Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/08/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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01:34:44 PM Start
01:34:53 PM HB256 || HB257
11:59:59 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 256 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 257 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Operating Budget Amendments
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 256                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     loan  program  expenses  of  state  government  and  for                                                                   
     certain    programs,    capitalizing    funds,    making                                                                   
     reappropriations,  making  supplemental  appropriations,                                                                   
     and  making appropriations  under art.  IX, sec.  17(c),                                                                   
     Constitution   of  the   State  of   Alaska,  from   the                                                                   
     constitutional  budget reserve  fund; and providing  for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 257                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     capital    expenses    of   the    state's    integrated                                                                   
     comprehensive mental  health program; and  providing for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:34:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman discussed the meeting agenda. The committee                                                                     
would hear amendments to the operating budget.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1 (copy on file)                                                                       
[Note: due to the length of the amendment it has not been                                                                       
fully included in the minutes]:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     In  January 2015,  the FAA contacted  the Department  of                                                                   
     Revenue   regarding  tracking   the   proceeds  of   the                                                                   
     aviation fuel  tax to ensure that the state  was meeting                                                                   
     federal  requirements   (federal  register   volume  64,                                                                   
     number 30,  page 7716--February  16, 1999).  The federal                                                                   
     government  requires proceeds  of  aviation fuel  taxes-                                                                   
     and  other   revenue  from  airports   constructed  with                                                                   
     federal  receipts-to be spent  for capital or  operating                                                                   
     costs  of  airports.  Previously,  the State  (and  FAA)                                                                   
     considered  expenditure   tracking  unnecessary  because                                                                   
     annual  state  expenditures  on  airports  far  exceeded                                                                   
     annual aviation revenue.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Three  fund  codes  were  created  in  response  to  the                                                                   
     federal  concern for more  explicit tracking.  Code 1239                                                                   
     (Aviation   Fuel   Tax)    will   be   used   to   track                                                                   
     appropriations  of aviation  fuel tax collections,  code                                                                   
     1244  (Rural Airport  Receipts)  will be  used to  track                                                                   
     appropriations  of rural airport lease,  other receipts/                                                                   
     and  code 1245  (Rural  Airport  Receipts  I/A) will  be                                                                   
     used  to track  appropriations of  rural airport  lease/                                                                   
     other  receipts  from other  state  agencies. The  codes                                                                   
     are classified  as dedicated  (Other) funds (due  to the                                                                   
     federally  restricted use  of airport  revenue) and  may                                                                   
     be used  in the DOT&PF  budget for capital  or operating                                                                   
     appropriations  for  airports. The  reclassification  of                                                                   
     expenditures  from general  funds  to dedicated  revenue                                                                   
     will  also   require  the   Department  of   Revenue  to                                                                   
     reclassify the revenue stream as restricted revenue.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Aviation  Fuel Tax receipts  will be appropriated  based                                                                   
     on  the most  recent  closed  fiscal year's  actual  tax                                                                   
     collections.  So  for  FY17,   the  appropriation  level                                                                   
     would  be the  amount of  FY15  collections, which  were                                                                   
     $4.7 million.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment is a net zero fund source change.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PETE ECKLUND,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  MARK NEUMAN,  explained                                                                   
the amendment.  He directed attention  to the  explanation on                                                                   
page 3 of the  amendment. He explained that there  had been a                                                                   
change to federal  law requiring the state to  track aviation                                                                   
fuel  tax  and leasing  revenue  and  show that  revenue  was                                                                   
being spent  on rural  airports. He  detailed that  three new                                                                   
tracking codes  had been  set up  by the Legislative  Finance                                                                   
Division. The  amendment was a  net zero fund  source change.                                                                   
He  furthered that  the system  would track  airport gas  tax                                                                   
and leasing revenues  the proper way and to  demonstrate that                                                                   
the  funds  were   spent  on  rural  airports,   per  federal                                                                   
government requirements.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2 (copy on file):                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:    Commerce,    Community    and    Economic                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Alaska Gasline Development Corporation                                                                      
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Gasline Development Corporation                                                                         
     ADD:  $6,231,600  In-State  Natural  Gas  Pipeline  Fund                                                                   
     (1229)                                                                                                                     
     $4,154,400  Alaska Liquefied  Natural  Gas Project  Fund                                                                   
     (1235)                                                                                                                     
     POSITIONS: Add: 26 Permanent Full-time Positions                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:                                                                                                               
     This  amendment  funds AGDC  in  FY17. All  funding  and                                                                   
     positions  in the agency  were removed in  the committee                                                                   
     substitute.  This  amendment  establishes AGDC's  FYI  7                                                                   
     operating  budget authority  at  $10,386.0 and  restores                                                                   
     26 positions.  The 60/40 split of funding  between codes                                                                   
     1229 and 1235  reflects the anticipated workload  of the                                                                   
     agency.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     AGDC's FY16 budget was $13,249.9 with 38 PCNs.                                                                             
     AGDC's  FY17 Governor's  Request was  $12,949.8 with  38                                                                   
     PCNs                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     This amendment  is a $2.6  million (20%)  reduction from                                                                   
     the Governor's  Request and a reduction of  12 full-time                                                                   
     positions.  Travel expenses  and  commodities have  been                                                                   
     reduced to reflect spending expectations.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The Corporation's  two allocations will  be consolidated                                                                   
     into  one  allocation.  This structure  allows  AGDC  to                                                                   
     implement the  organizational changes necessary  to more                                                                   
     accurately     reflect    the    corporation's     three                                                                   
     programmatic  responsibilities  - Alaska  LNG, ASAP  and                                                                   
     In-State Gas Aggregation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund explained  that Amendment 2 restored  funding for                                                                   
Alaska Gasline Development  Corporation (AGDC) for  FY 17. He                                                                   
detailed  that the  amendment  reflected a  $2.6 million  (20                                                                   
percent)   reduction   from  the   governor's   request.   He                                                                   
elaborated  that after  holding  hearings  on AGDC's  budget,                                                                   
the  legislature   asked  AGDC   to  further  examine   their                                                                   
numbers.  The amendment  represented  numbers  AGDC had  come                                                                   
back  with. The  amendment  also  reduced positions  from  38                                                                   
positions  to 26  positions.  He  explained that  there  were                                                                   
existing funds in  the AKLNG Fund [Alaska Liquid  Natural Gas                                                                   
Fund] to  pay for  the state's share  of pre-FEED  [Front End                                                                   
Engineering  and   Design]  activities  (the   completion  of                                                                   
technical  work).  He  noted  that  there  had  been  funding                                                                   
requests  from the  Department  of Law  (DOL), Department  of                                                                   
Natural  Resources (DNR),  and Department  of Revenue  (DOR),                                                                   
which  were not  included in  the amendment.  He believed  it                                                                   
was Co-Chair Neuman's  intent to hold additional  hearings on                                                                   
the request from DOL, DOR, and DNR for pre-FEED activity.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman replied  in the  affirmative. He  reiterated                                                                   
that the amendment would fully fund AGDC up to FEED.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund agreed.  He detailed that AGDC already  had funds                                                                   
appropriated  for  cash  calls  in  the  AKLNG  Fund  to  get                                                                   
through the state's share of pre-FEED technical work.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  did not know how the governor  felt that                                                                   
AKLNG  (the large  pipeline project)  would be  short-funded.                                                                   
He spoke  to the In-state Natural  Gas Pipeline Fund  and did                                                                   
not  believe the  state  could  afford to  fund  a large  and                                                                   
small  pipeline simultaneously.  He remarked  that a  certain                                                                   
amount  of   the  AGDC  request   related  to   finishing  an                                                                   
environmental   impact   statement   (EIS)  for   the   small                                                                   
pipeline.  He noted that  the legislature  had been  told the                                                                   
EIS could  be delayed  by another  year in  order to  provide                                                                   
time to  get a  fuller picture  on whether  or not the  large                                                                   
line would go  forward. He did not support  spending money on                                                                   
two  pipelines  when only  one  would  come to  fruition.  He                                                                   
wanted to  know the reason  for not including  the governor's                                                                   
request on the large pipeline.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:41:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman replied  that the committee  had denied  the                                                                   
governor's request  for DNR,  DOR, and DOL  in order  to hear                                                                   
from the  departments in  later hearings  how the  additional                                                                   
money  would be  spent. He  referred to  recent news  reports                                                                   
that the  plan on how the  state would move forward  with the                                                                   
gas  pipeline was  changing.  He wanted  to  ensure that  the                                                                   
committee  was  in  the  know;  therefore,  they  would  hold                                                                   
additional  hearings. He stated  that AGDC  was funded  up to                                                                   
that point [through FY 17].                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund  affirmed that  the  funding  for AGDC  and  the                                                                   
state's  share  of  the  costs   for  pre-FEED  activity  was                                                                   
already in  the AKLNG fund,  which would continue.  He agreed                                                                   
that that the  co-chair intended to hold further  hearings on                                                                   
the requests from DOL, DNR, and DOR.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  if  the amendment  was only  $2.6                                                                   
million less than  the governor's request. He  asked if there                                                                   
were additional  funds  the governor had  requested for  DOR,                                                                   
DOL, and DNR that were not included in the amendment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  explained  that the $2.6  million reduction  had                                                                   
come from AGDC  after the corporation had  further considered                                                                   
its budgetary needs for FY 17.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman remarked  that AGDC  understood the  state's                                                                   
current fiscal situation  and was doing its  part by reducing                                                                   
its budget.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki spoke to  the AGDC budget  reduction                                                                   
and wondered  whether it  really needed all  of the  funds if                                                                   
funds  would  not be  allocated  to  DOL,  DNR, and  DOR.  He                                                                   
wondered  if the  department would  be able  to complete  its                                                                   
mission without the rest of the funds.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  understood, but stated that  the legislature                                                                   
did not  know how much money  the departments  needed because                                                                   
there had been significant changes.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund explained  that  the  state's cost  of  pre-FEED                                                                   
technical work was  already funded; it had  been appropriated                                                                   
the past fall  during special session. The agency  had all of                                                                   
the  funds required  to  get  through pre-FEED.  The  state's                                                                   
share  of the  technical  work for  pre-FEED  was funded  and                                                                   
would continue.  The requests for  DOL, DNR, and DOR  were on                                                                   
top of  and beyond  the technical  work that  all four  AKLNG                                                                   
project  partners paid  for jointly.  He  clarified that  the                                                                   
committee   would  explore  the   departments'  requests   in                                                                   
further detail in coming weeks.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  explained that the conceptual  amendment                                                                   
would delete the  funding dedicated to the EIS  for the small                                                                   
pipeline.  He remarked  that the  legislature  could look  at                                                                   
the  issue the  following year  once progress  on the  larger                                                                   
pipeline had  been determined. He  did not believe  the state                                                                   
could afford  to pay for two  pipelines at the same  time. He                                                                   
detailed that  AGDC had stated it  could put off work  on the                                                                   
small  pipeline EIS  for one  year  without any  harm to  the                                                                   
project. He  reasoned that  it was  not the favored  pipeline                                                                   
anyway.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  believed  the Alaska  Stand  Alone  Project                                                                   
(ASAP)  had   started  the  environmental  work,   which  was                                                                   
expected  to be  completed  in the  current  year. He  stated                                                                   
that the  work from the  project could  be sold back  to some                                                                   
of the  other companies;  it had  been part  of the  original                                                                   
agreement.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:45:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman MAINTAINED  his  OBJECTION.  He stated  that                                                                   
the  environmental   work  was  needed  and  the   state  was                                                                   
expected to be reimbursed for the cost.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson stated  that  the [environmental]  process                                                                   
had already  been started and  significant funds  had already                                                                   
been spent.  He reasoned  that if the  process was  halted it                                                                   
would have  to start over from  the beginning and  would cost                                                                   
the state much more money.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara relayed  that  he had  spoken with  AGDC                                                                   
and had been told  that the EIS work would not  have to start                                                                   
over; the  work would be  delayed for  one year and  it would                                                                   
not cause damage  to the project. The result  would be saving                                                                   
money while  the state determined  which pipeline  would move                                                                   
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Kawasaki                                                                                                        
OPPOSED:   Edgmon,   Gattis,   Guttenberg,   Munoz,   Pruitt,                                                                   
Saddler, Wilson, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to amend Amendment 2 FAILED (2/9).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION  to Amendment  2.                                                                   
There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  3 (copy  on file)                                                                   
[Note: for full amendment explanation see copy on file]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     PART A                                                                                                                     
     DEPARTMENT: Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                           
     APPROPRIATION: Highways, Aviation and Facilities                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Northern Region Highways and Aviation                                                                          
     ADD: $1,414,000 Vehicle Rental Tax Receipts 1200                                                                           
     DELETE: $1,414,000 General Funds 1004                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     PART B                                                                                                                     
     DEPARTMENT: Law                                                                                                            
     APPROPRIATION: Criminal Division                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: $340,000 UGF (1004)                                                                                            
     POSITIONS: ADD: 2 PFT                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     PART C                                                                                                                     
     DEPARTMENT: Law                                                                                                            
     APPROPRIATION: Criminal Division                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Criminal Appeals/Special Litigation                                                                            
     ADD: $318,700 UGF 1004                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:48:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  explained  that the amendment  would use  $1.414                                                                   
million  of   available  vehicle  rental  tax   receipts  for                                                                   
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (DOT)                                                                   
northern region  highways and  aviation and would  reduce the                                                                   
Undesignated General  Fund (UGF) funding  to DOT by  the same                                                                   
amount. He detailed  that the amendment would  add the $1.414                                                                   
million on top  of $5 million in vehicle rental  tax that had                                                                   
already  been used  in DOT.  Part  B of  the amendment  would                                                                   
allocate  $340,000 to  the  DOL for  a  district attorney  in                                                                   
Dillingham.  Part  C  would  add   $318,700  for  the  public                                                                   
integrity unit in DOL.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg asked  about the  impact on  Parks                                                                   
and  Management and  Access allocation  [explanation  section                                                                   
of Part A of Amendment 3].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund answered  that the information had  been included                                                                   
for explanation  purposes.  He detailed  that the monies  had                                                                   
already  been appropriated  to  the budget.  The  information                                                                   
specified  where other  vehicle rental  tax was  appropriated                                                                   
in the  budget; the amendment  would make no changes  to that                                                                   
area of the budget.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  wondered  if  the fund  source  was                                                                   
being  utilized  because there  were  additional  anticipated                                                                   
tax receipts through vehicle rental tax.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund replied  in the negative. He explained  that they                                                                   
had  looked back  to FY  15 collections;  the $1.414  million                                                                   
was the remaining  balance that had not yet been  used in the                                                                   
budget from FY 15 collections of vehicle rental tax.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  surmised that it reflected  an extra                                                                   
fund [vehicle rental  tax receipts] that could  be tapped and                                                                   
substituted  for General  Funds  (GF). Mr.  Ecklund  answered                                                                   
that  it was  an ongoing  vehicle rental  tax. The  amendment                                                                   
would use  a prior year's collections  of the tax  instead of                                                                   
a future  projection;  its availability  had been  overlooked                                                                   
until now.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler spoke  to  Part C  of  the amendment.  He                                                                   
noted that  he chaired  the DOL  budget subcommittee  and had                                                                   
asked the  department about  the purpose  of building  up the                                                                   
Public Integrity Unit.  He had wanted to ensure  there was no                                                                   
lack  of public  integrity  and  had  been assured  that  the                                                                   
funds would aid  the unit in providing faster  prosecution of                                                                   
police use  of force,  injuries or  deaths in the  Department                                                                   
of  Corrections  (DOC),  and fraud  perpetuated  against  the                                                                   
state primarily  in procurement. He understood  that the unit                                                                   
aimed to  increase public  confidence that  the crimes  would                                                                   
be promptly investigated.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:52:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  was concerned by Amendment  3. She was                                                                   
fine with using  $1.4 million of vehicle rental  tax in place                                                                   
of  GF to  take  care of  the  northern region  highway.  She                                                                   
believed  that when  people pay  tax on  their vehicles  they                                                                   
want the  funds to go  to roads. She  was concerned  that the                                                                   
amendment would take  GF money to fund actual  positions. She                                                                   
recalled  that  the  committee  had asked  DOL  to  determine                                                                   
areas  where work  could  be done  more  efficiently and  she                                                                   
surmised   that  the  department   believed  the   Dillingham                                                                   
district  attorney  office  would   be  more  efficient.  Her                                                                   
larger  concern was  that more  funds would  be allocated  to                                                                   
DOL. She asked  if there would be a new position  and whether                                                                   
it would  only have funding for  one year. She  was concerned                                                                   
that costs  may be offset in one  area that may not  be there                                                                   
the  following year.  She  did not  support  putting GF  into                                                                   
positions that may go away.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  replied that  the item  had been brought  to                                                                   
the  co-chairs by  the attorney  general  due to  significant                                                                   
concern  about corporate  fraud that DOL  believed should  be                                                                   
adjusted. He  asked Vice-Chair  Saddler to provide  a further                                                                   
explanation of the Public Integrity Unit.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  reiterated  his earlier  statement  that                                                                   
the  funds would  backfill  extra "investigatory  muscle"  to                                                                   
the investigation  unit. He added  that a new unit  would not                                                                   
be   established.   The   money    would   go   to   backfill                                                                   
investigation   capacity  that   had   diminished  as   other                                                                   
prosecutors  had been  reduced.  The goal  was  to have  some                                                                   
forensic   counting   expertise   and   other   investigatory                                                                   
horsepower  along with  some attorneys  who  were experts  in                                                                   
litigation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:54:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  requested  to   add  his  name   as  a                                                                   
cosponsor  to   the  amendment.   He  spoke  to   the  Public                                                                   
Integrity  Unit  and  explained  that  DOL was  not  able  to                                                                   
adequately  prosecute  white-collar   crime;  it  would  make                                                                   
money  for the state  if the  department had  the ability  to                                                                   
prosecute  the crimes  and recover  money  for fraud  against                                                                   
the  state.   He  believed   white-collar  crime   should  be                                                                   
prosecuted.  He mentioned  the necessity  for the  Dillingham                                                                   
office. He  restated that  the amendment  would give  DOL the                                                                   
power  to prosecute  crimes  that  were not  currently  being                                                                   
prosecuted.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  relayed that  the co-chairs had  looked hard                                                                   
at the  items to ensure  that they would  not cost  the state                                                                   
additional funds.  The expectation  was that the  investments                                                                   
would return  the money  it cost  to run  the unit and  would                                                                   
make Alaska a better place legally.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon   asserted  that  having   a  district                                                                   
attorney  in Dillingham  would  better serve  the region  and                                                                   
would save  money in the  Department of Public  Safety (DPS),                                                                   
DOC, DOL, and the Alaska Court System.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:56:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis struggled with  the first part  of the                                                                   
amendment. She understood  that the department  may need help                                                                   
to  address  white-collar  and  other  crimes.  She  did  not                                                                   
support changing  the fund source  in Part A of  Amendment 3.                                                                   
She would support splitting the amendment into three parts.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman explained  that  the amendment  replaced  GF                                                                   
money  with other  dollars  that  were available.  He  opined                                                                   
that  the  legislature  should  use the  available  funds  to                                                                   
reduce General Fund expenditures.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:58:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   MAINTAINED   her   OBJECTION.   She                                                                   
objected to  taking GF money  from northern regions  that may                                                                   
or may not  be available in the  future. She likened  it to a                                                                   
one-time increment.  She did not  support the change  in fund                                                                   
source.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  noted that every department's  funding ended                                                                   
at the end of  the fiscal year and started over  with the use                                                                   
of GF.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson responded that she understood that.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara remarked  that  he did  not believe  the                                                                   
amendment  took any money  from the  northern region  of DOT.                                                                   
He asked for detail.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  explained  there was  a net zero  change in  the                                                                   
amendment; the northern  region had the same  amount of money                                                                   
and would utilize the vehicle  rental tax of $1.4 million. He                                                                   
furthered that $1.4  million in UGF would be  subtracted from                                                                   
the department's  budget. The budget  was funded at  the same                                                                   
level with a change in fund source.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara,   Guttenberg,    Kawasaki,   Munoz,   Pruitt,                                                                   
Saddler, Edgmon, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                               
OPPOSED: Gattis, Wilson                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (9/2). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 3 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:00:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 4 (copy on file):                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Public Assistance Field Services                                                                               
     ADD: $500,000 General Funds 1004                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  The  Governor's   FY2017  proposed  budget                                                                   
     requested  a transfer of  $500.0 UGF from  Work Services                                                                   
     component  to Field Services  component for  Division of                                                                   
     Public  Assistance to maintain  needed staffing  levels.                                                                   
     This transaction  was requested to "true  up the budget"                                                                   
     to match  expenditures over  the past few  years. Public                                                                   
     Assistance has  internally made this transfer  through a                                                                   
     revised  program  approved through  0MB  in past  years.                                                                   
     This request  in FY20 17  was to enact this  transfer in                                                                   
     the budget.  The Legislative Finance  Analyst classified                                                                   
     this  transfer  as an  increment  request  instead of  a                                                                   
     transfer.  DPA   would  need  to  delete   at  least  10                                                                   
     positions  (with  the  corresponding   loss  of  federal                                                                   
     funds)  to  meet  this reduction.  This  would  severely                                                                   
     hamper  eligibility determinations  which could  lead to                                                                   
     federal non-compliance and a corrective action plan.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  explained the amendment. He  relayed that                                                                   
when the  committee had  addressed the  Department of  Health                                                                   
and Social  Services (DHSS) budget  the first time,  the item                                                                   
had  been  presented  by  the  department  as  an  increment.                                                                   
Subsequently, it  had been determined  that the item  had not                                                                   
been properly  categorized; it  was something the  department                                                                   
had  used to  transfer money  within  the appropriation  from                                                                   
Work Services  to Field  Services. The amendment  represented                                                                   
a transfer. He  stressed that taking the item as  a cut would                                                                   
cost the  state another $500,000  in federal funds  and would                                                                   
put  the state  at  risk of  a  corrective  action order  and                                                                   
significant  federal penalties.  The  amendment would  retain                                                                   
the  federal  funds  and  GF   and  kept  the  state  out  of                                                                   
compliance problems. He stated that it was a technical fix.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  appreciated   that  the  committee  was                                                                   
fixing  the  problem. He  requested  to  add  his name  as  a                                                                   
cosponsor to the amendment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  referred  to the  $500,000  federal                                                                   
funding  match.  He  asked  if   the  amendment  should  have                                                                   
federal  funds added  to  it. He  asked to  be  added to  the                                                                   
amendment as a cosponsor.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:01:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis wanted  to ensure  she understood  the                                                                   
amendment. She  surmised that  the $500,000 in  general funds                                                                   
would have an exact match of $500,000 in federal funds.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler agreed.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further OBJECTION, Amendment 4 was ADOPTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:02:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 5 (copy on file):                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Senior and Disabilities Services                                                                            
     ALLOCATION: Senior Community Based Grants                                                                                  
     ADD: $450,000 General Funds 1004                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Home  and Community  Based  Senior  Grants                                                                   
     fund   non-profit  agencies   to  provide  services   to                                                                   
     physically frail  individuals 60 years of  age and over,                                                                   
     individuals  of  any  age with  Alzheimer's  Disease  or                                                                   
     Related  Disorders  (ADRD),  and  caregivers  to  assist                                                                   
     these  Alaskans  to  maintain as  much  independence  as                                                                   
     possible  and improve  their  quality at  home  or in  a                                                                   
     community-based  setting. This  restores funding  to the                                                                   
     level proposed by the Governor.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  explained that the DHSS  subcommittee had                                                                   
proposed the  item as  a budget  cut; however, during  public                                                                   
testimony the  House Finance Committee had  heard significant                                                                   
public  interest for  maintaining  the services.  The  grants                                                                   
would  save  the  state  money  by  helping  senior  citizens                                                                   
remain  in  their  homes  instead   of  moving  to  expensive                                                                   
institutional care.  The amendment would reinstate  the funds                                                                   
[$450,000 GF] for senior community based grants.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  for verification  that the  amendment                                                                   
would save the state money.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler replied in the affirmative.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  supported  the  amendment.  He  relayed                                                                   
that if  the cut had  been maintained  there would  have been                                                                   
cuts to the  Meals on Wheels, senior nutrition  programs, and                                                                   
other. He  referred to testimony  that someone had  been able                                                                   
to get  a lift installed  in their  shower that enabled  them                                                                   
to take a  shower for the first  time in a year. He  spoke to                                                                   
the  return of  the funds  for  individuals with  Alzheimer's                                                                   
and other. He asked to add his name to the amendment.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:04:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  spoke in opposition to  the amendment.                                                                   
She  shared that  she  volunteered for  numerous  nonprofits.                                                                   
She  noted  that some  of  the  nonprofits also  helped  with                                                                   
wheelchair grants,  the elderly,  and others needing  a hand.                                                                   
She believed  there were other  resources (e.g.  Medicaid and                                                                   
other) that  provided the  services to  seniors. She  did not                                                                   
support adding  the services back  in. She mentioned  revenue                                                                   
enhancements  that would  be coming  later in  the session  -                                                                   
she was not certain  the group would be gaining.  She did not                                                                   
have a  list of  all of  the existing  nonprofits in  Alaska,                                                                   
but the  state had  one of the  biggest number of  nonprofits                                                                   
per capita.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   spoke   in   support   of   the                                                                   
amendment. He spoke  to the concept of continuum  of care for                                                                   
seniors. He  reasoned that there  were many things  the state                                                                   
could do  to prevent  the expenses  from escalating  into the                                                                   
next  higher  category. He  believed  the  use of  funds  was                                                                   
humane, cost-efficient, and cost-effective.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Saddler  remarked   that   the  state   provided                                                                   
numerous benefits  for many  people who  either need  or want                                                                   
them  (or  both).   He  stressed  that  the   state  faced  a                                                                   
tremendous  budget challenge.  He  remarked that  it was  not                                                                   
possible  to provide every  service that  people may  benefit                                                                   
from,  but  they  could  not cut  every  service  either.  He                                                                   
pointed  to significant  public testimony  about the need  of                                                                   
the service.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:08:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN  FAVOR:  Guttenberg,  Kawasaki,  Munoz,  Pruitt,  Saddler,                                                                   
Edgmon, Gara, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                  
OPPOSED: Gattis, Wilson                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (9/2). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 5 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:08:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  6 (copy  on file)                                                                   
[Note: for full amendment explanation see copy on file]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:    Commerce,    Community    and    Economic                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Alaska Energy Authority                                                                                     
     ALLOCATION: Statewide Project Development, Alternative                                                                     
     Energy and Efficiency                                                                                                      
     ADD: $2,000,000 Renewable Energy Grant Fund (1210)                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 73, following line 7:                                                                                                 
     Insert a new subsection to read:                                                                                           
     "(u) The sum of $250,000 is appropriated from federal                                                                      
     receipts to the emerging energy technology fund (AS                                                                        
     42.45.375) for capital projects.'                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  stated  that  his  name  was  on  the                                                                   
amendment because  it did not  use GF. He explained  that the                                                                   
Department  of Commerce, Community  and Economic  Development                                                                   
(DCCED) had made  a mistake on prior information  given about                                                                   
its budget needs  for the coming year. He furthered  that the                                                                   
co-chairs  had   elected  to  bring  the  item   forward  for                                                                   
consideration  by the full  committee. The amendment  managed                                                                   
the  133 existing  grants  from money  previously  allocated.                                                                   
The  second part  of  the amendment  was  related to  federal                                                                   
receipts sent to  the Emerging Technology Fund  that had been                                                                   
left out when the governor had offered his amendments.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment 6 was ADOPTED.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  7 (copy  on file)                                                                   
[Note: for full amendment explanation see copy on file]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health & Social Services                                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Behavioral Health                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION:  Behavioral   Health  Treatment  &  Recovery                                                                   
     Grants                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Add  a new  section titled  Health  and Social  Services                                                                   
     following section 7 to read (FY16 effective date):                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The  sum   of  $30,000,000  is  appropriated   from  the                                                                   
     general  fund to  the Department  of  Health and  Social                                                                   
     Services,    Behavioral   Health,   Behavioral    Health                                                                   
     Treatment  and Recovery  Grants for  a pilot program  to                                                                   
     develop   additional   substance  use   disorder   (SUD)                                                                   
     services  for the  fiscal  years ending  June 30,  2016,                                                                   
     June 30, 2017, June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2019.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman explained  that the  amendment addressed  an                                                                   
issue he  had been working  on for the  past three  years. He                                                                   
stated  that  three  years  earlier   he  had  placed  intent                                                                   
language  to bring together  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                                   
Authority  (AMHTA) and  different  departments (Courts,  DOL,                                                                   
DOC,  and  DHSS)  related  to  combatting  drug  and  alcohol                                                                   
abuses in the  state. He discussed that  recently legislation                                                                   
had  been passed  on  the  House floor  -  one of  the  major                                                                   
things  legislators heard  from constituents  was about  drug                                                                   
and alcohol  problems in  communities.  He noted that  people                                                                   
were  breaking into  homes  in order  to  support their  drug                                                                   
habits.  He stressed  the importance  of providing  treatment                                                                   
to the  state's residents. He  explained that the  funding in                                                                   
the amendment  would go to filling  gaps; a gap  analysis had                                                                   
been done  on DHSS to determine  where the needs  resided. He                                                                   
emphasized that the  funds would not go towards  starting new                                                                   
programs, but  would assist existing  ones. He  discussed the                                                                   
problems  heroin  and  cocaine   had  caused  throughout  the                                                                   
state.  The funds  would be  $10 million  annually for  three                                                                   
years,  which would  result  in  substantial savings  to  the                                                                   
state.  He believed  it  would  help state  troopers  dealing                                                                   
with the  individuals. He spoke  to the difficult  job facing                                                                   
the  state's  troopers.  He  noted that  90  percent  of  the                                                                   
Palmer court  cases were related  to substance  abuse issues.                                                                   
He  shared that  he had  spoken  to the  chief justice  about                                                                   
efforts  underway  to  provide   treatment  after  arrest  as                                                                   
opposed to post-sentencing  with the goal to  reduce costs in                                                                   
the  state.  He   noted  that  40  percent   of  incarcerated                                                                   
individuals  were  pretrial.  He  spoke  to  the  significant                                                                   
amount  of public  testimony the  committee  had received  on                                                                   
the topic.  He stressed  that  there was a  definite need  to                                                                   
increase safety in the state's communities.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Saddler  supported   the  initiative   for  many                                                                   
reasons. First,  it was fast.  He detailed that he  had heard                                                                   
from  his  community that  heroin  and  opioid abuse  in  the                                                                   
state's  communities  was  rampant.   He  remarked  that  the                                                                   
program was  targeted at filling  gaps in the system,  not at                                                                   
creating new  systems or  facilities. He  was happy  that the                                                                   
program  would be  results-based  and  was pleased  with  the                                                                   
efforts  of DHSS.  He noted  that the  program would  partner                                                                   
with  AMHTA   (that  served   beneficiaries  suffering   from                                                                   
substance  abuse disorders)  and with  local communities.  He                                                                   
referred to  conversation in the  press about whether  he was                                                                   
compassionate  enough with  drug addicts.  He assured  people                                                                   
that  he had  insights  into  the substance  abuse  treatment                                                                   
community  and  he  understood   that  treatment  helped.  He                                                                   
stressed  that  people   had  to  want  to   get  better.  He                                                                   
cautioned  people   that  the  funds  were  not   an  endless                                                                   
checkbook.  He  encouraged  people taking  advantage  of  the                                                                   
opportunities  to   "do  it  once,  do  it   right,  and  get                                                                   
straight."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  thanked  Co-Chair  Neuman  for  the                                                                   
amendment. He asked  to be added as a cosponsor  to Amendment                                                                   
7. He wondered where the $30 million had come from.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund explained  that it  was a  one-time $30  million                                                                   
appropriation  from FY  16 that  would  be used  to fund  the                                                                   
grants for  FY 17  through FY  19. There  would be  a Request                                                                   
for  Proposal process  (RFP)  established  by DHSS  to  award                                                                   
grants to fill the gaps in services.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  asked  for  verification  that  the                                                                   
funds  were unexpended  from  the  prior year's  budget.  Mr.                                                                   
Ecklund replied that  there had been a $5  million additional                                                                   
cap placed  on what  was needed  to fund  HB 2001  [operating                                                                   
budget  bill passed  in a  second special  session in  2015].                                                                   
Additionally,  Legislative Finance  Division  and the  Office                                                                   
of  Management and  Budget  had  thought that  the  Statutory                                                                   
Budget  Reserve (SBR)  was empty;  however,  in actuality  it                                                                   
contained $288 million.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki supported  the amendment.  He wanted                                                                   
to ensure the  money trail was followed accurately.  He noted                                                                   
that the  dialog in  the amendment  specified that  the funds                                                                   
would  go to  behavioral health  treatment  grants for  pilot                                                                   
programs to  develop additional substance abuse  services. He                                                                   
asked for detail.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  replied that the  intent of the  amendment/pilot                                                                   
program  was to  provide  a continuum  of  care  and to  fill                                                                   
gaps. He  explained that individuals  with a substance  abuse                                                                   
problem  needed  to detox  prior  to treatment;  often  times                                                                   
there   was  no   detox  facility   available,  which   meant                                                                   
individuals were  put on a waiting  list and could  mean they                                                                   
may change  their  mind about  treatment by  the time a  spot                                                                   
was  available.  The  amendment  aimed to  identify  gaps  in                                                                   
treatment and offer  RFPs by DHSS to fill the  gaps. The goal                                                                   
was to  create space  for individuals to  enter detox  and to                                                                   
fill other  gaps in order to  get people treatment  when they                                                                   
wanted.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  referred to  the  $30 million  ($10                                                                   
million annually  for three years). He wanted  to ensure DHSS                                                                   
knew that the  legislature intended to monitor  the progress.                                                                   
He  observed that  there was  no intent  language related  to                                                                   
how  the funds  would be  spent. He  wondered about  ensuring                                                                   
the funds were expended in the correct way.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  stated that  he had  been adamant  with DHSS                                                                   
that  the  funds  would  be used  immediately.  He  spoke  to                                                                   
establishing   a  library   in  the   University  of   Alaska                                                                   
(University) and  AMHTA to track  what did and did  not work,                                                                   
to be as effective as possible.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:20:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  referred   to  a  criminal  justice                                                                   
reform  bill currently  in  the Senate.  He  detailed that  a                                                                   
major portion  of the bill dealt  with DOC and the  fact that                                                                   
it  was  the  largest  provider  for  mental  and  behavioral                                                                   
health  treatment in  the state.  He asked  if the  amendment                                                                   
addressed the fiscal note associated with the bill [SB 91].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman stated  that the  funds in  Amendment 7  had                                                                   
nothing to  do with the  legislation Representative  Kawasaki                                                                   
had referenced.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson supported  the  amendment.  He liked  that                                                                   
the money  would be  available immediately  and he  supported                                                                   
the  tracking  component  that   would  provide  results.  He                                                                   
stated that  a need for the  services had existed for  a long                                                                   
time.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   agreed  that  the   program  was                                                                   
needed. He  was concerned about  two items in  the amendment.                                                                   
First, he  was concerned about  forward funding out  into the                                                                   
future  in an  annual budget  process. He  remarked that  the                                                                   
next legislature  would not  be obligated  to keep  the funds                                                                   
in place.  He wondered if it  was part of the  allocation set                                                                   
aside the prior  year with the Constitutional  Budget Reserve                                                                   
(CBR) vote  that specified funds  could be used from  the CBR                                                                   
for FY  16. He observed  that the  amendment pertained  to FY                                                                   
16 through FY 19.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:23:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  answered that there  was $288 million  available                                                                   
in FY 16 in  the SBR that the legislature had  not been aware                                                                   
of.  Additionally, there  was up  to $500  million beyond  HB
2001 that  was also available  in FY 16. The  amendment would                                                                   
use $30  million in FY 16  money and did not  specify whether                                                                   
it would come from the CBR or SBR.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman added  that about  $157  [million] was  used                                                                   
for  Alaska Gasline  Development  Corporation  (AGDC) out  of                                                                   
the $500 million.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg remarked  that  the committee  was                                                                   
typically  very specific  about where its  funds were  coming                                                                   
from. He  asked if the  CBR or SBR  were folded into  GF when                                                                   
there was  authorization. He wondered  whether in  the future                                                                   
it would  be possible to look  back to determine  which funds                                                                   
had funded the services under the amendment.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund replied  that it was a UGF appropriation  from FY                                                                   
16;  the funds  would either  come from  the CBR  or SBR.  He                                                                   
explained that  if there  was a funding  gap beyond  the $288                                                                   
million  in the  SBR,  it would  be covered  by  the CBR.  He                                                                   
stated that  part of it was  a $500 million cap.  He detailed                                                                   
that there  had been $157  million appropriated in  the third                                                                   
special session in  2015 and there would be  supplementals in                                                                   
the  current  budget  that  would use  funds  from  the  $500                                                                   
million as well.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg supported  the  amendment, but  he                                                                   
had concerns  about the funding  source. He noted  they would                                                                   
address the concerns at a later time.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:25:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz thanked  Co-Chair Neuman  for his  work                                                                   
on  the   issue.  She  stated   that  heroin   addiction  was                                                                   
impacting  all of the  state's communities  and was  the most                                                                   
difficult  issue she  had  dealt with  as  a legislator.  She                                                                   
discussed  the "explosion"  of  pain narcotics  in the  1990s                                                                   
combined  with the  increase  in  availability  of black  tar                                                                   
heroin.  She  relayed  that  the  amendment  would  begin  to                                                                   
address  treatment  needs  in the  state's  communities.  She                                                                   
strongly supported the amendment.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis was  dismayed  that she  had not  been                                                                   
made  aware  that $288  million  had  been located  that  the                                                                   
legislature had not  known about. She stressed that  it was a                                                                   
large amount of money.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  replied that  the  administration  recently                                                                   
brought the issue to the legislature's attention.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  explained that the  co-chairs had  first learned                                                                   
of  the  potential  of  $288 million  in  the  SBR  when  the                                                                   
supplemental  budget amendments  had  been  submitted by  the                                                                   
administration.  He  furthered  that  up  to  that  time  the                                                                   
Legislative  Finance Division  thought  the  SBR balance  was                                                                   
zero.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  explained that until recently  they had been                                                                   
in  the process  of  trying to  iron out  how  the issue  had                                                                   
occurred.  He   stated  that  they  were   cautiously  moving                                                                   
forward.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis expressed  her concern about  "cutting                                                                   
people left  and right" and now  finding $288 million  in the                                                                   
"couch cushion."  She did  not know whose  fault it  was, but                                                                   
she  questioned   how  constituents  could  even   trust  the                                                                   
legislature  any longer.  She  stated that  $288 million  was                                                                   
not like  a $20 bill  that slipped out  of a pocket.  She was                                                                   
horrified  to learn  the $288  million had  just been  found.                                                                   
She stressed  that the  legislature had  been penny  pinching                                                                   
and making cuts  ranging from $20,000 to $340,000  and other.                                                                   
She was in shock  over the issue. She was not  blaming anyone                                                                   
the co-chairs and  staff, but she did not  think constituents                                                                   
trusted legislators  anymore. She did not know  how much more                                                                   
money existed that they were going to find.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman   responded  that  the   administration  had                                                                   
brought the information  forward. He believed it  was prudent                                                                   
that if  there was  money that  came around,  it was  used to                                                                   
cover the  costs of  the state, which  is what the  amendment                                                                   
did.  Additionally, it  would  reduce the  draw  on the  CBR,                                                                   
which was important.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:30:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  spoke in support of the  amendment. He                                                                   
reasoned  that  there  was  more  than one  way  to  cut  the                                                                   
budget.  He elaborated  that one  way make  cuts was to  take                                                                   
money directly  out of  the budget;  however, another  way to                                                                   
reduce the  budget was  to provide  upfront services  that in                                                                   
turn  would  reduce drug  use,  the  crime rate,  and  people                                                                   
using  the criminal  justice  system.  He stated  that  after                                                                   
working  on  the  DOC  budget  for  the  past  six  years  he                                                                   
believed  the amendment  represented  a  wise investment.  He                                                                   
thanked  Co-Chair Neuman  for introducing  the amendment.  He                                                                   
cited  Texas Representative  Jerry  Madden's  stance that  in                                                                   
order to  curb future  incarceration rates  it was  necessary                                                                   
to  provide  money up  front  and  to provide  treatment.  He                                                                   
stressed  that  there  was  significant  evidence  about  the                                                                   
success of treatment.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara testified in  support of the  amendment.                                                                   
He asked  Mr. Ecklund if the  funds were coming from  the SBR                                                                   
first and any remaining funds would come from the CBR.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund replied  that  the funding  source  was UGF.  He                                                                   
detailed that  there had been a  deficit in FY 16.  There had                                                                   
been language  in the  budget authorizing  $500 million  more                                                                   
in CBR  access to pay for  supplementals, gasline,  and other                                                                   
things beyond  what had  been in  HB 2001. Additionally,  the                                                                   
co-chairs  had learned  of  the  SBR balance.  He  elucidated                                                                   
that the  fund source  was FY  16 UGF (any  deficit in  FY 16                                                                   
would  be covered  by  the CBR).  Most  likely the  amendment                                                                   
fund source  would  first be covered  by the  CBR, but  there                                                                   
was also  SBR money  available. The source  of money  was UGF                                                                   
backfilled with CBR.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:33:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  addressed  that  the  language  in  the                                                                   
budget the  previous year specified  that up to  $500 million                                                                   
could be  taken out  of the CBR  if it was  needed to  fill a                                                                   
deficit for  the current  fiscal year.  He observed  that the                                                                   
money in  the amendment  [$30 million]  was proposed  for use                                                                   
in the  next three fiscal  years; it  did not fit  within the                                                                   
language.  He  did not  want  to  argue  about the  issue  at                                                                   
present. He  stated that  several weeks  ago the DHSS  budget                                                                   
subcommittee   had   proposed   cutting   $3   million   from                                                                   
alcoholism  and drug  abuse treatment  grants,  which he  did                                                                   
not  support.  He recalled  that  the  public had  been  very                                                                   
vocal  and  eloquent about  its  opposition  to the  cut.  He                                                                   
believed it was  better to treat people trying to  get off of                                                                   
heroin than  to send them back  to their drug dealer  or onto                                                                   
the street  where terrible  things happen.  He supported  the                                                                   
structure of  the amendment and  was glad the $3  million cut                                                                   
had been reversed.  He reasoned that the  amendment addressed                                                                   
something the state  did not have; it did not  have long-term                                                                   
treatment programs.  The amendment  would save money  because                                                                   
there were  programs that enabled  a person to avoid  jail if                                                                   
they   went   into  drug   treatment,   job   training,   and                                                                   
counseling. He  remarked that the  state was on the  verge of                                                                   
needing to  build another jail.  He supported  the co-chair's                                                                   
restoration  of the  funds in  order for the  state to  begin                                                                   
building  capacity  to  treat  people.  He  stated  that  the                                                                   
heroin  epidemic  had  existed  for five  or  six  years.  He                                                                   
relayed  that a  few years  earlier the  methadone clinic  in                                                                   
Anchorage  had a  waiting  list of  one  year. He  reiterated                                                                   
that the  amendment would  save money. He  asked to  have his                                                                   
name added to the amendment.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  liked the amendment and  supported the                                                                   
treatment  services,  but  she  stated  that  DHSS  had  only                                                                   
provided  the number  of people  being served  as opposed  to                                                                   
the  number   of  people  succeeding  after   treatment.  She                                                                   
believed  the  services  should  come  from  the  AMHTA.  She                                                                   
reasoned  that AMHTA  had a  better reason  for tracking  and                                                                   
ensuring   that  wherever   the  funds   went,  people   were                                                                   
successfully completing  the program. She explained  that the                                                                   
goal  was  to  have  individuals  successfully  complete  the                                                                   
treatment programs.  She had seen no statistic  showing which                                                                   
of  the programs  were more  successful. She  pointed to  the                                                                   
explanation  in the amendment  and noted  that 62,815  people                                                                   
needed  treatment  [in  the  past year],  but  there  was  no                                                                   
reference  to  the  success  rate. She  would  vote  for  the                                                                   
amendment if  it was coming from  the AMHTA. She  wondered if                                                                   
the  $288 million  could be  used  in the  current budget  to                                                                   
offset what the committees had put forward.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund clarified  that it  was an  FY 16  appropriation                                                                   
with  a  multi-year  structure.  He stated  that  unless  the                                                                   
committee  wanted to  make FY  16  effective dates  on FY  17                                                                   
subcommittee  appropriations  - it  was  not the  intent.  He                                                                   
furthered that  it was an FY  16 appropriation with  a multi-                                                                   
year component.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman clarified that the answer was no.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  if  the funds  could have  gone                                                                   
towards  the supplemental  budget that  had been put  forward                                                                   
by the governor.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  replied in  the affirmative;  there would  be FY                                                                   
16 money to address the supplemental requests.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   asked  for  verification   that  the                                                                   
amendment  would  take  $30  million  that  could  have  been                                                                   
utilized to  take care  of the  supplemental budget.  She did                                                                   
not recall the  supplemental budget total. She  remarked that                                                                   
there were  no statistics  on the  program in the  amendment.                                                                   
She  would prefer  to take  care of  the state's  obligations                                                                   
first  before  looking  for  other   programs  to  fund.  She                                                                   
supported the idea, but not the funding concept.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman replied  that it was a very  specific funding                                                                   
strategy.  He believed it  was a  very comprehensive  plan to                                                                   
address  current gaps.  He stressed  that  the amendment  did                                                                   
not take money from the supplemental budget.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  appreciated filling the  gaps, but did                                                                   
not  support  giving  more  money   without  statistics.  She                                                                   
reiterated  that  if the  funds  came  from AMHTA  she  would                                                                   
support it.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman believed  that AMHTA was  also investing  in                                                                   
the items covered by the amendment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis remarked  that there were  individuals                                                                   
in Mat-Su  who had done a  great job. She struggled  with the                                                                   
concept of  giving the money to  DHSS versus funneling  it to                                                                   
programs  on the  street immediately.  She did  not have  the                                                                   
same comfort  level with the  amendment. She believed  it was                                                                   
a good  start and  she understood  the state  had a  problem.                                                                   
She  also struggled  with  going  back to  FY  16 funds.  She                                                                   
believed  the committee  could  do better  and the  amendment                                                                   
was a first start.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon pointed  to the  bottom of  page 1  of                                                                   
the amendment  and noted  that grantees  would work  with the                                                                   
Alaska  Justice   Information  Center,   DHSS,  and   DOC  to                                                                   
identify  evidence  based practices  and  evaluate  treatment                                                                   
outcomes related  to the utilization of the  criminal justice                                                                   
system  including  recidivism   reduction.  He  believed  the                                                                   
amendment was tied  to evidence based outcomes,  which was an                                                                   
important component of the effort.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman agreed.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:42:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  spoke   to  his  challenge  with  the                                                                   
amendment  related to truth  in budgeting.  He was  concerned                                                                   
that it  was an  FY 16  appropriation. He  saw no reason  the                                                                   
item  should  not be  included  in  FY  17 if  the  committee                                                                   
determined  that the work  was important  enough. He  thought                                                                   
it looked  like the committee was  trying to play a  bit of a                                                                   
"shell game"  by using funds from  the prior year.  He stated                                                                   
that people had  been claiming that the legislature  cut over                                                                   
$800 million from  the budget in FY 16. He  remarked that the                                                                   
number should be  decreased by $30 million [if  the amendment                                                                   
passed]. He  furthered that the  program may be good,  but he                                                                   
wanted to  ensure there was  truth in budgeting.  He believed                                                                   
they were  talking  like the money  came out  of nowhere.  He                                                                   
was concerned  about the $288  million [that the  legislature                                                                   
had not  been aware of]. He  stressed that the  public should                                                                   
have  a  clear   picture  that  the  legislature   was  being                                                                   
straight with  them. He believed  the legislature  would have                                                                   
to  be  very  clear  that  the funds  came  from  FY  16.  He                                                                   
reiterated  that  when  talking  about the  budget  from  the                                                                   
prior year  it would be necessary  to add $30 million  to the                                                                   
total. He believed  it was appropriate to  assist individuals                                                                   
in a  difficult situation, but  the amendment pertained  to a                                                                   
pilot program.  He did  not think  he had  ever seen  a pilot                                                                   
program that  had not become  a permanent program.  He stated                                                                   
that  if the  committee felt  passionate about  the need  for                                                                   
the services it  should make it an actual program  to fund in                                                                   
perpetuity.   He  recognized   that  the   state  should   be                                                                   
assisting  the individuals  in  a  difficult spot,  with  the                                                                   
goal of  decreasing the  budget and  helping the  individuals                                                                   
in the future.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:46:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler stated  that  the amendment  proposed  to                                                                   
work with existing  programs (e.g. the Alcohol  Safety Action                                                                   
Program  and other)  in some  cases.  There were  residential                                                                   
and detox  centers  in Alaska  that had a  limited number  of                                                                   
beds. He  did not believe  the money  would be used  to build                                                                   
new facilities;  it  was more  likely to be  spent to  expand                                                                   
existing  facilities.  The  funds  would  build  on  existing                                                                   
infrastructure  to provide increased  adequacy and  resources                                                                   
where necessary.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg spoke  to  the amendment  language                                                                   
that appropriated  $30 million  for FY 16  through FY  19. He                                                                   
asked if  the intent was to  fund $30 million annually  or in                                                                   
total.  Mr.  Ecklund  replied  that it  was  one-time  FY  16                                                                   
funding of  $30 million ($10  million for three  years). Part                                                                   
of   the  urgency   and  the   reason  the   program  was   a                                                                   
supplemental  [budget  item]  was  to enable  DHSS  to  start                                                                   
earlier with the  RFP process in order to get  the program in                                                                   
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION to Amendment 7.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:47:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  OBJECTED to  Amendment  7. She  asked                                                                   
for  verification that  Mr. Ecklund  had  stated the  program                                                                   
would be part  of the supplemental [budget] and  would go "on                                                                   
the street" immediately  versus being part of  the budget the                                                                   
legislature would pass in April [2016].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund  answered  that  the  item  was  a  supplemental                                                                   
appropriation in the  operating budget bill; it had  an FY 16                                                                   
effective date.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson surmised that  the funds would  not be                                                                   
used immediately  and would  have to wait  for the  budget to                                                                   
pass.   Mr.   Ecklund   explained   that   for   supplemental                                                                   
appropriations  typically  the  effective  date  was  earlier                                                                   
than   the   actual   signing  of   the   bill.   Departments                                                                   
traditionally   took  action  as   if  they  had   the  money                                                                   
beginning on the effective date of the supplemental.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara supported  the amendment, which  reduced                                                                   
agony and  helped people get  treatment. He reasoned  that it                                                                   
made lives  better and would save  the state money.  He hoped                                                                   
that it  would delay  the need  for a  new prison.  He stated                                                                   
that  the amendment  would give  dignity to  people who  were                                                                   
willing  to  work  to  get  back   with  their  families.  He                                                                   
remarked that  if a person had  to wait to get  treatment for                                                                   
a year they would  lose their child for that  year. He agreed                                                                   
with  Representative  Pruitt  about the  funding  source.  He                                                                   
discussed  that the FY  16 budget  specified that if  needed,                                                                   
there was  $500 million to pay  for FY 16 expenses;  however,                                                                   
the  program  expenses  in  the  amendment  were  for  FY  17                                                                   
through FY  19. He expounded that  the way the  amendment was                                                                   
written it  increased the prior  year's budget  and decreased                                                                   
the current year  budget. He concluded that  the issues would                                                                   
be  rectified and  he hoped  they  would do  what was  proper                                                                   
under  budgeting  rules.  He understood  the  intent  of  the                                                                   
amendment was good.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:50:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund did  not  believe there  were  any legal  issues                                                                   
with FY 16 appropriation.  He detailed that the  FY 16 budget                                                                   
language  specified  that  if   UGF  revenue  in  FY  16  was                                                                   
insufficient  to  cover  the   GF  appropriations  that  take                                                                   
effect  in FY  16.  He stated  that  the program  would  take                                                                   
effect in FY 16; therefore, it complied with the language.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg,   Kawasaki,  Munoz,  Pruitt,   Saddler,                                                                   
Edgmon, Gara, Gattis, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                          
OPPOSED: Wilson                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED  (10/1). There being NO  further OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 7 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:51:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment  8 (copy  on file)                                                                   
[Note: for full amendment explanation see copy on file]:                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Office of the Governor                                                                                         
     APPROPRIATION: Office of Management and Budget                                                                             
     ALLOCATION: Office of Management and Budget                                                                                
     ADD:  It  is the  intent  of  the legislature  that  the                                                                   
     office  of management  and  budget  work with  executive                                                                   
     branch  agencies  to  reduce  hollow  receipt  authority                                                                   
     when preparing the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
JOAN  BROWN,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  MARK  NEUMAN,  explained                                                                   
that  the amendment  would  add legislative  intent  language                                                                   
for  the  Office  of  Management  and  Budget  to  work  with                                                                   
agencies  to reduce  hollow receipt  authority in  the FY  18                                                                   
budget.  She detailed that  it would  have departments  scrub                                                                   
their numbers more  thoroughly. For example, if  a department                                                                   
budgeted  for $5  million in  federal  receipts, but  thought                                                                   
they would only  get $2 million, they would  bring the number                                                                   
budgeted number down  to $2 million. She relayed  that it was                                                                   
a budget cleanup activity.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman added that it was a technical cleanup.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Brown  agreed  that it was  a technical  cleanup and  had                                                                   
been done several times in the past.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  was fine  with  the amendment,  but  he                                                                   
hoped  that committee  members  would be  sensitive as  other                                                                   
amendments   were   addressed.   He  explained   there   were                                                                   
Designated  General  Funds  (DGF)   and  federal  funds  that                                                                   
probably  did not  exist that  would be  mentioned in  future                                                                   
amendments.  He   stated  that  the  legislature   should  be                                                                   
consistent  about   it  if   hollow  receipt  authority   was                                                                   
eliminated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment 8 was ADOPTED.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:53:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  MOVED to  ADOPT  Amendment  10 (copy  on                                                                   
file)[Note:  for  full  amendment  explanation  see  copy  on                                                                   
file]:                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Medicaid Services                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Health Care Medicaid Services                                                                                  
     ADD: 7,000,000 Federal Funds 1002                                                                                          
     DELETE: 7,000,000 General Funds 1004                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Department Support Services                                                                                 
     ALLOCATION: Commissioner's Office                                                                                          
     ADD: $275,900 General Fund Match 1003                                                                                      
     $275,900 Federal Funds 1002                                                                                                
     ADD: 4 PFT positions                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   explained  that  the   amendment  would                                                                   
replace $7 million  of UGF with $7 million  in federal funds.                                                                   
He elaborated  that the  DHSS finance subcommittee  currently                                                                   
envisioned   $20  million   in  travel   savings.  The   DHSS                                                                   
commissioner  had worked  with the Centers  for Medicaid  and                                                                   
Medicare    (CMS)   on   changing    the   national    travel                                                                   
reimbursement  for American  Indians and  Alaska Natives  who                                                                   
receive services  through the Indian Health Service  (IHS) or                                                                   
tribal health  facility. The  policy change the  commissioner                                                                   
had received  from CMS would allow  the state to  capture 100                                                                   
percent  of  the  cost  of  travel   and  accommodations  for                                                                   
beneficiaries  receiving  services   through  IHS  or  tribal                                                                   
health facilities.  The department  believed it could  obtain                                                                   
$27  million in  savings  as long  as  they  could have  some                                                                   
funds  for  personnel.  He  advocated  for  $551,000  to  add                                                                   
tribal liaisons  to help work  with tribal facilities  on the                                                                   
medical records,  the transfer of diagnosis and  results, and                                                                   
the privacy  enabled retention  of records necessary  for CMS                                                                   
to approve the  request. The amendment would  invest funds to                                                                   
help the  department realize  savings in  Medicaid travel  to                                                                   
start.  The department  anticipated there  would be  millions                                                                   
of dollars  in savings  to the state  through other  areas of                                                                   
changed  policy, which  would  capture more  federal  funding                                                                   
(instead of state funds) to treat IHS qualified Alaskans.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  explained that the amendment  represented                                                                   
the first  down payment. He hoped  it would go well  and that                                                                   
tribal providers  would continue to work with  DHSS to obtain                                                                   
the savings in the future.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  spoke  to  his  earlier  remarks  about                                                                   
hollow  receipt authority  and  consistency.  He stated  that                                                                   
DHSS was working  to get 100 percent funding  to cover travel                                                                   
for   IHS  beneficiaries   who   receive  Medicaid   eligible                                                                   
treatment.   He    furthered   that   the    department   had                                                                   
communicated  it  could achieve  about  $6.7 million  in  the                                                                   
federal funds; however,  the amendment made DHSS  receive $27                                                                   
million in  federal funds.  He stated that  it was  fake. The                                                                   
department had  stated that if  it received additional  staff                                                                   
(as  provided  under  the  amendment),  it  may  be  able  to                                                                   
achieve  more,  but they  did  not  know  how much  more.  He                                                                   
furthered  that to  state  DHSS would  be  able to  magically                                                                   
create $27  million in  additional federal  funds was  called                                                                   
hollow receipt  authority. He did  not know if  the amendment                                                                   
would  get  reversed by  the  amendment  that had  just  been                                                                   
passed  [Amendment 8].  He believed  the proper  thing to  do                                                                   
would  be to  say DHSS  should  try to  qualify  for as  much                                                                   
federal  funding   as  possible.   He  reiterated   that  the                                                                   
department had  estimated that  it could obtain  $6.7 million                                                                   
in  federal  funds.  He  noted that  the  department  had  to                                                                   
create contracts  with tribal and other entities  in order to                                                                   
make it  work. He  stated that the  legislature did  not know                                                                   
how much money  the department would recover.  He stated that                                                                   
the funds were  for Medicaid services and DHSS  would come in                                                                   
with a  supplemental budget in  the following year if  all of                                                                   
the  funds  were not  received.  He  explained that  for  the                                                                   
Medicaid  budget  the  department estimated  how  much  money                                                                   
would come  in, how  many people would  use Medicaid,  and it                                                                   
was fixed in  a supplemental if the number  was different. He                                                                   
stressed that  there was no evidence  on the record  that $27                                                                   
million in federal  funds would come in if  the amendment was                                                                   
adopted. He  believed that  currently the legislature  should                                                                   
anticipate  a $10 million  to $20  million supplemental  next                                                                   
year. He emphasized that they did not know.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  referred to  the amendment explanation  that                                                                   
DHSS believed  the total  potential annual savings  resulting                                                                   
from the reimbursement rate would be $27 million.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler stated  that the  amendment language  was                                                                   
what the  department had told  the committee it  could obtain                                                                   
with the addition  of new personnel to help  the new program.                                                                   
He  stated that  it  was a  new national  policy;  therefore,                                                                   
there  would not  be hard  numbers.  He had  worked with  the                                                                   
department  to try to  figure out  how to  best push  DHSS to                                                                   
obtain the  maximum amount  of savings  from the new  policy.                                                                   
The  department had  communicated that  it hoped  to get  the                                                                   
$27 million,  but  he could not  guarantee  that it would  be                                                                   
exactly  that  amount.  He  stated   that  DHSS  Commissioner                                                                   
Valerie Davidson had  worked hard on the issue  and was proud                                                                   
of the savings.  He stated that "if there's a  true-up at the                                                                   
end, there's a true-up at the end."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:00:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  stated that she  felt like she  was in                                                                   
the  twilight  zone.  She  stated   that  the  committee  was                                                                   
building a  budget on hopes and  dreams, which made  her very                                                                   
uncomfortable.  She stated  that  the amendment  would  allow                                                                   
for the  hire of four personnel,  but she believed  the state                                                                   
was   already   working  with   tribal   organizations.   She                                                                   
reiterated   her  discomfort   with   the   numbers  in   the                                                                   
amendment.  She  communicated  that  she came  from  a  small                                                                   
business  world where accounting  was more  precise. She  did                                                                   
not   support   taking   credit  for   something   that   the                                                                   
legislature hoped  would work. She  did not want to  roll the                                                                   
dice. She continued  that the department would  have to bring                                                                   
a  supplemental  request  to the  legislature  the  following                                                                   
year  that no  one would  be happy  about.  She believed  the                                                                   
legislature should  wait to find  out what the  savings would                                                                   
be  and  to  work  with  the  state's  partners  to  get  the                                                                   
savings.  She   believed  the   state  already  worked   with                                                                   
partners  -  she  pointed  to  the  amendment  language  that                                                                   
discussed  education  and  getting   people  into  the  right                                                                   
services.  She stated that  the DHSS  budget was the  largest                                                                   
and she believed  there were already personnel  that could do                                                                   
the  work. She  thought  the committee  would  be better  off                                                                   
buying lottery tickets  than funding four new  positions that                                                                   
may or may not bring in savings.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  clarified  that  the  figures  were  not                                                                   
speculative. He  detailed that  the state was  already paying                                                                   
for  the  cost  of  Medicaid   travel  through  its  Medicaid                                                                   
program; however,  the state was  only getting  reimbursed at                                                                   
the  50 percent  federal participation  level. The  amendment                                                                   
reflected hard  dollar expenses  the state was  paying. There                                                                   
would  be a  new  policy where  the  state  would obtain  100                                                                   
percent  reimbursement if  it had  the proper  administrative                                                                   
personnel  to guide the  tribal providers  to participate  in                                                                   
the  program.  The  positions   would  make  it  possible  to                                                                   
establish  the privacy  protections  and  custody of  patient                                                                   
records  in order  for contract  providers to  be willing  to                                                                   
take  the referred  patients.  He reiterated  that the  state                                                                   
was  already   incurring  the   expenses.  He  believed   the                                                                   
amendment reflected  a way to bring savings to  the state. He                                                                   
reasoned that  it was a good  thing if the state  could share                                                                   
the costs  with the federal  government. The legislature  had                                                                   
to ensure that  the contract providers were  comfortable with                                                                   
the program;  the providers would  be under no  obligation to                                                                   
accept  referrals   from  tribal   and  IHS  facilities.   He                                                                   
explained  that  if  the  legislature  could  make  sure  the                                                                   
process  worked  well  there   was  the  potential  for  $140                                                                   
million to  $150 million in  additional savings  by obtaining                                                                   
100   percent  reimbursement   for   expenses  for   Medicaid                                                                   
recipients. He  stated that it  was important to do  it right                                                                   
the first time.  He countered that the savings  were a better                                                                   
deal than most lotteries.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:04:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara OBJECTED. He  did not like  doing things                                                                   
in the  committee when  the department said  one thing  and a                                                                   
member  of  the  committee stated  the  department  had  said                                                                   
something else.  He stated that  the department had  told him                                                                   
they would  try to get the funds,  but they did not  know how                                                                   
much money  would come in.  He continued that  the department                                                                   
should be  given significant  credit because  it had  started                                                                   
the effort  to achieve the savings;  he did not want  to take                                                                   
the   credit  away   from   them.   He  remarked   that   the                                                                   
department's  testimony to  the House  Finance Committee  had                                                                   
been  that DHSS  thought  it could  achieve  $6.7 million  in                                                                   
savings,  not  $27   million.  He  reasoned  that   the  four                                                                   
additional   staff  members  would   probably  increase   the                                                                   
ability somewhat, but the amount was not known.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman replied  that he  had read  a document  from                                                                   
DHSS that  talked about changes  in federal regulations  that                                                                   
enabled states  to take advantage  of the federal  government                                                                   
paying  for some  of  the programs  in  relation to  Medicaid                                                                   
expansion.  One of  the  opportunities was  for  travel -  he                                                                   
believed   the  numbers   were   upwards   of  $20   million.                                                                   
Additionally,  here   was  another  opportunity   related  to                                                                   
medical costs  - an  Alaska Native would  be covered  if they                                                                   
were  referred to  a non-tribal  hospital. He  referred to  a                                                                   
member of  the House who had  been able to take  advantage of                                                                   
the medical cost  coverage. He continued that  the department                                                                   
believed it  could achieve further  reductions if it  had the                                                                   
manpower  to  try  to supplement  state  funds  with  federal                                                                   
funds. He  surmised that  it was probably  a good  program to                                                                   
take  advantage of  if the  state  spent less  funds and  the                                                                   
federal  funds   were  available   considering  the   state's                                                                   
budget.  He believed  that  was Vice-Chair  Saddler's  intent                                                                   
with the amendment.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:07:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  asked  whether the  department  would                                                                   
have  the   ability  to  submit   a  supplemental   and  take                                                                   
advantage  of the  same federal  funds if  the amendment  did                                                                   
not pass.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   replied  that  there  was   always  the                                                                   
opportunity  for  the  department   to  request  supplemental                                                                   
funding. The department  had communicated that  it would have                                                                   
a much better  chance of obtaining the savings  described and                                                                   
anticipated  with the  extra personnel.  He  stated that  the                                                                   
department could  try to come  back and obtain  some savings,                                                                   
but  the challenge  was to  ensure the  program was  launched                                                                   
properly with full cooperation of the non-tribal partners.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   MAINTAINED   her   OBJECTION.   She                                                                   
believed  DHSS  already  had  the  full  cooperation  of  the                                                                   
different entities.  She had not heard  justification related                                                                   
to adding positions.  She believed the department  was on the                                                                   
right track, but she was opposed to increasing government.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  clarified that the reason for  the tribal                                                                   
liaisons  was  to  ensure  DHSS   could  work  with  contract                                                                   
providers.  He explained that  if there  was an IHS  eligible                                                                   
American  Indian  or Alaskan  Native  who  went to  a  tribal                                                                   
facility  hospital  and was  referred  to a  specialist,  the                                                                   
doctor  was  under  no  obligation   to  cooperate  with  the                                                                   
provider in providing  health records. However,  if the state                                                                   
made   sure  (using   the  extra   personnel)  the   contract                                                                   
providers  worked  with  the   department  to  set  up  their                                                                   
systems  (of  referral  of  records  and  diagnosis  of  test                                                                   
results)  and  provide  the  proper  privacy  protections  in                                                                   
order  to make  the  process easy  for  the  IHS hospital  to                                                                   
refer cases  out and obtain the  benefits of the  state, they                                                                   
would do  so. Absent that, there  was no obligation  for them                                                                   
to work with  the state; therefore, the state  would lose the                                                                   
opportunity to get the higher federal reimbursement.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson MAINTAINED her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kawasaki,   Munoz,    Pruitt,   Gara,   Guttenberg,                                                                   
Edgmon, Gattis, Saddler, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                       
OPPOSED: Wilson                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION PASSED  (10/1). There being NO  further OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 10 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 11 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Administration                                                                                                 
     APPROPRIATION: Public Communications Services                                                                              
     ALLOCATION: Public Broadcasting - Commission                                                                               
     ADD: $44,400 General Fund 1004                                                                                             
     ALLOCATION: Public Broadcasting - Radio                                                                                    
     ADD: $2,036,600 General Fund 1004                                                                                          
     ALLOCATION: Public Broadcasting - LV.                                                                                      
     ADD: $600,000 General Fund 1004                                                                                            
     TOTAL: $2,681,000 General Fund 1004                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  This  restores  funding to  the  Governors                                                                   
     amended  budget levels. Without  these additional  funds                                                                   
     70% of  the stations  will have  lost between  20-40% of                                                                   
     their operating  revenue; 33% of the stations  will lose                                                                   
     45-80%  of   operating  revenue  when   federal  funding                                                                   
     losses kick  in; more than  80 jobs will be  lost; fiber                                                                   
     interconnection  between  KTOO and  Alaska Public  Media                                                                   
     in Anchorage  will be lost  cutting off distribution  of                                                                   
     360  North/Gavel to  Gavel  to Alaska  Public Media  for                                                                   
     broadcast   in    Anchorage   and   on    Alaska   Rural                                                                   
     Communications  Service; and  Gavel to  Gavel will  make                                                                   
     significant cutbacks  on the number of  meetings covered                                                                   
     and  will  no  longer  have   engineering  support  from                                                                   
     Alaska Public Media.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  explained  that  the  amendment  would                                                                   
restore funding  to the governor's amended budget  levels for                                                                   
public broadcasting.  She detailed that  the cut made  in the                                                                   
House Finance  Committee budget subcommittee would  result in                                                                   
a serious  crippling of many  of the state's  rural community                                                                   
stations. Many  of the stations  that would be  affected were                                                                   
in  Kodiak, Dillingham,  Homer,  Bethel, Haines,  Petersburg,                                                                   
Wrangell,   Kenai,  and  Valdez.   Additionally,  the   fiber                                                                   
interconnection between  KTOO and the Alaska Public  Media in                                                                   
Anchorage  would  also  be  lost,   which  would  affect  the                                                                   
coverage of legislative proceedings by Gavel to Gavel.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  asked to be added as  a cosponsor to                                                                   
the amendment.  He asked where  the numbers in  the amendment                                                                   
had  come  from.  His  amendment  later  in  the  packet  had                                                                   
slightly different numbers.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  replied  that  the  numbers  coincided                                                                   
with the governor's request.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  supported   the   amendment,  but   he                                                                   
believed  that the  difference in  the numbers  was a cut  of                                                                   
roughly  $700,000 from  the prior  year.  He understood  that                                                                   
the  amendment  sponsor  was including  as  much  funding  as                                                                   
possible to  restore public radio  funding in order  to bring                                                                   
the service  to communities that  relied on it. He  hoped the                                                                   
legislature  would  continue  thinking  about the  issue  and                                                                   
decide whether  or not it  should keep cutting  public radio.                                                                   
He stated  that it had  been cut the  previous year  and with                                                                   
the amendment there  would still be another  $700,000 cut. He                                                                   
stressed the importance of the service to people statewide.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:14:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gattis  relayed that public radio  had been in                                                                   
her  subcommittee and  she  took responsibility  for  cutting                                                                   
the funds.  She looked at  the budget item  as a want  over a                                                                   
need. She  stated that in  the past there  had been  no other                                                                   
forms  of communication,  but that  was no  longer the  case.                                                                   
She   elaborated  that   there  were   still  federal   funds                                                                   
available for  public radio.  Additionally, public  radio did                                                                   
a great  job fundraising. She  reasoned that the  legislature                                                                   
had  made  cuts  the  previous  year  and  the  stations  had                                                                   
stepped  up  to   the  plate  with  their   fundraising.  She                                                                   
believed that  if people  wanted the  service they  would pay                                                                   
for it.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon strongly  supported the amendment.  He                                                                   
had  been told  by the  Dillingham station  manager that  the                                                                   
station would  go away  without the  funds. He detailed  that                                                                   
if  the  station  lost its  center  for  public  broadcasting                                                                   
certification  it would  essentially lose  all of its  staff.                                                                   
He  underscored  that  the  station did  a  yeoman's  job  in                                                                   
fundraising   -  he   personally  donated   to  the   station                                                                   
annually. The station  had been able to make up  the gap - at                                                                   
one time  public broadcasting  had received approximately  $4                                                                   
million  GF in  the 1990s.  He elaborated  that public  radio                                                                   
was much  leaner and had  learned to  adapt. He did  not view                                                                   
public  radio  as  a  "want,"  but  as  an  essential  public                                                                   
service. He asked for as much support as possible.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:17:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  expressed  some  ambivalence  about  the                                                                   
amendment   and   public  broadcasting   and   he   respected                                                                   
Representative  Gattis's remarks about  want versus  need. He                                                                   
stated that  the conversation  about public broadcasting  had                                                                   
been going  on for  years in Alaska.  He believed  the public                                                                   
broadcasting  system   had  responded  to   the  conversation                                                                   
starters  the  legislature  had  launched  towards  them.  He                                                                   
detailed  that they  had consolidated  their  administration,                                                                   
moved towards  a volunteer staff  versus paid  staff wherever                                                                   
possible,  increased their  listener  and member  fundraising                                                                   
efforts,  and they  took  advertisements.  He explained  that                                                                   
because  public radio had  responded to  the conversation  he                                                                   
felt the  need to reward  them. He spoke  to the  benefits in                                                                   
rural  and urban  Alaska.  He  continued that  the  amendment                                                                   
would cover  services provided  to the  legislature by  Gavel                                                                   
to Gavel. He did  not want to be accused of  taking a vote to                                                                   
deprive   Alaskans  with   the  opportunity   to  watch   the                                                                   
legislature  work. He stated  that if  the legislature  could                                                                   
not move the  capital at least the legislature  could do what                                                                   
was possible to  offer access to legislative  proceedings. He                                                                   
stated that he  could support the amendment, but  he had some                                                                   
ambivalence.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg guessed that  public radio  was at                                                                   
least 50  years old in  Alaska. He discussed  that it  was an                                                                   
example  of the infrastructure  in Alaska.  He remarked  that                                                                   
people  were  cutting  [money]   just  to  cut  because  they                                                                   
thought   cutting  was   necessary.   He   stated  that   the                                                                   
philosophy was  okay. He reasoned  that legislators  were all                                                                   
going  down that  road  - the  increment  did not  completely                                                                   
restore  the funding;  he believed  the cut  was hurtful  and                                                                   
harmful.  He  furthered  that  public  broadcasting  entities                                                                   
could not  really say  what the cut  would do unless  funding                                                                   
was  eliminated completely.  He  explained that  there was  a                                                                   
public  broadcasting  board responsible  for  allocating  the                                                                   
funds  and trying  to keep  the service  alive. He  continued                                                                   
that the  legislature kept  making cut  after cut and  making                                                                   
it  harder and  harder. He  elaborated  that stations  became                                                                   
repeater stations.  Additionally, he believed  Gavel to Gavel                                                                   
was  one of  the most  unique  things that  was  done in  the                                                                   
legislature  - it  brought  people  an up  close  perspective                                                                   
into the committee  rooms and floor sessions.  He remarked on                                                                   
his amazement  at the number of  people who watched  Gavel to                                                                   
Gavel  who  disliked   politics.  He  did  not   believe  the                                                                   
amendment  went far  enough  to restore  funds  to the  prior                                                                   
year's level.  He stressed  that public  broadcasting  was in                                                                   
communities where  no other media  service was  available. He                                                                   
expounded that Alaskans  had wanted the service  and had come                                                                   
to  rely on  and  need  the service  for  over  50 years.  He                                                                   
thought  the legislature  was  doing  a disservice  when  the                                                                   
total point  of cuts to  things like public broadcasting  was                                                                   
merely to  cut. He stated there  was no vision for  Alaska at                                                                   
all.  He   emphasized  that  public  broadcasting   connected                                                                   
communities in the  state and played a big part  in the lives                                                                   
of  Alaskans.  He  supported   the  amendment,  but  did  not                                                                   
believe  it   provided  enough  funding.  He   believed  that                                                                   
regardless  of what  else was  happening in  the budget,  the                                                                   
legislature  needed to  keep  public broadcasting  vital.  He                                                                   
emphasized  that it  was a  significant part  of Alaska  that                                                                   
predated  pipeline,  budget  increases,   and  the  Permanent                                                                   
Fund. He  expressed potential  intent to  increase the  funds                                                                   
on the House floor.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:22:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson stated  that the  amendment would  add                                                                   
$2,681,000  to the  budget. She  believed the  issue was  way                                                                   
beyond  whether a  service  was  good or  bad  and was  about                                                                   
funding the  state actually had.  She did not  support adding                                                                   
funds back  into the budget.  She spoke about  individuals in                                                                   
her district who  were struggling and wondered  how much more                                                                   
money  she needed  to get  out of them  in order  to pay  for                                                                   
additional  services  provided  by the  state.  She  recalled                                                                   
using  change to  purchase a  gallon of  milk and  emphasized                                                                   
that  she   would  remember  that   for  a  long   time.  She                                                                   
reiterated  that the  conversation  was not  about whether  a                                                                   
program  was good or  bad. She  continued that  unfortunately                                                                   
the state's  income had been slashed  due to low  oil prices.                                                                   
She  reasoned that  decisions  needed to  be  made just  like                                                                   
they would for  a home or business. She questioned  who would                                                                   
pay for  the service. She could  not ask constituents  - some                                                                   
of whom  had lost  jobs in the  private sector  - to  pay for                                                                   
additional  items.  She  believed the  stations  could  raise                                                                   
more  funds  -  residents  paid   higher  property  taxes  in                                                                   
Fairbanks because  its borough decided to supplement  some of                                                                   
the  funding  that  had  been  cut  the  previous  year.  She                                                                   
emphasized that  if the state  funded the services,  it would                                                                   
have to determine  who would pay for them.  She stressed that                                                                   
somebody would  have to  pay for  the services. She  believed                                                                   
the  service was  beneficial,  but she  did  not support  the                                                                   
amendment due to a lack of state funding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  spoke  to  recent  numbers  from  the                                                                   
Department  of Labor  and Workforce  Development (DLWD)  were                                                                   
from  several  years earlier;  at  the  time there  had  been                                                                   
332,000 working  Alaskans. He  calculated that the  amendment                                                                   
came down  to $8.08  for every  working Alaskan. He  referred                                                                   
to  significant conversation  that  the  amendment was  about                                                                   
ensuring that  rural communities  remained in connection.  He                                                                   
asked  if any  of the  funds would  go  to urban  communities                                                                   
that had  other options.  He asked  if it  was worth  looking                                                                   
into.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  replied that the crippling  loss was to                                                                   
the  smaller  coastal  communities. She  explained  that  the                                                                   
fiber  interconnection between  KTOO and  Anchorage would  be                                                                   
lost,  which  would cut  off  the  distribution of  Gavel  to                                                                   
Gavel. She  explained that  larger communities  were able  to                                                                   
fundraise  and  bring  in  much of  the  share  required  for                                                                   
federal matching  funds. She stated  that if the cut  were to                                                                   
go  forward  the  state  would  also  lose  approximately  $2                                                                   
million in federal funds.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  believed the  programming started  in Juneau                                                                   
for the smaller communities.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz could not  provide the exact  answer on                                                                   
how  it would  impact the  urban communities.  She knew  that                                                                   
the fiber  optic connection  would be  impacted and  she knew                                                                   
that the  larger communities  had the  ability to raise  much                                                                   
of their  matching grant.  She offered  to obtain  additional                                                                   
information if requested.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Pruitt  wondered   if  there   could  be   a                                                                   
discussion   about   reducing   the  amendment   request   if                                                                   
Anchorage and  other larger  communities could fundraise.  He                                                                   
believed public comment  and the intent of the  committee and                                                                   
the sponsor  was to  ensure that  rural communities  remained                                                                   
connected.   He  furthered   that  if   there  were   certain                                                                   
communities   (e.g.  Anchorage)   that   had   some  of   the                                                                   
opportunities,  perhaps  the legislature  could  continue  to                                                                   
facilitate  the  rural  community   connection  and  look  at                                                                   
saving some  of the money  for individual Alaskan  residents.                                                                   
Every dollar  that was added back  into the budget had  to be                                                                   
analyzed for its impact on a person.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:28:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  replied  that  the  amendment  already                                                                   
represented  a $700,000  reduction from  the prior year.  She                                                                   
believed it was  necessary to assess the impacts  of the cuts                                                                   
before making further reductions.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  voiced support  for the amendment.  He spoke                                                                   
to  his  concern  related  to   associated  life  and  safety                                                                   
issues.  He  spoke  to  natural  disasters  (e.g.  wildfires,                                                                   
earthquakes,   volcanic  explosions,   and  other)   and  the                                                                   
importance   of   safety   messaging   provided   by   public                                                                   
broadcasting. He  understood making budget cuts  and the need                                                                   
for  reduction. He  understood  what it  meant to  say no  to                                                                   
people related  to increase  - he had  said no to  anyone who                                                                   
had come  to his office with  a budget request over  the past                                                                   
two years.  He referred  to discussion about  the value  of a                                                                   
service compared  to the cost  and stated that  committee had                                                                   
to  do the  comparison for  every  dollar spent.  It was  his                                                                   
understanding  after speaking  with  the administration  that                                                                   
the programs were  developed and produced in  Juneau and sent                                                                   
to small  communities  throughout Southeast  Alaska in  order                                                                   
to  inform them  if there  was an  earthquake and  subsequent                                                                   
tidal wave headed  their way. He highlighted  events that had                                                                   
negatively  impacted  Valdez  and  Taiwan. He  asked  if  the                                                                   
lives  of   Alaskans  were  worth   the  cuts.   He  believed                                                                   
providing communication  to communities on  natural disasters                                                                   
and  other was  very  important. He  discussed  that he  went                                                                   
through the budget  daily; he believed all amendments  he had                                                                   
cosponsored or  sponsored would  bring savings to  the state.                                                                   
He continued that  the service had been reduced  and had been                                                                   
looked  at  for several  years.  He  understood that  if  the                                                                   
money  was  not restored  there  would  be nothing  left  but                                                                   
microwave  towers. He stressed  the high  number of  concerns                                                                   
in his  district related  to public  safety. He believed  the                                                                   
legislature had a responsibility to keep Alaskans safe.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:32:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Pruitt  wanted  to  make it  clear  that  his                                                                   
intent was to  maintain public safety. He also  believed that                                                                   
it was  worth seeking  out if compromise  could be  found. He                                                                   
asked  that his  concerns  and questions  be  given the  same                                                                   
respect.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  replied that  Representative  Pruitt  could                                                                   
speak  with the sponsor  of Amendment  11 during  a break  in                                                                   
order to obtain the information.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:34:04 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:48 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman relayed  that the  committee was  addressing                                                                   
Amendment 11.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  responded to a prior question  asked by                                                                   
Representative  Pruitt. She explained  that the governor  had                                                                   
cut approximately  $700,000 in the  FY 17 budget  for Alaskan                                                                   
Communication Services;  the application of the  cut would be                                                                   
determined  by the  Commission for  Public Broadcasting.  She                                                                   
detailed  that all  stations would  take cuts,  but the  cuts                                                                   
would be the most crippling to the smaller communities.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon referred to  a short primer  committee                                                                   
members  had  received from  Public  Broadcasting  Commission                                                                   
staff over the  recent at ease. Staff had explained  that the                                                                   
services   between  the   urban  and   rural  stations   were                                                                   
integrated;  therefore,  a reduction  to  the system  reduced                                                                   
all stations  at the  same time. He  explained that  the cuts                                                                   
would do  damage to all of  the recipients if cuts  were made                                                                   
to urban  regions. He furthered  that it was the  second year                                                                   
there had been  significant reductions to the  commission. He                                                                   
relayed that Mr.  Jamie Waste, the executive  director of the                                                                   
Public Broadcasting  Commission had  just confirmed  that the                                                                   
larger stations  in urban centers  were adapting to  the deep                                                                   
cuts. The  cuts were not easy  to adapt to, but  the stations                                                                   
were  changing their  business  model by  looking for  third-                                                                   
party  funds and  increasing efficiencies.  He believed  that                                                                   
the amendment,  which represented  a reduced amount  from the                                                                   
prior  year, was  fair.  He would  not  be  surprised if  the                                                                   
committee  debated the  issue  again the  following year.  He                                                                   
believed the  amendment would give  the stations a  chance to                                                                   
adjust   to  cuts  for   another  year.   He  supported   the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  asked  to   have  his  name  added  as  a                                                                   
cosponsor. He WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  OBJECTED.   She  believed  there  was                                                                   
merit to looking  for places to save and compromise,  but she                                                                   
did not support the amendment as is.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Munoz, Pruitt,  Saddler, Edgmon,  Gara, Guttenberg,                                                                   
Kawasaki, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                      
OPPOSED: Gattis, Wilson                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (9/2). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 11 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:47:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 12 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Environmental Conservation                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Agency-Wide                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ADD:  It  is the  intent  of  the legislature  that  the                                                                   
     Department   of   Environmental   Conservation   improve                                                                   
     efficiencies  in permitting  and  consider the  economic                                                                   
     impacts  of  increasing   permit  fees  before  imposing                                                                   
     increased fees on users.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: This intent language was approved by the                                                                      
     subcommittee for inclusion in RB 256.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz explained that  the amendment  had been                                                                   
brought  forward  in  the  finance  subcommittee  process  by                                                                   
Representative   Cathy   Tilton.   She  detailed   that   the                                                                   
amendment  had been adopted  by the  committee, but  had been                                                                   
inadvertently  left  out in  the  final  report to  the  full                                                                   
House  Finance  Committee.  The   amendment  included  intent                                                                   
language   encouraging   the  Department   of   Environmental                                                                   
Conservation   to  seek  efficiencies   in  fees   they  were                                                                   
assessing,  especially  on small  businesses  and  individual                                                                   
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, Amendment 12 was ADOPTED.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:48:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 13 (copy on                                                                       
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     PART A                                                                                                                     
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Juvenile Justice                                                                                            
     ALLOCATION: Nome Youth Facility                                                                                            
     ADD:  $1,693,900 General  Fund UGF  (code 1004) as  One-                                                                   
     time Item                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ADD POSITIONS: 15 PFT positions, and 3 Temp positions                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ADD INTENT:  It is  the intent  of the legislature  that                                                                   
     the Division  of Juvenile  Justice collaborate  with the                                                                   
     community  of Nome  and with  tribal  and public  health                                                                   
     organizations  to  transition  the Nome  Youth  Facility                                                                   
     from  state to local  ownership; and  to deliver  to the                                                                   
     Legislature  by January 17,  2017, a plan  for utilizing                                                                   
     the  facility to better  meet regional  needs for  youth                                                                   
     correctional, health and rehabilitative services.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     PART B                                                                                                                     
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Temporary Assistance Program                                                                            
     DELETE: $1,693,900 GIF Match (UGF) (code 1003)                                                                             
     ADD: $1,693,900 Federal Receipts (code 1002)                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:                                                                                                               
     Part   A   of  this   amendment   restores   the   House                                                                   
     Subcommittee   reduction    closing   the   Nome   Youth                                                                   
     Facility.  The Nome  Youth Facility  is the only  secure                                                                   
     location for  housing juvenile offenders in  the region.                                                                   
     Its  closure  would  leave  Alaska  State  Troopers  and                                                                   
     local  law  enforcement  without the  capacity  to  hold                                                                   
     offenders  while  awaiting transfer  to  an outside  DJJ                                                                   
     facility.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Part   B  removes   UGF   from  the   Alaska   Temporary                                                                   
     Assistance Program  and adds an equal amount  of Federal                                                                   
     Receipt  authority.  There   is  a  possibility  that  a                                                                   
     portion of  the funding expended on the  PCE Program can                                                                   
     be  used  toward  the  state's   maintenance  of  effort                                                                   
     (MOE).  If  so,  this decrement  will  not  impact  ATAP                                                                   
     payments.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     The department  expects that funds currently  being used                                                                   
     in PCE  could be  counted toward  the State's  match for                                                                   
     federal funds.  This number would represent  about 4% of                                                                   
     PCE user's being ATAP qualified.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz explained that  she was presenting  the                                                                   
amendment  on  behalf  of  Representative  Neal  Foster.  The                                                                   
amendment would  restore funding for the Nome  Youth Facility                                                                   
- if the  cut was maintained  it would result in  the closure                                                                   
of  the facility,  which  served  a  large area  around  Nome                                                                   
including  outlying  communities.   She  furthered  that  the                                                                   
closure of the  facility would require the individuals  to be                                                                   
sent  to and  housed  in  Anchorage. Additionally,  it  would                                                                   
result in  the loss of 15  permanent and 3 part-time  jobs in                                                                   
Nome.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Saddler   supported   the  amendment.   He   had                                                                   
originally brought  forward the recommendation  to reduce the                                                                   
Division of  Juvenile Justice  within DHSS  and to  close the                                                                   
Nome  Youth Facility.  He had  observed  there were  numerous                                                                   
full-time  positions for  a facility with  a low  population.                                                                   
However,  he  had  been  contacted   by  Representative  Neal                                                                   
Foster  who  had  worked  vigorously   to  determine  how  to                                                                   
maintain  services to  his community.  Representative  Foster                                                                   
had come  up with some innovative  suggestions about  how the                                                                   
local tribal health  authority could work with  the community                                                                   
to  repurpose the  facility to  meet  community and  regional                                                                   
needs at what he  hoped would be a lower cost.  He had worked                                                                   
with  Representative  Foster  on  intent  language  that  was                                                                   
included in  the amendment. He  looked at the amendment  as a                                                                   
short-term extension  of funds. He hoped that  the report the                                                                   
Division   of  Juvenile   Justice   would   provide  to   the                                                                   
legislature by  January 17, 2017  included a plan  to relieve                                                                   
the state from the expenses and meet local needs.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:50:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  believed the Nome Youth  Facility should                                                                   
remain open.  He discussed  the importance  of keeping  minor                                                                   
offenders as close  to their families as possible.  He stated                                                                   
that sending  youth away  from home  would reduce the  chance                                                                   
of a  child getting  back on  their feet  and would  increase                                                                   
their chances of  becoming criminals. He had  concern related                                                                   
to Part  B of the  amendment. He  stated that the  department                                                                   
had been  on record that if  there were GF reductions  to the                                                                   
Temporary Assistance  for Needy  Families (TANF)  program the                                                                   
state  would fall  below the amount  it was  required to  put                                                                   
into the program,  which would mean a loss  in federal funds.                                                                   
He remarked  that the state was  already in danger  of losing                                                                   
the funds  due to  a $5 million  cut to  the TANF program  in                                                                   
another  area in  the budget.  The  amendment would  increase                                                                   
the  cut  to  $6.693  million.   He  referred  to  a  day  of                                                                   
testimony  on maintenance  of  effort, which  was related  to                                                                   
the  amount of  money  the state  had to  put  into the  TANF                                                                   
program  in order to  leverage federal  funds. He  understood                                                                   
that  legislators  were  trying   to  find  savings,  but  he                                                                   
believed  it  would  cost  the  state  money.  He  could  not                                                                   
guarantee  it  because  he  did not  know  when  the  federal                                                                   
government  would  take  away  funds. He  believed  it  would                                                                   
increase the  chance that the  state would lose  funds. There                                                                   
had been no testimony at all about reducing TANF funding.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:53:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  supported  the amendment.  He  spoke  about                                                                   
juvenile justice  facilities. He  remarked that he  had taken                                                                   
interest in  the issue when he  had overseen the  DHSS budget                                                                   
subcommittee  in the  past.  He discussed  the  high rate  of                                                                   
suicides  in  rural   Alaska  due  to  substance   abuse.  He                                                                   
highlighted  that   the  recidivism  rate  for   youth  going                                                                   
through  the  youth  facilities   was  much  lower  than  the                                                                   
Department  of Corrections;  he estimated  the figure  in the                                                                   
35 percent  range.  He believed  it was a  good bargain  when                                                                   
trying to help  the youths. He had concerns  about the number                                                                   
of staff  and the number of  youth going through  facility in                                                                   
Nome.  He   referred  to   discussions  with  tribal   health                                                                   
associations  about increasing  civil law  that went  towards                                                                   
tribal jurisdiction.  He reasoned that tribal  entities would                                                                   
have more money  available and he believed the  service would                                                                   
be better.  He opined that  local control was  always better.                                                                   
He  hoped the  facility could  remain open.  He believed  the                                                                   
youths  going through  the program  would  have better  lives                                                                   
and would  be better  Alaskans. He  hoped the programs  could                                                                   
be improved even more.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   offered  a  "gentle  objection"   to  a                                                                   
comment  made by Representative  Gara about  what he  thought                                                                   
the department  would think about  the amendment. He  did not                                                                   
believe  it was  appropriate  to  state what  the  department                                                                   
would do.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:56:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg spoke to  the second part  of Part                                                                   
B of the amendment.  He thought it looked like  the amendment                                                                   
would use  Power Cost  Equalization (PCE)  Funds towards  the                                                                   
maintenance   of  effort   in  order   to  make  more   funds                                                                   
available.  He  discussed  that  there  had  been  an  entire                                                                   
session on the  maintenance of effort and the  department was                                                                   
not clear  what funds  it would  be able to  use in  order to                                                                   
obtain additional  federal funds.  He pointed to  language in                                                                   
the explanation  of the amendment  that did not appear  to be                                                                   
definitive  related  to  funds   that  could  potentially  be                                                                   
counted  as matching  funds for  federal  money. He  wondered                                                                   
what would  happen to  the Nome Youth  Facility if  the funds                                                                   
did not come through.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund affirmed  that the  committee had  a hearing  on                                                                   
maintenance  of effort  and significant  time had been  spent                                                                   
with the department  to understand the concept.  The co-chair                                                                   
had   encouraged  the   department   to   look  at   Homeless                                                                   
Assistance Program  under Alaska Housing  Finance Corporation                                                                   
(AHFC) to identify  some maintenance of effort  that could be                                                                   
used. He  referred to page 2  of the amendment  and explained                                                                   
that if 4 percent  of PCE users would also  qualify for TANF,                                                                   
the state  could use the funds  as maintenance of  effort. He                                                                   
believed 4  percent was a  conservative estimate;  the number                                                                   
of eligible  recipients may exceed  4 percent.  The amendment                                                                   
encouraged the department  to work to identify  the figure in                                                                   
order to realize the savings.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   maintained  his   concern.   He                                                                   
observed that  the amendment asked  the department to  try to                                                                   
obtain the  federal funds,  but whether  it would happen  was                                                                   
unknown.  He  was concerned  about  potentially  funding  the                                                                   
item with hollow money.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  requested  adding  his  name  to  the                                                                   
amendment. He  observed that the  much of the  budget process                                                                   
was investigative.  He elaborated  that sometimes  there were                                                                   
examples of  learning the immediate  impacts after  cuts were                                                                   
made.  He  had  worked with  Representative  Foster  and  his                                                                   
staff in order  to learn more about the Nome  Youth Facility.                                                                   
He  shared  that  he  had  previously  worked  for  the  late                                                                   
Representative  Richard  Foster and  had  worked  on the  CDQ                                                                   
[Community Development  Quota] program related  to the Bering                                                                   
Straits  region.  He  shared   a  personal  story  about  his                                                                   
brother who  had been put in  the McLaughlin Youth  Center in                                                                   
Anchorage, who  had never  been the same  after going  to the                                                                   
facility.  He empathized  with concerns  that on a  month-to-                                                                   
month  basis  the  facility  was   not  always  full  at  its                                                                   
capacity of  14 youths.  He countered  that it was  seasonal.                                                                   
He  believed  the  facility  would   learn  how  to  increase                                                                   
efficiency,  be more  self-sufficient on  outside funds,  and                                                                   
would  increase  partnerships  with  non-state  entities.  He                                                                   
opined that  the amendment provided  a good pathway  forward.                                                                   
He questioned  what the true costs  would be if  the facility                                                                   
was  cut. He  referred to  Co-Chair  Neuman's comments  about                                                                   
young men's  lives, which  would probably  never be  the same                                                                   
[if they  were sent  to a  facility far  away from  home]. He                                                                   
believed the item  was worth keeping in the  budget and could                                                                   
save  the  state  significant  money. He  looked  forward  to                                                                   
working  with   Representative  Foster  and  others   in  the                                                                   
meantime. He  added that everything  in the state  would have                                                                   
to be "leaner and meaner."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:02:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  OBJECTED. He agreed  with Representative                                                                   
Edgmon's  testimony  about  the   need  for  the  Nome  Youth                                                                   
Facility. He  tried to  clarify Part B  of the amendment.  He                                                                   
explained  that the  amendment  specified  that the  facility                                                                   
would only get  funded if $1.6 million was cut  from the TANF                                                                   
program. He  detailed that the  state was required to  put in                                                                   
$36 million towards  TANF related services; if  the money was                                                                   
not  allocated towards  the  services  the state  would  lose                                                                   
federal funds.  He thought  there had to  be a better  way to                                                                   
keep the  youth facility  open. He  furthered that  there had                                                                   
already been  a $5 million cut  towards TANF services  by the                                                                   
finance  subcommittee,   which  he   did  not  support;   the                                                                   
amendment  would  increase  the  total to  $6.7  million.  He                                                                   
believed  the amendment  would put  the state  below the  $36                                                                   
million requirement.  The response had been that  perhaps the                                                                   
department  could locate  expenditures  that qualified  under                                                                   
TANF in  order to meet the  federal requirements in  order to                                                                   
avoid being  penalized. He stressed  that the  department did                                                                   
not  yet know.  He believed  the department  should be  given                                                                   
time  to determine  whether it  would receive  the funds.  He                                                                   
emphasized  that  none  of the  expenses  the  committee  had                                                                   
spoken  about  had been  approved  yet.  He opined  that  the                                                                   
legislature  should  fund the  Nome  Youth Facility  and  not                                                                   
risk losing  federal funds. He  believed the legislature  was                                                                   
one  year premature  on making  the  cut and  should wait  to                                                                   
hear  from  the  department.  He  reiterated  that  DHSS  was                                                                   
working   diligently   on  trying   to   get  many   of   its                                                                   
expenditures counted as proper TANF expenditures.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  stated that he had frequently  heard that                                                                   
necessity is  the mother  of invention and  it was  not known                                                                   
what kind of  economies could be discovered  until faced with                                                                   
significant deficit.  He referred  to a presentation  on TANF                                                                   
from the department  that the maintenance of  effort required                                                                   
to obtain  access to the  $44 million  TANF grant was  "a big                                                                   
juicy  plum  of   federal  funds."  He  furthered   that  the                                                                   
department  had determined  that  it was  possible to  obtain                                                                   
benefit through the  use of third-party food  banks. When the                                                                   
legislature had  asked if the  department could  locate more,                                                                   
it had  communicated there may  be some available in  PCE and                                                                   
AHFC  homelessness grants.  He believed  the intent  language                                                                   
in  the amendment  would urge  the department  to locate  and                                                                   
obtain the  savings. He agreed  that it was not  a guarantee,                                                                   
but there  was a need  to locate  new funding. He  reiterated                                                                   
his   statement  that   there  was   currently  $44   million                                                                   
available and the  department had indicated a  willingness to                                                                   
determine how to  match the maintenance of effort.  He stated                                                                   
that without  the  amendment it  would be a  straight cut  of                                                                   
the  funds  to  the Nome  Youth  Facility.  He  believed  the                                                                   
amendment  would give the  facility the  time and funding  in                                                                   
order to  transition into  a more  affordable system  for the                                                                   
state. He supported the amendment.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara WITHDREW his  OBJECTION. He  stated that                                                                   
he  intended  to  try  to  restore  the  funding  in  another                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson OBJECTED.  She  thought the  amendment                                                                   
appeared  to be more  about the  15 staff  who worked  at the                                                                   
youth facility  than about  the youths  in the facility.  She                                                                   
did not  believe locking  youths up  would make a  difference                                                                   
versus utilizing  other potentially  available services.  She                                                                   
stated that  the world was  changing. She believed  there was                                                                   
a smarter  way to ensure the  children did not return  to the                                                                   
facility. She felt  that supporting the amendment  would mean                                                                   
she  believed it  was  necessary  to lock  the  youths up  to                                                                   
teach   them  a   lesson  and   that  there   was  no   other                                                                   
alternative.  She disputed  that belief.  She spoke to  ankle                                                                   
monitoring,  therapeutic   homes,  and  other   options.  She                                                                   
believed it  would still be  necessary to give  children what                                                                   
they  needed  and  to  keep them  on  the  right  track.  She                                                                   
remarked that with  15 staff positions at the  facility there                                                                   
was  a staff  to youth  ratio of  one to  one. She  mentioned                                                                   
other  legislation  currently  in the  legislature  that  she                                                                   
hoped would  help. She would like  to see Nome as a  model to                                                                   
demonstrate  other ways to  keep the  youth in the  community                                                                   
without locking them up.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Pruitt,   Saddler,    Edgmon,   Gara,   Guttenberg,                                                                   
Kawasaki, Munoz, Thompson, Neuman                                                                                               
OPPOSED: Wilson, Gattis                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (9/2). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 13 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:09:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment 14  (copy on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Administration                                                                                   
     APPROPRIATION: General Services                                                                                            
     ALLOCATION: Central Mail                                                                                                   
     DELETE: $2,800.0 I/A Rcpts 1007                                                                                            
     POSITIONS: Delete: 7 PFT positions                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:    In   2004,    Central    Mail   was    a                                                                   
     centralization  effort that  was  only ever  implemented                                                                   
     in  Juneau,  and the  remainder  of the  state  remained                                                                   
     decentralized.  It is  free for the  United States  Post                                                                   
     Office  (USPS) postal  carriers to  receive and  deliver                                                                   
     State  of Alaska  mail.  However,  the state  of  Alaska                                                                   
     pays  USPS to  hold state  mail and  employs state  mail                                                                   
     carriers to  sort and deliver  all State of  Alaska mail                                                                   
     in Juneau.  The State of  Alaska cannot continue  to pay                                                                   
     for services that are free under USPS.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  explained that  in  2004 the  Central                                                                   
Mail was  a centralized effort  that was only  implemented in                                                                   
Juneau.  She detailed that  Central Mail  provided the  daily                                                                   
pickup and  delivery of  mail to and  from the United  States                                                                   
Postal  Service (USPS).  The service  sorted and  distributed                                                                   
all  incoming  mail  for  the  Juneau  agencies  and  tracked                                                                   
outgoing  mail.  She stated  that  with  the exception  of  a                                                                   
volume  discount  on  outgoing  mail  postage,  Central  Mail                                                                   
provided the same  services as the USPS. She  shared that she                                                                   
had  made the  cut in  the finance  subcommittee because  she                                                                   
believed the state  already had the advantage  of USPS, which                                                                   
was paid  for with  federal dollars  and postage stamps.  She                                                                   
reiterated that the  service was only provided  in Juneau and                                                                   
cost  approximately  $2.8  million. She  believed  the  state                                                                   
could do without Central Mail and could utilize USPS.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund  relayed that if  the amendment was  accepted and                                                                   
mail services  were decentralized  in Juneau,  it would  cost                                                                   
the  state an  additional $600,000.  Additionally, there  had                                                                   
been a  presentation on shared  services that  the Department                                                                   
of Administration  (DOA) wanted  to start. He  explained that                                                                   
centralized  mail  would  be  one  of  the  first  items  DOA                                                                   
intended  to look  at  under the  shared  services model  for                                                                   
possible modification.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gattis   could  not   speak   to  what   the                                                                   
administration  may do,  but she  stressed that  there was  a                                                                   
federal post  office. She  reasoned that  there was  no other                                                                   
centralized  mail  service in  the  state. She  believed  the                                                                   
state  needed  to  live  within   its  means.  She  discussed                                                                   
services  provided by  Central  Mail including  trips to  the                                                                   
post office,  which cost the state  in gas and  vehicles. She                                                                   
believed  the $2.8  million  would go  significantly  farther                                                                   
when used on other items.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  did not support  the amendment.  He stated                                                                   
that  he was  scared  by  the  possibility of  the  amendment                                                                   
costing   an  additional   $600,000.  He   wondered  if   the                                                                   
amendment  could backfire  on  the state.  He believed  there                                                                   
was a  certain amount of  funding per addressee.  He believed                                                                   
the  issue  needed  to be  researched  and  reconsidered  the                                                                   
following year.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon referred  to  earlier discussion  that                                                                   
cutting  the budget  was a  learning  process -  he had  been                                                                   
learning a  lot about the  Central Mail subject.  He remarked                                                                   
on  the various  state buildings  in Juneau  and noted  there                                                                   
was a  system in  place for  a centralized  mail service.  He                                                                   
understood  the   need  for  the   program.  He   pointed  to                                                                   
Commissioner  Fisher's testimony  related to shared  services                                                                   
and the opportunity  to take something like  Central Mail and                                                                   
make  it more  automated  and  efficient  in the  future.  He                                                                   
noted  that  efficiencies  in  the future  could  reduce  the                                                                   
number  of   employees  significantly.  He   shared  Co-Chair                                                                   
Thompson's concern  and did not  know enough about  the issue                                                                   
at the current point.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:15:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if DOA was saying  that it could                                                                   
not  deliver the  mail to  the  legislature like  it did  for                                                                   
other state agencies.  She wondered if there  was a breakdown                                                                   
of the  $600,000 increase  the department  projected  [if the                                                                   
amendment passed].                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Ecklund  replied  that the  previous  evening  committee                                                                   
members had  received a  copy of an  email detailing  some of                                                                   
the information.  The email  specified that  there was  a per                                                                   
address cost. Currently,  postage was 80 percent  of the cost                                                                   
and the state  received a discount. However,  if the services                                                                   
were  decentralized, the  state  would not  receive the  same                                                                   
postage discount.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  assumed that the Capitol  Building was                                                                   
part of  the Central  Mail service. She  stated that  she had                                                                   
recently  mailed postcards  to her constituents  and had  not                                                                   
received a  discount [on postage].  She asked if  the Central                                                                   
Mail office was receiving a kickback.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund did  not believe the legislature was  part of the                                                                   
centralized mail system.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  for  verification that  Central                                                                   
Mail did  not include  the legislature.  Mr. Ecklund  replied                                                                   
that Central  Mail provided service  to the executive  branch                                                                   
agencies in Juneau.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson thought  it was  interesting that  the                                                                   
legislature  had not  taken advantage  of the  savings if  it                                                                   
existed. She remarked  that the legislature had  been looking                                                                   
for all of the savings it could find.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:17:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman stated  that decisions had to be  made on the                                                                   
best  information.  He  had worked  the  administration  over                                                                   
thoroughly  on  the  issue. He  remarked  that  Central  Mail                                                                   
would be  one of the  first programs  DOA would look  at when                                                                   
it  began its  centralization  process.  He stated  that  the                                                                   
legislature had  given the department  new tools.  He trusted                                                                   
the department on the issue and expected to be given a                                                                          
report on exactly what happened.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Wilson, Gattis, Kawasaki                                                                                              
OPPOSED: Saddler, Edgmon, Guttenberg, Munoz, Pruitt,                                                                            
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 14 FAILED (3/7).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara was absent from the vote.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:19:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 15 (copy on                                                                          
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: University                                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: University of Alaska                                                                                        
     ALLOCATION: Budget Reductions/Additions - Systemwide                                                                       
     ADD: $25,000,000 General Funds, fund code 1004                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: This amendment reverses a portion of the                                                                      
     cut to the University of Alaska made as an unallocated                                                                     
     reduction:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     · In FY15, approximately $28 million in state dollars                                                                      
        were used  to support  research;  by leveraging  this                                                                   
        investment. The  UAF  faculty  used $116  million  in                                                                   
        grants and contracts  for research. This  reflects an                                                                   
        average  of  $4.10  of  external  funding  for  every                                                                   
        dollar of state general fund investment.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     · Without unrestricted general fund support, the vast                                                                      
        majority of UA's research  as well as  public service                                                                   
        outreach activities cannot be sustained.  Many grants                                                                   
        require  some  portion   of  state  funds   to  match                                                                   
        contributions at  a defined  ratio-UA will no  longer                                                                   
        be eligible  to receive such  external funds  without                                                                   
        state funding directed to this purpose.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     · More than 80 percent of all research activity across                                                                     
        the university system is conducted  in areas directly                                                                   
        related  to  Alaska  and  results  in  new  knowledge                                                                   
        relevant to Alaskans and Alaskans' way of life.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     · University research and service bring money to the                                                                       
        State  of   Alaska,  as  with   any  other   economic                                                                   
        enterprise  similar  to  the  mining   industry,  the                                                                   
        seafood industry,  the oil and  gas industry,  or any                                                                   
        other  basic  industries   that  drive   the  state's                                                                   
        economy.   The    economic    multiplier    generates                                                                   
        employment, payroll,  and  business sales  throughout                                                                   
        the state.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     · A $10 million cut to state support of research may                                                                       
        equate to $30-$60 million loss to the local economy.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman OBJECTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson believed  that  the University  of  Alaska                                                                   
provided one  of the most  important functions in  the state.                                                                   
He stressed the  role education played in the  state's future                                                                   
and  its  children's  future.   He  discussed  that  business                                                                   
owners  in  the  state  were  graduates  of  the  University.                                                                   
Additionally,  it educated  people  who were  coming up  with                                                                   
innovative  ways  to  create new  industries  in  Alaska.  He                                                                   
furthered  that  oil  companies,   agriculture,  timber,  and                                                                   
fishing   industries   depended   on  the   University.   The                                                                   
amendment  would  restore  $25   million  to  the  University                                                                   
budget, which would  still mean a $25 million  reduction from                                                                   
the   governor's  proposed   budget.  He   relayed  that   UA                                                                   
President  Jim Johnson  had formulated  a new strategic  plan                                                                   
and presented it  to the Board of Regents -  the proposal was                                                                   
to  combine the  campuses  into one  university  in order  to                                                                   
combine  duplicated  programs  and  have  different  campuses                                                                   
specialize  in particular  subjects.  He  believed the  items                                                                   
were  extremely important  to Alaska.  He addressed  research                                                                   
grants  and  believed  approximately  $28  million  in  state                                                                   
funds  had  gone towards  supporting  research  the  previous                                                                   
year, which had  leveraged over $116 million.  He stated that                                                                   
there was  a $4 to every $1  return on the state's  funds. He                                                                   
referred to  a McDowell  Group study  showing that  from 2002                                                                   
to  2011  competitive   grants  awarded  to   the  University                                                                   
campuses  had totaled  over $1  billion.  He emphasized  that                                                                   
the  funds  impacted the  economy  of  the entire  state.  He                                                                   
stated  that the  issue had  been dear  to his  heart and  he                                                                   
felt  it  was  important  to have  the  best  university.  He                                                                   
believed  there was work  to be  done to  try to improve  the                                                                   
way the University did business.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:22:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  MOVED to  AMEND  the increase  to                                                                   
$50 million.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman OBJECTED to the amendment to Amendment 15.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   explained  the   amendment   to                                                                   
Amendment  15. He  stated that  the University  was a  unique                                                                   
economic engine  in the  State of  Alaska. He addressed  that                                                                   
the state  was in  a distinctive  position to take  advantage                                                                   
of opportunities  it had  never had before.  He spoke  to the                                                                   
scientific   aspect   of  the   opportunities,   specifically                                                                   
related   to  Arctic   research.  He   elaborated  that   the                                                                   
icebreaker  currently stationed  in  Antarctica was  expected                                                                   
to move  to Alaska in two  years; research in  Antarctica was                                                                   
moving  to  the Arctic.  He  stated  that the  University  of                                                                   
Alaska  was  the premiere  University  in  the world  on  the                                                                   
Arctic.  He had  attended a  University  presentation to  the                                                                   
secretary  of  the  Navy, which  had  been  eye-opening.  His                                                                   
amendment  would flat-fund  the University  from the  current                                                                   
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg spoke  to loss  of opportunity  to                                                                   
Alaska.  He remarked  that it  was aggravating  to see  other                                                                   
universities  do work in  the Arctic  and then do  television                                                                   
shows  about  the  results.  He   stated  that  the  original                                                                   
amendment would  equate to  welcoming other researchers  into                                                                   
the state  to do its  work. He elaborated  that the  work not                                                                   
only involved  graduate students and professors,  but support                                                                   
provided  from across  the state.  He believed  it was  about                                                                   
having   students   in   the   state's   elementary   schools                                                                   
understand and learn  from the scientists. He  opined that if                                                                   
the strength  of the  University continued  to be eroded,  it                                                                   
guaranteed that  other people would  do the state's  work. He                                                                   
relayed that  professors were leaving the  university because                                                                   
the entire  concept of  the University  was being eroded.  He                                                                   
elucidated that  the founders  of the state constitution  had                                                                   
specified who managed  the University - the  state funded the                                                                   
University,  but did  not manage  it. He  emphasized that  it                                                                   
had  been important  to  the state  for  many  years (it  had                                                                   
originally  focused  on  lands and  mining).  He  highlighted                                                                   
that the state  was trying to create an opportunity  where it                                                                   
would build  a pipeline. He  questioned where  the geologists                                                                   
and engineers  would come from.  He believed the  legislature                                                                   
was asking the  state to give up on employing  its own people                                                                   
by  not being  willing  to  educate  them. He  paraphrased  a                                                                   
quote  from a  noble laureate  of economics  - in  an era  of                                                                   
tight  budgets  the   real  question  was  how   to  use  the                                                                   
available  funds; the  best evidence  supported investing  in                                                                   
the young.  He was amazed  that the legislature  continued to                                                                   
erode the ability  for residents to do the  work and research                                                                   
themselves.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:28:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  appreciated proposed  amendment  to                                                                   
Amendment 15.  He discussed that  Amendment 15  would replace                                                                   
a  significant  amount  of  GF  to  the  University  (the  15                                                                   
percent cut would  be reduced to nearly 7 percent).  He spoke                                                                   
to  the  number  of  years of  cuts  the  University  had  to                                                                   
sustain  since  FY  13.  He  stressed   that  the  cuts  were                                                                   
significant  and mattered  to the  University. The  amendment                                                                   
sought  to support  a  cornerstone to  the  state. He  shared                                                                   
that  his parents  had moved  to  Alaska in  the early  1960s                                                                   
because they  knew the University  of Alaska Fairbanks  was a                                                                   
first  rate  institution.  He  elaborated that  it  had  been                                                                   
world  renowned   in  Arctic   research  in  particular.   He                                                                   
elaborated  on his parent's  studies at  the University.  His                                                                   
parents  had known  they wanted  to raise their  family  in a                                                                   
university  town   like  Fairbanks.  He  elaborated   on  his                                                                   
family's experience.  He spoke  to the University's  upcoming                                                                   
100-year  anniversary  and  believed   it  was  necessary  to                                                                   
consider  what kind of  a vision  the legislature  envisioned                                                                   
for the  University in  the future. He  noted that  there had                                                                   
been significant  cuts in the finance subcommittee,  which he                                                                   
believed had  not been purposeful  and had only been  cuts to                                                                   
make cuts  that would devastate  the University.  He believed                                                                   
adding  $25 million  back into  the budget  was an  important                                                                   
step forward, but  it merely represented a  fabricated number                                                                   
between zero  and $50  million. He  advocated for the  higher                                                                   
amount.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  discussed  that  research  and  the                                                                   
University  went hand-in-hand.  He highlighted that  $145,000                                                                   
GF was used  by the college  of arts and science  to leverage                                                                   
over $3.7  million  in non-GF,  which represented  a 25  to 1                                                                   
ratio. He  noted that the  Institute of Northern  Engineering                                                                   
in  Fairbanks  used about  $2.4  million  in GF  to  leverage                                                                   
$11.7 million  in non-GF  (a 5 to  1 ratio). The  Geophysical                                                                   
Institute received  $5.8 million to leverage $32  million. He                                                                   
stated  that every  dollar the  state could  invest into  the                                                                   
University  had a non-GF  component that  was reinvested.  He                                                                   
hoped the  University would  continue to  be first  rate into                                                                   
the  future. He  stated that  the  Board of  Regents had  the                                                                   
best  metrics system  with  key indicators.  The  legislature                                                                   
had told  the University it needed  to improve the  number of                                                                   
bachelor's degrees  - in FY 10  there had been 14,500  and by                                                                   
FY   15  there   were  15,675   (a   10  percent   increase).                                                                   
Additionally, there  had been a  3.2 percent increase  in the                                                                   
number of graduate  students graduating. He  provided further                                                                   
history   of  graduate   numbers.   He   stressed  that   the                                                                   
University  had performed  well under  very difficult  times.                                                                   
There  had  been  2,700  graduates  in  vocational  education                                                                   
programs  in  FY  10  and  3,200  in  FY  15  (a  22  percent                                                                   
increase). The  University had raised  more money on  its own                                                                   
and  had  received  more  DGF.  He  highlighted  that  alumni                                                                   
donations had been  $671,000 in FY 10 and $788,000  in FY 11;                                                                   
it  anticipated over  $3.1 million  in alumni  giving in  the                                                                   
current year.  He stated that  the numbers would  continue to                                                                   
increase  if  the  legislature  continued to  invest  in  the                                                                   
University. He  reiterated his  support for the  amendment to                                                                   
Amendment 15.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:34:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  disputed the  claim  that the  budget                                                                   
subcommittee had picked  a random number to cut  or that cuts                                                                   
were draconian.  She stated that  she had one of  the hardest                                                                   
working  subcommittees. She  wanted to  clear up some  facts.                                                                   
She  clarified that  in FY  99 to  FY 07  actual spending  of                                                                   
state  appropriated  funds  had  grown  by  73  percent.  She                                                                   
stated  that  it  was the  most  consistent  positive  budget                                                                   
growth for the  UA system since statehood and was  one of the                                                                   
longest runs of  consistent budget growth in  American public                                                                   
higher  education.  She  stated   that  much  of  the  intent                                                                   
language  in  the subcommittee's  report  helped  direct  the                                                                   
University  to be  more  efficient.  She furthered  that  the                                                                   
University  owned  approximately  427 facilities  and  leased                                                                   
approximately  56.  She  emphasized   that  there  were  many                                                                   
opportunities for  savings on facility costs  via co-location                                                                   
within  the   high  schools  community  centers,   and  other                                                                   
facilities.  She  stated  that   there  was  opportunity  and                                                                   
service  the University  could provide.  She stressed  that a                                                                   
brick and  mortar building was  not necessary.  She furthered                                                                   
that the  University had  58 employees  making over  $208,000                                                                   
per  year  in   compensation  (compared  to   the  governor's                                                                   
$209,000)  -   she  reasoned   there  were  ways   to  adjust                                                                   
salaries.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson continued  that  the University  owned                                                                   
approximately  138,600 acres  of  investment property  versus                                                                   
12,000  of education  property; it  had approximately  62,000                                                                   
acres  in  timber  rights.  She   stated  that  in  order  to                                                                   
accommodate   budget  reductions   the  University   had  the                                                                   
ability  to aggressively  pursue  commercial and  residential                                                                   
land  sales  and  leases,  including   revenue  from  timber,                                                                   
mineral, and oil  and gas lease royalties. She  stressed that                                                                   
the  University  had  ways  to  make up  for  the  cuts.  She                                                                   
furthered  that   not  included  in  the  $300   million  the                                                                   
committee  there  was  another  $7 million  from  the  Alaska                                                                   
Performance   Scholarship   and   Alaska   Education   Grant.                                                                   
Additionally,  there  was  $6  million  that  came  from  the                                                                   
Technical  Vocational Educational  program.  She stressed  it                                                                   
was another  $13 million  in state  funding that was  counted                                                                   
as DGF instead.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson relayed  that the student  instruction                                                                   
portion of  the $300  million also  included $8.5 million  in                                                                   
athletics. She  stated it was  another $8.5 million  that the                                                                   
regents  could  determine  to  allocate  to  other  areas  if                                                                   
needed. She  referred to  an analysis  by the Pew  Charitable                                                                   
Trust  that  in 2013  Alaska  spent  the most  per  full-time                                                                   
equivalent student  in the category  of state revenue  of any                                                                   
state in  the country.  Additionally,  Alaska spent more  per                                                                   
student from  all revenue sources  than any other  state. She                                                                   
furthered  that  meanwhile  Alaska  had ranked  last  in  its                                                                   
four-year  and six-year graduation  rates. Alaska's  six-year                                                                   
graduation  rate was 27  percent below  the national  average                                                                   
and  its four-year  graduation  rate was  22.9 percent  below                                                                   
the average. The  subcommittee had also included  a number of                                                                   
suggestions in the  form of intent language in  order to help                                                                   
guide the  University in  a direction  that would  facilitate                                                                   
cost savings and  possible efficiencies to help  minimize the                                                                   
impact  of budget  reductions while  maintaining services  to                                                                   
students. She stressed  how hard the subcommittee  had worked                                                                   
to show that there  were ways to create savings  and become a                                                                   
better  university  in  areas like  engineering,  the  health                                                                   
market,  and  other.  She stated  that  no  university  could                                                                   
offer every  type of degree.  She stated that  despite claims                                                                   
that the  University of Alaska  had low tuition  rates, based                                                                   
on the  Pew analysis from  the U.S. Department  of Education,                                                                   
National  Center for  Education Statistics,  Alaska was  $633                                                                   
higher  in  net  tuition  and   fees  per  full-time  student                                                                   
equivalent  than the  WICHE average.  Lastly,  even with  the                                                                   
proposed  reductions the  University  still  had almost  $875                                                                   
million in  its budget. She reiterated  that it was  a budget                                                                   
that experienced  a period  of unprecedented  growth  from FY                                                                   
99  to  FY   07.  She  stated  that  larger   cuts  could  be                                                                   
accommodated in  a way that  was least impactful  on students                                                                   
via  smart  and  effective  reallocations  by  the  Board  of                                                                   
Regents. She  reasoned that if  money solved everything,  she                                                                   
would  agree  to  an increase;  however,  it  did  not  solve                                                                   
everything.  She   stated  it   was  about  being   a  better                                                                   
university  for students.  She  relayed that  the state  paid                                                                   
more  per  university  student   than  it  did  for  K-12  in                                                                   
Anchorage  or Fairbanks.  She believed  the University  would                                                                   
use the  opportunity  to become  better at  what it did.  She                                                                   
reiterated  that the finance  subcommittee  had not picked  a                                                                   
random  number to  cut. She  shared that  reports would  come                                                                   
back to  further understand  the University  budget. She  was                                                                   
opposed  to  the  amendment  to   Amendment  15  and  to  the                                                                   
original Amendment 15.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:40:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  supported the  underlying  amendment.                                                                   
He believed  in targeted,  but not  wholesale reductions.  He                                                                   
stated  that the  amendment to  Amendment 15  caught him  off                                                                   
guard.  He deferred  to the  judgement  of the  maker of  the                                                                   
original amendment  and would oppose the motion  to amend it.                                                                   
He stated  that the  University had  its share of  supporters                                                                   
in  the legislature  and  he  believed the  discussion  would                                                                   
continue far beyond the House Finance Committee table.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara believed the  sponsors of the  amendment                                                                   
were   trying   to   support   the   University,   which   he                                                                   
appreciated.  He   was  concerned  that  the   numbers  under                                                                   
discussion   would  be  misinterpreted.   He  explained   the                                                                   
amendment offered  by Representative  Guttenberg should  be a                                                                   
zero-dollar  amendment;  it  was  an  amendment  to  maintain                                                                   
University  funding at  the level  of the  previous year.  He                                                                   
stated  that the  University had  faced  substantial cuts  in                                                                   
the  prior  year.  He could  not  blame  the  University  for                                                                   
accepting  funds the legislature  had allocated  in the  mid-                                                                   
2000s. He  furthered that  the University  had been  strapped                                                                   
throughout  the 1990s  and  the legislature  communicated  it                                                                   
wanted to  increase the  number of  graduates; therefore,  it                                                                   
started  funding   the  University   again.  The   number  of                                                                   
graduates  had increased.  He discussed  that the  University                                                                   
had   increased  graduation   rates  as   specified  by   the                                                                   
legislature.  He agreed that  the state  could not  afford to                                                                   
have a  continual increase  in the  University's budget,  but                                                                   
he did  not believe it  was necessary  to cut the  budget for                                                                   
the  second   consecutive  year.  He  highlighted   that  the                                                                   
University  brought  in  outside research  money;  the  state                                                                   
received  $4 for every  $1 invested  - over  $100 million  in                                                                   
outside research  money had been  received. He  reasoned that                                                                   
cutting University  funding would reduce the amount  of money                                                                   
it would  receive in research  funding and would result  in a                                                                   
decrease  in the number  of students  who remained  in-state.                                                                   
He  stressed  that  when  fewer  students  remained  in-state                                                                   
there  was  less  talent  in  the  state.  He  discussed  the                                                                   
economic impacts  of fewer jobs in-state. He  emphasized that                                                                   
the  state   was  on  the   precipice  of  a   recession.  He                                                                   
recognized that at  some point it was necessary  to cut waste                                                                   
- the  governor had  proposed a  responsible $100 million  in                                                                   
cuts to the  budget. However, it would harm  the economy when                                                                   
the amount  of people  who would work  in Alaska  was reduced                                                                   
and  students left  the  state. He  believed  it would  force                                                                   
tuition to  go up, which was  arguably too high.  The biggest                                                                   
indicator  of where  a student  would reside  was where  they                                                                   
went to  college. He thought it  was bad for the  economy and                                                                   
for   graduation  to   keep   cutting  the   University.   He                                                                   
understood  that the sponsors  of the  amendment were  trying                                                                   
to  protect  the  University  as much  as  possible,  but  he                                                                   
believed it was time to stop cutting the University.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:45:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  shared that  he  did  not have  a                                                                   
college  degree.  He  recognized  that  there  were  numerous                                                                   
people who did  not finish college because they  did not have                                                                   
to. For example,  clinics hired students directly  out of the                                                                   
dental hygiene program  as soon as they were  qualified; they                                                                   
did not need a  degree. He stated that the  University was an                                                                   
open university  that would accept  anyone, which  was unlike                                                                   
most  other universities.  Many  other  universities did  not                                                                   
count  the  community   colleges  as  part  of   the  system;                                                                   
however, the  University of Alaska  had campuses  statewide -                                                                   
the  point  was to  deliver  services  to people  where  they                                                                   
live, which  was expensive. He  believed some of  the numbers                                                                   
were capricious  and arbitrary.  He did  not personally  care                                                                   
about defending  the University  as an institution,  he cared                                                                   
about  defending  the  process  and the  product  the  system                                                                   
provided.  He cared  about  students graduating,  working  in                                                                   
their  field in  Alaska,  and teaching  the  children in  the                                                                   
state's   school  system.   He  stated   that  some   of  the                                                                   
facilities  were nice  and others  were  not; the  University                                                                   
had  acres  of  buildings,  which  meant  a  huge  amount  of                                                                   
unfunded  deferred  maintenance   statewide.  The  University                                                                   
paid  for   the  maintenance   with  GF   allocated  by   the                                                                   
legislature,  but the legislature  had  not been taking  care                                                                   
of the  issue. He  stressed that  the amendment to  Amendment                                                                   
15  would  maintain  the  current level  of  funding  to  the                                                                   
University.  He  emphasized  that  the  University  had  been                                                                   
receiving cuts for  years and now the legislature  was asking                                                                   
it to do more work, reorganizing, and studies.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Wilson,  Edgmon, Gattis,  Munoz,  Pruitt,  Saddler,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to amend Amendment 15 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz addressed  the original amendment.  She                                                                   
added supportive  comments by Representative Neal  Foster and                                                                   
Representative   Paul   Seaton   who  had   served   on   the                                                                   
subcommittee.   She  stressed   that   even  the   governor's                                                                   
proposed reduction  would result in  the loss of  hundreds of                                                                   
jobs.  Fairbanks  would  lose  136  positions  and  Anchorage                                                                   
would lose  108. An additional  $10 million cut,  which would                                                                   
occur even  if the  amendment passed,  there were  additional                                                                   
positions  that would be  cut. She  was concerned about  more                                                                   
cuts. She  understood that  there would  be opportunities  to                                                                   
continue  to work  for restored  funding.  She felt  strongly                                                                   
that  a   successful  economy   was  tied   to  an   educated                                                                   
workforce;  the  University  provided   a  vital  service  to                                                                   
Alaskans in  preparing young  Alaskans for the  opportunities                                                                   
in the  current economy.  She reiterated  that even  with the                                                                   
restoration  of $25  million she  had concern  about the  cut                                                                   
beyond the governor's proposed level.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:51:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  summarized the  Amendment 15.  He believed                                                                   
that  even with  the amendment  the  University would  really                                                                   
struggle. He  referred to the  number of jobs the  cuts would                                                                   
result in;  however, the House  Finance Committee  was having                                                                   
a  difficult  time  justifying  adding  $25  million  to  the                                                                   
budget given  the current budgetary circumstances.  He shared                                                                   
that  the Senate  had  added $25  million  to the  University                                                                   
budget  through its  subcommittee process,  which would  make                                                                   
it a  conferenceable item.  He was  confident there  would be                                                                   
much  more  conversation  about the  subject;  therefore,  he                                                                   
WITHDREW Amendment 15.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment 16  (copy on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Education and Early Development Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Teaching and Learning Support                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Student and School Achievement                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     CONDITIONAL  LANGUAGE:  Page   12,  following  line  27:                                                                   
     Insert new  material to read: "The amount  allocated for                                                                   
     program   administration   and  operations   shall   not                                                                   
     include federal receipts for the ANSWERS program."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:   ANSWERS  is   Alaska's  P-20W   Statewide                                                                   
     Longitudinal  Data System  pre-school  through grade  20                                                                   
     and the workforce  SLDS. The ANSWERS database  will lose                                                                   
     all  sources of funding  at the  end of  FY 2016.  It is                                                                   
     the  purpose  of this  amendment  to encourage  ACPE  to                                                                   
     focus  on its  core  mission  of students  entering  the                                                                   
     Alaskan workforce and not maintenance of a database.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  explained   that  in  July  2012  the                                                                   
ANSWERS  program  had  received   $4  million  (a  three-year                                                                   
federal   grant  to  fund   the  creation   of  a   statewide                                                                   
longitudinal  data system). The  Department of Education  and                                                                   
Early  Development (DEED)  had acted  as a  fiscal agent  for                                                                   
the  grant   and  the  Alaska  Commission   on  Postsecondary                                                                   
Education  (ACPE)   had  provided  project   management.  She                                                                   
detailed that the  program's goal was to  collect information                                                                   
for every child  in Alaska by tracking them  throughout their                                                                   
lives  and studying  their choices  and  future outcomes  for                                                                   
the  purposes  of identifying  the  individual  and  societal                                                                   
impacts  associated with  the specific  outcomes of  Alaska's                                                                   
education systems.  She believed  that the data  collected by                                                                   
the program  was private and should  not be collected  by the                                                                   
state.  She furthered  that in  the 2016 budget  she had  cut                                                                   
the  state funding  in  what she  assumed  had  been a  clear                                                                   
intent that  the program  was not  sustainable. However,  the                                                                   
ANSWERS program  had not been discontinued; it  had continued                                                                   
to conduct  system stabilization, draft preliminary  reports,                                                                   
and  integrate the  workforce  data system  managed by  DLWD.                                                                   
She relayed  that at  present ANSWERS  had not completed  the                                                                   
final  testing, documentation,  or  integrated the  workforce                                                                   
data  system, despite  the investment  of  millions of  state                                                                   
and  federal dollars  over the  last  four years.  Currently,                                                                   
DEED  had  moved  ANSWERS  to  ACPE  using  existing  receipt                                                                   
authority.  She explained  that ACPE planned  to spend  state                                                                   
money from  the Alaska State  Loan Incorporation  to actively                                                                   
pursue  funding  the ANSWERS  program.  She stated  that  the                                                                   
amendment was critical  to stop an unfunded  program that was                                                                   
not  required by  federal regulations  and would  essentially                                                                   
lose  federal funding  by  July  2016 anyway.  She  expounded                                                                   
that  the  state did  not  have  the  funds to  continue  the                                                                   
program  and the state  was not  putting forth  the money  to                                                                   
continue  the   program.  The  amendment  took   away  ACPE's                                                                   
authority  to utilize  students'  funding to  fund a  program                                                                   
that the  state did  not have  the money  for. The  amendment                                                                   
did not  save UGF money, but  did not use students'  money to                                                                   
continue a program  the state was not even  willing to invest                                                                   
in.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:55:57 PM                                                                                                                    
RECESSED                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:49:46 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman relayed  that the  committee was  addressing                                                                   
Amendment 16.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gattis  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  16 [see 4:52                                                                   
p.m. for amendment details].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis restated  her  earlier explanation  of                                                                   
the  amendment.   In  July  2012  the  ANSWERS   program  had                                                                   
received $4 million  (a three-year federal grant  to fund the                                                                   
creation  of  a  statewide  longitudinal  data  system).  The                                                                   
Department  of Education  and  Early Development  (DEED)  had                                                                   
acted  as  a  fiscal  agent for  the  grant  and  the  Alaska                                                                   
Commission  on Postsecondary  Education  (ACPE) had  provided                                                                   
project  management. She  detailed  that  the program's  goal                                                                   
was  to collect  information  for every  child  in Alaska  by                                                                   
tracking  them  throughout  their lives  and  studying  their                                                                   
choices and future  outcomes for the purposes  of identifying                                                                   
the  individual  and  societal impacts  associated  with  the                                                                   
specific   outcomes  of  Alaska's   education  systems.   She                                                                   
believed that the  data collected by the program  was private                                                                   
and  should not  be  collected by  the  state. She  furthered                                                                   
that in  the 2016  budget she  had cut  the state funding  in                                                                   
what she  assumed had  been a clear  intent that  the program                                                                   
was not  sustainable. However,  the ANSWERS  program had  not                                                                   
been  discontinued;  it  had   continued  to  conduct  system                                                                   
stabilization, draft  preliminary reports, and  integrate the                                                                   
workforce  data system  managed  by the  Department of  Labor                                                                   
and  Workforce  Development.  She  relayed  that  at  present                                                                   
ANSWERS had  not completed the final testing,  documentation,                                                                   
or  integrated   the  workforce  data  system,   despite  the                                                                   
investment  of millions  of state  and  federal dollars  over                                                                   
the last  four years.  Currently, DEED  had moved ANSWERS  to                                                                   
ACPE  using existing  receipt authority.  She explained  that                                                                   
ACPE  planned to  spend  state money  from  the Alaska  State                                                                   
Loan  Incorporation to  actively pursue  funding the  ANSWERS                                                                   
program. She stated  that the amendment was  critical to stop                                                                   
an  unfunded  program  that  was   not  required  by  federal                                                                   
regulations  and would  essentially lose  federal funding  by                                                                   
July 2016 anyway.  She expounded that the state  did not have                                                                   
the  funds to  continue the  program  and the  state was  not                                                                   
putting  forth  the  money  to   continue  the  program.  The                                                                   
amendment  took away  ACPE's authority  to utilize  students'                                                                   
funding to  fund a program  that the  state did not  have the                                                                   
money  for. The amendment  did  not save UGF  money, but  did                                                                   
not use students'  money to continue a program  the state was                                                                   
not even willing to invest in.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman asked for clarification on ACPE.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gattis  stated  that   it  was   the  Alaska                                                                   
Commission on Postsecondary Education.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  expressed confusion  about the  amendment.                                                                   
He  stated  that   the  program  funding  was   scheduled  to                                                                   
terminate  by  the  end  of June  2016.  He  asked  what  the                                                                   
amendment would prevent the program from receiving.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  clarified that  there  was no  longer                                                                   
any  federal funding.  She  detailed  that instead  of  using                                                                   
federal and  state funding the  program had begun  to receive                                                                   
funding from  student receipts  in ACPE. The amendment  would                                                                   
prevent   ACPE  from   funding  the   program  with   student                                                                   
receipts.                                                                                                                       
Representative  Wilson  stated  that  she  had  served  as  a                                                                   
commissioner on ACPE  in the past and she had  been concerned                                                                   
about where the  program would obtain the funds  (the program                                                                   
had  initially  been  funded  by  a  three-year  grant).  She                                                                   
explained  that initially  the  information  was supposed  to                                                                   
help the  state understand whether  or not students  attended                                                                   
university  or  a training  program.  The  goal had  been  to                                                                   
collaborate  between  DLWD,  the University,  and  DEED.  She                                                                   
furthered  that the program  had asked  more questions  about                                                                   
the state's children  and more information was  included in a                                                                   
database.  She noted  that she  did not know  how secure  the                                                                   
database was. She  stated that there had been  three years to                                                                   
get  the  program  up  and running,  but  it  was  still  not                                                                   
running.  She  explained  that  the program  was  looking  at                                                                   
using interest  students paid on  their loans, which  she did                                                                   
not believe  had ever been the  intent. She believed  that if                                                                   
the state's  agencies looked  for federal  funds they  should                                                                   
be required  to show  how they would  support a program  once                                                                   
the federal  funds ran  out. She  remarked that the  question                                                                   
had been asked  every year related to the program,  but there                                                                   
had  been  no  answer.  She  was  concerned  that  there  was                                                                   
significant personal  information about the  state's students                                                                   
going into the  database, which she found  disconcerting. She                                                                   
did not  believe parents knew  how extensive the  information                                                                   
was. She was  supportive of ending the program  and finding a                                                                   
better  way to  determine  where  students were  going  after                                                                   
finishing high school (i.e. college or other).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:56:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  believed the  program  boiled  down to  the                                                                   
federal  government trying  to  keep data  on Alaska's  kids,                                                                   
which  he  had a  problem  with.  He  did  not think  it  was                                                                   
appropriate. He  understood that  they were trying  to figure                                                                   
out  what worked  in a  classroom and  what did  not, but  he                                                                   
believed the  state had  plenty of resources  to see  how the                                                                   
kids turned out.  He continued that generally  when the state                                                                   
used  federal  funding  it  came   with  strings  or  another                                                                   
attachment.  He  was  uncomfortable   creating  databases  to                                                                   
track  people.   He  understood   that  the  department   had                                                                   
specified that there  were other monies it could  use, but he                                                                   
was  not  convinced   it  would  happen.  He   supported  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki asked  for  verification that  there                                                                   
was currently no money attached to the ANSWERS program.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis   replied  in  the   affirmative.  She                                                                   
believed it was all the more reason for the program to end.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   thought  he  was  okay   with  the                                                                   
amendment;   however,  he   did  not   want  to  hinder   the                                                                   
department   from  doing   something   in   the  future.   He                                                                   
questioned  whether there  could  be a  part  of the  program                                                                   
tied to federal  money that was important. He  stated that if                                                                   
it only pertained  to the database he could  possibly buy off                                                                   
on the amendment.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon did not  understand the amendment  and                                                                   
noted  that it  would get  rid of  federal receipt  authority                                                                   
and a program  that had at  least some value. He  stated that                                                                   
he  had  not heard  from  anyone  in  his district  that  the                                                                   
program  was invasive.  He was  initially  okay with  getting                                                                   
rid  of the  program, but  he  had heard  from another  House                                                                   
majority member  that the program  had merit and  was related                                                                   
to workforce  development. He found  it difficult to  get rid                                                                   
of the  program without  knowing  what he was  voting to  get                                                                   
rid of. He remarked  that there was two sides  to every story                                                                   
and he had not  heard from the department. He  stated that he                                                                   
was in a quandary over the amendment.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:00:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara stated  that he had  not heard  evidence                                                                   
about the  issue either.  He asked  if the longitudinal  data                                                                   
(over a 20-year period) was to track student progress.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gattis  replied that it had been  the plan for                                                                   
the  longitudinal  data.  When   the  legislature  cut  state                                                                   
dollars the  previous year  no one had  said a word.  She had                                                                   
anticipated  hearing that the  program had  run out  of money                                                                   
and had never  gotten off the ground and was  therefore over.                                                                   
However,  the  department  had  elected  to  look  for  other                                                                   
funding.  She  did not  believe  the  state could  afford  to                                                                   
continue  the  program  and  the  legislature  had  made  the                                                                   
decision the  prior year.  She relayed  that the program  was                                                                   
not yet  off the  ground. She  believed that  at one  time it                                                                   
sounded  like the program  would be  something. She  believed                                                                   
that with  the Common  Core initiative  people had  learned a                                                                   
significant amount  in the past  few years about some  of the                                                                   
data  they  wanted  to  collect  on  the  state's  kids.  She                                                                   
thought it was  a bigger picture than merely  determining how                                                                   
the  state's kids  did  as they  moved  on  and whether  they                                                                   
finished college or not. She struggled with the issue.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara stated that  there was no  evidence that                                                                   
any child's  privacy was  being compromised,  that any  child                                                                   
was being  embarrassed, or that  the data was  being misused.                                                                   
He stated  that the only  thing the committee  currently knew                                                                   
was that  the program  was meant  to track student  progress.                                                                   
He believed  the state should  know the ramifications  of its                                                                   
decisions in  education (whether  students were being  better                                                                   
prepared  or  poorly prepared).  Absent  further  information                                                                   
from DEED he could not support the amendment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  supported  the  amendment.  He  remarked                                                                   
that  his  family's private  information  had  been  breached                                                                   
multiple  times  in the  past.  He  was concerned  about  the                                                                   
privacy of individuals.  He believed a use was  usually found                                                                   
for  data  that  was  gathered.  He  believed  people  had  a                                                                   
constitutional  right  to  be   secure  in  their  homes  and                                                                   
persons.  He did not  understand the  benefit that  justified                                                                   
the  program. He  trusted Representative  Gattis's  instincts                                                                   
on education issues.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:04:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  had  not heard  about  the  issue                                                                   
previously.  He wondered  if the  intent was  to prevent  the                                                                   
program from  getting any funding  at all. He stated  that if                                                                   
there were no  funds available and the program  was ending at                                                                   
the  close  of FY  16,  the  program  would be  winding  down                                                                   
anyway.  He wondered  about  the  difference in  letting  the                                                                   
program  lapse. He  surmised that  the concern  was that  the                                                                   
program would live  on by receive another fund  source in the                                                                   
future.  He believed the  legislature was  letting ACPE  know                                                                   
about its  concern. He  did not know  enough about  the issue                                                                   
[to support  the amendment].  He stated  that credit  ratings                                                                   
were breached  more  often in  the public sector  and he  was                                                                   
concerned about that  for children; however, he  did not have                                                                   
sufficient information.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gattis, Pruitt, Saddler, Wilson, Thompson, Neuman                                                                     
OPPOSED: Edgmon, Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Munoz                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (6/5). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 16 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment 17  (copy on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Labor   and   Workforce                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION:    Commissioner     and    Administrative                                                                   
     Services                                                                                                                   
     ALLOCATION: Commissioner's Office                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DELETE: $190,000 Total Personal Services                                                                                   
     $ 50,000 (UGF 1004)                                                                                                        
     $140,000 (I/A Receipts 1007)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     POSITIONS: DELETE I PFT                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:                                                                                                               
     The mission of the Department of Labor and Workforce                                                                       
     Development  is  to  provide   safe  and  legal  working                                                                   
     conditions and  to advance opportunities  for employment                                                                   
     (per  AS 23.05.010).  At  this time,  it  is prudent  to                                                                   
     eliminate   one   of   the   two   deputy   commissioner                                                                   
     positions.  This  reduction   still  leaves  one  deputy                                                                   
     commissioner   and  two   special   assistants  to   the                                                                   
     commissioner  in the  Commissioner's  Office. Even  with                                                                   
     the  reduction, the  department  will still  be able  to                                                                   
     fulfill its mission.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg OBJECTED.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  explained that  DLWD  had two  deputy                                                                   
commissioners, 804  positions, and a budget  of $164,266,600.                                                                   
She compared the  figures to the Department  of Public Safety                                                                   
(DPS),  which had  840  positions, one  deputy  commissioner,                                                                   
and  a budget  of $187,909,000.  She reasoned  that the  data                                                                   
proved  that another  agency could  operate  with one  deputy                                                                   
commissioner. She  detailed that  there would continue  to be                                                                   
two   liaisons  in   DLWD.  She   spoke  to   ways  to   find                                                                   
efficiencies.  She remarked that  the issue  had been  a tied                                                                   
vote in the finance subcommittee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  stated that the  DLWD commissioner                                                                   
had given  a compelling argument  [about maintaining  the two                                                                   
deputy  commissioner  positions];   the  department  had  800                                                                   
employees and  a completely different command  structure than                                                                   
DPS. The commissioner  had done a good job  on explaining why                                                                   
the  position  was needed.  He  reiterated  the  department's                                                                   
high number  of employees and  reasoned that someone  [one of                                                                   
the  top  employees]  was  always  off  doing  something.  He                                                                   
discussed   that  DLWD   had   offices   statewide  and   the                                                                   
administration   traveled   frequently.   He   believed   the                                                                   
amendment  was an  example  of having  to  cut someplace;  he                                                                   
believed  it  would  handicap  the  department.  He  believed                                                                   
three  people  at  the  top  of  the  command  structure  was                                                                   
minimal. He stressed  that the commissioner and  her deputies                                                                   
did a great job. He believed the amendment was foolish.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:10:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   discussed   that  DOA   had   841                                                                   
permanent  full-time  positions  and  a  structure  with  two                                                                   
deputy  commissioners,  one commissioner,  and  a handful  of                                                                   
division directors.  He furthered that DPS had  five division                                                                   
directors,  one   deputy  commissioner,  and   was  similarly                                                                   
sized; however,  DPS was  also involved  with the Council  on                                                                   
Domestic Violence  and Sexual Assault (CDVSA)  and the Police                                                                   
Standards Council,  which were quasi-standalone  agencies. He                                                                   
did not see DLWD  as a large agency that was  overstaffed. He                                                                   
referred to  the Alaska  Aerospace Corporation that  employed                                                                   
a  vice president  of  business  development at  $178,000,  a                                                                   
chief operating  officer  at $211,000,  a finance manager  at                                                                   
$105,000,  a  program  finance  manager at  $123,000,  and  a                                                                   
president  at $225,000,  which  did  not include  $60,000  in                                                                   
travel.  He stated  the agency  numerous expensive  positions                                                                   
with  few employees.  The amendment  pertained  to an  agency                                                                   
with  one commissioner  and  two  deputy commissioners.    He                                                                   
remarked that the  state had to recognize that  it would have                                                                   
troubles  as   it  approached  a  recessionary   economy.  He                                                                   
reasoned  that  workforce  development  would  be  an  agency                                                                   
helping the  state through the  difficult times.  He believed                                                                   
that cutting  one [deputy]  commissioner  did not make  sense                                                                   
when compared to the rest of the state agencies.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  pointed  out that  the  Alaska  Aerospace                                                                   
Corporation  had  received  zero  funding  in  the  past  two                                                                   
years. He believed the comparison was unfair.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  stated  that  DLWD had  taken  cuts  of                                                                   
approximately  35  percent  over   the  past  two  years.  He                                                                   
detailed  that  the  department   was  tasked  with  training                                                                   
people  for   jobs,  protecting  workers  with   work  safety                                                                   
standards, and job  training for individuals who  got hurt at                                                                   
work.  He stated  that  it was  an  agency  that was  already                                                                   
strapped. He believed  that without evidence that  the person                                                                   
in  the deputy  commissioner  position  was not  doing  their                                                                   
job,  he did  not  support the  amendment.  He  had heard  no                                                                   
evidence  that  the  employee  was not  doing  their  job  or                                                                   
adding value to Alaska's workforce.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson stated  that seven division  directors                                                                   
were responsible  for taking  care of  safety and  day-to-day                                                                   
grants. She  stated that  DLWD was  different because  it had                                                                   
the  Workforce   Development  Board,  which  could   look  at                                                                   
necessary  training  and  direct related  areas.  She  stated                                                                   
that  the position  was another  layer that  did not  provide                                                                   
day-to-day  oversight.  She  believed  the  commissioner  had                                                                   
specified  that the  two liaisons  were  more important  than                                                                   
two deputy commissioners.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gattis, Pruitt, Saddler, Wilson, Thompson, Neuman                                                                     
OPPOSED: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Munoz, Edgmon                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION  PASSED (6/5). There  being NO further  OBJECTION,                                                                   
Amendment 17 was ADOPTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:16:13 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:16:30 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  amendment 18  (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Education   and   Early                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Teaching and Learning Support                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Pre-Kindergarten Grants                                                                                        
     ADD: $2,000,000 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  This   amendment  restores  the   FY20  17                                                                   
     funding  level proposed  by the  Governor. Alaska  ranks                                                                   
     37  out  of  40 states  for  providing  access  to  pre-                                                                   
     kindergarten  education  (National Institute  for  Early                                                                   
     Education    Research   2013).    Intensive    preschool                                                                   
     interventions  can  be highly  cost  effective and  have                                                                   
     positive  impacts  into adulthood.  Young  children  who                                                                   
     receive  high  quality  early  education  do  better  in                                                                   
     school  academically  and are  more  likely  to stay  in                                                                   
     school, graduate  and go on to attend college  and enter                                                                   
     the  job  market   in  higher  numbers.   Alaska  has  a                                                                   
     responsibility  to provide  the best education  possible                                                                   
     for its children.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative     Kawasaki    addressed    that     students                                                                   
participating  in a  quality  pre-K education  graduated  and                                                                   
went to  college in  higher percentages,  had higher  earning                                                                   
rates  than their  parents,  needed less  remedial  education                                                                   
and  public  services,  and had  lower  incarceration  rates.                                                                   
Former  Governor Sarah  Palin  had introduced  a pilot  pre-K                                                                   
program, recognizing  that Alaska was one of  the only states                                                                   
that did  not provide  pre-K in any  form. He continued  that                                                                   
only  40 percent  of Alaska's  population of  three and  four                                                                   
year olds  were enrolled in some  type of formal  pre-K. Only                                                                   
3 percent  of Alaskan four-year  olds were in  a state-funded                                                                   
pre-K program,  which was far  below the national  average of                                                                   
28  percent. The  pilot pre-K  program  had been  as much  as                                                                   
$2.8 million  for one year;  competitive grants had  gone out                                                                   
to  several  districts  -  some  districts  had  participated                                                                   
while  others had  not.  The results  had  been positive.  He                                                                   
shared that  fall and  spring scores  on the Peabody  picture                                                                   
vocabulary test  had been compared.  He spoke  to significant                                                                   
improvements on the  test as a result of pre-K  education. He                                                                   
spoke  to  the  national  evidence-based   results  of  pre-K                                                                   
education.  He  understood  that  Alaska  was  facing  budget                                                                   
difficulties  and  many  other states  had  also  experienced                                                                   
difficult   budget   environments.   He  believed   that   in                                                                   
recessionary  environments education  was one  of the  things                                                                   
that should  not be touched. He  stated that the  coming year                                                                   
would  be the fifth  year of  the program  and would  provide                                                                   
good data  on how  pre-K was working.  He believed  the first                                                                   
three years  provided evidence  that the  program worked.  He                                                                   
relayed  that if  the  grant  system continued  Alaska  would                                                                   
still  be the lowest  of the  states providing  some sort  of                                                                   
support, but it was something.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:20:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gattis  spoke in opposition to  the amendment.                                                                   
She stated  that her  subcommittee had  recommended the  cut.                                                                   
The subcommittee  had considered  that  the FY 17  governor's                                                                   
budget had initially  eliminated pre-K grants,  but had added                                                                   
them   back.   She   discussed   that   pre-K   was   not   a                                                                   
constitutional  mandate.   She  detailed  that   the  program                                                                   
supported  316 students statewide  (approximately $6,330  per                                                                   
student).  She agreed  that pre-K  had first  been funded  in                                                                   
2010 as  a pilot project.  She believed  the state  needed to                                                                   
be very  careful of pilot projects.  She did not  believe the                                                                   
state should fund the program when it did not have funding.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  stated that the program had  been funded                                                                   
by  the past  two  Republican governors.  The  intent was  to                                                                   
study  the program  to determine  its success  and to  extend                                                                   
the  service  up   to  the  $10  million  level   if  it  was                                                                   
successful.  He   stated  that  the  legislature   had  never                                                                   
followed  through on  the additional  funding,  but that  did                                                                   
not  mean the  program was  unsuccessful.  He discussed  that                                                                   
studies  showed that  kids who  went to pre-K  stayed out  of                                                                   
jail,  ended up  on  the welfare  rolls  in smaller  numbers,                                                                   
were  more greatly  employed,  and  other. He  stressed  that                                                                   
there   was  evidence   that   the  program   provided   more                                                                   
opportunity  to children. He  stated that  a troopers  and an                                                                   
oil  pipeline were  not  constitutionally  mandated, but  the                                                                   
legislature  supported  funding for  the  items. He  believed                                                                   
the  relevant  question  was  whether  the  program  improved                                                                   
lives,  increased academic  achievement, and  saved money  in                                                                   
the long-term. He  stated that the answer was  yes. He stated                                                                   
that  it  was a  small  amount  of money  compared  to  other                                                                   
amendments before  the committee.  He emphasized that  it was                                                                   
not a place to cut.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  asked to  confirm some numbers  mentioned.                                                                   
He asked  for verification  that the funding  only went  to 3                                                                   
percent of  pre-K aged  students, yet 40  percent of  the age                                                                   
group  were attending  some  type of  pre-K.  He was  curious                                                                   
about the  effectiveness of the  public schools'  program. He                                                                   
referred  to   statistics  provided   and  wondered   if  the                                                                   
increases were statewide.  He did not know how  effective the                                                                   
program was if  it only applied to 300 students  at a cost of                                                                   
over  $6,000 per  student.  He  wondered if  it  was fair  to                                                                   
other students. He did not support the amendment.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   provided   a   summary   of   the                                                                   
amendment.  He  addressed  that  some  communities  did  have                                                                   
formal pre-K, but  the program was very expensive.  He listed                                                                   
children  served by  the  program  in the  past  year: 32  in                                                                   
Anchorage, 33  in Dillingham, 30  in Juneau, 30 in  the Lower                                                                   
Kuskokwim, 79 in  Mat-Su, 53 in Nome, 20 on  the North Slope,                                                                   
and 14  in Yukon  Koyukuk. He  referred to the  legislature's                                                                   
continual  discussion about  ways to curve  the budget  line.                                                                   
He stated that  early education was one of the  ways that had                                                                   
been proven repeatedly.  The success of Alaska's  pre-K pilot                                                                   
program  was proven  and showed  great  results. He  stressed                                                                   
what had  not been proven was  to continue spending  money on                                                                   
things  like  remedial  sciences   in  college.  He  did  not                                                                   
believe it was  a good investment and was not  sustainable to                                                                   
keep investing  in things like  reforms in middle  school and                                                                   
K-12. He  spoke to one of  President Obama's  new initiatives                                                                   
on   early  education   and  quality   pre-K  programs   were                                                                   
sustainable.  He affirmed  that  the program  in Alaska  only                                                                   
reached 3 percent  of the state's four year-olds,  but it was                                                                   
a great start.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Gattis,  Munoz, Pruitt,  Saddler, Wilson,  Thompson,                                                                   
Neuman                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 18 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  19 (copy  on                                                                   
file)[Note: see copy on file for further detail]:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Education   and   Early                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Teaching and Learning Support                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Early Learning Coordination                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ADD: $500,000 General Fund 1004                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:   This   amendment  restores   Parents   as                                                                   
     Teachers  grants to  the FY20  17 funding  level in  the                                                                   
     Governors  amended  budget.   Parents  as  Teachers  was                                                                   
     passed as  a bill by the  legislature because it  is the                                                                   
     most  cost-effective  way  to  provide  Pre-K  to  young                                                                   
     children,  and  is  proven   to  save  states  money  by                                                                   
     graduating  more students,  reducing social service  and                                                                   
     criminal  costs,  and  increasing   a  student's  future                                                                   
     earning potential and educational attainment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:27:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  discussed that as Alaska  was struggling                                                                   
in 40th place (out  of the 50 states) of not  offering pre-K,                                                                   
he  had begun  to look  into the  objections of  some of  the                                                                   
more   conservative  members   of  the   community  to   find                                                                   
something that  had worked in  more conservative  states. The                                                                   
solution he  had found was  the Parents as Teachers  program.                                                                   
He  stated if  anyone had  objection to  young children  sent                                                                   
into the  classroom, Parents  as Teachers  did the  opposite.                                                                   
The  program  had   been  adopted  across  the   country.  He                                                                   
explained  that  people  with  a pre-K  background  met  with                                                                   
parents  and taught  them  what would  increase  intellectual                                                                   
achievement by their  children. He stressed that  the program                                                                   
worked  just  as  well  as pre-K,  but  through  the  parents                                                                   
instead  of  a   classroom.  Parents  met  with   Parents  as                                                                   
Teachers  educators  at the  place  of the  parents'  choice,                                                                   
where they were  provided with the necessary  tools to ensure                                                                   
the  child achieved  what  it could.  He  furthered that  the                                                                   
results were the  same: children who went through  Parents as                                                                   
Teachers graduated,  went to college, and got  jobs in higher                                                                   
numbers; and ended  up on public welfare and  in jail smaller                                                                   
numbers.   The   program   saved  money   and   gave   people                                                                   
opportunities. He  elaborated that the program  represented a                                                                   
compromise  he  had  been  in  search  of  in  the  past.  He                                                                   
furthered that  he and other  members had worked  together on                                                                   
the  issue in  the past;  it had  become  bipartisan and  had                                                                   
passed  the  legislature.  He  stated that  the  program  was                                                                   
originally  intended to be  funded at  the $2 million  level;                                                                   
it had  been reduced  to $500,000, but  it would  still allow                                                                   
the program  to continue. He  opined that if  the legislature                                                                   
was  going to  cut the  budget  they should  cut things  that                                                                   
were  superfluous  or  did  not work;  however,  he  did  not                                                                   
support making  cuts to successful  programs that  made lives                                                                   
better, kept people off welfare, and out of jail.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis stated  that Parents  as Teachers  had                                                                   
been  in her  subcommittee budget.  She  agreed that  parents                                                                   
are  teachers, but  the Parents  as Teachers  grant had  been                                                                   
eliminated  from  the  governor's   proposed  FY  17  budget.                                                                   
Subsequently  the administration  had submitted an  amendment                                                                   
to add the funds  back into the budget, but  the subcommittee                                                                   
had cut the program.  She relayed that the program  was not a                                                                   
constitutional  mandate. She explained  that the  program had                                                                   
first been funded  as a pilot project when the  state had the                                                                   
money.  She  noted  that  there were  things  the  state  was                                                                   
mandated to  do and  should do  pertaining to education.  She                                                                   
believed the  state did  not have  the funds; therefore,  she                                                                   
did not support the amendment.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:31:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Munoz,  Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,  Gattis,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 19 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  20 (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Education   and   Early                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Teaching and Learning Support                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Early Learning Coordination                                                                                    
     ADD: $320,000 General Fund (UGF) 1004                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  This  amendment restores  Best  Beginnings                                                                   
     Grants to  the FY20 17  funding level in  the Governor's                                                                   
     amended   budget.   Best   Beginnings   fosters   strong                                                                   
     partnerships  with  local  and statewide  entities  that                                                                   
     promote  early learning  opportunities  for children  to                                                                   
     start   school  prepared   to   succeed.  Studies   show                                                                   
     children  with more books  in the  home are more  likely                                                                   
     to  become   good  readers.  Best  Beginnings   supports                                                                   
     Imagination Libraries  and early childhood  partnerships                                                                   
     that provide  services in  113 Alaskan communities  with                                                                   
     an  enrollment   of  over  20,000.   These  partnerships                                                                   
     promote   healthy   parent-child   interaction,   higher                                                                   
     quality early  care and learning, and  parent education.                                                                   
     The program costs  $30 per year per child  (0-5), and is                                                                   
     funded through a combination of state and private                                                                          
     sources, nearly half of which are raised locally.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   explained  that   the  amendment                                                                   
would  fund the  Best Beginnings  program.  He detailed  that                                                                   
the  program was  very  popular with  children.  He shared  a                                                                   
story about  witnessing a small  child receive a book  in the                                                                   
mail. He  recalled the  child's mother  telling him  that her                                                                   
child waited each  month to receive the book in  the mail. He                                                                   
elaborated  that the  book was  age  and subject  appropriate                                                                   
and  encouraged children  to read.  He pointed  out that  the                                                                   
average reading age  in prisons was third grade.  He remarked                                                                   
that  anything the  state could  do to  get children  reading                                                                   
younger  was significant.  He  referred  to discussion  about                                                                   
what was mandated  in the constitution. He remarked  that the                                                                   
constitution  did not say  people should  have children,  but                                                                   
they  did. He  believed  children should  be  taken care  of;                                                                   
there was  a social obligation  to ensure that  children grew                                                                   
up to  be productive  citizens. He  believed the  legislature                                                                   
was cutting  things in the  budget that  should not be  cut -                                                                   
things that  were beneficial  and helpful  for the  state. He                                                                   
could not  believe they were going  to take books out  of the                                                                   
hands of  children. The amendment  would restore  the program                                                                   
for  children  around the  state.  He  reasoned that  if  the                                                                   
funds were  not restored, the  matching funds would  be lost.                                                                   
The  program   taught  children   critical  skills   such  as                                                                   
reading, which  would lead to  better citizens. He  hoped the                                                                   
amendment  would pass.  He spoke about  children who  enjoyed                                                                   
reading, a  skill that would  enable them to  understand what                                                                   
was going  on as they  grew; he stated  that "it  starts with                                                                   
those little kids."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  relayed that  he had always  supported the                                                                   
program and provided  a personal check annually.  He stressed                                                                   
that the  program would not lose  other funding if  the state                                                                   
did  not provide  funds. He  countered that  the money  would                                                                   
still come in  and he guessed that the private  funding would                                                                   
increase.  He believed it  was a  great program; however,  it                                                                   
was  difficult for  the state  to provide  funding given  its                                                                   
deficit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:35:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  believed the  issue was related  to wants                                                                   
versus needs. He  discussed his personal experience  with the                                                                   
library  and books  he received  from family  and other  as a                                                                   
child. He  stated that  public libraries  were accessible  to                                                                   
everyone.  He referred  to testimony  that  the state  should                                                                   
not fund  things that  did not  work -  he reasoned  that the                                                                   
state should also  not fund things that were  duplicative. He                                                                   
believed  it  would  be  more economic  to  fund  the  public                                                                   
libraries instead  of a program  that cost $30 per  child. He                                                                   
acknowledged  that the program  may be good,  but it  was not                                                                   
the  only way  for a  child to  get  a book.  He opposed  the                                                                   
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki  testified   in   support  of   the                                                                   
amendment.  He  pointed  to  a   graph  in  members'  packets                                                                   
associated  with  the  amendment. He  stressed  that  private                                                                   
funds would not  supplant the loss of state  funds. He stated                                                                   
that  Imagination  Libraries in  Fairbanks  had  communicated                                                                   
that a devastating  cut would end the program.  He elucidated                                                                   
that Best  Beginnings was  more than  merely giving  books to                                                                   
kids.  He  stated  that  it  had  been  the  glue  that  held                                                                   
together  DEED's early  development  component. He  explained                                                                   
that a  one-quarter of  a percent  was actually dedicated  to                                                                   
early education,  which included Best Beginnings,  pre-K, and                                                                   
Parents as  Teachers. He discussed  that Best  Beginnings set                                                                   
the other  programs together  and apart  in the  conversation                                                                   
about early  education.  Without Best Beginnings  he did  not                                                                   
know  why there  was a  Department of  Education and  "Early"                                                                   
Development.  He  asserted  that  the state  would  not  have                                                                   
anyone advocating  for early development if all  of the early                                                                   
development programs were eliminated.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:38:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  discussed that there was every  piece of                                                                   
evidence  that the  Imagination Library  and Best  Beginnings                                                                   
worked.  He  stated  that getting  fewer  books  to  children                                                                   
would work less  well. He stated that the amendment  would be                                                                   
the  difference between  having  more or  less children  with                                                                   
books  in  their   hands.  He  remarked  that   most  of  the                                                                   
committee members  around the  table were pretty  privileged.                                                                   
He  stressed  that  the  programs   benefitted  some  of  the                                                                   
poorest  children  in  the  state.  He  emphasized  that  the                                                                   
amendment  pertained to kids  who would  no longer  get pre-K                                                                   
services  or benefit  from Parents  as  Teachers because  the                                                                   
programs had  been defunded. He  stated that the  elimination                                                                   
of Best Beginnings  would mean fewer books would  go to kids,                                                                   
despite the  fact that getting  books into the hands  of kids                                                                   
was  successful.  He thought  the  legislature  came down  to                                                                   
Juneau to  cut things  that were wasteful  and did  not work.                                                                   
He elaborated  that  the program  put books  in the hands  of                                                                   
children for  a cost of  $320,000. He recommended  ending the                                                                   
amendment  process  if  all  of  the  amendments  would  just                                                                   
receive   party-line  votes.   He  pointed   out  that   Best                                                                   
Beginnings  was  the  smallest  of  the  pre-K  programs.  He                                                                   
continued that  he had been  comfortable voting  for majority                                                                   
member amendments  and bills; he hoped the  committee did not                                                                   
spend  the remainder  of  the  evening voting  across  caucus                                                                   
lines.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
7:41:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   stated  that  it  was  not   proper  to                                                                   
question  the  motivation  of  another  member.  He  did  not                                                                   
appreciate his votes being cast as party-line votes.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Neuman  asked   members   to   maintain  a   civil                                                                   
discussion.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  remarked  that all  committee  members                                                                   
supported  pre-K  and  it  was  difficult  for  her  to  vote                                                                   
against  the amendment.  However, she  understood that  there                                                                   
was a  finite amount of money  available in the  current year                                                                   
and that  the state would  have to continue  to look  for new                                                                   
revenue sources. She hoped to get as much funding toward K-                                                                     
12 education  as possible.  She remarked that  it was  a fine                                                                   
balance. She understood  that the issue currently  before the                                                                   
committee would  continue to be  a part of the  discussion as                                                                   
the  legislature moved  towards  adjournment. She  reiterated                                                                   
that her  focus was trying to  obtain as much funding  for K-                                                                   
12 as possible.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg remarked  that  the committee  had                                                                   
already cut Parents  as Teachers. He stated  that without the                                                                   
amendment  the committee  was  now taking  books  out of  the                                                                   
hands of  children. Additionally,  the budget cut  funding to                                                                   
libraries. He stressed  "it is what it is"  and asked members                                                                   
not  to "say  we're  not doing  it,  when that's  what  we're                                                                   
doing."  He stressed that  the children  were in  pre-school.                                                                   
The individuals  benefitting  from the  program did not  have                                                                   
the ability to  spend time browsing in bookstores;  the books                                                                   
went to all of  the children - there was no  cutoff. He spoke                                                                   
to  the  pride  of ownership  that  children  had  for  their                                                                   
belongings.  The  children  did  not  know that  it  was  the                                                                   
state's   motive  to  get   them  engaged   in  reading   and                                                                   
education. He  emphasized that  the program was  not partisan                                                                   
or superfluous;  it was  meant to  make society stronger.  He                                                                   
communicated that  according to Best Beginnings  the matching                                                                   
funds for  the program would  go away  if the state  GF funds                                                                   
were eliminated.  He recalled  when a  legislator had  wanted                                                                   
to put some  discretionary money into their  district for the                                                                   
program  - as a  result it  had become  something the  entire                                                                   
legislature  did because it  was the smart  thing to  do. The                                                                   
program  went  to  provide  books   to  the  most  vulnerable                                                                   
children. He relayed  that the amendments had  not been drawn                                                                   
up  to instigate  arguments;  they  were designed  to  create                                                                   
results. He  underscored that  the programs created  results.                                                                   
The cost of  putting a book in  a child's hand was  worth it.                                                                   
He stressed that  the program made a difference  tomorrow and                                                                   
in  20 years.  He  remarked  that other  amendments  included                                                                   
much higher  costs than the  amendment before  the committee.                                                                   
He  stated  that the  amendment  was  meant to  brighten  the                                                                   
lives of  small children.  He emphasized  the success  of the                                                                   
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:47:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kawasaki, Gara, Guttenberg, Thompson                                                                                  
OPPOSED:  Munoz,  Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,  Gattis,                                                                   
Neuman                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 20 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:48:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 21  (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Education   and   Early                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Teaching and Learning Support                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Learning Network                                                                                        
     ADD: $400,000 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:    Adds   funding   to   allow    for   the                                                                   
     continuation of the Alaska Learning Network Program.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki explained  the amendment related  to                                                                   
the  Alaska Learning  Network  (AKLN). He  detailed that  the                                                                   
network  had  originated  as  a  way  to  provide  equal  and                                                                   
equitable  access   to  education  online  for   high  school                                                                   
students.  He elaborated  that 42  of the  state's 54  school                                                                   
districts  were currently  served  by the  program -  ranging                                                                   
from  Petersburg,  Fairbanks,  Juneau,  and the  North  Slope                                                                   
Borough. He  noted that Fairbanks  had the highest  number of                                                                   
participants at  110. The concept  behind the program  was to                                                                   
provide  an outlet  and to  maximize a  student's ability  to                                                                   
learn  when  classes   are  not  offered  within   their  own                                                                   
district.  Additionally,   the  program   was  part   of  the                                                                   
governor's  performance  scholarship. For  example,  students                                                                   
who  did not  have access  to  advanced placement  chemistry,                                                                   
calculus,  or  history, may  have  the  ability to  take  the                                                                   
course in  another venue.  Students who  participated  in the                                                                   
program  had  a  high completion  rate  (between  79  and  87                                                                   
percent).  He  stated  that  AKLN was  one  of  the  backbone                                                                   
systems  that  needed  support.   He  communicated  that  the                                                                   
network had  been flat  funded over  the past several  years.                                                                   
He asserted  that  if AKLN was  cut, many  schools would  not                                                                   
have   the   ability   to   compete   for   the   performance                                                                   
scholarship,  especially  in  rural  Alaska.  He  added  that                                                                   
without  the program  Fairbanks  students accessing  advanced                                                                   
placement courses would no longer have access.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  spoke in opposition to  the amendment.                                                                   
She was  frustrated by  AKLN, which  she believed could  have                                                                   
been  self-sustainable  by the  current  time. She  explained                                                                   
that the network  had been started by a federal  grant by the                                                                   
Chatham School  District and it  had subsequently  been taken                                                                   
over by  Wrangell, which  had done  a good job  administering                                                                   
the program. Ultimately  it was taken over by  the University                                                                   
of Alaska. She  elaborated that Ketchikan and  Kenai had been                                                                   
ahead of the  game and had numerous online  courses they were                                                                   
sharing  with  others. She  relayed  that  she had  sent  the                                                                   
commissioner  at   the  time   to  Ketchikan  to   look  into                                                                   
utilizing  successful programs  in  similar school  districts                                                                   
instead  of starting  over in  various  areas. She  furthered                                                                   
that  the  intent  of the  program  to  provide  high  school                                                                   
students with  access to courses  that may not be  offered in                                                                   
their  community.   She  explained   that  the  program   was                                                                   
supposed  to allow  communities  to exchange  courses or  for                                                                   
one  district to  pay another  to keep  courses updated.  She                                                                   
believed  that  because  the   network  kept  getting  traded                                                                   
around  it had  never  really  found a  good  home or  become                                                                   
self-sustainable. She  pointed to the $400,000  GF allocation                                                                   
proposed  under the  amendment  and stated  that the  program                                                                   
had  not found  a way  to be  usable as  intended. She  still                                                                   
believed  the program had  the opportunity.  She opined  that                                                                   
without  the state  funds,  the program  would  be forced  to                                                                   
charge the money,  which she believed was probably  much less                                                                   
than it would  take most districts to hire  a master teacher.                                                                   
She  stated that  they needed  to get  the money  out of  the                                                                   
state's  districts because  they were  getting paid for  each                                                                   
of the  credit hours that  high school students  were taking.                                                                   
She  explained that  the  cut would  not  be taking  anything                                                                   
away  from schools.  She  furthered  that there  was  another                                                                   
avenue for smaller  schools to have a wide  range of courses,                                                                   
but  the state  would  not  provide funding.  She  reiterated                                                                   
that the  program had  access to  funding that the  districts                                                                   
needed to  utilize. She  remarked that  Kotzebue had  its own                                                                   
studio  and  made classes  for  some  of the  smaller  school                                                                   
districts  to utilize.  Even  since the  program's  inception                                                                   
many  school  districts  had  done  their  own  program.  She                                                                   
believed  the  program  could  survive if  they  charged  the                                                                   
necessary amount,  which was  significantly less  than hiring                                                                   
a teacher for just a few students.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:54:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gattis  spoke in opposition to  the amendment.                                                                   
She explained  that the AKLN  program had morphed  into using                                                                   
Apex Learning  classes.  She explained  that Mat-Su used  the                                                                   
Apex program; it  had been able to get the  licensing and let                                                                   
anyone use  the courses for  a relatively inexpensive  price.                                                                   
She furthered that  it was one of the reasons  AKLN had found                                                                   
itself  -  it  was  utilizing  the  same  Apex  program.  She                                                                   
believed AKLN  was utilizing some  courses it  had originally                                                                   
put together,  but it  had really pivoted  over to  Apex. She                                                                   
elaborated  that AKLN was  now operating  as a middleman  and                                                                   
was  therefore charging  school  districts  more. She  shared                                                                   
that Mat-Su had  communicated that it would  charge the going                                                                   
rate. She  detailed that the  intent had been  to incentivize                                                                   
school districts  to share with  each other, which  had never                                                                   
really  occurred  under  AKLN.  She had  spoken  against  the                                                                   
program in the  past. She highlighted that there  were school                                                                   
districts  that   did  online  learning   out-of-state  (i.e.                                                                   
Florida Virtual School and other).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked how  much money  would be  left in                                                                   
AKLN without the amendment.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  replied  that she  thought  that  the                                                                   
program had  been defunded. She  had been surprised  to learn                                                                   
there was  still money  remaining, but she  did not  know the                                                                   
amount.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman stated that it was also his understanding.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara spoke  in support  of the amendment.  He                                                                   
stated  that it  was  not possible  to  make  a program  more                                                                   
efficient by  reducing its  budget to zero.  He was  happy to                                                                   
hear if  someone had a plan  to make AKLN more  efficient. He                                                                   
discussed  that the program  had begun  when former  Governor                                                                   
Sean Parnell had  created the merit scholarship.  He detailed                                                                   
that  the  scholarship  required students  to  take  specific                                                                   
courses in  order to  qualify; however,  many of the  courses                                                                   
are  not available  in rural  Alaska. He  furthered that  the                                                                   
merit  scholarship  would  only   be  available  to  students                                                                   
living in  urban areas  if something had  not been  done. The                                                                   
former  governor had  stated that  the program  needed to  be                                                                   
funded in order  for everyone to have an equal  chance at the                                                                   
scholarship.  He discussed  that  there were  some very  good                                                                   
schools in rural  Alaska that produced Ivy  League graduates.                                                                   
He  believed the  students in  rural Alaska  should have  the                                                                   
same  opportunity  at  a scholarship  as  an  urban  student;                                                                   
however,  that was  not  the  case currently.  He  elaborated                                                                   
that  currently many  small schools  in  rural districts  did                                                                   
not have  advanced placement  courses needed  to qualify  for                                                                   
the  scholarship. He  stressed that  there could  not be  two                                                                   
classes of citizens in the state.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  questioned what kind of system  it would                                                                   
be to tell a  child that no matter how hard  they worked they                                                                   
would not  qualify for  a scholarship.  He believed  it would                                                                   
be  an awful  system.  He  furthered  that AKLN  leveled  the                                                                   
playing field for  students in rural districts.  He could not                                                                   
imagine  telling  a parent  that  the merit  scholarship  was                                                                   
reserved for  other people  who had  access to the  necessary                                                                   
courses.  He  stressed that  without  AKLN  it would  be  the                                                                   
case.  He   had  never  heard   that  the  program   had  run                                                                   
inefficiently;  eliminating it  was not  the way  to make  it                                                                   
more efficient.  He stated that  eliminating the  program was                                                                   
a way  to create  two systems  of schools:  one for  those in                                                                   
urban areas and  a worse one for students in  rural areas. It                                                                   
was  not  the  Alaska  he  believed  in.  He  reiterated  his                                                                   
remarks about  the disparity between  rural and  urban school                                                                   
districts.  He  stressed  that  the  state  was  supposed  to                                                                   
maximize the  chances for  every young  person in the  state.                                                                   
He referred to  another committee member's statement  about a                                                                   
litmus test  to determine whether  something belonged  in the                                                                   
budget.  The question  had been  whether a  cut would  impact                                                                   
people's lives.  He believed  it was  a relevant question  to                                                                   
ask  when  considering  whether  to continue  a  program.  He                                                                   
underscored  that the  cut would  impact  people's lives  and                                                                   
would  create two  unequal systems  of  education in  Alaska:                                                                   
one  for individuals  living  in  wealthier urban  areas  and                                                                   
another  for poorer  rural individuals.  He did  not want  to                                                                   
create two systems.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:01:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Munoz  believed that AKLN provided  a valuable                                                                   
service to  the state. She  recalled former Governor  Parnell                                                                   
visiting  a  mining  training  course at  the  University  of                                                                   
Alaska  Southeast.  She  spoke   to  the  impact  the  former                                                                   
governor's   participation   had  on   the   class  and   how                                                                   
witnessing  the online  learning  had impacted  him as  well.                                                                   
She viewed  the program as an  opportunity to save  the state                                                                   
money.  She did  not want  to see  the program  go away.  She                                                                   
thought   the  program   could  look   for  increased   self-                                                                   
sufficiency  and   ways  to  increase  funding   through  the                                                                   
districts.  She also  heard that  Mat-Su may  want to take  a                                                                   
larger  role.  She did  not  believe  the program  should  be                                                                   
eliminated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis reminded the  committee that  AKLN was                                                                   
not a  free program; Apex  also charged. She  elaborated that                                                                   
AKLN had become  the "middleman" and charged  more than Apex;                                                                   
AKLN  had  chosen  Apex  to utilize  the  Apex  program.  She                                                                   
explained that  AKLN had the  opportunity to buy  direct from                                                                   
Apex. She  believed that the  program had morphed  into being                                                                   
the  middleman for  the  Apex program  and  had shifted  away                                                                   
from the  original intent.  She did not  have a problem  with                                                                   
AKLN or  Apex, but  she stated  that Apex  was provided  at a                                                                   
cheaper price. She did not support funding a middleman.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson had  not seen  statistics  about how  many                                                                   
rural students  were using  the program.  He referred  to the                                                                   
sponsor's   testimony   that   the   largest   utilizer   was                                                                   
Fairbanks.  He asked  for  detail on  other  areas using  the                                                                   
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  summarized the amendment.  He shared                                                                   
that AKLN  had started  in 2011 with  only 169 enrollees;  at                                                                   
the  close  of  the 2014/2015  school  year  there  were  920                                                                   
enrollees. The  projection for the  current year was  878. He                                                                   
stated that  Alaska Native student  success was  an important                                                                   
goal for  AKLN, which was  included in the programs  by-laws.                                                                   
He furthered  that 36  percent of  the enrollees were  Alaska                                                                   
Native  students.   He  referred   to  the  distribution   of                                                                   
enrollees  and  explained  that  Fairbanks  accounted  for  a                                                                   
large number;  however, Kuspuk  had 17 or  18, Nenana  had 16                                                                   
or  17, and  Hoonah  had 2  or  3 students  participating  in                                                                   
AKLN. He believed  it was important to  recognize, especially                                                                   
under the  terms of the  governor's performance  scholarship.                                                                   
According to  AKLN the upcoming  summer courses  were already                                                                   
in   jeopardy  until   further  funds   were  secured.   Past                                                                   
appropriations  varied  between  $800,000 and  $400,000  (the                                                                   
current  amount   was  $400,000).   The  AKLN  director   had                                                                   
communicated  that without  the  $400,000  the program  would                                                                   
end. He  encouraged the  committee to  think hard about  what                                                                   
ending the program would do.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Munoz, Gara, Edgmon, Guttenberg, Kawasaki,                                                                            
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Saddler, Wilson, Gattis, Thompson, Neuman                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 21 FAILED (5/6).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:07:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 22  (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT:   Department    of   Education   and   Early                                                                   
     Development                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Alaska Library and Museums                                                                                  
     ALLOCATION: Online With Libraries (OWL)                                                                                    
     ADD: $761,800 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: Restores Online with Libraries to the                                                                         
     FY17 Governor's Amended budget level.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki explained  the amendment  pertaining                                                                   
to  funds for  the Online  with Libraries  (OWL) program.  He                                                                   
explained  that as the  state required  more and more  online                                                                   
study,  broadband became  an  important  aspect. He  detailed                                                                   
that  OWL was  parallel to  the AKLN  program. He  elaborated                                                                   
that  OWL   provided  1.5   megabit  speeds   to  most   area                                                                   
libraries.  He continued  that the  average monthly  internet                                                                   
cost  for  a  rural  library  could  be  as  low  as  $2,700;                                                                   
however,  the rate  was $7,600  for  the Dillingham  library.                                                                   
The  program  provided all  of  the  libraries with  a  small                                                                   
subsidy  in  order  to  operate  video  and  teleconferencing                                                                   
equipment  and  online  resources.  In 2012  there  had  been                                                                   
scheduled   video/teleconferences    of   about   247;   with                                                                   
increased   technology   and   the  demand   set   on   rural                                                                   
communities in  particular, the  number had increased  to 794                                                                   
in  2013  and  840  in 2014.  He  stated  that  OWL  provided                                                                   
another method to help with students in rural Alaska.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gattis  testified   in  opposition   to  the                                                                   
amendment. She  relayed that OWL  had begun to  receive state                                                                   
funding in 2015;  the state had received federal  and private                                                                   
grants from  2010 to 2014. Only  42.6 percent of  the state's                                                                   
101  libraries utilized  the OWL  program;  the remainder  of                                                                   
the public  libraries paid  the local  share of the  internet                                                                   
bills in-house.  Some of  the libraries  that used  OWL would                                                                   
downgrade their  internet with the proposed cut,  while other                                                                   
libraries may  not have difficulty  paying for  the internet.                                                                   
She believed the state could live without the program.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Edgmon  supported the amendment.  His district                                                                   
included two first-class  smaller regional hubs  - the cities                                                                   
of  Dillingham,  Unalaska,  and  Naknek  had  libraries  that                                                                   
depended  on   the  funding.   He  noted  that   the  program                                                                   
leveraged  federal  e-rate matching  dollars  ($8  to $9  for                                                                   
every state  dollar). The  program provided community  access                                                                   
to the  internet at the local  library and also  had valuable                                                                   
instructional  value  to  students.  He  discussed  that  the                                                                   
program stretched  the state's educational dollars.  He could                                                                   
see broadband  replacing some  component of the  K-12 formula                                                                   
in the future.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:11:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg spoke in  favor of the  amendment.                                                                   
He believed  it was  unfortunate that  the committee  did not                                                                   
understand  the structure  of broadband  and e-rate  dollars.                                                                   
He explained  that everyone paid  into the Universal  Service                                                                   
Fund, which subsidized  $360 million annually in  the form of                                                                   
e-rate funding.  He elaborated  that it  drove down  the cost                                                                   
of funding  in libraries. He discussed  that he paid  $89 for                                                                   
poor reception  (under 1  megabit) at  his home in  Fairbanks                                                                   
what  he paid  at  home for  internet.  He  relayed that  the                                                                   
average  library  paid  $2,600 for  their  share;  Dillingham                                                                   
paid   $7,600.  The   minimum   the  Federal   Communications                                                                   
Commission (FCC)  considered for broadband was  25 megahertz.                                                                   
He  was not  aware  of anyone  in  Alaska who  received  that                                                                   
speed.  He relayed  that he  could  not even  stream a  movie                                                                   
with his  internet service  in Fairbanks.  He continued  that                                                                   
44 libraries would  return to dialup internet  service if the                                                                   
OWL  funds were  not continued;  he noted  that dialup  speed                                                                   
was  less   than  1.5  megabits.   Without  the   funds  many                                                                   
libraries would  not have the  ability to file  for Permanent                                                                   
Fund Dividends  online, purchase  a hunting license,  provide                                                                   
distance  education,   and  other.   He  surmised   that  the                                                                   
decreased  internet service would  render computer  equipment                                                                   
useless in some libraries.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  referred   to  a  2013  State  of                                                                   
Alaska broadband  taskforce report that sat languishing  on a                                                                   
shelf.  He stressed  that the  report addressed  many of  the                                                                   
issues  under   discussion,  but  the  legislature   was  not                                                                   
working on  them. He  emphasized that  they were not  working                                                                   
on driving  down the  cost of  things the  state could  do to                                                                   
increase  efficiencies  and  decrease  costs  in  Alaska.  He                                                                   
stated that  the OWL  grants did  those things. He  expounded                                                                   
that   44   of   the  state's   libraries   would   have   no                                                                   
teleconferencing,  distance  education, and  nothing  online.                                                                   
He discussed  that when Airforce  One had visited  Dillingham                                                                   
the secret service  had been "flipping out"  because they had                                                                   
no  internet  access.  He  believed   the  expense  paid  for                                                                   
broadband in  Alaska was astronomical and  criminal; however,                                                                   
the legislature  was not  doing anything  to drive  the costs                                                                   
down. He  continued that  all the  legislature was  doing was                                                                   
telling communities  it would  not subsidize the  communities                                                                   
because  it did  not have  the  character or  strength to  do                                                                   
what was right  for Alaska. He stated the $761,000  grant was                                                                   
a  small part  of  doing  anything.  He emphasized  that  the                                                                   
legislature  appeared   to  be   willing  to  just   cut  the                                                                   
libraries  off   at  the  knees.  He  underscored   that  the                                                                   
libraries  could not  afford the  service and  would not  all                                                                   
find another  funding source. He  furthered that the  cost of                                                                   
utilities   would  increase  due   to  increased   electronic                                                                   
reporting (e.g. trooper reporting and other).                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:17:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   summarized  the   amendment.   He                                                                   
explained  that prior  to  OWL,  70 out  of  the state's  100                                                                   
libraries  did   not  have   sufficient  bandwidth   for  any                                                                   
internet connection  or videoconferencing.  He detailed  that                                                                   
currently  almost every library  had some  sort of  access to                                                                   
the OWL program  and the 4 to 1 federal matching  rate, which                                                                   
could leverage  up to $2 million.  If the program  funds were                                                                   
cut,  the  libraries using  OWL  would  most likely  have  to                                                                   
return to dialup  speeds. He communicated that  libraries and                                                                   
schools  were  often the  center  of  a small  community.  He                                                                   
believed cutting  off their ability  to communicate  with the                                                                   
rest  of the  world (or  severely limiting  the ability)  was                                                                   
going in  the wrong direction.  He acknowledged that  the cut                                                                   
would   not   necessarily  impact   Fairbanks,   Mat-Su,   or                                                                   
Anchorage,   but   it   would  it   would   severely   hamper                                                                   
legislators' ability  to communicate with  their constituents                                                                   
across  the  rest  of  the state.  He  added  that  it  would                                                                   
severely impact  constituents' ability to file  forms online.                                                                   
He noted  that the  current legislature  had communicated  to                                                                   
the administration  that it wanted  to see more  online forms                                                                   
for   things   like   driver's   license   renewal,   fishing                                                                   
licensing,  and  filing reports,  because  it cost  less.  He                                                                   
stated that the  $761,000 GF request was a small  part of the                                                                   
state's  overall budget;  it  did not  break  the budget.  He                                                                   
believed  that  cutting  the  funds  may  have  the  opposite                                                                   
result of  the legislature's  desired  goal of balancing  the                                                                   
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman OBJECTED.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Edgmon, Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Munoz                                                                             
OPPOSED: Pruitt, Saddler, Wilson, Gattis, Thompson, Neuman                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 22 FAILED (5/6).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:20:49 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:42:47 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  23 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Medicaid Services                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION:    Adult   Preventative   Dental    Medicaid                                                                   
     Services                                                                                                                   
     ADD: $2,882,700 Fed Rcpts (1002)                                                                                           
          $2,882,700 G/F Match (1003)                                                                                           
          $279,000 General Fund (1004)                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:                                                                                                               
     Medicare does  not provide dental coverage  for seniors,                                                                   
     with   very  minor  exceptions.   The  state   therefore                                                                   
     adopted  a  limited  dental plan  for  seniors.  Without                                                                   
     this amendment  the state's  senior dental plan  will be                                                                   
     significantly  reduced.  Alaska  will  also  lose  $2.88                                                                   
     million, which will impact the economy.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ·  Preventive  dental   services  help  control   higher                                                                   
        medical costs by preventing more serious dental                                                                         
        issues such as infections, extractions, etc.                                                                            
     ·  Preventive dental  services  help individuals  retain                                                                   
        their natural  teeth or  provide  for dentures  which                                                                   
        help with  nutrition as well  as cosmetic  appearance                                                                   
        which helps individuals maintain  employment and stay                                                                   
        in the work force                                                                                                       
     ·  Prevents  emergency room  visits  for  dental  issues                                                                   
        which could have been taken care of with preventive                                                                     
        services                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara explained  that  a number  of years  ago                                                                   
the state  decided that not  providing people the  option for                                                                   
dental  services was  not the  way to go.  Medicaid had  only                                                                   
covered services  in the emergency  room for dental  work; it                                                                   
had not  covered preventative  care. He  detailed that  under                                                                   
the state's Medicaid  program people had to  wait until their                                                                   
tooth  decay problems  became bad  enough for  them to  go to                                                                   
the  emergency  room  (ER);  the   state  had  not  paid  for                                                                   
preventative  work. He  elaborated  that  the state's  senior                                                                   
population had faced  the same fate because  Medicare did not                                                                   
cover  dental   work  outside   of  extreme   hospitalization                                                                   
services.  He  reiterated  that  the state  had  adopted  its                                                                   
dental program  for individuals  on Medicaid  and low  income                                                                   
individuals  on  Medicare. He  continued  that  at first  the                                                                   
state  had bought  an individual  with  no teeth  one set  of                                                                   
dentures  at a time  (an upper  or lower  denture); that  had                                                                   
been changed  in order for a  person to use two  years' worth                                                                   
of  benefits in  one  year in  order  to get  a  full set  of                                                                   
teeth.  He   expounded  that   if  the  dental   program  was                                                                   
eliminated  for people  who could  not  afford to  go to  the                                                                   
dentist  a  person would  not  receive  dentures at  all.  He                                                                   
explained  that  the  current budget  eliminated  the  dental                                                                   
program for seniors and non-seniors on Medicaid.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara highlighted  that  half  of the  current                                                                   
program  was funded  by $2.8  million in  federal funds  (the                                                                   
other half  was paid  for with state  funds). He  shared that                                                                   
the previous  year 27,000 Alaskans had  received preventative                                                                   
dental  services. He  explained  that without  the  amendment                                                                   
individuals  would have  to wait  until  their tooth  problem                                                                   
became painful  enough to warrant  going to the ER;  it would                                                                   
be  the only  coverage a  person would  receive. He  remarked                                                                   
that committee  members  all had health  insurance and  could                                                                   
go to  the dentist for  work; they did  not have to  wait for                                                                   
disease  to occur.  He wished  Medicare covered  preventative                                                                   
dental, but it  did not. He believed that while  battling the                                                                   
budget deficit,  the legislature  should  look for things  to                                                                   
cut that  did not matter and  were not important.  He thought                                                                   
the cut  went too  far backwards;  it was too  hard a  hit on                                                                   
people who  did not  have money and  on seniors.  He reasoned                                                                   
that it was less  expensive to let someone go  to the dentist                                                                   
before they  had a  major problem.  He communicated  that the                                                                   
dental program had  been proposed by a Republican  legislator                                                                   
in  the  past  and  had  passed  unanimously.  The  amendment                                                                   
maintained the  current dental  program; without  the program                                                                   
seniors  and  Medicaid  recipients  would have  to  wait  for                                                                   
their  dental problems  to become  severe  enough to  justify                                                                   
going to the ER.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:48:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  discussed  that  the state  had  a  very                                                                   
generous Medicaid  program. The  program offered  26 optional                                                                   
adult  services   to  the  Medicaid  population,   which  was                                                                   
approximately  145,000 at a  cost of  $239 million  per year.                                                                   
Additionally,   the  program   offered  19  mandatory   adult                                                                   
services,  which  cost  the state  $486  million  [annually].                                                                   
There  were  45  services  mandatory   services  provided  to                                                                   
children  (including  dental services)  for  a  cost of  $539                                                                   
million.  He believed  the  program  was generous.  He  added                                                                   
that it was a  maximum of $1,250 per year.  He continued that                                                                   
the state  provided Permanent  Fund Dividends  and there  was                                                                   
nothing  to  prevent  people from  using  their  dividend  on                                                                   
dental work. He  explained that people on Medicaid  were held                                                                   
harmless;  there was  no penalty  for using  the dividend  to                                                                   
take care of  one's teeth. He explained that  the program was                                                                   
separate from  the entire medical services  Medicaid statute.                                                                   
He reasoned  that it  was not inappropriate  to look  at some                                                                   
of  the  optional  services  provided  when  facing  a  large                                                                   
deficit.  He  remarked  that   other  states  that  had  gone                                                                   
through  recession had  figured out ways  to reduce  Medicaid                                                                   
expenses;  suspending   or  ending  the   adult  preventative                                                                   
dental  service  was one  of  the  tactics other  states  had                                                                   
utilized.  He   pointed  out  that   it  was  a   $6  million                                                                   
reduction.  He reiterated  that the state  paid $239  million                                                                   
for optional  services, $486 million for  mandatory services,                                                                   
and  $539  million  for  children's   services.  He  did  not                                                                   
believe it was  unreasonable to expect that there  would be a                                                                   
slight  reduction  in the  optional  programs  provided in  a                                                                   
time of significant deficit.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gattis  shared  that  her  father-in-law  had                                                                   
passed away  the past  year. She  shared that  he had  been a                                                                   
WWII veteran  who had not  received dental insurance  through                                                                   
the VA. She recalled  that as he had aged it  had been a huge                                                                   
challenge for  her family to deal  with his dental  work. She                                                                   
struggled  with the fact  that dental  care would be  offered                                                                   
for free,  while many people in  the private industry  had to                                                                   
pay for  coverage themselves.  She added  that veterans  were                                                                   
only covered  if they had a  war injury. She did  not support                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:52:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  stated "I'm delighted  that people                                                                   
think  that somebody  that's eligible  for Medicaid  services                                                                   
will  go in  at the  drop of  a  toothache and  get a  dental                                                                   
appointment, have  a phone number to be reached  at, and have                                                                   
a place  to go and a  way to get  there at a  specific time."                                                                   
He believed  that it  was unfortunate  that veterans  did not                                                                   
receive  dental coverage.  He  discussed  what happened  when                                                                   
people  could  not afford  medical  services.  He  emphasized                                                                   
that  he   was  not   asking  members   to  care  about   the                                                                   
individuals.  He  was  asking  members to  think  about  what                                                                   
happened to  their insurance  bill. He  referred to  a person                                                                   
with decaying  teeth who could  not afford insurance;  it was                                                                   
not only the  pathway to needing heavy dental  work, but many                                                                   
other diseases as  well. He stressed that when  a person went                                                                   
to  the ER  because  they could  not  afford  to go  anywhere                                                                   
else, the  state paid for  the bill; some hospitals  absorbed                                                                   
the cost,  but most  passed the  costs on  to the state.  The                                                                   
point  of the  dental  program  was to  provide  preventative                                                                   
coverage  in  order  to  avoid the  need  for  ER  treatment.                                                                   
Additionally,  with preventative  treatment,  people did  not                                                                   
get  disease as  a result  of tooth  problems. He  reiterated                                                                   
that  the state  was  paying  for services  when  individuals                                                                   
went to  the ER.  He communicated  that hospitals would  tell                                                                   
members  how much  money  they  had to  absorb  and how  much                                                                   
money they had  to build into billing and other.  He stressed                                                                   
that  it  was  significantly   higher  than  $6  million.  He                                                                   
restated   that  the  state   paid  the   bill  anyway   when                                                                   
individuals  had to  go  to the  hospital.  He  spoke to  the                                                                   
cost-effective  nature   of  providing  preventative   dental                                                                   
care. He  emphasized that  failing to  provide treatment  for                                                                   
individuals  would  cause  the   budget  to  balloon  in  the                                                                   
future. Additionally,  the costs would be reflected  in state                                                                   
and private  insurance and  when paying  for services  out of                                                                   
pocket.  He  underscored  that  the costs  would  be  on  the                                                                   
state's bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:56:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked if  it was accurate  that veterans                                                                   
did not receive preventative dental through the VA.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson   replied  that   he  was  not   positive;                                                                   
however,  he was  not aware  of any  veterans receiving  free                                                                   
dental care.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson stated that  her husband is  a veteran                                                                   
and  did not  receive preventative  dental  care through  the                                                                   
VA.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  thought   it  made  the  need  for  the                                                                   
amendment even  more pressing.  He stated "shame  on us  as a                                                                   
society"  if individuals  were  asked to  go to  war for  the                                                                   
country but did  not receive dental care benefits.  He opined                                                                   
that if  veterans were not receiving  dental, it was  all the                                                                   
more  reason to  pass the  amendment. The  amendment did  not                                                                   
discriminate between  individuals who had served  the U.S. in                                                                   
war and those  who had not; it would provide  dental coverage                                                                   
for  veterans and  non-veterans.  A  veteran would  have  the                                                                   
right  to  dental  coverage, especially  if  they  came  back                                                                   
injured and unable to work and were Medicaid eligible.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Saddler,  Wilson, Edgmon,  Gattis,  Munoz,  Pruitt,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 23 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:59:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara relayed  that the  restoration of  funds                                                                   
to  help  seniors   with  conditions  like   Alzheimer's  had                                                                   
already passed in  a prior amendment; therefore,  he WITHDREW                                                                   
the Amendment 24 (copy on file).                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  25 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Senior and Disabilities Services                                                                            
     ALLOCATION:    Community   Developmental    Disabilities                                                                   
     Grants                                                                                                                     
     ADD: $640,000 GF/MH (1037)                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  The  subcommittee's  cuts reduce  help  to                                                                   
     Alaskans    with   developmental   disabilities.    This                                                                   
     assistance is  used to help vulnerable people  live with                                                                   
     dignity,  learn, and  care for  themselves. These  funds                                                                   
     provide   assistance   for   organizations   like   Hope                                                                   
     Community  Resources, which  promotes  a better  quality                                                                   
     of life.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   explained  that  the   current  budget                                                                   
included  a   $640,000  cut  to  people   with  developmental                                                                   
disabilities.  The  amendment  sought  to  restore  help  for                                                                   
people  facing   difficulties  in  their  daily   lives  just                                                                   
because  of  the way  they  were  born. The  amendment  would                                                                   
restore  funds   to  Hope   Community  Resources   and  other                                                                   
programs. He spoke  to public testimony from a man  who had a                                                                   
lift installed  in his shower so  he could take a  shower. He                                                                   
believed  the services  helped people live  with dignity.  He                                                                   
did not  believe a shower lift  was a luxury. He  stated that                                                                   
the legislature should  be cutting waste and  things that did                                                                   
not work, but  not programs such as disability  services. The                                                                   
funds were essential  to people who had many  hurdles to live                                                                   
with.  The cut  would hit  people  with some  of the  biggest                                                                   
challenges   in  the  state.   The  funds   also  helped   an                                                                   
individual  to  a build  ramp  to  their  house in  order  to                                                                   
remain  in their  own  home;  the grants  helped  individuals                                                                   
live independently.  He remarked  that someone had  once said                                                                   
that the  budget was not  only a bunch  of numbers; it  was a                                                                   
moral  document.  He shared  that  he  had  grown up  with  a                                                                   
foster brother  with developmental disabilities.  He provided                                                                   
further information  about his  brother who had  been offered                                                                   
a hand  and training provided  by grants. He had  also worked                                                                   
for a living  until being hit  by a car, which  prevented him                                                                   
from working again.  He stated that some people  need a hand;                                                                   
people with disabilities  should be given a hand.  He did not                                                                   
support  cutting over  $500,000 to  individuals who  deserved                                                                   
the services, the  right to live with dignity,  and the right                                                                   
to receive training to help them go to work if possible.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  stated that the funds were  not wasteful                                                                   
and went  to individuals  who should have  the right  to live                                                                   
with dignity  and independently.  He recalled members  of the                                                                   
Key Coalition of  Alaska telling him they would  just like to                                                                   
live with  dignity and independently.  He added that  some of                                                                   
the funds were  used for fun. For example,  sometimes a group                                                                   
like Hope  Community Resources  was able to take  individuals                                                                   
to a  movie so  they did  not have  to be  cooped up at  home                                                                   
their  entire lives.  He wanted  to hear  if people  believed                                                                   
the  program  was  wasteful  or   if  the  funds  were  being                                                                   
misused.  He  had never  heard  either  of those  things.  He                                                                   
reasoned that  the cut  in the budget  did meet the  standard                                                                   
of  impacting lives;  it  was an  essential  service. He  was                                                                   
supportive of locating  waste in the budget,  but the service                                                                   
the amendment would restore was not waste.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:05:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  countered  that the  state  did  provide                                                                   
resources to  individuals with  disabilities. He  wondered if                                                                   
providing $5  million to $12  million would be  sufficient to                                                                   
show  that the  legislature had  respect for  the dignity  of                                                                   
those  impacted   by  the  services.   He  stated   that  the                                                                   
legislature  provided  $12  million   for  disability  grants                                                                   
(after the  reduction the  amendment sought  to restore).  He                                                                   
expounded  that  the  subcommittee   had  taken  a  modest  5                                                                   
percent  reduction  from  the governor's  request,  which  he                                                                   
believed  was  not excessive  or  cold-hearted.  He  reasoned                                                                   
that  it  was  not  possible to  spin  gold  from  straw.  He                                                                   
stressed  that  the  state was  constrained  by  the  current                                                                   
fiscal  situation.  He  furthered  that  the  state  provided                                                                   
other  services to  individuals  with disabilities  including                                                                   
Medicaid   healthcare   services  and   waivers,   vocational                                                                   
rehabilitation  services,   and  proposed   legislation  that                                                                   
would enable  people to  save money  to pay  for the  cost of                                                                   
living   with  a   disability.   Additionally,  the   federal                                                                   
government   provided   supplemental  security   income.   He                                                                   
rejected  the  proposition  that  not  funding  the  $640,000                                                                   
demonstrated  lack  of  care,   respect,  or  compassion.  He                                                                   
believed the reduction  reflected the fiscal reality  and was                                                                   
modest and responsible.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   spoke   in   support   of   the                                                                   
amendment. He  did not  hear any place  where the  funds were                                                                   
superfluous,  wasted,  or  unneeded.  He  stressed  that  the                                                                   
making budget  cuts was the  coldest part of  the legislative                                                                   
process.  He  furthered that  cuts  were  being made  on  the                                                                   
backs  of children,  seniors,  and disabled  individuals.  He                                                                   
reasoned at  that point the  budget became a  moral document.                                                                   
He believed  cuts were being made  to places that  should not                                                                   
be cut.  He knew  the cut  to disability  services was  wrong                                                                   
and  he believed  "it  says something  morally  about who  we                                                                   
are."                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:09:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Wilson,  Edgmon, Gattis,  Munoz,  Pruitt,  Saddler,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 25 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:10:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED Amendment 26 (copy on file):                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Senior and Disabilities Services                                                                            
     ALLOCATION: General Relief/Temporary Assisted Living                                                                       
     ADD: $365,000 General Fund (1004)                                                                                          
     EXPLANATION:  This  cut will  reduce  emergency  housing                                                                   
     and help  for seniors and  those with other  significant                                                                   
     challenges.  It provides  housing for  people who  would                                                                   
     otherwise  be  homeless,  until stable  housing  can  be                                                                   
     secured.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  explained   that  the  amendment  would                                                                   
restore  funding   for  short-term   emergency  housing   for                                                                   
seniors  and individuals  with  significant life  challenges.                                                                   
The current  budget would cut  $365,000 from the  program. He                                                                   
had no  problem providing  emergency housing  for seniors  or                                                                   
disabled  individuals  who  could  otherwise end  up  on  the                                                                   
street due to  life difficulties. He stated  that seniors and                                                                   
people with  disabilities were  already taking a  significant                                                                   
hit in  the current budget. He  believed they were  the wrong                                                                   
people  to take  money away  from.  He offered  to receive  a                                                                   
salary  cut. He  wondered  who  thought cutting  the  service                                                                   
would  save the  state money.  He surmised  that without  the                                                                   
funds the individuals  could end up in a shelter;  they would                                                                   
eventually  receive  services,   but  would  live  with  less                                                                   
dignity. He  stated that  it was a savings  on paper  but not                                                                   
in  reality. He  did not  see  the necessity  for cutting  so                                                                   
deep.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:13:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler spoke  in  opposition  to the  amendment.                                                                   
believed a 5  percent reduction could be considered  large or                                                                   
small.  He pointed  to a  survey by  the Rasmuson  Foundation                                                                   
asking what  a person  would consider to  qualify as  a small                                                                   
or medium cut.  He believed the population of  Alaska thought                                                                   
a small cut would  be 10 percent and that a  medium cut would                                                                   
be  25 percent.  He  did not  recall  what  people thought  a                                                                   
large  cut  would  be.  He  stated  that  temporary  assisted                                                                   
living received  an allocation  of just  under $7 million  in                                                                   
state funds. The  cut would reduce the governor's  request by                                                                   
5 percent,  which he believed  was half  of what a  small cut                                                                   
would  be.  He  had  heard  earlier  in  the  day  that  some                                                                   
individuals in the  oil industry who were taking  100 percent                                                                   
cuts  in pay,  losing their  jobs,  and having  to leave  the                                                                   
state  because  of the  economics  of  the oil  industry.  He                                                                   
reasoned  that the economics  filtered  through the state  in                                                                   
the  form of  reduced taxes  and  royalties. In  the face  of                                                                   
tremendous  income  reductions,  he  did  not  consider  a  5                                                                   
percent  cut to  be deep.  He stressed  that it  was a  small                                                                   
cut,  but he  wished  it was  not  necessary.  He referred  a                                                                   
review for DHSS,  which specified that the 1915-I  waiver the                                                                   
department  was pursuing,  could make an  extra $4.5  million                                                                   
available for the  assisted living allocation.  He hoped that                                                                   
the  money  became  available.  He  stated  that  he  is  not                                                                   
uncompassionate;  his job  on  the committee  was to  balance                                                                   
the  state's   unlimited  needs,  wants,  and   desires  with                                                                   
limited revenue.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki   referred  to  previous   testimony                                                                   
related to polling.  He did not listen to polls  or lobbyists                                                                   
because  ultimately  the  people  he  listened  to  were  his                                                                   
constituents.  He  detailed  that many  of  his  constituents                                                                   
would  be  deeply  impacted  by the  cut.  He  supported  the                                                                   
restoration  of funding  because  his constituents  would  be                                                                   
heavily impacted by a 5 percent cut.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  stated  that  he  would  not  make  the                                                                   
decision  based on  a poll; however,  he had  read the  poll,                                                                   
which did  not say that people  supported a 5 percent  cut to                                                                   
seniors  or people  with disabilities  in  need of  emergency                                                                   
housing. He  emphasized that the  specific questions  had not                                                                   
been in  the poll. He believed  that if Alaskans  were polled                                                                   
on the specific issue they would oppose the cut.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Gattis,  Wilson, Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson, Thompson,                                                                   
Neuman                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 26 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:18:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 27  (copy                                                                   
on file) [Note: see copy on file for further detail]:                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Health and Social Services                                                                                     
     APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Senior Benefits Payment Program                                                                                
     ADD: $5,137,900 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: This amendment restores the FY20 17                                                                           
     funding level proposed by the Governor. Alaska faces                                                                       
     exponential  growth  in  the senior  population  with  a                                                                   
     doubling of  the senior population in the  next 10 years                                                                   
     (roughly  70,000   to  140,000).  The   Senior  Benefits                                                                   
     Payment Program  provides vital supplemental  funding to                                                                   
     low-income  seniors that  allow  them to  stay in  their                                                                   
     homes.   Keeping  seniors  at   home  saves   the  state                                                                   
     thousands  of  dollars  and  slows  their  move  up  the                                                                   
     continuum of  care. With the pending Silver  Tsunami, it                                                                   
     is prudent  to invest in cost saving measures  that will                                                                   
     reduce spending  later. Eligibility is income  based and                                                                   
     is  divided into three  categories;  75%, 100% and  175%                                                                   
     of the  Federal Poverty  Level. Eliminating  benefits to                                                                   
     5,438 people  and households will cost the  state in the                                                                   
     long run.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  discussed  the high  population  of                                                                   
seniors  in  his  district.  He  detailed  that  the  state's                                                                   
senior population  was expected  to double  over the  next 10                                                                   
years. He  believed the number  should cause alarm  when they                                                                   
spoke  about senior  and  disability  services  and home  and                                                                   
community  based  waivers.  He   explained  that  the  Senior                                                                   
Benefits  Payment  Program  helped seniors  remain  in  their                                                                   
homes longer,  which ultimately  ended up costing  the system                                                                   
significantly less.  Currently there were 5,348  seniors that                                                                   
would be  impacted by  the amendment; failure  to act  on the                                                                   
amendment  would mean  that seniors  making somewhere  around                                                                   
$14,000 per  year would  no longer  receive a senior  benefit                                                                   
payment.  The payment originally  was supposed  to be  around                                                                   
$125,  which was  anticipated  to drop  to  $47. The  seniors                                                                   
that  he  knew were  seniors  who  had  built the  state.  He                                                                   
remarked  that the  street  names in  his  district were  all                                                                   
named  after seniors  from the  community.  He believed  that                                                                   
ensuring  that  senior  benefits continued  into  the  future                                                                   
would ensure that the individuals could remain in Alaska.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:21:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler spoke  against the  amendment. He  stated                                                                   
that the  issue had  been discussed  previously. He  believed                                                                   
the state  was generous  and recognized  the contribution  of                                                                   
its  seniors. The  amendment sought  to  restore a  reduction                                                                   
made  in his  finance subcommittee  that would  end the  cash                                                                   
payment  to  the  highest  level of  three  tiers  of  senior                                                                   
benefit  recipients;  individuals that  earned  approximately                                                                   
$25,760 at 100  to 125 percent of the federal  poverty level.                                                                   
The subcommittee  had proposed no  change to the  lowest tier                                                                   
of seniors who  received $250 per month at 75  percent of the                                                                   
federal  poverty  level.  Additionally,  there  had  been  no                                                                   
change  to the  second  tier who  would  continue to  receive                                                                   
$175 per  month at 76 to  100 percent of the  federal poverty                                                                   
level. He  opined that  the funds demonstrated  consideration                                                                   
and compassion to  the state's neediest seniors.  He reasoned                                                                   
that it was a  cash benefit and by maintaining  the funds for                                                                   
the neediest seniors  it protected two-thirds of  the seniors                                                                   
who  received the  benefit. He  noted that  there were  other                                                                   
benefits  offered to the  seniors including  the PFD,  senior                                                                   
citizen property  tax exemption, senior sales  tax exemption,                                                                   
veteran   property  tax   exemption,   survivor  of   veteran                                                                   
property   tax   exemption,    social   security,   Medicaid,                                                                   
Medicare, and  other. He stated  that failing to  provide the                                                                   
cash payments to  one tier of the senior  benefits recipients                                                                   
was  not  in any  way  disrespecting  or  showing a  lack  of                                                                   
appreciation  for Alaska's  seniors.  He  expounded that  the                                                                   
cut  was  simply  reflecting  the  state's  difficult  budget                                                                   
times. He referred  to other discussions about  balancing the                                                                   
needs of  sick and  disabled people  versus college  students                                                                   
versus pre-K programs.  He reasoned that it  was not possible                                                                   
to fund  or cut everything.  He did not  believe the  cut was                                                                   
inappropriate.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  did not believe the state  was balancing                                                                   
the  needs of  children who  would benefit  from state  pre-K                                                                   
with  the needs  of  seniors because  it  appeared that  both                                                                   
would be cut. He  stated that taking away funds  on both ends                                                                   
did  not   represent  a  balance.   He  discussed   that  the                                                                   
administration  should have  been  paying $100  per month  to                                                                   
seniors  who  earned  as  little  as  $14,700;  however,  the                                                                   
individuals  had  been paid  $125  per  month for  the  first                                                                   
portion of the  fiscal year and $47 for the  remainder of the                                                                   
year.  He  elaborated  that if  the  amendment  failed  those                                                                   
seniors would  receive no senior  benefit payment at  all; if                                                                   
it passed  they would  receive  at least $100  per month.  He                                                                   
did  not believe  the  chair  of  the DHSS  subcommittee  was                                                                   
disrespecting anyone,  but he believed taking  the funds away                                                                   
was  wrong.  He  was  proud  that   seniors  were  offered  a                                                                   
property tax  exemption; however, it  was necessary to  own a                                                                   
home  in order  to receive  the benefit.  The senior  benefit                                                                   
payments went to many seniors who did not own a home.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:26:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  asked which tier a person  earning $14,000                                                                   
per year fell under.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  replied that individuals  earning $14,720                                                                   
per year  were in  the second  tier and  would still  receive                                                                   
$175 per month.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   provided   a   summary   of   the                                                                   
amendment.  He stated that  the largest  benefit went  to the                                                                   
people who could  least afford it. He detailed  that a senior                                                                   
earning  between  zero and  $11,000  would receive  the  $250                                                                   
monthly  payment.  Individuals  earning between  $11,000  and                                                                   
$14,000 would receive  $175 per month. The  category impacted                                                                   
by  the  amendment included  5,400  seniors  earning  between                                                                   
$14,000  and   $25,000.  He  stated   that  the   funds  were                                                                   
supplemental  benefits  that went  to seniors  -  individuals                                                                   
who  helped to  build  the state  and  decided  to retire  in                                                                   
Alaska. He remarked  that many seniors moved to  the Lower 48                                                                   
and  places that  with  a lower  cost of  living.  He told  a                                                                   
personal  anecdote  about  his  mom  who  was  a  senior.  He                                                                   
emphasized that  seniors wanted to  remain in Alaska  and had                                                                   
provided a  significant amount to  the state. He  stated that                                                                   
the program  provided seniors  with funds for  food, heating,                                                                   
and prescriptions.  He believed that without  senior benefits                                                                   
fewer  grandparents  would  have  the ability  to  remain  in                                                                   
Alaska.  He stated that  the amendment  would enable  seniors                                                                   
to stay in Alaska.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Gattis,  Munoz, Pruitt,  Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 27 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:30:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  believed  Amendment 28  had  been                                                                   
taken care of in an earlier amendment.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:31:12 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:31:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  WITHDREW  Amendment 28  (copy  on                                                                   
file).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  29 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Administration                                                                                   
     APPROPRIATION: Legal and Advocacy Services                                                                                 
     ALLOCATION: Office of Public Advocacy                                                                                      
     ADD: $542,400 General Fund (1004)                                                                                          
     POSITIONS: Add: 5 PFT Positions                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:   Guardian   ad  Litems   in  Alaska   (who                                                                   
     represent  children  in   OCS  cases)  have  "among  the                                                                   
     highest"  caseloads "in  the  United States,"  according                                                                   
     to  Office  of  Public  Advocacy  Director  Rick  Allen.                                                                   
     Current averages  are between 110-120 children  per GAL.                                                                   
     "GAL  caseloads  have  risen   58%  in  the  past  12-18                                                                   
     months," according to Mr. Allen.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara explained  that the amendment  addressed                                                                   
guardians ad  litem who represented  children in  cases where                                                                   
they  were taken  away  from  their families.  The  guardians                                                                   
were  responsible for  determining  a child's  best  interest                                                                   
and  presenting it  to the  court.  He detailed  that if  the                                                                   
best  interest was  to reunite  the child  with their  family                                                                   
the guardian  would recommend  that a child  be taken  out of                                                                   
foster   care   and   reunited   with   their   family.   The                                                                   
recommendation  would  be  to  keep  a  child  away  from  an                                                                   
abusive parent if  that was the case. He emphasized  that the                                                                   
amendment  was about  protecting  children  from child  abuse                                                                   
and  neglect; it  was also  about  maintaining families  when                                                                   
possible.  He  emphasized  that  the children  had  not  done                                                                   
anything wrong  and deserved  a voice  in court. He  referred                                                                   
to  a  statement by  Rick  Allen  who  headed the  Office  of                                                                   
Public Advocacy  that Alaska had among the  highest caseloads                                                                   
in the  nation. The  state's caseloads  were between  110 and                                                                   
120  children  per  child advocate.  He  expounded  that  the                                                                   
large  caseload prevented  advocates  from  spending time  on                                                                   
the  case  prior  to  going  to   court.  He  discussed  that                                                                   
caseloads had  risen 58 percent in  the past 12 to  18 months                                                                   
according to Mr.  Allen. He had heard numerous  statements in                                                                   
the  committee that  sometimes  mistakes  were  made when  it                                                                   
came to  the children,  sometimes they  were taken  away from                                                                   
families they  should not be  taken away from,  and sometimes                                                                   
children are  put back  with families  that have no  business                                                                   
taking care of  a child. He stressed that mistakes  were made                                                                   
in  both  directions  if caseworkers  were  overburdened.  He                                                                   
wanted children's  advocates  who would  know the child  when                                                                   
they went  to court and  who would have  the ability  to tell                                                                   
whether  a  child  would  be  put  in  danger  if  they  were                                                                   
reunified with an abusive parent or other.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara stated  that  in one  way the  amendment                                                                   
would save  the state money;  a knowledgeable  advocate would                                                                   
know the  family well  enough to  recommend taking  the child                                                                   
out of  the foster care system.  He furthered that  the state                                                                   
did not  need to pay  $30 to $100 per  day to keep  the child                                                                   
in the  foster care  system. The  $100 cost  per day  was for                                                                   
children  with more  severe  behavioral  problems. He  stated                                                                   
that any child  taken away from their family  had significant                                                                   
problems.  He shared  that once  a  child was  put in  foster                                                                   
care  they   automatically  received   high  enough   Adverse                                                                   
Childhood  Experiences score  to be categorized  as a  person                                                                   
needing  help.  He  stated  that  the  amendment  would  save                                                                   
money.  He furthered  that  there would  be  cases where  the                                                                   
advocate would  determine a child  could be placed  back with                                                                   
their  family; it  would also  save the state  money when  an                                                                   
advocate  determined  that  keeping   the  child  from  their                                                                   
family would prevent  abuse. He underscored that  if a family                                                                   
abused their  child it would ruin  the child's life  and cost                                                                   
the state more money.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   expressed  sympathy   for  individuals                                                                   
facing  hardships  due  to  job loss  in  the  oil  industry;                                                                   
however, they  had not faced  the same hardship  the children                                                                   
impacted  by  the  amendment  faced.  He  stressed  that  the                                                                   
children  had the  right to  have the  correct decision  made                                                                   
about them and  the right to an advocate who  would represent                                                                   
them wisely.  He emphasized that  it was the state's  job not                                                                   
to  send children  back to  abusive  homes. Additionally,  it                                                                   
was the  state's job  to reunify  families when  appropriate.                                                                   
He  reiterated  that  the  amendment  would  save  money.  He                                                                   
underscored  that  the  amendment  was  right  and  protected                                                                   
children.  He  emphasized  that   the  state  had  among  the                                                                   
highest  caseloads in  the country  for too  long. The  state                                                                   
had the  highest level  of child  abuse and  sexual abuse  in                                                                   
the country.  He was tired  of the state  ranking at  the top                                                                   
of  the categories.  He concluded  that  the amendment  would                                                                   
save  the  state  money,  dignity,  and  it  would  save  the                                                                   
state's children from pain.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:38:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Gattis,  Munoz, Pruitt,  Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 29 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  30 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Office of Children's Services                                                                               
     ALLOCATION: Front Line Social Workers                                                                                      
     ADD: $1,034,300 General Fund (1004)                                                                                        
     $258,600 Federal Receipts (1002)                                                                                           
     POSITIONS: ADD: 10 PFT Positions                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Since  the  addition  of needed  staff  in                                                                   
     2015, the  number of foster  youth has grown  from 2,450                                                                   
     to  2,879   today.  The  staff  added  in   2016  helped                                                                   
     neglected  and abused  youth, but  since then more  than                                                                   
     400  youth have  come into  OCS. Caseworkers'  caseloads                                                                   
     remain  with  well  above   recommended  caseloads.  The                                                                   
     system is  over-stressed, and we  need to have  a system                                                                   
     that  is responsive  to abused  and neglected  children,                                                                   
     foster and  natural parents, and that gets  children out                                                                   
     of  the  foster  care  system   into  permanent,  loving                                                                   
     homes.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  discussed that the previous  session the                                                                   
legislature had  done something very good. He  explained that                                                                   
the state  had a massively  overburdened foster  care system.                                                                   
He noted that  the previous year the committee  had been told                                                                   
that  while  the  average  caseload   should  be  12  to  15,                                                                   
caseworkers in Alaska  had up to 70 cases.  He furthered that                                                                   
the  committee  had  heard  that  with  the  addition  of  27                                                                   
caseworkers  in the Office  of Children  Services (OCS),  the                                                                   
caseloads  were  still  very  high  and  far  above  national                                                                   
standards.  He   offered  his  appreciation  for   the  funds                                                                   
allocated  the previous  year.  The high  rate was  partially                                                                   
due to a significant  increase in the number  of foster youth                                                                   
(the number had  risen from approximately 2,450  the previous                                                                   
year  to  almost  2,900  at present).  He  had  believed  the                                                                   
number of  children in  foster care would  be similar  in the                                                                   
current year to  the number the prior year.  He stressed that                                                                   
the children  had done nothing  wrong and deserved to  have a                                                                   
caseworker  to  check   in  on  them  and  who   knows  them.                                                                   
Additionally, foster  parents deserved to get a  return phone                                                                   
call. He  emphasized that not  only were caseloads  too high,                                                                   
they  had increased  by 450  in the  past year.  He spoke  to                                                                   
wanting to bend  the curve to make things better.   He stated                                                                   
that the  caseworkers would  save the  state money  when they                                                                   
had the  time to realize  when a family  was ready to  take a                                                                   
child back  safely or when a  child should be kept  away from                                                                   
an  abusive  parent.  The  larger  the  caseloads,  the  more                                                                   
mistakes would  be made. He  provided a sports  analogy about                                                                   
dropping balls.  He emphasized  that mistakes were  made when                                                                   
there were  not enough  people working.  He underscored  that                                                                   
the  state  did  not  have  enough  people  working  for  the                                                                   
children  who had  done nothing  wrong, but  were abused  and                                                                   
neglected and sometimes bounced between 15 foster homes.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara    stressed   that    with   reasonable                                                                   
caseloads,  the caseworker  would  have the  ability to  work                                                                   
the case to  put a child into  a permanent home. The  goal of                                                                   
the foster care  system was not to keep kids  in foster care,                                                                   
but to get them  out of the system. He stated  that getting a                                                                   
child  back  into a  permanent  and  loving home  was  termed                                                                   
permanency in  the profession.  It was something  he believed                                                                   
everyone wanted.  He stated that  the amendment would  make a                                                                   
number  of lives  better. He  elaborated  that the  amendment                                                                   
was not expensive.  He thought the committee  would hear from                                                                   
the DHSS  budget subcommittee chair  that he believed  he had                                                                   
located a  $2 million  savings in the  OCS system  to qualify                                                                   
for some  federal funds. He  stated that the  amendment would                                                                   
cost  $1 million.  He stated  that  it would  cost the  state                                                                   
more if the  amendment did not  pass. He did not know  how to                                                                   
measure  accidentally putting  a child  back with an  abusive                                                                   
parent or  leaving a  child in  foster care  when they  had a                                                                   
loving  family to  go  home to.  He recalled  testimony  from                                                                   
foster  children who  had been  placed in 15  homes over  the                                                                   
course of 10 to  15 years. He questioned the  damage that the                                                                   
situation could  cause. He had  met the head of  OCS recently                                                                   
who had  expressed her  alarm at the  number of youth  coming                                                                   
into the foster  care system; she had no power  to stop that,                                                                   
but she  needed to  work to  get children  out of the  foster                                                                   
care system.  She wanted to have  control about how  fast the                                                                   
state  got  kids out  of  foster  care  and into  a  healthy,                                                                   
loving  home.  He  reiterated   that  the  national  caseload                                                                   
standard   was  12  to   15  kids   per  social  worker.   He                                                                   
communicated  that  if  10  caseworkers  were  added  for  an                                                                   
increase  of  450  kids,  it  would  not  meet  the  national                                                                   
standard, but it  would make things better.  He remarked that                                                                   
if it made 10  to 20 lives better it would  be successful. He                                                                   
asked members to support the amendment.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:46:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  spoke in opposition to  the amendment.                                                                   
She  hoped that  whoever  had  the allocation  the  following                                                                   
year  should  change  the allocation  from  frontline  social                                                                   
workers.   She   corrected   that    the   individuals   were                                                                   
caseworkers.  She believed  that the  state was  overreaching                                                                   
and would  take more  children [from  their homes]  that they                                                                   
should  not take  if the  agency  was given  more money.  She                                                                   
shared that  she had received  a call  the prior day  about a                                                                   
child that had  been playing at a church  playground adjacent                                                                   
to their  home. She  had been told  that someone  thought the                                                                   
child  was unattended  and  OCS  ended up  at  the home.  She                                                                   
agreed  that  there  were  some   parents  who  were  abusing                                                                   
children  and  the   children  should  be  taken   away.  She                                                                   
remarked  that more  children  had been  taken  out of  their                                                                   
homes  in  the   past  year  because  more   money  had  been                                                                   
appropriated  to OCS. She  stated that  OCS had a  1,000-page                                                                   
manual; she  did not believe  OCS followed its  policies. She                                                                   
believed  that there  would be  fewer  children removed  from                                                                   
their homes  if OCS followed its  policies. She spoke  to the                                                                   
need for  offering a  safety plan  to keep  a child  in their                                                                   
home. She  remarked that very  infrequently "is there  not an                                                                   
emergency  taking  of  a child."  She  recalled  a  situation                                                                   
where the safety  plan was with the child's  grandmother. She                                                                   
elaborated on the  story and relayed that the  child had been                                                                   
taken by OCS.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson believed that  if the state  gave more                                                                   
money  to the  department it  would take  more children.  She                                                                   
believed  the system  was broken.  She stressed  the need  to                                                                   
look into  the agency if the  committee really wanted  to see                                                                   
a  change.  She believed  OCS  broke  federal and  state  law                                                                   
because  they did  not follow  the  policies and  procedures.                                                                   
She stated  that the federal  government had become  involved                                                                   
and decided to  provide more funding for adoption  and foster                                                                   
care. She  did not believe  it sounded  like a bad  idea, but                                                                   
as  a  result,   reunification  with  families   had  dropped                                                                   
annually  down  to  16  percent at  present.  She  wanted  to                                                                   
protect  children but she  also wanted  to protect  families;                                                                   
families  doing the best  they could.  She acknowledged  that                                                                   
they were  not perfect.  She stated that  over 95  percent of                                                                   
the  parents had  a public  defender (based  on income).  She                                                                   
asked if  low-income parents  were the  only parents  visited                                                                   
by OCS.  She had told  the committee  the past year  that OCS                                                                   
would take more  children from homes if the  legislature gave                                                                   
the  agency   more  funding.  She   did  not  know   why  the                                                                   
legislature kept  doing the same thing expecting  a different                                                                   
outcome. She  stressed that  families would  be broken  up if                                                                   
the  legislature did  not  fix the  system  and continued  to                                                                   
allocate more  funding. She  emphasized that taking  children                                                                   
from families  had lasting  effects; it  was not possible  to                                                                   
get a family back  together in the same way once  it had been                                                                   
broken up.  She did  not believe adding  the funds  would fix                                                                   
the problem.  She pointed to the  18 percent increase  in the                                                                   
number  of children  taken  from  their homes;  she  stressed                                                                   
that the numbers were "way out of whack."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:51:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara provided  wrap up  on the amendment.  He                                                                   
stated that the  committee had heard testimony  on the reason                                                                   
the  number of  children in  foster care  was increasing.  He                                                                   
elaborated  that  the  number  had been  increasing  for  six                                                                   
years. The  legislature had  specifically asked DHSS  whether                                                                   
the caseworkers had  been assigned to taking  children out of                                                                   
families - the  answer had been no. The caseworkers  had been                                                                   
assigned  to  families  where  the  child  had  already  been                                                                   
taken.  He   stressed  that   the  caseworkers  assigned   to                                                                   
families in  the foster  care were not  adding to  the number                                                                   
of children  taken from  homes. The  committee had  been told                                                                   
that  OCS  received  26,000 reports  of  harm  annually.  The                                                                   
majority   of    reports   came   from    troopers,   medical                                                                   
professionals,  teachers, counselors,  and police.  There was                                                                   
no  doubt there  was  a mistake  here  and  there, which  was                                                                   
awful,  but  the kids  the  amendment  pertained to  were  in                                                                   
terrible situations.  He was alarmed that the  number of kids                                                                   
being put in  the foster care system was increasing,  but the                                                                   
evidence  showed that  the caseworkers  assigned to  families                                                                   
already  in the foster  care system  had nothing  to do  with                                                                   
the  increase. He  discussed  that approximately  five  years                                                                   
back OCS had  decided to start investigating  more cases more                                                                   
thoroughly;  it  was  the only  evidence  available.  He  had                                                                   
dealt with  as many cases as  any other committee  member and                                                                   
he had  no doubt  that an  overburdened system  was one  that                                                                   
sometimes made  mistakes, which was  awful when it came  to a                                                                   
human being's  life. However,  the amendment  would help  the                                                                   
situation  because it  would reduce  caseloads and  mistakes.                                                                   
More mistakes would occur if caseloads were larger.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:54:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Edgmon, Gara                                                                                    
OPPOSED: Munoz,  Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson, Gattis,  Thompson,                                                                   
Neuman                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 30 FAILED (4/7).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:55:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  31 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Medicaid Services                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Health Care Medicaid Services                                                                                  
     ADD: $13,300,000 GF/Match (1003)                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: This  amendment restores the  FYI 7 funding                                                                   
     level  proposed  by the  Governor.  The Commissioner  of                                                                   
     Health   and  Social  Services   has  stated   that  the                                                                   
     department  may  achieve  $6.7  million  in  savings  by                                                                   
     increasing  the  allowable   federal  reimbursement  for                                                                   
     Indian  Health Services  beneficiaries  travel, and  the                                                                   
     Governor's   budget   proposes  a   corresponding   $6.7                                                                   
     million  cut to this  category of  travel expenses.  The                                                                   
     current   subcommittee   budget  proposal   contains   a                                                                   
     misunderstanding  that $13.3  million will be  available                                                                   
     for Indian  Health Services beneficiaries on  top of the                                                                   
     $6.7   million  the   Governor's   budget  reflects   as                                                                   
     anticipated  state  savings.   Without  this  amendment,                                                                   
     there  will  be  a  $13.3  million  unallocated  cut  to                                                                   
     Medicaid's recipients.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  spoke  to   the  amendment  that  would                                                                   
restore  funding   to  the  governor's  proposed   level  for                                                                   
Medicaid services.  He explained  that the $13.3  million cut                                                                   
had been  increased to $20 million  due to the passage  of an                                                                   
earlier amendment.  He believed that  the cut would  not save                                                                   
the state any  money in the end because the  department would                                                                   
likely  have to  submit a  supplemental  funding request  the                                                                   
following year.  The amendment  related to purported  savings                                                                   
the state  would achieve  if it  found a  way to qualify  for                                                                   
more federal  funding for travel  for IHS beneficiaries.  The                                                                   
department's  testimony   was  that  it  believed   it  could                                                                   
qualify for about  $6.7 million in federal  funding; however,                                                                   
currently  the committee  had cut  about $27  million of  the                                                                   
funds. He  believed the proper  thing to  do would be  to let                                                                   
the   department  work   through  the   paperwork,  get   the                                                                   
contracts,  and  obtain  federal  approval  to  leverage  the                                                                   
federal funds for travel.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara   explained   that  if   savings   were                                                                   
overestimated,  the   department  would  come   back  to  the                                                                   
legislature for  a supplemental request. He stated  there had                                                                   
been  no testimony  that  the  department could  achieve  $27                                                                   
million of  IHS travel reimbursement.  When the cut  had been                                                                   
proposed it had  been specified that it was  possible because                                                                   
the  department  would receive  federal  funding  to pay  for                                                                   
travel   for  IHS   beneficiaries.  He   believed  once   the                                                                   
department  obtained   the  federal  funding  it   should  be                                                                   
required to  save the GF and  return them to the  treasury at                                                                   
the end  of the  year. He  thought that  assuming DHSS  would                                                                   
take  in  federal  funds  was  not  the  way  to  budget.  He                                                                   
remarked  that the  amendment  really  had no  fiscal  impact                                                                   
because if  the estimate on  federal funding was  overstated,                                                                   
the state  would still  be required to  pay for the  Medicaid                                                                   
services  and  the  department   would  request  supplemental                                                                   
funds.  He opined  that passing  the amendment  seemed to  be                                                                   
the better  way to go.  He clarified  that no one  was saying                                                                   
the  department  was  not  doing  a good  job  at  trying  to                                                                   
leverage the federal  funds; it just had not been  able to as                                                                   
of yet.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:58:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler believed  Amendment  31 was  unnecessary.                                                                   
He  discussed that  the  committee  had passed  an  amendment                                                                   
earlier  (Amendment 10),  which invested  almost $600,000  to                                                                   
help  DHSS  realize  the  savings   in  Medicaid  travel  and                                                                   
accommodations,  which would be  brought about by  the change                                                                   
in   CMS  policy   pursued  and   obtained  by   Commissioner                                                                   
Davidson.  The current  DHSS budget  subcommittee  envisioned                                                                   
$20 million  in travel  savings and DHSS  believed it  may be                                                                   
able to  obtain $27  million in  savings with the  investment                                                                   
of  the $552,000  in  tribal  liaison  funds. There  was  the                                                                   
potential  for savings  of  tens of  millions  of dollars  in                                                                   
future  Medicaid  expenses.  He   had  asked  the  department                                                                   
during the  break earlier about  the issue. He had  been told                                                                   
that there was  no guarantee DHSS would receive  the full $27                                                                   
million, but they would try.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kawasaki, Gara, Guttenberg                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Munoz,  Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,  Gattis,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 31 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:00:40 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment  32(copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Alaska Pioneer Homes                                                                                        
     DELETE  INTENT: "It  is the  intent  of the  legislature                                                                   
     that  the Division  of  Pioneer  Homes work  to  achieve                                                                   
     savings   through   the   privatization  of   food   and                                                                   
     janitorial  services in  all  the Pioneer  Homes as  has                                                                   
     been accomplished in the Juneau Pioneer Home."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Alaska Pioneer Homes                                                                                        
     ALLOCATION: Pioneer Homes                                                                                                  
     DELETE:  ($532,500) 1005  General Fund/Program  Receipts                                                                   
     (DGF)                                                                                                                      
     ADD: $532,500 1004 General Fund (UGF)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ADD INTENT LANGUAGE:                                                                                                       
     "It  is the  intent  of  the legislature  that  receipts                                                                   
     collected   from  an  annual   waitlist  fee   shall  be                                                                   
     deposited into the General Fund."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:   This   amendment  restores   the   FY2017                                                                   
     funding   level   proposed   by  the   Governor,   while                                                                   
     maintaining  the   intention  of  the   Subcommittee  to                                                                   
     implement   an    annual   waitlist   fee    to   offset                                                                   
     expenditures  from  the   General  Fund  to  the  Alaska                                                                   
     Pioneer Homes.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  explained  that the  DHSS  budget                                                                   
subcommittee  chair  had decided  to  cut $532,000  from  the                                                                   
Pioneer Homes budget  with the anticipation that  the Pioneer                                                                   
Homes  could  charge for  being  placed  on a  waiting  list,                                                                   
which could cover  the cost. He remarked that  there had been                                                                   
no analysis  verifying that  the plan  would work or  whether                                                                   
the  waiting  list  expense  would   sufficiently  cover  the                                                                   
amount.  He had  heard the  subcommittee  chairman mention  a                                                                   
fee  of $100  and the  department mention  a fee  of $25.  He                                                                   
elaborated  that there  was no  way of  determining how  many                                                                   
people would drop  off the list. The amendment  would restore                                                                   
the  $532,000; it  would  also add  intent  language that  if                                                                   
DHSS started charging  to be on the list, the  funds would be                                                                   
deposited into GF.  He continued that the following  year the                                                                   
legislature  would know  how successful  the  list had  been.                                                                   
Currently there  was no  way to know  whether the  concept of                                                                   
charging to  be on  the waiting list  would be sufficient  or                                                                   
successful.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman asked  members  to be  careful about  making                                                                   
remarks about what other members may have said.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg clarified  that  his comments  had                                                                   
not been  meant in a negative  way. He believed  the proposal                                                                   
was worth  understanding,  but whether  it would succeed  was                                                                   
not yet known.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:03:56 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  spoke in opposition to the  amendment. He                                                                   
remarked that  Pioneer Homes  were attractive facilities.  He                                                                   
believed Alaskans  would be  willing to pay  a modest  fee to                                                                   
be on  the waiting list. He  remarked that the  committee had                                                                   
heard  from the  Pioneer Homes  director that  people got  on                                                                   
the list as  soon as they could  at age 65 in order  to wait.                                                                   
He continued  that it may  be 5 to  15 years before  a person                                                                   
may make it to  the top of the list. He believed  that in the                                                                   
private  market it  was possible  to obtain  a little bit  of                                                                   
revenue  if  something  was  attractive,  in  order  to  help                                                                   
offset  the  cost.  He  furthered  that  the  long-term  care                                                                   
performance  reviews of  the Pioneer Homes  indicated  it may                                                                   
want to restructure  its rates to try to capture  some of the                                                                   
costs  of the  service. He  believed  charging to  be on  the                                                                   
waiting  list was a  way to  bring in  funds. He stated  that                                                                   
the  cost was  roughly $0.30  per day  to be  on the  waiting                                                                   
list. He  was unsure about  the intent  of the first  part of                                                                   
the  amendment,  which  would  delete  intent  language  that                                                                   
would  encourage the  division to  determine whether  savings                                                                   
could  be  obtained  by  privatizing   certain  functions  at                                                                   
Pioneer  Homes  (as  had  already   occurred  in  the  Juneau                                                                   
Pioneer  Home). He thought  the amendment  seemed to  obviate                                                                   
the opportunity to determine whether savings could exist.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  MOVED  to   AMEND  Amendment   32.  He                                                                   
explained  that  the  amendment would  delete  the  following                                                                   
language:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DELETE  INTENT: "It  is the  intent  of the  legislature                                                                   
     that  the Division  of  Pioneer  Homes work  to  achieve                                                                   
     savings   through   the   privatization  of   food   and                                                                   
     janitorial  services in  all  the Pioneer  Homes as  has                                                                   
     been accomplished in the Juneau Pioneer Home."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being NO  OBJECTION, the amendment to  Amendment 32 was                                                                   
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Gara  discussed   that   the  DHSS   finance                                                                   
subcommittee  chair's  proposal  to  cut  $532,000  from  the                                                                   
Pioneer Homes with  the expectation of charging to  be on the                                                                   
waiting list.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman   interjected  that   the  chair   may  have                                                                   
proposed  a  cut,  but  if  it   had  been  approved  by  the                                                                   
committee, it had been approved by the committee.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  stated   that  without  the  amendment,                                                                   
$532,000  would   be  cut  from  the  Pioneer   Home  budget.                                                                   
Subsequently,  the hope would  be that  enough people  on the                                                                   
waiting list paid  a $100 fee to make up for  the loss in GF.                                                                   
He  stated that  the amendment  acknowledged  that the  money                                                                   
may not come  in. He furthered that making  up the difference                                                                   
would  require  5,300  Alaskans  to  pay  the  $100  fee.  He                                                                   
stressed  that  there were  not  5,300  beds at  the  Pioneer                                                                   
Home. He  believed there was  a strong likelihood  that 5,300                                                                   
people  would  not  pay  a $100  fee  because  there  was  an                                                                   
inactive  and active waiting  list. He  detailed that  people                                                                   
on the  inactive waiting  list did  not have  to be  ready to                                                                   
move into  the Pioneer  Home; therefore,  many people  signed                                                                   
up at  age 65 and were  not ready or  willing to move  to the                                                                   
Pioneer  Home at  that  time. Whereas  people  on the  active                                                                   
waiting  list were  ready to  move  in when  a space  becomes                                                                   
available.  He  surmised  that  the people  on  the  inactive                                                                   
waiting list  would not pay the  $100 fee; therefore,  he did                                                                   
not  believe the  $532,000 would  be  generated, which  would                                                                   
mean a cut to  the Pioneer Home budget. He  stressed that the                                                                   
amendment  would  charge  the  fees and  any  fees  would  be                                                                   
returned to  the GF. He  emphasized that the  amendment would                                                                   
eliminate the  risk of cuts to  the Pioneer Home.  He pointed                                                                   
to bill  language that it was  the intent of  the legislature                                                                   
that receipts  collected  from an annual  waitlist fee  shall                                                                   
be  deposited into  the GF.  He explained  that every  dollar                                                                   
coming in  from the waiting fee  lists would go into  the GF.                                                                   
He did not  believe it was  prudent to assume the  fees would                                                                   
generate  $500,000,  which  he   believed  was  unlikely.  He                                                                   
stated that  the amendment would  achieve all of  the savings                                                                   
specified  by the  subcommittee  chair.  The amendment  would                                                                   
protect the Pioneer Homes, their rooms, and the staff.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
10:11:08 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Pruitt,  Saddler, Wilson,  Edgmon,  Gattis,  Munoz,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 32 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 33  (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Energy Assistance Program                                                                                      
     ADD: $9,174,300 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                    
     EXPLANATION: Restores funding for the Alaska Heating                                                                       
     Assistance Program to FY16 Management Plan level.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki explained  the amendment related  to                                                                   
the state's  version (Alaska  Heating Assistance  Program) of                                                                   
the Low  Income Home Energy  Assistance Program  (LIHEAP). He                                                                   
detailed  that   around  2008  the  state  had   witnessed  a                                                                   
significant  spike in the  price of oil  on the North  Slope,                                                                   
which  had resulted  in the  large cost  increase in  heating                                                                   
oil. He recalled  that individuals in Fairbanks  had expected                                                                   
oil  prices  of $2.00  per  gallon,  but  the cost  had  been                                                                   
double that amount.  He elaborated that individuals  had used                                                                   
wood  boilers and  other  less expensive  options  to try  to                                                                   
heat  their homes;  it had  been  a very  difficult time.  He                                                                   
furthered that  the Alaska  Heating Assistance Program  ended                                                                   
up  being one  of the  ways to  help  individuals heat  their                                                                   
homes. The  amendment would  restore the governor's  proposed                                                                   
cut. The  logic behind the cut  was that with  heating prices                                                                   
dropping  to  a  more reasonable  level  (similar  to  before                                                                   
2008), perhaps  it would be a  good time to shelve  the plan.                                                                   
He countered that  the program applied to  individuals making                                                                   
151  and  225  percent  of  the  federal  poverty  level.  He                                                                   
explained  that  it  was  targeted  to  the  most  vulnerable                                                                   
Alaskan   families  that   were   not  covered   by   LIHEAP,                                                                   
prioritized  families with elderly  family members,  disabled                                                                   
individuals,  and children  under six.  He communicated  that                                                                   
if  the amendment  did  not pass  and  the  program ended,  a                                                                   
household  of four earning  around $45,000  per year  (before                                                                   
taxes) would no longer be eligible for a benefit.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  explained  that the  benefits  were                                                                   
fairly  simple. There  were  9,500 applications  for  heating                                                                   
assistance  in the current  year; 5,400  had been covered  by                                                                   
the federal  LIHEAP program at  an average benefit  of $1,222                                                                   
and  860 households  had benefited  from  the Alaska  Heating                                                                   
Assistance   Program.    He   detailed   that    only   6,400                                                                   
applications  had  been  supported. The  Division  of  Public                                                                   
Assistance  partnered with  tribal  organizations across  the                                                                   
state to  ensure that the funds  went to the right  people at                                                                   
the lowest  cost. He listed  partnering tribal  organizations                                                                   
including  the  Association of  Village  Council  Presidents,                                                                   
Bristol Bay  Native Association,  and Tlingit Haida  Regional                                                                   
Housing  Authority.  He  noted  that  there  were  ten  other                                                                   
tribal  entities  the  state   worked  with  to  ensure  that                                                                   
individuals received  the needed  support. He continued  that                                                                   
the benefit  had worked  well. He  discussed that prices  had                                                                   
dropped and heating  oil prices that had once  been well over                                                                   
$2.00  in  Fairbanks   had  dropped  to  just   below  $2.00.                                                                   
However,  rural  Alaska continued  to  face high  prices.  He                                                                   
expounded  that the  current  retail price  at  the pump  was                                                                   
$5.47 in  Bethel, $5.39 in  Dillingham, $4.31 in  Haines, and                                                                   
$5.73  in  Nome.   He  stressed  that  the   prices  had  not                                                                   
decreased in the  rural communities he had listed.  Under the                                                                   
amendment   the  Alaska  Energy   Assistance  Program   would                                                                   
continue;  the Division  of  Public Assistance  would  decide                                                                   
how  much  each  community would  receive.  He  believed  the                                                                   
division would  ensure that the  program could last  into the                                                                   
future.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:16:28 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler   did  not  support  the   amendment.  He                                                                   
relayed that the  governor had proposed the  reduction in his                                                                   
FY  17 budget  due to  declining  caseloads, warmer  weather,                                                                   
and  lower  oil  revenue.  He   discussed  that  the  benefit                                                                   
applied to  individuals between  151 and  250 percent  of the                                                                   
poverty level (annual  earnings of $30,000 and  $50,000 for a                                                                   
couple).  The  amendment  would  add back  $9.2  million.  He                                                                   
noted that  LIHEAP would  continue to  cover people  at about                                                                   
$2,900  for   a  couple.  He   believed  the   reduction  was                                                                   
responsible.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  referred to  the  high prices  that  were                                                                   
being paid  currently were based  on fuel delivered  the past                                                                   
fall when  prices had still been  high. He furthered  that by                                                                   
the  time the  budget  took effect  in  July, new  deliveries                                                                   
would  have been  made and  prices  would be  much lower.  He                                                                   
stressed  that  prices  had  dropped  and  beginning  in  the                                                                   
coming summer he expected fuel and gas prices to decline.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara reasoned that  the price of  the program                                                                   
would   decrease  because   hopefully  the   price  of   fuel                                                                   
delivered  would decline  (especially  to  rural Alaska).  He                                                                   
stated  that the  program  would  be eliminated  without  the                                                                   
amendment. He believed  the state should achieve  the savings                                                                   
that  would result  due to  lower fuel  prices. He  explained                                                                   
that the  program helped  the very low  income pay  for their                                                                   
heating  when they  did not  receive enough  from LIHEAP.  He                                                                   
continued   that  the  average   federal  program   recipient                                                                   
obtained  around  $1,200  per  year.  He  reasoned  that  the                                                                   
amount  was equal  to  the cost  of heating  for  one or  two                                                                   
months  in  some of  the  state's  communities (even  in  the                                                                   
past).  He  agreed  that  the   cost  of  the  program  would                                                                   
decrease due to  decreasing fuel prices, but it  did not mean                                                                   
the  program  should  be  eliminated.  He  guessed  that  the                                                                   
program  would not  cost $9  million  in the  coming year  if                                                                   
lower   fuel  prices   were   achieved.   The  state   energy                                                                   
assistance  plan  helped  very  low  income  individuals  who                                                                   
qualified  for federal  LIHEAP  and individuals  who met  the                                                                   
state  income  qualifications.   He  believed  the  amendment                                                                   
should pass. He  reiterated that money would  likely be saved                                                                   
on  the  state  heating  program   if  fuel  delivery  prices                                                                   
dropped. He added  that somehow fuel prices  were always high                                                                   
in rural Alaska.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:20:59 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon shared  that he  had a spreadsheet  in                                                                   
his  office  showing   that  the  majority  of   the  program                                                                   
recipients resided  in urban areas. He furthered  that he had                                                                   
looked  taken a  look  at his  district and  it  was a  small                                                                   
number  per  community  that   enjoyed  the  benefit  of  the                                                                   
program. He supported  the program when the price  of oil was                                                                   
high and  the state could  afford the program;  however, when                                                                   
oil revenue was  low he would support other  rural needs over                                                                   
the heating assistance program.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki recapped  the  amendment. He  stated                                                                   
that  the total  number of  awardees had  not really  changed                                                                   
over the  past 7  years; the  number had  been 2,386  in 2009                                                                   
and 2,132 in  2015. The total number of requests  and payouts                                                                   
was relatively  the same over  the six-year period.  The cost                                                                   
of  heating  oil  had  dropped,   which  was  recognized.  He                                                                   
explained  that the  program had  a point  system that  rated                                                                   
whether a  home contained kids  under the age of  6, disabled                                                                   
individuals,  and  the  number  of  elderly  individuals.  He                                                                   
explained that  the point system  multiplied the amount  by a                                                                   
certain factor of  $130. He furthered that the  dollar amount                                                                   
changed  from  year-to-year  because  it  was  based  on  the                                                                   
average  price per  barrel from  the  previous September  and                                                                   
February.  He stated  that the  benefit  would eventually  go                                                                   
away  given  the  consistent   drop  in  the  price  of  oil;                                                                   
however,  ending  the program  for  the upcoming  year  would                                                                   
mean households  of four  earning around  a total of  $45,000                                                                   
[per  year]  would no  longer  be  eligible for  any  heating                                                                   
assistance.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:23:30 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Saddler,  Wilson, Edgmon,  Gattis,  Munoz,  Pruitt,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 33 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:24:09 PM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:44:14 PM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  WITHDREW   Amendment  34  (copy  on                                                                   
file).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  35 (copy  on                                                                   
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Health and Social Services                                                                       
     APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Temporary Assistance Program                                                                            
     ADD: $5,000,000 G/F Match (UGF) (code 1003)                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Restores a  $5  million cut  to the  Adult                                                                   
     Temporary    Assistance   Program.   The    Subcommittee                                                                   
     reduction  risks taking Alaska  below Alaska's  required                                                                   
     TANF  maintenance  of  effort. If  this  occurs,  Alaska                                                                   
     would  lose  federal TANF  funding  and  have  to pay  a                                                                   
     penalty.  DHSS is  trying to qualify  other programs  to                                                                   
     meet  the   maintenance  of  effort   requirements  with                                                                   
     AFIFC, but  they have not  received that  approval. ATAP                                                                   
     is  a  benefit  payment  to  low  income  families  with                                                                   
     dependent  children,  who   are  required  to  seek  job                                                                   
     training  and work, and  there is a  five year  limit on                                                                   
     this  benefit. This used  to be  called Aid to  Families                                                                   
     with  Dependent  Children.  Families  cannot  have  more                                                                   
     than $1,412/mo.  for a family with one  child, or $1,590                                                                   
     for a family of two.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  hoped  that   committee  members  would                                                                   
speak  to DHSS about  the topic.  He referred  to an  earlier                                                                   
amendment  that was  similar to  Amendment  35. He  explained                                                                   
that earlier  in the meeting $1.6  million had been  cut from                                                                   
the  Adult Temporary  Assistance program,  which was  related                                                                   
to  TANF  [Temporary  Assistance   for  Needy  Families].  He                                                                   
stated  that  the  budget  subcommittee  had  also  cut  $500                                                                   
million  [note:  the cut  was  $5 million];  therefore,  $6.6                                                                   
million  had  been cut  from  the  program. He  believed  the                                                                   
reduction  risked taking  the state below  its required  TANF                                                                   
payment amount  of $36  million. He  reasoned that  the state                                                                   
would most  likely lose  federal TANF funds  as a  result and                                                                   
would probably  be penalized  by the  federal government.  He                                                                   
stressed that  the amendment would  save the state  money. He                                                                   
questioned the why  the state should take the  risk of losing                                                                   
federal  funds.  He  suggested  giving DHSS  the  extra  year                                                                   
needed  to determine  whether other  existing programs  would                                                                   
qualify  under  the  TANF  program   as  the  state's  proper                                                                   
contributions. He  suggested that other members  should speak                                                                   
to the department.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:46:27 PM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:53:28 PM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Saddler  shared  that  he had  consulted  with  a                                                                   
representative  from  DHSS  and  had been  assured  that  the                                                                   
department  was very  hopeful  that the  Homeless  Assistance                                                                   
Program TANF money  could be eligible for the  maintenance of                                                                   
effort.  He  continued  that  the  department  was  currently                                                                   
working with  AHFC to  determine whether  the data  they have                                                                   
currently would  be sufficient  (they believed it  would be).                                                                   
He stated  that the department  had found $4.1 million  in FY                                                                   
15  by  counting  Food  Bank  expenditures  to  maintain  the                                                                   
state's  maintenance  of  effort  for  the  TANF  funds.  The                                                                   
department  also had  a contractor  working  to locate  other                                                                   
places  that  would  be  eligible   for  the  maintenance  of                                                                   
effort.  He concluded  that the  department  had expressed  a                                                                   
high  degree  of hopefulness  and  relative  confidence  they                                                                   
could find it.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg stated  that in  other words  "you                                                                   
don't  know." He  remarked  that  the maintenance  of  effort                                                                   
meeting had  been a  couple of weeks  earlier and  the answer                                                                   
was yet  to be determined.  He knew  the department  had been                                                                   
hard to figure  it out, but the answer was not  yet known. He                                                                   
reiterated   that  no   one   knew  [whether   the   Homeless                                                                   
Assistance  Program  TANF money  could  be eligible  for  the                                                                   
maintenance of effort].                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:55:35 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  remarked  the  committee  members  were                                                                   
supposed to  be the experts on  the budget. He  reasoned that                                                                   
a pilot did not  say they hoped they put enough  gas in their                                                                   
plane prior  to a flight. He  guessed the committee  could do                                                                   
a budget based  on hope. He stressed that the  state may lose                                                                   
federal funding and  may be subject to a federal  penalty. He                                                                   
supported  waiting for  the department  to come  back to  the                                                                   
committee  to tell  them  that  the state  would  not face  a                                                                   
federal penalty  and the loss  of federal funds.  He remarked                                                                   
that the  state had a $36  million obligation to put  GF into                                                                   
TANF programs;  if it  did not meet  the obligation  it would                                                                   
result in a loss  of funds and a penalty. He  did not believe                                                                   
it was wise to base the budget on hopes.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Edgmon,  Gattis, Munoz,  Pruitt,  Saddler,  Wilson,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 35 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:58:33 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki MOVED  to ADOPT  Amendment 36  (copy                                                                   
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Administration                                                                                   
     APPROPRIATION: Public Communications                                                                                       
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Public Broadcast Commission                                                                             
     ADD: $46,700 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Administration                                                                                   
     APPROPRIATION: Public Communications                                                                                       
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Public Broadcast - Radio                                                                                
     ADD: $2,786,600 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Administration                                                                                   
     APPROPRIATION: Public Communications                                                                                       
     ALLOCATION: Alaska Public Broadcast TV                                                                                     
     ADD: $633,300 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: This amendment returns to the FY16                                                                            
     Management Plan numbers and maintains the Public                                                                           
     Broadcasting     budgets,    thus    providing     vital                                                                   
     informational  services to  our  communities while  also                                                                   
     cutting  the  budget.  Thousands  of  Alaskans  rely  on                                                                   
     these services  for balanced  local, state,  federal and                                                                   
     international  news. Providing  this funding will  allow                                                                   
     these stations  to find additional funding  to prevent a                                                                   
     large loss  of service.  Additionally, public  radio and                                                                   
     television  can  be an  essential  service  in times  of                                                                   
     emergency  such as  floods,  forest fires,  earthquakes,                                                                   
     extreme weather events and many more public dangers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki  discussed  that the  committee  had                                                                   
considered  an  amendment  earlier  that  dealt  specifically                                                                   
with the  Public Broadcasting  Commission, public  radio, and                                                                   
public television.  He shared that he supported  Amendment 36                                                                   
for the same  reason he had supported the  earlier amendment.                                                                   
He communicated that  10 years earlier the state  support for                                                                   
public broadcasting  had been  $7.85 million. In  the current                                                                   
budget  the  governor  had proposed  $2.68  million  and  the                                                                   
committee  had  elected  to  support   the  services  at  the                                                                   
proposed  level. He remarked  that the  funding looked  great                                                                   
given  that   the  legislature  had  considered   eliminating                                                                   
funding  for  the services;  however,  the  allocation  would                                                                   
result  in a  27 percent  decrease  from the  prior year.  He                                                                   
elaborated that  the services had  received a similar  cut in                                                                   
FY  16. He  explained  that  the legislature  was  supporting                                                                   
public  broadcasting at  a small  fraction of  the amount  it                                                                   
had provided  in the past.  The amendment sought  to increase                                                                   
state  support   for  public   broadcasting  at  the   FY  16                                                                   
management plan level.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:01:01 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  appreciated  the  spirit  behind  the                                                                   
amendment. He shared  that he would support  the amendment if                                                                   
oil was at $110  per barrel. He noted that  an amendment that                                                                   
sought the  middle ground  had passed  earlier. He  could not                                                                   
support the amendment.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Gattis,  Edgmon, Munoz,  Pruitt,  Saddler,  Wilson,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 36 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:02:14 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  MOVED to ADOPT Amendment  37 (copy                                                                   
on file)  [Note: due  to the  length of  the amendment  it is                                                                   
not  included in  the  minutes.  See copy  on  file for  full                                                                   
detail].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg explained  that the amendment  was                                                                   
organized  by the  date  appropriations  had been  made.  The                                                                   
amendment took  the money in  the Kodiak Launch  Complex, the                                                                   
Juneau Access Road,  the Knik Arm Crossing,  the Ambler Road,                                                                   
and the  Susitna Watana  Hydroelectric Project and  deposited                                                                   
it back into  the General Fund. He discussed  that during the                                                                   
current meeting  the committee  had either  cut or  failed to                                                                   
adopt  amendments  dealing  with children,  kids  in  school,                                                                   
seniors,  and other.  He addressed  comments that  everything                                                                   
was  on the  table, nothing  was sacrosanct,  that there  was                                                                   
truth  in  budgeting,  and nothing  could  be  untouched.  He                                                                   
elaborated  that the  funds included  in  the amendment  went                                                                   
back to 1997  and had been reapportioned over  the years; the                                                                   
funds added up  to $39 million. He had supported  some of the                                                                   
projects over the  years, but he believed it was  time to put                                                                   
the  money back  into the  General  Fund for  use. He  stated                                                                   
that whether  the projects  were worthwhile, the  legislature                                                                   
would  not  be  funding  them  in  the  next  few  years.  He                                                                   
reasoned that  piles of money  "out there in  various places"                                                                   
needed to be  brought in and deposited into  the General Fund                                                                   
in order to help balance the state's budget.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:05:05 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Neuman  spoke to the  Knik Arm Crossing  project. He                                                                   
relayed that the  first section had been passed  in 2003 with                                                                   
100  percent  federal  receipt authorization,  not  UGF.  The                                                                   
purpose  of the  funding had  been  to complete  the EIS.  He                                                                   
communicated that  the federal authorization had  been spent.                                                                   
The  second  section  addressed   an  FY  15  capital  budget                                                                   
appropriation;  the $55 million  was made  up of $50  million                                                                   
in  federal  receipt  authority   and  $5  million  in  state                                                                   
matching funds. He  detailed that the $5 million  was part of                                                                   
a larger  state match for  the full federal program  receipts                                                                   
even though  it was  appropriated to  Knik Arm Crossing.  The                                                                   
Department  of  Transportation  and Public  Facilities  (DOT)                                                                   
spent the full  federal program annually regardless  of which                                                                   
projects  actually  made it  to  construction.  The Knik  Arm                                                                   
Crossing  was  not  currently   in  the  construction  phase;                                                                   
therefore,   pulling  $5   million  in   state  funds   could                                                                   
jeopardize  other projects  from taking  advantage and  could                                                                   
risk  DOT's  ability  to  fully   utilize  the  full  federal                                                                   
program receipts.  He had letters  from former  DOT officials                                                                   
(former DOT  Commissioner Pat  Kemp and former  Chief Planner                                                                   
Jeff  Ottesen)  that  the  funds   had  no  effect  on  other                                                                   
projects  around the  state and  that  it was  a very  useful                                                                   
tool in order for DOT to accept federal funds.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  remarked  that  there  were  hundreds  of                                                                   
millions  of  dollars  mentioned  in the  amendment  and  the                                                                   
committee  did not  know how many  of the  federal funds  had                                                                   
not been  expended. He had heard  a statement that  there was                                                                   
around $39 million  unexpended, but he could  not support the                                                                   
amendment without knowing the breakdown.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Gara    discussed    that    Representative                                                                   
Guttenberg   had  explained  the   remaining  balances.   The                                                                   
amendment had to  reference each of the  full appropriations.                                                                   
There was  $2.3 million  remaining in  a $30 million  capital                                                                   
appropriation  for the Alaska  Aerospace Corporation  for the                                                                   
state run  rocket launch facility.  He believed the  point on                                                                   
the  rocket  launch facility  was  to  tell its  seven  staff                                                                   
members earning  over $120,000 per  year that it was  time to                                                                   
move ahead quickly  in privatizing the facility.  He remarked                                                                   
that  no launches  had  been  launched  in most  years  since                                                                   
2009. He continued  that the corporation had  always promised                                                                   
impending  success,   but  it   had  not  yet   occurred.  He                                                                   
expounded  that the last  time the  committee had heard  from                                                                   
the  corporation it  had  secured a  rocket  launch, but  the                                                                   
launch  had caught  fire  and  there had  not  been a  launch                                                                   
since. He  furthered that the  corporation's CEO  was earning                                                                   
approximately  $250,000  annually   and  the  second  highest                                                                   
earner  was making  $215,000  per year.  Additionally,  there                                                                   
were seven  members earning  over $120,000.  He believed  the                                                                   
message being sent  was for the corporation  to privatize the                                                                   
facility; however,  the legislature had not seen  progress on                                                                   
the issue.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:10:16 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Thompson   remarked   on   Representative   Gara's                                                                   
statements about  how much money  it cost the  corporation to                                                                   
pay wages  and operate; however,  there was no  state funding                                                                   
involved.  He communicated  that  the corporation  had  other                                                                   
enterprises  underway such  as capturing  imagery for  places                                                                   
all over the  world, tracking, and other. He  emphasized that                                                                   
the corporation  had many different  revenue streams  that it                                                                   
was using  to diversify  its activities.  He reiterated  that                                                                   
the  state  was   not  paying  any  of  the   money  and  the                                                                   
corporation knew  they would not be receiving  any funds from                                                                   
the state. He  continued that the corporation  had begun when                                                                   
there had been  federal funds to do launches  and legislators                                                                   
thought   they  were   establishing  a   new  and   lucrative                                                                   
industry. He  explained that the  federal government  did not                                                                   
provide the  funding any  longer; the  majority of  the funds                                                                   
that  had  gone into  the  launch  complex had  been  federal                                                                   
because the  federal government  had wanted  the state  to do                                                                   
federal  projects. He  detailed that  the federal  government                                                                   
had  since  changed  its  mission   and  no  longer  had  the                                                                   
funding.  He  stressed  that the  corporation  was  currently                                                                   
self-sustaining  and was  making  money  by diversifying  its                                                                   
business.  He did  not  want to  "slam"  the corporation  and                                                                   
clarified  that  it  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  state's                                                                   
current spending.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson   believed   the  projects   in   the                                                                   
amendment  were  all  capital.   She  believed  the  co-chair                                                                   
responsible  for the capital  budget looked  at the  projects                                                                   
annually and  swept back finished  or unneeded  projects. She                                                                   
surmised   that   the   co-chair's  review   would   be   the                                                                   
appropriate time  to deposit the funds back  into the General                                                                   
Fund.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson  replied in  the affirmative. He  confirmed                                                                   
that his  office had  been tracking  everything that  had not                                                                   
been spent.  He furthered  that there  were many requests  to                                                                   
reappropriate  funds.  He  explained   that  his  office  was                                                                   
looking  at the requests  to determine  whether funds  should                                                                   
be reappropriated  to another  project in the  same district.                                                                   
The goal  was to keep the  money the district  when possible.                                                                   
He communicated  that a significant  amount of  capital money                                                                   
had  been  pulled back,  which  had  been  set aside  in  the                                                                   
"parking garage."  He continued that the legislature  was not                                                                   
increasing  capital  project   spending;  the  projects  were                                                                   
required to  complete work in  a specified time or  the money                                                                   
was  automatically returned  to  state savings.  Some of  the                                                                   
rural  areas had  problems  spending  some of  their  capital                                                                   
project   funding  due   to  a  lack   of  local   government                                                                   
infrastructure;  the  legislature  had  tried  to  work  with                                                                   
communities  to extend the  funds for  another year  in those                                                                   
circumstances.  He relayed  that  project administrators  had                                                                   
been warned  by the departments  that the money needed  to be                                                                   
spent or  it would come  back to the  state. He relayed  that                                                                   
they  had  been   tracking  a  multitude  of   other  capital                                                                   
projects and had been pretty frugal.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:13:38 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  observed that there were  six projects                                                                   
included in the  amendment and she thought it  was unusual to                                                                   
have capital  projects  in the operating  budget. She  stated                                                                   
that  there was  a  process for  capital  funding; the  funds                                                                   
were  not allocated  indefinitely  and were  swept back  into                                                                   
the General  Fund if  they were not  used within  a specified                                                                   
timeframe.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz spoke in  opposition to the  amendment.                                                                   
She  stated that  the Juneau  Access Road  was still  active.                                                                   
She  detailed  that  the  supplemental  EIS  was  due  to  be                                                                   
completed  later in the  spring; therefore,  it did  not make                                                                   
sense to sweep money or delete funds from the project.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki  testified   in   support  of   the                                                                   
amendment. He discussed  that the estimates for  the projects                                                                   
listed in  the amendment  were as  follows: $8.3 million  for                                                                   
the  Juneau  Access  Project,  $149.8 million  for  Knik  Arm                                                                   
Crossing, $2.3  million for the  Kodiak Launch  Facility, and                                                                   
$2.3  million   for  Susitna-Watana.   He  shared   that  the                                                                   
preceding  year   the  Alaska  Energy  Authority   (AEA)  had                                                                   
specified  that  getting to  the  next stage  of  development                                                                   
related to  the Federal  Energy Regulatory Commission  (FERC)                                                                   
licensing for  the Susitna-Watana project would  cost another                                                                   
$100 million.  He continued  that he had  tried to  amend the                                                                   
budget the  prior year  to remove  the remaining  unobligated                                                                   
UGF funds  to put back in  the capital. He furthered  that $4                                                                   
million had gone  out and the amendment sought  to recoup the                                                                   
remaining   portion.  He   did  not  see   an  appetite   for                                                                   
increasing the  budget $100 million  just to get to  the FERC                                                                   
licensure.  He relayed that  if the  amendment did  not pass,                                                                   
$2.3  would be  expended  and  the state  would  not be  much                                                                   
closer to the next project stage.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  remarked that  he  had heard  all                                                                   
through the  meeting that  the state  could not afford  books                                                                   
for kids,  internet for  libraries, and  other. He  explained                                                                   
that the numbers  had been hard to get and  they had changed.                                                                   
He explained that  a capital appropriation status  report had                                                                   
been run  earlier  in the day.  He detailed  that the  Juneau                                                                   
Access  Project  contained  $15  million UGF,  the  Knik  Arm                                                                   
Crossing had  $5 million  UGF, Susitna-Watana had  $8,350,000                                                                   
UGF, and  the Ambler Mine  had $8,155,000 UGF.  Additionally,                                                                   
the  amendment  would  pull in  $2,300,000  from  the  Alaska                                                                   
Aerospace  capital   and  deferred  maintenance   funds;  the                                                                   
corporation  would still  have  $519,000  that the  amendment                                                                   
would not touch.  He stated that everyone had  their favorite                                                                   
project, but he  did not believe everyone wanted  to chip in.                                                                   
He  believed  certain  projects  had  to end  -  it  was  not                                                                   
possible to  build all of  the projects simultaneously  or in                                                                   
the  near  future.  He  stressed  that  the  legislature  was                                                                   
charging people  to be  on the waiting  list for  the Pioneer                                                                   
Home and taking  books away from kids. He continued  that the                                                                   
cuts were  hurting people. He  reiterated that  the amendment                                                                   
would  deposit $39  million  back into  the  General Fund  to                                                                   
help  close the  funding  gap. He  stated  that the  projects                                                                   
could be done in  the future if they came back  up at a later                                                                   
time  and were  viable. He  stressed that  everything he  had                                                                   
heard around  the room was  that the  state did not  have the                                                                   
money;  the amendment  would provide  some of  the money.  He                                                                   
was  not asking  to allocate  UGF  to the  amendment; he  was                                                                   
asking to return the money to the General Fund.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:19:23 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Gattis,  Munoz, Pruitt,  Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 37 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:20:09 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara MOVED  to  ADOPT Amendment  38 (copy  on                                                                   
file)  [Note: for  additional information  pertaining to  the                                                                   
amendment see copy on file]:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Law                                                                                              
     APPROPRIATION: Criminal Division                                                                                           
     ALLOCATION: Criminal Justice Litigation                                                                                    
     ADD: $500,000 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                      
     ADD: 3 PFT                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION: Adds funds for 3 District Attorney                                                                            
     Positions. To be located within existing offices and                                                                       
     not to cause a need for additional office space costs.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  addressed  the  amendment.  He  relayed                                                                   
that  he  had  sat  on  the  DOL   budget  subcommittee;  the                                                                   
subcommittee  had  been  told that  the  District  Attorney's                                                                   
office  had been  referred approximately  6,800 felony  cases                                                                   
for prosecution  in each  of the past  three years.  He spoke                                                                   
to  a decreasing  number  of cases  that  the department  was                                                                   
able to  accept due  to a limited  number of prosecutors.  He                                                                   
detailed  that in  2013 the office  had been  able to  accept                                                                   
82.7 percent of  referred cases; the number  had decreased to                                                                   
82 percent in 2014  and 78.4 percent in 2015.  He stated that                                                                   
the office  had to  decide which  criminals to prosecute.  He                                                                   
addressed misdemeanors  and relayed  that in 2013  the office                                                                   
had accepted 92.6  percent of the referred cases;  the number                                                                   
had decreased  to 91.2  percent in 2014  and 86.2  percent in                                                                   
2015.  The  amendment  would   add  three  district  attorney                                                                   
positions. He wanted  to avoid a situation where  crimes were                                                                   
committed  but  there  were  not  sufficient  prosecutors  to                                                                   
prosecute  the criminals.  He  stressed  that the  state  was                                                                   
deciding not to  prosecute criminals due to a  lack in funds.                                                                   
He  supported that  the  department was  prioritizing  sexual                                                                   
assault and  felony cases; however,  other felons  were being                                                                   
left   on   the   street  who   were   making   the   state's                                                                   
neighborhoods  more dangerous.  He  believed  they needed  to                                                                   
bend the curve.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Saddler  spoke in opposition to the  amendment. He                                                                   
communicated that  the core service  of the criminal  justice                                                                   
litigation was to  provide legal services to DOC  and DPS. He                                                                   
explained  that   the  subcommittee   had  added   money  and                                                                   
resources  back to  the allocation  when it  had approved  an                                                                   
amendment  to  add  $340,000  to  strengthen  the  office  of                                                                   
special  prosecutions,   specifically   to  deal  with   high                                                                   
profile cases  involving DOC and  the death of  prisoners and                                                                   
to have  capability to  prosecute cases involving  shootings.                                                                   
Additionally, they  had added money  for a prosecutor  in the                                                                   
Dillingham  prosecutor's office  at  a cost  of $318,700.  He                                                                   
stated  that  according  to  DOL  the  percentage  of  sexual                                                                   
assault  prosecutions   accepted  had  increased   from  58.8                                                                   
percent to 69.8  percent from 2013 to 2015.  He stressed that                                                                   
sexual  assault  is  a  terrible violent  crime  and  he  was                                                                   
pleased to  see that  DOL was  increasing its prosecution  of                                                                   
the cases.  He stated  that for the  same category  of crimes                                                                   
the percentage  of cases  denied had  declined. He  furthered                                                                   
that in  2013 the department  had declined to  prosecute 41.2                                                                   
percent of sexual  assault cases compared to  30.2 percent at                                                                   
present.  Additionally   prosecution  for  sexual   abuse  of                                                                   
minors  had  increased from  64.1  percent  in 2013  to  69.7                                                                   
percent  at  present.  He  relayed  that  the  percentage  of                                                                   
denied cases  for child sexual  abuse had declined  from 35.9                                                                   
percent in  2013 to 30.3 percent  in 2015. He  questioned who                                                                   
was doing  all of  the prosecution  he had  mentioned if  the                                                                   
shortage  of  prosecutors  was so  dramatic.  He  underscored                                                                   
that   if  there   was  a   shortage   in  prosecutors,   the                                                                   
legislature  had added  more  than $600,000  for  prosecutors                                                                   
during the current meeting.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:25:14 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara stated  that  the number  of felony  and                                                                   
misdemeanor  prosecutions  by the  state  had decreased.  The                                                                   
District  Attorney's  office  attributed  the decrease  to  a                                                                   
decline  in prosecutors.  He agreed  that  the committee  had                                                                   
restored funding  to the Dillingham office, which  was a good                                                                   
thing  for   the  community.   Additionally,  the   committee                                                                   
accepted the  department's request  to create a  supplemented                                                                   
white collar  crime unit  that would  also investigate  state                                                                   
misconduct   or  alleged  state   misconduct  on   prisoners.                                                                   
Overall  the  number  of district  attorneys  had  decreased,                                                                   
which  had  been  the testimony  by  the  department  to  the                                                                   
budget  subcommittee.  He  stated  that  the  department  was                                                                   
focusing  on sexual  abuse crimes  and  very serious  crimes,                                                                   
which  he believed  they should  be  doing; however,  overall                                                                   
the number of  felonies the department was able  to prosecute                                                                   
had decreased.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Guttenberg, Kawasaki, Gara                                                                                            
OPPOSED:  Munoz,  Pruitt, Saddler,  Wilson,  Edgmon,  Gattis,                                                                   
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 38 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:27:27 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 39 (copy on                                                                        
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Public Safety                                                                                    
     APPROPRIATION:  Council on Domestic Violence  and Sexual                                                                   
     Assault                                                                                                                    
     ALLOCATION:  Council  on  Domestic Violence  and  Sexual                                                                   
     Assault                                                                                                                    
     ADD: $340.0 UGF (1004)                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:   This  amendment   restores  funding   for                                                                   
     batterer  intervention  programs  and  victim  services.                                                                   
     Without    this   funding,   community-based    batterer                                                                   
     intervention  programs would  be terminated and  funding                                                                   
     for victim  service agencies would  be reduced to  FYI 3                                                                   
     levels.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Department of Public Safety                                                                                    
     APPROPRIATION:  Council on Domestic Violence  and Sexual                                                                   
     Assault                                                                                                                    
     ALLOCATION:  Council  on  Domestic Violence  and  Sexual                                                                   
     Assault                                                                                                                    
     ADD: $75.0 UGF (1004)                                                                                                      
     POSITIONS: ADD: 1 PFT Position                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Restores funding to  Girls on the  Run and                                                                   
     Coaching  Boys Into  Men. Both of  these programs  teach                                                                   
     youth  boundaries to  prevent sexual  assault. Girls  on                                                                   
     the  Run  - $35.0  will  help  maintain status  quo  for                                                                   
     coordination,  evaluation,  and  statewide  outreach  in                                                                   
     the   communities   of:    Haines,   Yakutat,   Cordova,                                                                   
     Fairbanks,  Sitka,  Wrangell, Ketchikan,  Kake,  Juneau,                                                                   
     Homer, and  Kachemak Selo. GOTR  also aligns with  a new                                                                   
     bill  that   was  introduced   by  Sen.  Costello   that                                                                   
     encourages  students  up  to  8th  grade  to  engage  in                                                                   
     physical  activity  during  the  school  week  (SB  200:                                                                   
     Mandatory Physical  Activity in Schools).  Coaching Boys                                                                   
     Into  Men  -  $40.0 will  help  maintain  two  statewide                                                                   
     trainings and  technical assistance throughout  the year                                                                   
     for  high  school  coaches.  CBIM was  utilized  in  the                                                                   
     Southeast  and   rural  communities  of:   North  Slope,                                                                   
     Seward    Peninsula,    Yukon-Kuskokwim    Delta,    the                                                                   
     Aleutians,   the   Matanuska-Susitna   district.   Kenai                                                                   
     Peninsula,  and  Prince  William Sound.  In  2015,  CBIM                                                                   
     trained 176 coaches, administrators, and advocates.                                                                        
     This had a positive impact on young Alaskans in 36                                                                         
     communities.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara explained that  the amendment  sought to                                                                   
restore  funding for  domestic  violence  and sexual  assault                                                                   
programs  to levels  from the  previous year.  He noted  that                                                                   
the  state  had  the worst  sexual  assault  numbers  in  the                                                                   
country  at present.  The  amendment  would restore  what  he                                                                   
believed  was the  proposed elimination  of intervention  for                                                                   
batterers.  He  detailed  that   the  state  had  a  batterer                                                                   
intervention  program.  Without  the  amendment  the  program                                                                   
provided  in  jail  would  continue;   however,  the  program                                                                   
provided  at  women's  shelters   would  be  eliminated.  The                                                                   
amendment   would  retain   the   batterer  programs,   which                                                                   
intervened   and  prevented  more   domestic  assaults.   The                                                                   
amendment  also  retained  two  programs  that  taught  young                                                                   
people  to respect  members of  the opposite  sex; both  were                                                                   
athletic programs  called Girls on the Run  and Coaching Boys                                                                   
into Men.  He elaborated that  the programs used sports  as a                                                                   
way to  get youth  interested  so they could  also teach  the                                                                   
youth how to respect  people of the opposite sex  in order to                                                                   
prevent  sexual  violence  and spousal  abuse.  The  programs                                                                   
were  effective   and  used  small  amounts  of   funding  of                                                                   
approximately  $75,000.  The   amendment  worked  to  prevent                                                                   
sexual  abuse   and  domestic   violence.  He  believed   the                                                                   
programs were important.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:30:08 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon  respectfully opposed  the  amendment.                                                                   
He  communicated   that  the  DPS  budget   subcommittee  had                                                                   
basically  accepted the  governor's  proposal, which  removed                                                                   
funding  for all  three of  the programs.  He explained  that                                                                   
the subcommittee's  focus  had been on  troopers, VPSOs,  and                                                                   
trying  to  retain  the  core  of  the  Council  on  Domestic                                                                   
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault  (CDVSA),  which  was  getting                                                                   
money out  to shelters (pass  through grants).  He elaborated                                                                   
that he  had spoken with the  CDVSA director and  members and                                                                   
begrudgingly everyone  had accepted that it was  probably the                                                                   
right choice  to make in  the current budget  environment. He                                                                   
agreed   that   the   programs   worked,   but   there   were                                                                   
alternatives.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara WITHDREW Amendment 39 and relayed that                                                                      
the sponsors may offer it on the House floor.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:31:40 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki WITHDREW Amendment 40 (copy on                                                                          
file).                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 41(copy on                                                                     
file):                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: University of Alaska                                                                                           
     APPROPRIATION: University of Alaska                                                                                        
     ALLOCATION: Budget Reductions/Additions - Systemwide                                                                       
     ADD: $50,787,000 General Fund 1004 (UGF)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Restores funding  to FY16 Management  Plan                                                                   
     levels.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: University of Alaska                                                                                           
     DELETE ALL INTENT: Delete ALL of the following Intent                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     (A) It is  the intent of the legislature  that the Board                                                                   
     of Regents  of the  University of  Alaska return  to the                                                                   
     legislature  with  a  specific  plan  for  consolidation                                                                   
     that  includes   specified  timelines   for  anticipated                                                                   
     results by the  end of the 2016 calendar  year; the plan                                                                   
     would  include,  but  would   not  be  limited  to,  the                                                                   
     university  restructuring  to  one  administrative  unit                                                                   
     with one accreditation.                                                                                                    
     (B)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University  of  Alaska  prioritize  and  streamline  its                                                                   
     Personal   Services   within  the   Statewide   Services                                                                   
     Allocation.                                                                                                                
     (C)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University  of   Alaska  conduct  a   comprehensive  and                                                                   
     transparent  cost-to-revenue  analysis,  which does  not                                                                   
     include  student fees or  appropriations from  the State                                                                   
     of Alaska's  General Funds  as revenue,  for all  of its                                                                   
     intercollegiate  athletics  programs;  furthermore,  the                                                                   
     university  is to  report back to  the legislature  with                                                                   
     its  findings   by  the   fifteenth  day  of   the  2017                                                                   
     Legislative Session.                                                                                                       
     (D)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University   of   Alaska    better   utilize   community                                                                   
     buildings,   school   district  buildings,   and   other                                                                   
     facilities  in close  proximity to  its existing  "brick                                                                   
     and  mortar"  campuses  and  satellite  facilities  that                                                                   
     have  low  utilization  rates  of  face-to-face  classes                                                                   
     only if the  restructuring results in a  decreased total                                                                   
     cost; furthermore,  the university is to report  back to                                                                   
     the legislature  with its  general plan to  increase its                                                                   
     use of  "co-location" by the  fifteenth day of  the 2017                                                                   
     Legislative Session.                                                                                                       
     (E)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     President  of the University  of Alaska  make it  one of                                                                   
     his   very  highest   priorities   to  improve   student                                                                   
     retention and graduation rates.                                                                                            
     (F)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University   of  Alaska   increase  contributions   from                                                                   
     alumni  and  private  industry   by  a  combined  twenty                                                                   
     percent, as  well as seek out productive  public-private                                                                   
     partnerships  in an effort  to increase  self-supporting                                                                   
    revenue and achieve a balanced, sustainable budget.                                                                         
     (G)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University  of Alaska increase  its incoming  enrollment                                                                   
     for the  Alaska Performance Scholarship and  UA Scholars                                                                   
     Program recipients by five percent.                                                                                        
     (H)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University  of Alaska further  develop and improve  upon                                                                   
     its  utilization   of  its  land  grants   in  order  to                                                                   
     generate    additional    revenue;   furthermore,    the                                                                   
     university  will create a  comprehensive plan  to expand                                                                   
     its  land grants as  they relate  to generating  revenue                                                                   
     and  present it  to the  legislature no  later than  the                                                                   
     fifteenth day of the 2017 Legislative Session.                                                                             
     (I)  It  is  the intent  of  the  legislature  that  the                                                                   
     University  of Alaska focus  FY17 UGF budget  reductions                                                                   
     on (1) non-core  mission programs and services;  and (2)                                                                   
     reduced personal  services for all employees  across the                                                                   
     board or through furloughs.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  Removes  all  legislative  intent  wordage                                                                   
     regarding the University of Alaska                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki spoke  to the  amendment related  to                                                                   
the   University   of   Alaska.   He   discussed   that   the                                                                   
subcommittee   budget   reduced   state   support   for   the                                                                   
University  by 14.5  percent. He  stressed that  the cut  was                                                                   
particularly  devastating  as the  committee  had heard  from                                                                   
numerous University  administrators; it could  impact between                                                                   
500  and 1,000  faculty  and  staff positions  statewide.  He                                                                   
spoke  to intent  language  for  various sections.  He  noted                                                                   
that he  had supported an  earlier amendment that  would have                                                                   
restored  some funds.  Amendment  41  sought to  restore  the                                                                   
entire  GF  request  to the  governor's  proposed  level  and                                                                   
would delete  some intent language.  He addressed  the intent                                                                   
language that  would be deleted  by the amendment.  Section A                                                                   
from the  subcommittee  requested that  the Board of  Regents                                                                   
return  specific  plans  for   consolidation  and  University                                                                   
restructuring  into one  administrative  unit.  He knew  that                                                                   
the  Board  of  Regents  was discussing  the  issue,  but  he                                                                   
believed the  subcommittee language  reflected a  legislative                                                                   
"grab"  on  the University,  which  he  did not  agree  with.                                                                   
Section B asked  the University to prioritize  and streamline                                                                   
its  personal services  within its  statewide allocation.  He                                                                   
explained   that   under  the   state's   constitution,   the                                                                   
University  was very  clearly  its own  entity. He  furthered                                                                   
that  state funding  was provided  to the  University in  the                                                                   
form  of  a  single  appropriation.   He  remarked  that  the                                                                   
legislature   could   tinker   with   individual   University                                                                   
programs,  but  ultimately  the  Board  of  Regents  had  the                                                                   
control. He stated  that he was okay with Section  D. Section                                                                   
C  dealt  with  how to  work  with  intercollegiate  athletic                                                                   
programs  and other things  not directly  related to  student                                                                   
learning.   He  believed   it  was  an   overreach  for   the                                                                   
legislature to get  involved in the business of  the Board of                                                                   
Regents.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kawasaki   continued   to   address   intent                                                                   
language  that the  amendment  would  delete. He  noted  that                                                                   
Section E was  okay. He addressed intent language  in Section                                                                   
F. He  shared that  in prior years  the legislature  had told                                                                   
the  University  that  it  wanted  to  see  more  alumni  and                                                                   
private industry  investment. He  had mentioned earlier  that                                                                   
the  University had  seen  an increase  of  over 100  percent                                                                   
since  FY  10  in the  number  of  alumni  contributions.  He                                                                   
observed  that it  did not seem  like a  difficult thing  for                                                                   
the University to  do and he believed it the  legislature was                                                                   
micromanaging  in the area.  Section G  asked the  University                                                                   
to  increase  its  incoming  enrollment  through  performance                                                                   
scholarships  and UA  scholarship  programs.  He stated  that                                                                   
much  of  what  the  University   did  dealt  with  what  the                                                                   
legislature  did.  He detailed  that  the committee  had  not                                                                   
supported  the  Alaska  Learning Network,  which  would  have                                                                   
helped    students   with    the   performance    scholarship                                                                   
particularly in  rural Alaska. Additionally,  the legislature                                                                   
had cut  broadband services and  OWL and accompanying  e-rate                                                                   
funding.  He stated  that the  University would  have a  hard                                                                   
enough  time  with  the  cuts made  by  the  legislature  and                                                                   
trying  to determine  how  it would  increase  the number  of                                                                   
performance  scholarship and UA  scholars program  recipients                                                                   
by 5 percent.  He supported some of the intent  language, but                                                                   
he believed  it went  too far in  micromanaging the  Board of                                                                   
Regents,   which   had   been    very   responsive   to   the                                                                   
legislature's requests.  The amendment would  restore funding                                                                   
to FY  16 management plan levels  by adding $50.8  million to                                                                   
the  University  budget. He  believed  the  cut made  in  the                                                                   
budget subcommittee  appeared hastily  done. He did  not know                                                                   
how or why  the number had  been chosen. He added  that there                                                                   
had been  an amendment to improve  the cut from a  bad number                                                                   
to  a less  than bad  number.  He stated  that the  amendment                                                                   
sought to increase the number to a reasonable one.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:37:46 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  stated   that  the  subcommittee  had                                                                   
begun with $288  million because it had been  the figure that                                                                   
came from the  University for student learning.  She detailed                                                                   
that  within  the  student  learning   was  $8.5  million  of                                                                   
athletics  that could  be used  for that  or something  else.                                                                   
She believed  that most  of the  professors at University  of                                                                   
Alaska Fairbanks  (and  most likely at  other campuses)  were                                                                   
required  to do  research to  keep  their tenure;  professors                                                                   
were  paid through  educational  and research  portions.  The                                                                   
subcommittee  had added  $12 million  for  the 2,000  grants,                                                                   
although only $4  million was shown as matching  funds. There                                                                   
were mandates  that had  been put in  statute that  needed to                                                                   
be examined because  the legislature may not  have funding to                                                                   
pay  for  some  of  the  mandated  items.  She  believed  the                                                                   
legislature  probably was micromanaging  the University,  but                                                                   
she believed it  was justified. She believed  the legislature                                                                   
had  said the  same thing  numerous times  to the  University                                                                   
over the years.  She believed putting the intent  language in                                                                   
writing  made it  much clearer.  She believed  the three  new                                                                   
chancellors  would do  well and  there was  a president  with                                                                   
great ideas.  She spoke  to Section B  and explained  that 58                                                                   
people  in the  Personal Services  section  earned more  than                                                                   
the  governor,   which  she   believed  was  excessive.   She                                                                   
discussed  Section  C  and  relayed   that  her  concern  was                                                                   
related to  the $4.5 million  in mandatory student  fees. She                                                                   
remarked  that students  may or  may  not be  able to  attend                                                                   
athletic programs.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson addressed  Section F  and stated  that                                                                   
compared  to  other universities  the  University  of  Alaska                                                                   
received one  of the  lowest amounts  of alumni support.  She                                                                   
moved  to Section  G and relayed  that the  Board of  Regents                                                                   
had  goals for  the new  University president  to achieve  in                                                                   
order  to receive  a bonus. She  explained  that most of  the                                                                   
intent  items  had  been  taken   out  of  a  letter  to  the                                                                   
president. She believed  that the intent language  would help                                                                   
the University  to become  a better  university. She  did not                                                                   
believe  the   cuts  represented  a  devastating   blow.  She                                                                   
believed they  would have  to make changes  and would  not be                                                                   
able to  leave 427 buildings open.  She stressed that  it did                                                                   
not mean that  service could not be provided.  She emphasized                                                                   
that  more regents  had attended  subcommittee meetings  than                                                                   
ever  before in  order  to have  discussions  about what  the                                                                   
legislature  and regents  expected.  She  continued that  the                                                                   
state was  supposed to be  helping its students  with tuition                                                                   
- she  believed it was the  legislature's priority  to ensure                                                                   
that students were  getting the help they needed  in order to                                                                   
go into their  desired career. She referred  to an additional                                                                   
$12 million and an $8 million increment.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  stressed  that the  University  would                                                                   
have  to make  changes. She  mentioned  McTaggart and  Fisher                                                                   
reports and encouraged  members to read them.  She elaborated                                                                   
that the intent  language had been derived from  the reports.                                                                   
The  subcommittee had  reviewed  the various  recommendations                                                                   
and had  selected the best  ones to include intent  language.                                                                   
She remarked  that the research  would help the  future chair                                                                   
of the  University budget subcommittee  to move  forward. She                                                                   
looked  forward to  working with  the University  to see  the                                                                   
various things  it would offer.  She believed  the University                                                                   
would  only  improve because  it  would  be more  focused  on                                                                   
things that were  bringing the students in,  including Arctic                                                                   
research,   engineering,   and   other.   She   opined   that                                                                   
enrollment  and  graduation rates  would  improve  due to  an                                                                   
increased  focus. She  countered  the comments  that the  cut                                                                   
would   devastate  the   University   -  alternatively,   she                                                                   
believed it would create opportunity.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:43:50 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  addressed  that  the  legislative                                                                   
intent  language  in  Section   A  asked  the  University  to                                                                   
restructure into  one administrative  unit. He asked  who was                                                                   
paying for the  cost. He stressed that the  committee had cut                                                                   
$50 million from  the University's budget. He  wondered where                                                                   
the money  would come from to  pay for the  restructuring. He                                                                   
pointed  to Section  F  related to  increasing  contributions                                                                   
from   alumni  and   private   industry  and   to  seek   out                                                                   
partnerships.  He  stressed that  the  new buildings  on  the                                                                   
Fairbanks   campus  were   paid  for   by  student  fees   in                                                                   
conjunction with  a private partnership. He remarked  that it                                                                   
was  not present  in the  budget  because the  state did  not                                                                   
appropriate  the   money  for  it.  He  had   heard  numerous                                                                   
accounts  that  people  were   being  driven  away  from  the                                                                   
University.  He stressed  that  the University  would not  be                                                                   
able  to increase  enrollment  for  performance  scholarships                                                                   
and  scholars  because  the University  was  not  a  stagnant                                                                   
place.  He  encouraged  members  to  read  what  people  were                                                                   
saying  online.  He  stated  that  people  were  leaving.  He                                                                   
stressed that  they were  losing the  ability to attract  and                                                                   
retain  professors. He  remarked  that the  committee  wanted                                                                   
the  University  to do  some  of  the  things listed  in  the                                                                   
intent  language; however,  he  opined that  the budget  cuts                                                                   
were   completely  counterproductive   for   the  goals.   He                                                                   
reiterated his  question about who  would pay for  the items.                                                                   
He stressed  that the legislature  was taking money  away and                                                                   
asking  the   University  to   do  more.  He   reasoned  that                                                                   
conducting  studies  to  restructure  the  University  system                                                                   
into one  unit was expensive.  He agreed that the  result may                                                                   
be less  expensive, but  it would  be costly  to get  to that                                                                   
point.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kawasaki spoke in  support of the  amendment.                                                                   
He stated  that the  15 percent  cut from  the previous  year                                                                   
was significant.  He found  some of the  cuts that  were most                                                                   
disturbing  were   related  to  cuts  to   student  teaching,                                                                   
research  (which he  believed was  a primary  mission to  the                                                                   
University),  the  Cooperative  Extension and  athletics.  He                                                                   
stressed  that   the  University  was  more  than   merely  a                                                                   
classroom,  a book,  and a  teacher. He  believed there  were                                                                   
many  things that  could  be learned  by  the University  and                                                                   
that it  was one of  the bedrocks to  the state.  He believed                                                                   
that  many  of  the  cuts  were  leveled  to  the  University                                                                   
without  any  thought.  He  understood   that  the  committee                                                                   
wanted to  do the  right thing by  offering some  support for                                                                   
the University.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Neuman  asked  Representative   Kawasaki  to  avoid                                                                   
making comments about what the subcommittee thought.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kawasaki  stated that the subcommittee  cut 15                                                                   
percent   from   the   University,  which   would   lead   to                                                                   
significant  job   loss.  He   reasoned  that  the   cut  was                                                                   
devastating, particularly because three other years had                                                                         
seen significant cuts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:49:16 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson MAINTAINED his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Gara, Guttenberg, Kawasaki                                                                                            
OPPOSED: Munoz, Pruitt, Saddler, Wilson, Edgmon, Gattis,                                                                        
Thompson, Neuman                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION to adopt Amendment 41 FAILED (3/8).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:49:58 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 42 (copy                                                                     
on file):                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     DEPARTMENT: Labor and Workforce Development                                                                                
     APPROPRIATION: Employment and Training Services                                                                            
     ALLOCATION: Workforce Development                                                                                          
     ADD: $414,300 General Fund (UGF) 1004                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     DELETE INTENT LANGUAGE:                                                                                                    
     "It  is   the  intent  of   the  legislature   that  the                                                                   
     Construction  Academy  implement   a  plan  to  annually                                                                   
     supplant  $600,000  of  general funds  with  private  or                                                                   
     federal  fund sources until,  after a four-year  period,                                                                   
     the  Construction  Academy   Training  program  uses  no                                                                   
     general funds."                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     EXPLANATION:  This  amendment  restores  the  Governor's                                                                   
     FY17  proposed   funding  levels,  and   removes  intent                                                                   
     language requiring  the department to no  longer require                                                                   
     any  general funds  for Workforce  Development by  FY21.                                                                   
     The  department  has  already   made  much  progress  in                                                                   
     soliciting  federal and  other non-state  funds, and  is                                                                   
     continuing  to  do so.  Workforce  Development  programs                                                                   
     help  to  build the  state's  economy;  this is  not  an                                                                   
     appropriate place to reduce funding.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Thompson OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   explained  that   the  amendment                                                                   
would  restore  funding  to  keep  the  construction  academy                                                                   
going.  He  detailed  that  the  academy  did  not  turn  out                                                                   
journeymen; it  went into high  schools and introduced  young                                                                   
adults  to  the  field  to  determine  whether  they  had  an                                                                   
interest  in construction.  He  continued that  it created  a                                                                   
higher   percentage  of   people   going  successfully   into                                                                   
construction.  He discussed that  significant time  and money                                                                   
could be wasted  going into construction if a  person did not                                                                   
know  whether it  was the  right career  choice. He  believed                                                                   
that the  academy was  important in  the current  environment                                                                   
where  the  state was  trying  to  build  a pipeline  and  to                                                                   
advance the state's blue collar workforce.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson countered  that  the subcommittee  did                                                                   
not cut  the construction academy,  the cut came in  the form                                                                   
of   intent  language   from   the   previous   year  -   the                                                                   
subcommittee  had  brought the  cut  forward from  the  prior                                                                   
year.  She continued  that including  the $414,300  reduction                                                                   
from  DLWD, the  workforce development  allocation still  had                                                                   
$31,912,900   available    with   29   permanent    full-time                                                                   
positions.  She  stated  that   the  cut  represented  a  1.3                                                                   
percent  decrease  in funds.  She  continued that  there  had                                                                   
been an  increase in  the FY 17  budget for the  Northwestern                                                                   
Alaska Career  and Technical  Center, Partners for  Progress,                                                                   
the University,  and other.  She detailed that  in FY  16 the                                                                   
distribution  had  been  $12,510,900;   the  funding  to  the                                                                   
schools had increased  to $13,289,300 in the  current budget,                                                                   
which  represented  a  $778,400  increase.  She  communicated                                                                   
that  the  $600,000  to the  construction  academy  had  been                                                                   
removed because it  had been the intent of  the committee the                                                                   
prior  year.  She had  spoken  to  the commissioner  and  had                                                                   
learned  that  the  construction   academy  could  submit  an                                                                   
application  for the  State Training  and Employment  Program                                                                   
and  could receive  up  to $400,000.  She  remarked that  the                                                                   
program was  competitive and she  hoped they had  applied (an                                                                   
application had  not been submitted  the previous  year). She                                                                   
stressed  that the  allocation  had more  money for  training                                                                   
programs in the current year than the previous year.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:53:25 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara remarked  that the construction  academy                                                                   
had been  cut for two consecutive  years. He stated  that the                                                                   
cut was still a cut.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   provided  closing   remarks.  He                                                                   
communicated   that   there  were   numerous   places   where                                                                   
construction  training   occurred;  however,  they   did  not                                                                   
overlap  the  construction  academy  that  provided  training                                                                   
throughout   the   state.   He   continued   that   Statewide                                                                   
Transportation  Improvement Program  (STIP)  funds were  very                                                                   
competitive. He stressed  that it was not realistic  to think                                                                   
that the program  could get its costs covered by  a grant. He                                                                   
did  not  support  filling  gaps  in  the  budget  with  hope                                                                   
instead  of  reality.  He relayed  that  the  department