Legislature(2003 - 2004)
03/19/2004 08:01 AM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 31-CONST AM: PERMANENT FUND Number 1825 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that the next order of business was HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 31, Proposing amendments to the Constitution of the State of Alaska relating to the Alaska permanent fund and to payments to certain state residents from the Alaska permanent fund; and providing for an effective date for the amendments. Number 1860 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON moved to adopt CSHJR 31(W&M). CHAIR WEYHRAUCH objected for discussion purposes. Number 1880 JANET CLARKE, Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS), noted that the department has 11 fiscal notes associated with HJR 31. She pointed to a handout in the committee packet entitled, "General Fund Summary Impact of CSHJR 31 on DHSS Programs." In general, she stated, HJR 31 would change the complexion of "permanent fund dividend hold harmless in its use within DHSS." It also would, with the one-time payout of $20,000, impact eligibility for a number of programs in the year that the payout is made. She noted that, in addition to the impacts on the department, there would also be impacts to federal funds "that we could describe in each individual fiscal note that we submitted." REPRESENTATIVE SEATON, regarding the general fund impact handout, asked if the brackets indicated losses or gains to the general fund. MS. CLARKE answered that the brackets indicate savings to the general fund. She indicated that the bottom row of numbers on that handout reflect the estimated impact to the department. In 2005, the state general fund would save $47,765,300. After that, the handout shows a predicted cost of $53,130,400 in 2006, $1,020,000 in 2007, and $1,019,900 in 2008. The total impact over that time period, she said, is estimated to be [a cost of] $7,405,000. Ms. Clarke stated, "Now each one of these situations and programs, they're different complexities with the permanent fund, the ineligibility, and the impact to the federal and general fund. So, if we have time, because of the impact, we would like to go through each individual fiscal note." Number 2030 MS. CLARKE directed the committee's attention to the fiscal note with the component labeled, "ATAP" [Alaska Temporary Assistance Program]. She described this program as the one people think of as DHSS's "welfare-to-work" program and assistance to needy families. She pointed out that the analysis shows that in fiscal year 2005 (FY 05), [DHSS] would see a savings of [approximately] $26.4 million. The bulk of that, she noted, would be federal funds that DHSS would not spend. She explained, "The reason that we see that we would have such a significant reduction in that program, is that we have estimated that approximately 4,600 of the 5,000 individuals will receive a dividend and they will lose their eligibility for that month on the ATAP program, and because of the large supplemental payout, they will also loose eligibility for an additional 11 months." MS. CLARKE noted that the interagency receipts, as noted in the fiscal note, show a savings in FY 05 of $2,935,900. She continued as follows: That fund source is the ... permanent fund dividend fund. Those are the hold harmless dollars that pay for, under current law, that one month in October where individuals are ineligible and we hold them harmless. And the legislature has appropriated permanent fund dividend funds for that month of ineligibility. Well, once there is not [a] permanent fund dividend fund anymore, in 2006, that $2,935,900 becomes a general fund expenditure, because we're assuming that in 2005, most of the caseload will be ineligible. But based on our current experience with our clients, we believe most of them will come back on the caseload in 2006, and we will need to have those resources to pay benefits for the whole year. But it will become a general fund expenditure. Number 2147 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON offered his understanding that if the recipients are no longer receiving permanent fund dividends (PFDs), then "we wouldn't need any hold harmless money." MS. CLARKE answered that it's correct that those people would not be held harmless. However she explained that when people are held harmless, they get their benefits and their PFD. She said, "So, we're paying benefits right now for that one month that would be ineligibility. The funding source for that is the PFD fund, and when we don't have the PFD ... we need to have a funding source for that. So, there is a cost." In response to a question from Representative Coghill, she explained that the federal funds related to the ATAP are block grant funds, and it's not a 50-50-match program. She confirmed his understanding that regarding "folks who have been determined ineligible for food stamps - [Supplemental Security Income (SSI)] - those federal funds will come into play again [and] will go back to the way it was before the PFD." She continued, "But for this particular program, we have a maintenance of effort requirement, rather than a mat situation, so ... we have to keep that maintenance of effort. Number 2236 ANGELA SALERNO, Program Coordinator, Director's Office, Division of Public Assistance, Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS), offered the following history: As Janet said, it's a block grant, but it's based on what we were spending for AFDC in 1994, before welfare reform. In 1994, we based that estimate on 11 months of federal funds and one month of PFD hold harmless. That's what we were spending then; that's what the feds held us to. So, we simply do not have a block grant for that twelfth month. That's why ..., since 1982, we've relied on that one month of PFD hold harmless as a funding source for the temporary assistance program. Number 2268 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL offered his understanding that the maintenance of effort agreement is not amendable. MS. SALERNO answered, "No, it is not. That is mandated by [the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA)] that brought us welfare reform and the [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)] program." Number 2286 MS. CLARKE added for the record: We have been able to take advantage of changes in the maintenance of effort level. In the governor's budget, for example, we have a $2.8-million general fund savings for 2005, because we've been able to reduce our maintenance of effort, because we've met our work participation requirements, and so, we get a break on our maintenance of effort calculation. So, we do take advantage where we can. MS. CLARKE, in response to a question from Representative Coghill, noted that in the past, the maintenance of effort has been reduced, based on the tribal assistance program; however, "that varies, based on when those programs will come into account. It's a formula, basically." Number 2333 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if the bottom line is that "we" are currently getting far less federal funds than "we" should. MS. CLARKE responded, "The federal government took a look at what we were spending in 1994, as far as federal funds, and that's what every state was held to - ... that was our block grant." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG stated his concern is in regard to the hold harmless provision. MS. CLARKE, in response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, confirmed, "Yes, if we had not had the permanent fund dividend hold harmless our federal expenditures would have been higher and our block grant would have been higher." TAPE 04-40, SIDE B Number 2371 MS. SALERNO clarified, "We get eleven-twelfths of what we should." Number 2362 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL said that [the absent] Representative Holm would assert that "people would be able to take the money and put themselves into employment, so there might be some challenge to the assertion." He asked if there is a way that the state could "prorate" the eleven-twelfths over a 12-month period. MS. CLARKE addressed the issues as follows: One, you could reduce benefit levels. That would take ... statutory change to reduce the benefit levels. We are hamstrung with the maintenance of effort requirement that the federal government has placed on states. They basically said, "We agree to pay you the 1994 level" until they change that rule again, "but you, state, have to maintain a certain level of state expenditure to receive that" - which is the maintenance of effort. So, we are locked in a bit. Number 2284 MS. CLARKE brought attention to the next fiscal note with the component labeled, "Tribal Assistance." She stated that it has all the same characteristics as the previously mentioned ATAP fiscal note, and the fiscal note analysis is basically the same. In response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, she explained that the reason the zero amounts show in FY '08 [in both the ATAP and Tribal Assistance fiscal notes] is because, by that time, [the department] assumes that after the savings in FY 05, the case load coming back on in FY 06, and the residual costs in FY 07, it would "get back to a net zero." Number 2236 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked what the underlying factual assumptions are that led to the department's thinking that the amount would "even out again." MS. CLARKE replied, "We have assumed that the caseload would return to the levels prior to the permanent fund dividend payout of $20,000. That's our main assumption. We have not taken any other economic analysis." Number 2204 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON mentioned the fund source amount of [$2,935,900, listed on the ATAP fiscal note]. He asked why it occurs in 2006, but not in following years. MS. CLARKE explained as follows: In preparing this fiscal note to show the one-time nature of the savings and the cost into the future, we debated how to demonstrate that for the committee. So, the approach we took doesn't -- those costs will continue to be shown throughout 2007, 2008, 2009, [and] 2010. We basically just showed them coming back into the base and then getting to equilibrium. Then we have a savings in 2005, below the line. We buy back the one-time nature of that. Typically, fiscal notes are not one-time, and we struggled with how to display that so that it made sense to everyone. And this was our approach to do that. REPRESENTATIVE SEATON responded, "It seems like we're going to have that from general funds every following year to fund that eleventh month that we no longer have it coming out of the permanent fund dividend." He mentioned trying to get an approximation. He said, "We only have an expense in one year, and actually what we're doing is we're replacing permanent fund expenditures with [general fund (GF)] for all years after that, and I think we really need to see that in the analysis." Number 2138 MS. CLARKE replied that Representative Seaton is correct, and she said "we" will address that. Number 2118 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked why the amount for FY 05 on the Tribal Assistance fiscal note shows $6,091.2, while the amount for Tribal assistance for the same year shows on Ms. Clarke's previously mentioned summary sheet as $5,414.4. MS. CLARKE explained that the amount on the summary sheet reflects only the impact to the state general fund, so it only includes those dollars associated with the general fund. MS. CLARKE turned to the next fiscal note, with the component labeled, "PFD Hold Harmless." She explained that this component is the one that appropriates all of the PFD fund in one place in the department's budget, whereby the department allocates [those monies] to the different programs. [The fiscal note] shows that [the department] would eliminate the use of the PFD fund in FY 05. In response to a question from Representative Gruenberg, she explained that nothing from this fiscal note shows on the summary sheet, because none of the money is a general fund expenditure. In response to a question from Representative Gruenberg regarding why the summary sheet is being limited to general fund impact, rather than showing the total impact, Ms. Clarke said that it was a matter of running out of time and usually the legislature is interested in a general fund impact. MS. CLARKE stated that there are some programs that are "100 percent federal," where the funds do not flow through the state budget. She said, "Food stamp benefits and SSI [supplemental security income] benefits that we've been holding people harmless, we presume in this analysis that there is no PFD payment and they're not ineligible, but those federal funds would be increased and federal government would make those funds available to pay those benefits directly." Number 2000 MS. CLARKE directed attention to the next fiscal note with the component labeled, "Adult Public Assistance." She defined this component as a program that pays benefits to poor elderly or disabled individuals. Of the 15,800 individuals receiving Adult Public Assistance currently, 14,600 would become ineligible in the month that they received the PFD and, because of a large payout, would lose an additional three months of eligibility, thus they would be ineligible for a total of four months in FY 05. Number 1963 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON asked if the amount of [$3,792,300] shown on the Adult Public Assistance fiscal note in the category of [general fund (GF)] for FY 06 would continue on each year as the general fund expenditure. MS. CLARKE answered that's correct. She moved on to the next fiscal note with the component labeled, "Child Care Benefits." She explained that it's not a program that has been held harmless with the PFD hold harmless program. However, she stated, "We will see, in 2005, that we have a reduction in the general fund requirements, as well as our federal block-grant dollars, because of this program." She said [the department] believes that this caseload would also return to predividend payout status in 2006, and 2007, based on ineligibility. She said [the department] is predicting that 3,570 families currently receiving assistance would either lose benefits or have an increased copay that would produce savings in 2005, and "costs" in 2006. Number 1910 MS. CLARKE referred to the fiscal note with the component labeled, "Work Services." She continued as follows: Because of our maintenance of effort requirement with the federal government, we have shown some GF savings in our benefit components for Temporary Assistance and Tribal Assistance. But because we would not want to jeopardize our maintenance of effort with the federal government - there'll be considerable penalties - we show that we would spend that $12,281,800 in general fund dollars in 2005 on Work Services activities, or other activities, to be determined, related to Temporary Assistance and "welfare to work." Those would have yet to be determined of how we would spend those (indisc. - coughing). REPRESENTATIVE SEATON observed, "And then it shows as a savings over the next two years." MS. CLARKE answered that's correct. She said there is a one- time increase and then a one-time savings until equilibrium is reached. Number 1868 MS. CLARKE noted that the next three fiscal notes relate to different parts of the foster care program [with components labeled, "Foster Care Base Rate," "Foster Care Augmented Rate," and "Foster Care Special Need"]. She stated that a number of children who are in foster care, in the month that they receive the payout, will not be eligible for the federal Title IV-E program, thus a slight increase is shown in the general fund expenditures in 2005 and a decrease in 2006. Number 1843 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG observed that each of the children in foster care would receive the $20,000 payout. He asked who would manage that and what the cost to the state would be. MS. CLARKE replied that, currently, the PFDs that children in foster care receive are placed in a trust account that the state of Alaska manages on behalf of those children, because they are in state custody. In response to follow-up questions from Representative Gruenberg, she confirmed that [the money] is not used for the care of the foster children, but it is retained in trust for them, and the department is the trust fund manager. Number 1799 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked what oversight the legislature "or anybody" has regarding the management policies, the rate of return, and how well the state's been meeting its fiduciary duty. MS. CLARKE answered that [the legislature] has full authority to review the policies and practice related to the management of those funds. In response to a follow-up question from Representative Gruenberg, she said she is not aware of any audit or oversight conducted in this matter. Number 1770 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ said he was wondering if the department has any idea how much Alaskans spend on health care and health insurance. MS. CLARKE responded that she doesn't know. REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ requested that she find out and let him know. Number 1743 MS. CLARKE directed attention to the fiscal note with the component labeled, "Commissioner's Office" [designating the department affected to be DHSS]. She explained that, despite the name, it is an overall fiscal note related to the Medicaid program, which is comprised of many programs within the department. She said the department decided to prepare one fiscal note associated with Medicaid and the commissioner's office, rather than "spread it out among its different pieces." She stated that the changes and savings in the Medicaid program would be phenomenal, totaling $80.691.500 in FY 05, and $31.2 million in general fund savings in 2005. She said, "We again show the same thing where those dollars would add back. We presume that the clientele would return ... to eligibility in 2006, and there are different timelines, depending on services, that would have residual costs in 2007-2008." MS. CLARKE noted that on the second and third pages of the fiscal note, the department has outlined its different assumptions related to the caseload, which has many different service levels and eligibility groups. She commented that it's a complex analysis. Number 1697 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if there would be any way for [the department] to provide a qualitative analysis. MS. CLARKE replied that the department has been looking at the numbers and the impacts on eligibility groups. She predicted that "the changes would be profound in the short term on a number of our programs and clients." Number 1675 REPRESENTATIVE COGHILL, speaking once again on behalf of Representative Holm, said he thinks that that representative would assert that people would take the one-time payout to improve their lot in life. He observed that there are huge assumptions that cannot be empirically tested. He said, "To look to the more noble side of human nature, I would say that we would try to reduce the rolls, rather than level them out." Number 1615 MS. SALERNO responded as follows: We agree with you. We do believe that there will be a portion of our temporary assistance caseload that [does] take the opportunity to improve [its] lot. Unfortunately, our largest caseload, ... over 15,000 people, are those on adult public assistance. These are elderly and disabled folks who are on the program because they cannot work. Those are the folks we're most concerned about, specifically around the loss of Medicaid. These are folks who have no other form of support or medical assistance, and I think they can't go without their medical assistance. So, that's a huge impact on the community as a whole. Our temporary assistance caseload is dropping, as you know. We're very happy with the results we've had and are happy to see folks leaving us. The adult public assistance caseload, by and large, never leaves us, and that caseload grows at about 2 percent every year. We have introduced some cost-containment measures that are paying off - mostly around better filtering for people getting on. But once people are on, they go through a very rigorous process of disability determination, and they tend not to leave us. So, that's really the impact we're concerned about. Number 1558 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON indicated that he wants an alternate fiscal note [produced]. He said he is concerned about the idea of saying, "Okay, here's cost," and then, as soon as that amount is staying stable for several years, "we don't show it." He explained that gives a false impression of "what this is." He offered an example. He encouraged the department to prepare an alternative fiscal note that shows what is ongoing. Number 1509 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said the question has not been asked regarding what the proposed legislation would do to the population of Alaska. He predicted some people would take the money and run. Second, he suggested that if people have been motivated to move to Alaska because of the PFD, then perhaps the numbers of people immigrating to Alaska would decrease. He asked if the department has considered either issue. MS. CLARKE answered no. Number 1429 JACK KREINHEDER, Chief Analyst, Office of the Director, Office of Management & Budget (OMB), Office of the Governor, provided comments on behalf of Representative Holm's staff regarding a broader perspective on the impact of the proposed legislation on state finances and state agency finances. He noted that the governor does support the POMV aspect contained in the resolution, but that the administration has not taken a position on the $20,000 payout element. Regarding fiscal impacts on state agencies, he said the one thing to keep in mind is that a POMV would provide a stable, large stream of income to the state. He added, "In this case it would be about $800 million a year." Any negative impacts to state agencies could certainly be offset through that stable earning stream, he said. MR. KREINHEDER noted that another point to keep in mind is that some of the negative impacts that might be discussed, in terms of loss of permanent fund payments to state agencies, would also happen with a POMV without the $20,000 payout. He offered an example. Under that approach, he said, the long-term dividends would be somewhat smaller than the status quo and, therefore, there would be similar types of impacts or fiscal notes, but smaller. He suggested, "Maybe 20 percent of what you're seeing here, if dividends might be a couple hundred dollars less than otherwise." MR. KREINHEDER said he thinks some of the previous discussions regarding the impacts on DHSS caseloads are certainly relevant. In terms of financial impacts on state agencies, "those would certainly be compensated through the income stream that would be provided through this POMV approach or some other [approach]." He offered to answer questions. Number 1262 JERRY BURNETT, Director, Administrative Services, Department of Corrections (DOC), revealed that, in the current year, DOC received approximately $6.8 million in PFD criminal funds, and he mentioned a budget in FY 05 of approximately $5.3 million. He stated that the effect of [HJR 31] would be a one-time availability of PFD criminal funds in an amount of approximately $180 million, with no PFD criminal funds in the future. He said, "How those would be distributed to agencies, again, is entirely up to the legislature [and] OMB." Mr. Burnett explained that PFD criminal funds in DOC are used to offset general fund expenditures. He said [DOC] is not concerned with funding source, but rather with the total of funding. He said it would be a policy call for the legislature. Number 1205 REPRESENTATIVE BERKOWITZ stated that he is not in favor of "this concept" at all. Notwithstanding that, he suggested, "You could take that $180 million [and] set up an endowment with it, and it would generate $9 million a year, which would, I think, exceed the annual appropriations ... from felon funds now." Number 1187 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if victims' rights would get a similar one-time only shot. MR. BURNETT clarified that the one-time only shot that he was speaking to was in regard to the entire range for victims' rights [and] DOC. He said, "If it's shared as currently, where the Department of Corrections is getting close to 60 percent of each annual appropriation, we could offset in one year the entire ... $102 million that we might receive." But theoretically, under this plan, in one year, (indisc.) the victims' rights, it would have to be a multi-year appropriation percentage that they receive." Number 1157 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked if anybody has considered the effect that giving a family of four $80,000 might have on the level of criminal activity. MR. BURNETT replied that he is certain that people have had discussions about that, but it would take some research to quantify that. He said, "Almost certainly, any boom that we've had in the past has changed the level of criminal activity one way or the other." Number 1088 DENISE HENDERSON, Executive Director, Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (CDVSA), Department of Public Safety, told the committee that she would speak briefly to the impact that [HJR 31] would have on CDVSA. Currently, CDVSA receives a large portion of PFD "crim" money [PFD monies withheld from criminals] and a portion of this money goes out to support the shelters. She said $200,000 of that is automatically appropriated to the batterer-intervention programs, so the one-time payout would have a substantial impact on the money that [CDVSA] receives and is able to provide to shelters and programs for batterers. Number 1018 SHEILA KING, Finance Officer, Postsecondary Education Commission, Department of Education and Early Development, stated that [HJR 31] would provide a one-time influx of PFD garnishment cash for the student loan program. She brought attention to the fiscal note [with the component labeled, "Student Loan Program" and affecting the Department of Education and Early Development], which shows that receipt of funds to be an estimated $50 million in FY 05, with a minimal decline after that. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if that money would go into a revolving loan made available to other students for educational opportunities. MS. KING answered yes. She explained that it would become a pledge receipt recycled into one of the trusts and would be used to take out some bonds or provide "recycling receipts for programs." In response to a question from Chair Weyhrauch, she said the current amount received is about $5 million; therefore, it would be approximately $45 million more than was received last year. Number 0961 REPRESENTATIVE SEATON, regarding the student loan fund, offered his understanding that it's about bonding and transferring that money to the general fund, so it's not as if the one-time money would be money that would enable [the department] to do something that it couldn't do already. MS. KING responded as follows: Our funds do not go to the general fund; they're corporate receipts. The corporation and the commissioner are self-sustaining entities. The receipts that come in for the loans are pledged as bonds, because we've used bonds to finance the program to make ourselves a self-sustaining entity. Any money that we've paid to the state has been as a dividend. We did just do a bond issue to return $75 million to the state, as you're probably aware, and that is separate and outside of the trusts that fund our programs. Number 0892 GUY BELL, Director, Central Office, Division of Administrative Services, Department of Labor & Workforce Development, said that department offers a number of federally funded job training programs. He mentioned the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Employment Security. He said, "We're estimating a one-time impact on federal funding of about $6.1 million in job training funds." He clarified that [that impact] would be a reduction in funds. He said it is estimated that 76 clients with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will exceed the income threshold by virtue of [the $20,000] payment, which will have a $175,000 impact. In the senior community service employment program, which has a 125 percent poverty threshold, it is estimated that 215 people will be affected, with a reduction in federal funding of $1.7 million. In the adult training program it is estimated that 228 people would not be eligible for one year, with an impact of about $1 million. In the youth training program, 784 people [would not be eligible], with an impact of approximately $3.2 million. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH asked if [HJR 31] would have an impact of allowing people to enter into a business that they otherwise would not be able to start without the money. He asked if there might be the potential for growth and employment opportunities in the state. MR. BELL replied that [the department] has not done that analysis; however, he said that link could be surmised. With the one-time payment, people could seek, through their own means, the job training that [the department] would otherwise provide. CHAIR WEYHRAUCH noted that there has been a lot of discussion regarding the multiplier effect on the economy. He asked about the impact on the state. MR. BELL responded that he would have to get back to Chair Weyhrauch on that query. He said that certainly there would be a one-time "heating" effect that would have an immediate impact on the economy, but would diminish quite rapidly. Number 0752 MICHAEL BARNHILL, Assistant Attorney General, Commercial/Fair Business Section, Civil Division (Juneau), Department of Law, in response to a question from Chair Weyhrauch, said he doesn't think there would be any commercial impact [from HJR 31] to Alaska, beside what has already been voiced regarding fiscal impacts. In regard to individual financial impact, he noted that there would certainly be an individual income tax impact for all residents for receiving $20,000 more income; it would put them into higher tax brackets, as well as potentially putting them into "alternative minimum tax scenarios." Number 0692 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked what the impact would be on the Department of Law. MR. BARNHILL indicated that he would not attempt to estimate what the impact would be for each section of the department. As to his own section, he reported that litigation would probably have to be handled up front, regarding the constitutionality of the provision. In response to remarks by Representative Gruenberg, he said, "This would increase the likelihood of eligibility litigation, whether the current eligibility for PFD's is constitutional, both for state and federal purposes." Regarding whether a one-time large payout would increase crime, he said, "You're guess is as good as mine." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked about potential constitutional problems, either in the legislation or the application. MR. BARNHILL replied that the constitutional issues that could be raised with respect to eligibility for the dividend would relate to the privileges and immunities clause of the federal constitution and the equal protection clause of both the state and the federal constitutions. In response to follow-up questions from Representative Gruenberg, he suggested that people who are not currently eligible for the permanent fund dividend could raise an argument that that violates the right to equal protection and the rights under the privileges and immunities clause to equal treatment as nonresidents. He pointed out that those arguments have been raised in the past, and the one-year durational residency requirement has generally withstood challenge. He noted that there have been recent cases in the U.S. Supreme Court questioning the validity of the 12- month durational residency requirement in certain circumstances. He added, "Whether this is one of those circumstances is anybody's guess." REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG said he sits on the House Judiciary Standing Committee, which is next in line to hear HJR 31. He asked Mr. Barnhill to provide that committee with a legal memorandum from [the Department of Law] regarding "those recent developments in this area and how this might effect the issue of challenges to that, and the chance of success on that." MR. BARNHILL said he would work with Representative Gruenberg's office on that matter. Number 0453 SHARON BARTON, Director, Central Office, Permanent Fund Dividend Division, Department of Revenue, focused attention on a fiscal note with the component labeled, "Permanent Fund Dividend" [affecting the Department of Revenue], which she described as straight forward. She indicated that the fiscal note addresses elimination of the division and the cost reduction to the budget. She noted that some functions would go on beyond the end of the program: Fraud investigations would need to be cleaned up; collections would go on for some years; and 18-year- old filers would have until the eighteenth year out to file. She said there is not cost for that shown on the fiscal note, because the commissioner's office would have to cover those functions, such as appeals that are expected to come for some time. She stated, "With the increase in the amount of the dividend, we would have a lot more appeals, and it will be worthwhile for more of those individuals to take them on to court." Number 0322 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG suggested that the ultimate cost of defending these cases would fall back to the [Department of Revenue]. Additionally, he suggested that with a family of five getting $100,000, much more stringent measures would be needed to ensure against fraudulent applications. MS. BARTON answered, "Yes to all of that." She noted that there would be additional formal appeals officers to handle the increase in appeals. She stated that they would apply all the same rules they always have; however, the quantity would be greater. She stated the intent to add an additional fraud investigator. She noted that since other parts of the division would be phased out, the fraud unit could be given more help. She said it would not be known whether more resources are necessary to keep on the fraud investigator into 2006, until that year approaches. Number 0201 REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG asked Ms. Barton to consider what additional indices of residency and eligibility should be required, because there will be a lot more people with more money than they've ever seen in their lives and, therefore, with more motives for fraud. MS. BARTON said that the rules are in place now. She explained that the filing closes in two weeks, on March 31, for the 2004 dividend, so the regulations can't be changed at this point. She proffered that [the division] can certainly scrutinize the applications with more diligence. Number 0101 The committee took an at-ease from 9:36 a.m. to 9:37 a.m. Number 0088 CHAIR WEYHRAUCH announced that HJR 31 was heard and held.