Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/01/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:32:27 PM Start
01:33:23 PM Fy 17 Budget Overview: Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities
02:50:06 PM Fy 17 Budget Overview: Judiciary
03:39:16 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Scheduled but Not Heard
Scheduled but Not Heard
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ FY17 Budget Overviews: TELECONFERENCED
- Dept. of Transportation & Public Facilities
- Judiciary
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 256                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain    programs,    capitalizing   funds,    making                                                                    
     reappropriations,  making supplemental  appropriations,                                                                    
     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. 257                                                                                                            
     "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."                                                                                                        
HOUSE BILL NO. 255                                                                                                            
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,     reappropriations,     and     other                                                                    
     appropriations;  making  appropriations  to  capitalize                                                                    
     funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                               
FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC                                                                         
FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: JUDICIARY                                                                                                
^FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPT. OF TRANSPORTATION & PUBLIC                                                                      
1:33:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK LUIKEN, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND                                                                    
PUBLIC FACILITIES,  introduced the  PowerPoint presentation:                                                                    
"Alaska Department of  Transportation and Public Facilities:                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken scrolled to slide 2: "Overview":                                                                            
   · Mission/Core Services/Statutes                                                                                             
   · Organizational Structure Overview                                                                                          
   · FY2016 Budget Changes                                                                                                      
   · FY2017 Budget Overview                                                                                                     
   · Look Back Graphs                                                                                                           
Commissioner Luiken  turned to slide 3:  "Our DOT&PF People:                                                                    
Alaskans Serving Alaskans":                                                                                                     
   · Hilary Lindh                                                                                                               
        · South Coast Region Environmental Manager                                                                              
       · B.S. Biology and M.S. Conservation Ecology                                                                             
        · Born and raised in Juneau; returned with husband                                                                      
          5 years ago to raise daughter                                                                                         
        · 13 years on U.S. National Ski Team; Olympic                                                                           
          Silver Medalist  1992 and World Champion  in 1997;                                                                    
          inducted into U.S. Ski and  Snowboard Hall of Fame                                                                    
         2005 and Alaska Sports Hall of Fame 2009                                                                               
        · In 4th year serving DOT&PF                                                                                            
        · Hilary, with assistance from her staff, has                                                                           
          direct  oversight   and  responsibility   for  the                                                                    
          environmental   requirements   of   all   projects                                                                    
         developed within the South Coast Region.                                                                               
        · Led by Hilary, the region's environmental section                                                                     
          provides support critical  for projects that align                                                                    
          with DOT&PF  core services to Maintain  and Expand                                                                    
        · Hilary is the common thread to all region                                                                             
          projects and she instills  teamwork, a strong work                                                                    
          ethic,  and a  positive attitude  not only  in the                                                                    
          region but across the state.                                                                                          
Commissioner  Luiken   emphasized  the  caliber   of  people                                                                    
working  within the  department including  Hilary Lindh  who                                                                    
ran  the environmental  section of  the South  Coast region.                                                                    
She was  the continuity  for all  of the  environmental work                                                                    
going on in the region through her leadership.                                                                                  
Commissioner Luiken slide 4: "Mission and Core Services."                                                                       
     "Keep    Alaska    Moving     through    service    and                                                                    
     • Operate Alaska's Transportation Infrastructure                                                                           
     • Cost per operation lane mile maintained                                                                                  
     • Maintain Alaska's Transportation Infrastructure                                                                          
    • Actual maintenance cost per lane mile maintained                                                                          
     • Number of miles meeting goal                                                                                             
     • Expand Alaska's Transportation Infrastructure                                                                            
     • Total dollars obligated vs total dollars planned to                                                                      
     be obligated                                                                                                               
     • Operate Marine Transportation Services                                                                                   
     • Number of weeks of services/total cost of operation                                                                      
Commissioner  Luiken reported  that over  the last  9 months                                                                    
the department examined the statutes  that drove its actions                                                                    
and its  delivery of  services. As  a Result  the department                                                                    
had  identified 4  core services  which  he reviewed.  Under                                                                    
each of the core services  listed on the slide were examples                                                                    
of the  kind of measures  used to evaluate  the department's                                                                    
performance. The  hope of the  department in  evaluating its                                                                    
performance  was to  provide the  legislature a  report that                                                                    
was   objective   and   data-driven  concerning   what   the                                                                    
department did to meet its core services.                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Thompson asked  if the  report  would include  the                                                                    
costs  including  operating,   lane  miles  maintained,  and                                                                    
ridership. Commissioner Luiken  responded that regarding the                                                                    
Alaska Marine Highway system the  annual report contained an                                                                    
array  of  data  including  the cost  to  run  each  vessel,                                                                    
passenger  numbers,  vehicle  numbers,   and  the  weeks  of                                                                    
service. The 2015 report had been released a week prior.                                                                        
Co-Chair  Thompson  was  also looking  for  data  concerning                                                                    
airport traffic for the more than 270 airports in Alaska.                                                                       
1:38:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg  asked about  how lane  miles were                                                                    
compared  and  whether  the  same   lane  miles  were  being                                                                    
measured  yearly.  He  wondered if  weather  conditions  and                                                                    
other  factors were  considered  when  the departments  made                                                                    
comparisons.   Commissioner   Luiken  responded   that   the                                                                    
department could  provide a macro  look of the  average cost                                                                    
relating to lane  miles. He suggested he  could provide some                                                                    
granularity  about   costs  by  region  and   by  road.  The                                                                    
department  had been  collecting data  to track  performance                                                                    
and costs.                                                                                                                      
Representative Kawasaki  asked if there  was a way  to track                                                                    
the  number  of   cars  being  used  on   roads  being  used                                                                    
infrequently.   Commissioner  Luiken   responded  that   the                                                                    
department had already applied the  data, the annual average                                                                    
daily traffic for  all of the major roads  maintained by the                                                                    
state, to  craft its  budget. The  department had  used that                                                                    
data  along  with  road  geometry  data  to  make  important                                                                    
decisions in  the current year.  It was useful  to normalize                                                                    
the level  of services  the state  provided and  balance the                                                                    
workload per employee across  the maintenance and operations                                                                    
system.  The  data  was  also  used  to  identify  the  road                                                                    
priority system, data published  in September 2016. The data                                                                    
would   determine  the   expected  level   of  winter   road                                                                    
maintenance service.                                                                                                            
1:42:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken  turned to  slide 5:  "Organization." He                                                                    
highlighted   the  principle   deputy  commissioner,   Steve                                                                    
Hatter.  There  were two  modal  deputies  that managed  the                                                                    
Alaska  Marine  Highway  System   (AMHS)  and  the  aviation                                                                    
system,  and  three  regional  directors.  He  continued  to                                                                    
highlight   the  key   positions  and   duties  within   the                                                                    
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT).                                                                       
Vice-Chair    Saddler   asked    about   "Everyday    Lean."                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken  answered that  it was a  new initiative                                                                    
instituted by  the DOT based  on the belief that  the people                                                                    
on the  front line were the  people who knew best  as to how                                                                    
to get  the most  out of delivering  services and  being the                                                                    
most effective and efficient.  The department had encouraged                                                                    
its  employees to  communicate directly  to him  through the                                                                    
Everyday  Lean  initiative.  He reported  having  a  website                                                                    
where people  could provide feedback  about how to  run more                                                                    
efficiently.   The   website    targeted   maintenance   and                                                                    
operations but  was available throughout the  department. He                                                                    
provided  an example  of a  sand  spreader guard.  It was  a                                                                    
piece of angle iron that  angled around the sand spreader to                                                                    
prevent it  from being damaged. Typically  the state damaged                                                                    
6 sand  spreaders (valued at  $5000 each) per  season. Using                                                                    
the inexpensive  guard had the  potential to save  the state                                                                    
about $30 thousand annually.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson   added  that  the   commissioner  should                                                                    
arrange  a  means  for  receiving  feedback  from  employees                                                                    
1:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara agreed with  Co-Chair Thompson. He asked                                                                    
about the maintenance  of the haul road. He  wondered if the                                                                    
department had the  ability to charge oil and  gas users for                                                                    
their portion  of the  maintenance costs  of the  haul road.                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken  relayed that  Alaska had an  example of                                                                    
an  industrial use  road, the  Klondike  Highway. The  state                                                                    
charged  mining  ore  trucks  that ran  heavy  on  the  road                                                                    
helping  to defray  maintenance costs.  He believed  that it                                                                    
could be implemented  for use on the haul road  if the state                                                                    
wanted to move  in that direction. He mentioned  that it was                                                                    
the  road that  supplied the  vast majority  of the  state's                                                                    
income. The  haul road started  out as private road  and was                                                                    
transferred  to the  state with  the understanding  that the                                                                    
state would operate and maintain it.                                                                                            
Representative Gara  mentioned the state paying  $20 million                                                                    
per  year.  He  did  not  want  to  charge  tour  busses  or                                                                    
individuals, but wanted  to target major users  from the oil                                                                    
and  gas  industry.  He   wondered  why  the  administration                                                                    
thought it  was appropriate for  the state to  subsidize the                                                                    
road. Commissioner  Luiken reported that currently  the road                                                                    
was a public road and it  was the obligation of the state to                                                                    
maintain it.                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson understood the  question about the cost of                                                                    
maintaining  the haul  road but  noted the  discussion would                                                                    
need to be taken up at another time.                                                                                            
Representative  Guttenberg relayed  a  whistle blower  story                                                                    
where each  party called  him about  the other.  Although he                                                                    
did  not want  to put  a  damper on  legitimate concerns,  a                                                                    
perspective was necessary when receiving feedback.                                                                              
Representative  Wilson believed  that the  oil industry  had                                                                    
offered to maintain  the haul road, but the  state wanted to                                                                    
do so in order  to keep it as a public  road. She thought it                                                                    
was possible to revisit  the conversation with the industry.                                                                    
She mentioned that  every airport did not  have landing fees                                                                    
and wondered  if the department  was looking into  that. She                                                                    
also noted  that she had  received two lengthy  documents on                                                                    
striping the  roads. She was  glad the DOT was  striping the                                                                    
roads but  did not need  all of the  accompanying documents.                                                                    
Alternatively, she was willing  to pull such information off                                                                    
of the internet.                                                                                                                
1:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gattis asked if  they could currently use the                                                                    
Everyday  Lean  program   anonymously.  Commissioner  Luiken                                                                    
responded   affirmatively   that  employees   could   submit                                                                    
suggestions  anonymously.  However,   he  relayed  that  the                                                                    
majority  of people  making suggestions  were very  proud of                                                                    
what they did.                                                                                                                  
Representative  Gattis  asked  if the  means  of  submitting                                                                    
feedback was  in the form  of a  software program or  a drop                                                                    
box. Commissioner Luiken  stated that it was  on an internet                                                                    
Representative  Gattis  wanted  to  clarify  that  employees                                                                    
could  connect  anonymously. Commissioner  Luiken  responded                                                                    
Representative Gattis asked if  Commissioner Luiken had been                                                                    
able to  provide the  subcommittee co-chair  with a  list of                                                                    
everything  in   order  to  be   able  to  ferret   out  the                                                                    
information. Commissioner Luiken responded  that he would be                                                                    
happy to send the information to the co-chairmen.                                                                               
Co-Chair  Thompson was  unclear  how much  time the  request                                                                    
would demand.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Gattis thought  that by  briefly looking  at                                                                    
them  it  would  help  to distinguish  which  would  provide                                                                    
Representative  Munoz  asked  about  a fee  for  the  mining                                                                    
trucks on the  Klondike and why it would not  be possible to                                                                    
do the same on the  haul road. Commissioner Luiken explained                                                                    
that the ore  trucks were running overweight.  The state had                                                                    
given  them the  ability to  run overweight  on the  state's                                                                    
road  with the  intent  that  a fee  would  be collected  to                                                                    
continue to maintain the road keeping it safe for use.                                                                          
1:55:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken reviewed slide 6: "DOT&PF Assets":                                                                          
   · 3,125 Full-time positions                                                                                                  
   · Own and maintain 5,589 center line miles of                                                                                
   · 79 Maintenance Stations                                                                                                    
   · 247 State Airports                                                                                                         
   · 2 International Airports                                                                                                   
   · 11 Ferries                                                                                                                 
   · 35 Ferry Terminals                                                                                                         
   · 21 Harbors                                                                                                                 
   · 813 State Owned Bridges                                                                                                    
   · 793 Facilities                                                                                                             
   · 7 Weigh Stations                                                                                                           
Commissioner  Luiken  indicated  that  the  map  showed  the                                                                    
physical layout of the department.  He drew attention to the                                                                    
three  colors  that   identified  three  regions:  Northern,                                                                    
Central, and South Coast Regions.                                                                                               
Representative Kawasaki asked about  slide 6. He wondered if                                                                    
there were duplicate municipal  and privately owned airports                                                                    
in some  of the  communities. Commissioner  Luiken responded                                                                    
that there were  some and he could  provide that information                                                                    
to the committee.                                                                                                               
Representative   Gattis  asked   for  the   commissioner  to                                                                    
identify those  communities on the  road system  with state-                                                                    
owned runways.                                                                                                                  
Representative Gara asked  about a public notice  sent out a                                                                    
few days prior  regarding the leasing of  15 thousand square                                                                    
feet  to a  flight seeing  company  in Seward  for $100  per                                                                    
month. He  wondered if the department  habitually leased out                                                                    
department  lands at  submarket  rates. Commissioner  Luiken                                                                    
responded that the  land lease rates at  rural airports were                                                                    
well below  fair-market-value. He  added that the  state was                                                                    
in  the  process  of  getting assessments  for  all  of  the                                                                    
state's  airport  lands.  Afterwards, the  department  would                                                                    
likely adjust the leasing rates accordingly.                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson thought  the  commissioner  had made  the                                                                    
same statement  in the previous  year. He wondered  where he                                                                    
was  in  the  process.  He emphasized  that  12  months  had                                                                    
passed. Commissioner  Luiken would provide  the information.                                                                    
He added that the state had 247 airports.                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Thompson was  aware  of  the number.  Commissioner                                                                    
Luiken  would be  happy to  provide the  information to  the                                                                    
1:58:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  commented that  if he were  writing the                                                                    
law  he would  be  more sympathetic  to  keeping air  travel                                                                    
rates down for  rural Alaska. He wondered why  the state had                                                                    
not started with  higher rates for a  flight seeing business                                                                    
in Seward. Commissioner Luiken believed  that as recent as 4                                                                    
or 5 years prior the  department had started the process. He                                                                    
indicated that it was still in process.                                                                                         
Commissioner   Luiken  advanced   to  slide   7:  "Statutory                                                                    
   · AS 44.42 Department of Transportation and Public                                                                           
   · AS 44.68.010 Use of State                                                                                                  
   · AS 44.68.210 Highway Equipment Working Capital Fund                                                                        
   · AS 35 Public Buildings, Works, and Improvements                                                                            
   · AS 19 Highways and Ferries                                                                                                 
   · AS 19.10 State Highway System                                                                                              
   · AS 19.10.300 Commercial Motor Vehicle Requirements                                                                         
   · AS 19.25 Utilities, Advertising, Encroachment and                                                                          
   · AS 19.65 Alaska Marine Highway System                                                                                      
   · AS 19.65.050 Alaska Marine Highway System Fund and                                                                         
   · AS 19.75 Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority                                                                                
   · AS 2 Aeronautics                                                                                                           
Commissioner  Luiken explained  that  the  slide showed  the                                                                    
statues that  drove what the department  was responsible for                                                                    
and the core services it provided.                                                                                              
2:00:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MARY SIROKY, DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF  TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC  FACILITIES, turned                                                                    
to slide 8: "Commissioner's Office":                                                                                            
Commissioner's Office - Marc Luiken, Commissioner                                                                               
   · 13 full                                                                                                                    
   · .4% of FY2017 budget request                                                                                               
   · $2,190.1 (UGF $743.0)                                                                                                      
   · Department leadership and contracting and appeals                                                                          
   · Challenges                                                                                                                 
        · Operating and maintaining a continually growing                                                                       
          transportation    infrastructure   with    reduced                                                                    
          operating resources                                                                                                   
        · Transitioning the culture at all levels of the                                                                        
          department to make decisions using performance                                                                        
        · An increase in the number and complication of                                                                         
          federal reporting requirements                                                                                        
        · Recruitment and retention of qualified operators,                                                                     
          mechanics and tradesmen in rural Alaska                                                                               
        · Researching opportunities to divest or share                                                                          
          responsibilities    to   operate    and   maintain                                                                    
          transportation infrastructure where it makes                                                                          
Ms. Siroky  highlighted that  the commissioner  eliminated a                                                                    
section under his responsibility.  The director position was                                                                    
eliminated and the  rest of the tasks  were moved throughout                                                                    
the department. The  tasks for the director  were assumed by                                                                    
the new regional director for South Coast Region.                                                                               
Ms.   Siroky   explained   her    division   on   slide   9:                                                                    
"Administrative Services Division Program Development                                                                           
  Administrative Services Division -Mary Siroky, Director                                                                       
   · 92 full                                                                                                                    
   · 2.8% of FY2017 budget request                                                                                              
   · $16,546.3 (UGF $2,646.3)                                                                                                   
   · Finance,   budget,    human   resources,   procurement,                                                                    
    internal review, equal employment and civil rights                                                                          
   · Challenges                                                                                                                 
        · Budget reductions                                                                                                     
       · Implementation of the new accounting system                                                                            
        · Increased     federal      financial     reporting                                                                    
   Program Development - Mike Vigue, Director                                                                                   
   · 64 full                                                                                                                    
   · 1.4% of FY2017 budget request                                                                                              
   · $8,552.6 (UGF $520.2)                                                                                                      
   · Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP),                                                                       
     transportation plan, capital  budget, Strategic Highway                                                                    
     Safety  Plan, Alaska  Highway Safety  Office, community                                                                    
     transit program                                                                                                            
  · Consolidating planning functions to gain efficiencies                                                                       
   · Implementation of the Fixing America's Surface                                                                             
     Transportation (FAST) Act                                                                                                  
Ms.  Siroky   pointed  out  that  the   Program  Development                                                                    
Division was  consolidating planners.  In the  budget detail                                                                    
it showed  that the regional planning  positions were moving                                                                    
into program development.  It would place all  of the people                                                                    
in positions  doing the  long-range transportation  plans as                                                                    
well   as   the    department's   Statewide   Transportation                                                                    
Improvement  Program  (STIP),  and capital  budgets  in  one                                                                    
location with one focus.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Siroky  explained  slide   10:  "Statewide  Design  and                                                                    
Engineering Services".  She explained that the  division did                                                                    
a  large amount  of  federal reporting  for  the state.  The                                                                    
state   received  over   $500  million   from  the   federal                                                                    
government.  The  state was  required  to  do a  significant                                                                    
amount  of reporting  using  certain accounting  procedures.                                                                    
The  division   also  actively   worked  with   the  state's                                                                    
congressional  delegation  regarding  new  federal  programs                                                                    
making  sure a  one-size-fits-all approach  was not  used in                                                                    
the case  of Alaska. The  division was also  responsible for                                                                    
bridge design,  bridge maintenance, and  bridge construction                                                                    
having   been  consolidated   into   one  organization   for                                                                    
Ms. Siroky scrolled to slide 11: "Statewide Aviation":                                                                          
   John Binder, Deputy Commissioner                                                                                             
     · 31 full                                                                                                                  
     · .7% of FY2017 budget request                                                                                             
     · $4,070.0 (UGF $301.6)                                                                                                    
     · Aviation leasing, system planning, capital program                                                                       
        management, safety & security compliance, carrier                                                                       
     · Increasing federal regulations                                                                                           
     · Lack of geospatial information data                                                                                      
     · Land                                                                                                                     
     · Airport obstructions                                                                                                     
     · Wildlife management                                                                                                      
     · Efficiently organizing structure to meet emerging                                                                        
        aviation issues in a consistent and standardized                                                                        
        manner statewide                                                                                                        
Ms. Siroky  emphasized the  small size  of the  division and                                                                    
the small amount of unrestricted  general funds (UGF) in the                                                                    
budget.  She reported  that the  division was  consolidating                                                                    
moving the statewide safety officers  for the airports under                                                                    
the  Division  of Statewide  Aviation.  It  would provide  a                                                                    
standard look  and procedure going  forward to  regulate the                                                                    
state's rural airports and certified Part 139 airports.                                                                         
Representative Wilson asked about  why the state had landing                                                                    
fees  at  some  airports  while others  did  not.  She  also                                                                    
wondered  if  it  would  be   standardized  for  all  Alaska                                                                    
airports.  Ms.  Siroky  responded  that the  state  did  not                                                                    
collect lading  fees at any  state-owned and  operated rural                                                                    
airports. The  state had landing  fees at  the international                                                                    
airports  which were  set up  to operate  as self-supporting                                                                    
enterprise organizations.                                                                                                       
Representative  Wilson  suggested  applying the  concept  of                                                                    
self-supporting  to all  of Alaska's  airports. She  thought                                                                    
the    international   airports    were   great    examples.                                                                    
Commissioner  Luiken  responded   that  the  department  had                                                                    
proposed introducing landing fees  at its Part 139 airports.                                                                    
The  division had  approached  the  Aviation Advisory  Board                                                                    
(AAB) and  spent a good  portion of the summer  working with                                                                    
them  to  determine  the  fairest  distribution  of  revenue                                                                    
generation  for the  entire  system.  The Aviation  Advisory                                                                    
Board  ultimately recommended  an increase  in the  aviation                                                                    
fuel  tax and  the jet  fuel  tax charged  around the  state                                                                    
rather than instituting landing fees.                                                                                           
2:05:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  thought it remained  inequitable. She                                                                    
wondered if  a decision  could be  made by  the commissioner                                                                    
rather than the AAB.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Thompson would  look into  Representative Wilson's                                                                    
question and provide the information.                                                                                           
Vice-Chair Saddler spoke as a  pilot and advocate of general                                                                    
aviation that  nationally it had  been decided that  the way                                                                    
to  support aviation  infrastructure was  by assessing  fees                                                                    
generated through  sales of aviation fuel.  Pilots in Alaska                                                                    
paid  a  fee  per  gallon   which  went  into  the  UGF  and                                                                    
subsequently  paid   for  expenses  associated   with  rural                                                                    
airports. He  believed there was  a federal  fee associated.                                                                    
He  further observed  that commercial  airports such  as the                                                                    
Ted  Stevens International  Airport in  Anchorage was  where                                                                    
the landing  fees were charged.  However, airports  in rural                                                                    
Alaska  did not  have landing  fees.   It  was important  to                                                                    
maintain rural  airports for reasons of  safety, access, and                                                                    
quality of life.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  mentioned  that   there  was  a  federal                                                                    
regulation  requiring any  taxes collected  through airports                                                                    
to be used on airports rather than going into the UGF.                                                                          
Representative  Kawasaki thought  there had  been a  plan to                                                                    
begin  charging a  landing fee  at Deadhorse.  He asked  for                                                                    
additional information.  Commissioner Luiken  explained that                                                                    
the reason  the state  had the discussion  a year  prior was                                                                    
due  to  the  industry  and  certain  air  carriers  wanting                                                                    
expanded airport  operation hours. The state's  response was                                                                    
that  if the  airport expanded  and brought  on more  people                                                                    
another revenue  source would be  needed, hence the  idea of                                                                    
landing  fees.  Since  that  time   the  price  of  oil  had                                                                    
plummeted.  The expanded  hour plans  had not  materialized.                                                                    
Alaska Airlines  had continued to ask  for slightly expanded                                                                    
operating  hours. The  department was  looking at  finding a                                                                    
way to defray the costs of the extended hours.                                                                                  
2:09:01 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki asked if  hours had already expanded                                                                    
at Deadhorse  and whether  the state  was recouping  any new                                                                    
revenues.  Commissioner Luiken  stated  that the  department                                                                    
was continuing  to negotiate with Alaska  Airlines to recoup                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki asked if  the hours of operation had                                                                    
expanded. Commissioner Luiken would have  to get back to the                                                                    
representative about what had been done in Deadhorse.                                                                           
Co-Chair Thompson asked if  Commissioner Luiken knew whether                                                                    
the  hours had  been expanded.  Commissioner Luiken  did not                                                                    
know the answer.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson   asked  the  commissioner  to   get  the                                                                    
information to his office.                                                                                                      
Representative   Gattis  remarked   that  landing   fees  in                                                                    
uncontrolled airports would be difficult to capture.                                                                            
Co-Chair Thompson  agreed that  no one  would be  present to                                                                    
collect the information.                                                                                                        
Representative Gattis thought it would be tough to track.                                                                       
Representative  Munoz  asked  if  the state  was  paying  to                                                                    
maintain  the  247   airports  around  Alaska.  Commissioner                                                                    
Luiken responded in the affirmative.                                                                                            
Representative Munoz wondered why  the state maintained some                                                                    
airports and not others such as municipally owned airports.                                                                     
Co-Chair Thompson thought  it was due to  public safety. Ms.                                                                    
Siroky  responded  that she  did  not  know the  reason  for                                                                    
specific  communities  taking   over  and  managing  certain                                                                    
airports. The  communities of Juneau, Kenai,  and Homer took                                                                    
over  their  airports  and  set   their  own  landing  fees.                                                                    
Aviation taxes were also rebated  back to the communities to                                                                    
be spent at their airports.                                                                                                     
Representative  Munoz would  follow-up  further  at a  later                                                                    
Representative Gara  thought there was a  significant amount                                                                    
of  money  on   the  table.  He  asked  if   the  state  was                                                                    
recuperating  its operations  and maintenance  costs at  the                                                                    
Deadhorse airport. Ms. Siroky  responded that a good portion                                                                    
of the operating costs were  recuperated through state lease                                                                    
fees at the Deadhorse airport.                                                                                                  
Representative  Gara  asked  for  her to  submit  a  written                                                                    
figure of  "a good  portion." Commissioner  Luiken responded                                                                    
that the department would supply the exact numbers.                                                                             
2:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky  advanced  to  slide  13:  "Statewide  Equipment                                                                    
Fleet." She  reported that the  Division of  State Equipment                                                                    
Fleet was responsible  for providing services to  all of the                                                                    
departments  within  the   executive  branch.  The  division                                                                    
handled contracting, maintenance,  disposal, and purchasing.                                                                    
She  added that  it also  managed  all of  the credit  cards                                                                    
making sure the  state recuperated its taxes  charged on the                                                                    
cards.  The division  was  streamlining  systems and  taking                                                                    
steps towards uniformity of the fleet.                                                                                          
Ms. Siroky scrolled to slide  14: "Measurement Standards and                                                                    
Commercial  Vehicle  Enforcement."   She  relayed  that  the                                                                    
division issued  overweight permits, managed  road closures,                                                                    
and worked closely with the  commercial trucking industry to                                                                    
ensure  safety. The  division also  validated the  measuring                                                                    
devises  throughout the  state  to ensure  the consumer  was                                                                    
getting what they paid for.                                                                                                     
Representative Gattis  wondered if  she was the  only member                                                                    
with slide 12 in her packet.                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky missed  the  slide. She  reported  on slide  12:                                                                    
"Information  Systems and  Services Division."  She reported                                                                    
that the division  was fairly new and was  established in FY                                                                    
16  with  consolidation in  mind.  All  of the  department's                                                                    
information  technology   positions  were  brought   into  1                                                                    
division. She reported seeing good  results from the change.                                                                    
She relayed  that the batching  system was narrowed  down to                                                                    
one system  which included  the international  airports. The                                                                    
division    was     standardizing    equipment    purchases,                                                                    
streamlining   certain   processes,   and   establishing   a                                                                    
centralized help desk.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Thompson  asked her to  clarify the budget  for the                                                                    
division highlighting  the UGF  spend. Ms.  Siroky explained                                                                    
that  the  Division  of  Information  Systems  and  Services                                                                    
received a  percentage of  international airport  funds. She                                                                    
would have to supply the exact figure later.                                                                                    
Representative  Gattis suggested  that, as  the chairman  of                                                                    
the   finance    subcommittee   for   the    Department   of                                                                    
Administration   (DOA),   other    departments   were   also                                                                    
consolidating.  She  thought  the division  within  the  DOT                                                                    
reflected  a duplication  of services  and stretched  across                                                                    
bureaucracy.  She thought  the  duplication was  unnecessary                                                                    
and  an area  in which  the state  could look  to save.  She                                                                    
suggested  getting together  with the  chair of  the finance                                                                    
subcommittee for the DOT to look for additional savings.                                                                        
2:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky  relayed that the DOT  was actively participating                                                                    
with  DOA to  look  at shared  services.  She mentioned  the                                                                    
massive amount  of federal reporting  requirements involving                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson relayed  that  Representative Gattis  had                                                                    
provided  him  a written  list  of  questions realizing  the                                                                    
limited time  left in the  meeting. He would provide  a copy                                                                    
to  the  DOT.  He  acknowledged the  importance  of  getting                                                                    
member  questions  answered and  that  the  amount of  money                                                                    
being  discussed  was   considerable.  He  encouraged  other                                                                    
members  to submit  additional questions  on the  subject to                                                                    
his staff.                                                                                                                      
Ms.  Siroky   advanced  to   slide  15:   "Statewide  Public                                                                    
Facilities." She highlighted that  the Division of Statewide                                                                    
Public  Facilities  performed  vertical construction  for  a                                                                    
large portion of the state  and provided shared services. It                                                                    
also performed major maintenance  projects and was in charge                                                                    
of  the  Alaska  Energy  Savings  Performance  Program.  The                                                                    
pictures reflected a  lighting upgrade that was  done at the                                                                    
Mount Edgecombe gym. The  lighting was improved dramatically                                                                    
and electric costs decreased.                                                                                                   
Ms.  Siroky explained  slide 16:  "AK International  Airport                                                                    
System (AIAS)."  She reported  the cargo  activity in  FY 15                                                                    
increased  by  about  9.5  percent  and  passenger  activity                                                                    
increased as well by about 4.4 percent.                                                                                         
Ms.  Siroky advanced  to slide  17:  "Alaska Marine  Highway                                                                    
System." She relayed that the  budget for the AMHS reflected                                                                    
a large portion in UGF  dollars. Although the department had                                                                    
worked hard to  reduce UGF dollars in all  of its divisions,                                                                    
the AMHS  still required  a significant  amount of  UGF. The                                                                    
division brought  in about  $54 million  in revenues  in the                                                                    
previous  year and  carried about  309 thousand  passengers,                                                                    
106  thousand  vehicles,  and   revenues  equaled  about  33                                                                    
percent of the total cost - an increase of about 3 percent.                                                                     
Ms.  Siroky  moved to  slide  18:  "Southcoast Region."  She                                                                    
explained that the  regional division was put  into place in                                                                    
the FY  16 budget combining  as many of the  marine elements                                                                    
and  responsibilities  under  one organizational  unit.  The                                                                    
division's  budget   grew  due   to  having  taken   on  new                                                                    
responsibilities.  Mr.  Mike  Coffey was  the  new  regional                                                                    
director.  He   had  previously  held  a   position  in  the                                                                    
commissioner's    office.   He    brought   his    statewide                                                                    
transportation and maintenance  responsibilities with him in                                                                    
order to  eliminate an executive  level position out  of the                                                                    
commissioner's office.                                                                                                          
Ms.  Siroky  turned  to  slide  19:  "Central  Region."  She                                                                    
relayed that Mr.  David Kemp was the  new regional director.                                                                    
Previously  he  managed  the Division  of  Statewide  Public                                                                    
Facilities. He  brought his prior responsibilities  with him                                                                    
to his  position eliminating  a high  level position  in the                                                                    
department.  Throughout the  different regional  units there                                                                    
was a large portion of UGF in their budgets.                                                                                    
2:21:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky continued  to slide  20: "Northern  Region." The                                                                    
Northern Region unit included the Rylie Creek Bridge.                                                                           
Ms.  Siroky  pointed to  slide  21:  "Dalton Highway  Aufeis                                                                    
Flooding."  She reported  that the  road was  closed for  28                                                                    
days  in the  prior year.  There were  a number  of partners                                                                    
that  were  brought  together  to  solve  the  problem.  The                                                                    
contractors were  partners in resolving the  flooding. There                                                                    
were 2 state disaster  declarations which would hopefully be                                                                    
paid for  with federal dollars.  She noted that  the picture                                                                    
on the bottom left showed  the embankment being raised about                                                                    
10 feet  to avoid the same  kind of flooding in  the future.                                                                    
The department was able to  adjust some of the road projects                                                                    
already in  place increasing the  height of  the embankments                                                                    
adding only a small amount of funding.                                                                                          
Ms.   Siroky  reviewed   slide  22:   "FY2016:  $34.6M   UGF                                                                    
Reduction." She reported a $34.6  million UGF reduction. She                                                                    
relayed that $15.3 million UGF  came out of the highways and                                                                    
aviation areas  and eliminated  29 position  control numbers                                                                    
(PCNs). She also  conveyed that the AMHS had  a reduction of                                                                    
$11.1  million  UGF  and eliminated  32  PCNs.  The  support                                                                    
services, most of  the other sections and  divisions, took a                                                                    
reduction of  $8.2 million UGF  and eliminated 34  PCNs. She                                                                    
emphasized that the  AMHS and Highways and  Aviation made up                                                                    
approximately  96  percent  of the  department's  total  UGF                                                                    
budget.  The  reduction of  $8.2  million  UGF came  from  4                                                                    
percent  of   the  department.  The  department   was  being                                                                    
diligent in  reducing its  UGF spend.  She also  pointed out                                                                    
that the  department could not  use capital dollars  for all                                                                    
of  its  maintenance and  operation  activities  but did  so                                                                    
wherever  possible.  The   department  also  pushed  federal                                                                    
funding  partners  to  give   the  department  an  extremely                                                                    
liberal  interpretation  of  how  money could  be  used  for                                                                    
preventative  maintenance of  Alaska's  airport and  highway                                                                    
Ms. Siroky turned to slide  23: "FY2017 Unrestricted General                                                                    
Fund (UGF)  Broken out by  Appropriation Further  Broken out                                                                    
by  Personal Services  and Support  Lines." She  thought the                                                                    
graph was a clear demonstration  of where the UGF was within                                                                    
the department. She highlighted  the yellow representing the                                                                    
personal  services  category  and the  green  depicting  the                                                                    
support  lines.  The largest  portion  of  UGF were  in  the                                                                    
maintenance and  operations of  facilities, in  the highways                                                                    
and aviation areas,  and the AMHS. She noted  a small amount                                                                    
in  the areas  of administration  and support  including the                                                                    
regional   directors'  offices,   the  program   development                                                                    
division,  the information  systems  and services  division,                                                                    
and the commissioner's  office. There was also  a very small                                                                    
amount of  UGF within  the Division of  Design, Engineering,                                                                    
and Construction.                                                                                                               
2:26:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gattis mentioned  the  light  winter in  the                                                                    
previous year and  the current mild winter.  She wondered if                                                                    
there was a chart that showed  the savings in fuel costs due                                                                    
to the  most recent temperate  climate in the  winter months                                                                    
and where  the savings was  spent. Ms. Siroky  answered that                                                                    
the  department  built its  budget  based  on normal  winter                                                                    
maintenance activity.  She furthered that when  winters were                                                                    
mild remaining funds would be  spent in the following spring                                                                    
to  repair pot  holes and  brushing. Spring  was the  "shock                                                                    
absorber." If the  state had a heavy winter,  it would spend                                                                    
more  of  its  resources   on  winter  demands  and  curtail                                                                    
spending in the spring.                                                                                                         
Representative  Gattis noted  the current  mild winter,  the                                                                    
second in a row, and the  reduction in the cost of fuel. She                                                                    
explained that  in her business  when the price of  fuel was                                                                    
down, her  profit margins  went up.  She concluded  that the                                                                    
state  was experiencing  some savings  because the  price of                                                                    
fuel was down. She wanted to  know the amount of savings and                                                                    
where  it  was reflected  in  the  department's budget.  She                                                                    
remarked  that the  department  had  savings somewhere.  She                                                                    
commented that when potholes were  filled the department was                                                                    
filling them  during rush hour  traffic. She noted it  was a                                                                    
sore  point. She  reiterated her  question  about where  the                                                                    
savings could be found.                                                                                                         
Ms. Siroky replied  that in terms of fuel  the department no                                                                    
longer  received a  fuel trigger  and the  price of  fuel in                                                                    
rural  Alaska had  not decreased.  Typically the  state paid                                                                    
over  $10 per  gallon in  Nome and  Kotzebue. The  state had                                                                    
more  facilities online  than the  department had  ever been                                                                    
given a budget.  She continued to explain that  as the state                                                                    
expanded  its  road  system  it  installed  additional  snow                                                                    
removal equipment to maintain them.  In order to reduce wear                                                                    
and  tear  of  $250  thousand  pieces  of  equipment  heated                                                                    
storage  was required.  Therefore, she  did not  believe the                                                                    
state would see much savings in  terms of fuel. She spoke to                                                                    
the use  of chemicals at  airports and the  correct breaking                                                                    
capacity. She  stressed that the department  worked its tail                                                                    
off  to be  as  efficient  as possible  and  to provide  the                                                                    
public with the best service possible.                                                                                          
2:30:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Siroky turned  to slide  24: "DOT  and PF  Unrestricted                                                                    
General  Fund by  RDU."  She explained  that  the chart  was                                                                    
another representation  of where  UGF could be  found within                                                                    
the department.                                                                                                                 
She  moved  to  slide  25:  "Summary  of  FY2017  Governor's                                                                    
Proposed:  Budget  Development."  She  summarized  that  the                                                                    
department  was  proposing   a  $591,689  [million]  budget.                                                                    
Reductions were  primarily in Highways and  Aviation and the                                                                    
AMHS totaling about  $18.4 million of which  $12 million was                                                                    
She  addressed   slide  26:  "FY2017   Governor's  Proposed:                                                                    
Operating Budget All Funding Sources."  The slide showed all                                                                    
of the  operating budget funding sources.  The largest piece                                                                    
of pie  represented UGF in red.  The green piece of  the pie                                                                    
related  to  capital  improvement   projects.  There  was  a                                                                    
variety of other funding sources  that the department wanted                                                                    
to maximize as much as possible.                                                                                                
Ms. Siroky addressed slide  27: "FY2017 Governor's Proposed:                                                                    
UGF Operating  Budget by Allocation." She  conveyed that the                                                                    
UGF   operating  budget   primarily   supported  the   AMHS,                                                                    
highways, aviation, and facilities.                                                                                             
Ms.  Siroky scrolled  to  the  Legislative Finance  Division                                                                    
graph on slide 28:  "Department of Transportation and Public                                                                    
Facilities  Share of  Total Agency  Operations (GF  Only) ($                                                                    
Thousands)."  It  showed  the  DOT  share  of  total  agency                                                                    
operations. She  indicated the yellow  boxes showed  how the                                                                    
fuel  trigger impacted  the department.  The department  was                                                                    
reaching the size it was in FY 10 or FY 11.                                                                                     
Ms.  Siroky   addressed  salary  adjustments   and  personal                                                                    
services costs  on slide  29: "Department  of Transportation                                                                    
and  Public  Facilities   Salary  Adjustment  Increases  and                                                                    
Personal  Services Costs  (All  Funds)  ($ Thousands)."  The                                                                    
slide showed  $73 million  of contractual  salary increases.                                                                    
If  those   increases  were  not  taken   into  account  the                                                                    
department's personal  services funding would be  down about                                                                    
$40 million.                                                                                                                    
Ms. Siroky advanced to slide  30: "Appropriations within the                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities  (GF                                                                    
Only) ($  Thousands)." The slide showed  that the department                                                                    
had not only focused on reductions  in the areas of the AMHS                                                                    
and  the Highways,  Aviation, and  Facilities areas.  It had                                                                    
also looked to reductions in all areas of UGF.                                                                                  
Ms. Siroky  turned to slide  31: "Appropriations  within the                                                                    
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (All                                                                    
Funds)  ($ Thousands)."  She explained  the slide  reflected                                                                    
that the downturn  in all fund sources was  primarily in the                                                                    
Highways and  Aviation component  and the AMHS.  However, it                                                                    
did  not reflect  certain changes  within the  organization.                                                                    
For example  the blue  line representing  administration and                                                                    
support  showed  a  steady  growth   but  was  a  result  of                                                                    
centralizing activities.                                                                                                        
Ms.  Siroky  moved to  slide  32:  "FY2017 Proposed  Capital                                                                    
Budget." The  department's proposed capital budget  was $860                                                                    
million of federal receipts. She  highlighted that a variety                                                                    
of other funding sources were  shown on the slide. She asked                                                                    
if there were any questions from the committee.                                                                                 
2:34:24 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler pointed  to  growing infrastructure  for                                                                    
transportation. He wondered if  it equated to expanding lane                                                                    
miles or additional  airports or more sea  ports. Ms. Siroky                                                                    
replied  that over  the last  ten years  the department  had                                                                    
been  expanding   runway  safety  areas  at   airports.  She                                                                    
elaborated that adding  a shoulder to a road or  a bike lane                                                                    
was  considered an  increase to  the state's  infrastructure                                                                    
because  it  had  to  be  maintained  and  was  a  budgetary                                                                    
increase.   The  department   was  currently   focusing  its                                                                    
attention  on heavy  maintenance but  did a  fair amount  of                                                                    
expansion such as intersections or round-a-bouts.                                                                               
Co-Chair Thompson asked  if there was a  reduction of lines.                                                                    
He also reported  that whenever the department  redid a road                                                                    
in  a community,  the community  was then  required to  take                                                                    
over the  maintenance of  that road.  He indicated  that the                                                                    
City  of Fairbanks  had taken  over all  of Illinois  Street                                                                    
including the  snow removal and  minor maintenance on  the 2                                                                    
bridges  across  the  Chena River.  He  suggested  that  the                                                                    
department had  actually reduced  the mileage  it maintained                                                                    
in  some cases.  Ms.  Siroky reported  that  when the  state                                                                    
upgraded  a  road  it  looked   to  give  the  road  to  the                                                                    
municipality. Often times it made more sense.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Thompson   replied  that  the  way   it  had  been                                                                    
explained was  that if a  municipality wanted a  road redone                                                                    
it would have  to take over the maintenance.  He stated that                                                                    
it was not a voluntary situation.                                                                                               
Vice-Chair Saddler asked  Ms. Siroky for her  to explain the                                                                    
fuel trigger  mechanism. Ms. Siroky responded  that when oil                                                                    
reached above $70  per barrel a formula was  applied and the                                                                    
agencies received  a distribution of fuel  trigger money. It                                                                    
was  originally  set  up  because   the  price  of  oil  was                                                                    
fluctuating  so much  in the  early 2000's.  The legislature                                                                    
did not  want the fuel  to be  a continuing build-up  of the                                                                    
base.  The state  would not  be receiving  any fuel  trigger                                                                    
money in the current year.                                                                                                      
Representative  Gara  asked  about   the  200  mile  stretch                                                                    
between Talkeetna and Cooper Landing.  He relayed that there                                                                    
used to  be a number  of safety signs that  directed drivers                                                                    
with 5 or  more cars behind them to pull  over. He estimated                                                                    
seeing between  2 or less of  those signs when he  drove the                                                                    
route. He  wondered why  the signs  were no  longer present.                                                                    
Ms. Siroky could  not remember the answer  to the frequently                                                                    
asked question.                                                                                                                 
Representative   Gara   requested    that   the   signs   be                                                                    
redisplayed, as  the stretch was  one of the  most dangerous                                                                    
in  Alaska. Commissioner  Luiken  believed  there were  more                                                                    
than  2  signs. He  also  reported  that several  additional                                                                    
pull-outs were installed.  However, it was really  up to the                                                                    
public to adhere to the signs.                                                                                                  
Representative Gara wanted the  official count. He suggested                                                                    
that the  pullouts were  better marked.  Commissioner Luiken                                                                    
stated  that he  would get  back  with the  number of  signs                                                                    
currently displayed.                                                                                                            
Vice-Chair   Saddler  stated   that   his  constituent   had                                                                    
frequently seen  a sign indicating  a work safety  zone with                                                                    
double fine  penalties. He  wondered if  it was  possible to                                                                    
make the  signs conditional based on  workers being present.                                                                    
He   wondered   about   federal  and   state   requirements.                                                                    
Commissioner Luiken  was aware that for  certain portions of                                                                    
the  Seward,   Glenn,  and  Sterling  highways   there  were                                                                    
designated safety zones. Within  those safety zones, whether                                                                    
there was construction or not, there were double fines.                                                                         
Vice-Chair Saddler wondered  if it was possible  to make the                                                                    
signs  conditional.  Commissioner  Luiken  believed  so  but                                                                    
would double check.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Thompson  encouraged members to submit  any written                                                                    
questions. He  reported that  there would  be a  DOT Finance                                                                    
Subcommittee  meeting at  7:00 a.m.  on Thursday  and invite                                                                    
people to attend.                                                                                                               
2:42:18 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:49:56 PM                                                                                                                    
^FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: JUDICIARY                                                                                             
2:50:06 PM                                                                                                                    
DOUG WOOLIVER, DEPUTY  ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA COURT                                                                    
SYSTEM,  introduced  the  PowerPoint  presentation:  "FY  17                                                                    
Alaska Court System Overview."                                                                                                  
Mr. Wooliver turned to slide 2: "Mission Statement":                                                                            
     Mission Statement                                                                                                          
     The mission  of the Alaska  Court System is  to provide                                                                    
     an  accessible   and  impartial  forum  for   the  just                                                                    
     resolution of  all cases  that come  before it,  and to                                                                    
     decide  such   cases  in   accordance  with   the  law,                                                                    
     expeditiously and with integrity.                                                                                          
Mr. Wooliver  explained the core  function of  Judiciary was                                                                    
to resolve  cases that  came to  the court  in the  best way                                                                    
possible. The challenge  of the court system was  to keep an                                                                    
eye  on the  mission statement  while working  with the  new                                                                    
budget reality.                                                                                                                 
Mr. Wooliver discussed slide 3:  "Four Levels of Courts." He                                                                    
stated that there  were four levels of the  court. The first                                                                    
was the  Supreme Court  that handled  all civil  appeals and                                                                    
also  handled  some  criminal appeals  but  at  the  court's                                                                    
election. Next  was the Court  of Appeals, made up  of three                                                                    
judges,  which  handled  criminal  appeals  exclusively.  He                                                                    
continued  that the  trial  court was  made  up of  Superior                                                                    
Courts,  courts of  general jurisdiction  hearing everything                                                                    
from family law cases to murder  cases and all of the child-                                                                    
in-need-of-aid  cases. Lastly,  there were  district courts,                                                                    
courts  of  limited  jurisdiction.  They  heard  misdemeanor                                                                    
crimes, personal lawsuits under  $100 thousand, and domestic                                                                    
violence  restraining orders,  for example.  District courts                                                                    
were where all minor offenses were filed.                                                                                       
Representative Wilson  had heard  talk about a  family court                                                                    
and whether  a family  court specializing  in cases  such as                                                                    
divorce  would save  the state  money. She  wondered whether                                                                    
the option had been considered.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Wooliver  answered  that the  only  court  with  enough                                                                    
judges to  divide the work  was in Anchorage.  Anchorage had                                                                    
five  Superior  Court  judges  that  just  handled  criminal                                                                    
cases.  The  remaining  judges   handled  civil  cases.  The                                                                    
trouble  with dividing  up caseloads  in smaller  courts was                                                                    
that the state did not have  enough judges to do so. Parties                                                                    
had a  right to bump judges.  It was possible to  run out of                                                                    
judges when  that right was  exercised once or  twice. There                                                                    
was talk  every once  in a  while about  having the  type of                                                                    
specialty  Representative  Wilson was  suggesting.  However,                                                                    
other types of  specialties cropped up as  well. He recalled                                                                    
talk  about  having  judges that  were  very  scientifically                                                                    
literate  or   judges  who  were  very   literate  regarding                                                                    
business organizations. In the end,  the model the state had                                                                    
(the only one  he felt the state could have  with its number                                                                    
of  judges), worked  best because  most  judges handled  all                                                                    
types  of  cases. Training  became  an  essential issue  for                                                                    
judges  because of  the model  the  state had  in place.  He                                                                    
reported that  Judiciary would be  cutting back  on training                                                                    
due to budget constraints and  would be discussing the topic                                                                    
further  later in  the presentation.  He added  that cutting                                                                    
back on training  would not be a  sustainable option because                                                                    
judges needed  constant training  particularly in  the areas                                                                    
of family  law. The laws  changed and thinking  changed over                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson commented that  many people were in prison                                                                    
waiting for  a pre-trial conference for  extended periods of                                                                    
time. He  wondered what  might be causing  the hang  up. Mr.                                                                    
Wooliver responded that  there were a number  of things that                                                                    
kept people in jail. One problem  could be that the bail was                                                                    
set too high.  Another was the requirement  of a third-party                                                                    
custodian. He  mentioned that  the criminal  justice working                                                                    
commission was  addressing the issue  of the  huge pre-trial                                                                    
population within  the Department  of Corrections  (DOC). He                                                                    
believed that  there was a  bill in the works  that included                                                                    
significant reforms to the bail statutes.                                                                                       
2:55:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler  asked  how  the number  of  judges  was                                                                    
determined. He  wondered if it  was set  in statute or  if a                                                                    
population formula  was used. Mr.  Wooliver stated  that the                                                                    
number  of Superior  Court judges  was set  in statute.  The                                                                    
number of  District Court judges  was not set in  statue but                                                                    
the court  addressed the legislature  yearly with  a request                                                                    
for funding  to increase District Court  positions. Although                                                                    
Judiciary had the authority to  create new posts, it did not                                                                    
have the revenue to do so.                                                                                                      
Mr.  Wooliver  continued  to slide  4:  "Court  System  Non-                                                                    
Judicial  Employees."  While  he acknowledged  the  role  of                                                                    
judges, he  pointed out  that it  took significant  staff to                                                                    
support  them in  doing their  job. There  were people  that                                                                    
took in  all of  the court filings,  dealt with  the public,                                                                    
managed cases,  moved files, and set  court schedules. There                                                                    
was  also  administrative  staff responsible  for  finances,                                                                    
human resources, computer services, and facilities.                                                                             
Representative  Gara  understood  cutting training  to  save                                                                    
money.  He noted  that  one of  the areas  that  had been  a                                                                    
bright  spot  in  the  court  system  was  the  training  of                                                                    
magistrates  and  masters on  how  to  deal with  children's                                                                    
cases  in  order  to ensure  more  successful  outcomes.  He                                                                    
wondered if such training was going to be cut.                                                                                  
Mr. Wooliver replied  that Judiciary planned to  cut one day                                                                    
of  magistrate  training,  although   he  was  unclear  what                                                                    
curriculum would be  deleted. Also, there would  be one less                                                                    
day  of clerical  training. The  number  of annual  judicial                                                                    
conferences  would be  reduced from  two  to one  and a  law                                                                    
clerk  training would  be eliminated.  He  added that  there                                                                    
were some  areas that  were critical  for training.  He also                                                                    
mentioned another  way to  save would  be to  avoid bringing                                                                    
presenters from  outside to the conferences  but rather rely                                                                    
on the expertise already within Alaska.                                                                                         
2:58:33 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gattis was  wondering about  the possibility                                                                    
of  shared  internet  technologies (IT)  services  with  the                                                                    
other agencies.                                                                                                                 
Mr.  Wooliver responded  that the  court system  used to  be                                                                    
more closely  affiliate with Enterprise  Technology Services                                                                    
(ETS). However, when  Judiciary was only 1.2  percent of the                                                                    
budget it was difficult to get  its priorities to the top of                                                                    
ETS's list. The court could do  its work much better when it                                                                    
was in  charge of its own  IT services rather than  being in                                                                    
the que  of a much  larger organization.  It was not  to say                                                                    
that Judiciary did not work with  the IT people in the other                                                                    
agencies. There was a "Magic  Committee" that made sure that                                                                    
the agencies could speak to  each other via their technology                                                                    
systems.  Judiciary worked  with the  DOC and  Department of                                                                    
Public  Safety   (DPS)  on   several  kinds   of  technology                                                                    
projects. However, he concluded  that Judiciary needed to be                                                                    
in  charge   of  its  employees  and   its  priorities.  The                                                                    
judiciary  branch  would not  relish  becoming  part of  the                                                                    
executive branch's technology efforts.                                                                                          
Representative Guttenberg  asked about law  enforcement that                                                                    
moved criminals back  and forth and whether  they fell under                                                                    
the  Judiciary  branch.  Mr.  Wooliver  explained  that  the                                                                    
Alaska  State   Troopers  provided  some  of   the  judicial                                                                    
services but did not fall under Judiciary.                                                                                      
Mr.  Wooliver  scrolled  to   slide  5:  "Factors  Impacting                                                                    
Workloads." The  items influencing  the types of  cases that                                                                    
came to the court  included population, police, economy, and                                                                    
other. As  population grew judicial  resources grew,  and as                                                                    
population  shrank judicial  resources shrank.  He explained                                                                    
that if a  city received a federal grant  and could increase                                                                    
the  number of  police officers  and prosecutors,  the state                                                                    
might  see  an  increase   in  criminal  cases  being  filed                                                                    
irrespective  of  population  and crime  rates.  Conversely,                                                                    
cuts  in  those areas  might  result  in fewer  cases  being                                                                    
filed. He continued that, in  general, people with jobs were                                                                    
less likely to  get in trouble than people  without jobs. He                                                                    
asserted that  things like the unemployment  rate could have                                                                    
an indirect effect on the court's workload.                                                                                     
Mr. Wooliver  pointed to slide  6: "Trial Court  Caseloads -                                                                    
FY 15."  The workload  for the  Superior Court  was up  by 3                                                                    
percent  from the  prior year.  The District  Court workload                                                                    
was  up  2  percent.  In general,  the  caseloads  were  not                                                                    
changing  much,  as they  were  only  up slightly  from  the                                                                    
previous year.                                                                                                                  
Mr.  Wooliver discussed  the pie  chart on  slide 7:  "FY 15                                                                    
Trial  Court  Case  Filings:   Superior  &  District  Courts                                                                    
Combined."  He  noted that  the  largest  part of  the  case                                                                    
filings  had  to do  with  minor  offenses such  as  traffic                                                                    
offenses and fish and game violations.                                                                                          
3:03:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver reviewed  the pie  chart  on slide  8: "FY  15                                                                    
Superior Court Case Filings." He  noted that the caseload in                                                                    
Superior Court was  primarily made up of  felony filings (28                                                                    
percent),  probate   filings  (26  percent),   and  domestic                                                                    
relations cases  (21 percent). The interesting  part was the                                                                    
probate number which consisted  of wills, guardianships, and                                                                    
conservatorships. He relayed that  "Baby Boomers" were aging                                                                    
to over  65 becoming a  larger percentage of  the population                                                                    
which resulted  in more probate  cases in court. It  was not                                                                    
just an  increase in  numbers, but an  increase in  focus as                                                                    
well.  He conveyed  that several  years ago  the legislature                                                                    
passed  a  bill  requiring  the  licensing  of  professional                                                                    
guardians  because of  it  becoming a  bigger  issue as  the                                                                    
population aged.  A few years  ago the legislature  passed a                                                                    
bill  that  allowed  a  person  to  get  a  financial  abuse                                                                    
protective  order when  it looked  like a  senior was  being                                                                    
taken  advantage   of  regarding  their  money.   The  court                                                                    
established  the Elder  Law Task  Force  chaired by  Justice                                                                    
Winfree. Mr. Wooliver indicated he  sat on the task force as                                                                    
well. The focus of the task  force was to figure out how the                                                                    
court could  internally do a  better job  with guardianships                                                                    
and conservatorships.                                                                                                           
Vice-Chair Saddler  mentioned that  much of the  expenses of                                                                    
the foster care system were  masked in other departments. He                                                                    
wondered how much  of the expenses in the  court system were                                                                    
associated with foster care  adoptions and prosecutions that                                                                    
were not  reimbursed. Mr. Wooliver  reported that  the court                                                                    
system  just had  cases and  did  not give  money back.  The                                                                    
number    of    Child-in-need-of-aid   cases    had    grown                                                                    
significantly over the past few  years, about an increase of                                                                    
50 percent  in case  filings. He reported  that it  would be                                                                    
difficult to  figure cost because  the court did not  have a                                                                    
cost-per-case  amount  in  the court  system.  Instead,  the                                                                    
system had an overhead amount.                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair  Saddler asked  for  a  percentage. Mr.  Wooliver                                                                    
responded about 11 percent of the Superior Court caseload.                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Saddler asked  how many  were related  to foster                                                                    
care. Mr. Wooliver would try to find a better number.                                                                           
Vice-Chair   Saddler   asked   for  the   probate   caseload                                                                    
attributable to foster care. Mr.  Wooliver would try to find                                                                    
the information.                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  asked  about  the  2571  cases.  Mr.                                                                    
Wooliver answered  that the number of  cases represented the                                                                    
number of cases filed.                                                                                                          
Representative  Wilson asked  about the  delinquency number.                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver   responded  that  there  were   883  juvenile                                                                    
delinquency  cases  brought  to  the  Division  of  Juvenile                                                                    
Justice  involving crimes  committed by  minors. Although  a                                                                    
minor might  also be a child  in need of aid,  the case type                                                                    
was completely separate and unrelated.                                                                                          
3:08:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson suggested  that there  was no  way to                                                                    
track the  number of children within  the categories because                                                                    
the same  child could be involved  in more than one  type of                                                                    
case. Mr. Wooliver agreed. He  spoke of an earlier testifier                                                                    
on a  previous day who  confirmed a child could  be involved                                                                    
in multiple  types of cases.  The court  system's statistics                                                                    
would not show such information.                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  referred  to  Mr.  Wooliver's  earlier                                                                    
statement  that child-in-need-of-aid  cases had  gone up  50                                                                    
percent  in  the  previous  few years.  He  wondered  if  it                                                                    
increased  its costs.  He thought  the judges  just absorbed                                                                    
the cases with the same amount of staff.                                                                                        
Mr. Wooliver  replied that Representative Gara  was correct.                                                                    
He  elaborated that  the  court system  had  also seen  some                                                                    
reductions. For  instance, the amount of  probate cases were                                                                    
up and  delinquency cases  were down. In  the prior  2 years                                                                    
the  family law  cases had  decreased. He  cited a  few more                                                                    
statistics  but concluded  Judiciary  cases were  relatively                                                                    
flat. The only  time the courts received  more resources was                                                                    
when a request was submitted to the legislature.                                                                                
Mr.  Wooliver moved  on to  slide 9:  "FY 15  District Court                                                                    
Case  Filings."  He  highlighted  that  the  District  Court                                                                    
handled  minor   offenses  such   as  traffic   tickets  and                                                                    
Mr. Wooliver advanced to slide  10: "Criminal Jury Trials FY                                                                    
13 - FY  16." He mentioned that in the  past few years there                                                                    
had been a  dramatic increase in trial  rates. However, that                                                                    
had come to  a screeching halt. Judiciary's  trial rates for                                                                    
FY 15  were down slightly  and for the  first half of  FY 16                                                                    
they  were down  substantially.  The  attorneys and  parties                                                                    
determined  whether a  case went  to trial  rather than  the                                                                    
court system. He explained that  when the trial rate went up                                                                    
so did  the state's costs  because the state paid  jury fees                                                                    
and jury  travel in rural  areas. In the current  year there                                                                    
was a savings because the number of trials were down.                                                                           
Mr. Wooliver scrolled  to the pie chart on slide  11: "FY 16                                                                    
State   of  Alaska   Funding  -   All   Sources."  The   pie                                                                    
demonstrated that  Judiciary was only a  small percentage of                                                                    
the  overall state  budget, about  1.4 percent  of the  "All                                                                    
Sources" total and about 2.2 percent of the UGF total.                                                                          
Mr. Wooliver pointed  to slide 12: " Alaska  Court System FY                                                                    
16 Operating Budget Appropriation:  All Fund Types." The pie                                                                    
depicted how the  court system spent its money.  Most of the                                                                    
branch's costs  were associated with  the trial  courts, the                                                                    
Superior  Court  and the  District  Court.  The majority  of                                                                    
judges and employees worked within those courts.                                                                                
Mr.  Wooliver  discussed  slide  13:  "Breakdown  of  FY  16                                                                    
Funding (GF)."  He surmised that  the slide was  another way                                                                    
of  accounting  for how  Judiciary  spent  its funding.  The                                                                    
majority  of the  agency's funding  went towards  personnel.                                                                    
The only other area that took  a large chunk of funding went                                                                    
towards  services  associated   with  facilities  contracts,                                                                    
leases, and utilities.                                                                                                          
Mr. Wooliver displayed  slide 14: "Funding Changes  FY 07 to                                                                    
FY  17: Personal  Services." He  reported that  looking back                                                                    
over the  previous 10 years,  the largest  factors impacting                                                                    
the agency's budget was the  general salary adjustments that                                                                    
the legislature  approved and the  hiring of 8  new Superior                                                                    
Court judges and 3 new District Court judges.                                                                                   
Mr. Wooliver  reviewed slide 15:  "Funding Changes FY  07 to                                                                    
FY  17:  Services." He  explained  that  lease expenses  had                                                                    
increased as  well as costs  for software and  bandwidth. He                                                                    
also mentioned that Therapeutic  Courts had been placed into                                                                    
Judiciary's budget a number of years ago.                                                                                       
3:13:10 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver   turned  to  slide  16:   "Judiciary:  Salary                                                                    
Adjustment  Increases  and   Personal  Services  Costs:  All                                                                    
Funds."  He  explained that  the  red  bars represented  the                                                                    
raises that had been approved each year.                                                                                        
Representative  Wilson asked  if  Judiciary  was looking  to                                                                    
absorb the red bar for  the following year. Mr. Wooliver was                                                                    
not anticipating  the funding and  would be eating  the cost                                                                    
for pay raises.                                                                                                                 
Representative Wilson wanted the information on record.                                                                         
Mr.    Wooliver   advanced    to   slide    17:   "Judiciary                                                                    
Appropriations: GF Only." The graph  was another look at the                                                                    
overall  spending for  Judiciary appropriations.  The agency                                                                    
used to be  at about 2.07 percent and was  currently at 2.22                                                                    
percent of overall state spending in UGF.                                                                                       
Mr.  Wooliver scrolled  to slide  18: "Judiciary's  Share of                                                                    
Total  Agency   Operations:  GF  Only."  He   reported  that                                                                    
following the  drop in oil  prices in the previous  year the                                                                    
agency  submitted  its  budget   request,  got  rid  of  its                                                                    
increments,  and asked  for a  $3.4 million  reduction which                                                                    
the legislature approved.                                                                                                       
Mr. Wooliver  pointed to slide  19: "FY  15 to FY  16 Budget                                                                    
Change." In the end, $2.2 million  was added for the cost of                                                                    
pay raises. However,  the $2.2 million increase  came with a                                                                    
new expense of $2.2 million.  Judiciary was still managing a                                                                    
$3.4 million cut to the budget.  There were a number of ways                                                                    
Judiciary  was managing  the reduction  including minimizing                                                                    
supply  expenditures.  The  department  no  longer  replaced                                                                    
computers unless  it was absolutely necessary  and minimized                                                                    
travel.  The  department did  not  approve  much travel  and                                                                    
placed a cap  on travel of $2000. He provided  an example of                                                                    
traveling to a conference and  having to reimburse the state                                                                    
$158 because  his costs had  exceeded $2000 by  that amount.                                                                    
He noted reluctance to  limit training. However, conferences                                                                    
were  expensive  and  it  was  costly  to  bring  people  to                                                                    
Anchorage. Reducing  training was  not a  sustainable option                                                                    
and the  agency would beef  up its training once  the budget                                                                    
picture improved.                                                                                                               
Vice-Chair Saddler  referred to  slide 19  and asked  if the                                                                    
reduction of $1.4 from FY 15  to FY 16 was roughly 1 percent                                                                    
-  excluding  the   Cost-Of-Living  Adjustment  (COLA).  Mr.                                                                    
Wooliver  replied  that  it  was just  over  1  percent.  He                                                                    
furthered that Judiciary was still  left with a $2.4 million                                                                    
cost to  the pay  raise. The  agency would  have to  come up                                                                    
with  $3.8  million  in  savings   under  the  budget  being                                                                    
Mr. Wooliver discussed slide 20:  "FY 16 Budget Management."                                                                    
He reiterated  that the largest  portion of the  budget went                                                                    
towards personal services which was  where savings had to be                                                                    
found. He  suggested there was  a 4-part  way to get  to the                                                                    
3:17:23 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver  continued  to discuss  budget  management  on                                                                    
slide 21: "FY 16  Budget Management (cont.)." The department                                                                    
was not  laying people off and  hoped not to through  FY 17.                                                                    
One way to reduce costs  was to have mandatory leave without                                                                    
pay  (LWOP). There  had  been  2 such  days;  the day  after                                                                    
Thanksgiving  and the  day before  Christmas.  There were  3                                                                    
more  days  scheduled  for the  spring.  If  the  department                                                                    
stayed on  track with some  of the  other savings not  all 3                                                                    
days  would   necessarily  be  needed.  Another   thing  the                                                                    
department was doing was  leaving vacant positions unfilled.                                                                    
However, employees  could move  between positions  leaving a                                                                    
different  position vacant.  In some  cases the  approval of                                                                    
the  administrative  director  could  be issued  to  fill  a                                                                    
position. Through  that effort there  were 35 fewer  jobs in                                                                    
the court system  than there had been in the  prior year. If                                                                    
a position  was refilled it had  to be vacant for  a certain                                                                    
period  time.  There  had  always  been  a  30  day  vacancy                                                                    
requirement.  Currently,  it  was  between  45  to  90  days                                                                    
depending  on  the position  and  the  court location  which                                                                    
saved the agency a fair  amount. Another idea regarding LWOP                                                                    
came  about when  some employees  suggested voluntary  leave                                                                    
without pay  or voluntary salary reductions.  Thus far, over                                                                    
300 court employees, including  judges, took voluntary LWOP,                                                                    
waived  the  2.5  pay  raise, or  took  a  voluntary  salary                                                                    
reduction. People did not want  to see their colleagues laid                                                                    
off. The department hoped to  be able to find enough savings                                                                    
to avoid having the 3 days of closures in the spring.                                                                           
Representative Kawasaki asked if  the budget that was passed                                                                    
in the previous  year out of the finance  subcommittee had 4                                                                    
days of  mandatory LWOP.  Mr. Wooliver  relayed that  at the                                                                    
time up to 6 days were contemplated.                                                                                            
Representative Kawasaki  asked Mr.  Wooliver to  provide any                                                                    
anecdotal information about the  core closure dates in terms                                                                    
of  impacting services.  Mr. Wooliver  was unsure.  However,                                                                    
the department chose  certain days that it  thought would be                                                                    
least  impactful to  operations.  He had  not  heard of  any                                                                    
impacts and plenty  of notice was given to  employees. The 3                                                                    
days proposed for  the spring had already  been announced by                                                                    
the  chief  justice  in  the  prior  month  of  November  or                                                                    
December to avoid trials being scheduled on those days.                                                                         
Representative Gara asked about  LWOP. He wondered how money                                                                    
was  saved with  LWOP for  salaried employees.  Mr. Wooliver                                                                    
responded that his own pay was docked for each day.                                                                             
3:23:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wooliver  reviewed slide  22:  "FY  16 -  Other  Budget                                                                    
Measures." The  department did not  just cut the  budget but                                                                    
it also  raised some of  its filing fees amounting  to about                                                                    
$1.2  million in  general fund  dollars.  Judiciary had  not                                                                    
raised its  fees for over  a dozen  years. There were  a few                                                                    
other items  that were implemented  to save  costs including                                                                    
an online juror questionnaire  anticipated to save the state                                                                    
about $30 thousand  in the following year.  The court system                                                                    
was also  going to change the  court rules to allow  more e-                                                                    
distribution of  documents which  would amount to  a savings                                                                    
of over  $100 thousand  per year. He  spoke of  receiving an                                                                    
email  from  the   woman  who  oversaw  all   of  the  court                                                                    
interpreters. She reported having  saved $26 thousand in the                                                                    
court's contract  for interpreters.  The three  cost savings                                                                    
measures equated  to two full-time positions.  Judiciary was                                                                    
looking everywhere it could to find savings.                                                                                    
Mr. Wooliver turned  to slide 23: "FY  17 Operating Budget."                                                                    
He reported  that the court  system's budget request  for FY                                                                    
17  was  $3.8 million  less  than  the previous  year  which                                                                    
included  taking out  $2.2 million  for  raises. The  budget                                                                    
request was a 3.8 percent  reduction. The court system would                                                                    
continue to take measures to reduce costs.                                                                                      
Mr. Wooliver advanced  to slide 24: "FY  17 Operating Budget                                                                    
(cont.)."  He spoke  of further  reductions in  the area  of                                                                    
personal  services. He  expounded  that all  staff would  be                                                                    
working Monday through Thursday from  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.                                                                    
The  courts would  continue  to close  at  4:30 p.m.  giving                                                                    
staff 30  minutes of uninterrupted  time at the end  of each                                                                    
day to  finish up their work  and to prep for  the following                                                                    
day.  The court  would close  at  noon on  Fridays. The  net                                                                    
result was a 1.5 hour  reduction of hours for each employee,                                                                    
a 4 percent pay reduction.  The department would also add 17                                                                    
positions  to  the long-term  vacancy  pool  resulting in  a                                                                    
total of  52 fewer employees  by July 1st than  the previous                                                                    
year. He reported that Judiciary  had always had 8 positions                                                                    
in the long-term  vacancy pool, but was adding 52  - 52 jobs                                                                    
that  used  to  exist  that would  not  exist  anymore.  The                                                                    
department  would also  continue to  ask for  voluntary LWOP                                                                    
and would  continue to leave  positions that it  would leave                                                                    
vacant for as long as  possible. Judiciary's priority was to                                                                    
avoid  layoffs.  He explained  that  most  of the  employees                                                                    
would prefer  for everyone to  have smaller  reductions than                                                                    
resorting  to layoffs.  By closing  at noon  on Fridays  and                                                                    
reducing  employees pay  by 4  percent the  department saved                                                                    
about  $2.1  million.  Otherwise,  to save  that  money  the                                                                    
department would  have to  lay off about  25 people.  It was                                                                    
already planning on  being down 52 positions  in addition to                                                                    
the 8 that  were vacant totaling 60  positions. He suggested                                                                    
that if people were laid  off rather than reducing hours and                                                                    
pay the department would be  down 85 positions. He concluded                                                                    
that by  reducing hours and  pay the department was  able to                                                                    
keep  more  courts  open  longer  than if  it  laid  off  25                                                                    
3:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  asked how many hours  employees would be                                                                    
working  per  week.  Mr.  Wooliver  replied  that  employees                                                                    
worked  8 hours  Monday through  Thursday and  half days  on                                                                    
Friday totaling  36 hours per  week rather than  37.5 hours.                                                                    
Therefore,  it  equated  to  1.5 hours  less  per  week  per                                                                    
employee totaling a 4 percent reduction.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Saddler  asked  if  employees would  be  paid  a                                                                    
lesser amount.  Mr. Wooliver confirmed that  employees would                                                                    
be paid 4 percent less.                                                                                                         
Mr. Wooliver  scrolled to slide  25: "FY 17 and  Beyond." He                                                                    
was uncertain about the budget  looking forward. However, e-                                                                    
filing was  a certain way  to receive, transmit,  store, and                                                                    
manage documents and was already  funded. The department was                                                                    
going  through the  long process  of adopting  a new  way of                                                                    
doing  business.  He  reported  that the  states  that  have                                                                    
changed over  to e-filing had  seen significant  savings. It                                                                    
would be  one of the  reforms that would survive  the budget                                                                    
Mr.   Wooliver  concluded   with  slide   26:  "FY   17  and                                                                    
Beyond…(Cont.)."  He stated  that  access to  justice was  a                                                                    
priority and a challenge.  He suggested that with additional                                                                    
budget  cuts the  state  would be  forced  to close  certain                                                                    
court  locations. It  was  not an  option  the court  system                                                                    
wanted to  exercise but perhaps  it would be  necessary down                                                                    
the  road. One  of the  things the  department was  doing to                                                                    
cooperate with  other agencies was video  conferencing which                                                                    
saved a great deal of time  and money especially for the DOC                                                                    
and the  DPS. He reported  having gone live two  weeks prior                                                                    
with a connection  between Anvil Mountain in  Nome, the Nome                                                                    
courthouse, and  the Kotzebue  courthouse. He  supposed that                                                                    
increases to  one department  could mean  savings elsewhere.                                                                    
The court  system would continue efforts  working with other                                                                    
3:32:27 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  referenced slide  7. He  thought it                                                                    
looked  as if  24 percent  of the  trial court  filings were                                                                    
criminal  cases. Next  he pointed  to slide  10 which  noted                                                                    
that trials from  FY 15 were down 14 percent  from FY 13 and                                                                    
down  7 percent  from FY  14. Similarly,  in District  Court                                                                    
misdemeanor trials were  up 1 percent but  trial courts were                                                                    
down  a total  of 21  percent from  year-to-year. The  slide                                                                    
also noted the Superior and  District Court trials for FY 16                                                                    
were  significantly less  in FY  14. He  wondered why,  with                                                                    
fewer cases,  the same  number of staff  would be  needed at                                                                    
Mr. Wooliver  answered that there  were not fewer  cases but                                                                    
fewer  trials. The  savings of  about $100  thousand was  in                                                                    
jury costs.  He suggested that when  Judiciary closed courts                                                                    
it  saved about  $250 thousand  which was  half of  a 1  day                                                                    
closure. It was  a sort of fortuitous savings  but helped in                                                                    
other areas.                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  asked about the number  of Superior                                                                    
Court  judges per  case load.  Mr.  Wooliver believed  there                                                                    
were stats  but they were  not all the same  between states.                                                                    
There were judges that appeared  to have thousands of cases.                                                                    
However, they were counted much  differently in other states                                                                    
than  in  Alaska.  He  believed it  was  difficult  to  make                                                                    
equitable cross state comparisons.                                                                                              
3:35:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair   Saddler  mentioned   the   proposal  from   the                                                                    
Department  of  Law  (DOL) to  shut  down  the  prosecutor's                                                                    
office  in Dillingham.  He asked  if there  was a  breakeven                                                                    
point in  caseload or  workload where there  would not  be a                                                                    
savings from  closing an office. Mr.  Wooliver relayed that,                                                                    
although he  could not speak  for the LAW,  Judiciary looked                                                                    
at  what  point  it  would   be  better  to  have  a  roving                                                                    
magistrate  to  serve the  smaller  magistrate  courts.   He                                                                    
agreed that  it was important not  to close a court  and end                                                                    
up  spending  more  on  travel, per  diem,  and  hotels.  He                                                                    
thought  it  was  important to  identify  a  savings  before                                                                    
closing a court.                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   asked  if  Mr.   Wooliver  anticipated                                                                    
additional  work  within  the  court  system  regarding  the                                                                    
legalization  of marijuana.  Mr. Wooliver  responded in  the                                                                    
negative.  He elaborated  that there  were  never very  many                                                                    
possession cases  limited to just marijuana.  Usually people                                                                    
in jail for marijuana possession  were in jail for marijuana                                                                    
possession  and  something  else,  at least  for  the  small                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler agreed.                                                                                                      
Representative Edgmon  commented that there were  some great                                                                    
opportunities within  the criminal justice system  to reform                                                                    
the system making  it more efficient and saving  the state a                                                                    
significant amount  of money. He  expressed concern  how one                                                                    
arm of the system did not  know what the other arm was doing                                                                    
and how cuts to one  agency trickled down to other agencies.                                                                    
He believed the costs  associated with bringing the district                                                                    
attorney  position  from  Dillingham  into  Anchorage  would                                                                    
ultimately cost the DOL more  than the savings registered in                                                                    
the DOL's bottom line.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Thompson thanked Mr. Wooliver for his presentation                                                                     
and reviewed the agenda for the following meeting.                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
FY 17 Presentation for House Finance 2 1 16 Jan 29 Final.pdf HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
DOT-HFIN Final for 1 Feb 2016 for Committee.pdf HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
#48a DOT&PF Response to HFIN Comm Hearing 02 01 16 Questions.pdf HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
Attachment #2 Static Map-Downtown Fairbanks.pdf HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
DOT Response HFIN
Attachment #1 Everyday Lean Innovations & Ideas.pdf HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
DOT Response HFIN
State-Owned Airports.xlsx HFIN 2/1/2016 1:30:00 PM
DOT Response HFIN