmation  that under  HB
166, applications for  grants would sit in a queue,  and it would                                                               
be  up to  legislators to  decide whether  to sponsor  a bill  to                                                               
support them.                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR PARISH  offered his understanding  that it would  be the                                                               
prerogative of  this or future  legislatures to put money  in the                                                               
fund if  a cultural  institution were to  surpass the  50 percent                                                               
threshold for alternate sources of funding.   He said there are a                                                               
lot  of  cultural  institutions  concerned  about  education  for                                                               
children,  tourism opportunities  for visitors,  the preservation                                                               
of the  state's history,  and cultural  enrichment that  "will be                                                               
making that argument in coming months and years."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER asked  for  clarification that  "there's                                                               
not a pile of money that  sits there waiting for the next project                                                               
to come along."                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR PARISH  offered his understanding that  that is correct;                                                               
however,  he said  conceivably money  could be  allocated to  the                                                               
fund  which would  be insufficient  to  any given  project or  an                                                               
insufficient amount could  be left over after  funding a project.                                                               
He concluded, "I  don't think this will ever become  one of those                                                               
funds that just sits there with  a few millions dollars and a low                                                               
interest rate."                                                                                                                 
8:14:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER directed attention  back to the handout to                                                               
which Co-Chair  Parish had  pointed.  He  noted that  from fiscal                                                               
year  2011 (FY  11)  and  FY 16,  zero  library  grants had  been                                                               
awarded under AS 14.56.355.                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR PARISH said  that is true; however, he said  it is worth                                                               
noting  that  the  grants  to  municipalities  -  public  library                                                               
construction  [under AS  37.05.315]  has functioned  in much  the                                                               
same  way.   He referred  to  the last  part of  sentence at  the                                                               
bottom  of   the  handout,  which   read  as   follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
     It is the intent of  the legislature that the following                                                                    
     Grants  to Municipalities  (AS  37.05.315) satisfy  the                                                                    
     highest  ranked  public library  construction  projects                                                                    
     identified  by  the   Alaska  Library  Association  and                                                                    
     received by the Department  of Commerce, Community, and                                                                    
     Economic  Development under  the FY2012  Public Library                                                                    
     Construction   and  Major   Expansion  Matching   Grant                                                                    
     program (AS 14.56.355).                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH deferred to DCCED for further clarification.                                                                    
8:17:47 AM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE ELDEMAR,  Director, Division of Community  and Regional                                                               
Affairs  (DCRA), Department  of  Commerce,  Community &  Economic                                                               
Development  (DCCED),  in  response  to  Representative  Saddler,                                                               
confirmed   that  there   has  never   been  funding   under  [AS                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER noted  that mid-way  down the  same page,                                                               
information read,  "1 Awards  under AK  14.56.355," and  he asked                                                               
for clarification about the number one.                                                                                         
MS. ELDEMAR answered that is a misprint; it should read zero.                                                                   
8:19:35 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  asked  Ms.  Eldemar  how  the  SLAM  was                                                               
MS. ELDEMAR  said the SLAM was  a $37.5 million project,  and she                                                               
offered  her  understanding  that  it  was  funded  through  "the                                                               
capital project."   She explained  that her  division's computers                                                               
have been  "down" and she  is trying  to get that  information to                                                               
the committee.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER   asked  if  the  following   is  a  fair                                                               
     The state  paid much if  not all  the cost for  the ...                                                                    
     SLAM  building.    We are  envisioning  it  creating  a                                                                    
     program under  which the state  would offer  50 percent                                                                    
     of   the  funding   for   future  museum   construction                                                                    
     elsewhere  in   the  state,  but  there's   no  funding                                                                    
     available to it at this point.                                                                                             
MS. ELDEMAR said she believes  that is an accurate statement, but                                                               
said she could follow up with a written document for the record.                                                                
8:21:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND related that  SLAM was funded through the                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development via  the capital                                                               
budget, Senate  Bill 119,  which passed in  2014.   She confirmed                                                               
the amount of the funding was  $37.5 million, and she said it was                                                               
for all the  House districts, thus it was  considered a statewide                                                               
project.   She  offered her  understanding that  the funding  may                                                               
have begun in  2013, but said confirmation of  that would require                                                               
searching another capital budget.                                                                                               
8:22:21 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked if money  has ever "just sat in the                                                               
library fund."                                                                                                                  
MS. ELDEMAR said the DCRA does  not have any funds in its account                                                               
related to  the library statute.   In response  to Representative                                                               
Rauscher's question repeated, she stated,  "No, in the history of                                                               
this fund  there's been no ...  account just waiting there  to be                                                               
8:23:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR FANSLER  ascertained that  there was  no one  wishing to                                                               
give  public  testimony; therefore,  he  [did  not reopen  public                                                               
testimony, which was closed on 3/21/17].                                                                                        
8:24:47 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took a brief at-ease at 8:25 a.m.                                                                                 
8:25:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER  directed  attention  to  the  previously                                                               
discussed handout, to  the flip side, the first  heading of which                                                               
he  noted  is  titled  "FY  11  Library  Construction  and  Major                                                               
Expansion  Matching Grant  Program."    He asked  if  any of  the                                                               
projects on this side of the handout are considered museums.                                                                    
8:26:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR PARISH said he believes  all entities listed on the page                                                               
are  libraries,  with the  exception  of  [the Sealaska  Heritage                                                               
Institute's Walter Soboleff Building].                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  asked if there is  anything that prevents                                                               
museums from  obtaining state grants  through the program  set up                                                               
under AS 37.05.315.                                                                                                             
MS.   ELDEMAR  answered,   "There  is   nothing  preventing   the                                                               
legislature  from  making  a grant  award  under  [AS]  37.05.315                                                               
absent this bill.   If this bill were not  passed, it could still                                                               
go ahead and seek funding underneath AS 37.05."                                                                                 
8:27:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE moved  to report HB 166  out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.  There being no objection,  HB 166 was reported out of the                                                               
House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                        

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 156 Fiscal Note CED.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 156 Legal Memorandum School Funding Language.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 156 Municipal Tax Exemption Explanation.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB156 Comparison.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB0156A.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB156_AEDC Support.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB156_CityofSeward Support.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 156 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 156
HB 166 Support Letter 3-22-17.pdf HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 166
HB 166 Sponsor statement.pdf HCRA 3/21/2017 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 166
HB 166 lttrs supporting.pdf HCRA 3/21/2017 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 166
HB0166A.PDF HCRA 3/21/2017 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 166
HB 166 Fiscal Note CED.pdf HCRA 3/21/2017 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 3/23/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 166