Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/03/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:34:17 PM Start
01:34:54 PM Fy 17 Budget Overview: Department of Corrections
02:56:31 PM Fy 17 Budget Overview: Department of Law
03:30:34 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 Corrections
- Dept. of Law
+ 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: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                                
FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF LAW                                                                                        
Co-Chair Neuman reviewed the agenda for the day.                                                                                
^FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                             
1:34:54 PM                                                                                                                    
DEAN  WILLIAMS,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS,                                                                    
introduced the  PowerPoint Presentation:  "FY2017 Department                                                                    
Overview House Finance February  3, 2016." He indicated that                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson would  be walking  the committee  through the                                                                    
presentation.  He encouraged  members  to  ask questions  at                                                                    
their pleasure.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Neuman requested  that the  commissioner keep  his                                                                    
answers direct to allow for  the maximum amount of questions                                                                    
for the time available.                                                                                                         
APRIL  WILKERSON,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                    
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT OF  CORRECTIONS, began  with slide  2:                                                                    
     The  Alaska  Department  of  Corrections  enhances  the                                                                    
     safety   of   our   communities.  We   provide   secure                                                                    
     confinement,  reformative programs,  and  a process  of                                                                    
     supervised community reintegration.                                                                                        
Ms. Wilkerson reviewed the organizational  chart on slide 3:                                                                    
"Organizational Structure."                                                                                                     
She  explained that  the department  was  structured with  5                                                                    
divisions  including:  The  Division  of  Institutions,  the                                                                    
Division  of Probation  and Parole,  the Division  of Health                                                                    
and   Rehabilitation   Services,   and   the   Division   of                                                                    
Administrative Services.  The Parole Board was  appointed by                                                                    
the governor and was a part of the department.                                                                                  
Ms. Wilkerson read slide 4: "DOC at a Glance."                                                                                  
     · Alaska is one of six states in the nation that                                                                           
        operates a unified correctional system (Alaska,                                                                         
        Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and                                                                        
     · In FY2015, DOC booked 36,066 offenders into its                                                                          
        facilities - 3,557 were noncriminal Title 47                                                                            
     · (an increase of 5.4% over last year) - 21,705 were                                                                       
        unique offenders                                                                                                        
     · As of June 30, 2015 6,044 offenders are in a prison,                                                                     
        community residential center (CRC)  or on electronic                                                                    
        monitoring (EM)                                                                                                         
     · As of June 30, 2015 5,650 offenders are on probation                                                                     
        or parole                                                                                                               
Representative Wilson  asked if the 3,557  Title 47 bookings                                                                    
were  part of  the  36,000 booked  offenders. Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
responded affirmatively.                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair Saddler  asked about  the definition  of unified.                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson  responded   that  the  state's  correctional                                                                    
centers housed  both pre-trial and sentenced  offenders. She                                                                    
added that jail facilities  were typically for those waiting                                                                    
for pre-trial or had been sentenced  to a term of 2 years or                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson continued to read from the slide.                                                                                 
1:39:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson advanced to slide 5: "DOC at a Glance."                                                                           
     · Twelve facilities statewide with a total capacity of                                                                     
        5,352 beds  -  Includes 128  beds  located at  Point                                                                    
        Mackenzie Correctional Farm                                                                                             
     · Thirteen field probation offices statewide                                                                               
     · Eight contract CRCs with a capacity of 819 beds                                                                          
     · EM operates in six communities (Anchorage, Juneau                                                                        
        Fairbanks, Ketchikan,  Kenai,  and  Palmer)  with  a                                                                    
        capacity of 450 *EM available  through each Regional                                                                    
        & Community Jail  contracts at a  cost of  just over                                                                    
        $21.40 per day.                                                                                                         
     · Fifteen regional and community jail contracts with a                                                                     
        total  capacity  of  157  beds.  The  average  daily                                                                    
        placement within the  facilities of  about 80  at an                                                                    
        average daily cost of about $350.                                                                                       
     · Reformative Programming - substance abuse, sex                                                                           
        offender  management,   education,  and   vocational                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson reported  the  average  daily population  was                                                                    
5,142 at a cost of $141 per day.                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   asked    about   the   Community                                                                    
Recreational  Centers (CRC)'s.  He  wondered  how often  the                                                                    
contracts  were  reviewed.  He mentioned  the  frequency  of                                                                    
prisoners fleeing  the facility in Fairbanks.  Ms. Wilkerson                                                                    
responded that the  state had 5 year contracts  with each of                                                                    
the  facilities  with  specific terms  and  conditions.  The                                                                    
state was continuing to work  with the Fairbanks CRC as well                                                                    
as one  located in Anchorage  to firm up and  address issues                                                                    
currently occurring in both locations.                                                                                          
Representative Guttenberg mentioned  that the fire marshalls                                                                    
would   be  getting   in  touch   with  the   Department  of                                                                    
Corrections  because  the  fire alarm  system  had  numerous                                                                    
problems  that  needed  to  be   addressed  in  one  of  the                                                                    
facilities. Another  facility did not have  sprinklers which                                                                    
violated code regulations. There  were repeated false alarms                                                                    
of which  the fire department had  stopped responding. There                                                                    
was clearly a  public safety concern which  he suggested Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson look  into. Ms. Wilkerson stated  she would follow                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson  advanced to  the  map  on slide  6:  "Secure                                                                    
Confinement." She explained that the  map showed each of the                                                                    
institutions  and the  regional  community  jails and  their                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson  continued to  slide 7:  "Supervised Release."                                                                    
She reported  that the map  showed each of  the department's                                                                    
probation offices, the CRC's,  and the electronic monitoring                                                                    
(EM) programs.  The department also  offered EM  through the                                                                    
community and  regional jail contracts. However,  there were                                                                    
issues with  some of the  locations due to  GPS availability                                                                    
in the rural areas.                                                                                                             
Representative Guttenberg mentioned  a previous conversation                                                                    
about  ankle   bracelets.  He   reported  having   found  an                                                                    
application  on  his  phone   that  was  as  restricted  and                                                                    
controlling as  an ankle bracelet.  He suggested the  use of                                                                    
an iPhone  in lieu  of an ankle  bracelet which  would allow                                                                    
people to go to work.  The application covered several areas                                                                    
including Prudhoe Bay and on  the North Slope. He elaborated                                                                    
about  the benefits  of the  iPhone application.  He thought                                                                    
the use  of the application could  be a cost savings  to the                                                                    
state and  would keep  people working and  out of  jail. Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson thanked  Representative Guttenberg for  his input.                                                                    
Commissioner Williams added that although  he was new in his                                                                    
position he would be looking  into the improvement of the EM                                                                    
program. There  were several advantages to  EM and pre-trial                                                                    
efforts. He was a proponent of  expanding the area of EM and                                                                    
doing it safely.                                                                                                                
1:46:44 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Edgmon  mentioned that  he would  be focusing                                                                    
the  subcommittee's  attention  on  SB 91  and  all  of  the                                                                    
reforms being  proposed in the  legislation. He  hoped there                                                                    
would be  an opportunity to  consider the bill in  the House                                                                    
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
Ms. Wilkerson  detailed slide  8: "Operating  Budget Request                                                                    
by Core Services." She relayed  that the department's budget                                                                    
was broken out based on  its core services. She reviewed the                                                                    
department's  three primary  functions: secure  confinement,                                                                    
reformative   programing,   and  supervised   release.   She                                                                    
reported  that  secure   confinement  consumed  the  largest                                                                    
portion   of  the   department's  budget   at  77   percent.                                                                    
Reformative  programing  consumed  only  7  percent  of  the                                                                    
budget whereas,  supervised release  consumed 16  percent of                                                                    
the budget.                                                                                                                     
Ms. Wilkerson  explained the fund  sources that made  up the                                                                    
department's  budget  as  depicted on  slide  9:  "Operating                                                                    
Budget  Request  by  Fund Source."  She  believed  that  the                                                                    
Department of  Corrections was the  third largest  agency in                                                                    
the  state funded  with general  funds (GF).  The department                                                                    
was  also  funded with  federal  funding  through billing  a                                                                    
federal  entity   for  the  federal  holds   placed  in  the                                                                    
department's   custody.   The    department's   budget   had                                                                    
designated  general  funds  (DGF)  totaling  just  over  $20                                                                    
million associated  with the  Permanent Fund  Dividend (PFD)                                                                    
criminal  funds. A  small  portion of  funding  was made  up                                                                    
through the  billing of local  municipalities for  the local                                                                    
holds  placed within  the  department's custody.  Additional                                                                    
funds came  from collections  for EM  and the  collection of                                                                    
wages  through the  CRC's for  those  individuals that  were                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  indicated that DOC's budget  was the fourth                                                                    
largest budget behind the University of Alaska.                                                                                 
Co-Chair  Thompson asked  Ms. Wilkerson  to  review the  DGF                                                                    
again.  She had  indicated the  funds were  PFD monies.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson  agreed  that  the  funds  were  PFD  monies.  She                                                                    
expounded  that   DOC  received   PFD  criminal   funds  for                                                                    
individuals that were ineligible to  collect a PFD. The fund                                                                    
source helped  support the physical health  care and medical                                                                    
services the department provided.                                                                                               
Representative  Wilson asked  about the  DGF. Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
reported  that  the department  had  just  over $20  million                                                                    
through the PFD criminal funds,  about $2.5 million from the                                                                    
billing of local  municipalities, approximately $1.7 million                                                                    
from  EM receipts,  and $1.3  million from  wage collections                                                                    
from the CRCs.                                                                                                                  
Representative Wilson  wanted to  know how many  people were                                                                    
attached to the core missions  of the department. She wanted                                                                    
to know  the number  of people in  each of  the department's                                                                    
programs to better understand the budget.                                                                                       
Representative Gattis  asked about  the revenues  from ankle                                                                    
monitoring. She wanted to know  about the charges related to                                                                    
ankle  monitoring and  whether  the state  was including  an                                                                    
additional   fee.   Ms.   Wilkerson   responded   that   the                                                                    
individuals that were placed  on electronic monitoring under                                                                    
the department's  program did not  pay the  vendor directly.                                                                    
They were  paying for  the equipment.  She thought  the cost                                                                    
was about  $14 per day  for the  equipment and $10  per week                                                                    
for the  urine analyses. The  total cost was just  over $100                                                                    
per  week paid  directly to  the department.  The department                                                                    
had  the  authority  to  use   a  sliding  scale  for  those                                                                    
individuals doing  well with the  program but who  could not                                                                    
afford to pay for it on their own.                                                                                              
Representative Gattis  asked if  the state was  making money                                                                    
off  of  its  prisoners  or  breaking  even.  Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
replied that the EM receipts  were just over 46 percent. The                                                                    
department  was  not  breaking  even  on  the  program.  The                                                                    
program was  receipt driven but was  also appropriated money                                                                    
from GF. Commissioner Williams thought  the state was losing                                                                    
money. Ms.  Wilkerson stated that  the alternative of  a CRC                                                                    
was much more costly to the state than being placed on EM.                                                                      
Co-Chair Neuman  remarked that  he did  not think  she cared                                                                    
and he  did not think  the committee  cared just as  long as                                                                    
the costs were covered.                                                                                                         
Representative Gattis clarified that  in the vein of helping                                                                    
the  state's prisoners  with their  transition into  society                                                                    
and employment  she thought that  adding another  step would                                                                    
be a hindrance. She wondered  if the state was breaking even                                                                    
or  making  money  on  the  designated  receipts  for  ankle                                                                    
monitoring. Ms.  Wilkerson stated that the  department tried                                                                    
to work with  individuals that were having  a difficult time                                                                    
to  ensure  that  they  were  able  to  stay  on  electronic                                                                    
Representative Gattis  interrupted, "are we making  money or                                                                    
not?"  Commissioner Williams  responded that  the state  was                                                                    
not making money.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair  Neuman  asked  the  commissioner  if  it  was  his                                                                    
intention to  put policies into  place where  prisoners with                                                                    
ankle monitors could deal directly  with the businesses that                                                                    
supplied them  as opposed to  going through DOC  where extra                                                                    
personnel was  necessary to do the  monitoring. Commissioner                                                                    
Williams responded  that he wanted the  greatest efficiency,                                                                    
the  least   cost,  and  the  most   sensitive  approach  to                                                                    
administering   the  ankle   monitoring   program.  He   was                                                                    
fundamentally uncomfortable with  charging people because it                                                                    
was proven that keeping people  out of jail was cheaper than                                                                    
them  being in  jail. It  was better  for the  individual as                                                                    
long  as safety  within  a community  could  be assured.  He                                                                    
reiterated that  he was looking  for the most  effective way                                                                    
to  reduce  prison populations.  He  thought  EM was  a  way                                                                    
forward if done  wisely and safely. He  hoped the department                                                                    
would have a plan by the following year.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Neuman  understood that  it was cheaper  to utilize                                                                    
the  EM. He  asked  the  commissioner to  come  back to  the                                                                    
committee with  a plan  for people  with ankle  bracelets to                                                                    
pay   the    supplier   directly.    Commissioner   Williams                                                                    
Representative  Wilson commented  that she  did not  want to                                                                    
encourage people  to go to  jail in  order for the  state to                                                                    
pay for  a bracelet.  She mentioned money  within Department                                                                    
of Health and Social Services  available to those that could                                                                    
not  afford to  pay for  an ankle  bracelet. She  thought it                                                                    
should be  discussed further in subcommittee  and noted that                                                                    
there was  a fairness test  in the  courts as to  a person's                                                                    
ability to pay.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Neuman  directed the Finance  subcommittee chairman                                                                    
to wrap up the issue in the subcommittee.                                                                                       
1:57:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson  scrolled  to  slide  10:  "Operating  Budget                                                                    
Request by  Line Item." She reported  that personal services                                                                    
was at 59 percent, services  at 33 percent, commodities at 7                                                                    
percent, and travel  at 1 percent. Travel  was primarily for                                                                    
point of arrest and prisoner transports.                                                                                        
Ms.   Wilkerson   detailed   slide  11:   "Office   of   the                                                                    
Commissioner." She  relayed that  the total budget  was $3.2                                                                    
million in  GF within  the Office  of the  Commissioner. The                                                                    
budget for  the Commissioner's Office was  $1.3 million with                                                                    
7 positions.  The budget for  the training academy  was $1.4                                                                    
million with  7 positions. The Recidivism  Reduction Program                                                                    
was  $500   thousand  consisting   of  contracts   with  the                                                                    
Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                       
Ms.   Wilkerson  advanced   to   slide   12:  "Division   of                                                                    
Institutions."   She   detailed   that   the   Division   of                                                                    
Institutions  was  made  up  of  inmate  classification  and                                                                    
furlough which  accounted for $1.5  million of  the division                                                                    
total of  $212 million with  9 positions funded  100 percent                                                                    
with  GF.  The  unit  oversaw  and  classified  inmates  for                                                                    
appropriate  placements  as  well  as  community  placements                                                                    
after a  prisoner served  his or  her term.  She highlighted                                                                    
that the  inmate transportation unit, a  delegated authority                                                                    
from the  Department of Public  Safety (DPS), operated  at a                                                                    
budget  of $2.9  million with  11 positions.  The department                                                                    
was  reimbursed by  DPS  for $140  thousand  to assist  with                                                                    
prisoner transports. The unit's  delegated authority was for                                                                    
transports    between   institutions    and   for    medical                                                                    
appointments. All other transports  were handled by DPS. She                                                                    
relayed  that  the  12  correctional  centers  made  up  the                                                                    
largest portion of funding allocated  within the division in                                                                    
the  amount  of  $186  million   with  1390  positions.  The                                                                    
department   had  a   statutory  obligation   for  returning                                                                    
prisoners to the point of  arrest and consumed $600 thousand                                                                    
in  GF. There  was also  a unit  dealing with  education and                                                                    
vocational  education  programs   within  institutions.  The                                                                    
unit's budget  was just over  $1.6 million. The cost  of the                                                                    
regional and community jails unit was $7 million.                                                                               
Co-Chair  Neuman   referred  to  the  issue   of  vocational                                                                    
education. He noticed that reform  programs were part of the                                                                    
division's  mission  statement. He  asked  her  to tell  the                                                                    
committee  what   the  department   was  doing   to  educate                                                                    
prisoners  for reentry  into  the  workforce. Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
answered that  the department was providing  basic education                                                                    
along  with  making sure  that  all  inmates had  a  General                                                                    
Education  Diploma   (GED)  or   high  school   diploma.  In                                                                    
addition,  the  department provided  several  apprenticeship                                                                    
programs  in construction  and other  training opportunities                                                                    
throughout the  state. She would  provide a full  listing to                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Neuman confirmed  that he would like a  list of the                                                                    
cost and location of each of the training programs.                                                                             
Representative  Gattis  wanted  to  know  how  many  inmates                                                                    
entered into  prison without  a GED  or high  school diploma                                                                    
and how many received  their diplomas before being released.                                                                    
She  also  wanted  to  know how  many  prisoners  left  with                                                                    
vocational  certifications. She  thought  that  it could  be                                                                    
useful for the prison  to issue certificates upon completion                                                                    
of  training   as  well.  She   was  interested   in  seeing                                                                    
graduation   rates.   Ms.   Wilkerson  would   provide   the                                                                    
information to the committee.                                                                                                   
2:02:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson  turned to slide  13: "Division of  Health and                                                                    
Rehabilitation." The  budget for the division  was just over                                                                    
$47  million. She  reported that  the  physical health  care                                                                    
unit consumed  the largest portion  of funds at  $30 million                                                                    
with 141  positions. The unit  oversaw all  medical services                                                                    
within the  institutions and outside services  as identified                                                                    
and approved  including dental  care. The  behavioral health                                                                    
unit cost was slightly over  $8.4 million with 54 positions.                                                                    
The  unit operated  and  oversaw all  of  the mental  health                                                                    
services within the unit. There  were also subacute units in                                                                    
Anchorage and Seward. There was  an acute unit in Palmer and                                                                    
another  subacute unit  at the  female facility  in Highland                                                                    
Mountain.  The  division  budget  also  paid  for  the  APIC                                                                    
(Assess, Plan, Identify,  Coordinate) Reentry Initiative and                                                                    
the   Institutional  Discharge   Project  Plus   (IDP+)  for                                                                    
community   placements  of   mentally  ill   offenders.  The                                                                    
substance abuse  program was within  the Division  of Health                                                                    
and  Rehabilitation at  $4.6 million  with  2 positions  for                                                                    
contract  services throughout  the state.  The sex  offender                                                                    
management program was housed within the division as well.                                                                      
Representative  Munoz  asked   how  Medicaid  expansion  had                                                                    
affected  the bottom  line for  health care  services within                                                                    
DOC in the current year compared to the previous year.                                                                          
Ms.  Wilkerson  responded  that   there  were  currently  50                                                                    
individuals that  had been approved for  Medicaid expansion.                                                                    
The invoices  and billings would  be directly billed  by the                                                                    
provider  instead   of  the  department  paying   them.  She                                                                    
continued   that  through   the   unallocated  process   the                                                                    
department  took a  $1.5 million  reduction to  the physical                                                                    
health  care   budget  in   anticipation  of   avoiding  the                                                                    
associated costs.                                                                                                               
Representative  Munoz asked  if the  amount was  an accurate                                                                    
calculation  of   cost  savings   to  the   department.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson thought  that with a  full year of  operations the                                                                    
department expected a savings of  between $7 million to $7.5                                                                    
million.  She  reported  the   department  applying  a  $1.5                                                                    
million reduction  to the FY  16 unallocated number.  The FY                                                                    
17 numbers  reflected an additional reduction  of $6 million                                                                    
for the first full year after working out the bugs.                                                                             
Co-Chair  Neuman  added  that  the  department  submitted  a                                                                    
budget  with a  $4  million reduction.  There were  concerns                                                                    
about  reducing the  DOC  and DPS  budgets  when a  dramatic                                                                    
increase  in  customers   was  anticipated.  Therefore,  the                                                                    
legislature  did   not  reduce  the  number.   Instead,  the                                                                    
committee   backfilled   the    budget   with   $4   million                                                                    
unrestricted   general  funds   (UGF)   to  cover   Medicaid                                                                    
expansion. The  bottom line was that  DOC basically received                                                                    
an  extra $4  million  because of  Medicaid expansion  being                                                                    
implemented  by the  governor. He  continued  that when  the                                                                    
department took its share of  the $30 million of unallocated                                                                    
reductions for increases  in salaries in the  prior year the                                                                    
department used the $4 million  to backfill its share of the                                                                    
unallocated  reduction. He  asked  if he  was accurate.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson indicated that Co-Chair Neuman was correct.                                                                           
Vice-Chair Saddler  mentioned reading a story  about the San                                                                    
Quinten  warden, Clinton  Duffy, who  had had  a significant                                                                    
amount  of substance  abuse within  his prisoner  population                                                                    
but  had  no budget.  He  allowed  Alcoholics Anonymous  and                                                                    
Narcotics  Anonymous  meetings  into his  facility  and  had                                                                    
great success. He asked if  the substance abuse program that                                                                    
cost $4.6  million was  geared around  12 step  programs. He                                                                    
also asked  if there was  an assessment indicating  what was                                                                    
most  effective.   Ms.  Wilkerson   conveyed  that   he  was                                                                    
referring   to  short-term   and  long-term   programs.  The                                                                    
Department  of   Corrections  had  a  6   month  residential                                                                    
treatment program. The department also  had a 90 day program                                                                    
available in various institutions.                                                                                              
Vice-Chair  Saddler  asked  to what  extent  the  department                                                                    
allowed  inmates to  participate  in 12  step programs.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson  remarked that  the non-profit  organizations were                                                                    
within the majority  if not all of  DOC's institutions which                                                                    
could  be a  part of  what  the department  provided to  the                                                                    
committee showing the 12 step programs offered.                                                                                 
2:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked if it  was true that  the state                                                                    
did not  accept private  insurance. Ms.  Wilkerson responded                                                                    
that  DOC   did  not.  If  the   department  could  identify                                                                    
insurance  quickly  enough  the department  would  have  the                                                                    
hospitals bill insurance directly.  Currently, the state was                                                                    
unable to do  third party billing. The  department had hoped                                                                    
that with  the implementation  of the new  electronic system                                                                    
it  would assist  the department  in securing  reimbursement                                                                    
for  those   that  had  insurance  when   they  entered  the                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  if would  only be  included if                                                                    
the patient was taken to  the hospital. Ms. Wilkerson stated                                                                    
that she would get back to the committee with an answer.                                                                        
Representative Wilson commented that  she did not understand                                                                    
why someone with private insurance could not use it.                                                                            
Representative Gattis remarked that  the 90 day programs for                                                                    
inmates  while  they  were  in  jail  seemed  to  work.  She                                                                    
wondered if  there was  evidence that  they worked  once the                                                                    
inmates were released from prison.  Ms. Wilkerson would need                                                                    
time  to gather  the information  Representative Gattis  was                                                                    
Representative  Gattis  asked  her  to compare  the  90  day                                                                    
programs  to  the  non-profit programs  such  as  Alcoholics                                                                    
Anonymous and other 12 step programs.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Neuman believed that the  $500 thousand dollars for                                                                    
contractual obligations was for  the University of Alaska to                                                                    
follow  released inmates  to see  program effectiveness.  He                                                                    
asked if he was correct. Ms. Wilkerson replied, "Yes."                                                                          
Representative Gara asked  about substance abuse treatments.                                                                    
He mentioned that  there was science confirming  that the 12                                                                    
step program  Alcoholics Anonymous  worked for  some people.                                                                    
Some people needed 30-day treatment  while others needed 90-                                                                    
day treatment. He asked what  DOC did for those inmates that                                                                    
needed 12 months  of treatment. Ms. Wilkerson  would need to                                                                    
get  information   from  the  clinician  that   oversaw  the                                                                    
program. She  was aware that  the department  had previously                                                                    
had a  12-month program  which was reduced  to 6  months for                                                                    
various  reasons. The  programs  were intensive,  cognitive,                                                                    
and  evidence-based.  She   wanted  to  provide  information                                                                    
showing  the reason  the  department went  from  a 12  month                                                                    
program down to a 6 month program.                                                                                              
2:11:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  thought the  information would  be very                                                                    
useful.  He  wondered why  the  department  was not  billing                                                                    
private  insurance  when  it was  available.  Ms.  Wilkerson                                                                    
relayed that  the information was not  readily available and                                                                    
an electronic data  base was necessary to tie  a person back                                                                    
to  their private  insurance. Typically,  inmates that  came                                                                    
into  custody   were  not   willing  to   provide  insurance                                                                    
Representative Gara wondered  if it was only in  the case of                                                                    
a prisoner  refusing to  give out  the information.  He also                                                                    
wondered if there were cases  where an inmate was willing to                                                                    
provide  the  information  but  private  insurance  was  not                                                                    
billed.  Ms.  Wilkerson   responded  that  historically  the                                                                    
department  had  not  tried  to  bill  when  an  inmate  had                                                                    
insurance.  If   the  department   was  able  to   find  the                                                                    
information,  it   encouraged  the  provider  to   bill  the                                                                    
insurance  company.  Otherwise,   the  provider  billed  the                                                                    
department  which  would then  pay  the  invoice. She  could                                                                    
identify and  provide some historical information  about the                                                                    
obstacles the department had encountered previously.                                                                            
Representative Gara  commented that he had  a difficult time                                                                    
advocating  for an  agency that  was  not billing  available                                                                    
private   insurance.  Commissioner   Williams  agreed   with                                                                    
Representative Gara. He  felt the system needed  a whole new                                                                    
look. In terms of health  care the department was looking at                                                                    
all areas. He wanted  increased care inside Alaska's prisons                                                                    
at reduced  and efficient costs.  He surmised that  the more                                                                    
efficiencies he  could implement,  the better care  he could                                                                    
provide. He  ensured the  committee he  would be  working on                                                                    
the issue.                                                                                                                      
Representative Edgmon believed it  was true that inmates who                                                                    
had  insurance  had  it  terminated at  the  time  of  their                                                                    
incarceration. Most  inmates were not insured.  He wanted to                                                                    
take the  opportunity to come  to the  department's defense.                                                                    
People in the department had done  a great job of setting up                                                                    
a  system  where  they could  track  incoming  and  outgoing                                                                    
inmates and  that saved  the state  a significant  amount of                                                                    
money in health care costs.                                                                                                     
2:15:41 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  about  Medicaid  for prisoners  upon                                                                    
release.  Ms. Wilkerson  reported  that  the department  had                                                                    
hired  an administrative  assistant  to  assist with  inmate                                                                    
applications. She  reported that the inmate  application for                                                                    
Medicaid  was much  simpler. The  department  had also  been                                                                    
working  with  Department  of Health  and  Social  Services.                                                                    
Currently there were no inmates eligible for Medicaid.                                                                          
Co-Chair Neuman replied, "Not the  right answer." He invited                                                                    
the commissioner  to make  a comment.  Commissioner Williams                                                                    
agreed  that  the  job  should   be  done.  Co-Chair  Neuman                                                                    
directed the commissioner to get the job done.                                                                                  
Representative  Wilson asked  whether someone  awaiting pre-                                                                    
trial who was  part of the EM program would  be eligible for                                                                    
Medicaid   expansion.   Ms.   Wilkerson  stated   that   the                                                                    
department did not cover medical  for individuals on EM. The                                                                    
department only covered  individuals that were incarcerated.                                                                    
Their eligibility depended on their income.                                                                                     
Representative  Wilson assumed  that  people  out on  parole                                                                    
would be  eligible for Medicaid. Ms.  Wilkerson responded in                                                                    
the affirmative.                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson asked how  many individuals on EM were                                                                    
signed  up for  Medicaid.  Ms. Wilkerson  would provide  the                                                                    
information to the committee.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Neuman   spoke  to   the  issue   of  incarcerated                                                                    
individuals not being eligible  for Medicaid. The department                                                                    
had indicated  that incarcerated  inmates were  not eligible                                                                    
for Medicaid.  He indicated  that the  department's response                                                                    
was a lie. He  provided an example of a woman  who had to do                                                                    
with a  complicated pregnancy. If  an inmate was  outside of                                                                    
the walls  of prison for  more than 24 hours  Medicaid would                                                                    
cover the  costs. In  the instance  of his  example Medicaid                                                                    
did cover the  costs to the tune of about  $268 thousand. He                                                                    
remarked how  Medicaid had been expanded  but the department                                                                    
had not  incorporated it. He  noted that  no recommendations                                                                    
had been brought to the legislature about reducing costs.                                                                       
2:20:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson  scrolled to slide 14:  "Division of Probation                                                                    
and  Parole."  The  division's  budget  was  just  over  $47                                                                    
million with 176 full time  positions. She reported that $17                                                                    
million  was allocated  for statewide  probation and  parole                                                                    
covering  13 regional  locations. A  portion of  the funding                                                                    
was   for   the   Probation  Accountability   with   Certain                                                                    
Enforcement  (PACE)  Program. The  Probation  Accountability                                                                    
with  Certain  Enforcement   Program  currently  served  377                                                                    
individuals  and was  being  offered  in Anchorage,  Bethel,                                                                    
Fairbanks,  Juneau, Kenai,  and  Palmer. The  pre-sentencing                                                                    
unit and  the inter-state  compact units were  housed within                                                                    
the  Division of  Probation and  Parole.  She reported  that                                                                    
there  was  electronic  monitoring  in 6  locations  with  a                                                                    
budget  of $3.4  million. The  budget for  the CRCs  was $26                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson asked  about authorization for individuals                                                                    
for  pre-trial.  He  wondered   how  many  individuals  were                                                                    
currently  on  ankle monitoring.  Also,  he  asked how  many                                                                    
folks were eligible to be  on EM. Ms. Wilkerson replied that                                                                    
the department had over 440  individuals on EM - individuals                                                                    
that  were already  sentenced. The  department did  not have                                                                    
pre-sentenced  individuals on  EM. She  would get  back with                                                                    
the number  of individuals currently in  a hard bed or  in a                                                                    
CRC that were eligible for EM.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Thompson  mentioned hearing comments  about several                                                                    
individuals  being eligible  but  that there  had been  some                                                                    
resistance from the department to do EM. He wondered why.                                                                       
Representative Wilson  asked about  the success rate  of the                                                                    
PACE program  in each  location. She wanted  to know  if the                                                                    
program  was  cost  effective. Ms.  Wilkerson  would  report                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  asked if the  PACE program was  the program                                                                    
that was instituted  that had a zero  tolerance for paroles.                                                                    
For example, if  they missed an appointment or  did not pass                                                                    
a urine  analysis (UA) they automatically  returned to jail.                                                                    
Commissioner  Williams responded  that it  was an  immediate                                                                    
quick response.                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Neuman  thought it  was the  same program  that had                                                                    
been  causing problems  for other  departments  and was  not                                                                    
working.  Commissioner Williams  reported that  when he  had                                                                    
done  a  review  he  had  heard  a  high  degree  of  strong                                                                    
criticism from people running the PACE program.                                                                                 
Co-Chair Neuman  asked why  the program  was in  the budget.                                                                    
Commissioner Williams stated that  it was still an operating                                                                    
program. He  could not  provide a  full analysis  because of                                                                    
his short tenure with the  department but he would look into                                                                    
it.  If  the program  needed  changing  he would  make  sure                                                                    
changes were implemented.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Neuman said that the  committee needed an answer in                                                                    
a very short period. The  committee would also be asking the                                                                    
same question to the Department of Law.                                                                                         
Representative Pruitt  asked if the deputy  commissioner was                                                                    
available  to answer  the  questions. Commissioner  Williams                                                                    
responded, "Absolutely."                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Saddler suggested  in the  future including  the                                                                    
cost  of   the  units  and   number  of  positions   on  the                                                                    
department's charts.                                                                                                            
DIANE CASTO, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, OPERATIONS, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
CORRECTIONS,  reported that  she oversaw  the PACE  program.                                                                    
She reported  that there  were some  controversies regarding                                                                    
PACE. She  explained that PACE  was a national  program with                                                                    
some  very  strong evidence  that  it  worked. However,  she                                                                    
agreed  that there  were some  areas that  needed tightening                                                                    
up.  She  explained the  PACE  program  in which  there  was                                                                    
quick, swift,  and consistent consequences for  those in the                                                                    
program. Individuals  that enrolled in the  program appeared                                                                    
before a judge,  were given a UA and the  opportunity to say                                                                    
if  they thought  their test  might come  back positive.  If                                                                    
parolees tested positive in their  UA they would be remanded                                                                    
back to a facility for 3  days. For some people PACE worked,                                                                    
and for  others their addiction overrode  them. There needed                                                                    
to  be a  conversation  about who  was  appropriate for  the                                                                    
program. The  consternation within  the department  was with                                                                    
the institution.  She explained  that when an  individual is                                                                    
brought back  for a quick  3 day period the  institution had                                                                    
to do all  of the paperwork which caused  some concerns. She                                                                    
had spoken with the institution  looking for feedback on how                                                                    
the department could find a balance to the process.                                                                             
Co-Chair Neuman  commented that it not  only caused concern,                                                                    
it also cost money. Ms. Casto confirmed that it cost money.                                                                     
Co-Chair Neuman  mentioned a story  that was relayed  to him                                                                    
by the  former acting commissioner, Walt  Montague. A fellow                                                                    
was  at a  bus stop  at  a time  when  a wind  storm was  in                                                                    
progress. The fellow stepped inside  of a building to try to                                                                    
warm up,  the bus went by,  and he missed his  bus. He ended                                                                    
up back in  jail. He thought it was crazy  and eluded to the                                                                    
fact  that  the committee  would  be  looking at  the  issue                                                                    
2:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson moved  to slide  15: "Board  of Parole."  She                                                                    
reported that the  PACE program operated under  the Board of                                                                    
Parole  which  was  currently in  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks.                                                                    
There  were approximately  29  individuals participating  in                                                                    
the  program and  another 14  that were  pending. The  board                                                                    
consisted  of   6  budgeted   positions  and   5  additional                                                                    
positions appointed by the governor.                                                                                            
Representative  Wilson  asked  if the  governor  had  placed                                                                    
extra  people  in the  program  adding  to the  budget.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson clarified that  the parole board was made  up of 6                                                                    
budgeted  positions   and  5   board  positions   that  were                                                                    
appointed positions rather than full time positions.                                                                            
Representative   Wilson  asked   if  they   were  additional                                                                    
positions adding  to the budget. Ms.  Wilkerson replied that                                                                    
about  $200 thousand  was  appropriated  for board  members.                                                                    
They were paid a stipend.                                                                                                       
Representative  Wilson wondered  if an  extra $200  thousand                                                                    
had been  appropriated to  the parole  board in  the budget.                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson  answered in the  negative. The  only increase                                                                    
in the budget  was associated with the  salary increases for                                                                    
the 6 paid board positions.                                                                                                     
Representative  Wilson  asked  about the  increases  to  the                                                                    
budget.  She  wondered if  money  had  been taken  out.  Ms.                                                                    
Wilkerson  responded affirmatively.  She  indicated that  it                                                                    
was  represented in  the  $2.4  million unallocated  dollars                                                                    
that was being removed from the budget.                                                                                         
Representative Wilson  asked if the unallocated  funds would                                                                    
become allocated. Ms. Wilkerson responded, "Correct."                                                                           
Co-Chair   Neuman  referred   to   the  ignition   interlock                                                                    
certification devises. He asked  for the same information he                                                                    
requested for the ankle bracelets.                                                                                              
2:31:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gattis   was  interested  in  the   cost  to                                                                    
clients. Co-Chair  Neuman noted  that the state  covered the                                                                    
Ms.   Wilkerson    addressed   slide   16:    "Division   of                                                                    
Administrative Services."  She reported that the  budget and                                                                    
finance  unit fell  within  the  Division of  Administrative                                                                    
Services. The  division was responsible for  inmate banking,                                                                    
fund receipts,  and audits. The  human resource  section was                                                                    
responsible  for   insuring  the  Alaska   Police  Standards                                                                    
Council     certification     and    employee     background                                                                    
investigations. The  division had one procurement  office in                                                                    
charge  of certifying  the ignition  interlock devices.  The                                                                    
division   also  had   and  information   technologies  unit                                                                    
responsible  for the  Alaska Correction  Offender Management                                                                    
System (ACOMS). The research and  records and the facilities                                                                    
capital units were housed in  the division also. The overall                                                                    
budget for the division was $8.5 million with 61 positions.                                                                     
Ms.  Wilkerson  turned to  slide  17:  "Change in  Sentenced                                                                    
Offender  Population by  Offense  Class: 2013  - 2015."  She                                                                    
explained  that  the slide  showed  a  breakout of  how  the                                                                    
state's offender population compared  from 2013 to 2015. She                                                                    
pointed to the  yellow highlighted area which  indicated a 6                                                                    
percent reduction in  probation violations. By restructuring                                                                    
petitions to revoke  and prior legislation it  resulted in a                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson turned to a  graph on slide 18: "Institutional                                                                    
Offender Population 2010  - 2025." She pointed  out that the                                                                    
gray line represented where the  projections were at about 3                                                                    
years previously  in FY 13.  The blue line  represented what                                                                    
the department's  capacity including  the 128 beds  in Point                                                                    
Mackenzie  Correctional  Farm.  The   red  line  showed  the                                                                    
state's adjusted  population calculations based on  the past                                                                    
legislation of  HB 15  [Legislation passed  in 2015  - Short                                                                    
Title:  Elect Monitoring  Credits;Mitigating  Fctrs], SB  64                                                                    
[Legislation  passed   in  2014   -  Short   Title:  Omnibus                                                                    
Crime/Corrections/Recidivism   Bill],   and   the   internal                                                                    
adjustments made to the petitions to revoke.                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman referred  to  the 6  percent reduction.  He                                                                    
wondered  where it  came from.  Ms.  Wilkerson replied  that                                                                    
probation  violations   had  been   reduced.  There   was  a                                                                    
reduction in the daily population of just over 6 percent.                                                                       
Co-Chair  Neuman  asked  how   many  people  the  percentage                                                                    
equated to.  Ms. Wilkerson  replied that  it was  almost 400                                                                    
people who were no longer in custody.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Neuman asked  if she meant that it was  a 6 percent                                                                    
reduction  on  400 people.  He  wondered  if it  equaled  24                                                                    
people. Ms. Wilkerson replied, "No."  Almost 400 people were                                                                    
no longer  under custody  of the  department. The  6 percent                                                                    
reduction  compared 2013  to 2015.  Co-Chair Neuman  stated,                                                                    
"So, 24 people."                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked how many people  were no longer                                                                    
in  jail due  to HB  15.  Ms. Wilkerson  responded that  all                                                                    
three  components played  a part  in the  reduced population                                                                    
the  department was  currently experiencing.  Representative                                                                    
Wilson  thought  it was  one-third  of  the population.  She                                                                    
referred to the potential significant savings.                                                                                  
Ms.  Wilkerson turned  to slide  19: "Standing  Population &                                                                    
Crime  Type."  She  relayed  that  the  slide  compared  the                                                                    
state's standing  population by  the type of  crime, violent                                                                    
versus   non-violent.  The   trend  was   that  the   higher                                                                    
percentage of the population committed non-violent crimes.                                                                      
2:36:04 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson  addressed slide 20: "Percent  of Offenders by                                                                    
Length of Stay  from Admission." The slide  was a comparison                                                                    
from  2002  to  2015  showing  the length  of  stay  of  the                                                                    
population make-up.                                                                                                             
Ms. Wilkerson  moved to slide  21: "Percent  of Incarcerated                                                                    
Offenders by  Gender." She noted  the female  population was                                                                    
continuing to outpace the male  population. There had been a                                                                    
slowing down from the previous year's increases.                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson  advanced to  slide  22:  "Goals." The  slide                                                                    
simply showed the goals of the department:                                                                                      
   · Protect the public                                                                                                         
   · Provide safe and secure care and custody                                                                                   
   · Reduce the prison populations                                                                                              
   · Reduce recidivism                                                                                                          
   · Ensure that incarcerated offenders spend their time in                                                                     
     custody productively                                                                                                       
   · Re-Entry and community supervision                                                                                         
   · Work collaboratively with outside stakeholders to                                                                          
     achieve these goals                                                                                                        
Ms.  Wilkerson  moved  to   slide  23:  "Re-Entry  Outcomes:                                                                    
Successfully  increasing  the  percent of  probationers  and                                                                    
parolees who  satisfy court ordered conditions  of release."                                                                    
She   explained  that   the   slide  showed   some  of   the                                                                    
department's  re-entry  outcomes   that  were  currently  in                                                                    
place.  The department  was continuing  to see  an increased                                                                    
number of individuals that  were successfully completing the                                                                    
court conditions that were set.                                                                                                 
Ms.  Wilkerson continued  to slide  24: "Re-Entry  Outcomes:                                                                    
Reducing criminal  recidivism." She conveyed that  the slide                                                                    
was  reflective  of efforts  by  the  department to  try  to                                                                    
successfully reenter individuals being released.                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman referred  to slide 23. He  observed that the                                                                    
figure was 15  percent of 6,000. He stated that  it was only                                                                    
around  48 people.  He  stated that  it  looked and  sounded                                                                    
good,  but   was  not  very   good.  He  wanted   to  reduce                                                                    
recidivism. He named  off a number of things done  to try to                                                                    
reduce  the  problem  of recidivism.  Commissioner  Williams                                                                    
commented  that the  department's  work and  the bills  that                                                                    
were passed  to reduce  probation violations was  good work.                                                                    
The department would be working  on items recommended by the                                                                    
Pew Foundation  and on items  related to SB  21 [Legislation                                                                    
passed  in  2016   -  Short  Title:  Omnibus   Crime  Law  &                                                                    
Procedure;  Corrections]  was   good  work.  The  electronic                                                                    
monitoring work that needed to  be completed to make sure to                                                                    
advance efforts  for people was  also good work. All  of the                                                                    
efforts under  his leadership was  the reason he  was there.                                                                    
He wanted  substantially safer institutions. He  stated that                                                                    
to  the department's  credit there  had  been reductions  in                                                                    
probation offences.  He understood and intended  to live and                                                                    
breathe the issues.                                                                                                             
2:40:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair   Neuman    spoke   to    Representative   Edgmon's                                                                    
involvement.  He was  confident that  he would  be following                                                                    
through with the department on the implementations.                                                                             
Ms.  Wilkerson addressed  slide  25: "Reformative  Outcomes:                                                                    
Increasing  the  number  of   individuals  who  complete  an                                                                    
institutional or  communitybased  substance  abuse treatment                                                                    
program."  The department  currently  had  a 90-day  program                                                                    
called the  Life Success  Substance Abuse  Treatment (LSSAT)                                                                    
program.  The  department  had  continued  to  increase  the                                                                    
number  of  participants  and   the  number  of  individuals                                                                    
completing  the   program.  The  department  also   had  the                                                                    
residential substance  abuse treatment  (RSAT) program,  a 6                                                                    
month  program  offered  in three  locations:  The  Highland                                                                    
Mountain  Correctional   center,  the   Palmer  Correctional                                                                    
Center, and the Spring Creek Correctional Center.                                                                               
Co-Chair Neuman  asked how  many inmates  had a  sentence of                                                                    
less  than 90  days. Ms.  Wilkerson replied  that she  would                                                                    
follow up with the information he was requesting.                                                                               
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  for an  estimate. Ms.  Casto replied                                                                    
that  although  she  did  not  have  the  exact  figure  she                                                                    
confirmed that  the number of  inmates serving less  than 90                                                                    
days was fairly small.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Neuman interjected that the  point he was trying to                                                                    
make was  that the department  had treatment programs  of 90                                                                    
days and 6 months. He  suggested that the person arrested on                                                                    
heroin did  not receive a  90 day sentence. He  relayed that                                                                    
90 percent of all of the  cases that went through the courts                                                                    
in Mat-Su  were drug related.  Offenders did not  receive 90                                                                    
day  sentences but  were the  people that  needed treatment.                                                                    
There were no treatment programs for them.                                                                                      
Representative Gattis  asked at what point  treatment kicked                                                                    
in.  She wondered  if  inmates had  the  option of  starting                                                                    
treatment immediately upon sentencing.                                                                                          
Ms. Casto  thought Representative  Gattis asked a  very good                                                                    
question.  She indicated  that she  had only  been with  the                                                                    
department for  a period of 8  months but she had  come from                                                                    
working  for the  Department of  Health and  Social Services                                                                    
for  20  years.  She  reported that  she  worked  more  with                                                                    
substance  abuse than  mental  health in  the Department  of                                                                    
Corrections  than  she  did  working  for  the  Division  of                                                                    
Behavioral Health.  One of the  barriers she  identified was                                                                    
that the department could not  force someone into treatment.                                                                    
The  department could  request and  encourage inmates  to go                                                                    
through  treatment.  However,  it  could  not  mandate  that                                                                    
inmates  do treatment.  She  thought  the department  should                                                                    
assess  inmates  upon entry,  build  a  plan for  them,  and                                                                    
incentivize them  to accept  treatment. She  was responsible                                                                    
for reviewing  every furlough  termination appeal.  In other                                                                    
words,  when  a person  went  on  furlough they  were  often                                                                    
remanded back for using alcohol  and drugs and for technical                                                                    
violations. The  individual then had the  ability to appeal.                                                                    
She relayed that often the  person had not had any substance                                                                    
abuse  treatment  while in  the  state's  facility. She  had                                                                    
started  to  deny  appeals   attaching  conditions  such  as                                                                    
attending  an  LSSAT  program.  Once  an  offender  met  the                                                                    
conditions  another   furlough  would  be   considered.  She                                                                    
suggested  using  such  tools  before someone  went  out  on                                                                    
furlough.  The  idea  was  to   encourage  inmates  to  take                                                                    
advantage of  the programs while  they were  available which                                                                    
would  potentially result  in a  healthier  group of  people                                                                    
moving out.                                                                                                                     
2:45:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gattis  agreed with the speaker  but asked if                                                                    
the state  provided the treatment  on the front or  back end                                                                    
of their stay.  Ms. Casto stated that  treatment could start                                                                    
as soon as  they were incarcerated and assessed.  It did not                                                                    
typically happen that way but,  she believed it was possible                                                                    
and that it should.                                                                                                             
Representative Gattis thought what  Ms. Casto was saying was                                                                    
that the state could do a far better job.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Neuman  asked the commissioner to  provide a report                                                                    
on the programs  offered, their costs, and  an evaluation of                                                                    
the success rate of those programs.                                                                                             
Ms. Wilkerson  reviewed the chart on  slide 26: "Reformative                                                                    
Outcomes:   Increasing   the    number   of   sex   offender                                                                    
probationers who complete a  sex offender management program                                                                    
and who  receive polygraph testing while  on probation." She                                                                    
reported that  494 individuals participated in  the program.                                                                    
There  were 812  exams given  in  2015 that  resulted in  95                                                                    
petitions to revoke probation.                                                                                                  
Representative Wilson  would not have included  the slide in                                                                    
the  presentation.  She  questioned   the  logic  of  basing                                                                    
decisions  on  the polygraph  tests  of  sex offenders.  She                                                                    
thought  it  was widely  known  that  polygraph testing  was                                                                    
inaccurate.  She asked  Ms. Wilkerson  if she  was conveying                                                                    
that a sex offender who  passed a polygraph test was somehow                                                                    
Commissioner   Williams  responded   that   the  theory   on                                                                    
polygraph monitoring  of sex offenders was  a deterrence. If                                                                    
the state was conducting  polygraph examinations it was more                                                                    
likely to  catch somebody  who was starting  to head  down a                                                                    
dangerous road associating with  children when they were not                                                                    
allowed. He agreed  that there were limits  on the deterrent                                                                    
strategy, as  it had its  merits but was not  full-proof. It                                                                    
was an attempt to deter  offenders from heading in the wrong                                                                    
2:49:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  asked about the ramifications  of not                                                                    
being detected in a lie in  a polygraph test. She asked if a                                                                    
person  would  be released  sooner.  She  wondered what  the                                                                    
slide  was measuring.  Commissioner Williams  explained that                                                                    
it  was an  effort to  deter future  violations. It  was not                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked  for  the  cost and  scientific                                                                    
data  favoring  the use  of  such  a tool.  Co-Chair  Neuman                                                                    
mentioned  that  he  was  the   person  that  initiated  the                                                                    
legislation.  He  explained that  it  had  been proven  that                                                                    
polygraph  testing   had  dramatically   reduced  additional                                                                    
offenses. He  continued that the problem  with sex offenders                                                                    
was  that  they  felt  that  what  they  did  was  perfectly                                                                    
acceptable. He  explained that the  best way to  prevent sex                                                                    
offenses was to  conduct polygraph testing. It  was the best                                                                    
tool at the time he  introduced the legislation. It was also                                                                    
the intent  that offenders would  have to pay for  their own                                                                    
polygraph tests. He asked if  costs were being reimbursed to                                                                    
the state.                                                                                                                      
Ms.  Wilkerson  stated  that currently  the  department  was                                                                    
paying for the costs.  The department found that individuals                                                                    
were  skipping  the testing  and  reoffending  or being  re-                                                                    
incarcerated because they could not  afford to pay for their                                                                    
polygraph.  There were  individuals  that  were paying  when                                                                    
mandated. She  would have  to get  the information  from the                                                                    
state's contractors.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Neuman  believed the  recidivism  rate  for a  sex                                                                    
offender  was about  92 percent.  It was  very high.  He was                                                                    
disappointed to  hear that the department  was not mandating                                                                    
sex offender participation in the  test. He thought it was a                                                                    
poor excuse  on the part  of the department. He  relayed the                                                                    
heinousness  of  such  crimes. He  continued  to  relay  his                                                                    
feelings of being disgruntled with the department.                                                                              
Ms. Wilkerson  scrolled to slide 27:  "Reformative Outcomes:                                                                    
Increasing  the number  of offenders  who receive  a General                                                                    
Education Development  certificate while  incarcerated." The                                                                    
slide  depicted   the  current   number  of   completed  GED                                                                    
certifications  issued. She  reported that  in January  2014                                                                    
the  department  implemented  the federal  regulation  which                                                                    
greatly reduced the number of  individuals completing a GED.                                                                    
The  department also  had  some  technology, equipment,  and                                                                    
infrastructure issues  in the previous fiscal  year that had                                                                    
been resolved.                                                                                                                  
2:53:40 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson   advanced  to  slide  28:   "Challenges  and                                                                    
Issues." She read directly from the slide:                                                                                      
·  Meet 24/7  operational  needs  while striving  to  remain                                                                    
   within fiscal parameters                                                                                                     
· Connect soon to be released offenders to                                                                                      
· communitybased resources                                                                                                      
· Female population growth                                                                                                      
· Increasing mentally ill population                                                                                            
Ms.  Wilkerson read  from slide  29: "Challenges  and Issues                                                                    
·  Anchorage medical  care costs  have increased  by another                                                                    
   3.2% from 2014 to 2015. Alaska medical care costs                                                                            
   increased .8% more than the U.S. National average of                                                                         
   2.4%. (Alaska Economic Trends, July 2015)                                                                                    
·  Increases in chronic  health issues  and an  aging inmate                                                                    
   population continue to increase the need for higher                                                                          
   acuity and specialized medical care                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Neuman admitted  that the  commissioner had  had a                                                                    
pretty  good  work  over  because  the  committee  was  very                                                                    
concerned  about   the  issues  facing  the   Department  of                                                                    
Commissioner  Williams  commented  that  he  understood  the                                                                    
committee's concern  and was taking his  job very seriously.                                                                    
He  asked  members  for  their   patience.  He  heard  their                                                                    
frustrations and wanted things to be better.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman remarked that patience  was running thin and                                                                    
encouraged the commissioner to get the job done.                                                                                
2:55:09 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
2:56:31 PM                                                                                                                    
^FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF LAW                                                                                       
2:56:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CRAIG  RICHARDS,   ATTORNEY  GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LAW,                                                                    
introduced  the  PowerPoint   Presentation:  "FY  17  Budget                                                                    
Overview:  Department  of Law."  He  started  with slide  2:                                                                    
"Organizational Chart."  He outlined the major  changes made                                                                    
in leadership within  the Department of Law  (DOL) since the                                                                    
prior  year.  Rick  Svobodny,  the   longtime  head  of  the                                                                    
Criminal  Division, retired  in  July. As  a budget  cutting                                                                    
measure  the department  eliminated the  position and  moved                                                                    
Jim Cantor,  the longtime head  of the Civil  Division, over                                                                    
both divisions.  So far,  he thought the  change had  been a                                                                    
success.  The  other  big  change  was  that  Nancy  Gordon,                                                                    
director  of  the  Civil  Division,  also  retired  and  was                                                                    
replaced by Steven DeVries who  had been an attorney for the                                                                    
department for about  28 years. Mr. DeVries had  worked in a                                                                    
number  of different  sections  bringing  experience to  the                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman asked members to  hold their questions until                                                                    
the end of the presentation.                                                                                                    
Attorney  General Richards  moved to  slide 3:  "MISSION and                                                                    
Core Services." He read directly from the slide:                                                                                
     The Alaska Department of Law prosecutes crime and                                                                          
     provides legal services to state government for the                                                                        
     protection and benefit of Alaska's citizens.                                                                               
     Core Services                                                                                                              
        · Protecting the safety and financial well-being of                                                                     
        · Fostering conditions for responsible development                                                                      
          of our natural resources                                                                                              
        · Protecting the fiscal integrity of the State of                                                                       
        · Promoting good governance                                                                                             
Attorney  General Richards  turned to  slide 4:  "Protecting                                                                    
Alaskans." He highlighted  that the state had  had a dynamic                                                                    
growth  in the  number  of Children  In  Need of  Assistance                                                                    
(CINA) cases -  up approximately 55 percent  in the previous                                                                    
year. In  addition, the state  had a large increase  in CINA                                                                    
appeals. He explained  that it might seem that 25  to 34 was                                                                    
not a  huge increase. However,  the appeals were  very labor                                                                    
intensive  for DOL.  From the  department's perspective,  it                                                                    
was  a particularly  inefficient  use of  resources. It  was                                                                    
very rare  for an appellant  to win  one of these  cases. He                                                                    
continued that  because the public  defender agency  and DOL                                                                    
represented  both sides,  effectively, the  State of  Alaska                                                                    
was  paying  both sides  of  the  load. The  department  was                                                                    
committed  to  working with  the  Office  of Child  Services                                                                    
(OCS)  and the  Office  of  the Public  Defender  to have  a                                                                    
better understanding of why the  state was seeing the growth                                                                    
in CINA  cases. In an  environment of decreased  budgets the                                                                    
department could  not handle a  55 percent yearly  growth in                                                                    
CINA cases.                                                                                                                     
Vice-Chair  Saddler clarified  that CINA  meant Children  in                                                                    
Need of Assistance.                                                                                                             
Attorney General  Richards turned  the presentation  over to                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore to speak to the following 2 slides.                                                                                
2:59:39 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  SKIDMORE, DIRECTOR,  CRIMINAL DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                    
LAW (via teleconference), continued  to slide 5: "Protecting                                                                    
Alaskans: Referrals and Accepted  in CY13-CY15." He reported                                                                    
that the  slide showed the  number of cases referred  to the                                                                    
DOL  and the  number of  cases the  department had  accepted                                                                    
during calendar years  (CY) CY13-CY15. On the  top the graph                                                                    
listed  felonies. The  number of  felonies  referred to  the                                                                    
department  had  remained  fairly constant.  The  number  of                                                                    
cases the department had declined  as felonies had increased                                                                    
through the years  and was a reflection  of the department's                                                                    
budget which  was 85 percent  personnel. The  department had                                                                    
to  cut  positions to  reduce  its  budget which  meant  the                                                                    
department simply  could not do  as much work. The  point he                                                                    
wanted  to  make   with  the  current  slide   was  that  in                                                                    
misdemeanors (on the bottom of  the slide), though there had                                                                    
been   a  decrease   in  the   referrals  provided   to  the                                                                    
department, the  declination rate had almost  doubled from a                                                                    
7.4  percent to  a 13.8  percent. The  significance for  the                                                                    
department was that, though  the department's resources were                                                                    
dwindling, it was  not declining as many felonies  as it was                                                                    
misdemeanors.  He explained  that it  was because  the focus                                                                    
was on crimes  that provided the state the  biggest bang for                                                                    
its buck  and on the  protection of  the public. One  of the                                                                    
things  not listed  on the  slide was  conviction rates.  He                                                                    
knew that  the information  mattered to several  members. He                                                                    
reported that in  2014 the department had  a conviction rate                                                                    
of around 80  percent for felonies and about  73 percent for                                                                    
misdemeanors. He  did not  have numbers  for 2015  but would                                                                    
provide them once  they were generated from  the state's new                                                                    
case management system.                                                                                                         
Mr. Skidmore  advanced to slide 6:  "Protecting Alaskans: SA                                                                    
Referrals and Accepted  in CY13-CY15." In the  same vein the                                                                    
department  was focusing  its resources  on  the cases  that                                                                    
mattered  most.  He was  well  aware  that cases  of  sexual                                                                    
assault  and   sexual  abuse  of  minors   were  cases  very                                                                    
important to  many committee members, prosecutors,  and many                                                                    
citizens  across the  State of  Alaska. Though  there was  a                                                                    
higher  percentage  of  declinations for  cases  related  to                                                                    
sexual assault and  sexual abuse of minors  than for typical                                                                    
felonies it  was unfortunately  a result  of cases  being so                                                                    
difficult to  prosecute. He wanted  to drive home  that even                                                                    
at a time  when the department had a decrease  in the number                                                                    
of prosecutors  available to the department,  there was also                                                                    
a decrease  in the number  of declinations. In  other words,                                                                    
the  department   was  accepting  more  cases   because  the                                                                    
department was  trying to get  as aggressive as  possible in                                                                    
prosecuting  cases relating  to  sexual  assault and  sexual                                                                    
abuse of minors, as they were the ones that mattered most.                                                                      
3:02:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Skidmore noted the closure  of the Dillingham office. He                                                                    
relayed that there  was no one within  the criminal division                                                                    
or within  DOL that found  it to  be an ideal  situation. He                                                                    
had  lived  and  prosecuted  in Dillingham  for  many  years                                                                    
himself and could  attest to the value of  having someone in                                                                    
the community.  Unfortunately, the  economy in  the previous                                                                    
and current years  did not leave Alaska in a  place where it                                                                    
could  live  in  ideals. He  provided  statewide  statistics                                                                    
regarding the  number of  cases that  had been  declined. He                                                                    
shared  them  because  the  department's  declinations  were                                                                    
statewide.  Unfortunately,  something  had to  be  cut.  The                                                                    
department's  costs consisted  of 85  percent personnel,  10                                                                    
percent  fixed  costs,  and  only  5  percent  discretionary                                                                    
costs. When the department made  reductions to its budget it                                                                    
had to cut personnel. The  department did not want to simply                                                                    
cut  personnel, it  also  had  to cut  fixed  costs such  as                                                                    
leases. Barrow was  cut in the previous  year and Dillingham                                                                    
would  be  cut in  the  current  year. Both  locations  were                                                                    
chosen because of being satellite  offices of larger offices                                                                    
that could  absorb the work  from the communities.  The cuts                                                                    
had  nothing to  do with  the communities  themselves or  no                                                                    
longer paying them any attention,  but to give them the same                                                                    
attention  that  all other  cases  received  with an  office                                                                    
capable of absorbing the workload.  He noted that the office                                                                    
in Fairbanks  absorbed the work  from the Barrow  office and                                                                    
Anchorage would absorb the work  from the Dillingham office.                                                                    
He added  that there were information  technology challenges                                                                    
in Dillingham including needing a  new phone system and slow                                                                    
internet  service  which  created additional  problems.  The                                                                    
anticipated increase in travel costs  would be offset by the                                                                    
fact  that Dillingham  grand juries  occurred in  Anchorage.                                                                    
The Attorney  no longer  needed to  travel to  Anchorage for                                                                    
grand  jury, as  they would  already be  in Anchorage.  They                                                                    
would  need  to  travel  to Dillingham.  He  mentioned  that                                                                    
presently  the attorney  assigned  to  Dillingham was  there                                                                    
trying a  repeat offender.  The department's  commitment was                                                                    
to  ensure  that its  people  were  sent to  Dillingham  and                                                                    
Barrow  to  battle  cases.   The  department  estimated  the                                                                    
difference in the cost of travel  to be an increase of about                                                                    
$27,210. However,  it made  logical financial  sense because                                                                    
the savings would be over $190 thousand.                                                                                        
Mr. Skidmore  continued that the  new court house  had posed                                                                    
problems  for the  department. It  moved  from its  previous                                                                    
location to across  town. It meant more  commuting time, the                                                                    
department's lawyer spent  more time out of  the office, and                                                                    
a  vehicle  would have  to  be  provided in  Dillingham.  In                                                                    
addition, the new  court house had two courtrooms  so that 2                                                                    
trials could  be conducted simultaneously. He  remarked that                                                                    
having  a  single attorney  in  Dillingham  meant that  they                                                                    
could not do 2 trials.                                                                                                          
Co-Chair Neuman interrupted Mr. Skidmore.                                                                                       
Attorney General Richards indicated  to Mr. Skidmore that he                                                                    
thought the chairman wanted to move to the next slide.                                                                          
Co-Chair Neuman responded, "Please."                                                                                            
Mr. Skidmore replied, "My apologies.  By all means please do                                                                    
Co-Chair Neuman  directed members'  attention to  the bullet                                                                    
on  slide 7  about defending  Alaska's right  to manage  its                                                                    
resources. He  noted that when  he had had  discussions with                                                                    
the Department of Law on  the subject the discussion steered                                                                    
to  whether it  could afford  some  of the  lawsuits it  was                                                                    
involved  in. He  had asked  the commissioner  to provide  a                                                                    
report back  as to which  lawsuits he had been  referring to                                                                    
and  their associated  costs. His  office had  also been  in                                                                    
contact  with Senator  Sullivan's office  about making  sure                                                                    
the  state could  continue to  protect the  its rights  from                                                                    
federal oversight.                                                                                                              
3:07:05 PM                                                                                                                    
JIM  CANTOR, DEPUTY  ATTORNEY  GENERAL,  DEPARTMENT OF  LAW,                                                                    
reviewed  slide  7:  "Fostering Economic  Development."  The                                                                    
department was looking  at new matters as they  arose with a                                                                    
sharp  eye that  Alaska  was going  to  get the  appropriate                                                                    
pushback against  the federal  government or  other economic                                                                    
benefit  out   of  a  lawsuit.  There   were  some  lawsuits                                                                    
currently going  on that the  department was  carrying forth                                                                    
quite excitedly.  He mentioned that one  of the department's                                                                    
lawyers argued  the Sturgeon case  in the U.S  Supreme Court                                                                    
in the  prior week. He  also mentioned the Big  Thorn timber                                                                    
sale  case in  which the  lower court  upheld the  sale. The                                                                    
case  was currently  before the  9th circuit.  There was  an                                                                    
RS247  case going  on in  the  Mat-Su. He  relayed that  the                                                                    
Environmental  Protection Agency,  which  tried to  regulate                                                                    
utilities  nationwide in  a  way that  would  have added  to                                                                    
every  Alaskan's cost,  felt a  pushback from  Alaska's DOL.                                                                    
The department  argued that  the rule  was not  designed for                                                                    
Alaska which resulted in the EPA backing away.                                                                                  
Mr.  Cantor   scrolled  to   slide  8:   "Protecting  Fiscal                                                                    
Integrity."  He  indicated  that Attorney  General  Richards                                                                    
would explain the first item on the list.                                                                                       
Attorney General  Richards reported  that the gasline  had a                                                                    
substantial  supplemental  budget   amendment  in  the  last                                                                    
special  session.   Currently,  in   the  fiscal   year  the                                                                    
department  had appropriated  approximately $13  million for                                                                    
outside  council.  He  reported  that  of  that  amount  the                                                                    
department had spent about $5  million with $8 million left.                                                                    
He  expected the  spend rate  to go  up once  the department                                                                    
started  making progress  in getting  some of  the necessary                                                                    
documents  negotiated. He  reported the  previous couple  of                                                                    
weeks  had  been  very   encouraging  regarding  the  Alaska                                                                    
Liquefied Natural Gas (AKLNG)  project. He thought that with                                                                    
$8 million remaining  the department should be  able to meet                                                                    
its targets for the current year.                                                                                               
Mr. Cantor continued  with slide 8. He mentioned  one of the                                                                    
programs  being cut:  Child  Support  Enforcement. The  idea                                                                    
behind  the   program  was  that  if   orders  were  granted                                                                    
requiring people to  pay their child support  then, a family                                                                    
might not  end up landing  on the public purse.  The federal                                                                    
program  the department  was working  off of  had a  bizarre                                                                    
consequence:  People who  could  otherwise  afford a  lawyer                                                                    
could still  take advantage of  the program.  The Department                                                                    
of Law,  Department of Revenue,  and the  federal government                                                                    
worked together  to aim the  program at people who  it would                                                                    
benefit the public purse. Three  of the six lawyers were cut                                                                    
from the program.                                                                                                               
Mr. Cantor  continued to discuss other  items that protected                                                                    
fiscal  integrity.  He  noted   the  defensive  things  like                                                                    
pushing back when  the tax payer was told they  owed "x" and                                                                    
they said they owed "y." He  mentioned the example of a case                                                                    
currently  in the  Supreme  Court  regarding Economic  Limit                                                                    
Factor (ELF)  taxation days. He  provided other  examples in                                                                    
which the state pushed back to protect the public purse.                                                                        
3:11:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Cantor  detailed slide  9: "Promoting  Good Governance."                                                                    
The  department defended  the laws  the legislature  passed,                                                                    
defended  ballot measures,  provided  advice to  all of  the                                                                    
state   agencies,  and   defended   actions  against   those                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman  asked Mr.  Cantor  to  skip to  slide  14.                                                                    
Members had already seen  the Legislative Finance Division's                                                                    
slides contained in slides 10-13.                                                                                               
Attorney General  Richards skipped  to slide  14: "Potential                                                                    
Impacts of Client Agency Budgets."  He highlighted that half                                                                    
of the  Civil Division  was funded by  reimbursable services                                                                    
agreements (RSA)'s rather than through  GF. He noted that in                                                                    
GF  expenditures  the  department   had  had  a  10  percent                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  Attorney General  Richards to  avoid                                                                    
the use of acronyms.                                                                                                            
Attorney General  Richards continued  that the point  he was                                                                    
trying  to make  was  that the  department's  GF budget  had                                                                    
fallen  by  10 percent  in  the  previous  year and  it  was                                                                    
proposing  an  8  percent  drop in  the  current  year.  The                                                                    
department's  total   "all  funds"  budget   (excluding  the                                                                    
gasline  appropriation) had  fallen about  7 percent  in the                                                                    
prior  year  and  it  was  proposing a  5  percent  cut.  He                                                                    
explained that  what the numbers  demonstrated was  that the                                                                    
department's GF was being reduced  faster than its RSA fund.                                                                    
The general  funds were being  reduced faster  than agencies                                                                    
were asking for the  department's services. He reported that                                                                    
with RSAs the department was  more of a service taker versus                                                                    
a maker. It  provided its clients with  services they sought                                                                    
and  asked for  billions  appropriately. In  other words,  a                                                                    
portion of DOL's  budget was driven by  agency decisions and                                                                    
Attorney General Richards furthered  that when agencies made                                                                    
reductions  the RSA's  were not  necessarily reducing  right                                                                    
away.  Often times  in order  to reduce  agencies there  was                                                                    
typically an  uptick in legal work.  The department expected                                                                    
that  the  RSA  portion  of   its  budgets,  if  there  were                                                                    
substantial cuts,  to roll through  two years later  as mega                                                                    
projects and other things were decommissioned.                                                                                  
Attorney  General Richards  talked about  encouraging agency                                                                    
clients  to seek  front-end advice  on  major decisions.  He                                                                    
noted  that an  ounce of  prevention  was worth  a pound  of                                                                    
3:14:29 PM                                                                                                                    
Attorney  General Richards  moved to  slide 15:  "Strategies                                                                    
for   Tough  Times."   The  slide   covered   some  of   the                                                                    
department's  strategies   including  the  closure   of  the                                                                    
Dillingham office.  One strategy that  had been in  the news                                                                    
and was  incorporated into  its budget  was the  proposal of                                                                    
the  creation  of a  public  integrity  unit within  special                                                                    
prosecutions. The Office of  Special Prosecutions was housed                                                                    
within the  Criminal Division. He  reported that  within the                                                                    
past  2 years  the office  had been  cut by  letting several                                                                    
lawyers  go.  He noted  that  the  cuts  had been  made  too                                                                    
deeply. As  the division was  adding lawyers back in  he had                                                                    
considered   restructuring  in   order  to   provide  better                                                                    
services on  issues related  to officer  involved shootings,                                                                    
correction  deaths  and  allegations of  public  corruption.                                                                    
There  was a  cost of  about $700  thousand, of  which about                                                                    
half would be absorbed  through internal transfers. Although                                                                    
not  a budget  increase,  the department  did  not make  the                                                                    
governor's   suggested  budget   cuts  because   about  $350                                                                    
thousand  was less  than the  total decrease  the Office  of                                                                    
Management and Budget asked for.                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman remarked, "We are trying to help you out."                                                                      
Attorney General  Richards stated that unless  the committee                                                                    
wanted to  get into the  budget detail he was  finished with                                                                    
the presentation.                                                                                                               
Co-Chair Neuman  asked Attorney  General Richards  to review                                                                    
the  department's budget.  He thought  it was  important for                                                                    
the public to see.                                                                                                              
Attorney General Richards called Mr. Blaisdell to testify.                                                                      
DAVE BLAISDELL, DIRECTOR,  ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION,                                                                    
DEPARTMENT  OF  LAW  advanced  to  slide  17:  "FY17  Budget                                                                    
Development."   He   discussed   that  in   developing   the                                                                    
department's  FY17   budget  it  started  with   the  FY  16                                                                    
conference   committee  numbers.   The  main   changes  that                                                                    
occurred  had to  do  with the  unallocated  reduction as  a                                                                    
result  of the  salary increases  that came  through in  the                                                                    
special  session.  In order  to  achieve  the reduction  the                                                                    
department  closed  the  Barrow   office  which  included  2                                                                    
positions with an estimated savings  of about $400 thousand.                                                                    
The  department changed  the way  it did  business with  the                                                                    
Alaska  Oil  and  Gas  Conservation  Commission  (AOGCC)  by                                                                    
having them pay for services that  used to be covered out of                                                                    
the department's GF. The services  were currently being paid                                                                    
for  with  AOGCC  receipts.  There  had  also  been  several                                                                    
employees within the department  that informed him that they                                                                    
would have  some extended absences which  were calculated in                                                                    
the  budget and  a furlough  was  also built  into the  FY16                                                                    
budget to reach  $302 thousands. The total FY  17 budget was                                                                    
approximately $89 million.                                                                                                      
Mr.   Blaisdell   pointed   to  slide   18:   "FY17   Budget                                                                    
Development." He  pointed to the reduction  of $500 thousand                                                                    
for outside  council. The department added  the capacity the                                                                    
attorney  general   spoke  to  in  the   Office  of  Special                                                                    
Prosecutions and  Appeals for $318 Thousand.  The department                                                                    
had  also  transferred the  tariff  work  in the  Regulatory                                                                    
Affairs and  Public Advocacy  section and was  able to  do a                                                                    
funds  source   switch  of  $600  paid   for  by  Regulatory                                                                    
Commission  of Alaska  receipts. The  department anticipated                                                                    
annual  mandatory   furloughs,  and   the  closure   of  the                                                                    
Dillingham office  resulting in a savings  of $340 thousand.                                                                    
There were staff  reductions in the amount  of $564 thousand                                                                    
and   there  was   the   reversal   of  the   cost-of-living                                                                    
adjustments which was currently unallocated.                                                                                    
3:18:42 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Blaisdell continued  to slide  19: "FY15-FY17  Criminal                                                                    
Division Budget Reduction Elements":                                                                                            
   FY15 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Deleted uncollectable federal receipts ($841.2)                                                                            
   · Four position deletions ($741.0)                                                                                           
     · 3 attorneys, 1 support staff                                                                                             
   · Reduced expenditures in OSPA ($430.5)                                                                                      
   FY16 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Reduce expenditures across division ($671.6)                                                                               
   · Closure of Barrow office (incl. 2 PCNs)($400.0)                                                                            
   · Ten position deletions ($1,608.5)                                                                                          
     · 6 attorneys, 4 support staff                                                                                             
   FY17 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Close Dillingham office ($340.0)                                                                                           
   · Unallocated reduction (furloughs) ($92.5)                                                                                  
Mr. Blaisdell discussed slide  20: "FY15-FY17 Civil Division                                                                    
Budget Reduction Elements":                                                                                                     
   FY15 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Three position deletions ($543.2)                                                                                          
      · 3 attorney positions                                                                                                    
   · Reduced expenditures across division ($285.6)                                                                              
   FY16 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Reduced expenditures across division ($788.6)                                                                              
   · 11 position deletions ($1,464.6)                                                                                           
   · Reduced outside counsel and gasline ($1,900.0)                                                                             
   FY17 Budget Reductions                                                                                                       
   · Reduce Outside Counsel for Oil, Gas and Mining issues                                                                      
      · Trial portion of litigation cycle is over; appeals                                                                      
        portion less costly                                                                                                     
   · Unallocated reduction (deleted positions) ($525.6)                                                                         
   · Unallocated reduction (furloughs) ($143.7)                                                                                 
Mr.  Blaisdell  elaborated  that the  department's  approach                                                                    
with  some  of  the  reductions  was  to  try  to  eliminate                                                                    
positons through attrition. The  department had been able to                                                                    
do  so  for  the  most   part.  In  the  previous  year  the                                                                    
department had some  positions that were laid  off mainly in                                                                    
the Criminal  Division and  one in  the Civil  Division. The                                                                    
department's goal was to try and retain positions.                                                                              
Mr.   Blaisdell  explained   slide   21:  "Re-alignment   of                                                                    
Resources (Civil)." The slide showed  the merger of the oil,                                                                    
gas, and mining section with the natural resources section.                                                                     
Representative  Gara  asked about  the  time  spent to  bill                                                                    
other agencies for their time.  He wondered what the purpose                                                                    
was for  the accounting mechanism. He  saw it as a  waste of                                                                    
time.  Attorney General  Richards  responded that  he was  a                                                                    
lover of cost accounting. He thought  it made a lot of sense                                                                    
because  it  provided an  incentive  to  use DOL's  services                                                                    
efficiently when there were known  and recognizable costs to                                                                    
government  agencies. He  suggested  that  costs made  other                                                                    
agencies more  accountable for and  thoughtful of  using the                                                                    
department's services.                                                                                                          
Representative  Guttenberg   redirected  attention   to  the                                                                    
closure of  the Barrow  and Dillingham offices.  He wondered                                                                    
why  the department  did not  choose to  lay off  someone in                                                                    
Anchorage rather than closing  the rural offices. He thought                                                                    
it  would  be cheaper  to  put  someone  up  in a  hotel  in                                                                    
Anchorage  rather than  temporarily  putting  someone up  in                                                                    
Dillingham  or Barrow  for an  extended period  of time.  He                                                                    
wondered  if  the  department intended  to  do  more  things                                                                    
telephonically. Attorney General  Richards reported that the                                                                    
vast majority  of cuts that  had already been  applied, over                                                                    
20,  were   from  Juneau,   Fairbanks,  and   Anchorage.  He                                                                    
furthered  that the  cuts that  occurred  in Dillingham  and                                                                    
Barrow had  much more proportional  impacts. He  thought the                                                                    
department  had attempted  to balance  the relative  cuts of                                                                    
its  smaller  offices.  The department  had  looked  at  the                                                                    
economic impact  of closing  the rural  offices in  a robust                                                                    
analytical manner.  The department  had worked at  trying to                                                                    
determine   the  most   cost  effective   way  to   delivery                                                                    
prosecutorial legal services. The  decisions were not easily                                                                    
3:23:30 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Guttenberg  claimed   that   by  having   a                                                                    
prosecutor living and being part  of the community helped to                                                                    
facilitate better justice for the community.                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson referred  to  slide  4 regarding  the                                                                    
Civil  Division  and  the  rise   in  Office  of  Children's                                                                    
Services (OCS) cases.  She asked if the  cases were criminal                                                                    
cases  versus civil  cases  and whether  the  type of  cases                                                                    
would change the number of  cases. Attorney General Richards                                                                    
believed the number represented civil cases.                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  understood that  they were  all civil                                                                    
cases. She wanted to know if  the number would be as high if                                                                    
they  were criminal  cases. She  asked the  question because                                                                    
civil  cases had  a much  lower threshold.  Attorney General                                                                    
Richards suggested  they would be  much lower if  a criminal                                                                    
standard was applied to CINA cases.                                                                                             
Representative  Wilson  asked  the attorney  general  if  he                                                                    
thought CINA  cases should be classified  as criminal rather                                                                    
than civil  cases. Attorney General Richards  responded that                                                                    
he had not  considered the idea. His job was  to enforce the                                                                    
laws of  the State of  Alaska. He would follow  whatever the                                                                    
legislative body chose to do.                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson commented  that  in  her opinion  the                                                                    
reason  there were  not appeals  was because  the state  was                                                                    
sitting on both  sides. She made a comment  about the public                                                                    
defender in  Fairbanks. She wondered  if the  department was                                                                    
ready  for substantial  growth if  there  were more  private                                                                    
attorneys  and the  number  of  appeals increased.  Attorney                                                                    
General  Richards responded  in the  negative. He  indicated                                                                    
that  the  department was  cutting  its  budget rather  than                                                                    
increasing  it.   If  appeals   increased  it  would   be  a                                                                    
Representative  Wilson like  the  integrity  unit idea.  She                                                                    
assumed that individuals unhappy  with the OCS process could                                                                    
file a complaint  with the integrity unit and  that the unit                                                                    
would  determine whether  OCS  was using  its resources  and                                                                    
doing its  job. Attorney  General Richards replied  that the                                                                    
Public Integrity  Unit as  it was  thought to  be configured                                                                    
would  handle  accusations  of  public  corruption,  officer                                                                    
involved shootings,  and deaths in  correctional facilities.                                                                    
The only  way the unit would  be involved in a  CINA related                                                                    
matter  would  be  if  there was  an  allegation  of  public                                                                    
Representative   Wilson  looked   forward  to   passing  the                                                                    
information on.                                                                                                                 
3:26:51 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Edgmon complimented  the department  for its                                                                    
good work.  He mentioned  that the  department brought  in a                                                                    
significant amount  of money to  the state. He  thought that                                                                    
the closure of the  District Attorney's office in Dillingham                                                                    
was highly  unconscionable given that  he lived in  the area                                                                    
and was  aware of the impacts.  He was also aware  that as a                                                                    
state agency DOL  was unable to measure the  true impacts on                                                                    
the  region as  a result  of its  decisions. He  provided an                                                                    
example  of a  major drug  dealer in  Dillingham who  had to                                                                    
plead down from  a felony to a misdemeanor.  In December the                                                                    
dealer   was  found   with  $19   thousand   in  cash.   The                                                                    
representative could not tie the  crime directly to the lack                                                                    
of a  local district  attorney in  the community.  He opined                                                                    
that the  cost of services  could not always be  measured in                                                                    
dollars and  cents. He did  not understand  the department's                                                                    
reasoning  for removing  $191 thousand  from a  region where                                                                    
there  were  approximately  1000  cases per  year  when  the                                                                    
department  had a  $54 million  UGF budget.  The region  was                                                                    
home to  one of the  largest fisheries  in the world  in the                                                                    
summertime. He would continue his  argument on the issue and                                                                    
appreciate the chairman's indulgence.                                                                                           
Co-Chair Neuman looked forward to the conversation.                                                                             
Vice-Chair Saddler  commented that the previous  speaker and                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg  had made the arguments  about the                                                                    
value of  having a full  slate of law  enforcement personnel                                                                    
and resources  in a community.  They also made  the argument                                                                    
that there was  an undefinable (not measured  in dollars and                                                                    
cents)  value.  He  felt  that   the  commissioner  and  Mr.                                                                    
Skidmore acknowledging  the value. However,  the committee's                                                                    
responsibility  was  to  allocate scarce  resources,  as  it                                                                    
dealt  in   dollars  and  cents.  It   was  the  committee's                                                                    
obligation to  everyone that came before  members asking for                                                                    
money  for  their programs  to  make  the most  transparent,                                                                    
demonstrable, and understandable comparison  of the cost and                                                                    
benefits.  There were  winners and  losers. He  believed the                                                                    
department had made a good  faith effort to mitigate impacts                                                                    
and to have reductions be  allocated fairly with a close eye                                                                    
on its overall  mission. He thought the  department had been                                                                    
doing a good job in a difficult process and situation.                                                                          
Co-Chair  Neuman  thought  there  had been  a  lot  of  good                                                                    
questions from members.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Thompson reviewed  the  agenda  for the  following                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
FY2017 DOC Overview HF 02032016.pdf HFIN 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM
LAW_FY17_HFC_Overview_2-3-16.pdf HFIN 2/3/2016 1:30:00 PM