Legislature(2015 - 2016)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/13/2016 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

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Heard & Held
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CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 222(FIN)                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to increases of appropriation items."                                                                     
10:20:37 AM                                                                                                                   
JULI  LUCKY, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER,  explained                                                                    
that  the  legislation  aimed to  protect  the  legislatures                                                                    
constitutional  power  of   appropriation  by  allowing  the                                                                    
legislature  to now  only decide  what additional  money was                                                                    
accepted  during  the  interim,  but  more  importantly,  to                                                                    
specify what  would not  be accepted.  She relayed  that all                                                                    
appropriations  had to  be authorized  by lay,  meaning that                                                                    
they must be  included in a budget that was  voted on by the                                                                    
full  body during  legislative session.  She  said that  for                                                                    
some  appropriation  items,  the  full  amount  was  unknown                                                                    
during the  budgetary process,  which meant  that additional                                                                    
funds   could  become   available  during   the  legislative                                                                    
interim. She related that in  order for the Executive Branch                                                                    
to  accept   the  additional  funds,  the   legislature  had                                                                    
codified the  Revised Program  Legislative (RPL)  process, a                                                                    
two-step  process that  appropriated  money contingent  upon                                                                    
the governor  following AS 37.37080.  She elaborated  on the                                                                    
RPL  process.  She explained  that  the  spirit of  the  RPL                                                                    
process  was to  allow the  Executive Branch  to efficiently                                                                    
accept funds  in a timely  fashion when the  legislature was                                                                    
not  there to  approve  them,  and if  the  process did  not                                                                    
exist,   all  funds   would  be   delayed  until   the  next                                                                    
legislative  session.  She  noted   the  RPL  would  not  be                                                                    
considered new funds, but new  programs could be added using                                                                    
an RPL if allowed by  appropriation language approved in the                                                                    
budget. She  related that the  bill would allow  language to                                                                    
be  written into  the budget  that would  expressly prohibit                                                                    
the  use of  the RPL  process for  a specific  appropriation                                                                    
item. She  furthered that  items would  need to  come before                                                                    
the  full legislature,  either during  a special  session or                                                                    
the  next budget  cycle.  She relayed  that  the bill  would                                                                    
increase  the  waiting  period  from  45  to  90  days.  She                                                                    
highlighted  that  the  legislation  would  not  change  the                                                                    
legislative budget  process. She asserted that  the bill did                                                                    
not present  a Constitutional problem because  it would stop                                                                    
an   appropriation   before   it   occurred,   rather   than                                                                    
controlling  the  expenditure   after  the  legislature  had                                                                    
appropriated the money to the executive branch.                                                                                 
10:25:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Dunleavy  asked  whether   the  bill  assumed  that                                                                    
mandates would be attached to any accepted funds.                                                                               
Ms. Lucky  understood that the  legislation would  not alter                                                                    
how RPLs were vetted.                                                                                                           
10:27:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair   MacKinnon    invited   David    Teal,   Director,                                                                    
Legislative  Finance  Division,  to the  table  for  further                                                                    
clarification.  She offered  her  understanding  of the  RPL                                                                    
10:27:21 AM                                                                                                                   
DAVID   TEAL,   DIRECTOR,  LEGISLATIVE   FINANCE   DIVISION,                                                                    
clarified that the RPL process  differed between the Capital                                                                    
and Operating Budgets. He said  that because the legislature                                                                    
could  not   delegate  its  power  of   appropriation  to  a                                                                    
committee, any  new capital  project would  be viewed  as an                                                                    
independent  appropriation; only  existing capital  projects                                                                    
that  were  already  on  the   books  could  go  before  the                                                                    
Legislative Budget and Audit Committee  for the RPL process.                                                                    
He  explained  that  the  appropriation  for  the  Operating                                                                    
Budget were  more broad,  and were granted  to an  agency in                                                                    
order to  meet its mission; as  long as an RPL  fell between                                                                    
the mission  or responsibility  of the  agency, it  could be                                                                    
for a brand new purpose.                                                                                                        
10:28:40 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Dunleavy  asked whether  the  bill  would curb  the                                                                    
encouragement,   written  into   certain  legislation,   for                                                                    
departments to seek federal funds.                                                                                              
Mr. Teal  replied that  he was  not sure.  He said  that the                                                                    
primary language  was, "unless  expressly prohibited  by the                                                                    
language  of the  appropriation",  which  he interpreted  to                                                                    
mean that  a department  could prohibit certain  programs or                                                                    
allocations from  participating in the RPL  process. He said                                                                    
that   there  could   even  be   language   in  the   annual                                                                    
appropriation  bill  that  said  that  specific  departments                                                                    
could not use the RPL process.                                                                                                  
10:30:33 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Dunleavy  spoke to the  Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early  Development.  He  relayed  that  the  Elementary  and                                                                    
Secondary Education  Act (ESEA)  had been developed  in 1965                                                                    
because   the   federal    government   wanted   to   bypass                                                                    
legislatures, whom  they believed were not  implementing the                                                                    
Civil Rights Act.                                                                                                               
Mr. Teal  responded that  Alaska was  one of  several states                                                                    
that  appropriated federal  money. He  siad that  there were                                                                    
states where  federal money went directly  to education, and                                                                    
was  not appropriated  by the  legislature, the  legislature                                                                    
appropriated only  General Funds.  He contended that  it did                                                                    
not work  that way  in Alaska; and  agency could  not accept                                                                    
federal   dollars,  and   spend   it,  without   legislative                                                                    
authority. He  stressed that even if  the federal government                                                                    
was trying  to give the  Alaska Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early  Development money  to do  something, the  legislature                                                                    
retained control  over whether  the department  could accept                                                                    
the funds.                                                                                                                      
10:33:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Dunleavy warned  that it was "important  to read the                                                                    
fine  print"  when  the federal  government  offered  Alaska                                                                    
Mr.  Teal  agreed  that the  Legislative  Budget  and  Audit                                                                    
Committee  would  be  responsible for  paying  attention  to                                                                    
potential mandates attached to federal dollars.                                                                                 
10:33:58 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon noted  that the  bill addressed  the RPL                                                                    
process of the whole legislature.  She noted that there were                                                                    
other  sections in  statute that  addressed how  other funds                                                                    
were accepted.                                                                                                                  
Ms.  Lucky   commented  that  the   bill  would   allow  the                                                                    
legislature  to   put  a  statement   in  the   budget  that                                                                    
restricted  the  use  of  the  RPL  process  for  particular                                                                    
programs. She  noted that the legislature  already possessed                                                                    
the power to  restrict the RPL process by fund  type; HB 222                                                                    
would  hone  that   restriction  by  specific  appropriation                                                                    
10:35:50 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Olson asked  whether there  were other  states that                                                                    
had implemented similar restrictions.                                                                                           
Ms. Lucky replied that information  was still being gathered                                                                    
on what other states had implemented.                                                                                           
10:37:13 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator  Bishop hoped  that  the bill  would  not limit  the                                                                    
governor's ability to  accept federal funds in  the event of                                                                    
an emergency.                                                                                                                   
10:38:01 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon explained that  the bill would not change                                                                    
how  often LB&A  could  convene. She  believed  that in  the                                                                    
event of  an emergency  the committee could  convene quickly                                                                    
and respond to an emergency.                                                                                                    
10:38:11 AM                                                                                                                   
Ms. Lucky remarked  that the issue had  been researched. She                                                                    
deferred further response to Mr. Teal.                                                                                          
10:39:15 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Teal  said that once  the governor declared  a disaster,                                                                    
LB&A would not be involved at all.                                                                                              
10:39:33 AM                                                                                                                   
Senator Hoffman  wondered whether the sponsor  had discussed                                                                    
the  legislation  with  members  of  the  Executive  Branch,                                                                    
specifically, the issue of the 90 day provisions.                                                                               
Ms. Lucky replied that the  sponsor had not had a discussion                                                                    
with the Executive Branch.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair MacKinnon OPENED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair MacKinnon CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon announced  that amendments  were due  at                                                                    
noon the following day.                                                                                                         
CSHB 222(FIN)  was HEARD and  HELD in committee  for further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 137 Public TEstimony Vincent-Lang.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB 137 Public Testimony Hansen.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB 137 SCS CSHB 137(RES) Responses to Questions for Senate Resources 3-28-16.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB222 Background Information.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB222 Sponsor Statement.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 222
HB 137 Hunting-Sport Fishing License Increase Compromise Proposal - Sommerville.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB 137 Wildllife Resoration - PR Funds for Alaska FY02 - FY15.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137
HB 137 SCS CSHB 137(RES) Sectional Analysis.pdf SFIN 4/13/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 137