Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

03/25/2019 05:30 PM FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
05:34:42 PM Start
05:37:37 PM HB39 || HB40
05:37:53 PM Public Testimony: Kodiak, Seward, Utqiaqvik, Dillingham, Peterburg, Cordova, Kotzebue, Nome, Wrangell, off Net
08:01:31 PM Public Testimony: Mat-su, Kenai, Juneau, Bethel, off Net
08:59:55 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 39 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
+= HB 40 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
5:30 - 8:30 pm Off Net
5:30 - 7:30 pm Kodiak, Seward, Utqiagvik**,
Dillingham, Petersburg, Cordova,
Kotzebue, Nome, Wrangell
7:30 - 8:30 pm Mat-Su, Kenai, Juneau, Bethel
(Available for individuals unable to attend
community meeting)
** Utqiagvik LIO will be closed due to personnel
issue due to inclement weather & will be served
via Off Net.
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- Continue to access meeting through akleg.gov
- The hearing may be televised on Gavel to Gavel,
please check listings
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 30 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early
- Send written testimony to
housefinance@akleg.gov by 1:00 pm on 3/27/19
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 39                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;  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. 40                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive   mental    health   program,   including                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations;  and   providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
5:37:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC  TESTIMONY: KODIAK,  SEWARD, UTQIAQVIK,  DILLINGHAM,                                                                  
PETERBURG, CORDOVA, KOTZEBUE, NOME, WRANGELL, OFF NET                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster OPENED public testimony.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:37:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  GEORGETTE, SELF,  KOTZEBUE (via  teleconference), was                                                                    
strongly opposed to  deep cuts as proposed  by the governor.                                                                    
She had lived  in Kotzebue for over 30  years. She preferred                                                                    
a reduced  Permanent Fund  Dividend (PFD)  or an  income tax                                                                    
rather  than   cuts  that  de-stabilized  the   economy  and                                                                    
communities. She  spoke of the  governor's visit  to Noorvik                                                                    
and recalled  he had  said he would  not forget  the people.                                                                    
She did not understand  how cutting education, public radio,                                                                    
the Village Public Safety Officer  (VPSO) program; the Power                                                                    
Cost Equalization  (PCE) program,  and the  University could                                                                    
be  viewed  as  anything  but  forgetting  the  people.  She                                                                    
pointed out that many rural  students went to the University                                                                    
of Alaska (UA), which was  also a leader in Northern science                                                                    
and climate change  research. She had worked  in the natural                                                                    
resources  field and  had worked  often with  UA scientists.                                                                    
She thought  UA was an asset  to the state. She  viewed that                                                                    
handing  out larger  PFDs while  cutting services  would not                                                                    
lead  to a  better  quality  of life  in  rural Alaska.  She                                                                    
thought  drastic  cuts  were  a  short-sighted  approach  to                                                                    
developing the economy.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:40:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET    BALICE,   NOME    PUBLIC    SCHOOLS,   NOME    (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of funding  for early                                                                    
childhood education.  She had lived  in Nome since  2006 and                                                                    
was a Nome  public teacher and early  childhood teacher. She                                                                    
opposed cuts  to the Head  Start Program. She  discussed the                                                                    
state's   high  incidence   Adverse  Childhood   Experiences                                                                    
(ACES).  She noted  that Northwest  Alaska had  a very  high                                                                    
child  abuse rate.  She noted  that the  Head Start  Program                                                                    
prioritized  the   neediest  students.  She   discussed  the                                                                    
difference  between before  and after  the area  had funding                                                                    
for Head Start, and she  thought the difference was drastic.                                                                    
She discussed  school readiness and the  importance of early                                                                    
childhood programs. She was in  favor of a limited Permanent                                                                    
Fund Dividend (PFD). She supported an income tax.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  LACKABEY,  SELF,   WRANGELL  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported  cuts  to  state  programs.   He  was  a  lifelong                                                                    
Alaskan. He  discussed past  deficit spending  and expending                                                                    
Permanent Fund  earnings. He discussed past  state spending.                                                                    
He lamented the  lack of spending decreases in  the past. He                                                                    
discussed the PFD  and was concerned about  the principal of                                                                    
the Permanent Fund. His children  were both business owners.                                                                    
He thought  that new taxes  would adversely  affect business                                                                    
owners in the  state, and had concerns  about regulation. He                                                                    
had lost  trust in  the legislative  body. He  supported the                                                                    
services  of the  Alaska Marine  Highway System  (AMHS), and                                                                    
thought  it provided  economic  opportunities. He  supported                                                                    
the governor's proposed cuts.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:46:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN LANNING,  CITY MANAGER, CITY  OF CORDOVA,  CORDOVA (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  that the proposed cuts  would be                                                                    
devastating  to  the  City  of   Cordova.  He  referenced  a                                                                    
presentation by  the Alaska Municipal League  that described                                                                    
Cordova as in  the top 20 hardest hit  communities in Alaska                                                                    
(in the budget). He thought  the proposed cuts to education,                                                                    
fisheries and  the AMHS would  total about $3.3  million. He                                                                    
mentioned  the  Medicaid impact  on  local  healthcare.   He                                                                    
noted  that   the  city  supported  education   and  medical                                                                    
services  with $3.8  million in  funding  and supported  all                                                                    
local  partners with  $4.3 million  in funding  from an  $11                                                                    
million  budget.  He  thought  Cordova would  be  forced  to                                                                    
choose   between  funding   core   services.  He   discussed                                                                    
Cordova's application for a Tier  1 harbor grant. He thought                                                                    
deep budget  cuts would result  in many  unforeseen negative                                                                    
impacts.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:48:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL WARREN,  SELF, NIKISKI (via teleconference),  was a 67-                                                                    
year resident  of the state.  He thought that the  state was                                                                    
in a crisis and it was  important to work together. He spoke                                                                    
in support  of an income tax.  He supported a $500  head tax                                                                    
on the PFD. He thought there  should be a reserve tax on the                                                                    
natural gas in Prudhoe Bay. He  thought there was a need for                                                                    
cuts  and  efficiencies.  He  supported  additional  revenue                                                                    
measures and  thought the state's  fiscal problem  could not                                                                    
be solved solely with cuts.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
5:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIE   HERSEY,  SELF,   PETERSBURG  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  against  the  proposed  budget  cuts,  which  she                                                                    
thought would have devastating  effects on rural communities                                                                    
like  Petersburg. She  supported funding  for public  radio,                                                                    
which   she  considered   to  be   an  essential   emergency                                                                    
communication  tool. She  supported  funding  the AMHS.  She                                                                    
discussed  the   importance  of  the  AMHS.   She  supported                                                                    
education  funding and  wanted to  keep families  in Alaska.                                                                    
She discussed the impacts of  funding cuts. She supported an                                                                    
income  tax.  She was  concerned  about  the effect  of  the                                                                    
proposed budget  cuts on rural  communities' infrastructure.                                                                    
She was concerned about cuts  to healthcare. She was willing                                                                    
to pay  an income  tax. She  thought the  legislature should                                                                    
reevaluate  the  amount of  tax  that  industry paid  to  do                                                                    
business  in  Alaska.  She  thought  taxes  could  ease  the                                                                    
burden.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE LITZOW,  SELF, KODIAK  (via teleconference),  urged the                                                                    
legislature to adequately fund  education. He considered the                                                                    
proposed  cuts to  education to  be draconian,  and to  be a                                                                    
failure of  the current  generation's obligation  to educate                                                                    
the  next generation.  He thought  cuts  to education  would                                                                    
create  a disincentive  for  people to  move  to Kodiak.  He                                                                    
opposed cuts to  the UA system. He  discussed his attendance                                                                    
at UA. He was concerned  about the magnitude of the proposed                                                                    
cuts to  UA. He  emphasized that it  was important  to offer                                                                    
the  next  generation  the  opportunity  to  get  a  college                                                                    
education in  the state. He  supported new taxes  to support                                                                    
state government.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:55:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRI  WALKER,  NORTHWEST  ARCTIC BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
KOTZEBUE  (via teleconference),  supported adequate  funding                                                                    
for   public  education.   She  worked   as  the   assistant                                                                    
superintendent  in the  Northwest  Arctic  Borough, and  had                                                                    
worked for 30 years in education  in the region. She did not                                                                    
think  education funding  should  have to  compete with  the                                                                    
PFD.  She  appreciated  past   support  for  education.  She                                                                    
thought   the  governor's   proposed  cuts   would  have   a                                                                    
detrimental effect  on students in the  state. She discussed                                                                    
the  potential impact  of the  proposed cuts.  She discussed                                                                    
budget uncertainty  and its  effect on  the ability  to hire                                                                    
rural teachers. She asked for adequate education funding.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:59:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEB TROWBRIDGE,  COMMUNITY MEMBER/HEAD START  DIRECTOR, NOME                                                                    
(via teleconference), spoke in  support of funding for early                                                                    
childhood education and UA. She  discussed the importance of                                                                    
early  childhood  education  programs. Her  region  provided                                                                    
services to  240 children  from age birth  to five  years of                                                                    
age. She  emphasized that Head  Start was meeting  the needs                                                                    
of the  neediest children. She  discussed the  importance of                                                                    
the services provided to  children, which provided stability                                                                    
for  families.  She discussed  her  experience  as a  foster                                                                    
parent. The program provided employment  for 80 staff in her                                                                    
region.  She   discussed  the  impact  of   budget  cuts  on                                                                    
employees.   She  discussed jobs  created by  UA. She  noted                                                                    
that  her staff  used  UA to  gain  necessary education  for                                                                    
employment.  She  lamented   the  possibility  that  Alaskan                                                                    
children would be forced out of state for higher education.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:01:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEISHA  MOLLEN,  SCHOOL  BOARD PRESIDENT,  WRANGELL  PUBLIC                                                                    
SCHOOL  DISTRICT, WRANGELL  (via teleconference),  testified                                                                    
in opposition  to proposed cuts for  education. She asserted                                                                    
that her school district had  stretched its funding and been                                                                    
as  creative  as  possible.  She   thought  there  was  much                                                                    
emphasis  on protecting  the future  of Alaska.  She thought                                                                    
the  PFD should  not  be a  trade-off  for public  education                                                                    
funding.  She  discussed the  potential  effect  of cuts  to                                                                    
education and the  effects on community. She  asked for full                                                                    
funding for education.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:03:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARYANN  BISHOP, SELF,  CORDOVA (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in opposition to  cuts to education, PCE,  AMHS, school debt                                                                    
reimbursement,  and  the rockfish  tax.  She  was a  29-year                                                                    
resident of Cordova. She discussed  potential effects of the                                                                    
proposed cuts.  She thought the  rapidly imposed  cuts would                                                                    
throw  the  state into  a  recession.   She  thought  public                                                                    
services  were  more  important   than  a  larger  PFD.  She                                                                    
supported  an   income  tax.  She  thought   wise  long-term                                                                    
strategic planning  that involved  lower PFDs and  an income                                                                    
tax were the better course to pursue.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:05:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN COLEMAN, SELF, KENAI  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
support of  funding for communities. He  spoke in opposition                                                                    
to cuts  to the snow  track program, which  was self-funded.                                                                    
He  stressed the  importance of  the  program that  included                                                                    
grooming  trails.  He  discussed  the  Caribou  Hills  Cabin                                                                    
Hoppers group, which was a  widely used self-funded program.                                                                    
The work  of the group  benefitted the entire  community. He                                                                    
was  concerned   about  the  governor's  proposed   cuts  to                                                                    
education.  He   discussed  his  family's   experience  with                                                                    
education.  He supported  funding for  AMHS. He  supported a                                                                    
limit on the PFD.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:08:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM ABBOTT, SELF, PETERSBURG  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of funding for UA,  AMHS, K-12 education, healthcare                                                                    
services,   and  public   broadcasting.  He   discussed  the                                                                    
importance of  public broadcasting. He thought  the proposed                                                                    
cuts to public broadcasting  was short-sighted. He supported                                                                    
reduced PFDs in  the short-term and supported  an income tax                                                                    
as  well as  reevaluation of  oil  and gas  tax credits.  He                                                                    
supported full  funding for early childhood  education, K-12                                                                    
education, and UA.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:10:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHAWN  DOCHTERMANN,   SELF,  KODIAK   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to  the governor's  proposed budget                                                                    
cuts.  He   was  a  40-year   resident  fisherman.   He  was                                                                    
disappointed   in  the   governor's   budget  proposal.   He                                                                    
supported  full  funding  for  K-12  education,  UA,  public                                                                    
radio,  healthcare, and  AMHS. He  discussed $22  million in                                                                    
federal matching  funds for replacing the  M/V Tustumena and                                                                    
discussed  the costs  of maintenance  of an  old vessel.  He                                                                    
supported the rockfish tax going  to communities. He thought                                                                    
the  state was  not getting  enough  value for  its oil.  He                                                                    
supported an income  tax, and said the state  could have his                                                                    
PFD.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster   recognized  that   Representative  Louise                                                                    
Stutes was in attendance.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:13:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH   SAAGULIK   HENSLEY,   SELF,  testified   in   in                                                                    
opposition to cuts to Medicaid.  She was general counsel for                                                                    
the Maniilaq Association, which  was a tribal association of                                                                    
12  tribes which  provided health,  social  services to  the                                                                    
residents  of  Northwest  Alaska.  She asserted  that  as  a                                                                    
tribal health  provider, Maniilaq  saved the state  money by                                                                    
providing  health services,  as well  as providing  the only                                                                    
behavioral  health services  in  the  region. She  discussed                                                                    
proposed cuts  to behavioral health.  She reminded  that the                                                                    
responsibility of the legislature  was to protect the people                                                                    
of Alaska. She thanked the committee for its service.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster noted  that the  testifier  had worked  for                                                                    
former Representative Reggie Joule for two sessions.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE    BAHNKE,   CEO,    KAWERAK,   INC.,    NOME   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in opposition to  the governor's                                                                    
proposed  cuts  to  Head  Start.   She  noted  that  Kawerak                                                                    
operated  state programs  that benefitted  many individuals.                                                                    
Her organization  provided services to over  200 children in                                                                    
the  region.  She  discussed   potential  loss  of  matching                                                                    
federal funds. She was in  opposition to the movement of PCE                                                                    
funds. She considered that PCE  funds needed protection. She                                                                    
discussed the purpose of the  PCE Fund. She had received her                                                                    
bachelor's  and  master's  degrees from  UA.  She  supported                                                                    
adequate funding  for UA. She  opposed proposed cuts  to the                                                                    
Village Public Safety Officer  (VPSO) program. She discussed                                                                    
the  high  rates of  crime  against  women and  children  in                                                                    
Western Alaska.  She noted  that the  state had  assumed the                                                                    
authority  for public  safety  and was  a  PL-280 state.  As                                                                    
such,  communities  in  rural Alaska  did  not  qualify  for                                                                    
federal Bureau of Indian Affairs  public safety funding. She                                                                    
hoped to  have a chance  to dialogue with the  governor when                                                                    
he visited Nome in the upcoming week.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ANNEMARIE  O'BRIEN,  SUPERINTENDENT,  NORTHWEST  ARCTIC                                                                    
BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
strongly  opposed  cuts  to  education.  She  discussed  her                                                                    
background   working  in   education.   She  discussed   the                                                                    
importance of  education and  the future  of the  state. She                                                                    
recounted that  the previous year  the legislature  had made                                                                    
early education  funding a priority.  There had been  a one-                                                                    
time increase  for FY 19 in  the amount of $20  million. She                                                                    
noted  that the  additional  funds for  FY  19 were  already                                                                    
accounted for. She  thought the proposed cuts  should not be                                                                    
at  the  expense  of   education.  She  supported  increased                                                                    
revenues.  She contended  that cuts  to education  were more                                                                    
significant in rural Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster handed the gavel to Co-Chair Wilson.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:23:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LORETTA  RICE, SELF,  WRANGELL  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  cuts to  education. She  thought the  proposed cuts                                                                    
would hurt the poor and  the elderly. She mentioned previous                                                                    
cuts to  education and noted  that in her  district teachers                                                                    
purchased  classroom supplies  and  food  for students.  She                                                                    
thought more  cuts at  the state  level created  more burden                                                                    
for municipalities. She discussed  the detrimental effect of                                                                    
cutting    vocational    education    and    extracurricular                                                                    
activities,  and  contended  that  there  was  a  need  more                                                                    
skilled  labor in  our country.  She thought  art and  music                                                                    
kept  student  healthy.  She  discussed  the  importance  of                                                                    
education. She supported cutting oil tax credits.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
6:25:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBY ARMSTRONG,  SELF, WRANGELL (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  opposition to  proposed  cuts  to the  AMHS.  She was  a                                                                    
lifelong  resident of  Wrangell and  a high  school student.                                                                    
She supported full  funding for AMHS. She  thought the ferry                                                                    
was important for school sports.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:26:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN REUM, SELF, CORDOVA  (via teleconference), spoke against                                                                    
proposed cuts  to K-12 education.  He had taught  and worked                                                                    
in schools for  over 40 years. He thought  the proposed cuts                                                                    
would be  devastating for all  schools He  suggested careful                                                                    
consideration  of any  cuts to  education, AMHS,  and social                                                                    
services.  He discussed  student suicide  and advocated  for                                                                    
mental health  funding. He discussed  the importance  of the                                                                    
AMHS,  which he  considered  a  road for  the  area. He  was                                                                    
uncertain about  an income tax.  He thought there  were many                                                                    
smart people  in Cordova and suggested  that communities put                                                                    
forward budget plans.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FREDDIE  POLLARD, SELF,  KENAI (via  teleconference), was  a                                                                    
snow  machine lodge  owner in  Kenai. He  thought the  lodge                                                                    
helped the community.  He discussed the use  of snow machine                                                                    
registration fees.  He spoke  in opposition  to cuts  to the                                                                    
snow track program, which was  self-funded. He did not think                                                                    
the funds should be in  the general budget. He discussed the                                                                    
creation of the program. He  discussed the many users of the                                                                    
groomed trails all over the state.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:33:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HEATHER  FOXWORTHY,   SELF,  KODIAK   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support of funding  for the Parents as Teachers                                                                    
Program. She  thanked the members of  the House Subcommittee                                                                    
on  Department  of  Education  and  Early  Development.  She                                                                    
thought larger  investments in the short  term could provide                                                                    
a  return later.  She recounted  a story  to illustrate  why                                                                    
home visits were needed in  the state, which highlighted the                                                                    
value of parent educators.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:36:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARA  LUTOMSKI,   SELF,  PETERSBURG   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support of funding  for education, AMHS, public                                                                    
radio,  and   healthcare.  She  asserted  that   her  school                                                                    
district had  a strict budget  for years. She  discussed the                                                                    
value of  education, and the opportunities  it afforded. She                                                                    
considered  that  the  proposed  cuts  were  degrading.  She                                                                    
rejected  the governor's  proposed budget.  She stated  that                                                                    
every  cut to  education in  a small  district would  affect                                                                    
kids.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:38:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARB  JEWELL,  CHAIR,  CORDOVA SCHOOL  BOARD,  CORDOVA  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  opposition  to the  proposed                                                                    
budget cuts. She  thought a budget was a  moral document and                                                                    
thought the  governor's proposed  budget would not  grow the                                                                    
state.  She discussed  the proposed  cuts to  education. She                                                                    
discussed  increased costs  for  shipping  and transport  of                                                                    
goods.    She    contended    that    rural    Alaska    was                                                                    
disproportionately  affected  by   the  proposed  cuts.  She                                                                    
listed   cuts    to   school   debt    bond   reimbursement,                                                                    
infrastructure, fish  taxes, PCE, and Medicaid.  She thought                                                                    
the state needed a budget  that invested in Alaskans and not                                                                    
corporations.  She  thought AMHS  was  the  backbone of  the                                                                    
Alaskan economy. She thought the  state needed a diversified                                                                    
revenue stream.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
6:40:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM HUNT,  CITY MANAGER, WHITTIER (via  teleconference), was                                                                    
looking for  a voice of  reason in  relation to the  Port of                                                                    
Anchorage. He thought it was  important for city managers to                                                                    
make  contingency plans.  He was  concerned about  known and                                                                    
unknown  threats.   He  was  concerned  that   the  Port  of                                                                    
Anchorage had no backup plan.  In the event of a catastrophe                                                                    
in Anchorage,  he thought people would  suffer intensely. He                                                                    
supported an independent feasibility study.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY    O'CONNOR     DEMKO,    SELF,     PETERSBURG    (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in opposition to HB  39. She was                                                                    
a teacher that had lived  in Petersburg for almost 30 years.                                                                    
She  discussed past  budget cuts.  She thought  the proposed                                                                    
cuts would cripple  the community and cause  people to leave                                                                    
the state.  She supported a  smaller PFD and an  income tax.                                                                    
She supported greater taxes on  oil companies. She supported                                                                    
funding   public  schools,   public  radio,   mental  health                                                                    
services, and AMHS. She did  not think an enlarged PFD would                                                                    
make up  for the  services people  would lose  through cuts.                                                                    
She found it personally degrading  that the governor had not                                                                    
scheduled a meeting in Southeast Alaska.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:45:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PENELOPE OSWALT,  SELF, CORDOVA (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against the  proposed budget reductions.  She was  a 42-year                                                                    
resident  of Cordova.  She thought  the governor's  proposed                                                                    
budget  showed no  fiscal problem-solving.  She thought  the                                                                    
proposal  effectively gutted  services to  provide a  higher                                                                    
PFD. She supported  pre-schools and UA. She  did not support                                                                    
taking  rockfish taxes,  oil property  taxes  and PCE  funds                                                                    
from communities.  She discussed  the importance  of funding                                                                    
for  federal matching  funds. She  supported  the AMHS.  She                                                                    
supported  funding  for  the  Sheldon  Jackson  Museum.  She                                                                    
thought the  proposed cuts  would cause  a mass  exodus. She                                                                    
urged the committee to roll back  oil and gas tax credits as                                                                    
passed by  SB 21 and  charge the  same as other  states. She                                                                    
supported a reinstitution of an  education tax and an income                                                                    
tax.  She  supported  a  reduction to  the  PFD.  She  urged                                                                    
legislators to work in a bi-partisan manner.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:47:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LITZI BOTELLO,  SELF, PRINCE OF WALES  (via teleconference),                                                                    
supported   funding  for   public  radio,   the  AMHS,   and                                                                    
education. She  had lived in  Port Protection for  38 years.                                                                    
She  discussed  the fish  tax.  She  thought the  governor's                                                                    
proposed   cuts  were   unfathomable.   She  discussed   the                                                                    
importance of  public radio  for those  in rural  areas. She                                                                    
considered that  public radio was a  lifeline. She discussed                                                                    
the importance  of the AMHS.  She thanked the  committee for                                                                    
the opportunity to testify.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:50:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIDGET  WITTSTOCK, SELF,  PETERSBURG (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in opposition  to the  proposed budget  cuts. She                                                                    
was  a  third-generation  Alaskan.   She  had  worked  as  a                                                                    
teacher and taught special education.  She thought the state                                                                    
had children  at the heart  of decisions until  the governor                                                                    
unveiled his proposed budget. She  thought the proposed cuts                                                                    
were  draconian  and  would   have  deleterious  effects  on                                                                    
communities'  economies,   the  school  system,   UA,  AMHS,                                                                    
services   for  early   intervention,  and   our  children's                                                                    
futures.  She   did  not  think  the   proposed  budget  was                                                                    
reasonable,  equitable, or  well-thought out.  She mentioned                                                                    
the state's constitutional  obligation to provide education.                                                                    
She encouraged  full funding of public  education. She would                                                                    
gladly  give up  her  PFD to  fund  essential services.  She                                                                    
supported funding  for education, public radio,  the medical                                                                    
system, mental health, and AMHS.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilson  asked  members  to pay  attention  to  the                                                                    
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
6:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  OTNESS, SELF,  CORDOVA  (via teleconference),  thought                                                                    
the state needed  to consider the macro view  of its issues.                                                                    
He referenced SB  21 [oil and gas tax  legislation passed in                                                                    
2013],  and the  enhanced oil  and gas  production that  was                                                                    
promised. He thought that the state  was used as pawns in an                                                                    
international  intrigue  for  the sanctions  on  Russia  and                                                                    
Venezuela  imposed  by  the State  Department  in  2014.  He                                                                    
thought  oil companies  knew about  the  matter in  advance,                                                                    
while the  state did not.  He thought the United  States and                                                                    
Saudi  Arabia had  conspired to  increase oil  production in                                                                    
order  to drive  down the  price. He  mentioned Wall  Street                                                                    
banks, which  he thought were  in control of  oil companies.                                                                    
He  mentioned  former  Governor Sean  Parnell  and  SB  110,                                                                    
proposed in  2013 as the genesis  to SB 21. He  thought that                                                                    
the oil  companies were getting  revenge for  Alaska's Clear                                                                    
and Equitable Share  (ACES). He did not  want high dividends                                                                    
at  the expense  of  the state.  He  suggested deferred  PFD                                                                    
payments. He thought the governor  was using large dividends                                                                    
as  a  carrot  on  a  stick. He  thought  SB  21  should  be                                                                    
overturned.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:57:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN SULLIVAN,  SELF, PETERSBURG (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  opposition to  the governor's  budget. He  had lived  in                                                                    
Petersburg for 39 years. He  referenced earlier testimony in                                                                    
opposition to  budget cuts. He  thought the  proposed budget                                                                    
would inflict damage  on his community and on  the state. He                                                                    
did not think further cuts  were possible. He was willing to                                                                    
take a reduced PFD. He was willing  to pay a tax to ensure a                                                                    
continuation  of funding  important services  for education,                                                                    
AMHS,   public   radio,   critical  social   services,   and                                                                    
regulatory agencies.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:58:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WANDA   WAHL,   SELF,   DILLINGHAM   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified in opposition to large  dividends to pay back past                                                                    
dividends. She asserted that she  was very willing to pay an                                                                    
income tax. She  believed that those coming to  the state to                                                                    
work should  also bear  the responsibility  to help  pay for                                                                    
infrastructure.  She  had  reservations  about  a  statewide                                                                    
sales  tax,  which   she  thought  would  disproportionately                                                                    
impact rural areas.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
7:00:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUSAN  HARDING,  PRINCE  WILLIAM  SOUND  COMMUNITY  COLLEGE,                                                                    
CORDOVA (via  teleconference), testified  in support  of the                                                                    
Prince William  Sound Community  College. She  discussed the                                                                    
benefits of dual enrollment in  high school and college. She                                                                    
referenced   research  that   showed  out-of-state   collage                                                                    
attendance  deterred  Alaskans   from  returning  home.  She                                                                    
stressed that the program was  vital to her community and to                                                                    
the state.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilson handed the gavel back to Co-Chair Foster.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:01:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF GUARD, SELF, CORDOVA  (via teleconference), opposed the                                                                    
governor's  proposed budget.  He  offered  an anecdote  from                                                                    
Kansas,  when  that state  had  found  itself in  a  similar                                                                    
fiscal  situation.   The  state   had  dropped   many  state                                                                    
employees,  cancelled road  projects, issued  $2 billion  in                                                                    
bonds to pay for new debt,  and had been downgraded in their                                                                    
credit  score.  He cited  an  article  by Senator  Sykes  of                                                                    
Kansas, from 2017.  He urged the legislature  to protect the                                                                    
people of Alaska from the governor's budget.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:04:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG   EVENS,   SELF,  PETERSBURG   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in   opposition  to  the   budget  cuts   in  the                                                                    
governor's proposed  budget. He encouraged  reinstatement of                                                                    
funding  for   AMHS.  He  spoke   against  cuts   to  public                                                                    
education. He said  that his family stayed in  the state for                                                                    
its  good   schools.  He  believed  that   defunding  public                                                                    
education would  result in people leaving  Alaska, resulting                                                                    
in an  economic drain to  the state. He supported  an income                                                                    
tax  and opposed  repayment of  prior dividends.  He thought                                                                    
the  state was  having  a management  crisis  rather than  a                                                                    
fiscal crisis. He hoped that  the state's resources could be                                                                    
managed for prosperity, rather than austerity.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:06:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIRGINIA  EVENS,  SELF,   PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  against budget  cuts as  proposed  in the  governor's                                                                    
budget. She  asserted that education  funding should  not be                                                                    
in competition  with the permanent  fund dividend.  She said                                                                    
that the funding cuts to  education would result in the loss                                                                    
of   programs,  increased   class   sizes,  elimination   of                                                                    
activities, the reduction  of staff, and the  loss of career                                                                    
technical  education  programs.  She  thought  the  district                                                                    
would be adversely impacted by cuts  to AMHS as it was their                                                                    
made  mode  of transportation  out  of  town. She  supported                                                                    
fully  funding   education  and  public   broadcasting.  She                                                                    
supported an income tax.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:07:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARB  MARIFERN,   SELF,  PETERSBURG   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of   funding  for  education,  AMHS,                                                                    
healthcare  services,  mental  health services,  and  public                                                                    
radio.  She  urged the committee to fund  education. She was                                                                    
in  support of  reducing the  PFD. She  supported an  income                                                                    
tax. She opposed the repayment of past dividends.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON RICE,  SELF, PETERSBURG (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support of the Alaska  Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program,                                                                    
which was  a program in  the College of Fisheries  and Ocean                                                                    
Science through  the University of  Alaska. She  shared that                                                                    
the  program   often  had  one   person  offices   in  Nome,                                                                    
Dillingham,  Unalaska, Kodiak,  Anchorage, Cordova,  Juneau,                                                                    
and Ketchikan. She  explained that the program  was a unique                                                                    
partnership between  the federal  Sea Grant Program  and the                                                                    
university.  She  remined  the  committee  that  the  budget                                                                    
decisions  they   made  would  impact  the   program,  which                                                                    
supported commercial and recreational  fisheries, as well as                                                                    
the maricultural  industry, and marine education  for costal                                                                    
communities. She stressed the  importance of public radio in                                                                    
the state. She urged the  committee to reinstate funding for                                                                    
public  radio. She  believed that  an income  tax should  be                                                                    
considered before cuts to the university and public radio.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
7:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  HOLMGRAIN,  SELF,  PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to the governor's  proposed budget.                                                                    
She  urged the  committee to  work  together to  come to  an                                                                    
agreement to  fund education  and other  essential services.                                                                    
She admitted  that she  had enjoyed  the permanent  fund but                                                                    
would  be  willing  to  give   it  up  in  exchange  for  an                                                                    
adequately  funded  education  budget.  She  disagreed  with                                                                    
comments  by the  Office of  Management and  Budget Director                                                                    
that  the state  was not  getting  a good  return for  money                                                                    
invested  in  education.  She asserted  that  her  town  had                                                                    
worked to  improve student success. She  reiterated her hope                                                                    
that lawmakers  would work together, across  party lines, to                                                                    
secure the future of Alaska.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:14:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARLENA  MARVIN,  SELF,   PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  opposition to  budget  cuts  as proposed  in  the                                                                    
governor's budget.  She associated herself with  the remarks                                                                    
of  previous testifiers.  She stated  that she  was a  small                                                                    
business owner  and a cancer  survivor. She  highlighted the                                                                    
value  of a  strong and  robust healthcare  system in  rural                                                                    
areas of the state, offering  a story of her experience with                                                                    
weekly  chemotherapy infusions  she  received  in her  small                                                                    
town. She applauded her like-minded  fellow Alaskans who had                                                                    
called  in to  defend their  way  and quality  of life.  She                                                                    
thought  the   governor  was  stuck  in   ideology  and  not                                                                    
functioning in  reality. She expressed concern  that out-of-                                                                    
state billionaires  were driving  the budget process  in the                                                                    
state and warned  that the legislature should  listen to the                                                                    
people of Alaska, and not to out-of-state interests.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
7:16:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARLENE  CUSHING,  SELF,  PETERSBURG  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
recalled moving to Alaska via the  AMHS in 1976 to begin her                                                                    
career as  a public  health nurse.  She emphasized  that the                                                                    
governor's  proposed budget  would  put her  community in  a                                                                    
death  spiral.  She  stressed   that  healthcare  could  not                                                                    
survive a 38  percent cut to Medicaid.  She underscored that                                                                    
schools  would  be  devastated by  the  proposed  cuts.  She                                                                    
stressed  the  borough's  need   for  fish  tax  revenue  to                                                                    
maintain harbors and other vital  services. She implored the                                                                    
committee to  keep the  PFDs at  the previous  year's level.                                                                    
She  asked  for the  implementation  of  an income  tax  and                                                                    
requested  an end  to  the giveaway  to  oil companies.  She                                                                    
stressed  the  importance  of public  radio,  airports,  the                                                                    
University, AMHS, and other.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
7:17:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  HAHN, SELF,  CORDOVA (via  teleconference), viewed                                                                    
the governor's  proposed budget as  an assault on  the well-                                                                    
being of  Alaska. She stressed  that the budget  was harmful                                                                    
to  seniors, sick  individuals,  education, the  University,                                                                    
and  the overall  health  and safety  of  all Alaskans.  She                                                                    
believed it  would plunge  the state  into a  recession. She                                                                    
stated   the   ramifications   would   be   devastating   on                                                                    
communities  and businesses,  especially  those serviced  by                                                                    
AMHS  and  that  received  revenue  sharing  from  fisheries                                                                    
taxes. The budget would also  harm communities receiving PCE                                                                    
funds and those that rely  on Village Public Safety Officers                                                                    
and the  public radio for  emergency notices. She  asked the                                                                    
committee  to   restore  funding   levels  to  FY   19.  Any                                                                    
additional cuts would be  short-sighted and unnecessary. She                                                                    
believed the  budget shortfall had been  politically created                                                                    
and promised free money with  no consequences. She asked the                                                                    
committee to reinstate a state  income tax and continue with                                                                    
a short-term reduction of the  PFD. She supported looking at                                                                    
reducing oil  tax credits. She  was strongly opposed  to the                                                                    
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:20:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELINA  MEYER, SELF,  CORDOVA  (via  teleconference), was  a                                                                    
lifelong Cordova  resident and  served on the  city council.                                                                    
She  did not  support the  proposed budget.  She stated  the                                                                    
budget  asked residents  to take  a hit,  while at  the same                                                                    
time  it  gave  tax  credits   to  the  oil  companies.  She                                                                    
supported reinstating  a state income tax.  She stressed the                                                                    
state  had a  revenue  problem, not  a  budget problem.  She                                                                    
stressed  the budget  had  too  many cuts  to  list; it  was                                                                    
short-sighted and  not in Alaska's best  interest. She asked                                                                    
the committee to invest in its communities.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:21:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETE HOEPHFNER,  SELF, CORDOVA (via  teleconference), shared                                                                    
that he  was a local  school board member. He  detailed that                                                                    
the legislature  needed to develop  a responsible  budget as                                                                    
the  governor's   budget  was  irresponsible.   He  believed                                                                    
eliminating  the  school  bond debt  reimbursement  program,                                                                    
taking cities'  raw fish tax,  and eliminating PCE  would be                                                                    
breaking a promise and would  destroy cities. He asked for a                                                                    
rejection  of  the  governor's budget  and  an  increase  in                                                                    
revenues by eliminating oil  company subsidies. He supported                                                                    
the  University, AMHS,  Medicaid, public  education, a  flat                                                                    
income tax, and a limited PFD.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
7:23:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATE  LAIRD, SELF,  CORDOVA (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
opposition to  the governor's proposed budget.  She spoke to                                                                    
the  importance   of  fully  funding  Medicaid   and  health                                                                    
services.  She  reported that  20  percent  of Alaskans  and                                                                    
nearly half the state's children  used Medicaid. She was not                                                                    
on Medicaid but pointed out  that those not on Medicaid also                                                                    
benefitted from the program. She  detailed that the proposed                                                                    
cuts  would  increase  hospitals' unreimbursed  care,  which                                                                    
would be  passed on in  cost to individuals  with insurance.                                                                    
She   noted  that   Alaska  Legislative   Research  Services                                                                    
estimated the cuts would lead to  a 3 to 17 percent increase                                                                    
in  health insurance  premiums.  She  discussed high  health                                                                    
insurance premiums. High  health costs were a  key driver in                                                                    
school   system   costs.   She  stressed   that   too   much                                                                    
unreimbursed care would result  in the closure of hospitals.                                                                    
The hospital  in Cordova would  be at risk. She  stated that                                                                    
the  changes meant  that youths  and seniors  would have  to                                                                    
move  from  Alaska.  She underscored  that  no  hospital  in                                                                    
Cordova would  mean no Coast  Guard, which was vital  to the                                                                    
town's economy  and safety. She  spoke to the  opioid crisis                                                                    
and the importance of healthcare.  She spoke in support of a                                                                    
modest income tax and reduction to the PFD.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:26:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTIN  CARPENTER,  SELF,   CORDOVA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
urged  the committee  to consider  new  income sources.  She                                                                    
stressed it was  not possible to cut the state's  way out of                                                                    
the  budget  problems.  She discussed  that  the  governor's                                                                    
proposed  cuts  would  lead  to   job  loss,  especially  in                                                                    
healthcare,  which was  the fastest  growing  sector of  the                                                                    
Alaska economy.  She believed that without  people earning a                                                                    
livelihood  in   Cordova,  money  would  not   go  into  the                                                                    
community's  economy.  She spoke  about  her  work with  the                                                                    
Copper River  watershed project. She discussed  that cuts to                                                                    
income taxes under former President  Ronald Regan had failed                                                                    
to stimulate the  economy enough to account for  the loss of                                                                    
income. She urged  the committee not to  accept the proposed                                                                    
cuts.   She  echoed   comments  by   all  of   the  previous                                                                    
testifiers.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:27:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALAN  BACKFORD,   SELF,  DILLINGHAM   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported  the governor's  proposed budget.  He believed  it                                                                    
was necessary  to cut  government spending  to the  bone. He                                                                    
did not  support an  income tax. He  wanted a  full dividend                                                                    
and  the payment  of  money  that had  been  taken from  the                                                                    
dividend  in the  past.  He  did not  trust  some people  in                                                                    
Juneau. He thought money was  spent on unnecessary programs.                                                                    
He had worked  and been responsible all of his  life. He did                                                                    
not support handouts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
7:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HERMAN MORGAN,  SELF, ANIAK  (via teleconference),  spoke to                                                                    
the high balance  in the Permanent Fund but  the state still                                                                    
had budget  problems. He supported  a full PFD.  Many people                                                                    
in rural  Alaska depended  on the PFD.  He spoke  about high                                                                    
costs  for  school  in  Alaska,  but  the  schools  had  low                                                                    
performance. He spoke  in support of cuts  to government. He                                                                    
thought   universal   healthcare   was   irresponsible.   He                                                                    
supported lower healthcare costs.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
7:35:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MURIEL BROWER,  SELF, BARROW (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of the  University. She  provided detail  about her                                                                    
personal  life.  She  was  in  strong  support  of  the  UAS                                                                    
master's in  public administration  program that she  was in                                                                    
the  middle of.  She discussed  the merits  of the  distance                                                                    
delivery program.  She stressed  cuts were far  reaching and                                                                    
created  barriers  for  low income  students.  She  believed                                                                    
investing in education built a  strong economic force in the                                                                    
state.  She  believed the  state  needed  to strengthen  its                                                                    
Tribal Health  Relations Department.  She spoke  to negative                                                                    
health outcomes  in the state. She  implored the legislature                                                                    
to work with the tribal system.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:37:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE MELTON, SELF,  PALMER (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in  opposition  to the  cuts  proposed  by the  governor  to                                                                    
education and other state services.  She shared that she was                                                                    
a retired  teacher from Mat-Su.  She believed  schools would                                                                    
be very  negatively impacted by  the proposed cuts.  She was                                                                    
opposed  to  cuts  to  services  for  individuals  receiving                                                                    
housing assistance and  Medicaid. She was willing  to have a                                                                    
cut to  the PFD  and to  pay income  tax. She  supported new                                                                    
revenue sources. She did not want a recession and job loss.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster  provided the  number of  individuals online                                                                    
and present to testify.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:39:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELE  STEVENS,  SELF, PETERSVILLE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
asked for the  reinstatement of the snow  track program into                                                                    
the operating  budget. She emphasized  that the  program was                                                                    
not asking for money -  it was self-sustaining and funded by                                                                    
a snow mobile registration fee  collected by the Division of                                                                    
Motor Vehicles  (DMV). She detailed  that 12 percent  of the                                                                    
funds  covered the  cost of  a state  employee administering                                                                    
the  program and  administrative cost.  She stressed  that a                                                                    
groomed trail  system was critical  for first  responders to                                                                    
reach victims in the backcountry.  The program could benefit                                                                    
all user  groups in  Alaska. She cited  a study  showing the                                                                    
economic benefit  of the program.  She stressed that  if the                                                                    
program   was  not   reinstated  it   would  devastate   all                                                                    
businesses,  clubs, and  outdoor activities  in Alaska.  She                                                                    
referenced   a   resolution   passed   by   clubs,   lodges,                                                                    
businesses, snow machine dealers,  dog mushers, and other in                                                                    
Mat-Su. She was not in support of receiving backpay PFDs.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Foster recognized Representative  Andi Story in the                                                                    
audience.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:42:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  PIERCE, SELF,  KASILOF  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  subsidies to  corporations. He  supported increased                                                                    
taxes for oil,  mining, and state resources.  He stated that                                                                    
three-quarters  of  the  PFD  money had  been  put  into  an                                                                    
account and the  legislature was not offering  the money. He                                                                    
supported  new revenue  and was  against  taking funds  from                                                                    
municipalities. He thought the  state needed a millionaire's                                                                    
tax.  He wanted  a  reduction in  spending  and thought  the                                                                    
state should  stop funding nonprofits.  He thought  the cuts                                                                    
were too  much at one time.  He wanted his PFD.  He stressed                                                                    
that the legislature's  job was to weed out  the bad budget.                                                                    
He did not think throwing all  of the money at education was                                                                    
working.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:44:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LANI   WIDELL,   SELF,   FAIRBANKS   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
suggested privatizing  some state  services, paying  a sales                                                                    
tax, taxing oil companies  appropriately, and implementing a                                                                    
state lottery.  She supported the governor  and his proposed                                                                    
legislation including  SB 24, SB  23, and SB 92.  She wanted                                                                    
Alaskans to have a choice to  keep or donate their PFDs. She                                                                    
supported receiving a full PFD.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL LOENTZ, SELF,  HAINES (via teleconference), represented                                                                    
the  inland  boatman's  union. He  supported  the  AMHS  and                                                                    
relayed that  stopping service to any  community would cause                                                                    
irrevocable damage.  He stated  there were  communities that                                                                    
could  only  be  accessed  by   ferry  during  poor  weather                                                                    
conditions.  He  noted that  schools  used  the ferries  for                                                                    
school  trips. He  referenced over  200 people  traveling to                                                                    
the recent  Gold Medal basketball  tournament in  Juneau. He                                                                    
urged the committee to keep  the ferry system and University                                                                    
funded.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
7:47:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUE  STEINACHER, SELF,  NOME (via  teleconference), believed                                                                    
it was time  for Alaskans to pay for  the services received.                                                                    
She supported  a progressive income  tax and a  reduction to                                                                    
the  PFD.  The proposal  was  modeled  on how  congressional                                                                    
fairness across  the country.  She did  not support  a sales                                                                    
tax, which  she believed  would drive families  into poverty                                                                    
and would be  hardest on low income families.  She hoped the                                                                    
committee would  consider the  proposal, which  she believed                                                                    
was fair.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
7:49:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SOLOMON  HIMELBLOOM,   HIGH  SCHOOL  STUDENT,   KODIAK  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of the  University of                                                                    
Alaska. He spoke about the  importance of satellite campuses                                                                    
in Kodiak,  which played  an integral  part of  teaching the                                                                    
next  generation of  Alaskans. He  supported K-12  education                                                                    
and the AMHS.  He thanked the committee  for the opportunity                                                                    
to testify.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
7:50:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA HIMELBLOOM,  SELF, KODIAK (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of maintaining the University  system, which was                                                                    
vital  for  education  in  smaller  communities  along  with                                                                    
critical services  like AMHS and public  radio. She stressed                                                                    
that  outlying communities  were  tied to  the University  -                                                                    
local  campuses provided  a link  to  larger locations.  She                                                                    
supported AMHS and public radio.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
7:51:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  DOWNING, SELF,  STERLING (via  teleconference), asked                                                                    
the committee to reject the  governor's budget. He supported                                                                    
the   University   of   Alaska  request   and   the   budget                                                                    
subcommittee's recommendation to add  $10 million. He stated                                                                    
it was the  wrong time to be cutting  education. He stressed                                                                    
the importance  of the University.  He stressed  that Alaska                                                                    
was the  only state in  the country  not paying its  way. He                                                                    
referenced income and  sales tax in other  states. He stated                                                                    
that the  PFD continued  to increase.  He stressed  that the                                                                    
state did not lack money  but lacked imagination. He thought                                                                    
investment  in oil  tax credits  was shortsighted.  He spoke                                                                    
about Alaska  being on the  forefront of climate  change and                                                                    
the  importance  of investing  in  the  future in  renewable                                                                    
energy sources.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
7:53:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHARON  BROWER, SELF,  NIKISKI  (via teleconference),  would                                                                    
like to  see greater imagination with  the state's finances.                                                                    
She supported a state income  tax. She thought it would give                                                                    
more  input from  local communities  in terms  of elections.                                                                    
She  objected  to  15  to  35  percent  voter  turnout.  She                                                                    
supported  education and  mental  health  care. She  thought                                                                    
without  those  things  the  state  would  only  build  more                                                                    
prisons.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
7:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  RIPLEY,  CEO,  MAT-SU HEALTH  FOUNDATION,  MAT-SU                                                                    
(via   teleconference),    provided   details    about   the                                                                    
organization.  The organization  supported the  preservation                                                                    
for  Medicaid, early  childhood education,  and housing  and                                                                    
homeless programs.  She stressed that Medicaid  was vital to                                                                    
keeping Alaskans  healthy and  working. She  provided detail                                                                    
on  the  vast  majority  of  Medicaid  recipients  who  were                                                                    
children, older  adults, and  people with  disabilities. She                                                                    
emphasized that  Medicaid reform  was working,  and spending                                                                    
had  remained  almost  flat since  2012.  She  stressed  the                                                                    
increases  had  been  covered  almost  entirely  by  federal                                                                    
funds; Alaska  was currently covering 79,000  more enrollees                                                                    
using 11 percent fewer state  dollars than it had four years                                                                    
earlier.  Cutting  $249  million  meant  the  loss  of  $465                                                                    
million in  federal funding. She supported  preserving funds                                                                    
for early  childhood education. She addressed  reductions in                                                                    
jobs  and loss  in services  if the  cuts went  through. She                                                                    
stressed the  importance of  housing and  homeless programs.                                                                    
She  stressed the  cuts  would hurt  some  of Alaska's  most                                                                    
vulnerable people.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
7:58:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE ERICKSON, PRESIDENT,  ALASKA NURSES ASSOCIATION, MAT-SU                                                                    
(via teleconference), was very  concerned about the proposed                                                                    
cuts to  Medicaid. She stressed  the cuts would  be damaging                                                                    
to hospitals,  patients, and services throughout  the state.                                                                    
She opposed a cut to  the public health nursing program. She                                                                    
opposed  cuts to  the University  that would  result in  the                                                                    
closure of  programs and  loss in jobs.  She was  opposed to                                                                    
cuts to  education. She was  opposed to the $18  million cut                                                                    
to the  Pioneer Home and the  massive cuts to AMHS.  She was                                                                    
not against some type of  tax. She mentioned the $65 billion                                                                    
Permanent Fund  reserve. She  underscored that  massive cuts                                                                    
would only hurt all Alaskans.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: MAT-SU, KENAI, JUNEAU, BETHEL, OFF NET                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:01:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  LEIGHTY,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  thanked  the  committee  for                                                                    
holding the  hearings. He  referenced the  Civil War  and an                                                                    
address to Congress  by then President Lincoln.  He shared a                                                                    
quote from President  Lincoln. He believed the  budget was a                                                                    
figment  of  those enthralled  by  dogmas  of the  past.  He                                                                    
suggested  ignoring  the   governor's  proposed  budget  and                                                                    
starting anew.  He suggested increasing  oil and  gas taxes,                                                                    
conserving  cash  including  a  small  PFD,  implementing  a                                                                    
progressive  income  tax.  He   recalled  hearing  the  late                                                                    
Senator  Ted   Stevens  say  that   Alaska  had   become  an                                                                    
entitlement state  and he was  partly to blame. He  spoke in                                                                    
strong support  of education from pre-K  through 12th grade.                                                                    
He  asked the  legislature  to prevent  damage from  natural                                                                    
resource  extraction  (e.g.  Pebble   Mine).  He  asked  the                                                                    
legislature to govern the state as a commonwealth.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:04:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SYLVIA  KIDD,  SELF, JUNEAU,  was  strongly  opposed to  the                                                                    
governor's  budget.  She  was  deeply  concerned  about  the                                                                    
effect  the governor's  proposed  budget would  have on  the                                                                    
economic and  social well-being of the  state. She testified                                                                    
in support of education. She  stated that students forced to                                                                    
leave the state for college  would only increase their debt.                                                                    
She  highlighted her  support  for public  radio. She  spoke                                                                    
against  cuts to  Medicaid and  AMHS. She  pointed out  that                                                                    
state  ownership in  natural resources  in  which the  state                                                                    
shared  the   profit  with  citizens  was   a  component  of                                                                    
socialism know  as a guaranteed basic  income. She supported                                                                    
the PFD but  did not believe the state could  afford a raise                                                                    
in the program. She did  not believe it was sustainable. She                                                                    
stressed it  was not possible  to guarantee the  money would                                                                    
remain in Alaska. She supported income tax.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:07:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB PIORKOWSKI, SELF, JUNEAU,  addressed historical views of                                                                    
the economy  in Alaska.  He shared  that Alaska  was special                                                                    
because of  a connection to  and protection of the  land. He                                                                    
believed  the state  was better  off at  present because  of                                                                    
government  not  in spite  of  it.  He  was opposed  to  the                                                                    
governor's proposed  cuts. He was a  fiscal conservative. He                                                                    
suggested cutting  the governor's  budget by 50  percent. He                                                                    
opposed cuts  to the ferry  system until all  major roadways                                                                    
in Alaska  were toll roads.  He was  supportive of a  PFD if                                                                    
the fiscal  house was in  good shape. He stressed  there was                                                                    
no free lunch, which he believed was what was being pushed.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:09:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALEX WERTHEIMER, SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke against the governor's                                                                    
proposed  cuts.  He  believed  the  proposed  budget  was  a                                                                    
disaster in the  making and represented an  attack on public                                                                    
education,  the  university  system,  AMHS,  and  healthcare                                                                    
infrastructure.  He stressed  the budget  would send  Alaska                                                                    
into economic decline. The budget  would transfer the burden                                                                    
of  supporting  essential  services  to  local  governments,                                                                    
while devastating  the economic  base of  local governments.                                                                    
He implored  the committee  to work  with its  colleagues to                                                                    
develop a  sustainable budget that  would pay  for essential                                                                    
services.  He   noted  that  the  Permanent   Fund  had  not                                                                    
originally   been  established   to  provide   dividends  to                                                                    
individuals,  but to  be a  rainy  day source  of funds  for                                                                    
essential services  when oil revenue declined.  He supported                                                                    
the  use of  a portion  of  the earnings  for a  sustainable                                                                    
budget.   He  supported   discontinuing  subsidies   to  oil                                                                    
companies and  was in favor  of a simple  progressive income                                                                    
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:10:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARREN  SNYDER,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in  support  of  the                                                                    
University. He provided detail about  his life in Juneau. He                                                                    
did not  support the governor's proposed  budget. He thought                                                                    
the  proposed cuts  would leave  no option  but to  increase                                                                    
student/teacher  ratios   from  already   untenable  levels,                                                                    
further  dropping vital  support  staff positions  including                                                                    
nurses,  therapists,   librarians,  and   special  education                                                                    
aides. He  stressed the  importance of  increasing education                                                                    
funding. He was  a UAS graduate and had  taught in Southeast                                                                    
for over 20 years. He  was a UAF cooperative extension agent                                                                    
and  taught  people to  become  more  self-reliant and  food                                                                    
secure for communities to prepare  for disasters. He trained                                                                    
master gardeners to  teach and serve others.  He taught kids                                                                    
STEM topics  including growing their  own healthy  food. His                                                                    
was able to provide the  teaching service to communities due                                                                    
to  state  and federal  USDA  funding.  He supported  public                                                                    
radio and AMHS.  All of the services were  vital. He thought                                                                    
the shortfalls needed  to be addressed by an  income tax and                                                                    
reduced subsidies to oil companies.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:13:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH WELDON,  MAYOR, JUNEAU,  thanked the  committee members                                                                    
for  their   work.  She  recognized  there   were  difficult                                                                    
decisions and impacts ahead and  observed that using savings                                                                    
to  solve  the state's  deficit  was  no longer  the  wisest                                                                    
solution. She  implored the committee  not to push  too many                                                                    
solutions  onto  the  shoulders of  local  governments.  She                                                                    
believed  House  subcommittees  had   done  a  good  job  of                                                                    
balancing  the items.  She asked  the  committee to  protect                                                                    
school funding  and to honor  its commitment to  school bond                                                                    
debt  reimbursement. She  requested  continued operation  of                                                                    
AMHS and more  time to keep reforming the  system. She asked                                                                    
the  committee to  consider what  drastic  cuts to  Medicaid                                                                    
would  do to  the local  hospital. Crime  had increased  and                                                                    
there was need for an  additional state prosecutor in Juneau                                                                    
to  process   misdemeanors.  She  asked  the   committee  to                                                                    
preserve the additional position  added in subcommittee. The                                                                    
University was an important part  of civic culture and was a                                                                    
necessary  institution  to provide  education  opportunities                                                                    
for Alaskans  without forcing them  to go out of  state. She                                                                    
stated that  CBJ was a partner  to UA in an  effort to reach                                                                    
the  University's goal  of reducing  the need  to constantly                                                                    
hire teachers from  out-of-state. She spoke to  the need the                                                                    
community had for fish taxes.  She noted that Juneau did not                                                                    
have petroleum property taxes, but  its two largest property                                                                    
taxpayers  were  mines  and  she  was  concerned  about  the                                                                    
precedent   of   removing    property   taxes   from   local                                                                    
governments.  She personally  supported a  reduction to  the                                                                    
PFD to help fund the deficit.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
8:16:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BREANNA WALKER, SELF, JUNEAU, thanked  the committee for its                                                                    
time. She echoed many concerns  others had shared related to                                                                    
budget  cuts, especially  related  to  AMHS, education,  and                                                                    
Medicaid. She shared that she was  an avid user of AMHS, and                                                                    
cuts would  make it  difficult to  travel in  Southeast. She                                                                    
was currently  a University student  and was the  former UAS                                                                    
student  body president.  She shared  information about  her                                                                    
education  experience.  She  had  transferred  from  outside                                                                    
Alaska  and had  realized the  high quality  of life  Alaska                                                                    
offered. She  stressed the  importance of  public education.                                                                    
She encouraged  the committee to consider  fully funding the                                                                    
University.   She  supported   other  revenue   including  a                                                                    
progressive income tax. She asked  the committee to consider                                                                    
reductions to oil tax credits.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:19:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CINDY BOESSER, SELF, JUNEAU,  affiliated herself with fellow                                                                    
Alaskans who could  not be present. She read  a passage from                                                                    
the  book  Diapering  the  Devil   by  former  Governor  Jay                                                                    
Hammond:                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     If dividends  are a  "cancer," that  cancerby  contrast                                                                    
     to   tax   repeal    is    but   a   penny-sized   skin                                                                    
     lesion...Though PFDs may have  caused that skin lesion,                                                                    
     tax   repeal   proved    far   more   carcinogenic   by                                                                    
     conditioning  us to  believe we  are entitled  to those                                                                    
     huge,    free,    inequitably    distributed    service                                                                    
     "dividends." Had we, instead,  suspended the income tax                                                                    
     pending  its need,  spending  would  have been  greatly                                                                    
     curtailed  and there  would likely  be  no fiscal  gap.                                                                    
     After all,  the best  therapy for  containing malignant                                                                    
     government  growth is  a  diet  forcing politicians  to                                                                    
     spend no more  than that for which they  are willing to                                                                    
     tax. In  that regard, I once  suggested that, depending                                                                    
     on location of brain,  every politician have branded on                                                                    
     either  their brow  or their  buttocks  the pledge:  "I                                                                    
     will not  spend more than  that for which I  am willing                                                                    
     to tax."                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Boesser shared that she  had spent substantial time with                                                                    
Governor  Hammond  on a  peace  trip  to the  former  Soviet                                                                    
Union. She shared  that they had spoken about  taxes and the                                                                    
PFD.  She reported  that he  had been  upset at  himself for                                                                    
allowing [income] tax to be  discontinued. She advocated for                                                                    
the reinstatement of a progressive  income tax, modest PFDs,                                                                    
and the repeal of SB 21.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:21:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  SONIN, SELF,  DOUGLAS  (via  teleconference), did  not                                                                    
support  the governor's  proposed  budget.  He believed  the                                                                    
governor's  budget  pitted  people against  each  other.  He                                                                    
supported healthcare  and education. He asked  the committee                                                                    
to  think  about the  future  generations  and maintain  the                                                                    
foundation of  the state's economy.  He supported  an income                                                                    
tax or another revenue source.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:25:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIKKI  JO   KENNEDY,  SELF,  JUNEAU   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
thought  it  was necessary  to  clean  up  the past  out  of                                                                    
control  spending. She  thought the  cuts should  start with                                                                    
legislative  per diem.  She  encouraged  the legislature  to                                                                    
listen  to  the people.  She  believed  there was  abuse  of                                                                    
Medicaid by S corporations.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:28:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ZACK RUSSELL,  SELF, DENALI  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
opposition  to cuts  to the  snow track  program, which  was                                                                    
self-funded. He stressed the importance  of the program that                                                                    
included grooming  trails, trail  maintenance in  the summer                                                                    
months, and expanding trail systems.  He supported HB 23 and                                                                    
the increase  in the snow  machine registration fee  from $5                                                                    
to $10 per year. He shared  that the fees went into the snow                                                                    
track  account  -  funds were  distributed  by  an  advisory                                                                    
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:29:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
THOMAS  WILLIAMS, SELF,  PETERS CREEK  (via teleconference),                                                                    
asked  whether  the government  or  private  sector was  the                                                                    
foundation  of an  economy. He  stated the  people made  the                                                                    
economy, not the government. He  supported a repeal of SB 91                                                                    
[criminal  justice  system   reform  legislation  passed  in                                                                    
2016]. He stressed the increase  in crime. He was in support                                                                    
of the governor's budget, which  he did not believe went far                                                                    
enough.  He spoke  in support  of privatization  and against                                                                    
bloated  infrastructure. He  did not  believe education  was                                                                    
the bedrock of the economy.  He believed taking the PFD from                                                                    
people was  the wrong move and  should be decided by  a vote                                                                    
of the people. He thought  government was out of control. He                                                                    
recommended looking  at the way  New Zealand  had privatized                                                                    
most of its services and had thrived.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:32:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SAM TRIVETTE,  SELF, JUNEAU, provided information  about his                                                                    
life and time  in Alaska. He was vehemently  opposed to most                                                                    
of the  governor's proposed cuts. He  stated that economists                                                                    
and  staff  at Institute  of  Social  and Economic  Research                                                                    
(ISER)  predicted   that  the  cuts  would   cause  a  major                                                                    
recession in  Alaska. He recalled  a recession in  the 1980s                                                                    
that  had been  devastating to  many in  Alaska. He  thought                                                                    
cuts to  pre-K would  lead to  less effective  education. He                                                                    
was  opposed  to  cuts  to the  University  system.  He  was                                                                    
against  cuts to  Medicaid and  senior programs.  Seniors in                                                                    
Alaska  spent  over  $2  billion  annually  in  the  state's                                                                    
economy  and  were  raising  grandchildren  and  contributed                                                                    
hundreds  of  thousands  of  hours  of  volunteer  work.  He                                                                    
opposed cuts  to AMHS. He  thought the state had  a spending                                                                    
problem, not a revenue problem.  He supported an income tax,                                                                    
lower PFD, and more from the state's natural resources.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:36:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GAYLE  TRIVETTE, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  in opposition  to the                                                                    
proposed  budget. She  supported  a  budget that  maintained                                                                    
education   and  the   state   transportation  system.   She                                                                    
supported  AMHS and  education.  She was  dismayed when  she                                                                    
heard the  infrastructure and services residents  all shared                                                                    
demonized as  big government. She  recalled her  parents and                                                                    
grandparents  speaking about  the importance  of voting  for                                                                    
statehood to gain control of  the state's natural resources.                                                                    
She  thought there  had  been a  better  sense of  community                                                                    
prior to  striking it  rich. Residents  had expected  to pay                                                                    
taxes and did  not expect to be paid to  live in Alaska. She                                                                    
thought the state had a  leadership and attitude crisis, not                                                                    
a fiscal crisis.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
8:37:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARGARET  VROLYK,  SELF,  EAGLE  RIVER, was  in  support  of                                                                    
financing  a   healthy  state  education  system,   not  the                                                                    
governor's  crippled version.  She expected  the Legislative                                                                    
Affairs   Agency  could   be   downsized  without   reducing                                                                    
significant services. She  shared a story about  her past in                                                                    
Juneau when  the government had  discussed creating  a state                                                                    
savings  account  generated  from oil  revenues  that  would                                                                    
otherwise  be squandered.  She remembered  that part  of the                                                                    
discussion  had   been  that   the  savings   account  would                                                                    
safeguard the  financing of education. She  recalled the man                                                                    
who had done the most talking  had been Jay Hammond. She did                                                                    
not believe Jay  Hammond would have been in  support of cuts                                                                    
to  education  to pay  for  the  distribution of  PFDs.  She                                                                    
reported  that she  had worked  for the  Legislative Affairs                                                                    
Agency  in the  past. She  discussed her  experience working                                                                    
there  and believed  there were  too many  employees in  the                                                                    
agency.  She expected  that  reorganizing  the agency  could                                                                    
save money without decreasing significant services.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:41:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICH SIMPSON, SELF,  JUNEAU, shared that he worked  as a UAS                                                                    
professor  with a  focus on  the  environment. He  discussed                                                                    
that  the state  prided itself  on its  relationship to  the                                                                    
land  and resources.  He  supported the  AMHS.  He spoke  in                                                                    
complete opposition  to the  governor's proposed  budget. He                                                                    
discussed his reasoning for wanting  to work in Alaska - the                                                                    
state prided  itself on working  in unity with the  land. //                                                                    
the  identity  had  been  forged by  the  state  itself.  He                                                                    
mentioned the  state's land grant program,  leading research                                                                    
in  the Arctic,  and  reviving Alaska  Native languages.  He                                                                    
discussed that  the Alaskan state  had uniquely  created the                                                                    
PFD,  which   was  an  incredibly  democratic   policy  when                                                                    
initiated (there had  been a state income tax  at the time).                                                                    
He referenced  the governor's  proposal and  explained there                                                                    
was  a challenge  to  the  Alaskan identity  -  the PFD  was                                                                    
imagined not  as an  additional way  to support  the Alaskan                                                                    
state, but  rather as  the means  to sacrifice  basic public                                                                    
services that made Alaska's identity.  The proposal used the                                                                    
PFD against the  idea of the Alaskan state.  He supported an                                                                    
income  tax  with a  state  focused  on a  strong  education                                                                    
system,   AMHS,   elderly  needing   healthcare,   Medicaid,                                                                    
homeless  who need  shelter,  education infrastructure,  and                                                                    
municipal services.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:44:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DENISE  DANIELLO, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  COMMISSION ON                                                                    
AGING, JUNEAU, she disclosed that  her views represented the                                                                    
commission and  not necessarily the views  of the Department                                                                    
of Health and Social  Services. She supported the governor's                                                                    
proposed funding  for the grant funded  services for seniors                                                                    
administered  by Senior  and  Disability Services  including                                                                    
adult day programs,  meals, transportation, family caregiver                                                                    
support  and  other.  The   commission  also  supported  the                                                                    
recommendation  of  the  budget  subcommittee  regarding  an                                                                    
appropriation  of  $25  million to  the  Payment  Assistance                                                                    
Program for  the Division of  Pioneer Homes.  The commission                                                                    
was  concerned  by  proposed  reductions  to  Medicaid,  the                                                                    
Medicaid  Adult Dental  Program,  and  senior benefits.  She                                                                    
provided detail  about the senior benefits  program that had                                                                    
just  been reauthorized  by the  legislature the  past year.                                                                    
The program provided a critical  safety net for Alaskans age                                                                    
65 and older  with limited incomes. She  listed the benefits                                                                    
of the  program. The  commission was  concerned the  loss of                                                                    
funding would  put some  seniors on  edge. She  reported the                                                                    
commission   would  provide   written  recommendations   the                                                                    
following day.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster  pointed  out   that  the  senior  benefits                                                                    
program was a needs-based income eligible program.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Daniello agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:48:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  THORTON, SELF,  JUNEAU,  shared  information about  his                                                                    
career.  He  was  in strong  opposition  to  the  governor's                                                                    
proposed budget, which  he believed would be  a disaster for                                                                    
Alaska.  He supported  a progressive  income tax,  a reduced                                                                    
PFD,  and a  reduction in  corporate welfare.  He asked  the                                                                    
committee to consider  sustainable development. He expounded                                                                    
that sustainable  development was one of  the most important                                                                    
global goals about which there  was consensus. There was not                                                                    
consensus about  how to get  there, but there were  17 goals                                                                    
of  sustainable development  that  had been  adopted by  all                                                                    
United Nations  countries. He referenced a  2018 sustainable                                                                    
development report  for the U.S.  in which Alaska  ranked 43                                                                    
out of  50 states. He  stressed that if  it was not  for the                                                                    
state's  federal lands,  it would  rank down  at the  bottom                                                                    
with  Louisiana  for the  same  reasons.  He expounded  that                                                                    
Louisiana  was also  an oil  state  that was  full of  crony                                                                    
capitalism and  it disinvested  in critical  services needed                                                                    
to   reach  sustainable   development.   He  detailed   that                                                                    
sustainable development goals were  about good health, clean                                                                    
energy, reductions in  inequality and poverty, environmental                                                                    
sustainability, and other. He  stressed that a shock therapy                                                                    
budget would hinder sustainable  development. He stressed in                                                                    
the importance of investing in the state's government.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:51:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Ortiz asked where the  committee could get access                                                                    
to the report.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Thorton  replied  that  he would  provide  a  copy.  He                                                                    
believed it was available online from Columbia University.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:51:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAYNE ANDREEN, SELF, JUNEAU,  opposed the governor's budget,                                                                    
but   was  hopeful   it  would   result   in  a   productive                                                                    
conversation  about   how  to  balance  reductions   with  a                                                                    
sensible revenue  package. She stressed that  there had been                                                                    
continuous cuts  in recent years  - it was only  possible to                                                                    
cut  so  far. She  provided  an  example  of cuts  that  had                                                                    
directly impacted  the health and well-being  of Alaskans at                                                                    
present. She detailed  that over the past  four years public                                                                    
health  nursing had  experienced $5.8  million in  cuts. She                                                                    
stressed that public health nursing  was the backbone of the                                                                    
state's public  health system  combined with  tribal health.                                                                    
The cuts  had resulted in the  closure of 27 percent  of the                                                                    
community-based public health centers  around the state. She                                                                    
furthered that 21 percent of  the staff had been eliminated.                                                                    
Additionally, the  cuts resulted  in the elimination  of all                                                                    
well-child  exams for  children over  the age  of 6  and all                                                                    
services for  anyone over the  age of 29. She  stressed that                                                                    
in many communities  the public health nurse  was the person                                                                    
that  residents  went  to  for help,  which  was  no  longer                                                                    
possible  for  many people.  She  spoke  to negative  health                                                                    
outcomes resulting  from the  cuts. She spoke  to a  rise in                                                                    
unintended  pregnancies  in  women  age 30  and  older.  She                                                                    
detailed  that a  low income  woman  on Medicaid  who has  a                                                                    
pregnancy would cost the state  $40,000 from prenatal to the                                                                    
child's  age  of  5. She  provided  further  examples  about                                                                    
negative   outcomes   including   decreased   immunizations,                                                                    
increases in  influenza, gonorrhea  and syphilis  cases. She                                                                    
supported a  modified PFD, a  progressive income tax,  and a                                                                    
repeal of SB 21.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Josephson asked  about the statistics related                                                                    
to the reduced immunization. Ms. Andreen complied.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:55:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CECILIA  MILLER,  SELF, JUNEAU,  shared  a  story about  her                                                                    
mother moving  to Alaska to  teach in Anchorage.  Her mother                                                                    
had raised  a family of  three educators. She  stressed deep                                                                    
concern about  proposed rate increases to  the Pioneer Home.                                                                    
She underscored  that the  state had made  a promise  to its                                                                    
pioneers  by  creating  the  Pioneer  Home.  She  was  happy                                                                    
individuals would not get kicked out  of the homes and go to                                                                    
using Medicaid,  but people would  get there much  faster at                                                                    
the proposed  rates. She was  concerned that changes  to the                                                                    
rates would mean  the Pioneer Homes would  only be available                                                                    
to residents who could afford it.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB  39  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  40  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Foster addressed  the schedule  for the  following                                                                    
day. The  committee would continue to  hear public testimony                                                                    
the   following  evening.   He   thanked  participants   and                                                                    
committee members.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 39 JuneauCommMtg 3.22.19 Public Testimony .pdf HFIN 3/25/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
HB 39 Public Testimony Pkt 1 OP Budget Feb-March 22 Emails.pdf HFIN 3/25/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
HB 39 Bethel CommMtg 3.23.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/25/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Kenai CommMtg 3.23.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/25/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
HB39 Public Testimony Written 3.25.19.pdf HFIN 3/25/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39