Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/03/2010 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 1:39:3 PM JAKE METCALFE, Addressed the Department of Public EXECUTIVE Safety budget. He testified in support DIRECTOR, of 15 new Village Public Safety Officer PUBLIC SAFETY (VPSO) positions. He stated that EMPLOYEE additional oversight troopers are ASSOCIATION necessary. He pointed out that VPSO (PSEA), increases are a valuable crime deterrent, but add to the need for state troopers. 1:43:9 PM Representative Asked about the number of troopers Gara requested and how it was decided upon. 1:44:3 PM Mr. Metcalfe Suggested that the numbers of statewide VPSOs are eighty or greater. Testimony, and department study about the appropriate number of necessary troopers has occurred. Additional troopers provide a deterrent to crime and allow for better investigation of cases. 1:46:9 PM Representative Appreciated the information regarding Foster the impact of state troopers. He asked if the numbers of troopers requested will continue to rise. 1:47:2 PM Mr. Metcalfe Suggested that the troopers must be trained to perform the investigations as some of the cases will not warrant persecution. He noted that VPSOs do not have the training necessary to investigate felony crimes. The need for oversight will exist as the trooper is the trained investigator. FAIRBANKS 1:49:4 PM PRICILLA RICE, Testified in support of the Cooperative 4-H, Extension Service and the finance FAIRBANKS, budget. She stated that she utilizes TANANA the Cooperative Extension Service. She DISTRICT explained that she is active with the LEADERS (via Cooperative Extension Service 4-H teleconferenceaspect. ), 1:50:7 PM FRED SCHLUTT, Testified in support of the Cooperative UNIVERSITY OF Extension Service and the University's ALASKA energy outreach efforts. He wished to FAIRBANKS reduce dependence on fuel and increase (UAF) efficiency of utilities. He was in DIRECTOR, favor of funding the Marine Advisory COOPERATIVE Program (MAP) service. EXTENSION SERVICE (via teleconference ), 1:52:1 PM JEFF TUCKER, Testified in support of funding for the FIRE CHIEF, Alaska Line Mobile Radio System budget. NORTH STAR He encouraged that the house include FIRE full funding of the local share into DEPARTMENT the final budget. (via teleconference ), 1:53:8 PM KIMBERLEE Testified in support of HB 302. She JONES, shared a story about a suicidal CARELINE gentleman. A phone call to Careline CRISIS Crisis Intervention resulted in INTERVENTION prevention of suicide. She highlighted (via the strengths of the program. teleconference ), 1:56:3 PM Representative Asked about the waitlist navigated Gara through the intervention process. 1:56:9 PM Ms. Jones Responded that unless a caller is acutely suicidal, they are placed on a mental health care waitlist, which can span weeks. Follow up care and connection with Careline is performed until an appointment with a clinician is available. 1:57:0 PM TY TIGNER, Testified in support of the Bring the PROGRAM Kids Home initiative. He stressed that DIRECTOR, the initiative is crucial. He spoke to PRESBYTERIAN the quality of care at Presbyterian HOSPITALITY Hospitality House and the importance of HOUSE (via having the kids in Alaska. teleconference ), 1:58:5 PM ASHLEY NUKWAK, Testified in support of the Bring the MEMBER OF Kids Home initiative. She spoke of her PRESBYTERIAN positive experience in the Presbyterian HOSPITALITY Hospitality House. HOUSE (via teleconference ), 1:59:3 PM MIKE SEXTON, Testified in support of ongoing funding PHA, for the Bring the Kids Home program. He PRESBYTERIAN advocated for living in state as family HOSPITALITY connections aid in success. HOUSE (via teleconference ), 2:02:7 PM CHERYL Testified in support of the rate change KEEPERS, made last year by the legislature. FAIRBANKS Working parents and their employers NORTHSTAR will benefit from the change. The BOROUGH (FNSB) income guidelines have not been updated CHILD CARE since 2002 and many parents cannot make ASSISTANT (via use of the program. She encouraged teleconferenceadditional funding for Department of ), Health and Social Services allowing the necessary update. 2:03:8 PM ROBIN FRANK, Spoke in support of the Department of TANANA CHIEF Labor and Workforce Development CONFERENCES funding. She mentioned that the funding (via increased apprenticeship opportunities teleconferencefor Alaskans. ), 2:05:4 PM MARLA LOWDER, Expressed gratitude for the Cooperative UAF, Extension Service budget. She stated COOPERATIVE that 4-H reaches 15 thousand children EXTENSION per year with informal education and 2 SERVICE, 4-H to 3 thousand through the traditional (via 4-H clubs. teleconference ), 2:07:3 PM BRENDA Testified in support of the governor's STANFILL, initiative to reduce the rates of INTERIOR domestic violence and sexual assault. ALASKA CENTER Victim's services provide prevention FOR NONVIOLENT services which require funding. She LIVING (IAC) spoke about targeted education as a (via form of prevention. She stated that teleconferencethere is a deficit for victim's ), services of $350 thousand this year. 2:12:2 PM Co Chair Stated that he wished to make 2010 the Hawker year of public safety. He stated that the committee recognizes the need for a balanced approach including preventative efforts. He recognized that Representative Kelly has been instrumental in retaining the focus of the committee. 2:13:4 PM MICHAELLA Testified in support of the Cooperative RICE, SELF Extension Service. She explained that (via she recently visited Juneau with 4-H teleconferenceand learned about the legislative ), process. 2:14:8 PM ANGEL Testified in support of the governor's DOTOMAIN, initiative on domestic violence and PRESIDENT, AK sexual assault. She spoke in support of NATIVE HEALTH funding for prevention and programs BOARD (via that reach various Alaskans. Community teleconferencesupport is crucial. ), 2:17:6 PM Co Chair Stated that he looked forward to a Hawker comprehensive approach to the governor's initiative. 2:18:8 PM RECESS 3:01:9 PM RECONVENED 3:02:0 PM JACKIE Testified for the full funding of the DEBEVEC, university request in the budget, the CAREER Life Sciences Facility, in particular. SERVICES The current lack of space and outdated COORDINATOR, equipment weakens the university's CAREER ability to attract top students, SERVICES faculty, and researchers. She thought DEPARTMENT, that the facility could bring in more UNIVERSITY OF federal dollars for grant funding and ALASKA, eventually support a pharmacy, vet FAIRBANKS (via school or nursing program. Co-Chair teleconferenceHawker pointed out funding for the ), projects mentioned would be found in that stand alone appropriation bills or the capital budget, and not in the operating budget. 3:06:9 PM Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Dillingham, Cordova 3:06:5 PM ANNETTE Urged support for the Bring the Kids BECKER, Home Initiative. She relayed funding EXECUTIVE for the program keeps the youth, and DIRECTOR, the money spent, in the state. YOUTH ADVOCATE, SITKA (via teleconference ), 3:08:9 PM CHRIS BAUMAN, Urged support for child abuse EXECUTIVE prevention programs. He stressed the DIRECTOR, need for Primary Prevention efforts in SITKANS order to prevent victimization and AGAINST FAMILY perpetration from occurring. With the VIOLENCE states commitment and investment in (SAFV), SITKA Primary Prevention efforts, both rural (via and urban communities throughout the teleconferencestate, could experience lower rates of ), domestic, sexual and teen dating violence in Alaska. 3:10:5 PM JERRY DZUGAN, Testified in support for full funding DIRECTOR, of the university request for the 6 ALASKA MARINE positions for the Marine Advisory SAFELY Program (MAP). He opined the closing of EDUCATION program offices in the state. He ASSOCIATION, stressed that MAP agents were a SITKA (via valuable gift to Alaska. teleconference ), 3:12:8 PM JULIANNE Urged support for full funding of the CURRY, university request in the budget. She EXECUTIVE strongly supported funding for the DIRECTOR, Marine Advisory Program, and detailed PETERSBURG the many ways the program had enhanced VESSEL OWNERS the community of Petersburg. ASSOCIATION, PETERSBURG (via teleconference ), 3:14:9 PM LIZ CABRERA, Strongly encouraged support for the 6 PETERSBURG Marine Advisory Positions listed under ECONOMIC the university request in the budget. DEVELOPMENT She considered the program a smart COUNCIL, investment for the marine education of PETERSBURG the youth of Alaska. (via teleconference ), 3:15:1 PM BARRY BRACKEN, Advocated support for the Marine PETERSBURG Advisory Program. He detailed the many MARINE MAMMAL partnership programs that the community CENTER, had benefited from because of the PETERSBURG program. He felt it that the program (via was a bastion of high quality marine teleconferenceresearch information and was too ), valuable to lose. 3:18:1 PM ROBERT Testified to the positive impact the THOMASON, Marine Advisory Program had benefited SUPERINTENDENTthe aquamarine and fisheries programs , PETERSBURG within the Petersburg school district. CITY SCHOOLS, The opportunities provided by the PETERSBURG program were unique and important. He (via urged full support for the university teleconferencefunding. ), 3:19:1 PM FRITZ JOHNSON, Expressed strong support for university REGIONAL funding for the Marine Advisory FISHERIES Program. The Bristol Bay Economic COORDINATOR, Development Corporation works closely BRISTOL BAY with the program. The program is a ECONOMIC critical function in the state DEVELOPMENT commercial fishing industry. CORPORATION, DILLINGHAM (via teleconference ), 3:22:4 PM GINGER BAIM, Urged full funding of the governor's DIRECTOR, SAFE request for domestic violence and AND FEAR FREE sexual assault programs. She stated ENVIRONMENT, that Primary Prevention programs were (SAFE), the most effective way to end domestic DILLINGHAM violence and sexual assault in the (via state. She said that Primary Prevention teleconferencewas making a difference in the state by ), preventing the first incident of victimization or perpetration of violence. Co-Chair Hawker said the committee was working diligently on the issue. 3:27:8 PM SUSAN Testified in support of funding for the FLENSBURG, Marine Advisory Program through full BRISTOL BAY funding for the university budget NATIVE request. She shared the benefits ASSOCIATION, brought to the community by the program DILLINGHAM agent placed in Dillingham. The program (via has generated both educational and teleconferenceeconomic growth in the community. ), 3:32:5 PM RJ KOPCHAK, Urged full funding for the university DEVELOPMENT budget request, the Marine Advisory DIRECTOR, Program in particular. The Marine PRINCE WILLIAM Advisory Program plays a critical role SOUND SCIENCE in coastal communities. He said that CENTER, the program out of Cordova had been CORDOVA (via instrumental in establishing the Prince teleconferenceWilliam Sound Science Center. The ), program has assisted the community in begin fully involved in the fisheries management and governance. The port of Dutch Harbor generates huge amounts of money for the state, and greatly benefits from the program. 3:36:5 PM ROCHELLE VAN Testified in support for the full DEN BROEK, funding of the university request in CORDOVA the FY11 budget. She detailed several DISTRICT ways that the local MAP agent had FISHERMEN helped the community. The program has UNITED (CDFU), helped with fleet safety, efficiency of CORDOVA (via operations, fishing business teleconferencemanagement, sustainable business ), practices, and economic development. She said that the program introduced the CDFC to the Alaska Young Fisheries Summit, which proved to be fruitful for the fishing fleet. She said that she typically checks in with the local agent once a week. She stressed that the collaborative nature of the relationship cannot be duplicated from an office outside the community. 3:39:1 PM BETH POOLE, Spoke in support of full funding for EXECUTIVE costal Marine Advisory Program offices DIRECTOR, through the full funding of the COPPER RIVER university request. She expressed DELTA, PRINCE appreciation for the role of the WILLIAM SOUND, program in Cordova, and in the MARKETING commercial fishing and seafood ASSOCIATION industry. (via teleconference ), 3:41:1 PM EILEEN Spoke in support for funding to end SYLVESTER, domestic violence and child abuse. She VICE mentioned the specific needs of Alaska PRESIDENT, Native people in rural and native SOUTH CENTRAL communities. She said that the goal of FOUNDATION the foundation was to end domestic (via violence, child abuse, and child teleconferenceneglect in this generation. The ), grassroots program is over 10 years old. She requested specific funds of $200,000 for the implementation of the program in the Bristol Bay Region and another $200,000 to provide training in other regions of the state. Co-Chair Hawker assured her that the committee would continue to discuss the issue. 3:45:9 PM GREG WHITE, Testified in favor of funding for the SITKA Bring the Kids Home program. He PREVENTION, mentioned the Alaska Youth Initiative, SITKA (via and the positive impact it has had on teleconferencemembers of his community. He strongly ), advocated continued funding for programs that help at-risk children. He expressed his belief that the children should be allowed to stay in their home communities to receive the help that they need. 3:49:8 PM JONI JOHNSON, Urged support for continued funding for STUDENT, the Marine Advisory Program. She spoke PETERSBURG of the benefits of the program within HIGH SCHOOL, her community. She stressed that the PETERSBURG program was multi-faceted and was (via important in many circles of her teleconferencecommunity. ), 3:51:8 PM MICHELLE Spoke in support for funding of the DEWITT, BETHEL Domestic Violence Initiative. She (via encouraged the legislature to invest in teleconferenceprevention programs. She felt that ), effective prevention programs would greatly serve her region to bring down the high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Teens Acting Against Violence program, which began in 1996, had not received state funding since 2002. She hoped the committee would consider making an investment in the program and others like it. 3:54:4 PM CYNTHIA BERNS, Thanked the committee for the increased OLD HARBOR, funding for Best Beginnings. She said ALASKA (via that parents in her community were teleconferencereading more to their children due to ), the Imagination Library Program offered by Best Beginnings. She felt that rural areas often had difficulty getting books to their youth and that the Best Beginnings program had been helpful. 3:56:7 PM AT EASE 4:18:8 PM RECONVENED Homer, Kenai, Valdez, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Seward, Matsu, Glennallen, Tok 4:19:5 PM JEFF STEPHAN, Urged support of the MAP program. He MANGER, UNITED testified in support of the governor's FISHERMAN'S original budget for this funding. He MARKETING supported the inclusion of $614,000 in ASSOCIATION, the university of Alaska budget for the KODIAK, marine advisory program. He noted the position in Kodiak has been unfunded 13 years. He explained the MAP program and the importance of this program to local communities. He stated the importance to the five positions affected by this funding. He noted MAP works in partnership with local communities, residents, organizations, businesses on subjects relevant to cultural, social, and economic well being of the communities. 4:23:9 PM Co-Chair Wondered why this was not in the Stoltze commercial fisheries section of the Department of Fish and Game budget. 4:24:3 PM DESIREE Thanked the subcommittee for increasing COMPTON, BEST the Best Beginnings budget. She noted BEGINNINGS, the importance of the investment in MAT-SU (via young people increase their chance for teleconferencesuccess in school and life. They want ), to focus on the youngest members and their families. 4:26:1 PM LINDA CONOVER, Thanked the subcommittee for increasing MAT-SU (via the funding for Best Beginnings in the teleconferencegovernor's budget. She also supported ), the Imagination Library and noted that by reading to children in their early years will give them the biggest boost to future success. 4:27:3 PM JAMES GARHART, Supported a forward funded budget. He MAT-SU (via believed in a smaller fiscal teleconferenceconservative government. He thought the ), Department of Revenue funding should be cut because of its inaccuracy. He found mistakes in their revenue forecasting. He indicated that a phone number given to him by Co-Chair Stoltze had proved unproductive with no response. Co-Chair Apologized that his calls have not been Stoltze returned. He will straighten this problem out for him. Co-Chair Offered if questions had been sent to Hawker the DOR that have not been returned, please contact his office. 4:31:2 PM PAT HOLMES, Supported a need for additional funding KODIAK (via for ADFG. Over the past 12 years they teleconferencehave gone from 12 state funded weirs to ), 4. There are serious problems with subsistence. He supported the budget request for western region sonar. He urged support for the $100,000 funding for this sonar and other funding for fisheries. 4:34:4 PM BARB Testified for an increase in the budget ZIMMERMAN, 4-H for the Cooperative Extension Service CLUBS, KODIAK program. She told of the success of the (via 4-H programs within the community. She teleconferencenoted the importance of the 4-H program ), in helping the children in smaller communities. She expressed delight with the help provided by 4-H information pamphlets. She would also like the funding of the agent position in Kodiak. 4:37:7 PM JULIE Testified in support of the Cooperative KVANAUGH, Extension Service program. She believed STAFF, this was important to retain and UNIVERSITY capture local youth for Alaska's COOPERATIVE future. She referred to positions EXTENSION scheduled to be terminated due to lack SERVICE, of funding. The governor's budget shows KODIAK (via funding for these positions. The teleconferencelegislature needs to look at the ), positive aspect of these MAP positions for Alaska and continue the funding. Kodiak wants to strengthen the UA bond. 4:39:3 PM MARIE RICE, Supported the Cooperative Extension KODIAK (via Service program with the university. teleconferenceShe related her personal experience and ), help with this program. She helped get the program started in Kodiak and the use of the agent was vital. This full time agent position was lost 13 years ago, but would really like that full time position refunded. 4:42:2 PM AL BURCH, Supported the testimony for the EXECUTIVE Cooperative Extension Service program. DIRECTOR, He supported the continued funding of ALASKA the MAP program. He reported his WHITEFISH personal experience in his early years CRAWLERS in Kodiak. He supported the research ASSOCIATION, and help with students over the years. KODIAK (via He has heard of more offices being teleconferenceclosed and urged support for them to ), reopen. 4:44:5 PM MURAT BALABAN, Spoke to the importance of the fish DIRECTOR OF industry to Alaska. He strongly FISHERY supported the MAP program by making the INDUSTRIAL 6 reported positions permanent. The CENTER, KODIAK agents are the ears, eyes, and hands of (via the university and they help teleconferencecommunities sustain an economically ), viable industry and a way of life. Co- Chair Hawker spoke of the underutilized office in Kodiak and would like to see more people working with it. Mr. Balaban reported that all the student rooms are full and student apartments are full. 4:46:7 PM BARBARA Thanked the committee for the support BOLSON, KODIAK given to the Cooperative Extension COLLEGE (via program with the university and Kodiak teleconferenceCollege. She urged the committee ), members to visit the college and the good works being accomplished. She noted workshops and programs available. She stated that they are trying to improve college readiness to students in high schools. 4:49:6 PM KAREN LAMBERT, Spoke in support for the Alaska Legal KODIAK (via Services Corporation. The best way to teleconferencekeep budgets in check is to invest the ), state's money wisely and she believed that the local legal services program was a cost efficient program. 4:50:2 PM WENDY GIERARD, Thanked the committee for support to ASSISTANT the university. She urged the committee DIRECTOR, to reconsider the governor's budget for UNIVERSITY OF funding the university in Alaska. The ALASKA university helps students prepare to be SOUTHEAST, the next generation of leaders for KETCHIKAN (via Alaska. The university partners with teleconferenceindustries in the region for workforce ), placement in Alaska jobs. The enrollment in Ketchikan campus and the university as a whole is up and the benefits are becoming more evident. Students and parents are seeing the benefits of the system and more students are choosing to stay in the state of their education. They are training for jobs that will be beneficial to the state. 4:53:3 PM SANDRA RUSIN Urged support of the Bring the Kids MCCRAY, Home program and related a personal NATIONAL SALES story of her step-child who had to go MANAGER FOR out of state for long term care. Her CBS TV FOR daughter was gone over 4 years and SOUTHEAST moved to 3 different states to receive ALASKA, the proper care. The long term effect KETCHIKAN (via of being away from home has had a long teleconferenceterm effect on her and the family as ), well as the difficult financial costs. She added that regular communication with the child and family was limited and often it is too expensive for the family to travel and visit the child. She believed it made more sense to keep the money in state. She believed it would be cheaper in the long run to keep the children home. 4:59:6 PM Representative Questioned the cost of youth in state Gara and asked how often Medicaid would approve travel for a parent to visit the child. Ms. Rusin Answered that Medicaid approved 4 visits a year for no longer than 3 days. She added that it is restricted to one parent and it must be in regard to working one on one in the child's treatment. It is not for a family visit. She noted that when the children are sent to these centers the parents cannot come for a visit during the fist 6 months. 5:01:1 PM NINA ALLEN, Urged support of the Bring the Kids CEO OF THE Home initiative and thanked the MENTAL HEALTH committee for their support. The CENTER, HOMER program is successful for its many (via accomplishments. This program has been teleconferencesuccessful due to its multi-pronged ), approach to the issue. She urged the committee to adopt in full the governor's full increment for this program. 5:03:8 PM GLENN SEAMAN, Supported the MAP program. He related HOMER (via his personal experiences in seeing the teleconferencehelp the program has done for the ), coastal communities. He mentioned the excellent help in the training programs and the effectiveness of addressing the needs of the communities. He supported the addition of the new offices in the state. 5:06:3 PM JOHN DEVENS, Urged support of the UAA budget as FOUNDING presented by the Board of Regents. He PRESIDENT OF also wanted to draw attention to the THE PRINCE value of the small rural colleges in WILLIAM SOUND Alaska. He related the importance for COMMUNITY rural students to have access to this COLLEGE, higher leaning as a bridge to the REPRESENTATIVE university. These students who go to ON THE UAA school in Alaska are the ones most ADVISORY likely to stay in Alaska and contribute BOARD, VALDEZ to its future. (via teleconference ), 5:08:9 PM CARRIE BEEMAN, Testified in support of continued CHAIR OF THE funding of the Imagination Library. It UPPER TANANA is so important to all communities but IMAGINATION especially in the small communities in LIBRARY, TOK Alaska. She communicated that reading (via to young children is the single most teleconferenceimportant things parents can do to ), insure their child success in school. She noted that Best Beginnings is the umbrella organization for the Imagination Library in Alaska. She noted that over 100 children are enrolled in the Upper Tanana region Imagination Library. 5:10:2 PM DAVID SQUIRES, Reads from a letter by the City FIRE CHIEF, Manager. He spoke to the deletion of SEWARD (via $150,000 by the house finance teleconferencesubcommittee from the state's proposed ), Department of Administration budget for maintaining Alaska land mobile radio system. The committee directed that the funds be collected from local users. He derided the inoperable communication between public safety agencies. He continued that Alaska was the first state to adopt an operable statewide communication system, ALMAR. The mandated fees for Seward would force the city to abandon plans to join ALMAR or abandon the current use of the ALMAR system and return to the legacy system. This would endanger the future of emergency communication in Alaska causing an overall adverse impact on public safety in Alaska. The estimated cost to Seward would be $28,800 per year with additional yearly costs. Co-Chair Hawker requested the City Manger testimony be faxed to the house finance committee. 5:15:6 PM BILL BURTON, Urged support of the Community OWNER KODIAK Extension agent and the help they have GAME RANCH provided to his company and the (via community. He noted that the community teleconferencewelcomes the research and knowledge of ), the agents working with the 4-H and local residents. He encouraged continued funding of this program. 5:19:2 PM DONN BENNICE, Thanked the committee for their PRESIDENT FOR continued fiscal responsibility to the ALASKA FAMILY budget process. He reported that the SERVICES IN Alaska Family Services is a multi- PALMER, MAT-SU dimensional social service agency in (via the MatSu borough and operates the only teleconferencedomestic violence emergency shelter in ), the valley. He added they also operate a full service behavior health treatment center. He strongly supported the governor's domestic violence initiative, but thought a strong component is to deal with the problem in its entirety by adding a strong preventative component to that initiative. He believed the need for a primary local planning process, more local law enforcement and a base line for data. He believed in education and domestic violence treatments and that substance abuse is often a major contributor to domestic violence. Co-Chair Related that the committee has had Hawker several long conversations on the consequence and causes of domestic violence. The substance abuse issue was probably one of the most causal effects of domestic violence. He added jobs and work opportunity plays a major role.