Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/04/2003 09:01 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     SENATE BILL NO. 124                                                                                                        
     "An Act relating to grants for alcoholism and drug abuse                                                                   
     programs; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This was  the second  hearing for  this bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken  reminded  of  a question  posed  at  the  previous                                                            
hearing  regarding  a spreadsheet  titled  "SB 124/HB  167  Increase                                                            
Local Match Requirement  for Substance Abuse Grants  (Revised 3/12)"                                                            
[copy on file], asking  why some programs were exempt from the match                                                            
requirement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 9:03 AM / 9:09 AM                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  PEARSON, Acting  Director,  Division of  Alcoholism and  Drug                                                            
Abuse,  Department  of  Health and  Social  Services  distributed  a                                                            
spreadsheet  titled, "Type  of Grant" dated  4/4/03 [copy on  file.]                                                            
She noted  this spreadsheet  contains  the same  information as  the                                                            
original handout, although sorted by program.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pearson  detailed  the  spreadsheet  beginning  with  the  ASAP                                                            
programs,  which  do not  "have a  match"  because these  are  court                                                            
programs  for misdemeanor  referrals related  to alcohol abuse.  She                                                            
furthered that the CAASA  grants require a ten-percent match and are                                                            
"more prevention  related" programs.  All of the suicide  prevention                                                            
grants  are exempt from  match requirements,  she  said, as well  as                                                            
most of the  Community Prevention  Services grants. She shared  that                                                            
some  of the  Community  Prevention  Services  grants  do require  a                                                            
match, based on "special  circumstances", exampling that the Mothers                                                            
Against  Drunk  Driving  (MADD)  organization  has  the  ability  to                                                            
provide a portion  of the matching funds. She informed  that all the                                                            
Outpatient   Treatment  Services   grants   require  a  match,   the                                                            
percentage  of which is based on the  program's ability to  generate                                                            
revenue.  She was unsure  the reason the  Central Peninsula  General                                                            
Hospital  program within  the Residential  Treatment Services  grant                                                            
category  was the  only program  in this  group  with a ten-percent                                                             
match  requirement.  She continued  that  the Family  Recovery  Camp                                                            
grants  had no match  and Rural  Human Service  Systems grants  were                                                            
"again holding  harmless". She listed the Rural Woman  and Children,                                                            
Services  for  Families-Women   with  Children,  and   Services  for                                                            
Families-Youth   grants   as  retaining   the   ten  percent   match                                                            
requirement, because they serve "such high risk groups."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Wilken  asked   if  the  programs   categorized   on  the                                                            
spreadsheet  as "10%(A)"  are  "held at  the ten  percent" with  the                                                            
remaining programs increased from ten percent to 25 percent.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pearson affirmed  that those listed as 10%(A)  and 10%(B) retain                                                            
the  ten-percent   requirement.   She  defined   the  10%(A)   as  a                                                            
"prevention grant" or a grant of less than $30,000.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken  recalled Senator Taylor's question  at the previous                                                            
hearing  regarding  the proposed  25  percent match  requirement  of                                                            
Sitka  Prevention  and Treatment  Services,  Inc. in  comparison  to                                                            
other  recipients   of  the  Prevention   Services  grant   program,                                                            
including  a  domestic  violence  program  in  the  Municipality  of                                                            
Anchorage, that would require only a ten-percent match.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pearson explained  the  domestic  violence program  receives  a                                                            
"prevention  oriented" grant  and is therefore  exempt from  a match                                                            
requirement. She  was unable to explain why other  prevention grants                                                            
in amounts greater than  $50,000 were not exempt, characterizing the                                                            
situation as an anomaly.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Senator  B.  Stevens  pointed  out that  the  Sitka  Prevention  and                                                            
Treatment  Services, Inc.  program receives  a $68,000 Services  for                                                            
Family-Youth grant with a ten-percent match requirement.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Wilken  clarified   the   information   listed  on   both                                                            
spreadsheets is identical, although organized differently.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Pearson affirmed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor spoke  to  the increased  tax imposed  on  alcoholic                                                            
beverages  the previous  session  with the  intent  to fund  alcohol                                                            
abuse  prevention and  treatment.  He questioned  the reductions  to                                                            
these programs one year later.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Green countered,  "You'll  find  that in  the overall  HSS                                                            
(Department of Health and  Social Services) budget, that will not be                                                            
the case.)                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Green offered a motion to report SB 124 from Committee.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor objected  for the purpose of discussion. He asked for                                                            
an accounting  of  the proposed  increased  funding  to alcohol  and                                                            
substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ELMER  LINDSTROM, Special  Assistant,  Office of  the Commissioner,                                                             
Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services,  testified  that  the                                                            
spreadsheet   lists   all  grant   programs  administered   by   the                                                            
Department.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor asked  if funding  for alcohol  and substance  abuse                                                            
treatment programs would increase or decrease.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Lindstrom  informed, "A number of budget items  are pending" and                                                            
added  that  this  legislation  does not  reflect  all  funding  for                                                            
treatment programs.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Pearson  pointed  out the  grants  listed  on  the spreadsheet                                                             
reflect the  amounts awarded  the previous  year. She stated  that a                                                            
"significant"  increase  of $4  million is  proposed for  FY 04  for                                                            
women  and  youth services  and  a  "net increase"  of  funding  for                                                            
prevention and treatment programs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator Taylor  removed his  objection to the  motion to report  the                                                            
bill from Committee.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Without  objection  SB  124 MOVED  from  Committee  with  individual                                                            
recommendations and four  fiscal notes from the Department of Health                                                            
and Social Services: #1  -$112,600 Alcohol Safety Action Program; #2                                                            
-$125,400 CAPI Grants;  #3 -$1,255,300 Alcohol/Drug Abuse Grants; #4                                                            
-$118,400, Rural Services/Suicide Prevention.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                

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