Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/03/2015 01:00 PM House FINANCE



Audio Topic
01:04:13 PM Start
01:04:22 PM HB72 || HB73
01:10:22 PM Public Testimony: Juneau
03:34:13 PM Public Testimony: Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-su, Seward
05:43:18 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= HB 72 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony -- Limited to 2 minutes each
+= HB 73 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony -- Limited to 2 minutes each
1:00 - 3:30 p.m. Juneau
3:30 - 5:30 p.m. Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan,
Kodiak, Mat-Su & Seward
Testimony Instructions:
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 15 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- "Off Net" callers (communities with no LIO):
call only during designated time slot, 3/4/15.
- If unable to testify during times allotted,
please send written testimony to:
lhscfin@akleg.gov
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:04:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman discussed  that  the  committee would  hear                                                                    
public  testimony   on  the  operating  and   mental  health                                                                    
budgets.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson asked  members of the public  to leave the                                                                    
room   after  testifying   to  make   room  for   additional                                                                    
testifiers.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Neuman  read   public   testimony  protocol.   He                                                                    
understood that the budget was  complex in the current year;                                                                    
the committee  had made extra time  available to accommodate                                                                    
the  high   volume  of  anticipated  public   testimony.  He                                                                    
stressed  that public  testimony, both  verbal and  written,                                                                    
was considered by the committee.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: JUNEAU                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:10:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATTY  GEORGE, ALASKA  LITERACY  COUNCIL,  JUNEAU, spoke  in                                                                    
favor of funding for the  Alaska State Literacy Association.                                                                    
She  provided   information  about  the   organization.  The                                                                    
organization supported literacy  for all, lifetime learning,                                                                    
and  informed decision  making. She  urged the  committee to                                                                    
fund  Best  Beginnings,  Parents   as  Teachers,  and  Pre-K                                                                    
programs.  She  discussed   the  improvement  in  children's                                                                    
kindergarten  entry testing  scores  after participating  in                                                                    
the  Imagination  Library  program.  She  communicated  that                                                                    
1,000  Juneau families  had participated  in the  program in                                                                    
2014. She  discussed that  the kindergarten  readiness score                                                                    
had  risen  by  11  percent  during  the  same  period.  She                                                                    
stressed the  importance of books  in children's  homes. She                                                                    
thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman welcomed Representative  Sam Kito III to the                                                                    
committee room.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:12:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENISE  DANIELLO, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  COMMISSION ON                                                                    
AGING,  JUNEAU,  spoke against  cuts  to  the Alaska  Senior                                                                    
Benefits  Program administered  by  the  Division of  Public                                                                    
Assistance  and  to  the Adult  Day  Services  senior  grant                                                                    
program.  She emphasized  that the  senior benefits  program                                                                    
provided  a  critical  safety  net   for  more  than  11,000                                                                    
Alaskans aged 65 and older who  lived on a fixed income. The                                                                    
program  helped pay  for food,  fuel,  and maintenance.  The                                                                    
average recipient  was 75 years  of age and the  majority of                                                                    
recipients were  women. The  proposed reduction  of $500,000                                                                    
for adult day services would  result in program closures and                                                                    
reduced  services  for  seniors.   The  adult  day  services                                                                    
program  was  the  primary   senior  program  that  directly                                                                    
benefitted working family caregivers  caring for a loved one                                                                    
with dementia at home. She  stated that without the services                                                                    
people  may be  faced  with  placing their  loved  one in  a                                                                    
higher cost  care setting. She  shared that 416  seniors had                                                                    
been served by  the program in 2014; many  of the recipients                                                                    
had dementia. She spoke to  the unintended consequences of a                                                                    
reduction in funding.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN ETHERIDGE,  AK AFLCIO, JUNEAU,  testified in  support of                                                                    
the  reinstatement  of  funds for  the  Alaska  Construction                                                                    
Academy.  He  emphasized the  importance  of  the funds  for                                                                    
individuals seeking work. He discussed  the increase of non-                                                                    
resident  hire  in Alaska  and  stressed  the importance  of                                                                    
training for  residents. The  academy provided  training for                                                                    
high  school  students,   retired  military  personnel,  and                                                                    
other.  He  referred  to the  high  number  of  out-of-state                                                                    
workers in the construction  and mining industries. He asked                                                                    
for  the reinstatement  of OSHA  safety program  funding. He                                                                    
relayed that  seafood processors  had made great  strides in                                                                    
the area  safety; a  major reduction  in injuries  had taken                                                                    
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:17:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANITA C.  EVANS, JUNEAU INTERPRETERS REFERRAL  LINE, JUNEAU,                                                                    
urged  support  of  funding  for  interpreters.  She  shared                                                                    
information  about  her  background  and  the  multitude  of                                                                    
places she  had acted  as an interpreter.  She spoke  to the                                                                    
range of skills and  adaptability required for interpreters.                                                                    
She  discussed that  an interpreter  had to  think on  their                                                                    
feet;  technology  could not  do  it  all. She  stated  that                                                                    
auditory  information coming  from a  variety of  directions                                                                    
meant that auditory technology was  not a workable solution.                                                                    
She spoke to the importance  of interpreters for the state's                                                                    
deaf community. Without funding,  deaf people throughout the                                                                    
entire region would be impacted.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:19:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM  MUELLER-GUY,   SOUTHEAST  ALASKA   INDEPENDENT  LIVING,                                                                    
INTERPRETER REFERRAL  LINE, JUNEAU, testified in  support of                                                                    
Southeast  Alaska  Independent  Living.  She  was  concerned                                                                    
about  the  elimination  of   funding  for  the  interpreter                                                                    
referral line;  she accessed the  program on a  weekly basis                                                                    
for meetings. She stressed  that replacing live interpreters                                                                    
with  technology was  not an  effective way  to provide  the                                                                    
best  communication.  She  spoke  to the  importance  of  an                                                                    
interpreter to  allow for the  best clear  conversation. She                                                                    
stated  that   the  Americans  with  Disabilities   Act  was                                                                    
established to  provide equal  services to  individuals with                                                                    
disabilities.  She stressed  that  interpreters allowed  her                                                                    
and others  to have  equal access  to employment  and other.                                                                    
She  urged  that  the  committee  restore  the  funding  for                                                                    
interpreters. She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  thanked Gerlene Davis for  interpreting and                                                                    
for her work with the hearing impaired.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:21:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MORGAN   EVANS,   SOUTHEAST   ALASKA   INDEPENDENT   LIVING,                                                                    
INTERPRETER REFERRAL LINE, JUNEAU,  spoke in support of SAIL                                                                    
and  the  interpreter  line  [through  an  interpreter].  He                                                                    
thanked  the committee  for  its time.  He  stated that  the                                                                    
interpreter line allowed him to  have independence. He noted                                                                    
his involvement  in various activities  (e.g. ski  team, Cub                                                                    
Scouts,  work,  training,  and  other)  that  he  needed  an                                                                    
interpreter  for.  He  believed  that  the  budget  cut  was                                                                    
discriminatory  against the  deaf.  He  communicated that  a                                                                    
live  interpreter acted  as  a role  model.  He shared  that                                                                    
interpreters to the deaf were very valuable to deaf people.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:24:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTY  MONTERO,   SOUTHEAST  ALASKA   INDEPENDENT  LIVING,                                                                    
INTERPRETER  REFERRAL LINE,  JUNEAU,  expressed her  concern                                                                    
about  the  elimination  of   funding  for  the  Interpreter                                                                    
Referral Line [a copy of  her written testimony was provided                                                                    
to committee members (copy on  file)]. Her written testimony                                                                    
stated that the  cut would "make it  difficult or impossible                                                                    
to  achieve  effective  communication  as  required  by  the                                                                    
Americans with Disabilities  Act. I know the  state has less                                                                    
money to work with trying  to balance the Alaska budget, but                                                                    
isn't  it  important not  to  eliminate  this program."  She                                                                    
stated that most of the  deaf community could not afford the                                                                    
high-speed internet  connections like many  wealthy Alaskans                                                                    
could   afford   at   home.  Her   testimony   stated   that                                                                    
interpreters were  needed to provide a  "clear understanding                                                                    
especially  in  very  important  areas,  such  as  with  the                                                                    
courts, hospital staff, public  safety, schools, or possible                                                                    
job  prospects."  She urged  the  committee  to restore  the                                                                    
funding to the  referral line and thanked  the committee for                                                                    
its time.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:26:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX  PASTORINO, SELF,  JUNEAU,  thanked  the committee  for                                                                    
passing one-time  grant funds for education  the prior year.                                                                    
She  stressed the  importance of  restoring  the funds.  She                                                                    
spoke in support an increase  in the Base Student Allocation                                                                    
funding that occurred the previous  year. She emphasized the                                                                    
importance of  making the state's  children a  priority. She                                                                    
asked the committee to restore  the one-time grant funds for                                                                    
children.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN CAMPBELL, SOUTHEAST  CONFERENCE, JUNEAU, spoke strongly                                                                    
against proposed  cuts to the  Division of  Forestry budget.                                                                    
He stated that  the cuts would result in the  closure of all                                                                    
of the division's Southeast offices.  He testified that many                                                                    
of the state's rural  communities statewide had converted to                                                                    
woody biomass fuel  sources and would run out  of supply. He                                                                    
stated  that  a  lack  of timber  sale  revenue  and  timber                                                                    
purchasers  would  cease  to provide  road  maintenance.  He                                                                    
relayed that  hundreds of  miles of roads  would need  to be                                                                    
closed,  which would  impact  road  access and  firefighting                                                                    
efforts.  He  believed the  cuts  would  cripple the  timber                                                                    
industry in  the state. He  urged the committee to  not turn                                                                    
its back on an industry.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:30:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  GEORGE  BROWN,  PEDIATRICIAN,   JUNEAU,  spoke  to  the                                                                    
importance  of   investing  in  children.  He   stated  that                                                                    
prevention  worked. He  asked the  committee to  think about                                                                    
what  was  right  and  to  think  optimisitcally  about  the                                                                    
future. He stated that Alaska  was capable of overcoming the                                                                    
current fiscal  crisis. He respected the  committee's public                                                                    
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:31:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL BYER, ALASKA LEARNING  NETWORK (AKLN), JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
in  support of  restoring  AKLN funds  for online  remedial,                                                                    
enrichment,  vocational,  and  other education  courses.  He                                                                    
shared information about the program.  He stated that online                                                                    
learning was the future and  was efficient. He detailed that                                                                    
many  students  in  small   rural  schools  offered  limited                                                                    
courses needed for success and  that met the requirements of                                                                    
the Alaska Performance Scholarship.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRANK  COENRAAD,  AKLN,  JUNEAU,  testified  in  support  of                                                                    
funding for  AKLN. He  referred to  a program  brochure that                                                                    
had been passed out to  committee members. He discussed what                                                                    
college and career-readiness meant  in addition to what made                                                                    
students successful.  He stated  that college  eligible, did                                                                    
not necessarily  mean college  ready. He  shared information                                                                    
about  a college-ready  math course  that helped  to prepare                                                                    
students.  The program  included  English  and had  expanded                                                                    
into  advanced  placement  and  career  technical  education                                                                    
courses. He  referred to Alaska science  and geology courses                                                                    
that  were offered;  the courses  were  developed by  Alaska                                                                    
teachers  for Alaska  students.  He spoke  to an  indigenous                                                                    
studies program.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:35:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CONOR  O'DEA, SOUTHEAST  SENIOR SERVICES,  JUNEAU, spoke  in                                                                    
support of  a reinstatement  of $500,000  for the  Adult Day                                                                    
Program. The decrease  in funds would mean  cuts in services                                                                    
for  Adult Day  Programs,  which would  mean families  would                                                                    
need to find services in other  places. He noted that due to                                                                    
a  lack in  long-term care  the decrease  in services  would                                                                    
result in seniors leaving Alaska,  which meant dollars would                                                                    
leave  the  state as  well.  He  stated that  the  increment                                                                    
represented a 5 percent cut.  He suggested spreading out the                                                                    
cut to other grants  including the Senior In-Home, Traumatic                                                                    
Brain  Injury  Education,  Alzheimer's Disease  and  Related                                                                    
Dementia Education,  and Adult Day Programs.  He stated that                                                                    
spreading  out the  cut would  mean that  the adults  in the                                                                    
program  to continue  receiving  services. He  spoke to  the                                                                    
crucial  role   the  program   played  for   Alaska's  aging                                                                    
population.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:37:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALYSON CURREY,  PLANNED PARENTHOOD VOTES  NORTHWEST, JUNEAU,                                                                    
asked the committee to reinstate  funds of $360,000 from the                                                                    
prior year  for the  final year  of the  Chlamydia Campaign.                                                                    
She spoke  in support of  funds for Planned  Parenthood. She                                                                    
communicated  that  the  organization operated  four  health                                                                    
centers  statewide; it  served over  13,000 people  in 2013.                                                                    
She  stressed the  high  rates of  chlamydia  in Alaska  and                                                                    
asked  the  committee  to   help  protect  Alaskans  overall                                                                    
reproductive  health outcomes.  She stressed  that untreated                                                                    
chlamydia could  lead to infertility and  ectopic pregnancy.                                                                    
She asked the  committee to fund sensible  solutions such as                                                                    
accessible   sexually   transmitted  disease   testing   and                                                                    
treatment. She testified in support  of funding for Medicaid                                                                    
expansion.   She   stressed   that  access   to   affordable                                                                    
healthcare should  not depend on  who a person is  and where                                                                    
they live and work. She  elaborated that the expansion would                                                                    
ensure that  individuals would remain productive  members of                                                                    
the economy. She emphasized that  the state could not afford                                                                    
to wait to expand Medicaid.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:39:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SIOUX DOUGLAS, KTOO, JUNEAU, testified  in support of public                                                                    
broadcasting. She  stated that  to underfund the  program by                                                                    
60  percent  would  be   detrimental  to  broadcasting.  She                                                                    
currently chaired  the Legacy Foundation at  KTOO. She spoke                                                                    
as a  beneficiary of the  services and programs  provided by                                                                    
the  public station.  She understood  the complex  situation                                                                    
facing the  state and legislature financially,  but stressed                                                                    
the importance of the statewide  services provided by public                                                                    
broadcasting. She  stressed that keeping  Alaskans connected                                                                    
was imperative in a large state with many separate regions.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:42:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WALTER  MAJOROS, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, JUNEAU  YOUTH SERVICES                                                                    
(JYS), JUNEAU,  spoke in support  of funding  for behavioral                                                                    
health services.  The agency provided a  range of children's                                                                    
behavioral health  services including  emergency, community-                                                                    
based,  residential.  The  agency served  approximately  450                                                                    
youth  and families  annually;  it additionally  coordinated                                                                    
the Suicide Prevention Coalition.  He communicated that most                                                                    
of the clients had  experienced significant childhood trauma                                                                    
(e.g.  abuse,  neglect,  witnessing  domestic  violence  and                                                                    
substance  abuse in  the  family, and  other).  He spoke  to                                                                    
reducing  abuse and  neglect. He  stated  that children  who                                                                    
experienced trauma  were at  a much  higher risk  of serious                                                                    
physical and  mental health  problems including  suicide. He                                                                    
stressed that there had not  been a Medicaid rate adjustment                                                                    
for behavioral  health residential  services since  2006 and                                                                    
for community-based  services since  2008. He  urged funding                                                                    
for  Medicaid  behavioral  health   to  help  reduce  trauma                                                                    
experienced by children.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB COGHILL,  CHAIR, ADVISORY BOARD  ON ALCOHOLISM  AND DRUG                                                                    
ABUSE, JUNEAU,  spoke in support  of treatment  programs. He                                                                    
thanked  the committee  for  recognizing  the importance  of                                                                    
people in the  state by providing funding  to the Department                                                                    
of Health  and Social Services.  He stated that  board staff                                                                    
had assisted the governor with  creating a budget that would                                                                    
keep treatment  programs in the  budget. He  recognized that                                                                    
the ball  was still in  the air. He stressed  that treatment                                                                    
helped and worked. He shared a  story about a baby born with                                                                    
heroin in  her system; she was  currently receiving services                                                                    
as a young adult. He hoped for a positive outcome.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGHAN JOHNSON,  THREAD, JUNEAU, stressed the  importance of                                                                    
reinstating  funding for  young children  and families.  She                                                                    
spoke in  support of reinstating funds  for Best Beginnings.                                                                    
She testified  in favor of  restoring funds for  the Parents                                                                    
as Teachers  program. She spoke  in support of  full funding                                                                    
for  Pre-K programs.  She stressed  that  the programs  were                                                                    
critical and had long-lasting benefits  for children and the                                                                    
state's  economy. She  stated that  the  investment was  the                                                                    
best that the  state could make. She shared  that there were                                                                    
approximately 80,000 children in  Alaska with two parents in                                                                    
the  workforce; unfortunately,  Alaska's current  early care                                                                    
and  learning could  only meet  approximately 50  percent of                                                                    
the  need.  She   spoke  to  a  high   financial  return  on                                                                    
investment provided by early learning programs.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:48:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY  FERRY, PARENT,  JUNEAU,  urged  the reinstatement  of                                                                    
$1.1  million that  had been  funded to  Juneau schools  the                                                                    
prior year.  She stressed that  education was  the priority.                                                                    
She  spoke  in strong  support  of  funding for  the  Alaska                                                                    
Marine  Highway  System  (AMHS).  She  discussed  that  many                                                                    
individuals had  made travel plans  for the  upcoming summer                                                                    
based  on the  published ferry  schedule. She  detailed that                                                                    
money spent  by marine highway travelers  in communities may                                                                    
not  occur  if the  ferry  service  was not  available.  She                                                                    
stated   that  the   cuts  to   Lynn   Canal  service   were                                                                    
particularly  confusing;  she  referred to  high  demand  in                                                                    
conjunction  with a  proposed cut  to  service by  25 to  50                                                                    
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHERYL  WEINBERG, SERRC,  JUNEAU,  testified  in support  of                                                                    
funding for education.  She asked the committee  to retain a                                                                    
two-year one-time  increment for the  second year of  a STEM                                                                    
pilot  program.  The  agency  provided  statewide  education                                                                    
services. She spoke  in support of a  competitive STEM pilot                                                                    
project passed  the prior year that  would serve underserved                                                                    
and  underrepresented middle  school  students. She  relayed                                                                    
that  the pilot  was  based on  previously successful  SERRC                                                                    
programs; it  served a cohort  of 45 students.  She provided                                                                    
detail about the program.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARCY  MARKOVICH,  SERRC,  JUNEAU, asked  the  committee  to                                                                    
continue  funding  a  two-year one-time  increment  for  the                                                                    
second year of  a STEM pilot program. The  program served 45                                                                    
6th  grade  students  and was  designed  to  serve  students                                                                    
throughout   their  middle   school  careers.   The  program                                                                    
recipients   represented   15   school  districts   and   28                                                                    
communities. The  program was based on  prior SERRC programs                                                                    
that  had  been proved  successful.  She  stressed that  the                                                                    
services made  a difference in children's  lives. She shared                                                                    
a story  about a  student. She urged  the committee  to fund                                                                    
the program.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:54:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID DIERDORFF, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke in opposition  to a 60                                                                    
percent reduction  proposed by the finance  subcommittee. He                                                                    
urged support for public  broadcasting. He communicated that                                                                    
public broadcasting  provided a  balanced content  of local,                                                                    
state,  national, and  international news.  He stressed  the                                                                    
importance of  keeping informed.  Public radio  improved the                                                                    
quality   of  residents'   lives   and  provided   excellent                                                                    
resources for  citizens of  all ages.  He shared  a personal                                                                    
story about his lifelong experience with public radio.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:56:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAMANTHA  CORONELL,  JUNEAU  CONSTRUCTION  ACADEMY,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
spoke  in  strong support  of  a  SERRC Learning  Connection                                                                    
service   and   the   Juneau   Construction   Academy.   She                                                                    
communicated her interest  in working with her  hands and in                                                                    
welding;  the construction  academy  had taught  her how  to                                                                    
weld. She had  been given the confidence to work  in a field                                                                    
that  was not  dominated by  females. She  commented on  her                                                                    
work  as   an  apprentice   carpenter  with   North  Pacific                                                                    
Erectors. She  had been working  full-time and was  happy to                                                                    
be self-sufficient. She shared  the story of two classmates.                                                                    
She understood  that the budget  was tight, but  the program                                                                    
had been extremely important for her.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:58:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDY STORY,  MEMBER, JUNEAU SCHOOL BOARD,  JUNEAU, urged the                                                                    
reinstatement  of   $1.1  million  for  the   Juneau  School                                                                    
District.  She  spoke  to the  importance  of  an  excellent                                                                    
education system.  She shared that school  boards across the                                                                    
state  had worked  to improve  education;  the efforts  were                                                                    
paying  off. Current  graduation  rates in  Juneau were  the                                                                    
highest  they  had ever  been  at  80 percent.  The  state's                                                                    
economic  well-being   was  tied  to  the   success  of  its                                                                    
students.  She asked  for restored  funding  for the  Alaska                                                                    
Construction Academy, Pre-K, Best Beginnings, and other.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNNETTE DIHLE,  SELF, JUNEAU, asked for  the restoration of                                                                    
one-time education  grant funds.  She recalled  Senator Lisa                                                                    
Murkowski's statement  that during  tough times  for farmers                                                                    
to  not use  the "seed  corn."  She likened  education as  a                                                                    
large  amount  of seed  corn  for  the state's  future.  She                                                                    
thanked committee members for their service.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:02:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AURA  LANDAU,   PARENT,  JUNEAU,   testified  in   favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds for  the Parents  as Teachers  program. She                                                                    
was grateful for  past funding of the program.  She spoke to                                                                    
the  program's success  for children  and her  own children.                                                                    
She  detailed   that  the  program  helped   better  prepare                                                                    
children   for   school.  Additionally,   healthy   parental                                                                    
interaction  helped reduce  high-cost criminal,  health, and                                                                    
other interventions later on.  She provided a personal story                                                                    
about  her experience  as a  mother. She  stressed that  her                                                                    
Parents  as Teachers  coordinator  had helped  her to  learn                                                                    
healthier ways  work with her  son. She emphasized  that the                                                                    
program had helped  to make her parenting and  home safe for                                                                    
her little boy.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  AREHART,   PARENT,  JUNEAU,  testified  in   favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds for  the Parents  as Teachers  program. She                                                                    
discussed her  commitment to childhood education.  She spoke                                                                    
to  the importance  of early  education. The  program valued                                                                    
early  education through  its  promotion of  skill sets  for                                                                    
parents,  child  engagements  in play  and  learning,  early                                                                    
developmental  awareness, and  fostering hands  on parenting                                                                    
practices. The approach helped  parents to better understand                                                                    
their role  in becoming engaging parents.  Most importantly,                                                                    
the  program  emphasized  building a  learning  relationship                                                                    
between  parents  and  children  in  the  early  years.  She                                                                    
provided further detail about the program.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:07:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIAN CLOUGH, SELF, JUNEAU, asked  the committee to restore                                                                    
the 60  percent cut  to public broadcasting.  She understood                                                                    
the  revenue  implications of  a  drop  in oil  prices.  Her                                                                    
primary source of information  had been public broadcasting,                                                                    
which   had   consistently   offered   Alaskans   the   most                                                                    
comprehensive  coverage  of  the  issue. She  spoke  to  the                                                                    
importance  public radio  provided for  the broadly  diverse                                                                    
state. She  spoke to the  importance of  KTOO's broadcasting                                                                    
of Juneau  Assembly meetings and  of the role that  Gavel to                                                                    
Gavel  played throughout  the state.  She shared  a personal                                                                    
story  about the  birth  of  her grandson  who  she and  her                                                                    
husband had signed up as a sustaining member of KTOO.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:09:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAUREN SMOKER,  PARENT, JUNEAU, urged funding  for education                                                                    
and  Alaska School  Districts. She  asked  the committee  to                                                                    
restore  the  one-time  education  funds  passed  the  prior                                                                    
session. She  urged the committee  to keep from  cutting any                                                                    
further.  She spoke  to the  high-quality teaching  staff in                                                                    
Juneau.  She had  participated in  budget conversations  for                                                                    
Dzantik'l Heeni  Middle School; the school  had nothing left                                                                    
to  cut  but teachers.  She  stressed  that the  cuts  would                                                                    
directly  and  adversely  affect the  state's  children  its                                                                    
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:11:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANNIE  MONK,  ALASKA  STATE  HOSPITAL  AND  NURSING  HOME,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  testified  in  support   of  funding  for  Medicaid                                                                    
expansion. She communicated that  Alaska had the opportunity                                                                    
to close  the coverage  gap that  would allow  an additional                                                                    
40,000 Alaskans  access to  healthcare. The  agency believed                                                                    
there was  a path forward  for Medicaid expansion  and urged                                                                    
the legislature  to keep the conversation  going. The agency                                                                    
believed Medicaid expansion could be  used as a catalyst for                                                                    
reform. She spoke  to the importance of  working together to                                                                    
find something that would work for everyone.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:12:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AVERYL  VELIZ,   PARENT,  JUNEAU,  testified  in   favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds for  the Parents  as Teachers  program. She                                                                    
shared  her personal  story as  a  mother. She  communicated                                                                    
that  the  program  had  helped   her  and  her  husband  to                                                                    
understand  childhood development,  to make  sure their  son                                                                    
was on  track, and  other. The program  had helped  to build                                                                    
her son's  motor, fine-motor, speech, literacy,  and social-                                                                    
emotional skills.  She believed  that most  parent confusion                                                                    
was  rooted in  not  understanding  a child's  communication                                                                    
tactics or developmental ability.  She stressed that chronic                                                                    
misunderstanding and  lack of support resulted  in the abuse                                                                    
of  a  child  from  overly  tired,  isolated,  and  stressed                                                                    
adults.  She spoke  in support  of the  Imagination Library.                                                                    
She relayed  that due  to the  constant emphasis  in reading                                                                    
her child  could spell many words  and read much of  his own                                                                    
library.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY   COATE  THOMPSON,   PARENT,   JUNEAU,  implored   the                                                                    
committee to restore  funds for the Parents  as Teachers and                                                                    
Best Beginnings  programs. She spoke to  the adverse effects                                                                    
of  childhood trauma  including  heart disease,  depression,                                                                    
and cancer.  She asked for investment  in children; children                                                                    
grew up and became parents.  She discussed the difficulty of                                                                    
raising a  child in Alaska.  The two programs were  the only                                                                    
options that served children aged zero to three years.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:16:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSH  CAMPBELL, ALASKA  CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY,  JUNEAU, urged                                                                    
the   committee   to   restore  funding   for   the   Alaska                                                                    
Construction Academy.  He discussed his  personal experience                                                                    
with the  academy. He was  grateful to  have a good  job. He                                                                    
stressed  that without  skills it  was not  possible to  get                                                                    
jobs that  paid a living wage.  He had been enrolled  in the                                                                    
academy for  one year  and had learned  many skills  and had                                                                    
doubled his income.  He shared his intent to  join the local                                                                    
plumbers'  and pipefitters'  union. The  academy had  opened                                                                    
many doors  for him.  He stressed that  cuts to  the program                                                                    
would be a great disservice to Alaska.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:19:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH LEBAN, DIRECTOR, JUNEAU YOUTH  COURT, JUNEAU, asked the                                                                    
committee  to reinstate  funding for  statewide youth  court                                                                    
programs. She  shared that youth court  programs resulted in                                                                    
reduced  re-offense rates  and  saved the  state money.  She                                                                    
spoke to the  role of the courts that worked  as a diversion                                                                    
program  for teens  who break  the law  for the  first time;                                                                    
there were  11 statewide. The courts  handled minor offences                                                                    
including  underage  drinking, trespassing,  vandalism,  and                                                                    
shoplifting.  She stressed  that  without  the youth  courts                                                                    
juvenile  probation  officers,   law  enforcement,  district                                                                    
court judges,  and magistrates would become  involved in the                                                                    
minor  cases. The  costs would  be higher  as a  result. The                                                                    
programs were evidence-based and saved the state money.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:20:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MADELINE HANDLEY, HIGH SCHOOL  STUDENT AND VOLUNTEER, JUNEAU                                                                    
YOUTH COURT,  JUNEAU, spoke in  support of the  Juneau Youth                                                                    
Court.  She shared  that  her experience  as  a youth  court                                                                    
volunteer  had  given  her  the   opportunity  to  help  her                                                                    
community and  had taught  her about the  legal system  in a                                                                    
hands  on way.  She wanted  the new  volunteers to  have the                                                                    
same valuable  experience she had received.  She thanked the                                                                    
committee for its reconsideration.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:21:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JARMYN  KRAMLICH,   UNIVERSITY  OF  ALASKA   STUDENT  (UAS),                                                                    
JUNEAU, spoke in  support of funding for  the university. He                                                                    
relayed  that UAS  was special  and it  acted as  a positive                                                                    
force  in  the  lives  of many  Alaskans.  He  believed  the                                                                    
university  had  a  strong  commitment  to  his  educational                                                                    
success.  He  opined  that  the   university  was  doing  an                                                                    
extraordinary job at educating  citizens statewide. He spoke                                                                    
to  the  importance  of  e-learning  and  distance  delivery                                                                    
options.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:23:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  WALKER,  PARENT,  JUNEAU, testified  in  favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds  for  the  Parents  as  Teachers  and  Best                                                                    
Beginnings  programs.  She  spoke  to the  support  she  had                                                                    
received from  the Parents as Teachers  program. She relayed                                                                    
that  the knowledge  she  had gained  from  the program  had                                                                    
helped her with her small daycare business.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:24:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAELEEN  ARAUJO,  GENERAL   COUNSEL,  SEALASKA  CORPORATION,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  spoke   in  support   of  rural   communities.  She                                                                    
highlighted  concerns   about  cuts   to  the   Division  of                                                                    
Forestry.  She  discussed  the   importance  of  the  timber                                                                    
program.  She  feared that  the  cuts  may mean  the  timber                                                                    
industry  would collapse  in the  region. She  stressed that                                                                    
the  Division  of Forestry  was  an  important component  of                                                                    
overseeing compliance  with the Alaska Forest  Resources and                                                                    
Practices  Act,  which  ensured protection  of  the  state's                                                                    
habitat and resources; cuts to  the division would mean that                                                                    
the  important  public  interest  may  not  be  served.  The                                                                    
division was an important source  of timber, local jobs, and                                                                    
positive  revenue.  She  asked   the  committee  to  restore                                                                    
funding to the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS).                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:26:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SATNAM  SEARS,   PARENT,  JUNEAU,  testified  in   favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds for  the Parents  as Teachers  program. The                                                                    
program  had helped  her personally  with her  son. She  was                                                                    
thankful for the program.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:27:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TALEA   KELLAR,  PARENT,   JUNEAU,  spoke   in  support   of                                                                    
reinstating funds  for Best  Beginnings, Pre-K,  and Parents                                                                    
as  Teachers.  She  shared information  about  her  personal                                                                    
experience as  a parent.  She believed  Alaska was  the best                                                                    
place to  raise a child;  however, she had  been discouraged                                                                    
to hear  about cuts  to early learning.  She pointed  to the                                                                    
importance  of the  first five  years of  brain development;                                                                    
the programs were designed to  foster the development and to                                                                    
support parents.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:28:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURA POWERS, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in support of funding                                                                    
for Medicaid  expansion. She stated that  Medicaid made good                                                                    
sense for the economy and  health of Alaskans. She asked for                                                                    
the  reinstatement of  funds for  chlamydia prevention.  She                                                                    
stressed that Alaska was ranked in  the top two for rates of                                                                    
chlamydia  since  2000;  the  disease  was  preventable  and                                                                    
easily  treated. She  believed  that the  state should  fund                                                                    
evidence-based  solutions  to  improve  reproductive  health                                                                    
outcomes such  as access to  free testing and  treatment for                                                                    
sexually transmitted  infections. She stated  that teenagers                                                                    
and  young  adults  were particularly  prone  to  infection,                                                                    
which  put  them at  risk  for  lifelong and  costly  health                                                                    
complications. She  stated that it was  important to empower                                                                    
youth to make  smart decisions by providing  them with fact-                                                                    
based, age-appropriate sex education statewide.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:31:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIANNE CURRY,  UNITED FISHERMEN  OF ALASKA,  JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
in support  of funding for  the fishing industry.  She asked                                                                    
the  committee  to reinstate  funds  to  the Alaska  Seafood                                                                    
Marketing Institute  (ASMI) program. She detailed  that ASMI                                                                    
was proven to  work; each $1 million spent  resulted in $100                                                                    
million back. She  testified in support of  full funding for                                                                    
the  Seafood  Certification  Program in  order  to  maintain                                                                    
control of  the Alaska  Seafood brand.  She relayed  that 72                                                                    
percent of active permit holders  were Alaska residents; the                                                                    
seafood  industry   was  the  state's  top   private  sector                                                                    
employer. She  shared statistics  related to  the commercial                                                                    
fisheries industry. She thanked  the Department of Commerce,                                                                    
Community and Economic  Development Finance Subcommittee for                                                                    
fully  restoring the  governor's cut  for the  Alaska Marine                                                                    
Safety  Education  Association. The  organization  supported                                                                    
the subcommittee recommendations for  the Department of Fish                                                                    
and Game budget.  She stated that under  the proposed budget                                                                    
reductions  the seafood  industry would  continue to  create                                                                    
economic opportunity to benefit the state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUSS  MCDOUGAL,   ALASKA  STATE   HOMEBUILDERS  ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  spoke   in  support  of  funding   for  the  Juneau                                                                    
Construction   Academy  and   other  construction   programs                                                                    
throughout  the  state.  He  spoke  to  learning  about  the                                                                    
problem  in the  state related  to a  lack of  education for                                                                    
young people  entering into the construction  trades. He had                                                                    
been advocating for the education  ever since learning about                                                                    
the  problem.   He  shared  a   personal  story   about  his                                                                    
background. He  stressed the importance of  the construction                                                                    
academies. He thanked the committee for its time.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELINDA  MESSNER,   PARENTS  AS  TEACHERS,   JUNEAU,  shared                                                                    
testimony on behalf  of a family. She testified  in favor of                                                                    
restoring  funds for  the Parents  as Teachers  program. The                                                                    
mother of the family had  Crohn's disease and the father was                                                                    
a  stay-at-home  dad;  both   parents  had  no  high  school                                                                    
education and were isolated with  no family support. Through                                                                    
the Parents as Teachers program  she had provided the family                                                                    
with  support  and  had  connected   them  with  the  Infant                                                                    
Learning  Program, Kinder-music,  and  autism services.  The                                                                    
programs  had  helped  to  provide  the  child  with  verbal                                                                    
language and other. She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:38:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK   MILLER,  SUPERINTENDENT,   JUNEAU  SCHOOL   DISTRICT,                                                                    
JUNEAU, urged  the committee to reinstate  the one-time $1.1                                                                    
million for the district. He  relayed that a loss of funding                                                                    
would mean  cutting new  teachers and  an increase  in class                                                                    
size as  a result.  He communicated that  a loss  in funding                                                                    
equated to the elimination of  11 positions; another 4 staff                                                                    
would be  cut in preschool.  He elaborated that a  cohort of                                                                    
kindergartners  would show  up woefully  behind their  peers                                                                    
with  little  or  no  chance  to catch  up.  He  recalled  a                                                                    
television commercial  and the importance of  paying upfront                                                                    
versus paying more in the future.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:40:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOY LYON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ASSOCIATION FOR THE SOUTHEAST                                                                    
EDUCATION OF  YOUNG CHILDREN, JUNEAU, advocated  for funding                                                                    
for  Best   Beginnings,  Parents  as  Teachers,   and  Pre-K                                                                    
programs. She urged the reinstatement  of funding that would                                                                    
allow 22,000  children to continue receiving  their books in                                                                    
the   mail.  She   spoke  to   early  literacy   efforts  in                                                                    
communities.  She   stressed  the  importance   of  teaching                                                                    
children  at a  young  age. She  used a  small  plant as  an                                                                    
example; a plant would not thrive  if it did not get watered                                                                    
from  the   beginning.  She   stressed  the   importance  of                                                                    
nurturing  children. She  relayed  that parents  appreciated                                                                    
the support.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:42:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYE   SPERL,  STUDENT   GOVERNMENT,  UNIVERSITY   OF  ALASKA                                                                    
SOUTHEAST, JUNEAU,  testified in support of  the university.                                                                    
He shared  a personal  experience related to  his education.                                                                    
He spoke to  the quality and commitment of  teachers at UAS,                                                                    
especially considering the low  tuition costs paid by Alaska                                                                    
residents. He  was grateful for  his experience  and planned                                                                    
on  completing  a  degree   in  business  administration  in                                                                    
Juneau. He thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FELIX  THILLET,  UNIVERSITY  OF  ALASKA  SOUTHEAST,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
spoke in support of funding  for the university. He shared a                                                                    
personal   experience  related   to  his   family  and   his                                                                    
education. He relayed that UAS  offered a great education ad                                                                    
a  great price.  He had  integrated into  the community  and                                                                    
worked  on  campus.  He  stressed  the  helpfulness  of  the                                                                    
university's  academic advisors.  He valued  the quality  of                                                                    
the professors at the university.  He discussed a fundraiser                                                                    
event that  had raised money  for the Glory Hole  in Juneau.                                                                    
He was  grateful to the  university system for  allowing him                                                                    
to complete his  education. He hoped to make  Alaska his new                                                                    
home.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:46:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA SKILES  PARADY, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  COUNCIL OF                                                                    
SCHOOL  ADMINISTRATORS,  JUNEAU,  spoke in  support  of  the                                                                    
restoration  of $32  million in  one-time  funds passed  the                                                                    
prior session  for school districts statewide.  She detailed                                                                    
that  many   districts  were  reliant   on  the   funds  and                                                                    
commitment that had  been made by the  legislature the prior                                                                    
year. She spoke  to the importance of  funding for broadband                                                                    
and  digital  equity;  the proposed  cuts  would  widen  the                                                                    
digital divide  in the  state. She spoke  to the  federal e-                                                                    
rate match; a  $5 million investment was  really $35 million                                                                    
to  $40 million  with  the addition  of  federal funds.  She                                                                    
spoke  in support  AKLN and  early  childhood programs.  She                                                                    
testified in  support of  statewide mentoring  programs that                                                                    
improved retention.  She noted that  there was a  30 percent                                                                    
turnover  rate  for  teachers in  Alaska;  mentoring  was  a                                                                    
proven retention tool. She understood  that the state was in                                                                    
a budget  crisis, but believed  it was also in  an education                                                                    
crisis.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:48:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM WATTS, JUNEAU ALLIANCE FOR  MENTAL HEALTH, JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
in support  of funds for  behavioral health. She  thanked to                                                                    
committee  for  recognizing  the  importance  of  behavioral                                                                    
health services  in Alaska and  the role they played  in the                                                                    
reduction  of  more expensive  services  to  people such  as                                                                    
repeated  psychiatric   and  medical   hospitalizations  and                                                                    
incarcerations   of  mentally   ill   persons.  She   shared                                                                    
information about  the adults the  program served.  A number                                                                    
of   the  clients   served  were   just  under   the  Alaska                                                                    
Psychiatric  Institute level  of  need for  hospitalization;                                                                    
the  clients  were  served in  outpatient  services,  highly                                                                    
structured  group homes,  and  supported living  apartments.                                                                    
She discussed services provided  by the program. She relayed                                                                    
that the prior  year the agency had served 589  people on an                                                                    
outpatient   basis.   Additionally,  the   agency   provided                                                                    
psychiatric emergency services.  Approximately 30 percent of                                                                    
the  program recipients  were  not  Medicaid eligible;  they                                                                    
were covered with behavioral health  grants. She thanked the                                                                    
committee for its support.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:51:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SABRINA  NELSON,  PARENT,  JUNEAU,  testified  in  favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funds  for  the  Parents  as  Teachers  and  Best                                                                    
Beginnings   programs.  She   spoke   in   support  of   the                                                                    
Imagination  Library.  She  shared her  personal  experience                                                                    
with motherhood. She  spoke to guidance and  support she had                                                                    
received  from  the  programs.  The  programs  had  provided                                                                    
information   on  childcare,   first  foods,   developmental                                                                    
milestones,  and  communication.  The program  had  provided                                                                    
networking  with other  families. She  referred to  a family                                                                    
library night that was offered through the program.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:53:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAINE  RINEHART,  DISCOVERY   PRESCHOOL,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of full  funding for  Pre-K  programs. He  recalled                                                                    
memories  of  his  preschool   teacher.  He  remembered  the                                                                    
individual time  his teacher  had taken to  read to  him. He                                                                    
detailed  that   early  life  experiences   effected  people                                                                    
through the rest  of their lives. He  implored the community                                                                    
to   continue  funding   for  Parents   as  Teachers,   Best                                                                    
Beginnings, and  early Head Start Pre-K  programs. He stated                                                                    
that  the programs  provided a  safe place  for parents  and                                                                    
children  to  continue  their  education   and  to  have  an                                                                    
advantage.   He  elaborated   that  the   programs  provided                                                                    
consistency  for the  young  families  and children  needing                                                                    
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAY WILSON, SELF, JUNEAU, spoke  to the importance of Alaska                                                                    
Legal  Services  for  seniors. He  stated  that  many  older                                                                    
Native Alaskans neglected  to create a will.  He referred to                                                                    
a friend who had gone  through much legal work because their                                                                    
mother had no will. He had  trouble with creating a will and                                                                    
kept postponing  it. He believed  Alaska Legal  Services was                                                                    
important  for senior  citizens. He  asked the  committee to                                                                    
continue funding for the agency.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:56:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIRK  PERISICH,   PACIFIC  NORTHWEST  REGIONAL   COUNCIL  OF                                                                    
CARPENTERS LOCAL, JUNEAU, against  cuts to education and the                                                                    
Department   of   Labor   and  Workforce   Development.   He                                                                    
communicated that  the Juneau  Construction Academy  and the                                                                    
Alaska  Construction Academy  provided services  for several                                                                    
fields including  residential and commercial.  The academies                                                                    
provided  training  and  education towards  specific  fields                                                                    
(e.g.  carpentry,  plumbing,   electrical,  and  other).  He                                                                    
relayed  that  the  provided the  Department  of  Labor  and                                                                    
Workforce  Development was  helping  unions and  contractors                                                                    
with misclassifications on pay rates  and some of the people                                                                    
who  may try  to  abuse  the system.  He  believed a  strong                                                                    
Department  of Labor  and Workforce  Development and  strong                                                                    
education would  provide a good infrastructure  for building                                                                    
a better budget,  which would help to keep  money and worker                                                                    
resources in Alaska.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:58:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN  M.  HERBERT,  OUTSIDE   EDUCATION,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support of outside education.  He provided information about                                                                    
his  professional career.  He  emphasized  the evolution  of                                                                    
education and  Darwin's theory that beings  that evolved the                                                                    
quickest were the  most likely to survive.  He stressed that                                                                    
there was money outsourced that  could be sourced in Alaska,                                                                    
such  as information  technology services.  He believed  the                                                                    
outsourced jobs meant there were  jobs missing for children.                                                                    
He  provided  an  example related  to  teaching  youths.  He                                                                    
relayed  that his  education had  been inexpensive,  but had                                                                    
provided him with positive career  options. He noted that he                                                                    
taught children on a daily basis  in his auto shop. He urged                                                                    
teaching children how to be responsible.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:00:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALBERT JUDSON, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke in opposition  of the 10                                                                    
percent cut to  the Alaska Marine Highway  System (AMHS). He                                                                    
wondered about a  justification for the proposed  cut to the                                                                    
AMHS.  He  believed that  both  cuts  and increases  to  the                                                                    
budget  should be  justified. He  opined that  justification                                                                    
for cuts related  to the AMHS was more  important because of                                                                    
way the  cuts affect  people's lives.  He commented  that it                                                                    
was  important  not  to alienate  one  region  over  another                                                                    
possibly   leading  to   polarization  between   people.  He                                                                    
suggested forming regional  subcommittees within the finance                                                                    
committee  to  ensure that  each  region  has input  on  the                                                                    
budget  for  their   area.  He  stated  that   he  was  just                                                                    
speculating  in order  to address  polarization. He  opposed                                                                    
any  cuts to  the  AMHS budget.  He  justified his  position                                                                    
indicating that  the AMHS  was already  in a  poor financial                                                                    
position and  that any cuts  to it would be  devastating. He                                                                    
also  conveyed  that the  AMHS  gene-Rated  revenue for  the                                                                    
state. He  indicated that  with a  little research  a person                                                                    
would find that  there had been times in which  the AMHS was                                                                    
self-supporting.  He referenced  an  editorial article  from                                                                    
the Juneau  Empire from  March 1,  2015 concerning  the AMHS                                                                    
and suggested that it provided a major answer to the issue.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  thanked Mr. Judson for  his testimony and                                                                    
confirmed that the committee also had his written version.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:04:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DIXIE HOOD,  COUNSELOR, JUNEAU, She opposed  any budget cuts                                                                    
to existing  programs and supported increased  financing for                                                                    
pre-kindergarten education.  She shared her  experience with                                                                    
her own  children in  a co-op  nursery school  program which                                                                    
greatly influenced  her career  path. In her  experience she                                                                    
found that  the home  environment, nurturance, and  sense of                                                                    
security from birth through  preschool years established the                                                                    
thinking,  emotions,   and  self-value   of  a   child.  She                                                                    
attributed the  proposed budget cuts  to a lack of  focus on                                                                    
specific social and economic needs  on the part of the state                                                                    
administration and the legislature.  She spoke in opposition                                                                    
to  the  cuts  to  the   AMHS  and  advocated  for  Medicaid                                                                    
expansion.  She  referenced  an article  from  the  previous                                                                    
Sunday in  the Juneau  Empire that  proposed an  increase to                                                                    
the fuel excise tax.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:08:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG  BLONC, COMMUNITIES  IN SCHOOL  AND PARENT,  JUNEAU, He                                                                    
spoke  in  support  of  AKLN.   He  asserted  that  distance                                                                    
learning  offered  flexibility   and  depth  of  curriculum,                                                                    
making small schools big and  big schools bigger. He claimed                                                                    
that it  could turn a  home, a  workplace, or a  coffee shop                                                                    
into a  classroom. He commented that  distance learning made                                                                    
the  state  much  more nibble  and  empowered  students.  He                                                                    
informed  the committee  that AKLN  offered quality  courses                                                                    
and support  from Alaskan teachers for  students enrolled in                                                                    
schools  that were  not  able  to offer  a  wide variety  of                                                                    
classes. He  believed that AKLN  would play  an increasingly                                                                    
important role  as enrollment and state  financing declined.                                                                    
He  advocated that  AKLN met  many of  the distant  learning                                                                    
needs of  the state.  He urged to  committee to  continue to                                                                    
fund AKLN.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:10:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LARRY WEST, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke in favor  of supporting the                                                                    
AMHS. He mentioned his tourism  background. He reported that                                                                    
the community of the City  of Haines depended heavily on the                                                                    
AMHS  as well  as  other communities  in  the Northern  Lynn                                                                    
Canal. He expressed his concern  with the current budget cut                                                                    
to  the  ferry  system  and remarked  that  the  effects  on                                                                    
families,  kids,  and  groups would  be  unconscionable  and                                                                    
devastating. He  opined that  those currently  traveling the                                                                    
AMHS  would otherwise  have  to be  transported  by air,  an                                                                    
option  he did  not feel  would work  well. He  claimed that                                                                    
cutting $9.5 million from the  AMHS budget would also result                                                                    
in reduced revenues to the  state. He favored funding AMHS's                                                                    
existing service rather than funding a new capital project.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:12:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BEN  GOLDRICH,   MARINE  ENGINEERS   BENEFICIAL  ASSOCIATION                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE AND  THE MASTERS, MATES, AND  PILOTS, AND THE                                                                    
INLANDBOATSMEN'S UNION,  JUNEAU, spoke in opposition  to the                                                                    
proposed  budget cuts  to AMHS.  He was  concerned with  the                                                                    
effects the  budget cuts would  have to the bottom  line for                                                                    
businesses  throughout   coastal  Alaska.  He   opined  that                                                                    
cutting  a published  schedule  would result  in  a loss  of                                                                    
revenue  for  the  AMHS.  He  furthered  that  without  much                                                                    
advance notice the  cuts would affect the lives  of 750 AMHS                                                                    
residents and  employees as  well as  independent travelers.                                                                    
He urged the  committee to consider the impacts  of the cuts                                                                    
to the AMHS.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:15:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  SEAMOUNT, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  in favor  of a  state                                                                    
income  tax  and urged  the  legislature  to consider  other                                                                    
sources of revenue.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson indicated  that after  a short  break the                                                                    
committee  would be  hearing  testimony  from Homer,  Kenai,                                                                    
Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su, and Seward.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:17:16 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:33:30 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVEYNED                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: HOMER,  KENAI, KETCHIKAN, KODIAK, MAT-SU,                                                                  
SEWARD                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  called  the  meeting  back  to  order.  He                                                                    
announced the order in which  the committee would be hearing                                                                    
testimonies  from individuals  at the  community legislative                                                                    
information offices.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:34:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD  MALLEY,  INDEPENDENT   LIVING  CENTER,  HOMER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  opposition to  the 13.5  percent                                                                    
cut to  the independent living  line item in the  budget. He                                                                    
relayed that the cut would  have a huge impact. He explained                                                                    
that  centers for  independent  living were  non-residential                                                                    
Alaskan   non-profits  that   provided  independent   living                                                                    
services to older Alaskans and  people with disabilities. He                                                                    
cited a list  of center locations in the  state. He reported                                                                    
that the  governor's budget removed  $164 thousand  from the                                                                    
statewide independent living budget.  He relayed that in the                                                                    
previous year 3700 Alaskans  with disabilities were assessed                                                                    
to obtain  independence or remain independent.  He furthered                                                                    
that  the   centers  only   employed  65   individuals  with                                                                    
disabilities. He  relayed that 175 people  would be impacted                                                                    
by the  budget cut. He  stated that if  only one of  the 175                                                                    
people  impacted by  the budget  cut  ended up  in a  higher                                                                    
level of care  such as assisted living or in  a nursing home                                                                    
the  savings  would  be  erased. In  FY  14  transitions  of                                                                    
persons   from  assisted   living   homes   to  their   home                                                                    
communities  made by  independent living  centers saved  the                                                                    
state over  $400 thousand in  Medicare costs. He  asked that                                                                    
most, if not all, of the  funds be restored to the statewide                                                                    
independent living budget.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  acknowledged Representatives Dan  Ortiz and                                                                    
Mike Chenault in the audience.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:37:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAVELY KALUGIN,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA, KACHEMAK  BAY CAMPUS                                                                    
STUDENT ASSOCIATION  PRESIDENT, HOMER  (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in opposition to the  budget cuts to the University of                                                                    
Alaska. He  expressed his concerns  about the effect  of the                                                                    
budget  cuts on  rural  campuses. He  suggested that  budget                                                                    
cuts be implemented slowly over time.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:38:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CLAUDIA   HAINES,  HOMER   PUBLIC  LIBRARY   YOUTH  SERVICES                                                                    
LIBRARIAN AND  PARENT, HOMER (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition  to the  budget cut  that  eliminates the  Online                                                                    
With  Libraries (OWL)  program. She  reported that  for four                                                                    
years  the  state  library  had  used  state,  federal,  and                                                                    
foundation  funding to  supply nearly  100 libraries  in the                                                                    
state with  the equipment and broadband  to provide Alaskans                                                                    
with  a  digital  connection. She  furthered  that  in  some                                                                    
communities the  connection is the  only one  available. The                                                                    
cut will  also mean  a loss  to the state  of $2  million in                                                                    
federal e-Rate monies that helped  to provide access to many                                                                    
other   communities.   She   cited   additional   statistics                                                                    
concerning internet connectivity. She  also spoke in support                                                                    
of other programs including  Homework Help, Best Beginnings,                                                                    
and Parents as  Teachers. She pleaded with  the committee to                                                                    
reinstate funding for the programs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:41:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRISTY  FRY,  SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
opposition  to proposed  cuts  to  public broadcasting.  She                                                                    
recalled the  efforts of the  people to get public  radio on                                                                    
the  air in  1979. She  referred  to KBBI  radio station  in                                                                    
Kenai.  She applauded  the legislature  for its  attempts to                                                                    
cut the budget.  However, she opposed the 59  percent cut to                                                                    
public   broadcasting.  She   reported  that   public  radio                                                                    
stations across  the state provided critical  information in                                                                    
emergencies  and  disasters   such  as  volcanic  eruptions,                                                                    
wildfires, severe weather, and  tsunami warnings. She opined                                                                    
that a 59 percent budget  reduction was out of proportion to                                                                    
other services  and department  cuts and  would result  in a                                                                    
loss   of  local,   state,   and   international  news   and                                                                    
programming.   She   also   pointed  out   that   am   radio                                                                    
broadcasting reached remote areas,  many of which existed in                                                                    
the  state.  She  asked  the  committee  to  reconsider  the                                                                    
devastating cut to public broadcasting.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK ROBL,  CHIEF OF POLICE, HOMER  POLICE DEPARTMENT, HOMER                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in favor  of  restoring  full                                                                    
funding for the community jails  program and the Alaska Land                                                                    
Mobile Radio  System (ALMR). He  pointed out  that community                                                                    
jails  are   state  jails  run  by   local  communities.  He                                                                    
continued  that  state  statue required  the  Department  of                                                                    
Public Safety to  pay for all prisoner  care costs including                                                                    
incarceration and  transportation. The proposed  budget cuts                                                                    
would reduce  the level of  services currently  provided and                                                                    
could  result in  decreased prison  safety  for inmates  and                                                                    
staff. He felt  that the largest impact would  fall on state                                                                    
troopers in  a number of ways.  He requested reconsideration                                                                    
of  full funding  for  the community  jail  program and  for                                                                    
ALMR.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:45:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH CARROLL, SELF, FRITZ  CREEK (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  opposition  of the  59  percent  funding cut  to  public                                                                    
broadcasting. She  stressed the  vital importance  of public                                                                    
broadcasting.  She  indicated   that  public  radio  already                                                                    
operated with a  bare bones staff. KBBI  played an important                                                                    
role in  communications including Tsunami warnings  and fire                                                                    
alerts. The reduction  to KBBI would amount  to $77 thousand                                                                    
which would decimate the station.  Stations around the state                                                                    
share  resources and  were interdependent.  She reemphasized                                                                    
the devastating  impact of the  state's proposed  budget cut                                                                    
to public broadcasting.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  recognized Representative Louise  Stutes in                                                                    
the audience.  He asked if there  were additional testifiers                                                                    
at the  Homer LIO.  Hearing none, he  switched to  the Kenai                                                                    
LIO to hear public testimony.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:47:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIRGINIA ESPENSHADE, KENAI  PENINSULA YOUTH COURT, EXECUTIVE                                                                    
DIRECTOR,  KENAI (via  teleconference),  spoke  in favor  of                                                                    
restoring  funding for  Alaska  youth  courts. She  reported                                                                    
that she  filed a  written copy  of a  fact sheet  about the                                                                    
program for  the committee's review. The  report stated that                                                                    
in  FY 14  over  400  cases were  handled  in Alaskan  youth                                                                    
courts. She offered that every  one of the cases saved money                                                                    
for the state in a number  of ways. Youth court has impacted                                                                    
recidivism  rates  and  saved thousands  of  future  dollars                                                                    
otherwise spent on the  traditional criminal justice system.                                                                    
She asked  the committee  to fully  restore the  youth court                                                                    
funding that was cut in the budget.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:49:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRY  BOOKEY, KDLL,  KENAI (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
opposition to  the proposed cuts to  public broadcasting. He                                                                    
noted that public radio  provided crucial services otherwise                                                                    
not  provided  in  many  communities  within  the  State  of                                                                    
Alaska.  He elaborated  that  the 59  percent  cut that  was                                                                    
proposed by  the finance  subcommittee would  be devastating                                                                    
to  stations  around  the state.  He  further  informed  the                                                                    
committee that  stations relied  upon other  stations within                                                                    
the state. He understood that  cuts had to be made. However,                                                                    
he urged  reconsideration of the  extreme level  of proposed                                                                    
cuts.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:51:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JACKSON BLACKWELL,  YOUTH COURTS  OF ALASKA  BOARD, SOLDOTNA                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  in support  of restoring  full                                                                    
funding  for  youth court.  He  explained  the services  and                                                                    
benefits  of  the  program.  He  indicated  that  statistics                                                                    
showed that  the youth court's  reoffending rates  were half                                                                    
of those  that did not go  through the program. In  the long                                                                    
run the  program saved the  state money. He felt  that youth                                                                    
court was where he could  make the most difference. He asked                                                                    
the committee to restore the program's funding.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:53:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LAURIE OLSON,  DIRECTOR OF FINANCE, KENAI  PENINSULA BOROUGH                                                                    
SCHOOL DISTRICT  (KPBSD), KENAI (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of the one-time  funding in the amount  of $2.26                                                                    
million  in  the  FY  15 projection.  She  relayed  that  in                                                                    
Governor  Walker's  address  he  stated  that  the  one-time                                                                    
funding would  be removed. She observed  additional comments                                                                    
being  made  that  support   the  governor's  position.  She                                                                    
pointed  out that  the  reduction in  the  funding caused  a                                                                    
larger  loss  to  the   district's  revenue  budget  because                                                                    
reduction  in state  funding meant  a  reduction in  funding                                                                    
from  the Kenai  Peninsula  Borough amounting  to more  than                                                                    
$520  thousand. The  total  amount of  revenue  lost to  the                                                                    
school  district was  more than  $2.8 million.  She conveyed                                                                    
that  the  board was  looking  at  reductions in  staff  and                                                                    
outlined  specific  cuts  under consideration.  She  relayed                                                                    
that the  board would be  adopting a balanced budget  at its                                                                    
April 6th board meeting without  knowing what the borough or                                                                    
the state  would be  providing for  revenue. She  wished the                                                                    
committee  all the  best in  determining the  course of  the                                                                    
state budget.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM  WHITE,  DIRECTOR  OF INFORMATION  SERVICES  FOR  KPBSD,                                                                    
KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in  favor of  supporting                                                                    
the  school  broadband  assistance  grant,  referred  to  as                                                                    
"School Bag."  He reported that  Kenai requested  funding in                                                                    
the amount of $27 thousand  for the program and received $21                                                                    
thousand. The award  was supposed to be  a three-year award.                                                                    
He read directly from the  February 2, 2015 award letter. He                                                                    
noted  the  instructions  for  the   2015  e-Rate  year.  It                                                                    
encouraged the  school district to  apply for 10  megabit on                                                                    
the e-Rate application which was  due March 26, 2015 for the                                                                    
following  school year.  It stated  that  the grant  program                                                                    
would require an e-Rate match  for increased bandwidth going                                                                    
forward. He  commented that he had  included the information                                                                    
in the  school district's  request. He mentioned  that there                                                                    
would  be changes  to the  e-Rate program  in the  following                                                                    
year and  there would  be reduced funding  in the  amount of                                                                    
$100 thousand  in e-Rate subsidies for  the following school                                                                    
year.  He  elaborated  about other  funding  reductions.  He                                                                    
concluded  that there  could be  unintended consequences  of                                                                    
the proposed cuts.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:57:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH HARDIE, UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA STATEWIDE MINING AND                                                                    
PETROLEUM    TRAINING    SERVICE   (MAPTS),    KENAI    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  opposition to  the  20  percent                                                                    
statewide  budget  cut  to the  University  of  Alaska.  She                                                                    
detailed  the   services  of  the  MAPTS   program  and  the                                                                    
program's efficiencies. She reported  that the program gene-                                                                    
Rated revenue and would provide  the funding to purchase the                                                                    
Delta Mine  Training facility that would  gene-Rate addition                                                                    
revenue.  She   requested  that  University   leadership  be                                                                    
allowed  to examine  revenues, to  decide about  educational                                                                    
values,  and to  decide  what programs  will  be allowed  to                                                                    
continue  and grow.  She encouraged  the committee  to allow                                                                    
the  incoming leadership  to  examine  incoming revenue  and                                                                    
programs  and  to  accomplish  the  restructuring  that  was                                                                    
needed to make the university run more efficiently.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:00:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GLENN   TURNER,  INDEPENDENT   LIVING  CENTER,   KENAI  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke   in   favor  of   supporting   the                                                                    
Independent Living  Center. He listed various  agencies that                                                                    
had  provided  him  services including  hospitals,  Heritage                                                                    
House, and  Independent Living. He relayed  that Independent                                                                    
Living  was  beneficial  and  inexpensive.  He  thanked  the                                                                    
committee and hoped to see the program continue.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:00:52                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  BIEBER, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  UNIVERSITY OF  ALASKA                                                                    
MINING   AND   PETROLEUM   TRAINING  SERVICE,   KENAI   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support   of  funding  for  the                                                                    
university  and the  Alaska  Mining  and Petroleum  Training                                                                    
Service. He  provided information  on the  training programs                                                                    
offered  to producers  and  industry  support companies.  He                                                                    
detailed  that   the  program  generated   some  independent                                                                    
revenues, which helped to fund  its own facilities. He spoke                                                                    
in support  of a  statewide Mine Safety  Compliance training                                                                    
program. He spoke in support of the new Mine Training Hard-                                                                     
Skills  Program that  partnered  with  companies to  provide                                                                    
hands on training;  the service had been  provided for under                                                                    
one  year and  had produced  19 students.  He spoke  to wage                                                                    
revenues  brought in  by the  program. He  relayed that  the                                                                    
three programs cost  less than $900,000 per  year in general                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:03:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL  TUTTLE, KENAI  PENINSULA COLLEGE  (KPC), KENAI  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  support  of  the   campus  and                                                                    
ensuring its funding for the future.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:04:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARSEA  HANSEN, KPC,  KENAI (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
favor of  distance learning. She provided  information about                                                                    
her  class  schedule;  e-learning   made  classes  at  other                                                                    
campuses  available when  subjects were  not taught  at KPC.                                                                    
She thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:05:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAYCE ROBERTSON,  KPC, KENAI (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of  funding for  KPC. He  stressed that  the college                                                                    
represented  a vital  aspect of  the community  and provided                                                                    
many educational  opportunities. He  asked the  committee to                                                                    
reconsider  cuts  to the  University  of  Alaska budget.  He                                                                    
provided information  about his  degree program.  He relayed                                                                    
that his  education received  at KPC  enabled him  to better                                                                    
provide for  his family and to  act as a more  robust member                                                                    
of his  community. He  asked the  committee to  consider how                                                                    
the cuts would impact  communities throughout the state. The                                                                    
cut equated to  a loss of over $660,000 for  KPC. He thanked                                                                    
the committee for its work.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:06:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN LACROSS,  SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of  the  Adult  Day  Services  program  and  senior                                                                    
benefits.  She  relayed  a  personal  experience  about  her                                                                    
husband's fight  with Alzheimer's.  She detailed  that grant                                                                    
services  had  enabled her  husband  to  use the  Adult  Day                                                                    
Services  program.  She  stressed   the  importance  of  the                                                                    
services to caregivers  and the break it  provided them. She                                                                    
stated that  caregivers were saving the  state a significant                                                                    
amount of money by caring for  their loved ones at home. She                                                                    
relayed her appreciation for the  program. She also spoke in                                                                    
support  of the  Independent  Living Center.  She urged  the                                                                    
committee  to  think  about   the  state's  most  vulnerable                                                                    
population and to reinstate full funds to the programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:08:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUSTIN DAHLGREN, KENAI PENINSULA  YOUTH COURT, SOLDOTNA (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke  in favor  of supporting  funding for                                                                    
the Alaska Youth  Court. He had worked with  the program for                                                                    
six years and  had seen the positive impact  the program had                                                                    
on  youth on  a daily  basis. He  detailed that  the program                                                                    
provided youths with  a second chance and  an opportunity to                                                                    
reevaluate their  lives. He stated  that removing  a program                                                                    
that  educated  youth  on  the   judicial  system  and  gave                                                                    
juvenile offenders  a second chance  would be a  mistake. He                                                                    
asked the committee to reconsider the cuts.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:09:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE BRIGHTON,  SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
favor of supporting education. He  stated that after several                                                                    
years of flat funding the  Kenai School District had to make                                                                    
an increase to  the teacher/student ratio, which  had led to                                                                    
teacher  cuts. He  encouraged the  legislature  to keep  its                                                                    
promise from the prior year to fund at the existing level.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:10:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PEPPER POND, GREATER  KENAI-SOLDOTNA IMAGINATION LIBRARY AND                                                                    
BEST  BEGINNINGS, SOLDOTNA  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
favor funding  the Best Beginnings  and Parents  as Teachers                                                                    
programs. Best  Beginnings provided the  Imagination Library                                                                    
with  over 50  percent of  its funding.  She explained  that                                                                    
children received a  free book every month from  age zero to                                                                    
five. The program targeted foster  children and any children                                                                    
who did  not have  the opportunity to  visit a  library. She                                                                    
spoke  to a  significant  increase in  Pre-K  literacy as  a                                                                    
result of the program. She  stated that the program would be                                                                    
eliminated if funding was not  received. The local community                                                                    
worked hard to  match approximately 50 percent  of the funds                                                                    
provided by Best Beginnings.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:12:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELENA MILETTE,  SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of the Independent  Learning Center. The program had                                                                    
helped  to  find her  a  job  and  education. She  was  very                                                                    
appreciative of the help.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:13:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL NELSON,  SELF, SOLDOTNA (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against education cuts.  He relayed the challenge  he had as                                                                    
a  parent  with  a  child with  a  learning  disability.  He                                                                    
stressed that there was insufficient  support in schools for                                                                    
children  with disabilities.  He  spent time  four days  per                                                                    
week  helping with  his son's  disabilities.  He noted  that                                                                    
other  children  with  disabilities  were  not  getting  the                                                                    
services they  needed. He believed  teachers were  doing the                                                                    
best they could with their resources.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:14:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED   STURMAN,   SELF,   SOLDOTNA   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified that  legislature needed to make  greater cuts. He                                                                    
suggested  cutting  the  salaries  of  a  minimum  of  2,000                                                                    
employees;  he believed  the  cut  would save  approximately                                                                    
$2.8  million.  He  thought  departments  should  either  be                                                                    
eliminated   completely  or   fully  funded.   He  advocated                                                                    
eliminating  the Division  of Motor  Vehicles. He  wanted to                                                                    
see $4 billion cut from the current budget.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:16:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY JO  METTLER, NORTHERN  LIGHTHOUSE DAY  CENTER, SOLDOTNA                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  the restoration                                                                    
of $500,000  for the  Adult Day  Service grant  program. She                                                                    
communicated that  the program  provided family  care givers                                                                    
with the ability to continue  working and to keep loved ones                                                                    
at home. She noted that in-home care saved the state money.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:17:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE QUEEN,  KENAI PENINSULA COLLEGE  COUNCIL, SOLDOTNA                                                                    
(via  teleconference), encouraged  the committee  to support                                                                    
the university  funding proposed  in the  governor's version                                                                    
of  the  budget. She  stated  that  KPC and  the  university                                                                    
served  an  important role  in  the  regional and  statewide                                                                    
economies. She  opined that  developing a  skilled workforce                                                                    
that could  meet the opportunities  in the state would  be a                                                                    
challenge.  She elaborated  that  KPC was  strategic in  its                                                                    
partnership with  the private sector  to tailor  programs to                                                                    
meet the  state and  local need.  She discussed  the average                                                                    
earnings  of  graduates  of  various  degree  programs.  She                                                                    
reiterated  her   support  of  funding  at   the  governor's                                                                    
proposed levels.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS HOLDRIED,  SELF, HOMER (via teleconference),  asked the                                                                    
committee  to   maintain  the   university  budget   at  the                                                                    
governor's proposed  level. She  shared a couple  of stories                                                                    
related  to how  the  university was  helping  to build  the                                                                    
workforce  the  state needed  in  order  to be  economically                                                                    
sound in  the future. She  relayed that she was  involved in                                                                    
energy task  group in the  inlet; the group had  worked with                                                                    
students from the University of  Alaska Anchorage. She spoke                                                                    
to the  great training provided to  university students. She                                                                    
discussed  marine programs  offered by  the university.  She                                                                    
believed the  university was building  a great  workforce in                                                                    
science and technology.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:22:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  SLENKAMP,  AK  MENTAL   HEALTH  TRUST/UAA  LAND  TRUST                                                                    
OFFICE,  KETCHIKAN   (via  teleconference),   expressed  his                                                                    
support of the University of  Alaska Lands and Alaska Mental                                                                    
Health Trust  Lands Offices. He  spoke against  the proposed                                                                    
elimination of  the Division of  Forestry timber  program in                                                                    
Southeast Alaska. He elaborated  that the university and the                                                                    
Alaska  Mental   Health  Trust  Authority   (AMHTA)  derived                                                                    
significant revenues  from timber.  He discussed  efforts to                                                                    
provide  a sufficient  timber base  to stabilize  the timber                                                                    
industry  in   Southeast  and   to  maintain   the  required                                                                    
infrastructure. He shared that  AMHTA and the university had                                                                    
joined together  to work  with the  Division of  Forestry to                                                                    
preserve the  Southeast Alaska forest products  industry. He                                                                    
stated that  without a competitive  market the  assets would                                                                    
lose  value.  He  discussed   providing  maximum  return  to                                                                    
landowners  by combining  infrastructure and  utilize mutual                                                                    
developed  road systems  and other.  He provided  additional                                                                    
information  about the  program. He  asked the  committee to                                                                    
allow funding for one position in Southeast Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:25:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED ZASTROW,  KETCHIKAN SENIOR  SERVICES AND  AARP, KETCHIKAN                                                                    
(via teleconference),  testified in support of  the proposed                                                                    
budget for the state's senior  population. He spoke in favor                                                                    
of  the Senior  Care Program;  the basic  money went  to the                                                                    
basic needs  of seniors. He  relayed a story about  a senior                                                                    
trying to  decide what food  to purchase  at the store  on a                                                                    
limited  budget.  He  spoke  in  support  of  programs  that                                                                    
provided   seniors  with   assistance   getting  to   doctor                                                                    
appointments and  other. He  stressed that  heating programs                                                                    
and home  care provided  a base need  for seniors.  He asked                                                                    
the committee  to carefully look at  funding the needs-based                                                                    
programs.  He recommended  looking  for  areas of  duplicate                                                                    
services when considering where to make cuts.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUANITA  DIAZ CAMILON,  RENDEZVOUS SENIOR  CENTER, KETCHIKAN                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in  support of funding  for the                                                                    
Rendezvous Day Care Center. She  relayed that the center was                                                                    
a blessing for  seniors in Ketchikan. She  stressed that the                                                                    
staff of  four did everything  to make people feel  at home.                                                                    
She  provided the  names of  the  staff at  the center.  She                                                                    
thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:29:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LICHA KELLY KING, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, RENDEZVOUS SENIOR DAY                                                                    
SERVICE  CENTER, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  testified                                                                    
in support  of funding  for Adult  Day Services.  She shared                                                                    
that  the day  service  centers were  for  older adults  who                                                                    
could no  longer manage independently, or  who were isolated                                                                    
and  lonely. The  day centers  enabled seniors  to socialize                                                                    
while  still  receive  needed  care  services.  The  centers                                                                    
allowed caregivers  some respite from the  caregiving duties                                                                    
in  other areas.  Most of  the seniors  did not  have family                                                                    
members to care  for them. During the day they  were able to                                                                    
receive nutritious food,  participate in healthy activities,                                                                    
and  make use  of  their valuable  skills  and talents.  She                                                                    
shared that  many of  the seniors  had severe  problems, and                                                                    
the  centers provided  much needed  help. She  stressed that                                                                    
the  participants were  valuable members  of the  community,                                                                    
and it was Alaska's duty to provide care for them.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:31:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEWART  WHYTE, DEVELOPMENT  DIRECTOR, KRBD,  KETCHIKAN (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support  of funds  for public                                                                    
broadcasting. He  shared that  radio stations  were mandated                                                                    
by  the federal  government  to serve  their communities  of                                                                    
license  as pubic  trustees. Which  meant that  the stations                                                                    
were a part  of the community, and had a  duty to engage the                                                                    
citizens  to   ensure  their   safety  and   wellbeing.  The                                                                    
emergency  alert system  and other  systems were  a part  of                                                                    
that federal mandate. Public  broadcasting was sometimes the                                                                    
only means  to send and  receive vital information  for some                                                                    
rural  communities. There  were many  places in  Alaska that                                                                    
were considered under-served rural  areas, so they relied on                                                                    
public  broadcasters,  and  many  were only  served  by  the                                                                    
translator  signals.  He  stated that  there  were  numerous                                                                    
nonprofit   organizations  that   recorded  Public   Service                                                                    
Announcements, Native Language  Modules, and other programs;                                                                    
honor  interviews; and  provide cultural  enrichment to  the                                                                    
audience.  The volunteers  represented a  wide cross-section                                                                    
of community members.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:34:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANITA MAXWELL,  SELF, KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of funds  for  public  radio. She  shared  that                                                                    
public  radio  was an  essential  service  in Ketchikan  and                                                                    
throughout Alaska. The community  relied on public radio for                                                                    
accurate,  timely,  and  unbiased  information.  The  public                                                                    
radio  shared  school  reports and  other  local  issues  to                                                                    
provide her  family with information  that helped  them make                                                                    
decisions  throughout   the  day.  The  radio   brought  the                                                                    
community together through  meaningful dialogue and outreach                                                                    
to all  different types of  people. She shared that  she had                                                                    
helped to produce educational  programming for public radio,                                                                    
and  used  it  as  a   resource  to  share  information  and                                                                    
education.   Public  radio   had   an   immense  impact   on                                                                    
individuals and organizations.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:35:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  PEARSON, ADULT  SERVICES  LIBRARIAN, KETCHIKAN  PUBLIC                                                                    
LIBRARY,  KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), spoke  in support                                                                    
of funding for Online With  Libraries (OWL). She stated that                                                                    
OWL provided the  infrastructure for statewide communication                                                                    
and   collaboration  for   state,  municipal,   tribal,  and                                                                    
nonprofit  agencies  in  96  communities.  The  OWL  network                                                                    
allowed Alaskan agencies a savings  of hundreds of thousands                                                                    
of dollars  in travel costs,  and hundreds of hours  in lost                                                                    
productivity  time. She  stated that  there were  many small                                                                    
communities  that would  be burdened  by time  and money  to                                                                    
attend  meetings in  person. She  remarked that  OWL allowed                                                                    
remote  communities to  be active  members of  statewide and                                                                    
regional partnerships.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET  CLABBY,  SELF,   KETCHIKAN  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for public  broadcasting. She                                                                    
stated that  Ketchikan's public radio station,  KRBD, was an                                                                    
important reason for her choice  to reside in Ketchikan. She                                                                    
was  a teacher,  and took  groups  of students  to tour  the                                                                    
radio station.  The children  then grew  up to  volunteer at                                                                    
the  radio  station.  She  shared   that  the  public  radio                                                                    
broadcasted   candidate   forums   for   public   elections;                                                                    
information from the Department  of Fish and Game; emergency                                                                    
alerts;  jobs reports;  and local  news  reports. The  radio                                                                    
provided reports  from communities  across the  state, which                                                                    
helped  her  familiarize with  the  other  residents of  the                                                                    
state. She  shared that there  was information  ranging from                                                                    
gardening, to public  safety, to the arts.  The local public                                                                    
radio station  educated, informed, and broad  generations of                                                                    
residents together. She felt that  the public radio stations                                                                    
produced better and happier Alaskans.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:39:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAITLIN   JACOBSON,   LIBRARIAN,  KETCHIKAN   HIGH   SCHOOL,                                                                    
KETCHIKAN (via teleconference), spoke  in support of funding                                                                    
for  technical   services.  She  stressed  that   access  to                                                                    
information is  critical for  students and  communities. She                                                                    
felt that  the current  proposed cuts would  be devastating,                                                                    
and  would limit  the residents  from  needed services.  The                                                                    
essential   services  included   programs  such   as  public                                                                    
broadcasting and  broadband services. Public  radio provided                                                                    
unbiased reporting  and programing  that kept  the residents                                                                    
informed.  Communities also  relied  on broadband  services,                                                                    
which  had  only  recently risen  above  substandard  levels                                                                    
across the state.  She shared that the  OWL program provided                                                                    
broadband services  to an area  of Alaska that was  the size                                                                    
of Ohio.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:41:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  JAUSORO, ALASKA  ESCROW  AND  TITLE AGENCY,  KETCHIKAN                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  funding  for                                                                    
recording centers. The  closing of the offices  would have a                                                                    
very serious  effect on how real  property transactions were                                                                    
handling.  Recording   documents  could   be  done   with  a                                                                    
different format,  many recordings would be  presenting to a                                                                    
recording  office, especially  those handled  by individuals                                                                    
or small offices.  Only two businesses had  a simple-file in                                                                    
the  three  recording  districts  served  by  the  Ketchikan                                                                    
Recording  Office. Local  attorneys, surveyors,  real estate                                                                    
offices, banks,  and credit unions relied  on the recorder's                                                                    
office.  In 1984,  he  was affiliated  with  the only  title                                                                    
insurance  agency ever  to open  an office  in Bethel.  That                                                                    
office  served  both  the  Bethel  and  Kuskokwim  recording                                                                    
district.  That  office  was then  closed  for  an  extended                                                                    
period of  time, and it was  long enough to force  the title                                                                    
insurance agency to  move to Anchorage. The  closing of that                                                                    
office occurred during a downturn  in the economy related to                                                                    
the oil industry.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:44:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHRIS  FRENCH,  KETCHIKAN  GATEWAY BOROUGH,  KETCHIKAN  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for  the                                                                    
Ketchikan  District  Recorders Office.  Several  departments                                                                    
within   the   Ketchikan   Gateway  Borough   utilized   the                                                                    
recorder's office on  a regular basis. The  borough would be                                                                    
required to  file most documents electronically  or by mail,                                                                    
which  would  cost an  additional  $1400  per year,  if  the                                                                    
office  closed. Many  recorded documents  affecting property                                                                    
owners were  not available in the  state recorder's website.                                                                    
Residents  would most  likely seek  property information  at                                                                    
the  borough,  which  would necessitate  the  allocation  of                                                                    
additional   borough   resources    to   provide   resources                                                                    
eliminated  by the  state. The  Ketchikan  office served  70                                                                    
outlying communities,  and if it  closed the  nearest office                                                                    
would be in Juneau.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LES  CRONK,  EMPLOYEE,  SOUTHEAST  STEVEDORING  CORPORATION,                                                                    
KETCHIKAN (via teleconference), spoke  in support of funding                                                                    
for  maintaining the  State Timber  Office in  Ketchikan. He                                                                    
stressed that  timber gene-Rated revenue for  the state, and                                                                    
was critical  to Southeast Alaska. He  understood that there                                                                    
may be cuts to the office,  but stressed that people must be                                                                    
employed to  bring the  state timber  to market.  The timber                                                                    
industry  was very  dependent  on that  office,  due to  the                                                                    
failure of the federal government  to supply the timber that                                                                    
was  needed   to  keep   the  industry   and  infrastructure                                                                    
available.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC NICHOLS,  OWNER, ALCAN FOREST PRODUCTS,  KETCHIKAN (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  the                                                                    
Department of  Forestry timber sale program.  He stated that                                                                    
his  company depended  on  the program,  and  would fail  if                                                                    
eliminated.  There  was not  enough  volume  to sustain  the                                                                    
weakened  timber industry.  The  other  private land  owners                                                                    
would  continue to  gene-Rate less  revenues for  the public                                                                    
trusts.  The program  could gene-Rate  a positive  income to                                                                    
the state,  and his company  recently had a 150  acre timber                                                                    
sale that  would gene-Rate $1  million for the  state. There                                                                    
would be  $1 million to $2  million in state revenue  with a                                                                    
substantial   harvest   yield,   and  would   gene-Rate   an                                                                    
additional $6 million  to $7 million in  expenditures to all                                                                    
the local communities in the harvesting of timber.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:48:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENISE  JAUSORO,  DISTRICT   RECORDER,  KETCHIKAN  RECORDERS                                                                    
OFFICE,   KETCHIKAN  (via   teleconference),  testified   in                                                                    
support of  funding for the Ketchikan  Recorders Office. The                                                                    
mission statement for the offices  stated, in part, that the                                                                    
state recorder's office  administers the statewide recording                                                                    
system and the  uniform commercial code. The  mission was to                                                                    
provide a secure, accessible, and  impartial place to record                                                                    
and  preserve  the  permanent public  record  of  Alaska  as                                                                    
directed  by  statute  under  19   separate  titles  and  by                                                                    
regulation. The  offices were the  singular point  of access                                                                    
to all  of the recorded  public records. The  offices served                                                                    
approximately  50,000  residents  in  the  remote  areas  of                                                                    
Alaska,  which was  approximately 7  percent of  the state's                                                                    
population. The Ketchikan office  services were available to                                                                    
approximately  20,000  residents   in  the  area,  including                                                                    
Petersburg  and Wrangell.  The  other  offices served  major                                                                    
ports  such   as  Valdez,  Homer,  Bethel,   and  the  Yukon                                                                    
Kuskokwim Delta.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:51:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAM   HERNANDEZ,  PHYSICAL   EDUCATION  TEACHER,   KETCHIKAN                                                                    
SCHOOLS,  KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), urged  support of                                                                    
funding  for wellness  programs in  schools. He  stated that                                                                    
the wellness  grants helped students to  learn proper skills                                                                    
to  fight  obesity. He  announced  that  42 percent  of  the                                                                    
students in  Ketchikan were  categorized as  obese. Wellness                                                                    
funds provided  new equipment and  after school  programs to                                                                    
help the  students stay active.  The current  wellness staff                                                                    
was  continually planning  new  programs  and activities  to                                                                    
help the students.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:52:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVID ANDERSON,  GENERAL MANAGER, KBBI PUBLIC  RADIO, HOMER,                                                                    
spoke  in support  of funding  for  public broadcasting.  He                                                                    
stated  that  the proposed  budget  reduction  would have  a                                                                    
devastating  effect on  the  radio  stations statewide,  and                                                                    
specifically  the scholar  stations  that did  not have  the                                                                    
commercial base  to gene-Rate additional revenue.  He stated                                                                    
that   the  radio   stations  provided   important  services                                                                    
including  broadcasting  borough   assembly  meetings,  city                                                                    
council meetings; and state and  local news. He stressed the                                                                    
importance  of the  access to  emergency response,  and KBBI                                                                    
had invested  considerable money  in generators  and propane                                                                    
takes  to maintain  the transmitter  building functional  in                                                                    
the case of an emergency.  Emergency service information was                                                                    
provided  to many  listeners in  life-threatening situations                                                                    
where their homes  and lives were at risk.  The radio worked                                                                    
closely  with   the  Kenai   Peninsula  Borough   Office  of                                                                    
Emergency  Management,  and  the Homer  Fire  Department  in                                                                    
coordinating  the accurate  and  timely  information to  the                                                                    
impacted individuals.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:55:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN SCHMITT,  SELF, KODIAK (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of funding  for public broadcasting.  The Kodiak                                                                    
Public  Broadcasting Corporation,  which owned  and operated                                                                    
KMXT,  was the  only  broadcast source  for  local news.  He                                                                    
stated  that  KMXT  broadcasted local  public  meetings  and                                                                    
provided many  other services including  emergency broadcast                                                                    
services  to  the  island communities,  which  included  six                                                                    
remote  villages. He  felt that  public broadcasting  should                                                                    
not be singled  out for such a  substantial budget decrease.                                                                    
The  public  radio  united the  community  and  depended  on                                                                    
continued state funding.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:56:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ARTHUR SHULTZ,  SELF, KODIAK (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
favor of funding Alaska  Marine Safety Education Association                                                                    
(AMSEA).  There was  no other  safety and  survival training                                                                    
program to Alaskan fisherman, and  the AMSEA program reached                                                                    
the entire  coast of  Alaska. It was  a forum  for survivors                                                                    
for every type of marine tragedy  met to pass on their often                                                                    
hard-earned  wisdom.   The  AMSEA  program   had  measurable                                                                    
results as seen  in the dramatic decrease in  the death rate                                                                    
in  commercial  fishing in  recent  years.  In the  previous                                                                    
year,  fourteen   fishermen  directly  credit   their  AMSEA                                                                    
training  for their  survival.  The  training had  extremely                                                                    
limited  budget.  He  stressed   that  AMSEA  was  the  most                                                                    
effective way to support the  lives and safety of commercial                                                                    
fishermen.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:58:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE KORSMO,  SELF, SKAGWAY (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in favor  of funding  for the  Alaska Marine  Highway System                                                                    
(AMHS). He shared  that he had worked  extensively with past                                                                    
administrations and marine highway  staff to ensure that the                                                                    
coastal communities received optimal  service to support the                                                                    
residents  and economies.  He felt  that  AMHS had  recently                                                                    
stabilized its scheduling and routes  to provide the minimal                                                                    
service  to  the   coastal  communities.  Destabilizing  the                                                                    
system  would   have  a  drastic   effect  on   the  coastal                                                                    
communities. Recent efforts to  build efficient vessels must                                                                    
come to fruition.  He felt that reducing  service to Kodiak,                                                                    
Prince  William Sound,  Southeast Alaska,  and the  Aleutian                                                                    
Chain, would  create a substantial transportation  halt that                                                                    
would require many  years to remedy. He  believed that funds                                                                    
were  available   to  adequately  fund  the   system,  while                                                                    
management creates a plan to  deal with the fiscal problems.                                                                    
He  shared   that  there  was   at  least  $14   million  of                                                                    
unobligated funds  for Juneau Access  that could be  used to                                                                    
keep the coastal transportation system functional.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman remarked  that written  testimony could  be                                                                    
submitted to the committee.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:00:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF   STEPHANS,  MANAGER,   UNITED  FISHERMAN'S   MARKETING                                                                    
ASSOCIATION, KODIAK  (via teleconference), spoke  in support                                                                    
of  funding  for the  Alaska  Fish  and Marketing  Institute                                                                    
(ASMI). He felt that the  state should invest in enterprises                                                                    
that provided jobs, tax  revenues, and economic development.                                                                    
He   stressed   that   the  fishing   industry   met   those                                                                    
requirements.  The ASMI  investment had  substantial return.                                                                    
It  served   many  coastal  communities,  and   the  fishing                                                                    
industry   was  a   basic  foundation   to  many   of  those                                                                    
communities.  He stated  that ASMI  helped with  the seafood                                                                    
pricing and distribution across  the world. The industry was                                                                    
facing increased competition in  species and price, and ASMI                                                                    
helped the industry flourish on a global level.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:02:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARITA KAPLAN, DIRECTOR, ADULT  SERVICE PROGRAM, KODIAK (via                                                                    
teleconference),   testified  in   favor   of  Centers   for                                                                    
Independent  Living. She  remarked that  she had  first-hand                                                                    
experience with  the benefits of senior  independent living.                                                                    
She felt that  the programs provided a great  benefit to the                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:04:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN   STRONG,   SELF,  KOKIAK   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in favor  of Centers  for Independent  Living. He                                                                    
shared a  story about  his mother's unfortunate  accident at                                                                    
her home. He had to move  his mother to Alaska, and stressed                                                                    
that  there were  various issues  that were  very stressful.                                                                    
The  adult aide  programs were  extremely beneficial  to the                                                                    
health and wellbeing of his mother.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:06:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRY HAINES,  SELF, KODIAK  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of  funding  public  broadcasting  and  the  Alaska                                                                    
Marine  Highway  System. He  shared  that  the public  radio                                                                    
services were  extremely beneficial to the  community. There                                                                    
were many volunteers  who worked to keep  the public station                                                                    
functioning. He  shared that  the funding  requirements were                                                                    
minimal.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:08:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NANCY  JONES, SELF,  KODIAK (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of  funding for Adult Day  Services Gran Program.                                                                    
The program made a positive difference in her life.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SONJAH  SCHUMACHER,   SELF,  MAT-SU   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  favor of Centers  for Independent  Living. She                                                                    
felt that the  funding would be specifically  used for human                                                                    
beings.  She  remarked  that  the  legislature  should  also                                                                    
reduce its own  budget. She felt that the  people should not                                                                    
be criticized, and should be respected.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:11:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL  BAKER, SELF,  WASILLA (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  support of  funding  for the  Adult  Day Services  Grant                                                                    
Program.  He felt  that the  program was  very benefit,  and                                                                    
shared that the  governor's father had used  the program. He                                                                    
encouraged the members  to visit the program,  so they could                                                                    
see the positive  care that the seniors  were receiving. The                                                                    
program  allowed  family  members  the  ability  to  support                                                                    
themselves  and their  families. The  program helped  reduce                                                                    
abuse and other travesties for the senior population.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:13:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTNIE DELAGRANGE, EMPLOYEE,  ALASKA CONSTRUCTION ACADEMY,                                                                    
PALMER  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  funding                                                                    
for the  Alaska Construction  Academy. The  academy provided                                                                    
free, entry-level construction training  for adults who want                                                                    
to  work in  construction  in Alaska.  The program  depended                                                                    
entirely on grant  funding from the Department  of Labor and                                                                    
Workforce   Development  to   train   Alaskans,  and   teach                                                                    
necessary skills  for construction careers. It  was the only                                                                    
program  in  the  state  that gave  adults  access  to  high                                                                    
quality   construction  training   at  a   reasonable  cost.                                                                    
Training  was offered  in a  variety of  fields to  meet the                                                                    
current   and  future   demands  of   Alaska's  construction                                                                    
industry.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:15:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK  KAUCIC,  DISTRICT  MANAGER, WASILLA  SOIL  AND  WATER                                                                    
CONSERVATION   DISTRICT,   WASILLA   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support funding for conservation  programs. He                                                                    
specifically   addressed   the    Alaska   Association   for                                                                    
Conservation Districts,  the Natural  Resources Conservation                                                                    
Development Board,  and the  Student Intern  Program through                                                                    
the  Division  of  Forestry.   The  Alaska  Association  for                                                                    
Conservation  Districts represented  twelve  state soil  and                                                                    
water  conservation districts,  and was  formed in  1965. It                                                                    
provided   conservation   best   management   practices   in                                                                    
agriculture;  soil and  water  quality; salmon  restoration;                                                                    
forestry;   invasive   weeds;    non-motorized   trail   use                                                                    
degradation; and  other areas.  He felt  that the  return in                                                                    
the conservation  district was  ten to one.  Operating funds                                                                    
were necessary to keep the  offices open in order to receive                                                                    
capital grants  and produce outcomes. The  Natural Resources                                                                    
Conservation   Development  Board   was  reduced   from  the                                                                    
operating  budget,  and  would  be required  to  seek  funds                                                                    
through the  capital budget. Student Intern  Program through                                                                    
the  Division of  Forestry provided  a summer  crew of  high                                                                    
school  and college  students  to  perform natural  resource                                                                    
field  projects. It  produced many  productive citizens  and                                                                    
professionals.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:17:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN WYCKOFF, SELF,  WASILLA (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of funding for the  Alaska Construction Academy.                                                                    
He stated that that program  had allowed him the opportunity                                                                    
to apprentice,  and he  knew several  people that  had moved                                                                    
directly  into  electrical  construction jobs.  The  classes                                                                    
were free,  and he shared that  he would not have  been able                                                                    
to attend classes, had he been required to purchase them.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  stated that a signed-in  testifier, Barbara                                                                    
McDaniel, would have testified for Alaska Now.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:18:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
INGRID   LING,   WASILLA    AREA   SENIORS,   WASILLA   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of funding  for Older                                                                    
Adults Fall  Prevention Program. According to  a January 23,                                                                    
2015  press  release  from  the   Department  of  Labor  and                                                                    
Workforce  Development,   Alaska's  senior   population  was                                                                    
71,080. It  was reported  that one in  three adults,  age 65                                                                    
and  older, fall  each year.  This meant  that 23,456  older                                                                    
Alaskans fell  each year.  It was  further reported  that of                                                                    
those who  fall, 20  to 30  percent were  seriously injured.                                                                    
Therefore,  between  4500  and   7000  older  Alaskans  were                                                                    
seriously injured due to a  fall. The falls cost $36 billion                                                                    
nationwide  in 2012,  and  were the  number  one reason  for                                                                    
hospitalization for older Alaskans.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:21:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK   FOSTER,   WASILLA   AREA   SENIORS,   WASILLA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support of  funding  for  Older                                                                    
Adults  Fall Prevention  Program. He  felt that  the program                                                                    
would save  the state  money. He shared  that 60  percent of                                                                    
adult fractures were  the result of falls. He  felt that the                                                                    
program  was  fully   peer-reviewed,  and  therefore  proven                                                                    
extremely beneficial.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:23:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENNI LINDEN,  SELF, PALMER  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support   of  funding   for  Medicaid   expansion;  sexually                                                                    
transmitted  infection (STI)  treatment and  prevention; and                                                                    
early childhood education.  Medicaid expansion would include                                                                    
41,000 Alaskans, and the federal  government would cover 100                                                                    
percent of the  cost through 2016. At most,  after 2017, the                                                                    
state  would be  responsible  for 10  percent  of the  cost.                                                                    
Between 2014  and 2017,  the state  Medicaid costs  would be                                                                    
higher  without expansion.  It was  estimated that  Medicaid                                                                    
expansion would result  in 4000 new jobs, and  $2 billion in                                                                    
economic activity. She furthered  that Alaska let the nation                                                                    
in STI  rates. She encouraged reconsideration  of reductions                                                                    
to early childhood education programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:25:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK LACKEY,  SELF, WASILLA  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of  reinstating funds  for Best  Beginnings, Parents                                                                    
as  Teachers, and  other Pre-K  programs. He  had first-hand                                                                    
experience with the importance  of early childhood education                                                                    
for the  child and the parent.  It was a critical  window of                                                                    
time to make a substantial  impact. He currently volunteered                                                                    
as the  chairperson for the  Early Childhood  Partnership of                                                                    
Mat-Su, which  was primarily funded by  Best Beginnings. All                                                                    
but  one person  in  the partnership  was  a volunteer.  The                                                                    
partnership  accomplished   a  great  amount  of   work,  by                                                                    
bringing together  the Head Start program,  school district,                                                                    
infant   learning   program,  public   health,   Imagination                                                                    
Library,  child  care   providers,  parents,  and  concerned                                                                    
citizens. He stressed that the  partnership worked to ensure                                                                    
that all the  programs worked together to make  an impact on                                                                    
early childhood development in the Mat-Su community.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:28:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RACHEL   GREENBERG,  SELF,   PALMER  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support  of funding for the  Adult Day Services                                                                    
Grant Program. She  felt that it was important  to invest in                                                                    
the lowest cost option for  seniors. She remarked that there                                                                    
was misunderstanding  about the  Adult Day  Services budget.                                                                    
Families  relied  on the  Adult  Day  Services for  everyday                                                                    
activities, which included other important programs.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:31:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  CHRISTIANSEN,  SELF,   PALMER  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support of funding  for broadband services. He felt                                                                    
that  the  broadband  services were  necessary  to  maintain                                                                    
functioning  community.  He  remarked that  the  legislative                                                                    
affairs  agency   budget  may  eventually  be   reduced.  He                                                                    
furthered  that the  senior support  programs should  remain                                                                    
fully-funded. It  was important for  the seniors to  stay in                                                                    
their homes.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:34:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM WALTERS,  PRESIDENT, MAT-SU EDUCATION  ASSOCIATION, MAT-                                                                    
SU  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  funding for                                                                    
public  schools.  He  remarked   that  the  legislature  had                                                                    
promised  continued  funding  for   public  schools  in  the                                                                    
previous  session.  The  Mat-Su   School  District  had  the                                                                    
largest  class  sizes  in  the state,  as  it  continued  to                                                                    
provide  a quality  public  education.  The school  district                                                                    
dealt with the recent flat  funding, and stressed that there                                                                    
was no  room to  decrease its  budget. Reductions  to public                                                                    
education funding  would ultimately  affect the  children by                                                                    
amplifying the problems of  large class sizing; implementing                                                                    
new,  innovative programs;  and servicing  the most  at-risk                                                                    
students.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:35:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HELEN MATHIAS, SELF,  SEWARD (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in favor of Centers for  Independent Living. She shared that                                                                    
she used the program, and  allowed her to purchase vouchers.                                                                    
She stated  that that program allowed  for entertainment and                                                                    
travel.  She was  helped with  her  documents, and  provided                                                                    
needed  social  outlets.  She  stressed  that  the  disabled                                                                    
members  were in  need of  the program.  The program  helped                                                                    
many people, and was one of  the ways that she could have at                                                                    
least one bit of entertainment  per month. She felt that the                                                                    
program  could  not  be  reduced  in  any  fashion,  and  it                                                                    
provided a  much needed service  to the senior  community in                                                                    
Seward.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VALARIE  KINGSLAND,  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  LIBRARY  ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
SEWARD  (via teleconference),  testified in  support of  the                                                                    
OWL program.  She shared that  she successfully  completed a                                                                    
master's  degree  program  that  enabled  her  to  become  a                                                                    
library  museum  director  through broadband  services.  She                                                                    
stated  that the  OWL  program  provided broadband  support,                                                                    
equipment  training, and  internet technology  assistance to                                                                    
over  96 libraries  in Alaska.  The program  included public                                                                    
access to  351 work  stations; 183 early  literacy stations;                                                                    
385 laptops; 125 tablets; and  internet and Wi-Fi access for                                                                    
the Alaska community members. She  announced that over 1,800                                                                    
video  conferences   had  been  scheduled,   which  included                                                                    
training  sessions, classes,  meetings,  virtual tours,  and                                                                    
unique cultural events.  The loss of the  program would also                                                                    
result in a  loss of federal money  that supported broadband                                                                    
access in  the rural  and remote  village. The  reduction to                                                                    
dial-up internet access would  drastically limit the ability                                                                    
for  the  citizens  to access  health,  employment,  safety,                                                                    
financial,    educational,    language,    and    historical                                                                    
information.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:40:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  SHEMET, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  support   of  funding  for  early   childhood  education                                                                    
programs.  She  shared  that evidence-based  programs,  like                                                                    
Parents as Teachers, made a  substantial difference for some                                                                    
of the  most vulnerable families  in the state.  It improved                                                                    
school  readiness,   academic  achievement,   and  parenting                                                                    
skills. It was a proactive  program that must be financially                                                                    
prioritized to  gain high  returns. She  had been  a program                                                                    
family  visitor  for fourteen  years,  and  she worked  with                                                                    
struggling and at-risk  families as they focus  on goals for                                                                    
themselves  and their  children achieving  optimal outcomes.                                                                    
She shared that  she also received program  home visits when                                                                    
her  children were  young, so  she knew  the value  that the                                                                    
program provided as her children grew.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB  72  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  73  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson announced the following day's agenda.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 72 Public Testimony PKT 1.pdf HFIN 3/3/2015 1:00:00 PM
HB 72