Legislature(2003 - 2004)
04/03/2003 09:07 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 75 An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government, for certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date. HOUSE BILL NO. 76 An Act making appropriations for the operating expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date. LOG SPEAKER DISCUSSION TAPE HFC 03 - 44, SIDE A 000 Co-Chair Harris Convened the House Finance statewide teleconference meeting at 9:27 A.M. JUNEAU 54 Martin Atrops, Voiced support for the Mental Creek Mental Creek Correctional Center, Sex Offender Correctional Center, Assessment and Treatment Program. He Sex Offender stressed that the program saves state Treatment Program funding through early release and provides protection to the state. 528 Calib Krepps, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Student, North Pole education programs. 712 Tony Mach, Student, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kake education programs. He noted that music and other programs have been cut. 827 Britni Swindler, Voiced support for education funding and North Pole extra curricular activities. 940 Chelsey Rand, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Student, North Pole education programs. 1140 Co-Chair Harris Expressed his gratitude to the students that testified before the Committee. 1213 Doug Veit, Rural Voiced support for treatment programs for Mental Health chronic mental illness. Testified in Association of support of funding for alcohol treatment Alaska programs. 1502 Deborah Marshall, Spoke in support of continued state Juneau funding for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. She emphasized the economic benefits from the Endowment. 1712 Nicholas Grasskurth Testified in support of Independent Living Grants. He spoke about his personal experiences in the program. 1953 Paul Douglas, Juneau Testified in support of full funding for Independent Living Grants. 2338 Co-Chair Harris Observed that the Committee continues to deliberate on the Independent Living Grants component. 2411 David Arnsdorf, Spoke in support of continued state President, Alaska funding for the Alaska Science and Manufacturers' Technology Foundation. Association 2659 Sandra LeClair, Voiced support for the Human Services Abused Women's Aid Matching Grants. in Crisis, Juneau 2822 Christina O'Dell, Voiced support for full funding for the Alaska Women's Human Services Matching Grants. Resource Center, Juneau 3014 Earl Clark, Testified in support of Independent Southeast Alaska Living Grants and the SAIL program. He Independent Living, noted his personal experiences with the (SAIL) Juneau services. 3838 Rosalee Walker, Testified in support of continued funding Older Persons Action for the Longevity Bonus Program. She Group and American provided the Committee with written Association of testimony (copy on file). Retired Persons 4128 Mary Francis, Spoke in support of funding for education Executive Director, programs. Testified in support of full Alaska Council of funding for pupil transportation, debt School retirement and learning disability Administrators, grants. She warned that many school Juneau districts are laying teachers off. 4644 Jennifer Loesch, Spoke in support of the Governor's Student, University increments for the University. of Alaska Southeast, Juneau TAPE HFC 03 - 44, Side B 4452 Sean Smith, Student, Spoke in support of the Governor's University of Alaska increments for the University. Southeast, Juneau 4415 Mark Graves, Spoke in support of full funding for the Student, University University. He noted that enrollments are of Alaska Southeast, up and programs have been added to Juneau respond to Alaska's needs. He stressed that it is a critical time in the roll that the University will play in the student's life. 4124 Eric Morrison, Mark Spoke in support of the Governor's Graves, Student, increments for the University and University of Alaska stressed the opportunities available Southeast, Juneau through the university education. 3745 John Hargesheimeir, Voiced support for the Alaska Science and Vice Chair, Alaska Technology Fund. Science and Technology Foundation 3552 Tracy Barbee, Juneau Voiced support for greater funding for mental health and community based services. She warned that without inclusion of these items in the budget, there will be statewide crisis. 3326 Jonalyn Najera, Voiced support for greater funding for Juneau mental health and community based services. She reiterated the importance of the SEAL grants for that portion of the State's population and urged further support for all mental health services. 3127 Representative Croft Requested clarification regarding the SEAL grants. 3007 Ms. Barbee Explained that they act as a support, education and advocacy for the person and their family. SEAL is an advocacy program for other family members with mental health issues. 2937 Daniel Peterson, Voiced support for greater funding for Juneau Board of education in the school districts and Education, Juneau transportation funding. He added his support for a 10% bond debt reimbursement. 2716 Chadley McVeigh, Noted that he was advocating for Bridges Campaign, community based health care. He Juneau referenced his personal challenges regarding his own mental illness. Mental health community grants help people with these disabilities to live near their family. He added that the management of treatment is essential. 2433 Rodger Painter, Voiced support for Alaska Science and Alaska Shell Fish Technology Foundation, which has helped Growers, Juneau the Alaska Shell Fish Growers throughout the State of Alaska. 2249 Caren Smolin, Voiced support for further funding for President, Alaska Adult Education programs throughout the Adult Education State and the General Education Diploma Program, Juneau (GED) program. The reductions will have a direct effect on services available. She encouraged reconsideration of these funding cuts. 2026 Sandra Tagaban, Testified in opposition to funding cuts Adult Education, to Adult Education. Juneau 1731 McKai Campbell, Spoke in support of the Alaska Science Juneau and Technology Foundation. He commended the work being done in technical research, provides support for the mining industry. He credited ASTF funding and research for valuable assistance statewide. 1338 Jennifer Walker, Testified in opposition to cuts in Adult Juneau Education. 1151 Genia Garcia, Juneau Testified in opposition to cuts in Adult Education. 1030 Tim Morgan, Bus Testified in opposition to cuts in Driver, Anchorage Education, specifically transportation School District cuts. He maintained that safe transportation was essential to all children's well being. 0816 Zak Young, Student, Testified in opposition to cuts in Eagle River Education and student transportation. 0435 Paula Arts, Bus Testified in support of full funding for Driver, Anchorage pupil transportation. She reminded School District members of the Governor's commitment to full funding for Education. 0229 Joe Coutrel, Testified in support of full funding for Student, Anchorage pupil transportation. He suggested that cuts in this essential area would ultimately impact classroom services. 0058 Dave Jones, Director Spoke in support of funding for K-12 of Finance, Kodiak education programs. He emphasized that Island Borough funding was needed to address fixed cost School District, increases such as property insurance and Kodiak fuel. He emphasized that his district had a $1.4 million deficit, and that he as a parent was willing to pay for education costs through an income tax. TAPE HFC 03 - 45, Side A 0442 Suzanne Price, Testified in support of full funding for Executive Director, Mental Health Services. She noted the Fairbanks Community success of replacing some granting Mental Health Center programs with Medicaid funding. Ms. Price emphasized the huge burden of regulatory mechanisms and suggested greater efficiencies. 0917 Eleanor Rose Oyagak, Testified in support of continued funding National Alliance for the Longevity Bonus Program. for the Mentally Ill Recounted family history, respect and (NAMI), Barrow need. She spoke in support of funding for Mental Health Services. 1422 Edward Hotch, Spoke in support of the Governor's Student, University increments for the University. He noted of Alaska, Klukwan the University's ten percent increase in tuition as a means of meeting budget. 1642 Peggy Cowan, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Superintendent of education programs. She stated that Schools, Juneau funding cuts would result in program School District reductions, such as support for homeless and disabled students. She noted the need for school debt reimbursement as well as municipal revenue sharing. 2050 Douglas Moore, Spoke in support of funding for the Bridges and NAMI, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Wasilla (NAMI) and funding for the SAIL grants. 2340 Carl Royborn, Case Spoke in support of full funding for Manager, Fairbanks Community Based Support programs, such as Community Mental the Bridge Program. She maintained that Health these programs are an investment in the community. 2634 William Toyer, Spoke in support of full funding for Anchorage School Education and student transportation. District Maintained that the service contributes to pupil safety and family cohesion. 2843 Derek Fyten, Testified in support of full funding for Fairbanks Community Mental Health services, such as the Mental Center Bridge Program. 3030 MATSU, DELTA JUNCTION, TOK, GLENNALLEN 3150 Noel Arakelian, Voiced support for further funding for Access Alaska, Mat-independent living centers throughout the Su State (SAIL). 3439 Bob Doyle, Chief Voiced support to the Committee for School restoration funding for pupil Administrator, transportation. He noted that the school Matanuska School board is attempting to help reduce the District, Mat-Su costs but noted that they continue to need 100% reimbursement for costs. He noted opposition of the area wide cost differential. 3639 Co-Chair Harris Voiced appreciation for the comments of Mr. Doyle. 3654 Mike Chmiclewski, Commented on the purpose of education in President, Mat-Su the State of Alaska. The interest is to School District provide an educational system that meets the needs of the students. He indicated the district is lean in their operations. 3850 Dan Beck, School Voiced concern about reducing any funding District for schools. He spoke to the 'everyday' Superintendent, costs of doing business for the school Delta-Greeley School districts. Flat funding will create a District, Delta 'dangerous' gap for the school districts. Junction He noted that they could not survive any more under funding cuts. 4052 Kevin Curtis, Self, Testified in opposition to cuts to the Mat-Su Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. Mr. Curtis added his continued support for the forest products industry. He urged funding initiatives that all Alaskans participate in. 4351 Linda Minard, Self, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Mat-Su education programs and noted requests for full funding for pupil transportation. 4525 Jeff Lansing, School Spoke in continued funding support for Counselor, Copper school counseling issues very prevalent River School and present within statewide school District, Glennallen districts. He noted that many children are at risk from problems related to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). TAPE HFC 03 - 45, Side B 4634 Mr. Lansing Urged that the Legislature look more closely at mental health services and professional counseling issues. 4457 Debra Dickey, Self, Voiced support for further funding for Mat-Su the University. She urged that accreditation concerns be addressed. 4245 Co-Chair Harris Stated that testimony would be closed in the areas of Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Tok, and Glennallen. Lunch break 11:55 A.M. Reconvened: 1:35 P.M. KODIAK, BETHEL, KOTZEBUE, BARROW 4207 Co-Chair Harris Indicated that testimony would now be taken from Kodiak, Bethel, Kotzebue and Barrow. 4132 Don Roberts, Kodiak Testified in support of full funding for Independent Living Grants. 3933 Pat Carlson, Testified in opposition to cuts for Manager, Kodiak municipal revenue sharing. He expressed Island Borough concern for how that will impact the small villages. He requested better communication between local and state government. 3718 Dianne Shaeffer, Testified in support of continued funding Kotzebue for the Longevity Bonus Program. She also testified in support for full funding for Adult Education. 3530 Valerie Romane, Testified in support of continued funding Kotzebue for the Longevity Bonus Program. 3417 Hannah Loon, Testified in support of continued funding Kotzebue for the Longevity Bonus Program. She noted that the funding provides for basic needs for the elders in her community especially during the colder months of the year. She also testified in opposition to cuts in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to the Adult Education and all education cuts. 3204 George Olemaun, Testified in opposition to cuts in Barrow municipal revenue sharing. Also testified in support of continued funding for the Longevity Bonus Program. 3102 Jim Vorderstrasse, Testified in opposition to reducing Barrow funding for road enhancement and revenue Barrow funding for road enhancement and revenue sharing. 2943 Phil Gutleben, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Bethel education programs. He noted that flat funding is not and will not be effective. 2656 Joanna Williams, Testified in opposition to reducing Bethel Community services for children and adults with Services, Bethel disabilities. 2456 Walter Sampson, Testified regarding the effects on rural Kotzebue communities of budget reductions. He noted the high cost of heating fuel and gasoline in some areas. He testified in support of the PCE program and discussed its' great value to rural Alaskan residents. 2212 Lincoln Saito, Spoke in support of the Governor's Chukchi, Kotzebue increments for the University. He discussed the benefits of the rural service program provided by the University, and he particularly commended the Tech Support Center. 2014 Roger Wright, Jr., Testified in support of Independent Kotzebue Living Grants. He noted that cuts in that program would close access to services for many rural Alaskans. 1837 Annette Richards, Testified in opposition to cuts in Kotzebue Maniilaq and programs that serve individuals with disabilities. She mentioned that she was a mother of a child with disabilities. 1627 Mark Buckley, Kodiak Spoke in support of continued state funding for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. He pointed out that the foundation has earned $125 million dollars over fourteen years. He commended ASTF on its assistance for the seafood industry as well as non-profit organizations. 1417 Betty Walters, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kodiak Island School education programs. Ms. Walters Superintendent testified in support of full funding for pupil transportation. She noted the impact of cuts in revenue sharing on the borough's ability to pay for education costs. 1222 Larry LeDoux, Spoke in support of continued state Administrator, funding for the Alaska Science and Kodiak Island School Technology Foundation and the impact it District, Kodiak has on the quality of education making technology available. 0952 Nancy Kemp, Testified in support of continued funding Executive Director, for the Community Schools Program. She Kodiak Arts Council noted that the $10 thousand dollars funding made available to the schools for the arts. 0901 Betty Odell, Kodiak Noted that she would send in her written testimony. 0837 Mike Milligan, Testified in support of enhanced revenue Kodiak production for the state, including increased taxation. 0610 Jerry Babbitt, Spoke in support of continued state Kodiak funding for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, referencing the benefit to the seafood industry. 0232 Patricia Gibbs, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kodiak education programs. She encouraged funding of not only the foundation levels but other programs, such as debt reimbursement. She requested increases to the foundation formula. 0123 Co-Chair Harris Stated that testimony had concluded in Kodiak, Bethel, Kotzebue and Barrow. The Committee recessed at 2:20 p.m. RECESS: 2:20 P.M. RECONVENE: 2:45 P.M. OFFNETS 111 Carla Sheive, Spoke in support of funding for education Superintendent programs. She emphasized the need to fund Yakutat School for inflation. District TAPE HFC 03 - 46, Side A 215 Frank Kelty, Dutch Voiced support for public safety Harbor programs. He emphasized the importance of the fishing industry to that area of the State. 530 John Napoka, Voiced support for water conservation. He Tuluksak pointed out that new roads are needed in that area. 851 Jerri Nagaruk, Elim Spoke in support of the Governor's increments for the University. Spoke in support of funding for education programs. 1337 Tim Bourcy, Mayor, Spoke in support of funding for education Skaqway programs. Voiced support for funding to support the tourism industry and expressed concern with proposed taxes that would affect the tourism industry. 1539 Chris, Haldick, Voiced support for funding to support Unalaska fisheries. 1743 Ken Langton, School Voiced support for the restoration of Superintendent, learning grants and pupil transportation. Aniak He pointed out that the proposed full funding is actually flat funding, since inflation has not been included into the foundation formula. 2118 Paula Williams, Spoke in support of continued funding for Mount Susitna the Alyeska Correspondence School. 2350 Arthur Heckman, Voiced support for funding to support Pilot Station rural communities and programs such as the village public safety officers. 2706 Linda Voorhees, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Prince of Wales education programs. She reminded legislators of the remote populations that do not have access to traditional schools. She stressed that Alyeska Central School provided services unavailable anywhere else in the state, and urged full funding of the program. 2900 Co-Chair Harris Asked if any other schools could provide those services. Ms. Voorhees responded that no one else could offer them. 3042 Ed Lynch, Palmer Testified in support of continued funding Pioneer Home for the Longevity Bonus Program. He recounted his long history in the state of Alaska. He emphasized that the money was needed to meet his living expenses. 3314 Connie Newman, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Chatham School education programs. She discussed severe District, Angoon personnel losses already experienced in her school district and subsequent loss of service. She supports funding for Alaska Teacher Placement services, as well as special education services, and updated textbooks. 3718 Thane Humphrey, Spoke in support of continued state Wasilla funding for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. He noted the great number of jobs created by the Foundation and its enhancement of the State's natural resources. 4026 Co-Chair Harris Clarified a statement made by Mr. Humphrey indicating that the Governor had promised not to cut ASTF. 4114 Co-Chair Harris Stated that the Committee would recess from 3:40 until 4:00 p.m. RECESS: 3:40 P.M. RECONVENE: 4:05 P.M. 4116 Pam Fitch, Mayor, Testified in support of keeping the Unalaska Control Vessel Simpson in their community and also noted their fisheries and search and rescue service need enhanced funding. 4451 Rick Kniaziowski, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 School Board, education programs. He referenced the Unalaska financial needs of federal mandates and standardized testing. He encouraged an increase in foundation funding. He noted support for a statewide income tax. TAPE HFC 03 - 46, Side B 4706 June Haas, Haines Testified in support of continued funding for the Longevity Bonus Program. She noted that seniors use the bonus to pay for needed utilities. She proposed to cap the Permanent Fund dividend at $1,000. 4351 Representative Joule Noted that written testimony had also been provided from some citizens in Kotzebue. 4152 Ayaire Voorhees, Spoke in support of continued funding for Alyeska Central the Alyeska Correspondence School. She School Student, contended that cutting the program would Prince of Wales increase costs rather than save funding. She noted that ACS provided unique services not offered elsewhere in the state. 3852 Kenneth Eggleston, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Nenana City Schools, education programs. He noted that Nenana increased costs had caused a drop in student enrollment and a loss of teaching personnel as well as program elimination. He also spoke in opposition to cuts in municipal revenue sharing as well as cuts in debt reimbursement. 3348 Dorothy Hill, Palmer Testified in support of continued funding Pioneer Home for the Longevity Bonus Program. She noted that seniors need the bonus to pay basic needs like rent, personal care and medical expenses. She stated that seniors were not eligible for Medicaid. 2950 Co-Chair Harris Indicated that the Committee would recess until 5 P.M. Co-Chair Harris Concluded off net testimony. Stated that the Committee would remain in recess until 6:30 P.M. Recess: 4:55 P.M. Reconvene: 6:35 P.M. 2832 Valdez, Ketchikan, Nome 2800 Graham Storey, Nome Voiced support for the University and Chamber of Commerce, that support system. He stressed that it Nome is an important outreach service and connects rural Alaska with the rest of the State. 2539 Karen Polley, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Ketchikan education programs. Ketchikan has dramatic need for nurses, teachers, technicians and managers. She voiced support for full funding for the University system, urging full funding support for all statewide education systems. 2209 Doug Decorcie, Voiced support for the University budget Valdez and the K-12 educational system. He urged full support for all education systems throughout the State. 2107 Dorothy Moore, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Valdez education programs and full funding for the University request. 1938 Steve Cathers, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Superintendent of education programs. He emphasized that Schools, Valdez education in Alaska had already been trimmed to the bone. He requested that all cuts to education be restored. He maintained that every dollar cut in education equals money taken from each child in the system. Economic growth requires strong educations skills; he noted that economic growth was the key to the Republican platform. Mr. Cathers urged the Committee to please keep the campaign promises. 1625 Harry Martin, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Superintendent, education programs and the University. Ketchikan Gateway He added support for full funding for School District, student transportation. He addressed the Ketchikan high school qualification tests. 1433 Mike Harpold, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Ketchikan Chair education programs. Spoke in support of Advisory Committee the Governor's increments for the for the University, University. Ketchikan 1030 Michael Naab, Stressed the importance for fully funding Ketchikan both the University and K-12. He warned about the indications of 'trading off' funding for one of those entities for the other. Additionally, he addressed funding cuts occurring to the State museums and State libraries. He claimed that cuts would cut back public access to museums, libraries and archives. 750 Forrest Dobson, Commented on the tuition increase to the Valdez students at the University of Alaska. He urged full funding for the University. 651 Amber Clark, Valdez Spoke in support of the Governor's increments for the University. 558 Regina Chappell, Spoke in support of the Governor's Valdez increments for the University and K-12 education concerns. 518 Nancy Mendenhall, Spoke in support of the Governor's Former Educator, increments for the University. Spoke in Nome support of funding for K-12 education programs. 346 Stan Lujan, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Superintendent education programs and University full Superintendent education programs and University full Public Schools, Nome funding. 117 Jack Shay, Alaska Requested greater support for local Municipal League, governments and revenue municipal Ketchikan Gateway sharing. Borough, Ketchikan TAPE HFC 03 - 47, Side A 51 Mr. Shay Voiced support for an increase to gas tax. 116 Ebony Blas, Student, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Valdez education programs. 213 Michael Holcombe, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Valdez education programs. 419 Sharon Sherk, Spoke in support of the Governor's Northwest Campus, increments for the University. She urged Nome continued computer technology services for the rural communities. 526 Phillip Penetac, Spoke in support of the Governor's Self, Student, Nome increments for the University. He stressed how essential education is for the people that want alternatives to alcohol that live in the village areas. 826 At Ease: 7:13 P.M. Reconvened: 7:28 P.M. KENAI, DILLINGHAM, SEWARD, CORDOVA 042 Rose Mary Reeder, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kenai education programs. Testified in support of continued funding for the Community Schools Program. 218 Dr. Donna Peterson, Spoke in support of funding for education Superintendent, programs. She pointed out that Kenai has Kenai Peninsula reached its cap in local contribution. Borough School District 501 Margaret Gilman, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kenai Peninsula education programs. Borough School District 616 John Pothast, Spoke in support of funding education Principle, Soldotna programs. He pointed out that his high High School, Kenai school has lost a number of teachers due Peninsula Borough to a lack of funding. School District 838 Megan O'Neill, PTA, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Mountain View education programs. She pointed out that Elementary School, there is a direct correlation between the Kenai teacher/pupil ratio and the success of the student. 1015 Wayne Young, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Principle, Spring education programs. He noted that he was Creek High School, facing a 50 percent cut in certificated Seward staff for the upcoming year. 1112 Candy Norman, Seward Testified in support of Independent Living Grants. She shared her personal experiences with these services. 1256 Kris Harris, Seward Testified in support of Independent Living Grants. 1459 Jon Agosti, Seward Spoke in support of continued state funding for the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. 1824 Don Ford, Dillingham Testified in support of full funding for pupil transportation and educational programs. Testified in support of Independent Living Grants. 2328 John Wensley, Kenai Testified in opposition to reductions in education. 2641 Dave Knudsen, Kenai Spoke in support of funding for education programs. 2601 Joel Ribbens, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Student, Kenai education programs. 2920 Ginny Espenshade, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Kenai education programs. She stressed that the quality of education is being degraded. 3207 Dr. Peterson In response to a question by Co-Chair Harris, she advised that language is not part of the required curriculum. She explained that the districts were lucky to be able to offer one language and that each school district had to choose which one to offer. 3323 Nora Ribbens, Kenai voiced support of fully funding for K-12 education programs. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 8:06 P.M.