Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/02/2010 01:30 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE BILL NO. 300 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government, for certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making supplemental appropriations; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska; and providing for an effective date." HOUSE BILL NO. 302 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date." TIME SPEAKER DISCUSSION 1:36:25 PM Co-Chair Explained that the testimony will be Hawker from the operating budgets HB 300 and HB 302. This meeting was noticed for the public in a timely manner. 1:38:39 PM DARREN SNYDER, Thanked the finance committee for their COOPERATIVE continued support of the UAF EXTENSION cooperative extension service programs. AGENT, UAF, The program hosts outreach efforts to youths and community sustainability and economic efforts. Testified in support JUNEAU of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program (MAP). He heard that their funding is in jeopardy or has been cut. Co-Chair Reported that the MAP program funding Hawker has not been cut or taken out of the budget. The only issue is one expiring federal grant. 1:41:51 PM Representative Asked about the university's $4.5 Munoz million in undesignated funds and asked if the MAP program would apply for those funds. Co-Chair Specified that the university makes its Hawker own decisions on their priority programs. Vice-Chair Understood that the university would Thomas absorb the MAP program. 1:43:08 PM Representative Concerned about Northwestern Alaska Foster district with positions that may be affected if funding was cut. He wanted to clarify this issue. 1:44:06 PM WALTER Thanked the House Finance Committee for MAJOROS, the support of the Bring The Kids Home EXECUTIVE Initiative. He noted the importance of DIRECTOR OF the peer navigator position. Testified JUNEAU YOUTH in support of community needs based SERVICES, services, outpatient services, transition services, foster care services. Medicaid will not pay for these services. Requested help to finish the job. 1:46:48 PM AL DWYER, Talked to the Petersburg MAP position MAYOR OF and was concerned about university PETERSBURG, making this decision. He asked the chair to send a letter to the university in support of this position. He referred to the written document signed by the Southeast Conference of Mayors (copy on file). This was for three positions in DCCED. 1:49:38 PM Representative Presented an alternative view of the Gara MAP program. He would be surprised to see any expansion in the MAP program with the present budget. 1:50:45 PM BOB JANES, Introduced his mission to bring science GASTINEAU into their tourism mission. The MAP GUIDING program offered help and support. He COMPANY, spoke in support of the MAP field JUNEAU, positions that provided so much help. He added the program could be added to continuing education at the university. This would provide economic opportunity, workforce development, and research. 1:53:06 PM SHEILA WRAY, Supported early education funding for EARLY LEARNING ages 3 to 5 years old. The quality of SERVICES care by teachers in the profession is COORDINATOR, so important. ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN, 1:54:48 PM SHILO VALLE, Supported keeping the increments the SELF, same in Foster Care in Alaska. He was part of the transitional program and would not be here if not for the program. The program helped him become a contributing member of society. 1:56:23 PM ANTHONY Supported the Foster Care Program in BARRIL, SELF, Alaska and keeping the program to Bring The Kids Home. 1:58:35 PM SHERRI WES, Thanked the legislature for funding SELF, mental health programs. Spoke to her personal experience with her daughter. 2:01:23 PM TRAVIS LEWIS, He spoke for the support of attorney VICE-CHAIRMAN, aid for small communities without city ELFIN COVE attorneys or legal help. NON-PROFIT, 2:02:51 PM A. MILLE Supported the funding for training SCHOONOVER, advisors for newly elected officials in MAYOR OF rural communities. CRAIG, 2:04:19 PM LINDA SNOW, Spoke for the increase of three BOARD MEMBER government specialist positions. Many OF SE small communities are struggling CONFERENCE economically and cannot hire a lot of AND CO-CHAIR staff. It is important to have OF THE expertise and help. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE, 2:06:14 PM HENRICH Supported the Southeast Mayors letter KADAKE, CITY and testified how important these OF KAKE, positions are in Kake. 2:07:32 PM SONJA Thanked the committee for their support KOUKEL, of the cooperative extension program. ASSISTANT Testified in support of the funding for PROFESSOR, the six coastal extension agents in EXTENSION MAP. They have been funded in the past PROGRAM, by grants and donations, but funding by UAF, the legislature is needed so the positions are not lost. The community relies on these programs. 2:09:48 PM CARL Thanked the committee for the support BRODERSEN, of 4H, the cooperative extension PRESIDENT, service. These programs have a positive JUNEAU YOUTH effect on many lives. SAILING, 2:11:57 PM ANDI STORY, Spoke in support of foundation formula JUNEAU increases. She noted that the PERS and SCHOOL TRS funding liability are crucial. BOARD, Testified in support of the recommendation of the joint legislative task force. Intent on deep professional schooling for teachers. 2:14:26 PM CARL ROSE, Supported and thanked the subcommittee EXECUTIVE and committee for HB 300. The three top DIRECTOR OF association priorities are funding, THE innovation, and early childhood ASSOCIATION development. This budget fully funds OF ALASKA the foundation for FY2011. The early SCHOOL childhood pilot funding is especially BOARDS, important and Best Beginnings. 2:16:36 PM JEREMY Supported the MAP program that has been GEEZER, instrumental within their company for DIRECTOR OF giving cruise ship passengers the TOURS, opportunity to learn science in Alaska. GASTINEAU Spoke of the Cruise with Purpose GUIDING created by Holland America Line to give COMPANY, passengers a chance to give back to the communities they visit. 2:18:57 PM PATRICIA Thanked the committee for the addition DOBBINS, CO-of $275,000 of general fund mental PRESIDENT, health funding for the peer navigation NATIONAL program. Supported this program that ALLIANCE OF trains and teaches others. Suggested a MENTAL reconsideration to adopt the governor's ILLNESS, budget amounts for mental health. She (NAMI) spoke in support of Bring the Kids Home ALASKA, program. 2:20:46 PM MAXINE Spoke on behalf of the Community and THOMPSON, Regional Affairs request for additional ANGOON, local government specialists. These PRESIDENT OF programs are necessary for training of THE newly elected officials in smaller SOUTHEAST communities. She sees a breakdown and CONFERENCE, unnecessary frustration when the proper training is not given. 2:23:01 PM JOY LYON, Supported investing in early childhood EXECUTIVE education. She believed it is cheaper DIRECTOR, to invest in children when they are ALASKA young. This results in prevention in ASSOCIATION crime in the future. The first 5 years FOR THE of a child's life is so important. She EDUCATION OF emphasized that money spent now will YOUNG translate into money saved by the state CHILDREN in the future. (AEYC), 2:25:54 PM NIKKI Thanked the committee for the increase MORRIS, in the child care reimbursement rates. FAMILY Asked for an increase in the parent SERVICES eligibility rates to enable more COORDINATOR, families to access child care AEYC, assistance. In Juneau parents of two young children could look at a $1345 per month in child care. She indicated when child care assistance is not available parents may seek child care that is not regulated or safe. 2:28:03 PM LAURA Supported basic foster care in Alaska. HAYWOOD, She supported the volunteer mentorship PRESIDENT, program for children in state custody. FRIENDS OF The group advocates for children in ALASKA CASA, state custody. These children have often lost their families or help from stable adults in their lives and need guidance from adults. 2:30:16 PM BETH WEIGEL, Supported the MAP programs and the DIRECTOR, ocean adventures curriculum to small DISCOVERY Southeast communities. SOUTHEAST, 2:31:46 PM GREGORY Supported Mental Health programs for PEARCE, children. FREELANCE JOURNALIST, 2:33:54 PM AT EASE 2:52:13 PM RECONVENED 2:52:19 PM GEOFF Testified in support of mental health CARROLL, issues in the state. Recently, he had SELF, BARROW traveled to Juneau to meet with (via legislators on the issue. He requested teleconferenadequate funding for the Bring the Kids ce), Home Initiative, in particular; full funding for the Peer Navigation increment. A short time ago, his 15 y/o son had a sudden psychological break, triggered by Dramamine. He told of the challenges faced in finding proper help for his son. The family discovered the Alaska Family and Youth Network, who directed the family in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, which proved helpful. The family has been able to navigate the challenge through the Peer Navigation program. Co-Chair Hawker replied that the programs would continue to be funded. 2:56:52 PM MARIE Urged support for the continued funding CARROLL, of the Peer Navigations program under SELF, BARROW the Bring the Kids Home Initiative. She (via reiterated the story told by Mr. teleconferenCarroll concerning their son's mental ce), challenges. She specifically highlighted the challenges faced in rural communities when seeking resources and help for mental health issues. 3:04:02 PM PAULA Testified in support of funding for CULLENBERG, Marine Advisory Programs (MAP). She PROGRAM opined the closing of the Nome Marine LEADER, Advisory Office. The office had been MARINE funded by private funds from the Norton ADVISORY Sound Economic Development Corporation, PROGRAM, and had initiated successful programs UNIVERSITY in Nome and 15 villages in the Bering OF ALASKA, Straits region. The program was in the NOME (via Board of Regent's request to the teleconferengovernor. The governor removed most of ce), the priority programs from the university budget request, including MAP. She requested funding for 6 positions in Nome, Dillingham, Unalaska, Kodiak, Cordova and Petersburg. She clarified that if granted, the funding would be used exclusively for the 6 positions. 3:06:24 PM JOHN Urged support for full funding of the BOCKMAN, University of Alaska budget. COLLEGE OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, NOME (via teleconferen ce), 3:07:08 PM ROSE FOSDICK, Expressed support for full funding of NATURAL the University of Alaska budget RESOURCE request, specifically for the Marine DIVISION, Advisory Program. She stressed that KAWERAK access to educational services and INCORPORATED, programs in rural areas should be a NOME (via priority. The community would like to teleconferencesee the program continue to teach ), skills, such as; survival skills in the water, near shore fisheries research, coordinating the Western Alaska Interdisciplinary Science Conference, and high school summer science programs. She concluded urging support for the university operating request with the budget for FY11: Economic Sustainability; Application of University Research and Response to Community Needs in Costal Alaska- MAP. 3:09:12 PM ERIC OSBORNE, Spoke in support of the Marine Advisory SELF, NOME Program (MAP). He shared his experience (via as a commercial fisherman and urged teleconferencefunding for the School of Fisheries and ), Ocean Sciences. He shared that the money generated through commercial fisheries that began as experiments under MAP was exponentially more than the cost of funding the MAP program. He thought that zoning of the seas by the federal government would require knowledge at the local level to protect residential use of the marine environment. Representative Foster requested that Ms. Cullenberg to contact his office for follow up questions. She replied that she would. 3:12:43 PM GEORGE Spoke in favor of funding programs that PROVOST, YOUTH focus on suicide prevention. He SUICIDE expressed the desire to see more money PREVENTION, allocated to combat suicide throughout BEHAVIORAL the state. He expressed particular HEALTH concern for Alaska Native males as a DEPARTMENT, demographic susceptible to suicide. MANIILAG ASSOCIATION, KOTZEBUE (via teleconference ), 3:14:27 PM CALVIN Testified about the extreme difference SCHAEFFER, in the cost of living between rural and MANAGER, urban areas and how that related to the KOTZEBUE state's geographical differential or AIRPORT, subsistence pay scale. People in KOTZEBUE (via Kotzebue pay more than double the cost teleconferenceof fuel than in Anchorage. This raises ), the cost of living by double. A two to three bedroom house costs $400 per month to heat in the winter. All commodities shipped into the community need to be flown in from October to July, which results in high food and supply costs. For instance, a half gallon of milk in Kotzebue costs over $6.00. He felt that wage increases for employees in the city, at the airport in particular, should be raised. Co- Chair Hawker asked if the airport employees had union representation. Mr. Schaeffer replied yes. Co- Chair Hawker suggested that the employees talk to their union. 3:19:28 PM MIKE HOFFMAN, Spoke in support of the governor's ASSOCIATION OF request to add 15 fully funded Village VILLAGE Public Safety Officer (VPSO) positions COUNCIL to the FY11 budget. Approximately two- PRESIDENTS thirds of the remote villages in the (AVCP), BETHEL state have no form of local law (via enforcement. Geographic constraints, teleconferenceinclement weather and heavy case loads ), contribute to the inability of troopers stationed in the regional hubs to respond to issues for hours, sometimes days. According to a report from the Alaska Native Commission: 30 percent of all child abuse, neglect, and injury reports involve native children. Violence against native women was an epidemic and the native murder rate in the state was 4 times the national average. The suicide rate for native males ages 20-24 is 30 times the national suicide rate. The presence of a village based VPSO deters crime. Public safety should be the highest priority to provide for a good quality of life. 3:23:08 PM TIM ANDREW, Expressed dismay that the ports DIRECTOR OF coordinator position had not been in NATURAL the budget allocation for the community RESOURCES, of Bethel. He felt that there was a AVCP, BETHEL great need for assistance with the (via regulatory process concerning natural teleconferenceresources in Bethel. He said that ), Bethel had the highest per capita harvest of wild foods in the state, which drives the community interest to navigate the process in order to challenge competing interests in the game resources. 3:25:36 PM LISA ELLANNA, Expressed concern with the closing of SELF, NOME the Alaska Legal Services office in (via Nome. She felt the service was teleconferencenecessary and gave some examples of ), cases that Alaska Legal Services had assisted within the community. 3:27:20 PM MARGARET Testified in support of more funding THOMAS, SELF, for the Nome branch of the Alaska Legal NOME (via Services. She said that an additional teleconference$150,000 appropriation would be helpful ), to offset the programs expenses. Co- Chair Hawker said the issue would be revisited. 3:30:19 PM KELLY MORGAN, Spoke in support of the budget for SELF, JUNEAU children's services. She pointed out to (via the committee that the family income teleconferenceand contribution schedule on the ), application had not been updated since 2002. She urged the increase of childcare assistance funds so that families were able to keep their jobs and pay the high cost of childcare. 3:32:18 PM HERMAN MORGAN, Spoke in support of programs that ANIACK (via enhance the lives of people living in teleconferencerural areas. He stressed that food ), production practices and subsistence living should be supported. He also suggested alternative red meat production; bison, musk ox, reindeer, and arctic cattle. He expressed concern with subsistence living along the Yukon/Kuskoquim. He listed a variety of ways in which Alaskans can grow their own food, raise their own livestock and subsist successfully. 3:39:01 PM JOHN CONWELL, Voiced support for funding the Marine SUPERINTENDENTAdvisory Program in the university , CITY OF request. The direction and expertise UNALASKA provided by the MAP agent in Unalaska SCHOOL has enriched the lives and education of DISTRICT, student for the last 6 years. The MAP UNALAKSA (via agent has also become an endeared teleconferencemember of the community. ), 3:39:05 PM KERRIE Urged support for continued funding for KINISON, SELF, the Long Term Care Ombudsman. She HAINES (via relayed her personal struggle with teleconferencecaring for her elderly parents and the ), help offered by her Long Term Care Ombudsman. She expressed concern for the abuse of the elderly in nursing homes and urged protection for the elderly in the state. Co-Chair Hawker relayed that the base funding remained fully intact in the budget proposal. 3:42:17 PM LORIE MORRIS, Expressed support for funding the Bring EXECUTIVE the Kids Home program. She requested DIRECTOR, that the committee fully fund the ALASKA BAPTIST governor's request to help children FAMILY with behavioral health needs. Co-Chair SERVICES, Hawker said that the committee would ANCHORAGE (via work to support the request. teleconference ), 3:44:32 PM PATTY ELIAS, Urged support for full funding of the SELF, TANANA University of Alaska budget request. (via teleconference ), 3:45:21 PM SHIRLEY Urged support for the continued funding MARQUARDT, of the Marine Advisory Program. She CITY OF listed the ways in which the advisor UNALASKA (via had enhanced the education of the teleconferencechildren in her community. She said at ), the Conference of Mayors in 2009, there had been a consensus that the Marine Advisory Program was necessary in the state. She urged support of funding for the Alaska Marine Highway System, especially service enhancements for the Aleutian Islands. 3:50:28 PM TRACEY Urges support for funding for early SCHAEFFER, childhood services specifically, Best BEST Beginnings. Co-Chair Hawker said that BEGINNINGS the governor's request had been doubled (via by the budget subcommittee. teleconference ), 3:52:50 PM ZOYA JOHNSTON, Testified in support of funding for the DIRECTOR OF University of Alaska in the operating THE MUSEUM OF budget request, the Marine Advisory THE ALEUTIANS, Program in particular. She listed the UNALASKA (via many ways that the program had teleconferencebenefited her community and surrounding ), communities. She emphasized that the programs were addressing questions from all areas of life. Co-Chair Hawker spoke in appreciation for the Aleutian museum. 3:57:00 PM JEANNE Urged support for the Peer Navigation GARHARDT, SELF and the Bring the Kids Home programs. (via She shared her personal experience in teleconferencedealing with her son's mental illness. ), She encouraged the maintenance and continuation of services to rural areas. She said that there was a disproportionate amount of Alaska Native Youth falling through the cracks. She said that the funds needed to continue in order to keep the kids in their home communities. Lack of access to support services in rural villages was a serious issue. Co-Chair Hawker said that an additional $275,000 had been added to the Peer Navigation component of the budget. 4:02:42 PM LYNNE OSHEIM, Encouraged the committee to take a PARENTS AS holistic view when examining early TEACHERS, childhood education. She spoke of the HOONAH (via Parents as Teachers program within her teleconferencecommunity. The group works extensively ), with parents and teachers to help with the development of healthy children in the community. The community programs are well attended. She believed that this was the golden era for early childhood given all the brain research and other studies that have come to light in the recent years. She believed that paying for quality early childhood education would create children who would be functional members of society. 4:09:35 PM AT EASE 4:23:37 PM RECONVENED ANCHORAGE 4:24:59 PM JENNIFER CARD, Supported of intervention services that GOVERNOR'S is also supported by the governor's COUNCIL ON council. This team would respond to DISABILITIES children or adults that are unable to IN SPECIAL stay at home due to behavioral, mental EDUCATION, or developmental health issues. These people are often sent out of state. She commented that the financial cost and impact on the family is immense. 4:27:22 PM FRANCES PURDY, Thanked the committee for keeping the DIRECTOR OF peer navigation money in the budget. ALASKA YOUTH This helps families connect with AND FAMILY services. She supported the Bring the NETWORK Kids Home effort. The program works for (AYFN), families and young people. ANCHORAGE (via teleconference ), 4:29:45 PM JESSIE Supported the peer navigation effort LAWRENCE, for young people. This allows youth to YOUTH know that someone is there to support NAVIGATOR FOR and help them. AYFN (via teleconference ), 4:30:38 PM CATHY TAYLOR, Supported the governor's budget request SELF, EAGLE for the Bring the Kids Home program. RIVER (via She shared her personal experience of teleconferencehow the program would have benefited ), her son earlier and how it is helping him now. The costs outside were very expensive. 4:34:19 PM RENEE LEYLAND, Testified in support of the increments ANCHORAGE, in the budgets for Bring the Kids Home SELF (via program. She applauded the early care teleconferencefor children with mother's who have ), substance abuse problems. She presented a personal story of the difficulties these children would have in the future. She supported parent navigating education. 4:39:45 PM AMANDA Testified in support of the Foster Care METIVIER, program in Alaska. She supported the STATEWIDE budget increments in the Bring the Kids COORDINATOR, Home program. Thanked the committee for FACING FOSTER supporting the transportation funding CARE IN ALASKA for students to keep them int heir (via schools. She noted that those that age teleconferenceout of foster care have a 30 percent ), chance of being incarcerated, 40 percent end up homeless in the first year, and 70 percent will reply on some sort of public assistance in their lives. She asked for a doubling of tuition waivers the state provides for children aging out of the foster care system and funding of vocational training. 4:42:38 PM CANDICE Testified in support of the Foster Care TUCKER, SELF system and the Bring the Kids Home (via program. She related her personal teleconferenceexperiences within the system. ), 4:43:51 PM MARK FISH, Cited a study on personal freedom in SELF (via the United States and related teleconferencestatistics from that study. This study ), relates the first comprehensive ranking of American states on public policy affecting individual freedoms in economic, social, and personal spheres. He presented Alaska's ranking. 4:46:19 PM GRANT BAKER, Supported the engineering program in SELF, ENGINEER Anchorage. He asked for money to be put PROFESSOR, UAA in the budget for this program. (via teleconference ), 4:48:29 PM ANDY VARNER, Testified in support of the Marine EXECUTIVE Advisory program (MAP). They work with DIRECTOR, youth and adults in coastal communities SOUTHWEST to expand educational opportunities, ALASKA building workforce capacity and MUNICIPAL enhancing participation by residents in CONFERENCE the public processes. The MAP workers (via are often the face of the university teleconferenceand link local residents to university ), resources. 4:50:36 PM REBECCA SHIER, Supported funding for the Bring the STATEWIDE Kids Home Program. She related her REPRESENTATIVEpersonal experiences within the , FACING program. She supported the increments FOSTER CARE IN in the governor's budget. ALASKA (via teleconference ), 4:51:50 PM MELINDA MYERS, Testified in support of the early SENIOR childhood funding. She thanked the MANAGER, BEST committee for supported the $380,000 BEGINNINGS currently in the DEED budget for early (via childhood partnerships and the teleconferenceimagination library. There are ), communities forming partnerships to advance local problems and discovering funding in early childhood education. Families need this support for the future of Alaska citizens. She explained the workings, goals and services of Best Beginnings. Co-Chair Hawker noted that funding has been doubled by the house. He commented that all need to work on the best route forward to help in early childhood development, Best Beginnings or state sanctioned. 4:56:24 PM BARBARA BROWN, Thanked the education budget BEST subcommittee for increased funding BEGINNINGS provided. She supported the Imagination (via Library with its growth from 6 teleconferencecommunities to 32 communities. She ), added that these libraries are needed throughout the state. This program provides a year of free books, once a month, for a child's early years to help a child discover the world of books. She also supported Denali Kid Care. 5:00:48 PM SUSAN Thanked the budget subcommittee for the ANDERSON, increase in funding for Best VOLUNTEER Beginnings. She commented that the CHAIR, BEST investment in early learning is the BEGINNINGS best way money can be spent. The return (via will be great for Alaska. This builds teleconferenceon the good work of the state on this ), subject. Co-Chair Hawker spoke in praise of Representative Fairclough for her hard work on the education subcommittee. 5:04:18 PM KYLE GARDNER, Talked of the Family Value Services DENALI FAMILY that deal with behavioral problems. SERVICES (via Supported this initiative for the teleconferenceprovision of these services. Also ), supported the Bring the Kids Home program. 5:06:31 PM HEATHER Related her personal experience with JACKSON, BRING the Bring the Kids Home program and the HOME THE KIDS successes that have evolved in her (via life. She supported continued funding teleconferencefor this program. ), 5:09:57 PM RAMONA DUBY, Related personal stories of the SELF (via difficulties in special treatment and teleconferencethe financial costs to the family. She ), believed it was the government duty to help and treat those with problems in the state. She testified in support of the Bring the Kids Home program. She also supported the increments in the governor's bill. She appreciated all the hard work done by the committee. 5:12:25 PM ROB CAPPUOZZO, Supported the early childhood programs. EARLY He noted that the return on the CHILDHOOD investment far exceeds any other TEACHER, UAA return. The first 5 years are the most (via important in a child's life. He urged teleconferencesupport of the Imagination Library ), funding increase through best Beginnings. Families who have been receiving books had far better success story for their children's future. He urged funding for early childhood education teacher's education to keep them in the state and give them higher education degrees. 5:18:00 PM AT EASE 5:19:24 PM RECONVENED 5:20:49 PM AT EASE 5:22:15 PM RECONVENED 5:22:19 PM JENNIFER Testified in support of the increments O'NEAL, to the Bring the Kids Home and MANAGER, increasing funds for individual aid ALASKA grants. These children are trying to CHILDREN gain the skills to transition into SERVICES (via adulthood. She related personal success teleconferencestories with additional resources. She ), related how the resource funding had helped a young woman live independently.