Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/05/2018 09:00 AM Senate FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled: TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSB 92(FIN) Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 104(2d FIN) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
SENATE BILL NO. 216                                                                                                           
     "An Act  relating to the  calculation of state  aid for                                                                    
     schools    that    consolidate;   relating    to    the                                                                    
     determination of  the number of schools  in a district;                                                                    
     and providing for an effective date."                                                                                      
9:13:55 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Bishop  MOVED to  ADOPT the  committee substitute                                                                    
for SB 216, Work Draft 30-LS1483\T (Bruce, 4/3/18).                                                                             
Co-Chair MacKinnon OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                     
9:14:13 AM                                                                                                                    
JONATHAN KING,  STAFF, SENATOR  NATASHA VON  IMHOF, outlined                                                                    
the Explanation of Changes (copy on file):                                                                                      
     Section 4                                                                                                                  
     Page  3,  lines 15-31  through  page  4, line  1:  Adds                                                                    
     subsections   that  will   allow   the  Department   of                                                                    
     Administration   to   issue   a   "To   Title   Issued"                                                                    
     registration in  the event that they  are not satisfied                                                                    
     with  proof of  ownership or  believe there  may be  an                                                                    
     undisclosed security  interest. A certificate  of title                                                                    
     will  be issued  if the  applicant presents  sufficient                                                                    
     documentation or if the  "No Title Issued" registration                                                                    
     goes  uncontested for  three years.  This section  will                                                                    
     also  ensure  that  the Department  will  not  be  held                                                                    
     liable for any damages or costs.                                                                                           
     Section 6                                                                                                                  
     Page 4, line 10: Removed  the amendment to increase the                                                                    
     fee  for  motorized   boat  registration,  registration                                                                    
     renewal,  and transfer  of registration.  The fee  will                                                                    
     remain as it is in  current statute: $24. The increased                                                                    
     fees  would not  have benefitted  the derelict  vessels                                                                    
     program and therefore were removed from the bill.                                                                          
Co-Chair MacKinnon  WITHDREW the  OBJECTION. There  being NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
Senator Stevens  queried the difference between  closures of                                                                    
schools and consolidation of schools.  He shared that in his                                                                    
district, there  were three  larger communities  and several                                                                    
villages. He  shared that  there was  a constant  process of                                                                    
closing   village   schools,   because  of   their   smaller                                                                    
populations.  He noted  that there  were very  small schools                                                                    
that opened  and closed consistently. He  wondered whether a                                                                    
district could  take advantage  of a  closure of  a district                                                                    
school,  and  consider  that a  "consolidation"  to  receive                                                                    
additional  funding under  the bill.  Mr. King  replied that                                                                    
the question  had multiple pieces.  He shared that  the idea                                                                    
behind  consolidation  was  that   in  many  districts  with                                                                    
multiple schools,  the districts had  attendance boundaries.                                                                    
He  noted that  the  consolidation was  related  to where  a                                                                    
school district was closing a  school that had an attendance                                                                    
boundary;  therefore,   those  attendance   boundaries  were                                                                    
subsumed into another. Those children  were then assigned to                                                                    
a new base  school. He noted that  transportation would then                                                                    
be provided within those boundaries.  He shared that a rural                                                                    
environment created that question  of whether those students                                                                    
were formally  assigned to a different  school. He furthered                                                                    
that  closing the  school, and  providing the  students with                                                                    
distance  education  would  not   result  in  a  new  school                                                                    
boundary area. He  felt that it would  not be consolidation.                                                                    
He deferred to DEED for further information.                                                                                    
9:20:09 AM                                                                                                                    
MARCY  HERMAN, SPECIAL  ASSISTANT,  DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION                                                                    
AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT, deferred to Ms. Teshner.                                                                                 
9:20:15 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:22:41 AM                                                                                                                    
9:22:45 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Stevens  felt  that the  issue  was  important.  He                                                                    
understood  that the  bill had  a good  intent of  effecting                                                                    
urban Alaska. He stressed that  any law would have an impact                                                                    
on rural Alaska. He restated his question.                                                                                      
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wondered whether the bill  was voluntary                                                                    
or mandatory.                                                                                                                   
9:24:34 AM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI  TESHNER,  DIRECTOR,   FINANCE  AND  SUPPORT  SERVICES                                                                    
DIVISION,  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION AND  EARLY  DEVELOPMENT                                                                    
(via teleconference),  stated that the bill  was a voluntary                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon noted the  concerns about the communities                                                                    
with a smaller number of students.                                                                                              
Senator Stevens  queried the difference between  closure and                                                                    
consolidation.  Ms.  Teshner  replied that  there  could  be                                                                    
consolidation  if  there  were  multiple  schools  within  a                                                                    
community. She furthered  that there would not  be a process                                                                    
for  consolidation for  communities  with  only one  school,                                                                    
unless  the  district  chose to  change  the  grades  served                                                                    
within a school.                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hoffman surmised  that the bill would  not affect a                                                                    
school district, but rather it  would effect a community. He                                                                    
noted that  his community had several  school districts with                                                                    
schools in multiple communities,  therefore the bill did not                                                                    
allow  for  consolidation  in   the  school  districts.  Ms.                                                                    
Teshner responded  replied that  most of the  schools within                                                                    
the  rural communities  were already  K-12 schools,  so they                                                                    
would be  consolidated under  the legislation.  She stressed                                                                    
that  the bill  was  directed at  communities with  multiple                                                                    
elementary, middle, or high schools.                                                                                            
Co-Chair  Hoffman  recalled  a   school  district  that  was                                                                    
looking  at the  possibility  of bringing  the high  schools                                                                    
into  one  community.  He wondered  whether  that  would  be                                                                    
considered consolidation. Ms. Teshner  replied that it would                                                                    
not be considered consolidation.                                                                                                
Co-Chair MacKinnon explained that  the bill did not prohibit                                                                    
or  allow  consolidation.  She stated  that  the  bill  only                                                                    
addressed stepping  down of funding. She  also stressed that                                                                    
it was  a voluntary  program, and  would largely  affect the                                                                    
buildings in the larger communities.                                                                                            
Vice-Chair Bishop stressed that the program was voluntary.                                                                      
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  noted  that  the  buildings  in  larger                                                                    
school  districts currently  remained  open  to prevent  the                                                                    
loss of funding.                                                                                                                
Senator Micciche recalled that  he had several small schools                                                                    
in his district. He wondered  whether those schools would be                                                                    
affected by the  time limit. Ms. Teshner  replied that those                                                                    
schools would not be subject to the seven year timeline.                                                                        
9:30:14 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator von  Imhof remarked that  there were  provisions and                                                                    
statutes  in  place to  address  the  ten student  threshold                                                                    
currently in place with its own rules and parameters.                                                                           
Co-Chair  MacKinnon queried  the prioritization  process and                                                                    
how the  laws would  interact with  each other.  Ms. Teshner                                                                    
replied that  choosing to consolidate  under the  bill would                                                                    
not  trigger  the  current "hold  harmless"  provision.  She                                                                    
stated that  it would be one  or the other, and  it would be                                                                    
the decision of the school district.                                                                                            
Senator  von  Imhof  surmised  that a  school  at  the  nine                                                                    
student   threshold  could   choose,   depending  on   their                                                                    
circumstances,  which statute  they wished  to utilize.  Ms.                                                                    
Teshner replied in the affirmative  for a community that was                                                                    
able to have consolidation.                                                                                                     
Senator von Imhof queried the definition of a community.                                                                        
MINDY  LOBAUGH,  SCHOOL  FINANCE SPECIALIST,  DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                    
EDUCATION  AND   EARLY  DEVELOPMENT   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
replied  that there  was a  current hold  harmless provision                                                                    
for  the  school size  factor.  She  stated that  the  rural                                                                    
communities  typical  would  go through  that  process.  The                                                                    
current bill  would help  the larger  districts who  did not                                                                    
access the current provision.                                                                                                   
9:35:34 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Stevens  surmised that  the village  were a  part of                                                                    
the district, but  not a part of the  community. Ms. Teshner                                                                    
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  remarked   that   the  definition   of                                                                    
community  was  used  in  regulation  that  stood  up  other                                                                    
portions of statute. She stated  that the regulation for the                                                                    
bill had yet to be written.                                                                                                     
Senator  Stevens  felt  that superintendents  could  find  a                                                                    
loophole in the law, if it benefited their districts.                                                                           
Co-Chair MacKinnon  wanted greater clarity. She  queried the                                                                    
challenge for some of the urban districts.                                                                                      
Senator von Imhof  shared that the idea  was brought forward                                                                    
when the  Anchorage School District  had a  presentation for                                                                    
the Anchorage  legislators, when they shared  that there was                                                                    
excess  capacity  due  to population  migration  within  and                                                                    
outside of the city.                                                                                                            
9:40:04 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  remarked that  there would be  less cost                                                                    
for taxpayers in any individual districts.                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Hoffman  wondered  whether the  legislation  would                                                                    
affect charter schools.                                                                                                         
Senator von  Imhof replied that  she believed that  it would                                                                    
apply to charter schools.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair Hoffman asked whether  the charter schools would be                                                                    
consolidated with other charter schools.                                                                                        
Senator von  Imhof stated that consolidation  could occur if                                                                    
there   was   a   building   that   could   pass   education                                                                    
9:41:08 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:53:18 AM                                                                                                                    
9:53:49 AM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon wanted  to make sure that  the legal team                                                                    
was able to examine the legislation.                                                                                            
Mr.  King   reiterated  that  the   bill  was   a  voluntary                                                                    
consolidation program. The  intent was to add a  new tool to                                                                    
the toolbox, and not force consolidation.                                                                                       
SB  216  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CS SB 92 FIN v. T Explanation.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
CS SB 92 FIN v. T.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
CS SB 216 FIN v.T Explanation.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 216
CS SB 216 FIN work draft v. T.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 216
CSSB 104 Letter of Support ACSA 4.4.18.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 104
SB 216 2018 ASA SB216 comment.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 216
CS SB 92 FIN v. N.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92
SB 216 Definition of School Consolidation.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 216
SB 92 Explanation of Changes Ver. U to Ver. N.pdf SFIN 4/5/2018 9:00:00 AM
SB 92