Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/03/2015 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:31:41 PM Start
01:32:15 PM HB72 || HB73
01:32:22 PM Fy 16 Budget Overview: Department of Administration
02:33:29 PM Fy 16 Budget Overview: Department of Public Safety
03:29:10 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
- FY16 Dept. of Administration
- FY16 Dept. of Public Safety
HOUSE BILL NO. 72                                                                                                             
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain    programs,    capitalizing   funds,    making                                                                    
     reappropriations, and 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. 73                                                                                                             
     "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."                                                                                                        
1:32:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman discussed the agenda for the day.                                                                               
^FY 16 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION                                                                          
1:32:22 PM                                                                                                                    
SHELDON FISHER,  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF ADMINISTRATION                                                                    
(DOA),  provided a  PowerPoint  presentation titled  "Alaska                                                                    
Department  of  Administration  Department  Overview"  dated                                                                    
February 3, 2015  (copy on file). He addressed  slide 2 that                                                                    
included  the  department's  mission and  an  organizational                                                                    
chart.  He noted  that the  department provided  services to                                                                    
the  public and  other  state  agencies. Divisions  offering                                                                    
services  to  the  public included  the  Division  of  Motor                                                                    
Vehicles  (DMV), the  Division  of  Retirement and  Benefits                                                                    
(DRB), the Public  Defender Agency (PDA), and  the Office of                                                                    
Public  Advocacy (OPA).  Other services  to the  public were                                                                    
provided by  independent agencies  housed within  DOA. There                                                                    
were  seven divisions  within the  department that  provided                                                                    
services  to  state agencies.  He  turned  to slide  3  that                                                                    
showed  DOA   service  areas  statewide;   the  department's                                                                    
statewide  services were  primarily  the  Division of  Motor                                                                    
Vehicles  and the  Public  Defender  Agency. Other  agencies                                                                    
were represented in core markets.                                                                                               
1:34:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher addressed  performance measures on slide                                                                    
4. He noted that under  the department's three core services                                                                    
areas different  divisions were represented more  than once,                                                                    
which  recognized  that  DOA   services  provided  to  other                                                                    
agencies   touched  different   topics.  For   example,  the                                                                    
Division   of  General   Services  (DGS)   provided  leasing                                                                    
services to  a host  of other government  departments across                                                                    
the state. He looked at  the groupings of core service areas                                                                    
that the  department inherited; he would  continue to assess                                                                    
whether the measures made sense  going forward. He looked at                                                                    
slide  5  that  included  performance  measures  related  to                                                                    
legal, advocacy,  and regulatory services. The  slide showed                                                                    
a  chart  of  the  Public Defender  appellate  backlog;  the                                                                    
backlog  had increased  substantially in  the past  year. He                                                                    
relayed  that the  felony caseload  the PDA  was facing  had                                                                    
increased 60  percent since 2009;  appeals had  increased by                                                                    
82 percent between  FY 10 and FY 14;  and sentencing appeals                                                                    
had increased  100 percent. The substantial  increase in the                                                                    
department's  workload was  driving the  rising backlog.  He                                                                    
noted  that in  prior years  there had  been an  increase in                                                                    
funding, but the department had not been able to keep up.                                                                       
1:36:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher  moved to  slide 6  related to  a family                                                                    
support  performance  measure.  The  slide  showed  a  chart                                                                    
pertaining to  predisposition reports filed with  the courts                                                                    
by  the due  date  for  OPA. There  had  been a  substantial                                                                    
increase  in   workload  in  recent  years;   currently  the                                                                    
department had the  highest ward to guardian  ad litem ratio                                                                    
in  the   country,  which  was   in  excess  of   twice  the                                                                    
recommended level.  He communicated that the  department was                                                                    
facing   increasing   workloads   in  a   shrinking   budget                                                                    
environment, which was challenging for the division.                                                                            
Commissioner  Fisher  highlighted   the  Enterprise  Support                                                                    
Services on  slides 7  through 9. Slide  7 included  a chart                                                                    
representing annual  savings below  market value  for leases                                                                    
of up  to 10  years; the  department had  been able  to save                                                                    
close to $400,000 in the prior  year. Slide 8 related to the                                                                    
percentage   of  growth;   funding  to   Enterprise  Support                                                                    
Services  grew  slightly  in  FY 15.  He  relayed  that  the                                                                    
department  attempted  to  measure   its  performance  in  a                                                                    
variety  of  categories;  slide   9  pertained  to  services                                                                    
provided  to other  agencies. Generally  the department  was                                                                    
doing  well;  some  divisions were  performing  better  than                                                                    
others. He shared that the  department was discussing how to                                                                    
make  improvements   in  divisions  on  the   lower  end  of                                                                    
performance such as DGS.                                                                                                        
Commissioner  Fisher  addressed  slide  10  related  to  DOA                                                                    
services to  the public.  He relayed his  intent to  go into                                                                    
additional  detail on  agency budgets.  The Public  Defender                                                                    
Agency  was funded  almost exclusively  with general  funds;                                                                    
there were a  few interagency fees collected  from the Court                                                                    
System and some  clients. The Office of  Public Advocacy was                                                                    
similarly  funded  primarily  with  general  funds;  it  did                                                                    
receive a modest amount from  HNS for services provided. The                                                                    
Division of  Motor Vehicles was funded  by program receipts.                                                                    
The Division  of Retirement and  Benefits was  mostly funded                                                                    
by  the retirement  fund, with  a small  amount coming  from                                                                    
general   funds  associated   with  EPORS   [Elected  Public                                                                    
Officers Retirement System].                                                                                                    
1:39:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher  continued to highlight services  to the                                                                    
public  on   slide  11.   The  Alaska   Public  Broadcasting                                                                    
Commission   and  the   Alaska  Public   Offices  Commission                                                                    
received a substantial amount of  general funds, whereas the                                                                    
Violent  Crimes Compensation  Board and  the Alaska  Oil and                                                                    
Gas  Conservation  Commission  (AOGCC)  were  largely  self-                                                                    
funded.  He  moved  to  slide  12  and  addressed  divisions                                                                    
providing  services to  state  agencies.  The services  were                                                                    
funded with  a combination  of receipts from  other agencies                                                                    
and  general  funds.  He detailed  that  the  general  funds                                                                    
reduced the rate charged to  other departments. He addressed                                                                    
slide  13  and  relayed  that the  bulk  of  the  divisions'                                                                    
funding  was  made  up  of   interagency  transfers  of  one                                                                    
category or another.  Slide 14 included a  pie chart showing                                                                    
the  department's   budget  by  fund   source:  undesignated                                                                    
general  funds represented  25  percent, designated  general                                                                    
funds  (receipts  collected  primarily  by  DMV  and  AOGCC)                                                                    
accounted for 7 percent,  other funds (mostly transfers from                                                                    
other agencies) accounted  for 66 percent. Slides  15 and 16                                                                    
included charts showing the  department's budget by division                                                                    
(all funds).  He noted that  the slides began  to illustrate                                                                    
the challenges  facing the department  as it dealt  with the                                                                    
first round of  budget cuts. He pointed  to the department's                                                                    
divisions with  the highest budgets including  the DRB, DGS,                                                                    
Enterprise Technology  Services (ETS), and  Risk Management;                                                                    
however, out  of $88 million  in general funds,  $50 million                                                                    
was associated with  OPA and PDA. He explained  that DOA did                                                                    
not feel it was appropriate to  make full budget cuts to the                                                                    
two  divisions  given the  challenges  they  had in  meeting                                                                    
their mandates and due to  increasing backlogs. He furthered                                                                    
that as a result, the  department had made larger reductions                                                                    
to  other divisions.  Additionally, as  the administration's                                                                    
overall  budget  became  clear,  DOA  would  have  a  better                                                                    
insight  into its  own budget;  DOA  did not  yet know  what                                                                    
services other agencies were planning  on procuring from the                                                                    
1:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman noted that  Representative Pruitt had joined                                                                    
the meeting.                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher  progressed  to slide  17  showing  the                                                                    
department's share  of total  agency operations.  He relayed                                                                    
that the  department's overall budget was  declining for the                                                                    
third  year  in a  row.  Slide  18 addressed  appropriations                                                                    
within the  department (general fund  only). He  pointed out                                                                    
that OPA and PDA were well  above the rest of the divisions.                                                                    
He  noted that  some  of  the other  divisions  fell into  a                                                                    
different order  than on previous  slides. For  example, DMV                                                                    
was  number two  due  to receipts  collected.  He turned  to                                                                    
slide 19 showing appropriations  within the DOA (all funds).                                                                    
The   highest    cost   was   attributed    to   Centralized                                                                    
Administrative  Services, followed  by DGS,  OPA, PDA,  ETS,                                                                    
and  etcetera.  Slide  20  related  to  unallocated  general                                                                    
funds; the  department planned to provide  detail shortly on                                                                    
how  a $7.6  million  unallocated budget  category would  be                                                                    
spread across the divisions.                                                                                                    
1:45:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher turned to slide  21 that showed DOA line                                                                    
items.  He  detailed  that  services,  including  contracts,                                                                    
leases, software,  and personal, dominated  the department's                                                                    
budget.  The department  saw a  need to  focus on  the areas                                                                    
across the  state as a  whole. Slide 22 pertained  to salary                                                                    
adjustment  increases   and  personal  services   costs.  He                                                                    
explained  that the  majority of  the growth  was associated                                                                    
with an increase in salaries  from 2006 to present. He noted                                                                    
that  a blue  box  on  the right  of  the chart  represented                                                                    
additional headcount  incurred by  the department.  Slide 23                                                                    
showed the incremental headcount;  on a permanent, full-time                                                                    
basis from  2006 to present,  there had been an  increase of                                                                    
69  employees  within  OPA  and PDA  and  an  additional  15                                                                    
associated with  the IRIS project.  He elaborated  that when                                                                    
the IRIS project launched, the positions would be reduced.                                                                      
Co-Chair Neuman asked what IRIS stood for.                                                                                      
Commissioner  Fisher  relayed  that the  acronym  stood  for                                                                    
Integrated Resource  Information System (IRIS).  He detailed                                                                    
that the  first phase of  the system  would go live  in July                                                                    
[2015];   the  phase   would  provide   more  and   improved                                                                    
information  for  the  state  and  would  provide  increased                                                                    
insight  into  how resources  were  utilized  and where  the                                                                    
money was spent.  The bulk of the increase  in headcount was                                                                    
related to the OPA and PDA due to an increase in workload.                                                                      
1:48:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher  moved  to  slide  24.  The  department                                                                    
currently had  a building maintenance request  in the budget                                                                    
for  approximately $3  million; historically,  it had  spent                                                                    
about  $7.25 million  to maintain  its  buildings, which  he                                                                    
believed was close to what  would continue to be required to                                                                    
maintain  and  preserve  buildings over  the  long-term.  He                                                                    
noted that the  department would be looking  to reduce costs                                                                    
in  other areas  and try  to do  the same  maintenance at  a                                                                    
lower  cost.  He  looked  at  slide  25  pertaining  to  the                                                                    
department's   core   initiatives    and   challenges.   The                                                                    
department  recognized that  while its  budget was  slightly                                                                    
under  $350 million,  many of  its decisions  impacted other                                                                    
agencies  and   departments  as   well.  He   detailed  that                                                                    
personnel costs  were impacted by the  contract negotiations                                                                    
with labor  unions and healthcare costs  the state provided.                                                                    
Additionally, DOA believed there was  a need in the state to                                                                    
address  improved  productivity  and  looking  for  ways  of                                                                    
capitalizing  on  some  initiatives that  had  already  been                                                                    
undertaken.  The slide  addressed healthcare  costs and  the                                                                    
reduction  of  the  unfunded liability;  there  had  been  a                                                                    
substantial effort  and some success in  reducing healthcare                                                                    
costs in the  past year or so, which the  he believed needed                                                                    
to continue.  The department saw  a need to  provide savings                                                                    
in   its  procurement   areas;   IRIS   would  provide   the                                                                    
information  needed to  drive additional  savings, but  some                                                                    
consolidation, centralization,  or focus would be  needed to                                                                    
improve  savings. He  addressed Information  Technology (IT)                                                                    
and  detailed that  it was  currently widely  decentralized;                                                                    
the state  spent approximately $220 million  on IT services.                                                                    
He detailed that about $30  million of the figure resided in                                                                    
DOA; the  department saw an  opportunity to  consolidate and                                                                    
improve  the  service  and  cost.   He  spoke  to  improving                                                                    
facility  management,  utilizing space  better,  negotiating                                                                    
better leases,  and examining whether  the state  should own                                                                    
rather than lease buildings.                                                                                                    
1:52:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  pointed to  slide 25  related to  how items                                                                    
would affect the budget.  He addressed significant potential                                                                    
savings he  believed could result  from IRIS. He  noted that                                                                    
the  project had  begun  four years  earlier  and phase  one                                                                    
related to procurement would come  out in July. He explained                                                                    
that  procurement  for  all agencies  would  be  centralized                                                                    
through DOA.  He discussed that  the state spent  $2 billion                                                                    
to  $3  billion  on  procurement per  year;  savings  of  10                                                                    
percent would equal $200 million  to $300 million. Phase two                                                                    
would  come  out  in  July   2016  related  to  payroll  and                                                                    
efficiencies in personnel costs.                                                                                                
Commissioner Fisher agreed on the timeframe.                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman  addressed   where  efficiencies  could  be                                                                    
found. He  looked at IT  and relayed  that an IT  report had                                                                    
been commissioned  by DOA  the prior  year and  an executive                                                                    
summary was  expected shortly.  He discussed  that typically                                                                    
IT  services  were  spread out  because  departments  wanted                                                                    
autonomy, but the state was  in the process of consolidating                                                                    
the services to improve  efficiency. He believed there would                                                                    
provide  a marked  improvement.  He stated  that the  change                                                                    
would take the labor costs  off of state employees and would                                                                    
create  better  IT  services  between  the  departments.  He                                                                    
addressed facility management and  asked the commissioner to                                                                    
speak  about  a  Department  of  Transportation  and  Public                                                                    
Facilities building.                                                                                                            
1:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher  shared that  DOA  was  currently in  a                                                                    
dispute  with the  landlord  of a  DMV  building related  to                                                                    
building maintenance.  The department was  examining whether                                                                    
it should own a building  rather than leasing and whether it                                                                    
could save the state money.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Neuman  elaborated that the state  had been leasing                                                                    
a  building for  20 to  30 years  and could  have bought  it                                                                    
three  times  for what  it  was  paying  for the  lease.  He                                                                    
wondered why the state would  continue to lease the building                                                                    
because  DMV was  not  going anywhere.  He  asked about  fee                                                                    
schedules for legal services. He  wondered if the department                                                                    
charged separate fees for legal services.                                                                                       
CHERYL  LOWENSTEIN,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION  OF  ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  ADMINISTRATION, shared  that  the                                                                    
Office of  Administrative Hearings  charged fees.  She noted                                                                    
that OPA  and PDA  provided free  legal services.  She added                                                                    
that DOA  created a  rate for  the Office  of Administrative                                                                    
Hearings   annually.  She   explained   that  disputes   and                                                                    
mediations   generally   went   through  the   office.   The                                                                    
department did not charge any other legal fees.                                                                                 
1:58:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  for verification  that guardians                                                                    
ad litem  were appointed  to children in  need of  aid (e.g.                                                                    
foster youth  and other)  to recommend to  a court  what the                                                                    
child's  needs were  and  what the  best  outcome could  be.                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher   agreed  that   Representative  Gara's                                                                    
synopsis was largely correct. He  elaborated that there were                                                                    
guardians for elderly people with needs as well.                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked for verification that  Alaska had                                                                    
the highest  caseloads in  the country.  Commissioner Fisher                                                                    
responded in the affirmative.                                                                                                   
Representative Gara surmised that  the high rate damaged the                                                                    
state's  ability   to  steer   youth  towards   success  and                                                                    
opportunity. Commissioner Fisher  believed the high workload                                                                    
was a barrier to effectively meeting the state's needs.                                                                         
Representative  Gara  contended that  it  was  not just  the                                                                    
state's needs,  but the kids'  needs as well. He  pointed to                                                                    
the department's  core initiatives  and challenges  on slide                                                                    
25.  He  did  not  see  anything on  the  slide  related  to                                                                    
improving services provided to  children needing the help of                                                                    
a guardian ad litem during a court process.                                                                                     
Commissioner Fisher  took the point.  He explained  that the                                                                    
slide   portrayed   areas   where   the   department   could                                                                    
substantially reduce  costs in  the current  environment. He                                                                    
believed the  slide included  a number  of items  that could                                                                    
drive significant cost  savings. He had tried  to shield OPA                                                                    
and PDA from  the current fiscal challenges  to the greatest                                                                    
extent  possible.   He  would  take   Representative  Gara's                                                                    
comments under advisement.                                                                                                      
2:01:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki remarked that  the state was looking                                                                    
at substantial  budget deficits in the  near and potentially                                                                    
long-term. He  wondered if  there was a  better way  to deal                                                                    
with  some  of  the   agencies  within  DOA's  purview.  For                                                                    
example,  he believed  the Department  of Natural  Resources                                                                    
could be  a more  appropriate place to  house AOGCC.  He did                                                                    
not know what  the Division of General Services,  but he had                                                                    
observed  that   every  other   agency  had   a  procurement                                                                    
specialist  and significant  administrative services  staff.                                                                    
He  wondered  if   it  would  be  more   efficient  for  the                                                                    
department  to  provide  all   procurement,  IT,  and  other                                                                    
services. He  asked if facilities  management would  be more                                                                    
appropriately placed under  the Department of Transportation                                                                    
and Public Facilities.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Neuman noted  that the  department was  working on                                                                    
the issue.                                                                                                                      
Commissioner  Fisher believed  there  was  a broad  question                                                                    
about  the appropriate  strategy  for centralization  versus                                                                    
decentralization. He  referred to  the examples  provided by                                                                    
Representative  Kawasaki  and  stated that  a  fairly  fact-                                                                    
specific  analysis needed  to be  done. He  opined that  the                                                                    
answer to the  question should be driven by  efficiency.  He                                                                    
furthered  that there  were times  where centralization  was                                                                    
the most  efficient way to  get things done, but  there were                                                                    
also times  when some  expertise was  needed in  the various                                                                    
departments. For example, there  were certain core commodity                                                                    
IT  services that  were  the same  for  all departments  and                                                                    
should be  centralized; however, there were  instances where                                                                    
services  were unique  to an  individual  department and  it                                                                    
made more  sense keep the  expertise within  the department.                                                                    
He  agreed  that  there was  an  opportunity  to  centralize                                                                    
procurement or other to increase  cost savings, but in a way                                                                    
that  minimized  the  disruption on  other  departments.  He                                                                    
noted  that  some  minor functions  may  remain  within  the                                                                    
2:05:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  noted that DOA touched  every agency within                                                                    
the state. He remarked that  $50 million of the department's                                                                    
$88  million  budget went  to  OPA;  the remainder  went  to                                                                    
administering  state  services, contract  negotiations,  and                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  observed that  each agency  had its                                                                    
own  administrative or  support services  division with  its                                                                    
own procurement  and IT employees.  He believed there  was a                                                                    
significant amount of duplication in the departments.                                                                           
Co-Chair  Neuman   asserted  that   there  was  no   way  to                                                                    
consolidate   the   director  of   administrative   services                                                                    
positions,  given that  they  were  specialized within  each                                                                    
Commissioner   Fisher  believed   Representative  Kawasaki's                                                                    
question was  right. He  believed there needed  to be  a bit                                                                    
more centralization  IT. For example, DOA  currently managed                                                                    
all  of  the  core   telecommunications  contracts  and  had                                                                    
secured fairly  favorable rates for large  wide-area network                                                                    
contracts. He  noted that costs  would be  dramatically more                                                                    
expensive  if  each  division  tried   to  procure  its  own                                                                    
contract;   tremendous    efficiencies   were    gained   by                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  stated that  even within  DOA there                                                                    
was  a  Divisions  of Administrative  Services  and  General                                                                    
Services   that   had   their  own   procurement   officers.                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher agreed.  He stated  that DOA  needed to                                                                    
set  the  example  and demonstrate  savings  that  could  be                                                                    
2:08:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  stated that everyone would  like to find                                                                    
big  savings  by  consolidation   somehow.  He  wondered  if                                                                    
savings  had  resulted   from  consolidating  the  personnel                                                                    
function within  the Division of  Personnel in the  past ten                                                                    
years. He asked  for examples of unique  services that could                                                                    
not  be  consolidated  or centralized.  Commissioner  Fisher                                                                    
replied that  any service could be  centralized, but whether                                                                    
it should  be was a  different question. For  example, there                                                                    
may  be a  particular system  that  was unique  to a  single                                                                    
department. He detailed  that IRIS was housed  under DOA and                                                                    
he  did  not  believe   the  individuals  administering  the                                                                    
program  should be  centralized due  to the  specific skills                                                                    
required. On the other hand,  there were a host of commodity                                                                    
services  that  were  the  same  for  every  department;  he                                                                    
believed  these services  should  be  centralized and  would                                                                    
result  in  great  savings.  He  believed  that  commodities                                                                    
should  be centralized,  but unique  skills would  typically                                                                    
benefit from  decentralization. He would follow  up on Vice-                                                                    
Chair Saddler's question pertaining to personnel.                                                                               
Vice-Chair  Saddler remarked  that if  the department  could                                                                    
verify  that   savings  had  resulted  from   the  personnel                                                                    
consolidation  he would  be all  for moving  ahead with  the                                                                    
consolidation of  other functions. He referred  to the chart                                                                    
related to customer service on  slide 9. He wondered how the                                                                    
data had  been complied,  what the  response rate  had been,                                                                    
and whether any surprises had resulted.                                                                                         
Commissioner Fisher deferred the question to his colleague.                                                                     
Ms.  Lowenstein  replied  that  DOA  annually  surveyed  the                                                                    
administrative  services director  in  each department;  DOA                                                                    
did not generally receive a  100 percent response, but seven                                                                    
to ten directors replied.                                                                                                       
Vice-Chair  Saddler asked  if the  department was  gratified                                                                    
with  the results  and  if there  were  ever surprises.  Ms.                                                                    
Lowenstein responded that the  department had found that the                                                                    
numbers  were sometimes  driven by  the activities  that DOA                                                                    
was  doing.  As an  example,  she  pointed to  space  saving                                                                    
standards  DOA  had  implemented. Another  example  was  the                                                                    
partial-decentralization of personnel.                                                                                          
Commissioner Fisher  added that the figures  were very high;                                                                    
any business  would be  pleased. He  was more  interested in                                                                    
the  relative  numbers  than in  the  absolute  numbers.  He                                                                    
believed  that   the  relative  number  showed   places  the                                                                    
department did not do as well as others.                                                                                        
2:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  referred to  cost growth in  the PDA.                                                                    
She was interested  in recent historical data  and where the                                                                    
growth was  occurring in the  division (e.g. child  in need,                                                                    
felony cases, or other). She  wondered if there was a reason                                                                    
the department could not charge  on a sliding scale or based                                                                    
on the number of repeat offences a person had.                                                                                  
Commissioner  Fisher  would  follow  up  with  relative  and                                                                    
absolute numbers. He relayed that  the felony trial rate had                                                                    
increased  60 percent,  appeals  between 2010  and 2014  had                                                                    
increased  by   82  percent,  and  sentencing   appeals  had                                                                    
increased  by  100 percent  during  the  same timeframe.  He                                                                    
detailed  that   the  public   defender  was   for  indigent                                                                    
individuals;  the  state  had a  constitutional  mandate  to                                                                    
provide  representation services  for people  who could  not                                                                    
afford  to represent  themselves.  He had  not attempted  to                                                                    
determine  whether there  was some  charge  the state  could                                                                    
Representative  Wilson countered  that  she understood,  but                                                                    
she  believed   it  said  something  that   the  individuals                                                                    
repeatedly  got into  trouble. She  referred to  a scale  of                                                                    
people  with  some  money  versus   no  money  who  received                                                                    
services.  She stated  that it  may not  mean a  lot on  the                                                                    
scale  of money  the state  needed, but  she thought  it may                                                                    
send  a  message. She  remarked  that  the state  offered  a                                                                    
public  defender   to  fathers  seeking  custody   of  their                                                                    
children, while  adoptive parents  paid $10,000  to $15,000.                                                                    
She  also  requested  figures   related  to  the  increasing                                                                    
guardian  ad litem  costs. She  wondered  what would  happen                                                                    
when the department was not  able follow its mandate because                                                                    
of the  high workload.  She asked  how the  department would                                                                    
look at the issue in the future.                                                                                                
Commissioner Fisher  answered that  currently there  were 88                                                                    
wards per  guardian ad litem, whereas  the recommended level                                                                    
was  40. He  believed  guardians attempted  to make  contact                                                                    
with their  wards on a  monthly basis,  but did not  have as                                                                    
much time as they needed.                                                                                                       
Representative Wilson discussed the  entities that went into                                                                    
the cost  of a child  when they are a  ward of a  court. She                                                                    
believed there was no way the  state could ask a guardian ad                                                                    
litem to  see a child once  a month when their  caseload was                                                                    
so high. She stated that if  the guardian ad litem could not                                                                    
make it  once a month  the state  needed to determine  a new                                                                    
timeframe until the caseload number was reduced.                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  turned  to  slide 6  related  to  family                                                                    
support. He asked what percentage  of the data accounted for                                                                    
youth  and senior  protective services.  Commissioner Fisher                                                                    
would follow up with the data.                                                                                                  
2:17:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg remarked  on Commissioner Fisher's                                                                    
testimony that  DOA was the  coordinating agency for  IT and                                                                    
telecommunications  for the  state.  He  discussed that  the                                                                    
Department of  Commerce, Community and  Economic Development                                                                    
had done  a broadband  taskforce that  had been  completed a                                                                    
couple of  years earlier  and had shown  that the  state was                                                                    
far behind the  curve. He remarked that  the state's ability                                                                    
to  deliver  telecommunications  and  broadband  across  the                                                                    
state  was one  of his  personal issues.  He noted  that all                                                                    
departments complained about a  lack in broadband access. He                                                                    
referred  to   testimony  from  the  Office   of  Children's                                                                    
Services that  it took  20 minutes  to fill  out a  page and                                                                    
another 20 minutes  to change pages due to  slow service. He                                                                    
remarked  that   broadband  was  under  DOA's   purview.  He                                                                    
furthered that  school districts  had a problem  with E-rate                                                                    
and village councils  located next to schools  had a problem                                                                    
not having E-rate. He wondered  if the department could keep                                                                    
expanding the  service across the entire  state. He stressed                                                                    
that  Alaska clearly  lagged behind.  He elaborated  that he                                                                    
barely  got  1  megabit,  whereas  the  broadband  taskforce                                                                    
recommended a  speed of 100  megabits. He observed  that the                                                                    
price  was expensive,  but the  price of  not being  able to                                                                    
function  in rural  areas was  dragging the  state down.  He                                                                    
wondered about the  commissioner's perspective on increasing                                                                    
bandwidth for the state and  allowing other entities to take                                                                    
advantage of what the state was doing.                                                                                          
Commissioner Fisher replied that  he had an appreciation for                                                                    
the  challenges related  to  broadband  access. He  detailed                                                                    
that in  the past he  had worked for  various communications                                                                    
companies.  He stated  that there  was a  difference in  the                                                                    
challenges  in  rural  versus  urban   areas;  the  cost  of                                                                    
providing  broadband services  to every  Alaskan, especially                                                                    
at 100  megabits, would be  quite astronomical.  He believed                                                                    
there  were  some  things  that could  be  done  to  improve                                                                    
access, but  the question was  about how much the  state was                                                                    
willing to  invest. He asserted  that the  current economics                                                                    
did not  support industry making  large investments  to take                                                                    
broadband to  more rural communities.  He believed  it would                                                                    
require  working together  to  decide what  the state  could                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg referred  to other  possibilities                                                                    
including fiber  optics. He pointed  to the  state's current                                                                    
budget  crisis  and remarked  that  when  five OCS  officers                                                                    
dropped down to  four and it took them 20  minutes to change                                                                    
pages online,  the state was  hampering itself by  not doing                                                                    
what  it  needed  to  do.   He  believed  it  was  a  simple                                                                    
efficiency the state could create  that would enable workers                                                                    
to be more  efficient. He reasoned that it would  take $1 to                                                                    
save $10.                                                                                                                       
2:22:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher  took note  of the example.  He believed                                                                    
it may  be possible  to provide  a more  efficient interface                                                                    
for  OCS  employees that  would  enable  the information  to                                                                    
transmit without the background  and template. He would work                                                                    
to  determine  whether  at  an   application  layer  a  more                                                                    
efficient service could be provided.                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Neuman  stated  that   the  bottom  line  was  the                                                                    
implementation  of  the   recommendation  in  the  broadband                                                                    
report  would be  $2.2 billion.  He did  not know  where the                                                                    
funds  would  come  from  given  the  state's  $3.5  billion                                                                    
deficit. He did not believe  finding the funds would come to                                                                    
fruition  given  the  needs   for  other  services  such  as                                                                    
education and public safety.                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara   spoke  to  the  problem   related  to                                                                    
guardians ad litem and a  concern about keeping unemployment                                                                    
down. He  discussed trying to  make the choices  that caused                                                                    
the  least  harmful impact  as  possible.  He asked  if  the                                                                    
department had considered trying  to save jobs by increasing                                                                    
the health insurance employee charge  for higher income non-                                                                    
union employees or  taking a look at the  policy of charging                                                                    
the same price  for a single family versus  a larger family.                                                                    
He believed that regardless of  the number of family members                                                                    
a state employee paid the  same amount for health insurance.                                                                    
He wondered  if the department  had thought about  the issue                                                                    
as a way to save jobs.                                                                                                          
Commissioner   Fisher  replied   in  the   affirmative,  but                                                                    
believed  the   department  needed  to  examine   the  issue                                                                    
further.   The   department   recognized   that   healthcare                                                                    
represented a  huge cost to  the state and was  committed to                                                                    
continuing  recent  work  to  reduce  the  costs.  He  would                                                                    
consider  some  of  the issues  outlined  by  Representative                                                                    
Representative Wilson  wondered how much the  state saved by                                                                    
contracting   with  an   out-of-state   vendor  for   driver                                                                    
licenses. She was unhappy with  the change and reasoned that                                                                    
the   service  could   be  provided   by   the  local   DMV.                                                                    
Commissioner Fisher would follow up on the question.                                                                            
Co-Chair Thompson  remarked that the state  had been working                                                                    
to  privatize a  significant  number  of services;  however,                                                                    
taking  the  items  out-of-state  was not  always  the  most                                                                    
beneficial. He  reasoned that the state's  university system                                                                    
could provide some of the  services. He wondered why some of                                                                    
the items  were not done in  state. He spoke to  a cigarette                                                                    
stamp on the back of packets  to indicate that state tax was                                                                    
collected,  but the  work was  contracted with  a vendor  in                                                                    
Seattle  for  $300,000  per  year.  He  questioned  why  the                                                                    
wholesaler was  not including the  cost of the stamp  in the                                                                    
price  of  cigarettes.  He  summarized   that  much  of  the                                                                    
significant privatization  that took  money and jobs  out of                                                                    
Alaska was unnecessary.                                                                                                         
2:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Fisher  replied   that  Governor  Bill  Walker                                                                    
believed the state should spend  as much money inside Alaska                                                                    
as possible.                                                                                                                    
Representative Munoz asked whether  one spouse could opt out                                                                    
of health  insurance coverage  if a  couple both  worked for                                                                    
the state.  She wondered if  there was any incentive  in the                                                                    
system   to  recognize   the  option.   Commissioner  Fisher                                                                    
answered  that "we  are self-insured  in our  medical plan";                                                                    
therefore, even  if an  employee opted  out of  coverage, he                                                                    
did  not believe  the cost  to  the state  would change.  He                                                                    
would look further into the question.                                                                                           
2:28:56 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:31:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman specified  that the  budget that  was being                                                                    
reviewed  was  not  a work-in-progress  and  was  closer  to                                                                    
official numbers.                                                                                                               
^FY 16 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                           
2:33:29 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  FOLGER,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY                                                                    
(DPS), introduced department staff.  He relayed that DPS was                                                                    
one of the older departments  in the state. He remarked that                                                                    
the troopers were  on the front page of  the newspaper close                                                                    
to  daily.  He asked  the  committee  to remember  that  the                                                                    
department   provided   an   important  core   function   of                                                                    
TERRY  VRABEC,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC                                                                    
SAFETY,   provided   a    PowerPoint   presentation   titled                                                                    
"Department  of  Public  Safety Department  Overview"  dated                                                                    
February 3,  2015 (copy on  file). The  department's mission                                                                    
was to  ensure public safety  and enforce fish  and wildlife                                                                    
laws throughout the state. He  listed core services on slide                                                                    
   · Law enforcement patrol and investigations                                                                                  
   · Rural law enforcement services                                                                                             
   · Domestic violence and sexual assault programs                                                                              
   · Statewide public safety programs                                                                                           
   · Resource protection                                                                                                        
   · Highway safety                                                                                                             
Mr. Vrabec  addressed the department's  organizational chart                                                                    
on slide  3. He  relayed that  he served  under Commissioner                                                                    
Folger. The  department was divided into  five division that                                                                    
he and  the commissioner  oversaw. Additionally,  DPS housed                                                                    
three councils including the  Alaska Fire Standards Council,                                                                    
the  Alaska Police  Standards Council,  and  the Council  on                                                                    
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault  (CDVSA). He noted that                                                                    
the  department also  included  the Crime  Lab  and the  DPS                                                                    
Training Academy.  The department  was currently made  up of                                                                    
885 permanent employees. He  highlighted statewide impact on                                                                    
slide  4;  DPS was  the  primary  statewide law  enforcement                                                                    
agency.  He elaborated  that DPS  assisted many  other state                                                                    
and federal  agencies on a regular  basis with investigative                                                                    
assistance, search  and rescue, training, the  Alaska Public                                                                    
Safety Information Network (APSIN), and the crime lab.                                                                          
Mr.  Vrabec spoke  to four  performance indicator  graphs on                                                                    
slide  5. He  addressed the  top left  chart related  to the                                                                    
percentage of homicides solved by  Alaska State Troopers. He                                                                    
detailed that in  FY 14 there had been 18  homicides; 16 (88                                                                    
percent)  of  the  cases had  been  solved.  He  highlighted                                                                    
property crimes  that had been investigated  and closed with                                                                    
the identification  of a suspect  or offender.  He specified                                                                    
that  in 2014  there  had been  3,855  incidents; 1,358  (35                                                                    
percent) of  the suspects or offenders  had been identified.                                                                    
He discussed domestic violence  and sexual assault programs,                                                                    
specifically related  to shelter  nights provided  by victim                                                                    
service  providers (chart  on the  lower left).  He remarked                                                                    
that the number may seem high,  but he asked members to keep                                                                    
in mind  that each person in  a family staying in  a shelter                                                                    
would count  as a shelter  night; in  FY 14 there  were over                                                                    
98,000 shelter  nights. He  looked at  the chart  related to                                                                    
unintentional  fire fatalities  on  the lower  right of  the                                                                    
slide. He  stated fire fatalities  had been reduced  from 23                                                                    
to 12 since 2013, which represented a 47 percent reduction.                                                                     
2:37:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Vrabec  moved  to  slide  6  and  spoke  to  additional                                                                    
performance indicators. He relayed that  there had been a 28                                                                    
percent improvement in crime  lab service requests completed                                                                    
in less than  30 days. He addressed  resource protection and                                                                    
relayed that  in FY 14  there had been over  75,000 contacts                                                                    
by  wildlife troopers  resulting in  over 3,800  violations,                                                                    
which represented a  5 percent decline. He  spoke to boating                                                                    
accident fatalities;  the figure had  dropped by 12  down to                                                                    
10 deaths in 2013. He  reported that half of the individuals                                                                    
had  not been  wearing  life jackets.  He communicated  that                                                                    
there  had been  5 motor  vehicle accidents  with fatalities                                                                    
involving  impaired  drivers  in  2013; there  had  been  11                                                                    
deaths in 2012, and 8 in 2011.                                                                                                  
Commissioner Folger  discussed that the three  primary calls                                                                    
the  agency received  statewide  were  public assist,  ready                                                                    
reports (reports of dangerous  drivers), and alarm calls. He                                                                    
relayed  that  the  following portion  of  the  presentation                                                                    
would be related to FY 16.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Neuman  wondered how  many alarms  were set  off by                                                                    
burglaries versus false  alarms. Commissioner Folger replied                                                                    
that very few were burglaries.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Thompson asked  if there was a fee  to residents if                                                                    
the  department  had  to   continually  respond  to  alarms.                                                                    
Commissioner Folger replied in the negative.                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson remarked  that  most communities  charged                                                                    
for the service.                                                                                                                
KELLY   HOWELL,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY,  relayed that  she                                                                    
would  address some  of the  department's  proposals in  the                                                                    
governor's FY  16 amended budget. She  prefaced her comments                                                                    
by noting  that although  the governor's amended  budget had                                                                    
not  officially   been  transmitted,  the  numbers   in  the                                                                    
presentation reflected what DPS had proposed.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  if the  figures  were based  on a  5                                                                    
percent reduction to the department's budget.                                                                                   
Ms. Howell replied that slide 7  showed a snapshot of the FY                                                                    
15  management plan,  FY 16  governor's amended  budget, and                                                                    
the difference;  the difference was a  2.7 percent reduction                                                                    
from the FY 15 management plan;  however, it was roughly a 5                                                                    
percent  reduction  from  the work-in-progress  budget.  The                                                                    
slide depicted a $5.6 million  reduction in the department's                                                                    
overall budget  ($4 million of  the amount  was unrestricted                                                                    
general  funds).  The  budget  included a  reduction  of  24                                                                    
permanent,   full-time   positions   and   9   non-permanent                                                                    
positions. She  elaborated that many  of the  positions were                                                                    
eliminated  vacancies  or  transfers into  other  vacancies,                                                                    
with an effort to minimize the loss of jobs.                                                                                    
Ms. Howell  addressed a pie  chart on slide 8  depicting the                                                                    
department's operating  budget by fund source.  She detailed                                                                    
that 83 percent of  the department's budget was unrestricted                                                                    
general funds. Slide  9 showed the budget by  line item; the                                                                    
majority  of  the  budget  went  to  personal  services  (56                                                                    
percent).  Slide  10 showed  the  budget  by component.  She                                                                    
relayed  that  the  Alaska State  Troopers  and  the  Alaska                                                                    
Wildlife Troopers  were separate  divisions, but  fell under                                                                    
the  same  budget  component. The  two  divisions  had  been                                                                    
separated  in  the  chart for  comparison  purposes;  Alaska                                                                    
State Troopers  accounted for 50  percent of the  budget and                                                                    
Alaska  Wildlife  Troopers.  The  statewide  support  budget                                                                    
component included the  Division of Administrative Services,                                                                    
Division  of  Statewide Services,  the  Crime  Lab, the  DPS                                                                    
Training Academy, and the Office of the Commissioner.                                                                           
2:43:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Howell  stated that  despite  the  reductions, the  DPS                                                                    
priority  was   on  its  core  fundamental   services.  Core                                                                    
services  included police  services  such  as responding  to                                                                    
calls for  service, enforcement  of laws,  patrol functions,                                                                    
and resource  protection. She noted that  the enforcement of                                                                    
laws included enforcement of fish  and wildlife laws through                                                                    
the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.  She addressed additional core                                                                    
services such  as forensic science services;  legal drug and                                                                    
alcohol  interdictions  across  the state;  providing  major                                                                    
crime   investigations   and   assistance   to   other   law                                                                    
enforcement  agencies; investigations  into fires  resulting                                                                    
in death,  serious injury, or substantial  loss of property;                                                                    
and services  to individuals  impacted by  domestic violence                                                                    
and sexual assault.                                                                                                             
Ms.  Howell  addressed  slide   11  related  to  significant                                                                    
operating  changes  for  FY  16.  The  first  three  bullets                                                                    
included  increment  requests  in  the  department's  FY  16                                                                    
operating  budget. She  briefly highlighted  a restructuring                                                                    
of the  department's Aircraft Section, which  she planned to                                                                    
discuss  later on.  The governor's  office was  transferring                                                                    
$1.5 million  for CDVSA  programs to  DPS. The  third bullet                                                                    
pertained  to  funds  for shelter  services  for  women  and                                                                    
children. She  elaborated that the bullets  related to CDVSA                                                                    
included   increments  that   the   council  was   currently                                                                    
receiving  through other  agencies;  the increment  requests                                                                    
would move the  funding into the DPS  budget. She referenced                                                                    
positions  marked for  deletion  and relayed  that many  had                                                                    
been  identified  as  positions  that could  be  moved  into                                                                    
vacant trooper patrol positions.                                                                                                
2:46:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Howell  continued   to  discuss  significant  operating                                                                    
changes on  slide 12. The  first bullet related  to personal                                                                    
services savings  through efficient management  of employees                                                                    
pertained  to overtime  and premium  pay (e.g.  standby pay)                                                                    
that   DPS    employees   received.   The    decrement   was                                                                    
representative  of  the  department's effort  to  reign  the                                                                    
costs in to the extent  possible, while continuing to ensure                                                                    
protection to the  public. She spoke to  a proposed deletion                                                                    
of  funding for  the K-9  Program; the  department currently                                                                    
used  highly trained  canines  for  drug interdictions,  but                                                                    
would  discontinue  the  service.  The  slide  included  the                                                                    
proposed transfer of the patrol  vessel Stimpson [from Dutch                                                                    
Harbor  to  Kodiak]. She  briefly  highlighted  a couple  of                                                                    
decrements  to  the  Village Public  Safety  Officer  (VPSO)                                                                    
Ms. Howell  spoke to the  capital budget  increment requests                                                                    
on slide  13. The department  was requesting a  $1.2 million                                                                    
federal  receipt  increment   for  marine  fisheries  patrol                                                                    
improvements; the  increment had  been provided  annually in                                                                    
the capital budget.                                                                                                             
Commissioner Folger elaborated that  the department used the                                                                    
federal receipts  to hire techs to  conduct tank inspections                                                                    
for crab boats and other.  He relayed that at statehood some                                                                    
of  the  fisheries  had  been   controlled  by  the  federal                                                                    
government  and  others had  been  controlled  by the  state                                                                    
(much  of which  was  called a  migratory  fish). The  state                                                                    
still patrolled  for crab and  salmon; the money  helped the                                                                    
federal  government identify  how  many  halibut were  being                                                                    
caught and other.                                                                                                               
Ms.  Howell  continued  with slide  13.  The  second  bullet                                                                    
referred to $850,000 in pass  through funding the department                                                                    
was requesting  for the Alaska Domestic  Violence and Sexual                                                                    
Assault  Intervention Program,  which  was  run through  the                                                                    
Municipality  of   Anchorage  and   was  designed   to  hold                                                                    
offenders  accountable.  The  third  bullet  was  also  pass                                                                    
through funding  totaling $2  million for  Rental Assistance                                                                    
for Victims  through the Empowering Choice  Housing Program.                                                                    
The program  was administered by the  Alaska Housing Finance                                                                    
Corporation  (AHFC)   and  provided  housing   vouchers  for                                                                    
families impacted by domestic violence.                                                                                         
Mr. Vrabec  moved to  slide 14 related  to the  Alaska State                                                                    
Troopers.  The  division  had  five  geographic  detachments                                                                    
statewide,  with a  headquarters in  Anchorage. Some  of the                                                                    
major   components    included   the   Alaska    Bureau   of                                                                    
Investigation,  which  looked   at  major  crimes  including                                                                    
homicides and sexual assaults; the  unit also assisted other                                                                    
departments. He  highlighted the statewide Drug  and Alcohol                                                                    
Enforcement   Unit,   which  investigated   various   crimes                                                                    
including  bootlegging  and  illegal drug  distribution.  He                                                                    
spoke to Judicial Services,  which included the department's                                                                    
court service  officers who provided work  at the courthouse                                                                    
and other duties such as the transportation of prisoners.                                                                       
2:50:37 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Howell turned  to slide 15 showing the  FY 15 management                                                                    
plan compared  to the FY  16 governor's amended  budget. She                                                                    
pointed  out that  the Alaska  State Troopers  would take  a                                                                    
$5.2  million reduction,  which equated  to the  loss of  20                                                                    
permanent  full-time  positions.   She  elaborated  that  19                                                                    
troopers  in  specialized  positions  would  be  shifted  to                                                                    
vacant  trooper patrol  positions. She  emphasized that  the                                                                    
change would  not result in  layoffs; the  specialized units                                                                    
would  be  transferred  into   vacant  patrol  positions  to                                                                    
bolster  the   department's  core  law   enforcement  patrol                                                                    
service. There  was a reduction to  non-permanent positions;                                                                    
of the  6 positions  proposed for  deletion, 2  were vacant,                                                                    
and  4 were  the department's  cold case  investigators. She                                                                    
expounded  that the  positions were  long-term non-permanent                                                                    
positions that  currently investigated cold  case homicides;                                                                    
the  workload  would  be   shifted  to  permanent  full-time                                                                    
investigators under the Alaska Bureau of Investigation.                                                                         
Mr. Vrabec  moved to  the VPSO  program on  slide 16.  As of                                                                    
December 31, 2014  there were 87 grant  funded positions. He                                                                    
relayed that  the number fluctuated; there  were currently 6                                                                    
coordinators,  4  VPSO  coordinators,  and 77  VPSOs  in  71                                                                    
Ms. Howell highlighted that the  $14,332,000 was part of the                                                                    
overall budget  of the VPSO program  totaling $17,653,000 in                                                                    
FY  16.  The  changes  proposed to  the  VPSO  program  were                                                                    
focused  on restructuring.  She  stated that  it may  appear                                                                    
that there  was a  reduction in  overall positions,  but the                                                                    
department had taken recommendations  from the House Finance                                                                    
Committee to  reevaluate and reexamine the  program. Despite                                                                    
significant  funding  appropriated  by the  legislature  and                                                                    
efforts  of  the  department   and  the  nonprofit  grantees                                                                    
responsible  for hiring  VPSOs,  the department  had yet  to                                                                    
achieve the level of positions  it had received funding for.                                                                    
She  spoke   to  a  reduction   of  5   permanent  full-time                                                                    
positions;  currently   there  were  6   commission  trooper                                                                    
positions who  acted as VPSO support  troopers. The troopers                                                                    
would  shift  over  to a  general  trooper  position  versus                                                                    
focusing  specifically  on  VPSO oversight.  She  elaborated                                                                    
that the  individual positions  were providing  oversight to                                                                    
the VPSOs  working in the  regions they serve;  those duties                                                                    
would shift to  the troopers already based in  the area. She                                                                    
emphasized that the  desire was not to  minimize the support                                                                    
provided   to  the   VPSO  program,   but   to  spread   the                                                                    
responsibility to all troopers in the given region.                                                                             
2:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Howell  spoke to  the  FY  16 work-in-progress  budget,                                                                    
which  had included  an increment  request  to increase  the                                                                    
overall  indirect rate  that VPSO  grantees were  allowed to                                                                    
charge. The  department would  work with  its not-for-profit                                                                    
grantees  to  compromise  on  the  indirect  rate  with  the                                                                    
existing funding  the department  had for the  VPSO program.                                                                    
The  department  believed  it could  come  to  a  compromise                                                                    
without  needing  to  request additional  funding  from  the                                                                    
legislature. She highlighted a  reduction of $1.6 million in                                                                    
the  grants line,  which represented  the difference  in the                                                                    
positions DPS  had received funding for  versus positions it                                                                    
had filled and  retained. There were currently  77 VPSOs and                                                                    
4 VPSO  positions who  provided coordinator  duties; funding                                                                    
had  been   provided  for  121  positions.   The  department                                                                    
proposed  to reduce  the overall  grants line  and would  be                                                                    
more  than  happy  to  request  additional  funds  when  the                                                                    
program reached the targeted numbers.                                                                                           
Commissioner Folger  addressed the Alaska  Wildlife Troopers                                                                    
on  slide   18.  He  detailed  that   the  detachments  were                                                                    
structured  similarly   to  the  troopers.  There   were  97                                                                    
wildlife  troopers  and  148  total  in  the  division.  The                                                                    
Wildlife Investigations  Unit fell  within the  division and                                                                    
focused on the more  serious wildlife crimes. He highlighted                                                                    
the  Marine  Section,  which  encompassed  approximately  40                                                                    
vessels  (20-feet  and   greater)  statewide.  The  Aircraft                                                                    
Section housed  44 aircrafts, which  ranged from  Super Cubs                                                                    
to  twin-engine  aircrafts.  He   noted  that  the  Aircraft                                                                    
Section  was one  of the  increment  request areas  stemming                                                                    
from  the   Helo-1  helicopter  crash  [in   2013]  National                                                                    
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations.                                                                             
Ms. Howell  spoke to a  budget comparison chart on  slide 19                                                                    
related to  the Alaska  Wildlife Troopers. The  chart showed                                                                    
an overall increase  in the wildlife trooper  budget of $1.3                                                                    
million,  which  was directly  related  to  the request  for                                                                    
funding  to restructure  the Aircraft  Section. The  request                                                                    
included 8  new permanent full-time civilian  positions. She                                                                    
noted that  Alaska Wildlife Trooper staff  were available to                                                                    
answer questions  on the  increment request,  NTSB findings,                                                                    
and  the  outcome of  an  external  audit conducted  on  the                                                                    
Aircraft Section.                                                                                                               
Mr. Vrabec  addressed Fire and  Life Safety on slide  20. He                                                                    
noted that the state fire  marshal and division director was                                                                    
available for  questions. The unit  included a  Training and                                                                    
Education Bureau, a Life Safety  Inspections Bureau, a Plans                                                                    
Review  Bureau, and  the Office  of  Rural Fire  Protection.                                                                    
Some of the  deputy fire marshals were  located in different                                                                    
regions  of   the  state  and   were  responsible   for  the                                                                    
investigation of  major crimes  related to  fire, homicides,                                                                    
or  other.  He  noted   that  the  division  assisted  other                                                                    
agencies   and  cities   throughout  the   state  on   major                                                                    
Ms.  Howell spoke  to the  Fire  and Life  Safety budget  on                                                                    
slide 21, which included a  slight reduction of $80,000 from                                                                    
FY 15. The decrease was  related primarily to the reductions                                                                    
in  overtime and  other staff  efficiencies.  There were  no                                                                    
changes to staff for the division.                                                                                              
2:59:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Vrabec addressed  Statewide  Services on  slide 22.  He                                                                    
relayed  that  the division  housed  the  APSIN, the  Alaska                                                                    
Automated Fingerprint ID System,  the Sex Offender and Child                                                                    
Kidnapper  Registration,  concealed   handgun  permits,  and                                                                    
security  guard and  process  server  licensing. He  relayed                                                                    
that  in  FY  14  the  division  had  taken  in  over  3,100                                                                    
individuals that registered with  the unit as sex offenders,                                                                    
over 62,000 finger print cards,  over 7,000 handgun permits,                                                                    
and other.                                                                                                                      
Ms.  Howell   provided  a  budget  snapshot   for  Statewide                                                                    
Services. There was  a loss of one  permanent full-time data                                                                    
processing manager position, which was currently vacant.                                                                        
Mr. Vrabec looked  at the Scientific Crime  Detection Lab on                                                                    
slide  24. The  unit handled  all submissions  from all  law                                                                    
enforcement in the state (the  number had been over 1,000 in                                                                    
the  past   year).  He  elaborated  that   any  city  police                                                                    
department taking in  evidence sent it to  the laboratory in                                                                    
Ms.  Howell  spoke to  the  Scientific  Crime Detection  Lab                                                                    
budget  on slide  25.  She noted  there was  a  loss of  one                                                                    
permanent  full-time  forensic  scientist  position  in  the                                                                    
state  crime  lab.  She elaborated  that  the  position  was                                                                    
vacant and focused on fire debris.                                                                                              
Mr.  Vrabec   spoke  to   the  Division   of  Administrative                                                                    
Services.  The  division   handled  finance,  budget,  human                                                                    
resources,  grants management,  procurement, and  facilities                                                                    
management throughout the state (slide 26).                                                                                     
Ms.   Howell  addressed   the  Division   of  Administrative                                                                    
Services budget  on slide 27.  The department  was proposing                                                                    
the  elimination of  one permanent  full-time position;  the                                                                    
position was a vacant  division operations manager position.                                                                    
Additionally,  DPS   proposed  the  deletion  of   two  non-                                                                    
permanent positions, which were also vacant.                                                                                    
Mr. Vrabec  turned to the  Alaska Fire Standards  Council on                                                                    
slide 28.  He noted  the division  director was  present and                                                                    
available  for questions.  The division  was working  on the                                                                    
establishment  of professional  standards  for fire  service                                                                    
personnel;    the   employees    conducted   training    and                                                                    
certifications throughout  the state; he  believed thousands                                                                    
of certificates had been issued in the past year.                                                                               
Ms. Howell  communicated that there  was a  slight reduction                                                                    
for the Alaska Fire Standards Council (slide 29).                                                                               
Mr.  Vrabec  restated that  there  had  been a  very  slight                                                                    
reduction  in   the  Alaska   Fire  Standards   Council.  He                                                                    
addressed the  Alaska Police Standards Council  on slide 30.                                                                    
The  council  was  responsible  for  certifying  all  police                                                                    
officers  and Department  of Corrections  (DOC) officers  in                                                                    
the state.  There were  approximately 3,000  active officers                                                                    
between  DPS and  DOC. The  council also  handled issues  of                                                                    
misconduct when reported.                                                                                                       
Ms. Howell relayed that the  Alaska Police Standards Council                                                                    
was   funded   entirely    through   interagency   receipts;                                                                    
therefore, no reduction was proposed.                                                                                           
3:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Vrabec addressed the CDVSA  on slide 32. He relayed that                                                                    
the  division   director  was   present  for   any  specific                                                                    
questions.  The council  coordinated  domestic violence  and                                                                    
sexual  assault  programs,  built  awareness,  and  provided                                                                    
shelter and education for those in need.                                                                                        
Ms. Howell relayed that the  department proposed an increase                                                                    
to the CDVSA  budget of $1.4 million  given the department's                                                                    
focus  on   core  services   and  providing   assistance  to                                                                    
individuals  impacted   by  domestic  violence   and  sexual                                                                    
assault.  The  proposed  funding   correlated  to  the  $1.5                                                                    
million transferred  from the governor's  office as  well as                                                                    
$367,000  for shelter  services, which  had been  previously                                                                    
received  through  the  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                                    
Ms.  Howell  spoke  to  a  10-year look  back  on  slide  34                                                                    
provided  by the  Legislative  Finance  Division (LFD).  The                                                                    
slide  showed the  department's overall  share of  the state                                                                    
budget.  Slide 35  included  an LFD  chart  that focused  on                                                                    
general  funds   only,  which  included  the   Alaska  State                                                                    
Troopers   budget  component.   She   elaborated  that   the                                                                    
trooper's  component  also   included  the  Alaska  Wildlife                                                                    
Troopers. Slide 36  was also from LFD and  included all fund                                                                    
sources by budget component.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  asked for an  introduction of staff  in the                                                                    
Commissioner   Folger  introduced   Colonel  Jim   Cockrell,                                                                    
Director, Division  of Alaska State Troopers,  Department of                                                                    
Public  Safety  and  Lieutenant Rodney  Dial,  Alaska  State                                                                    
Troopers, Department of Public Safety.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Thompson  asked if  there had  been an  increase in                                                                    
the budget for VPSO firearm  training. Ms. Howell replied in                                                                    
the negative.                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Thompson  asked where the Cyber  Crime Division was                                                                    
located   within  the   department  structure.   Ms.  Howell                                                                    
answered that the  section was part of the  Alaska Bureau of                                                                    
Representative Gattis spoke  to assistance-ready reports and                                                                    
response  to  alarms.  She  noted   that  residents  in  her                                                                    
district  did not  feel there  was an  adequate response  to                                                                    
burglaries. She believed there should  be follow up provided                                                                    
by  troopers  including  finger   printing  and  other.  She                                                                    
wondered how it fit into the picture.                                                                                           
Commissioner  Folger  replied  that a  specialized  Burglary                                                                    
Suppression Unit that  had been bolstered in  the past year.                                                                    
He elaborated  that the unit  was very successful  (in large                                                                    
part  due  to  social  media)   and  had  a  solve  rate  of                                                                    
approximately 88 percent.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Neuman thought  there were 900 calls  per year from                                                                    
Mat-Su.  He  believed  about  3 to  4  percent  were  actual                                                                    
responses  annually  in Mat-Su.  He  asked  for detail.  Ms.                                                                    
Howell deferred the question to Colonel Cockrell.                                                                               
Representative Gattis  asked about the Aircraft  Section and                                                                    
NTSB.  She was  not  familiar  with the  NTSB  and what  the                                                                    
department  had  done   differently  to  receive  additional                                                                    
3:08:34 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Folger  replied that the NTSB  report had found                                                                    
some shortcomings.  For example, it addressed  at what point                                                                    
a pilot should be sent out.  He believed the old thought was                                                                    
"you can go out, but you  don't have to come back." The NTSB                                                                    
had made  recommendations and the department  had brought in                                                                    
an external auditor to review  the maintenance and safety in                                                                    
the   Aircraft  Section.   The  recommendations   would  put                                                                    
personnel in place with a  focus on safety. He stressed that                                                                    
aviation safety was paramount.                                                                                                  
Representative Gattis wondered about  looking to the private                                                                    
sector   for  certain   things   (i.e.  aircraft   agencies,                                                                    
mechanics, and  other). She believed  it was  a conversation                                                                    
to explore at a deeper level.                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Saddler wondered  how many  state troopers  were                                                                    
trained as  pilots, how  often they flew,  and how  much the                                                                    
department paid to keep pilots current on instruments.                                                                          
Commissioner  Folger did  not have  the specific  numbers on                                                                    
hand. He  believed the number of  Wildlife Trooper personnel                                                                    
who were pilots  was around 40 to 50  percent. He elaborated                                                                    
that helicopters  and King Air planes  used civilian pilots.                                                                    
A  minimum of  200 hours  of flight  time was  needed for  a                                                                    
citizen to get  in the door; if the  department advanced the                                                                    
pilot  further along  it took  steps towards  the instrument                                                                    
flight rules rating.                                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Saddler  was interested to  know how many  of the                                                                    
troopers flew for  the department. He recalled  that when he                                                                    
had taken  instrument training  there were  approximately 24                                                                    
troopers in  training. On a  separate note, he pointed  to a                                                                    
$1.4  million  transferred  to  CDVSA  from  the  governor's                                                                    
office  (slide  33).  He  wondered if  the  funds  were  the                                                                    
transfer of  the Choose Respect  funds to CDVSA.  Ms. Howell                                                                    
replied that  the funding represented  50 percent of  the $3                                                                    
million  originally within  the  governor's  office for  the                                                                    
prior  administration's   initiative  related   to  domestic                                                                    
violence and sexual assault.                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  asked about  the reason for  the change.                                                                    
Ms. Howell  answered that CDVSA  was previously  receiving a                                                                    
majority (if  not all) of  the funding  through reimbursable                                                                    
services  agreements (RSAs)  through the  governor's office.                                                                    
The transfer would put the funding within the CDVSA budget.                                                                     
3:12:17 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler   remarked  on  the   CDVSA  performance                                                                    
measure  associated with  the number  of shelter  nights. He                                                                    
wondered  about other  measures showing  how successful  the                                                                    
council was at employing the funds.                                                                                             
Ms. Howell replied that the  department had many performance                                                                    
indicators showing  the work done  by CDVSA. She  offered to                                                                    
provide  the  information  and  noted  that  Lauree  Morton,                                                                    
Executive Director, Council on  Domestic Violence and Sexual                                                                    
Assault,  was  present.  Vice-Chair  Saddler  requested  the                                                                    
data. Ms. Howell would follow up.                                                                                               
Representative  Wilson asked  for  an update  on the  patrol                                                                    
vessel  Woldstad.  Commissioner   Folger  replied  that  the                                                                    
original request  for proposal  (RFP) had  different motors;                                                                    
there  were   currently  newer   motors  available   and  an                                                                    
engineering report was underway to develop the RFP.                                                                             
Representative Kawasaki pointed to the  pie chart on slide 9                                                                    
and  asked  what the  benefits  were  under the  grants  and                                                                    
benefits portion of  the chart. Ms. Howell  replied that the                                                                    
overall  budget   described  the  category  as   grants  and                                                                    
benefits. She explained that the  category related to grants                                                                    
the department issued out.                                                                                                      
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  what the  benefits  portion                                                                    
referred to. He thought  benefits should fall under personal                                                                    
services. Ms.  Howell replied that  it was not a  benefit in                                                                    
terms  of  health  insurance.  She   would  follow  up  with                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki looked  a description of significant                                                                    
operating changes  on slide 11.  He pointed to  the proposed                                                                    
deletion of  four long-term  non-permanent troopers  as well                                                                    
as 10 other trooper positions.  He wondered if the deletions                                                                    
were reflected in the Alaska  State Troopers budget on slide                                                                    
Ms. Howell  replied that  the 5  VPSO support  troopers were                                                                    
included  in the  VPSO budget  component. She  pointed to  a                                                                    
reduction of 20 Alaska State  Trooper positions on slide 15.                                                                    
She  detailed  that  16  of the  positions  were  Bureau  of                                                                    
Highway  Patrol  troopers,  3  were  domestic  violence  and                                                                    
sexual  assault follow  up troopers,  and  1 vacant  captain                                                                    
position.  She noted  that the  vacant captain  position was                                                                    
not listed on the slide showing significant changes.                                                                            
3:15:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Edgmon   spoke  to   the  transfer   of  the                                                                    
governor's  office  of  $1.5 million.  He  wondered  if  the                                                                    
figure was part of the  governor's 11 percent reduction. Co-                                                                    
Chair Neuman believed so.                                                                                                       
Representative Edgmon wondered what  the actual reduction to                                                                    
the  governor's budget  would be  without  factoring in  the                                                                    
$1.5  million  increment.  Co-Chair Neuman  noted  that  the                                                                    
governor's budget  had not yet  been received.  He suspected                                                                    
the $1.5 million would be included in the reduction.                                                                            
Co-Chair Thompson  asked if the department  had been looking                                                                    
at any  revenue generating possibilities. He  noted that the                                                                    
City of  Fairbanks was only  35 square miles.  He elaborated                                                                    
that  individuals forfeited  their  vehicle to  the city  on                                                                    
their  second  or  third  DUI offence;  the  city  held  two                                                                    
auctions per year and brought  in approximately $200,000. He                                                                    
reasoned that  the troopers had  more DUIs than the  City of                                                                    
Commissioner   Folger  replied   that  the   department  had                                                                    
discussed  small  fees  related  to  background  checks  and                                                                    
other;  it  had not  discussed  potential  revenue from  DUI                                                                    
forfeiture vehicles.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair Neuman asked  that what happened to  guns and other                                                                    
items that were confiscated  by the department. Commissioner                                                                    
Folger replied  that currently seized firearms  were held in                                                                    
inventory  and   catalogued.  He  believed   the  department                                                                    
currently   had  about   1,800  confiscated   firearms.  The                                                                    
department hoped to process the  firearms for public sale or                                                                    
a trade.                                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Neuman   asked  for   clarification.  Commissioner                                                                    
Folger elucidated  that the  trade would  be with  a firearm                                                                    
3:17:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler pointed  to  a $2  million increment  on                                                                    
slide 13 related  to rental assistance to  victims. He asked                                                                    
about the  ultimate source  of the  funding and  wondered if                                                                    
the  voucher  program  was authorized  by  law.  Ms.  Howell                                                                    
answered  that the  designated  general  funding source  was                                                                    
from  Permanent  Fund  Dividend felon  funds.  She  did  not                                                                    
believe the  program was  in statute,  but she  would follow                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler looked at the  number of boating accident                                                                    
fatalities  on  slide 6.  He  wondered  why the  number  had                                                                    
significantly  decreased  in  the  past  year.  Commissioner                                                                    
Folger  replied   that  in  the   course  of   business  the                                                                    
department  checked fishing  licenses, DUI  boating patrols,                                                                    
and other; therefore, it had  begun doing safety inspections                                                                    
as well.  He elaborated that  the state had taken  over many                                                                    
of the U.S. Coast  Guard functions (e.g. ensuring passengers                                                                    
had lifejackets).  He reasoned that  it only took  one large                                                                    
boating  accident  to  skew the  numbers.  He  believed  the                                                                    
department  had  made a  difference  in  the field.  He  had                                                                    
instructed  troopers  to  have  no mercy  when  it  came  to                                                                    
writing tickets related to safety.                                                                                              
Vice-Chair Saddler commented on  the award winning Office of                                                                    
Boating   Safety  program   under   Department  of   Natural                                                                    
3:20:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Guttenberg  looked   at  the   department's                                                                    
capital  budget  request on  slide  13.  He referred  to  an                                                                    
$850,000 increment for domestic  violence and sexual assault                                                                    
intervention programs. He wondered  if the increment was the                                                                    
same thing  as APSIN.  Ms. Howell  replied in  the negative.                                                                    
She  elaborated  that  the   capital  budget  increment  was                                                                    
specifically related to allow  the Municipality of Anchorage                                                                    
to continue  a program  holding domestic  violence offenders                                                                    
accountable  with swift  sanctions. Whereas,  APSIN was  the                                                                    
criminal  history repository  for the  state that  contained                                                                    
criminal history  records and information  about individuals                                                                    
with warrants and other.                                                                                                        
Representative  Guttenberg wondered  if the  old system  was                                                                    
being  replaced. Ms.  Howell replied  in  the negative.  She                                                                    
detailed that  the service was provided  by the Municipality                                                                    
of Anchorage  with bridge funding  from various  entities to                                                                    
maintain services.  The department  had provided  some grant                                                                    
funding  to the  municipality to  continue the  program. The                                                                    
increment would provide  funding in the DPS  budget to allow                                                                    
the program  to continue. She  clarified that it was  not an                                                                    
information system.                                                                                                             
Representative  Guttenberg wondered  if APSIN  was new.  Ms.                                                                    
Howell  replied  in  the negative.  She  detailed  that  the                                                                    
system had been in place for many years.                                                                                        
3:22:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   if  the  department  was                                                                    
upgrading the  APSIN system. Ms.  Howell replied  that there                                                                    
was no increment request for APSIN.                                                                                             
Co-Chair  Thompson   pointed  to  an   $875,000  information                                                                    
network  increment for  DPS in  the governor's  supplemental                                                                    
budget. He wondered if the increment pertained to APSIN.                                                                        
Ms.  Howell   replied  that  the  $875,000   was  a  capital                                                                    
appropriation the department had  received a couple of years                                                                    
earlier. She explained that the  funds were for transitional                                                                    
contractor  support specific  to APSIN.  The department  had                                                                    
requested   the  ability   to  use   the  funds   for  other                                                                    
information systems  within DPS.  She pointed to  the Alaska                                                                    
Records  Management  System  and the  Traffic  and  Criminal                                                                    
software  program  as  examples. The  department  relied  on                                                                    
contractors to  assist with  the programs;  the supplemental                                                                    
request  would  enable  DPS  to use  the  funds  to  support                                                                    
contractors working on other  information systems within the                                                                    
department in addition to APSIN.                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson   surmised  that  the  increment   was  a                                                                    
reappropriation. Ms. Howell replied in the affirmative.                                                                         
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  about  the success  rate  of a  fire                                                                    
suppression  unit in  Mat-Su.  Commissioner Folger  deferred                                                                    
the question to Colonel Cockrell.                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Neuman noted  that the  fire suppression  work had                                                                    
been done internally through work with the community.                                                                           
COLONEL  JIM COCKRELL,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF ALASKA  STATE                                                                    
TROOPERS,   DEPARTMENT  OF   PUBLIC  SAFETY,   replied  that                                                                    
approximately one  year earlier  the department had  begun a                                                                    
Crime  Suppression  Unit  in Mat-Su;  it  had  assigned  one                                                                    
sergeant and  three troopers to focus  primarily on property                                                                    
crime  related   to  drug  trafficking.  He   remarked  that                                                                    
property  crimes   in  Mat-Su,  Fairbanks,  and   the  Kenai                                                                    
Peninsula   were  mainly   associated   with  illegal   drug                                                                    
activity.  He  elaborated that  the  success  rate had  been                                                                    
phenomenal.  He noted  that the  department had  reduced its                                                                    
overall  property crimes  by 38  percent  subsequent to  the                                                                    
implementation of the specialized unit.  He was proud of the                                                                    
work the troopers had done.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Neuman pointed to a  90 percent success rate in the                                                                    
prosecution  of property  crimes.  Colonel Cockrell  replied                                                                    
that the unit  had a positive working  relationship with the                                                                    
District  Attorney's Office.  The department  had associated                                                                    
the  Property  Crime  Unit  to  the Drug  Unit  due  to  the                                                                    
interrelated  nature  of  the  crimes;  therefore,  property                                                                    
crimes had been solved and  impressive drug arrests had been                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  noted that the program  had been successful                                                                    
in Mat-Su.                                                                                                                      
3:26:31 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  noted that many  municipalities had                                                                    
their  own   police.  He  noted   that  Fairbanks   and  the                                                                    
University of Alaska had their  own police. He spoke to lean                                                                    
budget  years and  wondered about  ways the  university, the                                                                    
cities, and the troopers  could work together. For instance,                                                                    
the city  would have budget  cuts, which meant more  for the                                                                    
troopers.  He wondered  if calls  to the  troopers increased                                                                    
when cities made cuts.                                                                                                          
Colonel  Cockrell could  not correlate  the relationship  of                                                                    
reductions in  cities. He detailed  that anytime  there were                                                                    
reductions  to   police  forces  the  trooper   call  volume                                                                    
increased. He communicated that  the troopers worked closely                                                                    
with  many   of  the  municipalities   including  Fairbanks;                                                                    
troopers worked  cooperatively with the Fairbanks  drug unit                                                                    
and had  recently met with  the Juneau and  Ketchikan Police                                                                    
Departments  to  coordinate  some of  the  drug  activities.                                                                    
Additionally,   the  troopers   partnered   with  the   Drug                                                                    
Enforcement Agency on a taskforce  and with the U.S. Marshal                                                                    
Service. He  noted that the  troopers had recently  made the                                                                    
arrest  of an  escapee in  Tok, which  had been  led by  the                                                                    
Marshal Taskforce.  The troopers  did significant  work with                                                                    
the  Federal  Bureau  of Investigation  and  were  currently                                                                    
helping  the   Anchorage  Police  Department   with  several                                                                    
homicides;  the troopers  believed some  of the  individuals                                                                    
were entering the Mat-Su Valley,  therefore, it had assigned                                                                    
the Criminal Suppression Unit to the case as well.                                                                              
Mr.  Vrabec  added to  Colonel  Cockrell's  answer. He  used                                                                    
Fairbanks  as  an example  and  explained  that when  police                                                                    
departments  (e.g.   City  of  Fairbanks,   state  troopers,                                                                    
University police,  North Pole  police, and  airport police)                                                                    
did  not have  a high  number  of staff  they all  partnered                                                                    
together to assist with calls.                                                                                                  
HB  72  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
HB  73  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman discussed  the schedule  for the  following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DOA-DeptOverview2015_H-FIN(02-03-15).pdf HFIN 2/3/2015 1:30:00 PM
DPS H FIN Dept Overview 020315.pdf HFIN 2/3/2015 1:30:00 PM