Legislature(2003 - 2004)
04/04/2003 09:01 AM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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.