Legislature(2009 - 2010)CAPITOL 106

03/03/2010 08:00 AM EDUCATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 350 PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING: LOCAL CONTRIBUTION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 285 PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOLS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
*+ HB 347 LEAVE FOR MILITARY SPOUSES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 3, 2010                                                                                          
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Paul Seaton, Chair                                                                                               
Representative Robert L. "Bob" Buch                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Cathy Engstrom Munoz, Vice Chair                                                                                 
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Wes Keller                                                                                                       
Representative Peggy Wilson                                                                                                     
Representative Berta Gardner                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 285                                                                                                              
"An Act supporting parental involvement in schools through                                                                      
employment of parental involvement coordinators."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     - BILL HEARING CANCELED                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 347                                                                                                              
"An Act allowing certain teachers, public employees, and private                                                                
sector employees to take leave without pay when their spouses                                                                   
are on leave from deployment in a combat zone."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 350                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to the local contribution to public school                                                                     
funding; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 347                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LEAVE FOR MILITARY SPOUSES                                                                                         
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) PETERSEN                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
02/15/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/15/10       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
03/03/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 350                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING: LOCAL CONTRIBUTION                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): EDUCATION                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
02/17/10       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/17/10       (H)       EDC, FIN                                                                                               
02/17/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/17/10       (H)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 02/19/10>                                                                 
02/19/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/19/10       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/19/10       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
02/22/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/22/10       (H)       <Bill Hearing Rescheduled to 02/26/10>                                                                 
02/26/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
02/26/10       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
02/26/10       (H)       MINUTE(EDC)                                                                                            
03/03/10       (H)       EDC AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PEDER TERLAND, Intern                                                                                                           
Representative Pete Petersen                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HB 347 on behalf of                                                                            
Representative Petersen, prime sponsor.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETE PETERSEN                                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 347 as                                                                
the prime sponsor.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY MITTMAN, Executive Director                                                                                             
American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska (ACLU of Alaska)                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Urged the adoption of an amendment to HB
347.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
RIC DAVIDGE, Chairman                                                                                                           
Alaska Veterans Foundation; State Council President                                                                             
Vietnam Veterans of America in Alaska; Chairman Municipal                                                                       
Commission on Military and Veterans' Affairs                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 347.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
STACY BANNERMAN                                                                                                                 
Medford, Oregon                                                                                                                 
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 347.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DAVE JONES, Assistant Superintendent                                                                                            
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD)                                                                                 
Soldotna, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in favor of HB 350.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE TROXEL, Superintendent                                                                                                   
Mat-Su Borough School District                                                                                                  
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 350.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN VAGUE, President                                                                                                        
Mat-Su District School Board                                                                                                    
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 350.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR PAUL  SEATON called the House  Education Standing Committee                                                             
meeting to  order at 8:04  a.m.  Representatives Seaton  and Buch                                                               
were present at the call to order.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
               HB 347-LEAVE FOR MILITARY SPOUSES                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:04:50 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON announced  the  first order  of  business would  be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 347,  "An Act  allowing certain  teachers, public                                                               
employees,  and private  sector employees  to take  leave without                                                               
pay when their  spouses are on leave from deployment  in a combat                                                               
zone."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:05:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEDER  TERLAND,  Intern,  Representative  Pete  Petersen,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  introduced  HB   347,  paraphrasing  from  a                                                               
prepared  statement that  read as  follows [original  punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The leave a  solider has from a combat  zone is sacred.                                                                    
     This time with  their family is in some  cases the last                                                                    
     time they may see them.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Although HB347 is six pages  long it is really a simple                                                                    
     concept.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     This  law will  apply  to school  districts, state  and                                                                    
     local  governments, and  private sector  employers with                                                                    
     20 or more  employees.  It will allow  the employees to                                                                    
     take up to  10 days of unpaid leave to  spend time with                                                                    
     their spouses before they return to combat.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Combat Zones are:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Arabian  Peninsula Areas  including  the Persian  Gulf;                                                                    
     Kosovo; Afghanistan.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     While The  Federal Family &  Medical Leave  Act already                                                                    
     grants  up  to 12  weeks  of  job protected  leave  for                                                                    
     military family  members in many  situations, including                                                                    
     times of R&R, it is  restricted to members of the Guard                                                                    
     and  Reserves.   It does  not apply  to members  of the                                                                    
     regular Armed Forces.  This  is an inequity that exists                                                                    
     that needs to be corrected.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     We have  heard of opposition  to this bill and  that it                                                                    
     would place undue hardships on  employers.  In response                                                                    
     we   have   prepared   some   amendments   for   future                                                                    
     consideration.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     There are  ten other  states that have  enacted similar                                                                    
     legislation.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     The bill has a zero fiscal note.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:08:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON restated HB 347 provides leave for military                                                                        
spouses.  He asked for the subject matter of the amendments.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:09:11 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TERLAND  explained the first  and third amendments  offer two                                                               
versions of proposed  language that requires 48  hours of advance                                                               
notice  for a  leave request.    The second  amendment offers  an                                                               
exemption  from HB  347 for  school  districts with  20 or  fewer                                                               
employees.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:10:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON noted  these  points were  raised  by small  school                                                               
districts  concerned  about  arranging  for  substitutes  without                                                               
advance  notice, and  that substitutes  may not  be available  at                                                               
all.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:11:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETE PETERSEN,  Alaska State Legislature, informed                                                               
the committee similar legislation was  enacted in other states to                                                               
provide a benefit for active  military equal to what is available                                                               
through  federal  legislation  to  families  of  members  of  the                                                               
National Guard and Reservists.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:12:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY  MITTMAN, Executive  Director,  American Civil  Liberties                                                               
Union of Alaska  (ACLU of Alaska), stated the ACLU  of Alaska, in                                                               
order to  fully support HB  347, requests the  committee consider                                                               
an amendment.   He pointed out that although  the state restricts                                                               
the  marriage  of  same-sex   partners,  the  state  constitution                                                               
recognizes and  grants equal employment and  benefits to same-sex                                                               
partners.    Based  on  legal standing,  Mr.  Mittman  urged  the                                                               
legislature to include same-sex partners  in the provisions of HB
347.   He  opined  without the  inclusion  of same-sex  partners,                                                               
passage of the bill would lead to legal challenges.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:15:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked whether the  current "don't ask,  don't tell"                                                               
policy  would  "put  a  person  in the  military  at  risk"  when                                                               
applying for the benefits provided by HB 347.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:15:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  MITTMAN advised  the aforementioned  military policy  may be                                                               
overturned  soon;  nevertheless,  this  legislation  affects  the                                                               
civilian family  member, and the  "don't ask, don't  tell" policy                                                               
would not  apply.   He provided  an example  of a  violation, and                                                               
said,  "We don't  anticipate that  any but  the most  negative or                                                               
unpatriotic employers would take that step."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:17:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RIC DAVIDGE, Chairman, Alaska  Veterans Foundation; State Council                                                               
President,  Vietnam  Veterans  of America  in  Alaska;  Chairman,                                                               
Municipal Commission on Military  and Veterans' Affairs, observed                                                               
that Americans want  to help, and are willing  to make sacrifices                                                               
in  support of  members of  the military  engaged in  the present                                                               
war.  He noted that immediate leave  may be needed in the case of                                                               
a  wounded  military  member, and  expressed  concern  about  the                                                               
amendment  that  will  require  48 hours  notice.    Mr.  Davidge                                                               
provided  an example  of  how leave  affects  family members  and                                                               
espoused on HB  347 as a means  for the state to  show support of                                                               
troops that is  beyond "ribbons on trees and ...  stickers on our                                                               
car."   He also spoke  in support  of the amendment  requested by                                                               
ACLU of Alaska.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  stated his understanding that  Mr. Davidge supports                                                               
the  amendment requiring  48  hours notice  if  the amendment  is                                                               
conditioned on certain circumstances.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. DAVIDGE replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:22:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACY BANNERMAN  informed the committee  she is an  Army National                                                               
Guard Blue  Star Wife  whose husband served  two combat  tours of                                                               
duty in  Iraq with honors.   She also is  the author of  When the                                                               
War Came Home:   The Inside Story of Reservists  and the Families                                                               
They  Leave Behind,  the founder/director  of Sanctuary  Weekends                                                               
for Women  Veterans and Camp  Howdy for  Military Kids, and  is a                                                               
recipient of the 2009 Patriotic  Employer Award from the National                                                               
Guard  Commission  for  the  Employer  Support  of  the  Guard  &                                                               
Reserve.    Ms.  Bannerman  expressed her  support  for  HB  347,                                                               
paraphrasing  from a  prepared statement,  which read  as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          Thank you to the Committee for considering this                                                                       
     important bill  to support the  families of  the troops                                                                    
     who are  serving or  will serve in  the war  on terror,                                                                    
     and other combat  deployments.  In a  few short months,                                                                    
     another   30,000   troops   will   be   deploying   for                                                                    
     Afghanistan - again.  The  majority of those troops are                                                                    
     married with children; most of  the spouses left behind                                                                    
     work  outside the  home.   Many  of us  have to  choose                                                                    
     between  work and  family when  our loved  one deploys.                                                                    
     It's  an  impossible  choice,  and  one  that  military                                                                    
     families should never be asked  to make when America is                                                                    
     at war.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          My husband is a Sergeant First Class with the                                                                         
     Army  National Guard,  and  his  Brigade spent  several                                                                    
     months training  at Ft. McCoy,  Wisconsin, more  than a                                                                    
     thousand  miles away  from home  and  family, prior  to                                                                    
     shipping  out  for  a  second  tour in  Iraq.    I  had                                                                    
     recently  moved  to southern  Oregon  to  accept a  new                                                                    
     position  in  order  to   implement  programs  to  help                                                                    
     military families and veterans.   I had been on the job                                                                    
     for a  few months,  and didn't have  any sick  leave or                                                                    
     vacation time  available.   It would  be more  than one                                                                    
     year before I saw my husband again.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          If we support the troops, and by extension,                                                                           
     military  families, then  passing  the Military  Family                                                                    
     Leave Act should  be at the top of  this nation's to-do                                                                    
     list.   Because when the  soldier goes to war,  so does                                                                    
     the family.   And when  the veteran comes  home, family                                                                    
     support  is   the  single   most  critical   factor  in                                                                    
     successful reintegration.   The  demands of the  war on                                                                    
     terror  and  the  demographics   of  the  21st  Century                                                                    
     military  are   very  different  from  the   past,  and                                                                    
     adapting  to  those   realities  must,  by  definition,                                                                    
     include expanding support for military families.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          For the first years of the Vietnam War, married                                                                       
     men were  exempt from the  draft, and for  the duration                                                                    
     of  the  war,  married  men with  children  were  given                                                                    
     deferments  so that  they wouldn't  be  deployed as  it                                                                    
     would  constitute  too  much   of  a  hardship  on  the                                                                    
     families.  During Vietnam, the  majority of troops were                                                                    
     single  soldiers serving  one  tour, and  comparatively                                                                    
     few  citizen soldiers  served in  combat.   Today,  the                                                                    
     bulk  of   the  boots  on   the  ground  in   Iraq  and                                                                    
     Afghanistan  are married.   They  have  served, or  are                                                                    
     serving,  multiple   tours;  and  most  of   them  have                                                                    
     children.  Around 40 percent are citizen soldiers.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:25:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked about pre-deployment leave.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. BANNERMAN advised  that this legislation can  be different in                                                               
each  state;  however,  her  understanding  is  that  the  Alaska                                                               
version provides 10  days of unpaid leave per  United States Code                                                               
Title  10 status.   The  family member  can utilize  the time  at                                                               
their discretion.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:27:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON closed public testimony.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:28:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH  asked for  the amount  of unpaid  leave that                                                               
teachers are allowed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:28:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN responded  that  five  days are  allowed                                                               
currently,  but  that  may  depend   on  the  availability  of  a                                                               
substitute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:28:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH asked whether  the sponsor patterned the bill                                                               
after legislation enacted in other states.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:29:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN explained  that HB  347 differs  in that                                                               
the bill does not allow leave  before deployment, as that date is                                                               
known  well in  advance and  families can  make arrangements  for                                                               
time off.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:30:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  BUCH  then  asked  what  brought  this  issue  to                                                               
Representative Petersen's attention.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN related  he was  a member  of the  Joint                                                               
Armed  Services Committee  and there  are two  military bases  in                                                               
close proximity to his district.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:30:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  asked whether the  sponsors' intent was  to pattern                                                               
the bill on  language enacted in other states to  "then be judged                                                               
independently under Alaska law."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN  responded that the drafter  attempted to                                                               
adapt the bill to conform to Alaska statutes.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON  surmised  the  intent  was for  the  bill  "to  be                                                               
interpreted with the Alaska Constitution  and Alaska law, and not                                                               
bringing those other cases from other jurisdictions."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE PETERSEN said that is correct.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:33:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BUCH offered his support for the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:33:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON directed  attention to the committee  packet and the                                                               
letters of support and opposition.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:34:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON stated that HB 347 would be held over.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        HB 350-PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING: LOCAL CONTRIBUTION                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:34:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON announced  that the next order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 350, "An  Act relating to the  local contribution                                                               
to public school funding; and providing for an effective date."                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  JONES, Assistant  Superintendent,  Kenai Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School District (KPBSD), informed  the committee that legislation                                                               
enacted  in  2001   created  a  disparity  in   local  mill  levy                                                               
equivalents and  a serious equity  issue among  school districts;                                                               
however, HB  350 would resolve  the equity issue.   Historically,                                                               
his  school district  has been  "funded to  the cap,"  thus local                                                               
support provided  by taxpayers has increased  significantly.  The                                                               
bill would lower  the [local maximum allowed by  law] and provide                                                               
local  taxpayer  relief without  a  revenue  loss to  the  school                                                               
district; therefore,  he related that  the KPBSD school  board is                                                               
in strong favor  of HB 350, and  would like to see  the bill move                                                               
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:37:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  TROXEL, Superintendent,  Mat-Su Borough  School District,                                                               
paraphrased  from a  prepared statement,  which  read as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill 350  reduces the  revenue available  to the                                                                    
     Mat Su School District  without increasing local taxes,                                                                    
     and  furthermore,  that   impact  is  exponential  over                                                                    
     coming years.  I don't  support HB 350 for that reason.                                                                    
     The  Mat-Su School  District is  experiencing financial                                                                    
     hardships due to the general  nature of expenses rising                                                                    
     faster  than  revenues  in these  times.    Given  this                                                                    
     scenario,  the Mat-Su  and two  other Districts  in the                                                                    
     state are singled out by HB  350 to get a double whammy                                                                    
     in the area of revenue shortfalls.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The Mat-Su  School District  has a  growing enrollment,                                                                    
     over  800  students  in  the last  three  years.    The                                                                    
     District did realize  revenue enhancements generated by                                                                    
     the  growth.   Revenue  increases  received because  of                                                                    
     increased enrollment  take care of  day-to-day expenses                                                                    
     but  not  the  expenses  of more  general  support  and                                                                    
     infrastructure,    such    as    buildings,    grounds,                                                                    
     furnishings, and equipment.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     In  the past  10 years  as many  new schools  have been                                                                    
     opened in the  Valley.  The opening of  new schools has                                                                    
     tremendous impact on annual budgets.   In the Mat-Su we                                                                    
     plan approximately  a million  dollars above  the usual                                                                    
     annual operating costs for that  first year a school is                                                                    
     open.   Growth in the  Valley is  a good thing  for the                                                                    
     State of  Alaska, growth has  its costs, and  while the                                                                    
     Valley appreciates the Stat's  support in handling this                                                                    
     growth that help  is also an expectation  for which the                                                                    
     state as a whole realizes dividends.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     New  schools  are needed  in  the  Valley.   These  new                                                                    
     schools  will   further  stress  the   property  owners                                                                    
     capacity  to keep  up with  increasing demand  for more                                                                    
     tax  dollars  to build  these  schools.   The  District                                                                    
     currently  uses 61  portable buildings  for classrooms.                                                                    
     These   house  close   to   2000   student  full   time                                                                    
     equivalents.  Bonds will need  to be passed in the near                                                                    
     future that  will rely on  subsequent tax  increases to                                                                    
     construct these needed schools.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     House  Bill 350  ultimately puts  the askance  for more                                                                    
     dollars  from  property  owners in  the  Mat-Su.    The                                                                    
     valley  is not  a home  to  major or  great amounts  of                                                                    
     industry.   Many  of our  taxpayers are  those who  can                                                                    
     least  afford more  and  more  property tax  increases.                                                                    
     Median incomes for  most who work in the  Valley are on                                                                    
     the low  end of the scale.   Multiply that by  the fact                                                                    
     that a  sizable percentage  of gross property  value in                                                                    
     the Valley is not a  result of newly developed property                                                                    
     resulting   from  growth,   but  rising   property  tax                                                                    
     assessments  on existing  property.    When higher  tax                                                                    
     assessments come about because  of increased value of a                                                                    
     property,   the  long   term  property   owners  become                                                                    
     victims.  Just because  a property's value increases it                                                                    
     does not follow that a  property owner's ability to pay                                                                    
     more in taxes increases.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     All  of us  are  in dire  budgetary circumstances  with                                                                    
     more  and more  challenges.   This is  not the  time to                                                                    
     change formulas  for funding  where anyone  loses while                                                                    
     others are experiencing substantial gains.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:40:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON asked  for clarification on how HB  350 would reduce                                                               
the  revenue  available to  the  Mat-Su  School District  without                                                               
increasing local  taxes.  He  observed that the intention  of the                                                               
bill was to lower the mill rate across the state.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:41:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TROXEL explained that HB 305  changes the base year from 1999                                                               
to  "one year  in the  past."   Due to  the increase  in property                                                               
values, even  though the mill  rate remains constant,  the dollar                                                               
amount of the  assessment is greatly increased.   In future years                                                               
to maintain  funding, those  dollars would  be provided  by local                                                               
taxpayers.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:42:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON  pointed out the  intent of  the bill was  to assign                                                               
all of  the municipalities  across the state  the same  mill rate                                                               
required for local contributions.   He surmised the mill rate was                                                               
not Mr. Troxel's concern.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:43:28 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TROXEL  said he is  not opposed to a  2.7 mill rate,  but the                                                               
shifting  of the  base year  to a  more recent  year with  higher                                                               
property values, results  in a substantial increase  in the local                                                               
contribution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  SEATON restated  Mr. Troxel's  objection to  the bill  was                                                               
regarding  the change  from a  fixed base  year, with  new growth                                                               
taxed at 50 percent, to a rolling base year.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:45:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. TROXEL said yes, and added  that the relevant provision is in                                                               
Sec. 4 of the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:45:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COLLEEN VAGUE, President, Mat-Su  District School Board, informed                                                               
the committee her school district  has built eight new schools in                                                               
the last ten years.  Each  school was financed by homeowner bonds                                                               
that increased  taxes for  homeowners.  She  noted that  three of                                                               
the new elementary schools are now  at, or over, capacity and the                                                               
district  lacks sufficient  buildings  to house  and educate  its                                                               
school population.  In addition,  at the current growth rate, the                                                               
district  will  be further  behind  in  five  years.   Ms.  Vague                                                               
pointed  out that  the increase  in student  population does  not                                                               
result  in  more money  for  school  construction; in  fact,  the                                                               
student population  in the Mat-Su School  District increased from                                                               
12,699 students in 1999 to  the present count of 16,673 students.                                                               
She reiterated  the school  board's opposition to  Sec. 4  of the                                                               
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:49:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR SEATON stated that HB 350 would be held over.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:52 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
FY02-11LocalEffortAssessed&educationWithMills-2Pager_10-22-09.xlsx HEDC 2/19/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/12/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 350
HB350-EED-ESS-2-18-10.pdf HEDC 2/19/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 350
current program flow chart.docx HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/12/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/15/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 350
HB 347 sponsor statement.pdf HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 347
HB 347 backup.pdf HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 347
HB 347 sectional.pdf HEDC 3/3/2010 8:00:00 AM
HEDC 3/10/2010 8:00:00 AM
HB 347