Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/08/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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02:34:50 PM Start
02:36:12 PM Fy 17 Budget Overviews: Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
03:37:25 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 15 min. Following Floor Session --
Scheduled but Not Heard
Scheduled but Not Heard
Scheduled but Not Heard
+ FY17 Budget Overviews: TELECONFERENCED
- University of Alaska - Postponed to 2/9/16
- Dept. of Military & Veterans' Affairs
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 8, 2016                                                                                           
                         2:34 p.m.                                                                                              
2:34:50 PM                                                                                                                    
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
Co-Chair Neuman called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                      
to order at 2:34 p.m.                                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Mark Neuman, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Steve Thompson, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Dan Saddler, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Lance Pruitt                                                                                                     
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
Brigadier  General Laurel  Hummel, Commissioner,  Department                                                                    
of  Military and  Veterans  Affairs;  Colonel Robert  Doehl,                                                                    
Deputy  Commissioner, Department  of  Military and  Veterans                                                                    
Affairs;  Michael  O'Hare,  Director, Division  of  Homeland                                                                    
Security  and Emergency  Management, Department  of Military                                                                    
and Veterans Affairs.                                                                                                           
FY 17 BUDGET OVERVIEWS:                                                                                                         
          DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS                                                                           
Co-Chair Neuman discussed the meeting agenda.                                                                                   
^FY  17   BUDGET  OVERVIEWS:  DEPARTMENT  OF   MILITARY  AND                                                                  
VETERANS AFFAIRS                                                                                                              
2:36:12 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIGADIER  GENERAL LAUREL  HUMMEL, COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT                                                                    
OF MILITARY AND VETERANS  AFFAIRS (DMVA), introduced herself                                                                    
and  colleagues.  She  provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation                                                                    
titled  "FY2017  Budget  Overview" dated  February  8,  2016                                                                    
(copy on  file). She began  with the  department's statutory                                                                    
mission  on slide  2. She  turned to  slide 3  and addressed                                                                    
core services:                                                                                                                  
   · Defend and Protect Alaska and the United States                                                                            
   · Disaster Preparedness/Response and Recovery                                                                                
   · Outreach to Veterans and Military Families                                                                                 
   · Youth Intervention                                                                                                         
Commissioner   Hummel  relayed   the   core  services   were                                                                    
analogous  to the  lines in  the  department's mission.  She                                                                    
stated the  first two  services nested well  and all  of the                                                                    
services  were very  complimentary. Slide  4 included  a pie                                                                    
chart showing the department's budget  by fund source. Other                                                                    
funds of  $16 million  were represented  in green,  of which                                                                    
slightly  over $6  million represented  interagency receipts                                                                    
and funds  received for services. For  example, the Division                                                                    
of Homeland Security and  Emergency Management assisted with                                                                    
the  Department  of  Transportation  and  Public  Facilities                                                                    
(DOT) for  grant preparation and  DMVA received  payment for                                                                    
the  assistance. She  continued to  address the  other funds                                                                    
category,  which  also  included $1.7  million  for  capital                                                                    
improvement  project   receipts.  The  budget   included  $1                                                                    
million  for equipping  the  proposed  Alaska State  Defense                                                                    
Force Scout Battalion, $100,000  estimated authority for the                                                                    
Counter  Drug Program  for  seizures  and forfeitures,  $7.8                                                                    
million for Alaska  Aerospace Corporation receipt authority,                                                                    
$435,000 for state designated general  funds (DGF) where the                                                                    
department brought  in revenue  for meal tickets  and other,                                                                    
and $12,000 for veterans' endowment memorial expenditures.                                                                      
2:38:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Hummel addressed  a DMVA  organizational chart                                                                    
on  slide  5.  She   detailed  the  dotted  lines  indicated                                                                    
coordinating/administrative authority.  Slide 6  provided an                                                                    
introduction to  the Alaska Air  National Guard.  There were                                                                    
2,100 [2,120]  air guard members serving  in three locations                                                                    
across  the state.  Eielson Airforce  Base in  Fairbanks was                                                                    
home  of the  168th  wing,  which had  been  called the  air                                                                    
refueling wing  prior to  February 2016;  the name  had been                                                                    
officially  changed to  reflect the  inclusion of  the space                                                                    
warning mission. Joint  Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) was                                                                    
the  home of  the  176th wing,  which was  one  of the  most                                                                    
complex organizations  in the air  guard; the base  had four                                                                    
primary  mission  sets  to include  strategic  and  tactical                                                                    
airlift; air  defense; and the rescue  triad, which included                                                                    
guardian   angels,  rescue   helicopters,  and   the  HC-130                                                                    
aircraft responsible  for providing refueling  capability to                                                                    
rescue helicopters.                                                                                                             
Commissioner Hummel  spoke to measures and  results on slide                                                                    
7. The  chart showed  the Alaska  National Guard  search and                                                                    
rescue efforts  by calendar  year. The  blue portion  of the                                                                    
bars  represented  lives  saved   in  Alaska  and  the  gold                                                                    
represented lives saved outside of Alaska.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Neuman addressed  search  and  rescue efforts.  He                                                                    
relayed  the committee  had learned  from the  Department of                                                                    
Public  Safety  (DPS)  Alaska   State  Troopers  that  their                                                                    
ability  to fly  some of  their helicopters  for search  and                                                                    
rescue  would   be  impaired  by  the   budget  deficit  and                                                                    
reductions. He  asked if  the effort fell  back on  DMVA and                                                                    
the military to  fill those functions. He  wondered how DMVA                                                                    
had  worked  the issue  out  with  DPS  in order  to  ensure                                                                    
Alaskan citizens were safe.                                                                                                     
Commissioner  Hummel   answered  that  DPS  was   the  first                                                                    
responder to search  and rescue calls. She  detailed that if                                                                    
DPS  could not  effect  a  search and  rescue  the call  was                                                                    
referred  to  the  Rescue  Coordination  Center,  which  was                                                                    
operational to  the 11th  Air Force,  but staffed  by Alaska                                                                    
Air Guard  personnel. The department  had search  and rescue                                                                    
capability,  which  it   conducted  throughout  Alaska.  The                                                                    
concern  about grounding  the DPS  helicopter  was that  the                                                                    
search  and  rescue ability  was  secondary  to the  state's                                                                    
federal mission set. The department  had to be on standby to                                                                    
support the active Air Force  component; DMVA would accept a                                                                    
search  and  rescue  mission  for  life,  limb,  and  safety                                                                    
whenever  it  could. She  furthered  that  DMVA had  federal                                                                    
regulations and  guidelines; therefore, if an  issue was not                                                                    
immediate  life,   limb,  and  safety  the   department  was                                                                    
prohibited from  responding. She  continued that  DMVA would                                                                    
be  required to  seek reimbursement  from the  state if  the                                                                    
department   made   a   response  the   federal   government                                                                    
determined was unwarranted or  outside of federal guidelines                                                                    
and regulations.  She relayed that reimbursement  rates were                                                                    
very expensive and could be provided to the committee.                                                                          
2:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
COLONEL  ROBERT DOEHL,  DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS,  addressed the Air Facilities                                                                    
Maintenance Division on slide 8:                                                                                                
   · 32 full time budgeted positions                                                                                            
   · $6,076.2 total budget request ($1,667.9 UGF)                                                                               
   · Provides maintenance services for Alaska Air National                                                                      
     Guard facilities                                                                                                           
   · Brings in $163,185,206 direct federal dollars to the                                                                       
     state economy                                                                                                              
Mr.  Doehl  noted  the  federal   dollars  went  to  funding                                                                    
guardsmen, contractors, or other entities in Alaska.                                                                            
Representative  Kawasaki  remarked  that DPS  had  requested                                                                    
money  in the  prior year's  budget for  aircraft facilities                                                                    
maintenance.  He asked  if the  funding on  slide 8  went to                                                                    
non-military vehicles in addition to military vehicles.                                                                         
Mr. Doehl responded that the  facilities were located on Air                                                                    
Force bases  with equipment specific to  Air Force aircraft;                                                                    
they would  not be  a good  fit for  non-military aircrafts.                                                                    
Additionally,   the   department's  mechanics   lacked   the                                                                    
appropriate  Federal Aviation  Administration certifications                                                                    
for working on DPS aircraft.                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Hummel moved  to slide  9 titled  "Alaska Army                                                                    
National  Guard."  The  Army  National  Guard  continued  to                                                                    
deploy soldiers  in support of missions  and training events                                                                    
worldwide.  She noted  the  guard  continued its  deployment                                                                    
relationship with  its state partner of  Mongolia. The guard                                                                    
had  sent  soldiers  to  Mongolia to  train  with  24  other                                                                    
countries  and   participate  in   peace-keeping  operations                                                                    
training. Additionally, the guard had  sent pilots to fly in                                                                    
Afghanistan  and  two  officers were  currently  serving  in                                                                    
Kosovo.  Guard   soldiers  also  trained  in   South  Korea,                                                                    
Cambodia, Australia,  and across the continental  U.S. There                                                                    
were 210  Alaska Army guardsmen  operating a  ground missile                                                                    
defense mission at Fort Greely  who were on watch around the                                                                    
clock,  365  days  per  year   (operating  as  the  nation's                                                                    
defenders   against   intercontinental   ballistic   missile                                                                    
attack). The guardsmen  were deployed in place  to provide a                                                                    
vital  defense  to  the homeland.  State  missions  included                                                                    
emergency  response; and  preparing  for  and responding  to                                                                    
requests  by  civil  authorities for  support  ranging  from                                                                    
flood relief,  search and rescue, and  emergency housing for                                                                    
citizens in armories.                                                                                                           
Commissioner  Hummel  continued  that  the  previous  summer                                                                    
Alaska Army  National Guard's helicopters had  supported the                                                                    
Department  of Forestry  with 131  hours on  the Mat-Su  and                                                                    
Kenai  fires. Additionally,  the guard  had a  civil support                                                                    
team  consisting  of  22  specially  trained  Army  and  Air                                                                    
guardsmen  to assist  civil  authorities in  the  case of  a                                                                    
chemical,  biological, radiological,  nuclear, or  explosive                                                                    
event.  The  guard  stood  ready  to  support  non-emergency                                                                    
assistance to  local and  federal authorities.  For example,                                                                    
in support  of the  Glacier Summit,  the National  Guard had                                                                    
provided  military police  support to  the Anchorage  Police                                                                    
Department and state troopers; aviation  support to the U.S.                                                                    
Secret  Service, and  refueling support  to Marine  One. The                                                                    
guard  helped  deliver  medical care,  build  structures  in                                                                    
parks,  and supply  veterinary care  throughout Alaska.  The                                                                    
Innovative Readiness  Training Program combined  the efforts                                                                    
and  skills of  all the  armed forces  branches to  train in                                                                    
their  career fields  while benefitting  citizens throughout                                                                    
the U.S.                                                                                                                        
2:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson  remarked there  had been  some issues                                                                    
in  the  past  year  related   to  the  National  Guard  and                                                                    
recruiters  and  the  ability   to  have  guns  onsite.  She                                                                    
detailed that  some of  the offices  had been  locked, which                                                                    
required individuals  to knock and  wait for the door  to be                                                                    
opened. She wondered if the issue was ongoing.                                                                                  
Commissioner  Hummel  replied  that  there  was  a  standard                                                                    
operating procedure for  the facilities that had  a force of                                                                    
one soldier or  airman in an office.  The procedure required                                                                    
the door  to be locked  if the office  was not located  on a                                                                    
federal  facility. If  the  soldier felt  they  may be  some                                                                    
personal danger they  were instructed to post a  sign with a                                                                    
phone number or  way to contact them inside  the office. The                                                                    
tactics, techniques, and procedures  had been implemented by                                                                    
DMVA as long as the force protection measures warranted.                                                                        
Representative Wilson  stated that there had  been more than                                                                    
one person  in the office. She  had been told it  had been a                                                                    
directive. She wanted to keep  the individuals safe, but she                                                                    
figured they could carry guns  for protection. She noted the                                                                    
door had a glass panel  and did not really offer protection.                                                                    
She believed  letting people know the  individual inside was                                                                    
not  protected,  put  them in  danger.  She  reiterated  her                                                                    
belief that it had been  a direct order and that individuals                                                                    
did not appear to have issues with safety.                                                                                      
Commissioner   Hummel  replied   that   DMVA  had   received                                                                    
Representative  Wilson's  concern  about  the  incident.  No                                                                    
direct  order had  been  given to  any  of the  department's                                                                    
recruiting stations  that they should lock  themselves in if                                                                    
there was  more than one  individual unless they  felt there                                                                    
was an imminent threat.  The department had communicated the                                                                    
standard operating procedures more  clearly; everyone in the                                                                    
recruiting  facilities   had  been  given  a   copy  of  the                                                                    
procedures and had been briefed on the rules.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Neuman  noted  that  that the  previous  year  the                                                                    
legislature  had   received  information  it  would   see  a                                                                    
downsizing from the federal government  in the Army National                                                                    
Guard and an  increase in the Air Guard. He  asked if it had                                                                    
occurred and how it was reflected in the DMVA budget.                                                                           
2:48:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Hummel  replied  that  it  had  occurred.  She                                                                    
detailed  that  the  Alaska  Army  Guard  would  be  further                                                                    
decremented from 1,850  to 1,750 in the  coming fiscal year.                                                                    
There had  been a  slight uptick in  the Air  National Guard                                                                    
numbers to about 2,100 or  so. Therefore, overall the Alaska                                                                    
National Guard  was about  the same  as it  had been  in the                                                                    
past couple  of fiscal  years. The department  would provide                                                                    
further  detail  at its  Joint  Armed  Services meeting  the                                                                    
following  day.  Alternatively,  she offered  to  provide  a                                                                    
further  briefing after  the current  meeting.  In terms  of                                                                    
facility maintenance,  the department's budget did  not show                                                                    
a significant difference.                                                                                                       
Mr. Doehl agreed  that the Air National  Guard had increased                                                                    
by a couple hundred members  and the Army National Guard had                                                                    
decreased by  a couple  of hundred soldiers.  Currently, the                                                                    
department  still  had the  legacy  facilities  in the  Army                                                                    
National Guard;  it was working  on the consolidation  of 17                                                                    
facilities. The  department had fully engaged  with the Army                                                                    
Corps   of   Engineers   and   the   state   Department   of                                                                    
Administration  was  pursuing  repurposing. He  estimated  a                                                                    
reduction  was   envisioned  in   two  to  three   years  as                                                                    
facilities  were  repurposed  and removed  from  the  books.                                                                    
Until  the  department  got an  environmental  baseline  and                                                                    
other mitigation work it was not  in a position to lower the                                                                    
budget.  The department  had drastically  curtailed all  the                                                                    
utilities  due  to  a cost-containment  measure;  previously                                                                    
utilities had been left running.                                                                                                
Mr.  Doehl spoke  to Army  Guard  facilities maintenance  on                                                                    
slide 10. He  shared they were spread  across four locations                                                                    
statewide  to  operate 55  facilities,  which  needed to  be                                                                    
repurposed, and another 17 the  department continued to work                                                                    
out  of. The  budget request  was $2.6  million undesignated                                                                    
general funds  (UGF) [the total  request was  $12.7 million]                                                                    
and facilities  maintenance ultimately brought in  about $51                                                                    
million direct federal payments to the state economy.                                                                           
Commissioner Hummel  addressed measures and  results related                                                                    
to Alaska Guard strength on slide  11. Alaska was one of the                                                                    
few  states  with  a  larger   Air  Guard  than  Army  Guard                                                                    
component. The chart indicated that  Army structure had been                                                                    
reduced  slightly,  while  Air   Force  structure  had  been                                                                    
increased. She  referred to Mr.  Doehl's comments  about the                                                                    
repurposing of armories and added  that the reduction of the                                                                    
footprint of  the armories and  the stationing plan  was not                                                                    
so much about  changes in the past year or  two, but changes                                                                    
in  the past  20 or  30 years  in terms  of force  structure                                                                    
decrements. She  turned to a  map of  the world on  slide 12                                                                    
showing training  events and  deployments conducted  in 2015                                                                    
by the Alaska National Guard.                                                                                                   
Commissioner  Hummel   moved  to  slide  13   spoke  to  the                                                                    
department's  Division of  Homeland  Security and  Emergency                                                                    
Management. The  division was currently managing  12 federal                                                                    
disasters  and 10  state  disasters.  The public  assistance                                                                    
section  of  the division  was  managing  over 700  projects                                                                    
worth  over $250  million in  communities around  the state.                                                                    
The section  provided emergency management training  to over                                                                    
700  Alaskans  in over  40  training  events statewide.  The                                                                    
section  was preparing  for  a  statewide homeland  security                                                                    
exercise in April [2016] with  an emphasis on cyber security                                                                    
and local  response to  terrorist active  shooter scenarios.                                                                    
Additionally,  the section  was working  with over  30 local                                                                    
communities on small community emergency response plans.                                                                        
2:52:39 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  noted the committee had  heard from                                                                    
the  Department   of  Health  and  Social   Services  (DHSS)                                                                    
commissioner about public health  issues earlier in the day.                                                                    
He  continued  that  the Division  of  Public  Health  dealt                                                                    
specifically with public health  disasters with 47 full-time                                                                    
employees. He wondered how DMVA  worked closely with DHSS on                                                                    
the  topic.   He  noted  the  Department   of  Environmental                                                                    
Conservation  (DEC),   DOT,  and  DPS  also   had  emergency                                                                    
management groups.                                                                                                              
Commissioner Hummel  deferred the  question to  the director                                                                    
of  the   Division  of   Homeland  Security   and  Emergency                                                                    
MICHAEL O'HARE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND                                                                    
EMERGENCY  MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT  OF MILITARY  AND VETERANS                                                                    
AFFAIRS,  answered  that  DMVA,  DOT, DPS,  DEC,  DHSS  were                                                                    
partners and  all intertwined in  the planning  and training                                                                    
response based upon  the event. The agencies  had senior and                                                                    
primary  responsibility  based  upon  the  event  type.  For                                                                    
example,   DHSS  would   have   senior  responsibility   for                                                                    
something like a pandemic outbreak.  Depending on the event,                                                                    
one agency would support another "at the tip of the spear."                                                                     
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  if  the  DMVA  Division  of                                                                    
Homeland  Security and  Emergency  Management  was the  lead                                                                    
agency for a  disaster. Alternatively, he asked  if it would                                                                    
depend on the type of disaster.                                                                                                 
Mr.  O'Hare  responded  that  it depended  on  the  type  of                                                                    
disaster.  He explained  that DMVA  was responsible  for all                                                                    
natural  and terrorist  disasters  in Alaska.  The DHSS  was                                                                    
responsible for  health related events, DEC  was responsible                                                                    
for environmental  spills or similar events,  and DMVA would                                                                    
act in a supporting role.                                                                                                       
2:54:52 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Hummel addressed slide  14 titled "Measures and                                                                    
Results"  pertaining to  the Division  of Homeland  Security                                                                    
and Emergency  Management. The graph included  an assessment                                                                    
by  division  staff that  organized  boroughs  were able  to                                                                    
support their  communities in both  exercise and  real world                                                                    
response (i.e.  operating their emergency  operation centers                                                                    
and   providing   effective   and  efficient   response   to                                                                    
communities without  an over-reliance on state  assistance -                                                                    
the  reliance  on the  state  was  typically seen  during  a                                                                    
disaster recovery  phase, which  DMVA specialized in  at the                                                                    
state level).                                                                                                                   
Representative Guttenberg  stated that it had  become common                                                                    
for  pieces  of  government  to   be  merged  into  homeland                                                                    
security.  He  asked  about the  meaning  of  the  following                                                                    
language:  "boroughs that  responded  effectively to  events                                                                    
without state assistance." He spoke  to the simulation of an                                                                    
airplane crash  at the  Fairbanks International  Airport. He                                                                    
detailed that  everyone had responded to  the simulation. He                                                                    
continued  it was  an example  of  local organized  boroughs                                                                    
effectively  responding. He  believed  it  was assumed  that                                                                    
such  an   event  would  immediately  overwhelm   the  local                                                                    
capacity.  He wondered  what kind  of events  the slide  was                                                                    
referring to.                                                                                                                   
Commissioner Hummel deferred the question to Mr. O'Hare.                                                                        
Mr. O'Hare replied that the  organized boroughs went through                                                                    
the  process of  immediate response  to support  their local                                                                    
communities  when facing  floods, fires,  and other  typical                                                                    
events  a community  was  threatened with.  In  the case  of                                                                    
larger  events   where  a   borough  was   overwhelmed  with                                                                    
supporting its communities, the  process of asking for state                                                                    
involvement/resources    was   followed    effectively   and                                                                    
efficiently. He explained that  slide 14 represented typical                                                                    
immediate response  for the  ongoing daily  seasonal threats                                                                    
communities   faced  in   Alaska.   With   the  larger   and                                                                    
specialized  events   where  boroughs   may  not   have  the                                                                    
expertise  or  may  require  more  resources,  the  boroughs                                                                    
followed  the established  procedures to  request additional                                                                    
resources from  the state. The  state then provided  as much                                                                    
support as  possible and  may request  additional assistance                                                                    
from the federal government if necessary.                                                                                       
Representative  Guttenberg  referred to  conversations  with                                                                    
emergency  management heads  about the  process of  going up                                                                    
the  chain in  the event  of  an emergency.  He provided  an                                                                    
example of an emergency where  ambulance staff called a fire                                                                    
chief who  then called another  fire district and  a trooper                                                                    
and so  on. He  asked who  was capable  of calling  the DMVA                                                                    
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.                                                                         
Mr. O'Hare  answered that  the borough  emergency management                                                                    
office  or elected  leadership  called  the state  emergency                                                                    
operations center to request help.                                                                                              
Representative  Guttenberg  wondered   if  a  trooper  could                                                                    
notify  the state.  Mr. O'Hare  replied  that the  emergency                                                                    
operations center  would corroborate the information  with a                                                                    
call  to the  borough emergency  manager. The  division took                                                                    
its orders  from borough emergency management  and certainly                                                                    
took its partnerships with another  state agency looking for                                                                    
help  seriously,  but  it  was  necessary  to  size  up  the                                                                    
situation to determine the real needs.                                                                                          
Representative  Guttenberg asked  if the  division monitored                                                                    
switchboard call centers.                                                                                                       
Mr. O'Hare  answered in the  negative. The boroughs  had the                                                                    
division's  phone   numbers  and  the  division   had  radio                                                                    
communication with state troopers all of the time.                                                                              
3:00:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler remarked that  unless the information was                                                                    
a measure  of how well  DMVA had trained  organized boroughs                                                                    
to   respond,  the   effectiveness  measure   seemed  rather                                                                    
peripheral for the  department. He surmised it  seemed to be                                                                    
more  of a  measure of  how well  the boroughs  responded to                                                                    
Mr.   O'Hare   answered   that   one   of   the   division's                                                                    
responsibilities was  to prepare Alaskans for  responding to                                                                    
disasters. The department's job  was to help boroughs become                                                                    
more prepared to support their citizens.                                                                                        
Vice-Chair Saddler observed that  the organized boroughs had                                                                    
responded  effectively to  events  without state  assistance                                                                    
100  percent of  the time  many of  the years  shown on  the                                                                    
graph.  He  was  interested  to hear  about  responses  from                                                                    
unorganized  areas.  He   reasoned  organized  boroughs  had                                                                    
resources and organization.                                                                                                     
Mr.  O'Hare  answered  that  he would  follow  up  with  the                                                                    
information.  He detailed  that  communities in  unorganized                                                                    
boroughs  called  the   state  emergency  operations  center                                                                    
directly  and the  state acted  as their  responding borough                                                                    
with support.                                                                                                                   
Commissioner  Hummel  moved  on  to discuss  the  Office  of                                                                    
Veterans Affairs on slide 15.  The office was small in size,                                                                    
but  it  assisted  nearly 58,000  Alaskans  with  state  and                                                                    
federal VA  [U.S. Department of Veterans'  Affairs] benefits                                                                    
requests; the number represented  an increase of over 10,000                                                                    
Alaskans assisted in  FY 14 and reflected a  workload of 7.5                                                                    
clients  per day  per employee.  The office  assisted Alaska                                                                    
veterans in receiving over $222  million in federally funded                                                                    
medical  care,  $244 million  in  direct  federal funds  for                                                                    
disability compensation payments,  4,605 students (including                                                                    
veterans  and  eligible  family members)  in  receiving  $74                                                                    
million   in  federally   funded  education   or  vocational                                                                    
rehabilitation  benefits,  and   5,208  Alaska  veterans  in                                                                    
obtaining  home loan  certificates  resulting  in over  $1.4                                                                    
billion in guaranteed loans. She  specified it was the first                                                                    
time the VA home loan program passed $1 billion in Alaska.                                                                      
3:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman stated  that all  of the  committee members                                                                    
had veterans  in their  districts who did  not want  to deal                                                                    
with government  for one reason  or another. He  wondered if                                                                    
there was a  phone number to provide  to individuals needing                                                                    
medical help and other.                                                                                                         
Commissioner   Hummel  replied   in  the   affirmative.  She                                                                    
stressed  that  DMVA  operated  as  ombudsman;  it  was  the                                                                    
department's  job  to  connect   Alaska's  veterans  to  the                                                                    
services  and entitlements  they  had  earned through  their                                                                    
service. On behalf of the  Verdie Bowen, the director of the                                                                    
Office of Veterans  Affairs, she believed he  would tell the                                                                    
committee he  dealt with people daily  who were off-the-grid                                                                    
or distrustful  of big government. The  department connected                                                                    
person-to-person and  would go wherever needed  to help fill                                                                    
out  paperwork or  other. She  would  provide the  committee                                                                    
with the appropriate contact number.                                                                                            
Co-Chair   Neuman    referred   to    substantial   problems                                                                    
(potentially  the worst  in the  nation) with  the veterans'                                                                    
hospital  in Wasilla  according to  an investigation  by the                                                                    
federal  government. However,  there  was  a new,  federally                                                                    
funded  Native hospital  in Wasilla.  He  asked if  veterans                                                                    
could use the new hospital.                                                                                                     
Mr.  Doehl  replied  in the  affirmative.  He  detailed  the                                                                    
individuals needed to  coordinate with the VA  to have their                                                                    
care  transferred   over  to  the   Southcentral  Foundation                                                                    
Hospital  in Wasilla.  He noted  approximately 800  veterans                                                                    
were using  the new hospital  and had raved about  the level                                                                    
of  service.  He  spoke  to  the  one-stop-shopping  at  the                                                                    
facility  versus the  community-based  outpatient clinic  at                                                                    
the  VA in  Wasilla that  still  tried to  send patients  to                                                                    
Anchorage for  certain functions. He noted  individuals were                                                                    
required to get  preapproval from the VA to  utilize the new                                                                    
hospital, but the process was straightforward.                                                                                  
Co-Chair Neuman  asked about the difficulty  of the process.                                                                    
Mr. Doehl replied that he did  not know of a veteran who had                                                                    
been denied; it was the veteran's choice.                                                                                       
Co-Chair Neuman stated it was  probably the best news he had                                                                    
personally  received -  that  he could  help  spread to  his                                                                    
constituents - in a very long time.                                                                                             
Commissioner Hummel  agreed that it  was great news,  but it                                                                    
was worrisome  that people  did not know  about it.  Much of                                                                    
the  department's work  involved communication  outreach and                                                                    
more community  outreach. She  remarked that  the department                                                                    
believed  it had  everybody covered,  but there  were always                                                                    
people who did not get the word.                                                                                                
3:06:22 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  agreements with  other states  about                                                                    
providing the best price for  service if there were veterans                                                                    
requiring surgical  procedures. Mr. Doehl answered  that the                                                                    
VA was the direct care  provider of medical services and was                                                                    
responsible  for paying  for the  services. However,  the VA                                                                    
had  partnered   with  the   Alaska  Native   Tribal  Health                                                                    
Consortium (ANTHC)  and several  major hospitals  to provide                                                                    
cost-effective   care   closer    to   home.   Additionally,                                                                    
agreements were in  place in two different  programs to send                                                                    
veterans  out-of-state  if  the   service  could  be  better                                                                    
provided elsewhere.                                                                                                             
Co-Chair Neuman  asked for handouts outlining  services that                                                                    
could be passed on to constituents.                                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Saddler remarked  that the  Office of  Veterans'                                                                    
Affairs  published  an   excellent  pamphlet  annually  that                                                                    
described the  plethora of benefits provided  to veterans in                                                                    
Alaska.  He  asked  if  the   cooperation  with  the  Mat-Su                                                                    
hospital for  VA qualified veterans run  through the federal                                                                    
Veterans' Choice program.                                                                                                       
Mr. Doehl answered in the  negative. He detailed that Alaska                                                                    
had led the way  in direct contractual relationships between                                                                    
the VA  and different health providers  outside the program.                                                                    
He believed it  was the reason the process  was working much                                                                    
better  for veterans  in  Alaska than  some  of the  stories                                                                    
heard about the process out-of-state.                                                                                           
Representative  Wilson noted  that Alaska  was still  exempt                                                                    
due to the  Real ID Act; however, veterans still  had to use                                                                    
Fort  Wainright. She  asked if  veterans received  a special                                                                    
card in order to have something  to show if they only had an                                                                    
Alaska driver's license and no passport.                                                                                        
Mr.  Doehl  answered  that   the  Tanana  Chiefs  Conference                                                                    
facilities in  Fairbanks had the same  relationship with the                                                                    
Southcentral   Foundation  the   committee  had   just  been                                                                    
discussing. There  were means for  individuals to  work with                                                                    
the  military police  squadron to  develop  other means  for                                                                    
access to a base such  as a defense base identification card                                                                    
someone  needed regular  access  to a  facility. There  were                                                                    
means with  the local  base security  for regular  users and                                                                    
other means the VA hospital  should be coordinating with the                                                                    
installation security staff.                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  disclosed  that  her  husband  is  a                                                                    
veteran.  She  asked if  the  issue  had  to be  dealt  with                                                                    
federally if  a veteran had  issues with a  veteran hospital                                                                    
on base. Alternatively,  she wondered if the  issue could be                                                                    
handled by DMVA.                                                                                                                
Mr.  Doehl answered  that the  department  could attempt  to                                                                    
intervene, but  the individual  would have  to go  through a                                                                    
federal  process either  through congressional  offices (who                                                                    
were adept at dealing with the  matters due to the number of                                                                    
veterans  in  Alaska  -  the  highest  per  capita)  or  the                                                                    
individual  could  seek to  have  its  care through  another                                                                    
cooperative provider in the Fairbanks area.                                                                                     
Representative Wilson  believed individuals got lost  in the                                                                    
3:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler remarked  that a  couple of  years back,                                                                    
with  the  department's  help,  legislation  had  passed  to                                                                    
provide  a  veteran  designation  on  the  State  of  Alaska                                                                    
driver's license or ID card.  He did not believe it sufficed                                                                    
to  get a  person on  a military  base, but  it was  another                                                                    
indication the state was proud  to acknowledge its veterans'                                                                    
service and  to help them  obtain other benefits  outside of                                                                    
the VA clinic or base access.  He reasoned if people did not                                                                    
know about the  publications from the DMVA, they  may not be                                                                    
aware of the veterans' driver licenses.                                                                                         
Representative Edgmon  returned to  slide 15.  He referenced                                                                    
Mr.  Doehl's statement  that Alaska  had  among the  highest                                                                    
veterans  per capita.  He noted  it  had been  that way  for                                                                    
numerous   years.  He   was   working   on  legal   services                                                                    
legislation  and  had  been  surprised  to  learn  how  many                                                                    
veterans  utilized  the  legal  services. He  asked  if  the                                                                    
profile of  Alaska's veteran  community followed  the normal                                                                    
population curve  (i.e. younger  and older  veterans, single                                                                    
and married  veterans, etcetera).  He wondered  how Medicaid                                                                    
expansion tied into the services  provided by the department                                                                    
given it had only been around since September.                                                                                  
Mr. Doehl  answered that the department  had provided copies                                                                    
of a recent survey of  the state's veteran population to the                                                                    
finance  subcommittee; it  would  be provided  to the  House                                                                    
Finance  Committee   as  well.  There  were   around  75,000                                                                    
veterans  in Alaska,  but  the number  was  growing about  5                                                                    
percent per year. He detailed  that the incoming individuals                                                                    
were young and most  were married with children; individuals                                                                    
that were not  retiring out of the service,  but were coming                                                                    
in  after completing  somewhere between  5 and  15 years  of                                                                    
service.  He would  follow  up on  the  question related  to                                                                    
Medicaid  expansion and  its impact  on the  specific group.                                                                    
The  department believed  there was  a significant  group in                                                                    
the hundreds to thousands who  getting access to VA provided                                                                    
healthcare earned through military  service, took care of an                                                                    
obligation that would otherwise be assumed by Medicaid.                                                                         
Representative Edgmon  referenced an inquiry generated  at a                                                                    
meeting in Dillingham  with a number of  veterans around the                                                                    
table.  He had  been  surprised at  the  number of  veterans                                                                    
living in the Dillingham community.  He detailed a number of                                                                    
the individuals  would fit the Medicaid  expansion recipient                                                                    
Commissioner   Hummel  reiterated   that  Alaska   had  more                                                                    
veterans per  capita than any  other state. She  referred to                                                                    
Mr. Doehl's testimony  the number of veterans  in Alaska was                                                                    
75,000 and  climbing. She relayed  that young  veterans were                                                                    
increasing  the fastest.  There would  be a  big bulge  that                                                                    
would  eventually  taper  off,   but  the  majority  of  the                                                                    
individuals had combat experience.                                                                                              
3:14:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Hummel   moved  to  slide  16   and  addressed                                                                    
measures  and results  of the  Office of  Veterans' Affairs.                                                                    
She  noted  that  for  2015,  the federal  VA  had  not  yet                                                                    
finished  calculating  all  of   the  benefits  provided  to                                                                    
Alaskans;   therefore,  the   number   on   the  graph   was                                                                    
anticipated to  increase by  approximately $10  million. She                                                                    
turned  to slide  17  and provided  an  introduction to  the                                                                    
Alaska  Military Youth  Academy (AMYA).  The department  was                                                                    
proud  of  the  program  and  over  the  past  year  it  had                                                                    
restructured  the cadre  organization  of  platoons and  the                                                                    
dining facility staff  in order to save  money. She detailed                                                                    
there  had been  substantial reductions  in overtime  costs;                                                                    
three dining facility positions  had been eliminated without                                                                    
a reduction in quality of service to at risk youth.                                                                             
Representative  Wilson requested  numbers  of enrolled  AMYA                                                                    
students  for  the  fall  and  spring.  Commissioner  Hummel                                                                    
replied the department would follow up with the numbers.                                                                        
Representative  Wilson remarked  that several  years earlier                                                                    
there had been  an issue with ensuring  high school dropouts                                                                    
got to AMYA. She asked if the issue was ongoing.                                                                                
Commissioner  Hummel  asked  if  Representative  Wilson  was                                                                    
saying  in the  past there  had been  a lack  of information                                                                    
from the high schools identifying dropouts.                                                                                     
Representative Wilson replied in the affirmative.                                                                               
Commissioner   Hummel   answered   that  the   academy   had                                                                    
admissions officers  and provided  outreach to  the schools.                                                                    
She believed  disclosing a list  of dropouts was  probably a                                                                    
privacy act  issue. She  did not  expect AMYA  would receive                                                                    
the  information   directly  from  the  schools   or  school                                                                    
district.  However, the  schools were  knowledgeable of  the                                                                    
program's existence,  which marketed throughout  the schools                                                                    
and  social  agencies.  She  did not  know  if  the  academy                                                                    
received a  list of high  school dropouts, but she  would be                                                                    
surprised if it did.                                                                                                            
Mr.  Doehl answered  that the  department was  not currently                                                                    
receiving the information, but it  would follow up with more                                                                    
detail.  He  noted the  department  had  just recently  sent                                                                    
requested  information  to  Representative  Gara  on  social                                                                    
agency interactions.                                                                                                            
3:16:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Wilson noted she  had previously had DMVA [as                                                                    
a   finance   subcommittee]   and  believed   that   statute                                                                    
designated the information  was to be provided  to DMVA. She                                                                    
believed AMYA's primary  goal was to help  students get back                                                                    
on track and  into school to complete  credits. She surmised                                                                    
that  without  the  list  the   academy  would  probably  be                                                                    
spending significant  time and money on  trying to determine                                                                    
who the students were.                                                                                                          
Commissioner  Hummel  answered  that  the  department  would                                                                    
follow up.                                                                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Saddler had  been informed  there had  been some                                                                    
problem with  the academy's  educational component  that was                                                                    
not qualified  as a grade A  or upper level program  when it                                                                    
came  to U.S.  Department of  Defense recruiting.  He stated                                                                    
that  for  some reason  an  academy  graduate had  not  been                                                                    
scored for recruiting  purposes as highly as  a student from                                                                    
a regular, public, private, or charter school.                                                                                  
Mr.  Doehl answered  that in  the past  there had  been some                                                                    
confusion about the value of  an AMYA diploma. The issue had                                                                    
been  rectified and  it had  become recognizable  as a  high                                                                    
school  diploma.  He  detailed   that  a  general  education                                                                    
diploma  (GED) was  a notch  down,  but a  diploma from  the                                                                    
academy counted as the equivalent  to a high school diploma.                                                                    
He  added that  regulations  specified  the academy  diploma                                                                    
should be considered a high school diploma.                                                                                     
Vice-Chair Saddler understood the  AMYA diploma qualified as                                                                    
a high  school diploma, but  he had  heard there had  been a                                                                    
question about  whether it "made  the grade" and  if someone                                                                    
had to go through  additional training before being accepted                                                                    
as a recruit.                                                                                                                   
3:18:50 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Munoz spoke  to the  high school  qualifying                                                                    
exam  (HSQE)  requirements  that  had  been  eliminated  [in                                                                    
2015]. She  asked if  previous students  who had  not passed                                                                    
the HSQE  had been afforded  an opportunity to pass  or take                                                                    
the test  [in the  academy]. She  surmised perhaps  the test                                                                    
had not been required for AMYA recruits.                                                                                        
Mr. Doehl would follow up on  the question. He referred to a                                                                    
change in  the GED  that had  become retroactive.  Given the                                                                    
change, the department anticipated  having some students who                                                                    
previously  took the  GED who  passed; however,  the academy                                                                    
was still  assessing how to  reach back to the  students and                                                                    
to  determine  what role  the  HSQE  played in  the  credits                                                                    
received by students at AMYA  who then attempted to graduate                                                                    
at  their   home  high  school   or  at  the   academy.  His                                                                    
understanding was that the exit requirements did not exist.                                                                     
Co-Chair Neuman  stated that in the  past federal recruiters                                                                    
had  been dealing  with federal  regulations on  home school                                                                    
students and had not recognized  their diplomas. He asked if                                                                    
the issue had been resolved.  He added that the students had                                                                    
been required  to go  back to  community colleges  to obtain                                                                    
special credits in other classes.                                                                                               
Mr.  Doehl asked  if Co-Chair  Neuman  was referencing  home                                                                    
school  programs outside  of AMYA.  He noted  those programs                                                                    
were outside of his expertise.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair Neuman  specified he was  referring to  home school                                                                    
programs  where students  had  state identification  numbers                                                                    
from  the  Department  of Education  and  Early  Development                                                                    
Mr.  Doehl  answered  that  he  would  follow  up  with  the                                                                    
information.  He  was  not familiar  enough  with  the  home                                                                    
school program  in Alaska and  how the recruiters  had dealt                                                                    
with those  high school diplomas.  However, for  purposes of                                                                    
academy accessions it was not a show stopper.                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Neuman noted  that  there  were 10,000  homeschool                                                                    
kids in Alaska  doing a good job who would  like to join the                                                                    
military. He added that his son  was one of the students who                                                                    
had experienced issues with the situation.                                                                                      
Mr.  Doehl  answered  that  the   prior  year  four  of  the                                                                    
recommendations   of   the  congressional   delegation   had                                                                    
included  home  schoolers. He  gave  assurance  that at  the                                                                    
highest  level of  the military  the  issue was  not a  show                                                                    
3:21:14 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Hummel briefly  highlighted AMYA  measures and                                                                    
results and  the percent of  eligible cadets who  received a                                                                    
GED or high  school diploma (by graduating  class and fiscal                                                                    
year) on slide  18. She pointed to a drop  in the graduating                                                                    
class  related to  the GED  in 2014  due to  the changes  in                                                                    
standardization in 2014. She skipped slide 19.                                                                                  
Mr. Doehl spoke  to a look-back with  funding source changes                                                                    
on slide  20. He pointed out  that in 2007 AMYA  had been an                                                                    
interagency transfer from DEED and  had not been included in                                                                    
DMVA's budget  numbers. He detailed the  current DMVA budget                                                                    
was  within  $240,000  of  its  2007  budget;  the  increase                                                                    
represented  1.8  percent  growth  over  11  years  or  0.17                                                                    
percent annual growth rate.                                                                                                     
Commissioner  Hummel  moved  to  a pie  chart  on  slide  21                                                                    
showing  DMVA's share  of  Alaska's  General Fund  operating                                                                    
budget.  The  department  represented 0.66  percent  of  the                                                                    
overall state budget. She turned  to slide 22 that showed an                                                                    
image  of  an  iceberg.  She detailed  the  portion  of  the                                                                    
iceberg  above   the  water's  surface   represented  DMVA's                                                                    
requested state  General Fund dollars  of $18.4  million for                                                                    
FY 17; the portion of  the iceberg below the water's surface                                                                    
reflected  federal  dollars  received.  She  elaborated  the                                                                    
slide  showed   slightly  under  $500  million   in  federal                                                                    
funding;  however, the  number  was closer  to $530  million                                                                    
because the  slide did  not include  $30 million  in federal                                                                    
receipts coming  through the  Division of  Homeland Security                                                                    
and Emergency Management.                                                                                                       
Mr. Doehl moved to slide  25 titled "Personal Services Look-                                                                    
Back." The department had seen  growth of $10 million in its                                                                    
personal services account for  contractual pay increases. He                                                                    
specified  that when  removing  personal  services from  the                                                                    
equation,  the  department's  costs   had  dropped  by  $5.6                                                                    
million over  the past  11 years.  He directed  attention to                                                                    
slide  26 related  to budgeted  positions to  illustrate the                                                                    
point.  He  noted  the department  currently  had  47  fewer                                                                    
positions than in  2017. He detailed it was one  of the ways                                                                    
DMVA  had  strived  to  be more  effective  with  the  money                                                                    
appropriated  by the  legislature over  the years.  Over the                                                                    
past   11  years   some  things   had  changed   within  the                                                                    
department, including  the addition of the  Alaska Aerospace                                                                    
Corporation into  the DMVA budget. He  noted the corporation                                                                    
currently  received  zero  state General  Fund  dollars.  He                                                                    
elaborated  that by  restructuring  some of  the money,  the                                                                    
department had  grown the Office  of Veterans'  Affairs into                                                                    
providing 17  veterans' service  officers statewide  and had                                                                    
moved them  off-base to a  more accessible  location. Slides                                                                    
27 through  30 largely addressed  the rise and fall  of AMYA                                                                    
becoming part of the DMVA's  primary budget, the addition of                                                                    
the Alaska  Aerospace Corporation, changing types  of money,                                                                    
and incoming/outgoing General  Funds.  He moved  to slide 31                                                                    
titled "FY2017 Budget Highlights."                                                                                              
Mr. Doehl  directed attention to  slide 31 related to  FY 17                                                                    
budget   highlights.   The   department  was   facing   some                                                                    
unallocated  reductions  that  would  be  addressed  by  the                                                                    
deletion   of   positions,   reduction  of   services,   and                                                                    
implementation of furloughs for  exempt employees (i.e. DMVA                                                                    
directors  and commissioner).  The department  had submitted                                                                    
its recommendations  to the Office  of the Governor  and was                                                                    
awaiting  approval; the  approved  recommendations would  be                                                                    
reflected in an amended budget item.                                                                                            
3:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner   Hummel  addressed   two  increments   in  the                                                                    
governor's FY  17 budget  on slide  32. She  emphasized that                                                                    
even with the two areas  of growth, DMVA was within $220,000                                                                    
of its  2007 budget. She  provided further detail  on slides                                                                    
33  and  34. She  specified  the  department was  requesting                                                                    
$120,000  General  Funds for  obtaining  the  services of  a                                                                    
consultancy   for    enhancing   military    community   and                                                                    
legislative partnerships  in order to address  the potential                                                                    
impact of  base realignment and  closure (BRAC) as  early as                                                                    
FY 18. The department had to  be prepared to inform the U.S.                                                                    
Department of Defense and  congressional policy and decision                                                                    
making processes,  which would specifically  require seeking                                                                    
expertise  in the  areas  of  federal legislation  affecting                                                                    
military   base   viability,   reducing  the   energy   cost                                                                    
differences  between  Alaska  and outside  bases,  improving                                                                    
partnerships  between host  communities and  military bases,                                                                    
and  developing  enhanced-use  leases. Focus  on  the  areas                                                                    
would  enable  DMVA  to  enhance  military,  community,  and                                                                    
legislative partnerships in order  to be better prepared for                                                                    
and  respond to  BRAC in  the future,  as well  as to  hedge                                                                    
against any proposed force structure decrements.                                                                                
Mr. Doehl addressed the second  increment the department was                                                                    
seeking  (outside of  a formulaic  increase in  the National                                                                    
Guard and Naval Militia Retirement  System), which was for a                                                                    
rural engagement  initiative to  stand up an  Alaska defense                                                                    
force  presence  in Southwest  Alaska  based  in Bethel  and                                                                    
would  address  several  things.   First,  the  Alaska  Army                                                                    
National Guard had  been drawn down over the  years in rural                                                                    
Alaska.  He detailed  that during  that time  the department                                                                    
had  over-concentrated  or   overcentralized  its  force  in                                                                    
Southcentral Alaska.  He elaborated that  in the event  of a                                                                    
mass  disaster,  such  as an  earthquake,  the  department's                                                                    
ability  to  provide  a   response  force  was  compromised.                                                                    
Second, the  department believed  the group would  address a                                                                    
need for  sensors as the  Arctic became more  accessible and                                                                    
commerce increased. Third,  it would provide more  of an on-                                                                    
the-ground  group  to  deal  with  the  unorganized  borough                                                                    
responses  to disasters.  Rather than  instantly turning  to                                                                    
the state,  it would provide  a means to export  and develop                                                                    
local  expertise  to  address  the issues.  He  relayed  the                                                                    
increment would be the subject  of a much longer briefing to                                                                    
be  held  Thursday  night  of  the  present  week  during  a                                                                    
[legislative] budget subcommittee meeting.                                                                                      
3:28:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Doehl  turned to slides 35  through 38 related to  FY 16                                                                    
unallocated  reductions. There  had  been  $51.9 million  in                                                                    
unallocated  travel reductions  across three  divisions. The                                                                    
department   had   determined   the   reduction   would   be                                                                    
sustainable and it  was currently on track.  Slide 36 showed                                                                    
reductions to  Air and  Army Guard  facilities. He  moved to                                                                    
slide 37 and  addressed where the reductions  had been made.                                                                    
A  position had  been deleted  in the  commissioner's office                                                                    
that  had been  partially funded  with General  Fund dollars                                                                    
(the  remaining   fund  source  had  been   federal  receipt                                                                    
authority).  He  furthered  that   six  positions  had  been                                                                    
deleted  in  AMYA and  a  cost  of living  allowance  (COLA)                                                                    
increase  had   been  reduced  under  Craig   Campbell  (the                                                                    
president  and   chief  executive  officer  of   the  Alaska                                                                    
Aerospace Corporation  under DMVA),  who had  always refused                                                                    
COLA increases  in the  Alaska Aerospace  Corporation. Slide                                                                    
38 showed how the decreases  had impacted the department. He                                                                    
detailed   that  pink   slips  had   been  given   to  three                                                                    
individuals  when the  six  positions  had been  eliminated.                                                                    
Additionally, two more individuals  had left their positions                                                                    
once notified  of their  impending job  loss. He  noted that                                                                    
heeding Representative Thompson's  advice the department had                                                                    
not focused  eliminating low  earning positions;  50 percent                                                                    
of the cuts  (including two occupied positions)  had been to                                                                    
the expert/professional level  position range. The remaining                                                                    
50 percent impacted technical and  entry level positions. He                                                                    
relayed that most  of the positions eliminated  were at JBER                                                                    
or  in   Anchorage.  The  positions   in  Kodiak   had  been                                                                    
eliminated by the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation.                                                                     
Vice-Chair Saddler noted that  the legislature had tried not                                                                    
to allow  for the contracted  increase in wages  "because we                                                                    
knew exactly  what would happen,  has happened -  six people                                                                    
lost their  positions." He wondered whether  the individuals                                                                    
would rather  have maintained their employment  at lower pay                                                                    
or  other.  He  referred  to  the  department's  request  of                                                                    
$120,000 for  a consultant for BRAC-proofing.  He knew there                                                                    
had   been   other   consultant   work.   He   referred   to                                                                    
recommendations and  believed the department  should utilize                                                                    
the  money  doing  something for  BRAC-proofing  instead  of                                                                    
studying how  to do it. He  reasoned money would be  hard to                                                                    
come by  and it would  be increasingly  hard to come  by for                                                                    
outside experts.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman noted  the department may even  have to look                                                                    
for  some outside  funding for  the  item. He  added it  was                                                                    
difficult to try to get the funding in the budget.                                                                              
Representative  Kawasaki relayed  the Fairbanks  borough had                                                                    
consistently  spent  money  annually  on  BRAC-proofing  and                                                                    
consultants.  He  thought maybe  there  were  some ways  the                                                                    
department  could  work  with  municipalities  with  a  high                                                                    
number of military bases.                                                                                                       
Commissioner  Hummel answered  that when  she and  Mr. Doehl                                                                    
had  come into  their positions  they had  seen there  was a                                                                    
contract  in place  for consultancy,  which  had been  about                                                                    
three times  more than the  current request.  She elaborated                                                                    
they had felt the state was  not getting a good deal for the                                                                    
money; therefore, they  had let the contract  expire and had                                                                    
not  requested  a  contract for  the  current  fiscal  year.                                                                    
However, the  department had realized with  the "poaching of                                                                    
425 and the  BRAC standing up again,"  the department really                                                                    
needed help from someone with  expertise inside the beltway.                                                                    
She  continued that  one of  the  consultants contracted  to                                                                    
DMVA in  the past had  been the individual who  had assisted                                                                    
U.S Senator  Dan Sullivan's  office in  the creation  of the                                                                    
NDAA (National  Defense Authorization  Act), which  had been                                                                    
accepted and would  force the U.S. Department  of Defense to                                                                    
develop a  "conops" [concept of  operations] for  the Arctic                                                                    
and to resource the operations  there. She relayed the funds                                                                    
would  not be  directed at  numerous studies,  but would  go                                                                    
towards an ounce  of prevention in order to  get some inside                                                                    
expertise  on  how  to  make  things  happen  in  Washington                                                                    
3:32:58 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  wondered why the committee  had not                                                                    
heard   much   information   about  the   Alaska   Aerospace                                                                    
Corporation.  Mr.  Doehl answered  that  there  had been  no                                                                    
General Fund appropriation request  for the corporation. The                                                                    
governor  was  currently  evaluating   a  proposal  for  the                                                                    
corporation to become privatized.  He explained that without                                                                    
a budget  "tie-in" the department  had not found a  good fit                                                                    
within  the  committee  process  in  which  to  discuss  the                                                                    
Representative  Kawasaki would  like to  see what  the money                                                                    
had gone  to in  the past several  years. He  specified that                                                                    
substantial   General  Fund   dollars   had   gone  to   the                                                                    
corporation.  He   elaborated  that  the  director   of  the                                                                    
corporation's  travel  budget  had  been  roughly  what  the                                                                    
entire department's travel budget  cut had been. He reasoned                                                                    
that as  long as the  director was  acting on behalf  of the                                                                    
state,  the fund  source  did not  matter  (i.e. federal  or                                                                    
state UGF) and the corporation should be held accountable.                                                                      
Representative  Wilson  asked  about the  proposed  increase                                                                    
associated with  rural engagement.  Mr. Doehl  answered $1.3                                                                    
Representative Wilson asked what  the increment was for. Mr.                                                                    
Doehl answered  that DMVA envisioned  a very small  cadre of                                                                    
three  to  four  individuals  on state  active  duty  to  do                                                                    
exercised  design and  administrate  the program.  Primarily                                                                    
the funds  would go to paying  for participation, exercises,                                                                    
and procurements of some small things.                                                                                          
3:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Thompson  clarified  that  the  request  was  $1.3                                                                    
million in the operating budget  and there was an additional                                                                    
$1  million  request  in the  capital  budget  for  "mission                                                                    
creep." He  thanked the presenters for  the presentation. He                                                                    
asked  Commissioner Hummel  to  introduce the  staff in  the                                                                    
audience. He  thanked the individuals  for their  service to                                                                    
Alaska and the nation.                                                                                                          
Commissioner Hummel introduced the department staff.                                                                            
Co-Chair   Thompson  thanked   the  individuals   for  their                                                                    
service. He discussed the agenda for the following day.                                                                         
3:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
The meeting was adjourned at 3:37 p.m.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
UA FY17 HFIN Overview - 2.5.16.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
FY17 DMVA House Finance Overview -- 02-08-2016 FINAL.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
Industry support letters--Marine Transportation.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
Letter-HFIN overview questions 2-9-16.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
Distributions for the Benefit of UA.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
presidential performance comp fy16.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
UA performance framework.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
UAF Response - KSMSC.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response
UAF Powerplant update.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
DOT Response HFIN
HFIN UA Overview Response
Year to Date Fundraising_12-31-15.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
UAS response to House Finance inquiries--Marine Transportation.pdf HFIN 2/8/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN UA Overview Response