Legislature(2015 - 2016)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/04/2016 01:30 PM House FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:32:29 PM Start
01:33:33 PM Confirmation Hearing: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority: Laraine Derr
01:46:51 PM HB254
03:07:54 PM HB156
04:30:17 PM HB209
04:53:03 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Moved HB 254 Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 156(EDC) Out of Committee
Moved CSHB 209(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 209                                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to an Alaska Water and Sewer Advisory                                                                     
     Committee; and providing for an effective date."                                                                           
Vice-Chair  Saddler MOVED  to  ADOPT the  proposed  committee                                                                   
substitute  for  HB  209  (FIN),  Work  Draft  (29-LS0306\P).                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
BRODIE  ANDERSON,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   STEVE  THOMPSON,                                                                   
spoke to  two changes in  the bill. The  first change  was in                                                                   
Section  2, page  2,  line 3.  It deleted  the  number 9  and                                                                   
replaced  it with  10. The second  change was  in Section  2,                                                                   
page 2, line 16. It added the following:                                                                                        
     "A  senior  employee  with  expertise  in  environmental                                                                   
     health  and engineering  from a  large nonprofit  tribal                                                                   
     health organization  operating in the stat  appointed by                                                                   
     the members of the bush caucus; and"                                                                                       
Mr.   Anderson  relayed   that   Representative  Edgmon   was                                                                   
available to speak about the impacts of the changes.                                                                            
Representative Edgmon  explained that the change  would bring                                                                   
the  Alaska   Native  Tribal   Health  Consortium   into  the                                                                   
advisory committee.  He thought it was a change  that rounded                                                                   
out  the make-up  of  the advisory  committee  and  it was  a                                                                   
worth-while addition to the bill.                                                                                               
Vice-Chair  Saddler  had no  objection  to the  addition  but                                                                   
wanted  to  see  a  definition  of  the  bush  caucus  and  a                                                                   
membership  list  before  he   could  support  the  committee                                                                   
Mr. Anderson  believed the  sponsor might  be able  to better                                                                   
address  the  full definition.  He  pointed  to the  bill  in                                                                   
Section  2, page  4,  line 2-7,  provided  the definition  of                                                                   
"bush caucus."                                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair  Saddler still  wanted to  see a  list of  current                                                                   
members.  He  supposed   in  reading  the  language   of  the                                                                   
committee  substitute in  Section  2, page  4  it would  mean                                                                   
whomever  happened to  be representing  the communities  into                                                                   
the  future. He  wanted  to see  a  list of  current  members                                                                   
before the bill went to the floor.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Thompson would have the list produced.                                                                                 
Representative  Guttenberg referred  to  Page 4,  line 2.  He                                                                   
hoped that  it included legislators  that represented  any of                                                                   
the  communities  rather than  all  of the  communities.  The                                                                   
communities  listed  represent  villages  that did  not  have                                                                   
sewer and water at present. He asked if he was correct.                                                                         
4:30:17 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   NEIL    FOSTER,   SPONSOR,    DISTRICT   39,                                                                   
introduced  himself. The  villages  listed in  the bill  were                                                                   
communities   currently   unserved.   Bush   Caucus   members                                                                   
currently  included  were  Representatives   Foster,  Nageak,                                                                   
Edgmon, Talerico,  and Herron  and Senators Olson,  Hoffmann,                                                                   
and Bishop.                                                                                                                     
PAUL  LABOLLE,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  NEIL  FOSTER,  stated                                                                   
that the list  of villages in question was  the list provided                                                                   
by Village Safe Water.                                                                                                          
Representative  Foster emphasized  that the  bill had  a zero                                                                   
fiscal note.                                                                                                                    
Mr. Labolle stated  that the bill essentially  established an                                                                   
advisory   committee  to   look  at  the   gap  between   the                                                                   
established  need  for  water and  sewer  infrastructure  and                                                                   
available  funding.  He  thought everyone  was  in  agreement                                                                   
that it  was unlikely to see  any increase in funding  in the                                                                   
near future.  The main  focus of the  committee would  be how                                                                   
to do the job  better, faster, and cheaper.  Members would be                                                                   
asked to  work telephonically,  as there  would be  no travel                                                                   
budget, and  there would be  no compensation for  members. It                                                                   
required that  the committee  issue a  report on December  1,                                                                   
2017  due  to  the  legislature.   He  was  happy  to  review                                                                   
committee  appointment  and  members   or  be  available  for                                                                   
Co-Chair Thompson encouraged Mr. Labolle to continue.                                                                           
Mr. Labolle referred  to Section 2, page 2, line  4. A member                                                                   
of  the senate  would be  appointed  by members  of the  bush                                                                   
caucus.  He reported  working with  the staff  of the  Senate                                                                   
Community  and Regional  Affairs Committee  to derive  a good                                                                   
definition for bush caucus.                                                                                                     
Representative  Gattis asked  if there  were any  communities                                                                   
that were  served by another  legislator outside of  the bush                                                                   
caucus that  was not included.  Mr. Labolle responded  in the                                                                   
negative.  He  indicated  that  the  comprehensive  list  was                                                                   
reflective  in  the bill.  Additional  people  were  desired.                                                                   
However,  in  trying   to  develop  a  good   definition  for                                                                   
statute, the list was as it stood.                                                                                              
Representative  Gattis specified that  her question  had been                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg pointed out  that he had  no sewer                                                                   
and water systems in villages within his district.                                                                              
4:35:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative    Kawasaki   asked    about   the    selected                                                                   
communities  and  whether  they were  unserved.  Mr.  Labolle                                                                   
responded affirmatively.  He clarified that there  were three                                                                   
types  of  services  that Village  Safe  Water  worked  under                                                                   
including  unserved  communities,   underserved  communities,                                                                   
and  communities   with   upgrades  that   did  not   have  a                                                                   
substantial threat.                                                                                                             
Representative Kawasaki  was not concerned about  the way the                                                                   
bill   was  constructed.   He  commented   that  there   were                                                                   
underserved  rural communities.  He wondered  why they  would                                                                   
not  be included  and, thus,  a  larger list  of bush  caucus                                                                   
members.  Mr. Labolle  relayed  that  it had  been  discussed                                                                   
with  staff in  Community and  Regional  Affairs. The  reason                                                                   
was  to save  paper because  according  to Legislative  Legal                                                                   
every  community  had  to  be  cited  by  name,  rather  than                                                                   
referencing  a list.  The  bill  would have  been  physically                                                                   
much larger.                                                                                                                    
Representative   Wilson   asked  about   what   distinguished                                                                   
qualifying  communities from other  communities. Mr.  Labolle                                                                   
deferred   to  Mr.   Griffith  from   Alaska  Native   Health                                                                   
Consortium [Department of Environmental Conservation].                                                                          
Representative Wilson  explained that her question  was posed                                                                   
in  order  to   better  understand  the   difference  between                                                                   
communities  that  did  and  did  not  have  septic  systems.                                                                   
Individual  septic systems  were prominent  in the  Fairbanks                                                                   
North Star Borough.  She wondered if the designation  for the                                                                   
qualifying communities was based on the Clean Water Act.                                                                        
BILL  GRIFFITH,  DEPARTMENT  OF   ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION                                                                   
(via  teleconference),   answered  that  the   list  included                                                                   
communities  in which there  was no  community or  individual                                                                   
water and sewer  services to individual homes.  It meant that                                                                   
the  community did  not  have  a pipe  system,  or wells  and                                                                   
septic systems  that could  be installed.  There also  was no                                                                   
community  haul system.  The homes  were  without service  in                                                                   
the communities on the list.                                                                                                    
4:38:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wilson asked if  they were  unable to  have a                                                                   
system  installed.  She wanted  to  make a  distinction.  Mr.                                                                   
Griffith  responded in  the affirmative.  The department  had                                                                   
been  providing  water and  sewer  services to  rural  Alaska                                                                   
villages.  Generally,  the villages  that  remained were  the                                                                   
ones  where  the  easier  options  were  not  available.  The                                                                   
preferred  option was  to install  wells  and septic  systems                                                                   
anywhere  possible. In  these  particular communities  either                                                                   
there was  no ground water for  wells or there was  no way to                                                                   
put individual  septic  systems in because  of permafrost  or                                                                   
ground water.                                                                                                                   
4:39:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative Edgmon  asked Mr. Griffith to list  the myriad                                                                   
of  state and  federal funding  sources  that generally  went                                                                   
into funding water  and sewer projects. He also  asked him to                                                                   
describe the  larger picture  of water  and sewer systems  in                                                                   
rural  Alaska.  Some  communities, although  had  systems  in                                                                   
place,  were  old   and  aging  and  would  be   in  need  of                                                                   
maintenance  at some  point  soon. He  opined  that down  the                                                                   
road without  proper maintenance  and upkeep  of the  systems                                                                   
their efficacy would be in question.                                                                                            
Mr. Griffith  reported that  the Department of  Environmental                                                                   
Conservation  (DEC) received  about  $60  million in  federal                                                                   
funds  to  make   improvements  in  rural  water   and  sewer                                                                   
systems.  He  explained  that  the federal  funding  came  to                                                                   
Alaska  from 3  different  federal  agencies.  The first  was                                                                   
Indian Health Service  (IHS) which did not require  any state                                                                   
match.  The  second was  the  U.S.  Environmental  Protection                                                                   
Agency (EPA) which  provided a grant award through  the State                                                                   
of Alaska  that required some  state match. The  third agency                                                                   
was  the U.S.  Department of  Agriculture  through the  rural                                                                   
development  program which  required  some  state match.  The                                                                   
largest single  funder was  the EPA. There  were a  couple of                                                                   
different ways  that the funding  was allocated.  The funding                                                                   
that came  through the State of  Alaska and required  a state                                                                   
match was  allocated by  the Village  Safe Water Program  and                                                                   
the DEC. The  Indian Health Service funding  was allocated by                                                                   
a  national  Indian  health  service   prioritization  system                                                                   
called the Sanitation  Deficiency System. Both  pots of money                                                                   
used the  same data base of  project needs. The data  base of                                                                   
water  and sewer  project  needs  was updated  yearly.  There                                                                   
were  three types  of projects  listed in  the database.  The                                                                   
first  type was  the first-time  service  project, a  project                                                                   
that provided  water and sewer  to homes for the  first time.                                                                   
He  furthered that  the total  project  need associated  with                                                                   
these types of projects was slightly over $521 million.                                                                         
Mr. Griffith  continued with the  second category  of project                                                                   
need,  upgrades to  address substantial  health threats.  The                                                                   
upgrades  were   significant  improvements  needed   to  keep                                                                   
existing  systems operational  to provide  adequate water  or                                                                   
to  meet   current  regulations.   The  funding   needed  for                                                                   
upgrades was about $300 million.                                                                                                
Mr. Griffith discussed  the third category of  need, upgrades                                                                   
to  benefit   system  operation  and  address   minor  health                                                                   
threats. The  amount was  about $400  million. The  state did                                                                   
not match these  funds. The total funding need  for the types                                                                   
of  projects DEC  provided  funding for  was  just over  $800                                                                   
million.  He reported  that typically  every  year the  state                                                                   
received  about $60  million to  address  the state's  needs.                                                                   
There  was a  significant  gap between  the  amount of  state                                                                   
project  need and  the  amount of  funding  it received  each                                                                   
4:44:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Edgmon asked  if an advisory  group would  be                                                                   
useful. He  was thinking  about the focus  on the  Arctic and                                                                   
the U.S.  having the chairmanship  of the Arctic  Council for                                                                   
a  couple more  years. Many  of  the underserved  communities                                                                   
were in  the Arctic. He thought  it could not hurt  the cause                                                                   
to  get additional  federal  funding  at  a time  when  state                                                                   
funding had plateaued.                                                                                                          
Mr. Griffith thought  the advisory committee could  be useful                                                                   
in raising  awareness and understanding  about some  of these                                                                   
challenges  in  Alaska  and  nationally.  The  Department  of                                                                   
Environmental  Conservation had  several things  going  on in                                                                   
relation to  the Arctic Council.  There was an  international                                                                   
conference  planned   for  September  2016  to   be  held  in                                                                   
Anchorage  at which  DEC would  be  focusing on  some of  the                                                                   
challenges  at the  conference. An  advisory committee  could                                                                   
be tied in with the conference and other things going on.                                                                       
Mr.  Griffith  informed members  that  a  lot of  the  things                                                                   
called  for  in the  bill  were  already going  on.  However,                                                                   
there  were other  things on  the list  of deliverables  that                                                                   
might  benefit from  having  an  advisory committee  to  work                                                                   
with. The  committee would  be able  to keep the  legislature                                                                   
more  informed  about  things   happening  and  some  of  the                                                                   
challenges that  were being faced.  He thought it  could help                                                                   
the overall effort.                                                                                                             
Vice-Chair Saddler  referred to Section  1, page 1,  line 12.                                                                   
He  asked  about   the  word  "sewer"  system   and  what  it                                                                   
encompassed.   Mr.  Griffith  stated   that  it   applied  to                                                                   
whatever  means an  individual community  had for  collecting                                                                   
sewage  from  individual  homes  and other  buildings  -  the                                                                   
collection  system overall  and  the treatment  and  disposal                                                                   
system the  community used. In  some cases it could  be pipes                                                                   
and  a  community lagoon  and  in  other  cases it  could  be                                                                   
referring to individual septic systems.                                                                                         
Co-Chair Thompson thanked Mr. Griffith for his testimony.                                                                       
4:48:47 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Saddler  referred to the same line  that stated it                                                                   
was  the  legislature's  responsibility  to ensure  safe  and                                                                   
sustainable  water and  sewer systems  to all communities  of                                                                   
the state.  He thought it  was a fairly broad,  encompassing,                                                                   
and  generous  statement.   He  wondered  if  he   meant  all                                                                   
communities.  He  asked  about  the  standards.  Mr.  Labolle                                                                   
explained  that  the  same  issue came  up  in  the  previous                                                                   
committee  in House  Community  and  Regional Affairs.  As  a                                                                   
result, the change  was made from "individuals"  in the state                                                                   
to "communities"  in the state.  The state would not  have to                                                                   
provide for a single person at a mining camp, for example.                                                                      
Vice-Chair  Saddler asked  about a standard  or a  definition                                                                   
of  what  the threshold  was  for  communities.  Mr.  Labolle                                                                   
stated  that   the  intent  of   the  bill  was   to  address                                                                   
communities on the Village Safe Water list.                                                                                     
Representative Guttenberg  commented that in Section  2, page                                                                   
3, line  19, he felt  that his issue  was addressed.  Many of                                                                   
the villages he  represented had water or sewer.  However the                                                                   
only thing  worse  than having  a sewer was  having one  that                                                                   
could not be  maintained and remained broken.  He appreciated                                                                   
hearing  about   maintaining  the  state's   investments.  He                                                                   
believed that building  modern systems that were  low in cost                                                                   
and sustainable  was very important  to discuss.  Mr. Labolle                                                                   
stated that one  of the main focuses was to  address the fact                                                                   
that previous systems  had been built to a  standard that was                                                                   
not really  maintainable. The  state was  trying to  get away                                                                   
from systems that could not be maintained.                                                                                      
Representative Edgmon made a humorous remark.                                                                                   
4:51:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Thompson OPENED public testimony.                                                                                      
Co-Chair Thompson CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                      
4:51:56 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Saddler reviewed  the zero  fiscal note from  the                                                                   
Alaska  Legislature. The  appropriation  was the  Legislative                                                                   
council  and the  allocation was  Council and  Subcommittees.                                                                   
The  component  number  from the  Office  of  Management  and                                                                   
Budget  was 783,  and the  fiscal  note was  dated March  25,                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Saddler MOVED  to report  CSHB 209  (FIN) out  of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying  fiscal note(s).  There being  NO OBJECTION,  it                                                                   
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
CSHB  209 was  REPORTED out  of  committee with  a "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and with a  previously published  zero fiscal                                                                   
note: FN1 (CRA).                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Thompson  reviewed  the agenda  for  the  following                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB254 Opposing Documents-Email Rolan Ruoss 3-22-2016.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB 254 Sunset BGCSB - Mike McCrary Letter.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Supporting Documents-BGCS LBA Audit.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Supporting Documents-Email Henry D Tiffany IV 1-21-2016.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Supporting Documents-Email Paul A Chervenak 2-16-2016.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Supporting Documents-Report-Economic Impacts of Guided Hunting Final docx.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB254 Supporting Documents-Report-SLC 1 19 16 Division of Corporations Business and Professional Licensi.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
aCS HB 156 Sponsor Statment.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
cCSHB 156S.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
bCSHB0156-X.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
dCSHB 156 Sectional.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
eHB0156A.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
fHB0156-EED Fiscal.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
gCSHB 156 Ed Vote.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
hCSHB 156 researh rpt..pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
iCSHB 156 DOE Key Perf Indicators.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
jCSHB 156 2016 DOE-budget Narrative.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
kHB 156 FED LAW REVISE.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
lCSHB 156 Ed Week stories.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
HB 209 Materials - 2015 House Count of Homes Served.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Materials - Alaska Challenge R&D Project.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Materials - Agency Coordination.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Materials - Current Funding Needs and Available Funds.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Materials - Water Innovations for Healthy Arctic Homes conference.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Supporting Documents AK constitution.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 Supporting Documents Water_Sewer_Systems_Feb2015.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 VSW Petrolium Revenue and PFD payouts.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 VSW Supporting Documents DEC funding.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 209 CS WORKDRAFT FIN vP 4-4-16.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 209
HB 254 NEW FN DCCED CBPL 4-1-16.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/12/2016 8:30:00 AM
HB 254
HB 254 Resident Hunters of Alaska - Comments on HB 254.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB 254 Resident Hunters of Alaska - Comments on HB 254.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB 254 SCI Letter.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB 254 DCCED Handouts HFIN.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254
HB 156 US DOEDC Letters HFIN.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 156
HB254 Followup HFIN 4-13-16.pdf HFIN 4/4/2016 1:30:00 PM
HB 254