Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/04/2004 01:43 PM House FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 394                                                                                                            
     An Act extending the Alaska Commission on Aging.                                                                           
BARBARA COTTING, STAFF TO REPRESENTATIVE  JIM HOLM, explained                                                                   
that Section 1  extends the sunset for the  Alaska Commission                                                                   
on Aging.  Sections 2  and 3 reflect  Executive Order  108 in                                                                   
2003  which  moved  the commission  from  the  Department  of                                                                   
Administration   to  the  Department   of  Health   &  Social                                                                   
Services.   Ms.  Cotting referred  to  page 13  of the  audit                                                                   
report  (copy   on  file)   recommending  extension   of  the                                                                   
commission.   The fiscal note  indicates that  the Department                                                                   
of  Health &  Social  Services will  receive  $13 million  in                                                                   
federal  funds  because  the  commission  meets  the  federal                                                                   
Co-Chair Harris asked for clarification  of the federal funds                                                                   
on the fiscal note.                                                                                                             
PATRICK  SIDMORE,  COMMISSION  ON AGING  GRANTS,  SENIOR  AND                                                                   
DISABILITY SERVICES, DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES,                                                                   
explained  that the Commission  on Aging  is responsible  for                                                                   
planning for  Title 3  federal money  of the Older  Americans                                                                   
Act that provides  for nutrition, transportation  and support                                                                   
services (NTS)  for seniors. Title  3 funds Meals  on Wheels,                                                                   
congregate meals, rides for seniors,  and the National Family                                                                   
Caregiver program.  The commission  is tasked with allocating                                                                   
the money to meet the targets of federal law.                                                                                   
Co-Chair Harris  reiterated his  question of whether  federal                                                                   
money is  involved.  Mr.  Sidmore explained that  interagency                                                                   
receipts   are   administration   money  from   the   federal                                                                   
government based  on senior population.  He  said that Alaska                                                                   
receives  the minimum  amount.   Referring to  Fiscal Note  1                                                                   
dated 02/12/04, Mr.  Sidmore stated that a portion  of $202.4                                                                   
in  "Other  (1007  Interagency   Receipts)"  is  the  federal                                                                   
administration money.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM  referred  to  the second  page  of  the                                                                   
fiscal  note,  "analysis  continuation,"  that  explains  the                                                                   
department  would lose  $13 million  in  federal dollars  for                                                                   
senior services if the commission expires.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Harris questioned  that  the fiscal  note  analysis                                                                   
indicating  the extension  of  the commission  has no  fiscal                                                                   
impact because it  is funded in the Governor's  office, while                                                                   
the second  fiscal note shows  an increase over  the original                                                                   
fiscal  note to  reflect changes  in  the amended  Governor's                                                                   
Representative Holm was unable to respond.                                                                                      
LAURA  BAKER,   BUDGET  CHIEF,  DIVISION   OF  ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                   
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH  & SOCIAL  SERVICES  (DHSS),                                                                   
explained  that when  DHSS updated  the fiscal  note for  the                                                                   
Senate version [Senate Bill 263],  the department realized it                                                                   
had  submitted a  budget amendment  for interagency  receipts                                                                   
for the  commission that  reflected what  would have  been in                                                                   
the   budget   if  the   department   had  not   proposed   a                                                                   
consolidation  of several  boards in  the original  proposal.                                                                   
The  $417.9 totals  the cost  of the  four current  full-time                                                                   
positions in the  commission.  With the plan  to consolidate,                                                                   
the FY 05 budget  had revised these to two part-time  and two                                                                   
full-time positions.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Harris asked  if the department  is proposing  four                                                                   
new permanent  full-time members.   Ms. Baker  clarified that                                                                   
the $417.9 reflects the Governor's  amended budget, and while                                                                   
there  is  a  slight  increase  over  FY  04  in  interagency                                                                   
receipts  and retirement  costs,  it shows  the  cost of  the                                                                   
aging commission if  it is extended.  She said  it is already                                                                   
built into the budget.                                                                                                          
Representative Hawker  asked if these changes  came through a                                                                   
late  amendment incorporated  in  the budget  process  rather                                                                   
than  in the  Governor's  budget.   Ms.  Baker affirmed,  and                                                                   
explained that the new fiscal  note is a technical adjustment                                                                   
showing the  increase in interagency  receipts in  the budget                                                                   
amendment.   Representative  Hawker advised  that the  budget                                                                   
amendment  resulted  from  a  negotiated  settlement  over  a                                                                   
potential lawsuit  regarding changes  proposed to  the boards                                                                   
and commissions.                                                                                                                
In response to a question by Co-Chair  Harris, Representative                                                                   
Hawker explained  that the  $417 thousand  is already  in his                                                                   
subcommittee recommendations  for the Department  of Health &                                                                   
Social Services.                                                                                                                
Representative  Fate brought  up the  Legislative Budget  and                                                                   
Audit report in FY 02 giving directives  regarding the mixing                                                                   
of funds  for sub-recipients,  and asked if those  corrective                                                                   
actions are  on-going. Mr. Sidmore explained  that corrective                                                                   
actions have  been taken.   There was  concern over  the sub-                                                                   
recipients not  reporting their older workers  in the federal                                                                   
Mature  Alaskans  Seeking Skills  Training  (MASST)  Program.                                                                   
Each  of the  larger  sub-recipient  agencies  is visited  at                                                                   
least  once  a  year  for an  audit.    The  department  also                                                                   
corrected the  reporting of federal  monies.   The department                                                                   
is  under a  new system  of managing  grants, and  the FY  02                                                                   
audit is outdated.                                                                                                              
Representative  Foster MOVED to  report CSHB 394(HES)  out of                                                                   
Committee with  the accompanying  fiscal note and  individual                                                                   

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