Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/09/2010 01:30 PM House FINANCE

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:10 pm Today --
Moved Out of Committee
Scheduled But Not Heard
Moved CSHB 70(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 70                                                                                                             
     "An Act establishing the  farm-to-school program in the                                                                    
     Department  of  Natural  Resources,  the  Alaska  grown                                                                    
     fresh  fruit   and  vegetable  grant  program   in  the                                                                    
     Department  of  Education  and Early  Development,  the                                                                    
     farmers'  market technology  improvement pilot  program                                                                    
     in  the Department  of Environmental  Conservation, and                                                                    
     the  farmers  to  food  banks   pilot  program  in  the                                                                    
     Department   of  Commerce,   Community,  and   Economic                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CARL GATTO,  SPONSOR, presented  an overview                                                                    
of the  bill, explaining that  HB 70 would help  farmers and                                                                    
children by creating a nexus  between children and real food                                                                    
that children can  be exposed too.  He noted  that people do                                                                    
not  use  enough  fresh  food,  especially  children.  As  a                                                                    
result, 27  percent of  high school  students in  Alaska are                                                                    
obese or overweight. The  legislation would provide students                                                                    
with opportunities  that are  not currently  available, such                                                                    
as  "agriculture day"  in  elementary  schools, which  would                                                                    
focus  on educating  children about  where food  comes from.                                                                    
The  bill  focuses  primarily on  the  encouragement  phase,                                                                    
helping  students to  get excited  about dealing  with fresh                                                                    
food with the help of the farmers.                                                                                              
Representative  Gara  appreciated  the work  on  the  Mat-Su                                                                    
farming   issue.  He   asked  for   verification  that   the                                                                    
legislation  reflects  current  law   in  regards  to  price                                                                    
preference granted to locally grown agricultural products.                                                                      
Representative Gatto confirmed that is correct.                                                                                 
Representative  Gatto  also  mentioned food  security.  Root                                                                    
cellars  and  farmer's  storage  help  root  crops  to  last                                                                    
throughout  the  year.  The  creation  of  a  farm-to-school                                                                    
program  will  help  children recognize  this  and  aims  at                                                                    
encouraging farmers to stay with farming.                                                                                       
2:14:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Austerman  asked whether schools  are defined                                                                    
in the bill. Representative Gatto  did not have an answer at                                                                    
that time.                                                                                                                      
Representative Austerman  noted that  work programs  such as                                                                    
the Alaska  Job Corps  that teach  culinary plans  should be                                                                    
included  in  the  legislation in  addition  to  traditional                                                                    
schools. Representative  Gatto agreed  and noted that  it is                                                                    
possible that the  term "schools" in the bill  is defined as                                                                    
all schools overseen by the Department of Education.                                                                            
2:15:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair   Thomas  MOVED   to  ADOPT   proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute, work draft 26-LS0284\P, Bannister, 4/8/10.                                                                          
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
2:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
BEN  MULLIGAN, STAFF,  CO-CHAIR STOLTZE  explained that  the                                                                    
CS, which was  drafted in the previous year,  was updated to                                                                    
reflect  passage in  the current  fiscal  year. January  25,                                                                    
2010 was  changed to January  25, 2011  on Page 3,  line 20.                                                                    
The sunset date  was changed to July 1, 2014,  in section 5,                                                                    
to  reflect that  the legislature  would review  the program                                                                    
after four years.                                                                                                               
There being NO further OBJECTION, the CS was adopted.                                                                           
Co-Chair Stoltze  talked of farming and  farming regions and                                                                    
observed that  the bill's relevance  is not just  limited to                                                                    
the Palmer area.                                                                                                                
2:17:45 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Thomas  wondered if there is  still a significant                                                                    
amount of  farming in  Tanana. Representative  Kelly replied                                                                    
that it has grown a lot.                                                                                                        
2:19:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze mentioned  the fiscal  note and  asked for                                                                    
any  discussion   from  committee   members.  Representative                                                                    
Doogan asked  for verification that  the fiscal note  was to                                                                    
the Resources Committee version.                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze replied  in the  affirmative and  noted it                                                                    
would be updated to reflect the Finance CS.                                                                                     
Representative  Doogan noted  the fiscal  note included  the                                                                    
funding for two positions and  asked for a brief description                                                                    
of each of the positions.                                                                                                       
2:20:57 PM                                                                                                                    
FRANCI  HAVEMEISTER,  DIRECTOR,   DIVISION  OF  AGRICULTURE,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL  RESOURCES, discussed the department's                                                                    
fiscal  note. She  confirmed that  there  are two  positions                                                                    
requested under  the bill.  One position is  for a  Range 18                                                                    
development specialist  required to implement  the in-school                                                                    
education  process   as  well   as  educating   the  schools                                                                    
statewide. In  addition, an agricultural inspector  would be                                                                    
necessary if a garden program  were implemented, in order to                                                                    
provide food inspection prior to  its entry into schools for                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  observed  that  it  appeared  the                                                                    
legislation  would  only  involve   schools  in  the  public                                                                    
system. He noted that a  definition of schools is needed and                                                                    
that  the legislation  should apply  to  university and  all                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  Representative  Gatto  if he  would                                                                    
want the bill to be inclusive of all schools.                                                                                   
Representative Gatto  verified that he  would like to  be as                                                                    
inclusive as possible.  He remarked that he  would even like                                                                    
to see  people who have  no ability to grow  crops included,                                                                    
as long as the impetus and  structure for the program are in                                                                    
place with state support.                                                                                                       
Representative Austerman  commented that he would  also like                                                                    
to be as inclusive as possible for as many as possible.                                                                         
2:23:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Doogan   stated   that  the   bill   covers                                                                    
everything  that  the   Department  of  Education  accredits                                                                    
except for the University of  Alaska. He noted that the list                                                                    
located  on  page  6,  appears   to  be  complete  with  the                                                                    
exception of the University.                                                                                                    
Representative Gara asked the  department to explain whether                                                                    
it   is  already   providing  agricultural   inspection  for                                                                    
products that  are produced  in the  state. He  wondered why                                                                    
the bill required another agricultural inspector position.                                                                      
Ms.  Havemeister   answered  that  the  position   would  be                                                                    
necessary  if gardens  were implemented  in  rural areas  to                                                                    
guarantee  that the  process of  clean  food development  is                                                                    
understood.  There  are  currently  two  inspectors  at  the                                                                    
Division  of Agriculture,  and their  time  would not  allow                                                                    
them to travel to rural Alaska.                                                                                                 
Representative   Gara  asked   for  verification   that  the                                                                    
department   currently    employs   two    inspectors.   Ms.                                                                    
Havemeister agreed.                                                                                                             
Representative Gara asked if the  program would increase the                                                                    
demand  by  20  percent.   Ms.  Havemeister  responded  that                                                                    
implementing the program  state-wide would increase expenses                                                                    
due to travel costs.                                                                                                            
Representative Gara  voiced that  there are  farms statewide                                                                    
that have products for consumption.  He noted that it is not                                                                    
obvious  how  the  program  differs  from  the  agricultural                                                                    
inspector needs that currently exist in rural areas.                                                                            
Ms. Havemeister clarified that there  are two inspectors for                                                                    
Anchorage who  do inspections for  large producers  who sell                                                                    
into retail.  For schools wanting  to move product  into the                                                                    
school system  for consumption,  there would  need to  be an                                                                    
inspection process in place.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Stoltze voiced the need  to look at the fiscal note                                                                    
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Austerman  asked  whether rural  areas  with                                                                    
community  gardens would  need the  produce to  be inspected                                                                    
prior to bringing  it into the schools  for consumption. Ms.                                                                    
Havemeister affirmed.                                                                                                           
Representative Austerman  asked if there  would be a  fee to                                                                    
the community for the inspection.                                                                                               
Ms.  Havemeister responded  that  the fiscal  note does  not                                                                    
reflect  a fee  for  community inspection.  The fiscal  note                                                                    
would  include the  development specialist  traveling to  do                                                                    
more   education   type-work.   Currently,   most   of   the                                                                    
inspections are  done on the  road system so  the department                                                                    
has not had to address the issue.                                                                                               
Representative Austerman asked if a  restaurant has to pay a                                                                    
fee for  inspections, would the  gardens also be  subject to                                                                    
an inspection  fee from the Department  of Natural Resources                                                                    
(DNR).   Ms.  Havemeister   verified  the   possibility  and                                                                    
responded that DNR would have to look into it.                                                                                  
Representative  Austerman  asked  if  DNR  would  anticipate                                                                    
regulations. Ms.  Havemeister responded possibly,  and noted                                                                    
it would  depend on  what schools were  involved and  on how                                                                    
extensive the travel would be.                                                                                                  
2:29:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara noted  the importance  of updating  the                                                                    
fiscal note before the bill goes to the Senate.                                                                                 
Vice-Chair  Thomas MOVED  to  report CS  HB  70(FIN) out  of                                                                    
Committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal notes. There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                    
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
CS HB 70(FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with          no                                                                    
recommendations  and   with  new   fiscal  notes   from  the                                                                    
Department  of  Education  and  the  Department  of  Natural                                                                    
2:31:08 PM     At EASE                                                                                                        
2:32:55 PM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB257 Support Letters.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 257
SB_257_Sponsor_Statement_corrected.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
SB 257
01 HB331 Sponsor Statement[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
05 HB331-UYCA FactBrief[1].docx HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
07 HB331 Fines in Statute[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
08 HB331 Support Letters[1].pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
HB331 Change to bill in (H)JUD.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
HB 331 AK Youth Courts FAQS.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 331
UYCA Youth Court Directory 4-2-2010 (3).doc HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
Explanation of changes.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
explanation ofchanges HB 70CSHB70(Res)updated020110.doc HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Fact Sheet.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
farm to school supporting materials.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
farm to school supporting materials.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 1.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 2.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Letter of support 3.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Request for hearing.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
Sponsor statement.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
HB 70 CS WORKDRAFT 26-LS0248 P.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70
HB70CS(RES)-DNR-AG-04-09-10NEW.pdf HFIN 4/9/2010 1:30:00 PM
HB 70