Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106

03/10/2017 08:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
08:03:18 AM Start
08:04:06 AM Confirmation Hearing(s): || University of Alaska Board of Regents
08:29:27 AM HB64
08:36:58 AM HB135
09:03:35 AM HB137
09:33:42 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: University of AK Board of TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 64(EDC) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invited/Public> --
Moved HB 137 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
          HB 137-ST. COUNCIL ON THE ARTS: PUBLIC CORP.                                                                      
9:03:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be HOUSE  BILL NO. 137,  "An Act re-designating the  Alaska State                                                               
Council  on the  Arts as  a public  corporation and  governmental                                                               
instrumentality of the  state; defining the powers  and duties of                                                               
the Alaska State  Council on the Arts;  providing exemptions from                                                               
certain  statutes  for the  Alaska  State  Council on  the  Arts;                                                               
making  conforming amendments;  and  providing  for an  effective                                                               
9:03:54 AM                                                                                                                    
KRISTIN  KRANENDONK,  Staff,   Representative  Harriet  Drummond,                                                               
Alaska  State Legislature,  introduced HB  137 on  behalf of  the                                                               
House  Education Standing  Committee,  sponsor by  request.   She                                                               
informed  the  committee the  bill  would  [quasi] privatize  the                                                               
Alaska  State Council  on the  Arts (ASCA)  by restructuring  the                                                               
council  as  a  public  corporation,  thereby  allowing  ASCA  to                                                               
continue its work  with Alaskan artists and art  businesses.  The                                                               
bill  would  improve  the  ability of  the  council  to  leverage                                                               
nonstate funding  and remain within  the Department  of Education                                                               
and  Early Development.   Also,  HB  137 would  exempt ASCA  from                                                               
state procurement code, but would  provide formal and appropriate                                                               
procurement   protocols.     Restructuring   would  keep   ASCA's                                                               
operating budget under the Executive  Budget Act for openness and                                                               
transparency, and  transition language  would allow  its advisory                                                               
committee public processes and public  participation to remain in                                                               
place  as   ASCA  administers   grants  programs   and  services.                                                               
Further, the bill would allow ASCA  to grow and develop a funding                                                               
base  and reduce  its reliance  on state  funds.   Ms. Kranendonk                                                               
presented  a  sectional  review,  paraphrasing  from  a  prepared                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
     Section 1  (Pages 1-4): Amends AS  39.25.110 concerning                                                                    
     exempt  state employees  to add  all  employees of  the                                                                    
     Alaska State  Council on the  Arts (ASCA),  thus making                                                                    
     employees of ASCA exempt from the State Personnel Act.                                                                     
     Section 2  (Pages 5-7): Adds artists'  submissions made                                                                    
     in response to an  inquiry or solicitation initiated by                                                                    
     the Alaska  State Council on  the Arts, to the  list of                                                                    
     records that  are exempt  from public  inspection under                                                                    
     AS 40.25.120.                                                                                                              
     Section 3 (Page 7):  Repeals and re-enacts AS 44.27.040                                                                    
     regarding  the  creation  of  ASCA,  to  establish  the                                                                    
     Council   as   a   separate  and   independent   public                                                                    
     corporation  of   the  state   of  Alaska   within  the                                                                    
     Department of Education and Early Development (DEED).                                                                      
     Section 4 (Page 7): Amends  AS 44.27.041 to charge ASCA                                                                    
     to be governed by an  11 member board of trustees, adds                                                                    
     literary arts as a field  represented within the board,                                                                    
     and a  member's expertise,  rather than interest,  as a                                                                    
     factor for consideration for board membership.                                                                             
     Section 5 (Page 7): Amends  AS 44.27.042 to replace the                                                                    
     term "members"  with the term "trustees"  and "council"                                                                    
     with "board of trustees".                                                                                                  
     Section 6 (Page 8): Amends  AS 44.27.043 to replace the                                                                    
     term "member" with "trustee".                                                                                              
     Section 7  (Page 8): Replaces  the term  "members" with                                                                    
     the  term  "trustees"  in  AS  44.27.044  and  replaces                                                                    
     language that  entitles trustees  to be  reimbursed for                                                                    
     travel expenses  at the same  rate of members  of state                                                                    
     boards under AS 39.20.180.                                                                                                 
     Section 8 (Page 8): Amends  AS 44.27.045 to use gender-                                                                    
     neutral terms for board members.                                                                                           
     Section 9  (Page 8-9): Amends  AS 44.27.050  to require                                                                    
     the  council  to encourage  literary  arts  as well  as                                                                    
     other  disciplines,  invest   in  arts  throughout  the                                                                    
     state, and conduct research  into artistic and cultural                                                                    
     activities throughout the state.                                                                                           
     Section 10 (Page 9): Amends  AS 44.27.052(a) to replace                                                                    
     "educational"  objectives  with "strategic"  objectives                                                                    
     as  it  relates to  the  council's  ability enter  into                                                                    
     contracts   and   accept  gifts,   contributions,   and                                                                    
     Section 11 (Page 9-10): Amends  AS 44.27.054 to replace                                                                    
     language with  the proper terms "chair"  and "trustees"                                                                    
     previously   established   and   makes   a   conforming                                                                    
     amendment to Section 1.                                                                                                    
     Section 12  (Page 10): Adds  a new section to  AS 44.27                                                                    
     detailing the  administration of  affairs of  the board                                                                    
     of  trustees. The  board of  trustees shall  manage the                                                                    
     assets  of  the  council, establish  and  amend  bylaws                                                                    
     governing the  business of the corporation,  and employ                                                                    
     an executive  director to supervise  the administration                                                                    
     of ASCA. This section also exempts ASCA from the State                                                                     
     Procurement  Code (AS  36.30), instructs  the board  of                                                                    
     trustees to  establish procedures for  procurement, and                                                                    
     requires   consistency   with   the   Alaska   Veterans                                                                    
     preference   established   in   AS   36.30.32(f).   The                                                                    
     operating budget  of ASCA is subject  to the provisions                                                                    
     established in the Executive Budget Act (AS 37.07).                                                                        
     Section 13  (Page 10): Amends  AS 44.27.058  to require                                                                    
     that ASCA comply with the  20 U.S.C 951   960 (National                                                                    
     Foundation on the Arts and  the Humanities Act of 1965)                                                                    
     as it relates to the  receipt and disbursement of funds                                                                    
     from the National Endowment for the Arts.                                                                                  
     Section  14 (Page  10-11): Amends  AS 44.27.060  to add                                                                    
     new subsections  (e) and (f)  regarding confidentiality                                                                    
     of artist  submissions and adds a  provision for public                                                                    
     disclosure to submissions when the  artist is awarded a                                                                    
     commission   for   said  submission.   However,   under                                                                    
     subsection (g),  subsections (e)  and (f) do  not apply                                                                    
     if the submission was created  as a work for hire under                                                                    
     17 U.S.C.  101 or  if the  artist's copyright  has been                                                                    
     transferred under 17 U.S.C. 204.                                                                                           
     Section  15   (Page  11):  Amends   AS  44.27   to  add                                                                    
     definitions for "board of trustees" and "council".                                                                         
     Section  16 (Page  11-12): Creates  transition language                                                                    
     for  ASCA to  allow council  members to  remain on  the                                                                    
     board  of trustees  until their  term  is over,  allows                                                                    
     current   employees  to   remain   with  ASCA,   allows                                                                    
     regulations,   contracts,   rights,  liabilities,   and                                                                    
     obligations  created under  current  law  to remain  in                                                                    
     effect,  and   allows  ASCA  to  retain   all  records,                                                                    
     equipment, appropriations, and other property.                                                                             
      Section 17 (Page 12): Creates an effective date for                                                                       
     this legislation as July 1, 2017.                                                                                          
9:11:13 AM                                                                                                                    
BENJAMIN BROWN,  Chair, Board of  Trustees, Alaska  State Council                                                               
on   the  Arts   (ASCA),  Department   of  Education   and  Early                                                               
Development   (DEED),  stated   the   ASCA   Board  of   Trustees                                                               
("council")  has  spent  the  last year  searching  for  ways  to                                                               
address  challenges  facing the  state's  art  agency, which  are                                                               
similar to those facing all parts  of state government.  The bill                                                               
would allow  ASCA to perform well  for the next 50  years, and he                                                               
related HB 137 is the result  of a lengthy and considered process                                                               
involving  all  of  the volunteer  council  members,  staff,  and                                                               
stakeholders, such as the Rasmuson Foundation.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  asked how  HB  137  would enable  the  arts                                                               
council to more effectively partner  with nonprofits that wish to                                                               
make donations to ASCA.                                                                                                         
MR.  BROWN said  ASCA  has a  long-standing working  relationship                                                               
with  the Rasmuson  Foundation,  which provides  the majority  of                                                               
funds  supporting arts  education programs.   Recently,  ASCA has                                                               
embarked  on  a  multi-year  partnership  with  the  Margaret  A.                                                               
Cargill Foundation,  and its funds are  supporting meaningful and                                                               
transformative  work  with the  Copper  River  and Kodiak  school                                                               
districts through  the new visions initiative  partnerships.  Mr.                                                               
Brown pointed  out the bill  does not exempt ASCA  from oversight                                                               
by  the   governor  or  the   legislature  in  the   receipt  and                                                               
expenditure  of  private  foundation funds;  however,  the  state                                                               
procurement code brought  out the need for the  bill because when                                                               
ASCA  receives  funds from  a  private  foundation, spending  the                                                               
funds as  it would undesignated  general funds by a  state agency                                                               
is  unnecessarily cumbersome,  and he  provided an  example.   In                                                               
fact,  the procurement  code creates  time-consuming hoops  to be                                                               
negotiated, while affording  few benefits.  Being  a state agency                                                               
impedes ASCA's  desire to be nimble  in its actions, to  seek out                                                               
private  foundation  partner  funding,  and  to  best  serve  its                                                               
constituency  of  arts  educators, individual  artists,  or  arts                                                               
organizations.    He  offered  further   examples  of  how  state                                                               
procedures  and  bureaucratic  red   tape  impede  the  council's                                                               
9:16:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ recalled other  state programs that have                                                               
gone  private  to  obtain additional  flexibility,  such  as  the                                                               
Alaska  Children's  Trust, and  asked  whether  the arts  council                                                               
considered all of its options  before selecting the model defined                                                               
by the bill.                                                                                                                    
MR.  BROWN  pointed  out  ASCA could  not  become  fully  private                                                               
without  losing matching  funds from  the National  Endowment for                                                               
the  Arts (NEA);  the National  Foundation  on the  Arts and  the                                                               
Humanities Act provides that state  arts agencies must be part of                                                               
state government with  one exception, and the funds  to match NEA                                                               
money must  be a  state appropriation:   money from  the Rasmuson                                                               
Foundation  or  the Cargill  Foundation  could  not supplant  the                                                               
appropriation received  from the  state legislature.   Therefore,                                                               
the  bill  directs  for quasi-privatization.    He  cautioned  in                                                               
Kansas, the state  arts organization lost all its  NEA funding by                                                               
privatizing, so ASCA sought a  compromise, and will remain housed                                                               
within  DEED  and  retain  its   enabling  statute.    Mr.  Brown                                                               
explained  the  current council  is  comprised  of eleven  active                                                               
members, and  the bill would allow  the council to be  nimble but                                                               
still accountable to the public.   He restated ASCA, in a similar                                                               
situation as  The Children's  Trust, faced  difficulties granting                                                               
funds in  the best manner,  and encountered obstacles  created by                                                               
the procurement code when sponsoring  events.  Further, regarding                                                               
staffing, ASCA  is down from  six to four fulltime  positions and                                                               
having  employees   in  the  exempt  service,   rather  than  the                                                               
classified  service, and  using contractors  when necessary,  are                                                               
ways ASCA can  meet the realities of its  new budget environment.                                                               
The council  seeks to continue  to meet its mission  to encourage                                                               
all Alaskans  to create and  enjoy art  for all of  its benefits;                                                               
however, the current  system will not serve the  council into the                                                               
9:20:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked whether  the council would still be                                                               
subject to the personnel rules of the state.                                                                                    
MR.  BROWN clarified  ASCA employees  would be  reclassified from                                                               
classified  into   exempt  service;  the  rules   would  be  less                                                               
constraining.   He related  ASCA staff is  aware of  the proposed                                                               
changes to their status.                                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  asked  if  the council  is  assigned  a                                                               
vacancy factor from the Department of Administration (DOA).                                                                     
MR. BROWN responded six employees  and one part-time position are                                                               
currently on  the books,  and only  four positions  are currently                                                               
filled.   One of the  positions is  the Visual and  Literary Arts                                                               
Program  Director  and  is  a  maintained  vacancy.    The  other                                                               
position  was moved  to shared  services.   Mr. Brown  noted ASCA                                                               
staff  members accept  duties outside  their job  descriptions to                                                               
ensure all the  work is done in a collaborative  environment.  He                                                               
was unsure whether ASCA has an assigned vacancy factor.                                                                         
CHAIR DRUMMOND  asked whether ASCA receives  services from shared                                                               
MR. BROWN  deferred comment to  the executive director  and noted                                                               
ASCA is in need of accounting services.                                                                                         
9:24:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR DRUMMOND opened public testimony on HB 137.                                                                               
9:24:36 AM                                                                                                                    
ANDREA NOBLE-PELANT, Executive Director,  Alaska State Council on                                                               
the  Arts (ASCA),  stated  support  for HB  137,  and offered  an                                                               
example of a current project  - involving several partners - that                                                               
has a  planning timeframe  of three months.   [ASCA]  turned over                                                               
the administration of  the logistics of the  project to Americans                                                               
for the  Arts because ASCA  could not complete its  tasks quickly                                                               
due to  its present structure.   Further, she paraphrased  from a                                                               
prepared statement,  which read as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
     The Alaska State  Council on the Arts, now  in its 51st                                                                    
     year, is  ready for  organizational change.  The timing                                                                    
     of HB137 is opportune  as Alaska's creative industry is                                                                    
     currently  growing and  expanding  due to  a decade  of                                                                    
     targeted  public and  private investment  and focus  on                                                                    
     the arts and  culture sector as an  economic player. As                                                                    
     a  result, the  Alaska State  Council on  the Arts  has                                                                    
     experienced  rapid  growth   in  grants,  programs  and                                                                    
     public/private partnerships.                                                                                               
     We  wish   to  continue  this  effort,   and  with  the                                                                    
     provisions in  HB137, the Alaska  State Council  on the                                                                    
     Arts  is poised  to continue  grant-making as  a public                                                                    
     corporation  that  will  also allow  new  and  existing                                                                    
     programs to  reach more Alaskans with  increased impact                                                                    
     and efficiency.                                                                                                            
     As  staff  of four,  we  work  on local,  national  and                                                                    
     international   levels   to    oversee   projects   and                                                                    
     initiatives    that    build    capacity    for    arts                                                                    
     organizations,    provide     practical    professional                                                                    
     development for individual  artists and boost students'                                                                    
     chances for success through  arts in education. Through                                                                    
     mutually   beneficial  alliances   with  public/private                                                                    
     sector partners, our reach  extends to military service                                                                    
     members  and   their  families  who   experience  PTSD,                                                                    
     incarcerated  individuals,  pre-service  teachers  from                                                                    
     rural communities, Alaskan children  and youth who want                                                                    
     opportunities to  learn through  arts and  culture, and                                                                    
     parents  who  want to  raise  their  families in  safe,                                                                    
     sustainable communities.                                                                                                   
     Keeping  with our  mission,  revenue  from funders  and                                                                    
     services   goes   back   to   Alaskan   residents   and                                                                    
     communities   as   grants,  programs   and   resources.                                                                    
     Longstanding  partnerships   are  in  place   with  The                                                                    
     Rasmuson  Foundation,  The   Alaska  Arts  and  Culture                                                                    
     Foundation,  and The  Atwood  Foundation. New  partners                                                                    
     include  Margaret A.  Cargill Philanthropies,  The CIRI                                                                    
     Foundation,  and  Sealaska  Heritage  Institute.  Other                                                                    
     partners include  the Alaska  Humanities Forum  and The                                                                    
     Western States  Arts Federation who  contribute in-kind                                                                    
     support, resources and funding.                                                                                            
     HB137  provides flexibility  for staff  to manage  fast                                                                    
     flow projects in a timely  manner and to work statewide                                                                    
     across  sectors such  as health,  economic development,                                                                    
     tourism,   and   transportation.   HB137   allows   for                                                                    
     responsive  project  execution  that is  necessary  for                                                                    
     desired    collaborative    outcomes    which    affect                                                                    
     performance  evaluations  and  our  ability  to  secure                                                                    
     future funding.                                                                                                            
9:29:40 AM                                                                                                                    
ALICE  BIOFF,   Business  Planning  Specialist,   Kawerak,  Inc.;                                                               
Member, [Board  of Trustees], Alaska  State Council on  the Arts,                                                               
Department  of Education  and Early  Development, stated  support                                                               
for HB 137, paraphrasing from a prepared statement, which read                                                                  
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
     I  am  testifying  today  in my  capacity  as  an  ASCA                                                                    
     council member.   I  am a tribal  member of  the Native                                                                    
     Village of  Koyuk and grew  up there  and in Nome.   My                                                                    
     family and I have lived in  Nome for the last 17 years.                                                                    
     For  much  of  that  time,  I  have  been  employed  by                                                                    
     Kawerak,   Inc.,   the   regional   Native   non-profit                                                                    
     consortium of  tribes for the Bering  Strait region, as                                                                    
     a business planning Specialist.                                                                                            
     Through  our work  here at  Kawerak, I  am honored  and                                                                    
     privileged  to work  with  artist entrepreneurs  within                                                                    
     our   communities.     We   provide  direct   technical                                                                    
     assistance  offering  tools  and  resources  to  assist                                                                    
     artists continue  their work  so that they  can sustain                                                                    
     themselves, their  families and their communities.   It                                                                    
     is through  this work  that I  have seen  firsthand how                                                                    
     important  it   is  for  these  artists   who  live  in                                                                    
     communities    with    very     few    resources    and                                                                    
     infrastructure,  to   grow  their   businesses  through                                                                    
     opportunities  such  as  those  that  become  available                                                                    
     through ASCA and others.                                                                                                   
     Artist Entrepreneurs  are economic  development drivers                                                                    
     in their  communities and the  Alaska State  Council on                                                                    
     the Arts supports these  communities through their work                                                                    
     and advocacy.   With their partnerships,  resources and                                                                    
     programs,   we  see   a   bright   future  and   growth                                                                    
     opportunity to support all artists across the State.                                                                       
     Through  the  restructuring  initiative,  we  see  ASCA                                                                    
     services  continued  and  strengthened to  support  the                                                                    
     artists through  improved ability  to react  to funding                                                                    
     opportunities   and  better   represent,  support   and                                                                    
     advance the artists by offering  the tools and services                                                                    
     needed to strengthen an  already existing and important                                                                    
     economy.    This  is   critical  to  strengthening  and                                                                    
     sustaining  our  rural  communities  in  this  fiscally                                                                    
     challenging time.                                                                                                          
     HB  137  streamlines  the  process  ASCA  will  use  to                                                                    
     present  opportunities  to  artists  all  over  Alaska,                                                                    
     including those  artists we have worked  with for years                                                                    
     here   in  the   Bering   Strait  region.     From   my                                                                    
       perspective, this will be a great benefit for all                                                                        
     artists including those in rural Alaska.                                                                                   
CHAIR DRUMMOND, after ascertaining no one else wished to                                                                        
testify, closed public testimony on HB 137.                                                                                     
9:33:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PARISH  moved to  report HB  137 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no objection,  HB 137 was reported  from the                                                               
House Education Standing Committee.                                                                                             

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS HB64.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 64
HB64 Fiscal Note LEG-COU-O2-23-17.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 64
HB64 Letter of Support Council on Disabilities.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 64
HB135A.PDF HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB135 Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB 135 Fiscal Note EED 3-03-17.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB 135 Support Letter NWAB 2.24.17.PDF HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB 135 Support Letter NWABSD 2.24.17.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB 135 Participating Share Issue Examples.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 135
HB137A.PDF HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB137 Sponsor.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB137 Supporting Document Brown.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB137 Supporting Document Alaska Public Media.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB 137 Fiscal Note EED 3-03-17.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB137 Letter of Support Kawerak.pdf HEDC 3/10/2017 8:00:00 AM
HB 137