Legislature(2009 - 2010)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/18/2009 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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09:07:03 AM Start
09:07:24 AM SB75
10:14:52 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Department of Education and Early
Department of Public Safety
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 75                                                                                                            
     "An Act making and amending appropriations, including                                                                      
     capital appropriations, supplemental appropriations,                                                                       
     and appropriations to capitalize funds; and providing                                                                      
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
9:07:24 AM                                                                                                                    
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA (UA)                                                                                                     
PETE KELLY, DIRECTOR, STATE RELATIONS,  UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA,                                                                   
provided   an   overview   of   the   university's   deferred                                                                   
maintenance  needs   to  provide  context  for   the  capital                                                                   
requests.  The  university  has   approximately  six  million                                                                   
square  feet of facilities,  with nearly  400 buildings,  and                                                                   
currently has  around $800  million in deferred  maintenance.                                                                   
The university has been averaging  about $16 million per year                                                                   
for deferred maintenance;  the amount needed to  stay at zero                                                                   
is approximately $50 million per  year. He explained that the                                                                   
formula used  to determine major maintenance  requirements is                                                                   
1.5 percent  of the book value  of the buildings.  Book value                                                                   
is the  cost of each  building at the  time it was  built. He                                                                   
added that  facilities personnel  would discuss the  deferred                                                                   
maintenance of various campuses via teleconference.                                                                             
Co-Chair Stedman  confirmed that  governor's request  was for                                                                   
$8 million,  and that the  initial budget submission  was $10                                                                   
million. He asked about an amendment  reducing the request by                                                                   
$2 million.                                                                                                                     
MICHELLE RIZK,  ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT,  BUDGET, UNIVERSITY                                                                   
OF ALASKA,  agreed that the  Office of Management  and Budget                                                                   
(OMB) had requested  the university to reduce  the submission                                                                   
in response to the current economic situation.                                                                                  
Ms.  Rizk listed  the  projects  included in  the  governor's                                                                   
amended budget.  The first,  Maintaining Existing  Facilities                                                                   
Renewal  and  Renovation  Annual Requirement,  is  the  first                                                                   
priority of the  UA Board of Regents. The board  believes the                                                                   
large inventory  of education  buildings must be  maintained.                                                                   
The project extends  the life of the buildings  to reduce the                                                                   
need for new construction, and replaces failing buildings.                                                                      
Co-Chair Stedman  asked what the university had  received the                                                                   
previous  year. Ms.  Rizk answered  that  the university  had                                                                   
received $45.8  million for renewal and  renovation. Projects                                                                   
that  were   funded  included   the  Anchorage  campus   roof                                                                   
replacement,  the  Tanana  Valley  campus  exterior  envelope                                                                   
space   revitalization,   the   Fairbanks   campus   critical                                                                   
electrical  distribution, deferred  critical  renewal at  the                                                                   
Nome campus, the  Anderson Building renewal in  Juneau, and a                                                                   
Ketchikan building roof replacement.                                                                                            
Co-Chair Stedman asked if all  the deferred maintenance money                                                                   
had  been  expended  and  the  projects  finished.  Ms.  Rizk                                                                   
replied that  all of the  FY 09 funding  had not  been spent;                                                                   
projects  are  in various  stages  of  completion,  including                                                                   
design and pending contracting award.                                                                                           
9:12:58 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Rizk moved  to the second item, the University  of Alaska                                                                   
Fairbanks  (UAF)   Life  Sciences  Innovation   and  Learning                                                                   
Facility, which  is the board's  number one new  construction                                                                   
priority.  The governor's  budget includes  $20.6 million  of                                                                   
non-general fund;  the board requested $82.2  million general                                                                   
funds as  well. The  facility would  provide modern  academic                                                                   
space for more  than 600 biology and  wildlife degree-seeking                                                                   
students. She  pointed out that a non-general  fund component                                                                   
was  added  for  the  bonding  capacity  available  with  the                                                                   
research space in the facility.                                                                                                 
Ms. Rizk  detailed the next  item, the UAF Energy  Technology                                                                   
Building. The  governor's budget includes $15.3  million non-                                                                   
general  fund; the  board's  request includes  an  additional                                                                   
$15.3 million  in state  funds. She  emphasized the  critical                                                                   
need  to expand  research laboratory  space as  the need  for                                                                   
advanced  energy technology  grows.  The fast-track  building                                                                   
could be completed 20 to 24 months  after funding is secured.                                                                   
Ms.  Rizk  turned  to  the  UAF   Fire  Station  and  Student                                                                   
Firefighter  Training Center planning  funds. The  governor's                                                                   
budget includes $500,000 non-general  funds for planning; the                                                                   
board's request includes an additional  $1 million in general                                                                   
funds for  planning. The UAF program  is the only one  of its                                                                   
kind  in the  country. Student  firefighters  are treated  as                                                                   
full-time career firefighters  and receive hands-on training.                                                                   
Ms. Rizk explained  that the next project deletes  UAF Alaska                                                                   
Region Research  Vessel additional receipt  authority because                                                                   
the project was moved to the stimulus bill.                                                                                     
9:15:18 AM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Rizk continued  with  the next  item,  an estimation  of                                                                   
potential federal  receipt authority needed for  FY10 to FY15                                                                   
projects at  the main and  community campuses.  Prior funding                                                                   
in the  category has  been used for  projects like  the Sitka                                                                   
welding  lab renovation  and the  Tok  center renovation.  In                                                                   
FY08, the university  received $15 million; it  also received                                                                   
funds in FY04 and FY05 that have been expended.                                                                                 
Ms. Rizk turned to the next project,  the UA Energy Projects.                                                                   
The governor's budget includes  $5 million of federal receipt                                                                   
authority.  The project  is  new to  the  capital budget  and                                                                   
would  provide  funding  for   alternate  energy  and  energy                                                                   
efficiency projects.  She pointed  out that state  investment                                                                   
would make the  university more competitive for  more federal                                                                   
Co-Chair  Hoffman asked  what  types of  energy projects  are                                                                   
being considered  and where in  the state the money  would be                                                                   
spent.  Ms. Rizk  answered  that  the energy  projects  would                                                                   
emphasize  alternative energy  and energy efficiency  options                                                                   
ranging   from  small   villages   to  large-scale   regional                                                                   
projects,  including  hydro  and   geothermal  projects.  She                                                                   
directed the committee  to a comprehensive list  for details.                                                                   
The receipt authority  could be used in conjunction  with the                                                                   
listed projects.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked what role the board  of regents would                                                                   
play in the decision-making process.                                                                                            
9:17:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Kelly  answered that  the  board's  role would  be  less                                                                   
directing the funds than making  decisions about state energy                                                                   
needs. He pointed  out that the Fairbanks energy  program was                                                                   
working  closely with  the  governor's energy  authority.  He                                                                   
provided the  example of wind-diesel operations  in Kotzebue.                                                                   
He did not know exactly where  the non-general funds would be                                                                   
Ms. Rizk  described the  next project,  UA Climate  Projects.                                                                   
The  governor's  budget  includes   $10  million  of  federal                                                                   
receipt  authority.  Projects  funded would  include  natural                                                                   
hazard monitoring, improving weather  predictions, the Alaska                                                                   
statewide   digital   mapping  initiative,   and   permafrost                                                                   
Ms. Rizk  explained the next project  as the deletion  of the                                                                   
Graduate Medical Education/Family  Practice Residency Program                                                                   
because the funding was moved  from the capital budget to the                                                                   
operating  budget.  Mr.  Kelly added  details  regarding  the                                                                   
Ms.  Rizk  discussed  the  final   project,  the  UA  Gasline                                                                   
Workforce Development  request for  $1,720,000. The  item was                                                                   
part of the  Department of Labor's gasline request  and would                                                                   
support   training  for   any   occupation  utilizing   heavy                                                                   
equipment. The item would reduce  training costs and increase                                                                   
training opportunities in Alaska.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Hoffman  requested more detail regarding  university                                                                   
receipts  for  several  of  the   projects.  Ms.  Rizk  asked                                                                   
facilities personnel  to provide detail regarding  the source                                                                   
of funds and receipt authority  for the UAF Life Sciences and                                                                   
Learning Facility,  the UAF  Energy Technology Building,  and                                                                   
the  UAF  Fire  Station  and   Student  Firefighter  Training                                                                   
9:20:34 AM                                                                                                                    
PAT PITNEY,  VICE CHANCELLOR, UNIVERSITY  OF ALASKA-FAIRBANKS                                                                   
(testified  via  teleconference),  explained that  the  $20.6                                                                   
million listed  for the life sciences facility  is university                                                                   
receipt  authority.  A university  bond  would  be paid  back                                                                   
based on research  growth with indirect cost  recovery; $20.6                                                                   
million  is  the outside  edge  of  what the  university  can                                                                   
afford for a  facility and would cover half  the construction                                                                   
of  the  research  component.  The  state  funding  would  be                                                                   
required to make  a usable building. She emphasized  that the                                                                   
facility was the highest priority.                                                                                              
Ms.  Pitney  added  that  the  $15  million  for  the  energy                                                                   
facility  would  come  from  the  same  source  as  the  life                                                                   
sciences facility,  indirect cost recovery based  on research                                                                   
growth  resulting   from  having   faculty  working   in  the                                                                   
Co-Chair  Hoffman  commented  that the  university  would  be                                                                   
requesting $97 million  in general funds in  FY11. Ms. Pitney                                                                   
agreed that  the university  bond funding  could only  fund a                                                                   
portion   of   the  facilities.   Unlike   other   university                                                                   
facilities, the projects have  a university-funded component.                                                                   
In  the past,  facility funding  requests have  not had  this                                                                   
9:24:16 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Hoffman asked  the annual  operating  costs of  the                                                                   
facilities. Ms.  Pitney responded that operating  costs would                                                                   
be approximately  $2 million for  the life sciences  facility                                                                   
and approximately $500,000 for the energy facility.                                                                             
Ms.  Pitney  added  that  regarding  the  fire  station,  the                                                                   
university  is  a contractor  for  the Fairbanks  North  Star                                                                   
Borough. The  university would  look for partnership  funding                                                                   
which would also be university  receipts. General funds would                                                                   
be secured before seeking partnership funding.                                                                                  
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT (DEED)                                                                          
MARK LEWIS, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
EDUCATION  AND EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  explained  that the  FY10                                                                   
budget request  includes an internal  request for  $1 million                                                                   
for the Mt. Edgecumbe High School  that will address deferred                                                                   
maintenance  items; the  rest  of the  capital  appropriation                                                                   
would fund  the first  23 projects  on the major  maintenance                                                                   
list published February 19, 2009.                                                                                               
Co-Chair Stedman requested the major maintenance list.                                                                          
9:26:51 AM     AT EASE                                                                                                        
9:27:04 AM     RECONVENED                                                                                                     
Co-Chair Stedman  explained that  the major maintenance  list                                                                   
is  compiled by  the  department.  The legislature  does  not                                                                   
adjust the  list but goes  down the list  until the  money is                                                                   
spent. He noted that the proposed  DEED capital budget amount                                                                   
was $42.4 million for the current  year for major maintenance                                                                   
for schools around the state.                                                                                                   
Mr. Lewis  reviewed the  major maintenance items,  explaining                                                                   
that  the  $42,433,481  appropriation   funds  the  first  23                                                                   
projects on the list:                                                                                                           
   · Kaltag   K-12   School  Heating   Systems   Replacement:                                                                   
   · Diomede K-12 School Renovation: $15,896,220                                                                                
   · Kodiak Seismic Mitigation Project: $3,236,143                                                                              
   · Craig Middle School Classroom Renovation: $83,588                                                                          
   · Saint  Marys Districtwide  Fuel  Tank Farm  Replacement:                                                                   
   · Craig Elementary School Roof Replacement: $85,807                                                                          
   · Kotlik K-12 Heat Plant Relocation: $1,369,015                                                                              
   · Aleknagik, Clarks  Point, and Ekwok K-12  HVAC Upgrades:                                                                   
   · Evergreen Elementary School  Playground Safety Upgrades:                                                                   
   · Kasigluk-Akula  K-12  School Generation  Building  Floor                                                                   
     Failure Repairs: $928,581                                                                                                  
   · Galena   Regional   Learning  Center   Dining   Facility                                                                   
     Upgrades: $3,528,598                                                                                                       
   · Houghtaling   Elementary   Outdoor  Physical   Education                                                                   
     Shelter Replacement: $276,110                                                                                              
   · False Pass K-12 School Siding Replacement: $92,042                                                                         
  · Platinum K-12 School Prime Power Generators: $181,678                                                                       
   · Allakaket  K-12   School  Water  Systems   Improvements:                                                                   
   · Saint   Marys  Garage  and   Warm  Storage   Renovation:                                                                   
   · Galena  Regional Learning  Center Gym Building  Upgrade:                                                                   
   · Cold Bay K-12 Heating System Upgrade: $75,789                                                                              
   · Craig Middle School Exterior  Envelope Upgrades: $26,868                                                                   
   · Valley Park Elementary Siding Replacement: $467,164                                                                        
   · Huslia High School Exterior Upgrades: $923,685                                                                             
   · Pacific High School Renovation: $1,736,513                                                                                 
   · Sand Point K-12 School Window Replacement: $67,948                                                                         
Co-Chair Stedman  noted that there  was approximately  a $453                                                                   
million  backlog  on  the  major  maintenance  list,  leaving                                                                   
around $410  million. Several years previous  the legislature                                                                   
had appropriated  around  $350 million  and moved the  entire                                                                   
list. He assured the public that  the other major maintenance                                                                   
issues would  be addressed in  the future when there  is more                                                                   
money. He  pointed out that  the current budget  addressed 23                                                                   
projects out of a list of 138.                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Hoffman asked  how the  amount of  $42 million  was                                                                   
determined, noting  that the next  unfunded item on  the list                                                                   
was a Bethel  project. Mr. Lewis replied that  initially DEED                                                                   
had requested funding for the  first 20 projects on the list,                                                                   
based  on  the   November  8  list.  After   reconsideration,                                                                   
priorities changed, allowing three more projects.                                                                               
Co-Chair Hoffman  asked how the initial list  was determined.                                                                   
Mr. Lewis  answered  that OMB  gave DEED an  amount it  could                                                                   
9:34:33 AM                                                                                                                    
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY (DPS)                                                                                             
DAN SPENCER,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC SAFETY,  directed the committee  to the                                                                   
department's list, beginning with  Aircraft and Vessel Repair                                                                   
and Maintenance.  He explained the item as  an annual request                                                                   
for routine  and emergency repairs  to aircraft  and vessels,                                                                   
which is relatively expensive.  The department has provided a                                                                   
list showing  the types of  repairs and maintenance  that may                                                                   
be necessary; he noted that priorities could change.                                                                            
Senator Olson  asked how much  was appropriated in  FY09. Mr.                                                                   
Spencer  answered  $1  million.  Senator  Olson  queried  the                                                                   
number  of airplane accidents  during  the year. Mr.  Spencer                                                                   
replied that he would get the  information for the committee.                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stedman  requested  the information  for  the  last                                                                   
three years.                                                                                                                    
Senator  Olson clarified  that  his primary  concern was  the                                                                   
number  of airplane and  helicopter accidents  over the  past                                                                   
year. He  wanted to see if  the department is  addressing the                                                                   
issue of the number of accidents occurring.                                                                                     
Co-Chair Stedman asked for the  information for the past five                                                                   
9:37:51 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer agreed to provide  the information and added that                                                                   
DPS  conducted a  lot of  flight  under abnormal  conditions,                                                                   
particularly when  conducting search and rescue  missions and                                                                   
rural landings for wildlife enforcement.                                                                                        
Senator Olson stated  that he was not concerned  about search                                                                   
and rescue but other situations that he had witnessed.                                                                          
Mr. Spencer  moved to  item 4,  $400,000 for Alaska  Wildlife                                                                   
Troopers Law  Enforcement Equipment Replacement,  and item 6,                                                                   
$500,000 for Alaska State Troopers  Law Enforcement Equipment                                                                   
Replacement. He noted  that the items were an  annual request                                                                   
for routine replacement  of equipment such as  snow machines,                                                                   
outboard  motors,   firearms,  ballistic  vests,   and  other                                                                   
equipment that wears out on a regular basis.                                                                                    
Senator  Huggins asked  for  more information  regarding  the                                                                   
purchase of firearms.  Mr. Spencer replied that  he would get                                                                   
the information.                                                                                                                
Mr. Spencer turned to item 8,  $2 million for the final phase                                                                   
of the  Alaska Public  Safety Information  Network.  He noted                                                                   
that  the  system   had  been  before  the   legislature  for                                                                   
different  appropriations  over   the  past  eight  years.  A                                                                   
significant  amount  of federal  funding  has  gone into  the                                                                   
program;  it has received  more federal  than state  funding.                                                                   
The  department  has  been  unable  to  obtain  more  federal                                                                   
funding, so  the amount requested  is needed to  complete the                                                                   
9:40:22 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer   described  item  12,  $2.5  million   for  the                                                                   
Anchorage Aircraft Hangar Replacement,  Phase II. He reminded                                                                   
the committee about a prior $3  million appropriation for the                                                                   
project.  Subsequent   discussion  with  the   Department  of                                                                   
Transportation  and Pubic Facilities  (DOT/PF) revealed  that                                                                   
the  actual cost  of the  needed  building would  be over  $5                                                                   
million. He stated  he would return with  further information                                                                   
if the bids come in lower.                                                                                                      
Senator Olson asked whether the  project was in line with the                                                                   
Anchorage airport  master plan.  Mr. Spencer understood  that                                                                   
the project complied with the master plan.                                                                                      
Senator Olson queried  the status of other hangars  that were                                                                   
for  sale.   Mr.  Spencer  answered   that  there   had  been                                                                   
discussion about  other hangars but it was  determined that a                                                                   
new hangar was better. Senator  Olson referred to a change of                                                                   
management in  an aviation company  that resulted  in vacated                                                                   
hangars at the airport.                                                                                                         
9:44:12 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Stedman  queried  the  department's  timeline.  Mr.                                                                   
Spencer  was  not  certain. Co-Chair  Stedman  asked  for  an                                                                   
update  on the  information, noting  the  radical changes  in                                                                   
economic conditions that may present new opportunities.                                                                         
Senator Olson discussed the location of possible hangars.                                                                       
Senator Huggins  asked whether the department  had researched                                                                   
the availability of other hangars.                                                                                              
Mr.   Spencer  noted   that  DPS   had  considered   possible                                                                   
opportunities presented by the  changing status of Kulis Air;                                                                   
the  Kulis  hangar  could  accommodate  some  of  the  larger                                                                   
aircraft,  but he  believed  the new  hangar  would still  be                                                                   
9:46:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Huggins questioned  the  involvement  of DOT/PF  and                                                                   
expressed concern  about the 50 percent increase  in the cost                                                                   
of the  project. Mr.  Spencer explained  that the initial  $3                                                                   
million request did  not include a formal bid  estimate. Once                                                                   
DPS worked with  DOT/PF, it became clear that  changes in the                                                                   
economic situation would increase costs.                                                                                        
Senator  Huggins  reiterated  his  concerns  and  asked  when                                                                   
DOT/PF would  update the plan.  He noted amendments  that had                                                                   
been  made.  Mr.  Spencer responded  that  the  estimate  was                                                                   
valid. He was  optimistic that the project could  be done for                                                                   
the initial estimate.                                                                                                           
9:49:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Spencer  continued  with  item 14,  $100,000  for  Crime                                                                   
Laboratory   Equipment  Replacement.   He  stated   that  the                                                                   
department  would  like  to get  regular  appropriations  for                                                                   
replacing equipment.  The crime  lab equipment is  expensive.                                                                   
He noted that  the department has been searching  for federal                                                                   
Mr. Spencer  described  item 16, $1.5  million for  Statewide                                                                   
Facilities   Maintenance,  Repairs,   and  Improvements.   He                                                                   
pointed  out   that  sixty   facilities  including   offices,                                                                   
storage,  and trooper  housing require  repair that is  often                                                                   
expensive,   especially   in    emergency   situations.   The                                                                   
department  would like  regular funding  to prevent  the need                                                                   
for deferred maintenance.                                                                                                       
Mr. Spencer turned  to item 19, $800,000 for  Network Storage                                                                   
Servers and Software. He explained  that the item would allow                                                                   
the department to use equipment  such as in-car video systems                                                                   
that  have  already  been  funded   and  installed.  Policing                                                                   
operations are  becoming more technology-based and  Alaska is                                                                   
not keeping pace.                                                                                                               
9:52:36 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Spencer detailed  item 22, $480,000 for  the Alaska State                                                                   
Trooper  Mobile Data  Computers,  Phase II.  He reminded  the                                                                   
committee of a previous $480,000  appropriation for the first                                                                   
phase of the  program and explained the use  of the computers                                                                   
used in squad cars and elsewhere in the field.                                                                                  
Mr. Spencer  moved to item 24,  $240,500 for the  Online Fire                                                                   
and Life Safety Plan Review System  Phase II, Mobile Systems.                                                                   
The system  was funded  several years  previous and  was near                                                                   
completion. He explained how the  system would allow building                                                                   
inspectors access to information  and to print out reports in                                                                   
the  field.  The  system  provides   better  service  to  the                                                                   
customer and  is more  efficient and  cost effective  for the                                                                   
Mr.   Spencer  explained   item  27,   $220,000  Alaska   Law                                                                   
Enforcement  Information Sharing  System (ALEISS,  pronounced                                                                   
"alias")   Support.  The   system  allows   the  sharing   of                                                                   
information  among many  state agencies.  He emphasized  that                                                                   
the  system was  not the  same  as the  Alaska Public  Safety                                                                   
Information  Network,  an  official  repository  of  criminal                                                                   
records  and  other information.  The  ALEISS  allows  police                                                                   
agencies  to   share  information.   The  program   has  been                                                                   
federally  funded but  that funding is  no longer  available.                                                                   
The department  is looking for a long-term  funding solution;                                                                   
the capital request is bridge funding.                                                                                          
9:55:47 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Huggins asked  how many local entities  would be able                                                                   
to interface with the system.  Mr. Spencer answered that most                                                                   
local  agencies  would  be able  to  interface  with  ALEISS.                                                                   
Senator  Huggins  asked  if  local   agencies  paid  for  the                                                                   
interface.  Mr.  Spencer  thought the  agencies  already  had                                                                   
interface capability. The request  is to maintain the system.                                                                   
He offered to get details.                                                                                                      
Senator  Huggins pointed  out  that if  the  expense was  for                                                                   
upkeep  of the  system  it should  be  an operating  and  not                                                                   
capital request.  Mr. Spencer opined  that the item  could go                                                                   
either  way.  He  questioned  whether  the  request  for  the                                                                   
current year would  fall into a fiscal year,  as required for                                                                   
the operating budget.                                                                                                           
Senator  Huggins asked  if  DPS would  return  with the  same                                                                   
request  the following  year. Mr. Spencer  answered that  the                                                                   
department did  not expect to  be back for the  item. Senator                                                                   
Huggins asked  how the  system would  then be supported.  Mr.                                                                   
Spencer explained  that the item is not currently  in the DPS                                                                   
budget because  ALEISS is  overseen by  a consortium  [of law                                                                   
enforcement  agencies]   which  has  been   getting  on-going                                                                   
federal funding.  The funding is no longer  available, so the                                                                   
department looking for on-going  funding. The request is only                                                                   
a bridge  until additional,  non-state  funding is found.  He                                                                   
emphasized  the  importance  of   ensuring  funding  for  the                                                                   
program. He stated  that the department would  take advantage                                                                   
of other opportunities.                                                                                                         
9:58:27 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Huggins  reiterated concerns about the  request being                                                                   
for operational and not capital costs.                                                                                          
Co-Chair Stedman asked the department to look at the issue.                                                                     
Mr.  Spencer  turned  to  item   29,  $200,000  for  Computer                                                                   
Replacements. The  department wants to have  a regular system                                                                   
for  replacing computers,  some  of which  are obsolete.  The                                                                   
item  would fund  needed replacement  of one  quarter of  DPS                                                                   
computers, which should happen on an annual basis.                                                                              
Mr.  Spencer  detailed  item  30,  $125,000  for  the  Alaska                                                                   
Wildlife Troopers  Navigation Data Storage Project.  The item                                                                   
would build  a data base  of information regarding  important                                                                   
sites around  the state, including  remote landing  sites for                                                                   
wildlife  patrol and  search and  rescue missions.  Currently                                                                   
the department  relies on the  local knowledge of  whoever is                                                                   
assigned. A new trooper or other  search and rescue personnel                                                                   
would have  access to a  stockpile of important  information.                                                                   
He  pointed out  that the  item  was ranked  on the  priority                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stedman  suggested  expanding  the program  to  let                                                                   
experienced  wildlife troopers  mark  marine locations  where                                                                   
there  is  aggressive  sport  activity.  New  troopers  could                                                                   
benefit from  the accumulated  knowledge of more  experienced                                                                   
10:01:43 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stedman   referred  to  the  Sitka   Public  Safety                                                                   
Training  Academy  and  pointed   to  community  support  for                                                                   
expanding the academy and adding  a driving range. Reasonable                                                                   
expansion of  the academy's land  base could be  accomplished                                                                   
by taking advantage of the closing  of nearby Sheldon Jackson                                                                   
Community  College.  Mr.  Spencer stated  that  DPS  strongly                                                                   
supports the driving range in  Sitka as the current situation                                                                   
not good.                                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  Hoffman asked  how  Village Public  Safety  Officer                                                                   
(VPSO)  equipment got  replaced. Mr.  Spencer responded  that                                                                   
the  VPSO  equipment has  been  replaced  in the  past  using                                                                   
leftover  funds.  Federal  rural  law  enforcement  equipment                                                                   
funds have also been used.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair Hoffman  emphasized that  the VPSOs needed  the same                                                                   
consistent funding  as troopers and  should not have  to rely                                                                   
on leftover funds. He did not  want the village public safety                                                                   
program treated as a stepchild of the department.                                                                               
10:05:38 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair Stedman  noted that in  FY09, $600,000 had  been put                                                                   
in the  budget for the driving  range, but the  appropriation                                                                   
was  cut. The  committee had  been told  that the  department                                                                   
would request  $3 million for  the driving range in  FY10. He                                                                   
understood that  declining revenues affected the  choice, but                                                                   
he  wanted  to  take advantage  of  the  opportunity  of  the                                                                   
available adjacent  land. He asked  the department  to return                                                                   
to the committee with more information.                                                                                         
Senator Olson asked if there was  an academy in Fairbanks for                                                                   
law  enforcement  training.  Mr.  Spencer did  not  know  but                                                                   
offered to find out.                                                                                                            
Mr. Spencer turned to item 31,  $2.5 million federal receipts                                                                   
for the  Marine Fisheries  Patrol Improvements.  He explained                                                                   
that DPS has a joint enforcement  agreement with the National                                                                   
Marine  Fisheries Service.  He referred  to discussion  as to                                                                   
whether  the  item should  be  in  the operating  or  capital                                                                   
budget. Some of  the funds are used for  capital expenditures                                                                   
that cross fiscal years.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  Stedman  asked  if  the  item  included  monitoring                                                                   
illegal  fishing activities.  Mr.  Spencer  responded in  the                                                                   
affirmative and added that the item funds dockside checks.                                                                      
10:09:06 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  Stedman   emphasized  the  need  for   more  active                                                                   
wildlife  policing   in  Southeast  Alaska,   especially  for                                                                   
illegal  fishing;  there  is very  little  protection  unless                                                                   
there is a specific complaint.  He expressed frustration. Mr.                                                                   
Spencer noted his concerns.                                                                                                     
Senator Huggins  queried the status  of the crime lab  on the                                                                   
capital priority  list and the  current cost estimate  of the                                                                   
lab.  Mr.  Spencer  responded  that  the  lab  is  still  the                                                                   
department's  top priority.  The lab  has been designed,  but                                                                   
questions were raised regarding  the size of the facility and                                                                   
a  study was  contracted  for. A  report  was generated,  but                                                                   
questions remain;  DPS is still  assessing the  situation. He                                                                   
did not  know whether  a request  for the  facility would  be                                                                   
forthcoming.  The department  would like  to have a  request,                                                                   
but it recognizes  legislative and public  concerns regarding                                                                   
the appropriateness of the size  of the facility as designed.                                                                   
Co-Chair Stedman  asked for an  update on the report  as well                                                                   
as more information  regarding site development.  He referred                                                                   
to concerns about the expense of delaying development.                                                                          
10:14:10 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Spencer understood  that  the final  agreement with  the                                                                   
municipality  of  Anchorage  included a  provision  that  the                                                                   
municipality would  buy the site at market value  if the site                                                                   
is developed but does not go forward.                                                                                           
SB 75 was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                               
10:14:52 AM                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
DEED FY10FinalMaintList.pdf SFIN 3/18/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 75
DEED FY10FinalConstructionList.pdf SFIN 3/18/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 75
Univ R&R List $8 Mill FY2010.pdf SFIN 3/18/2009 9:00:00 AM
SB 75