Legislature(2017 - 2018)SENATE FINANCE 532
06/08/2017 11:00 AM Senate CONFERENCE COMMITTEES ON HB 57 AND HB 59
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CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 57(FIN) am(brf sup maj fld)(efd fld) "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs; capitalizing funds; repealing appropriations; and making supplemental appropriations and reappropriations." SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 57(FIN) am S "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government and for certain programs; capitalizing funds; repealing appropriations; making supplemental appropriations and reappropriations; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date." and CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 59(FIN) "An Act making appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date." SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 59(FIN) "An Act making appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date." 11:01:43 AM Co-Chair Seaton invited David Teal, Director of the Legislative Finance Division to join legislators at the table. He reported that the conference committee would be addressing open items in HB 57 and HB 59 based on the motion sheets distributed to members earlier in the day dated June 8th on the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Law (LAW). Senator Hoffman MOVED to ADOPT the following in the Department of Correction's budget: Item 1 Senate Representative Pruitt OBJECTED. Co-Chair Seaton indicated the committee would address the objection item until the end of the items. Vice-Chair Hoffman continued: Item 2 Senate Representative Pruitt OBJECTED. Co-Chair Seaton relayed that the committee would address the item at the end. Co-Chair Hoffman continued: Item 3 House Item 4 House Item 5 House Item 6 House for both lines Item 7 Senate for both lines Co-Chair Seaton indicated Items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were ADOPTED. [Item 2 had an objection and Co-Chair Seaton addresses the error below]. He invited Representative Pruitt to speak to his objection. Representative Pruitt spoke to his objection. One of the concerns his caucus had was because the item would add a division planner position, He thought the discussion took place in subcommittee for DOC. There had been concern with adding the position. Co-Chair Hoffman responded that the senate added the position, which was funded by designated statutory receipts. The planner would assist the department with identifying and addressing justice reform issues particularly those that spanned several divisions within DOC as well as coordinating between the state and local stakeholders. He believed that the position was justified since it was funded through designated receipts. Co-Chair Seaton relayed that the committee would take an 'at ease' to discuss the item further. 11:04:38 AM AT EASE 11:09:50 AM RECONVEYNED Co-Chair Seaton RESCINDED his motion for restatement purposes regarding the items the committee adopted. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Co-Chair Seaton restated the motion that Items 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were not objected to and would be adopted. Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to ADOPT Item 1-Senate. Representative Pruitt OBJECTED. Co-Chair Hoffman explained that a letter was passed out to committee members from Senator Coghill (copy on file) regarding the authority to receive statutory designated program receipts of $175 thousand, which he had explained earlier. The letter was back-up to his explanation. Representative Pruitt MAINTAINED his OBJECTION. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: MacKinnon, Foster, Olson, Hoffmann, Seaton OPPOSED: Pruitt The MOTION to ADOPT Item 1-Senate PASSED (House: 2/1 - Senate: 3/0). 11:11:42 AM Co-Chair Hoffman MOVED to ADOPT Item 2-Senate. Representative Pruitt spoke to his objection to Item 2. Adopting the senate's version would maintain four positions. There had been a conversation about the item in the House Finance Subcommittee. It was determined after vetting the item that the four positions would not be accepted. The objections from members of his caucus remained. Co-Chair Hoffman explained that the information technology (IT) positions would be instrumental in extracting the most potential savings having to do with SB 91 [The omnibus crime bill adopted in 2016], a critical piece of legislation adopted by both bodies. 11:13:06 AM AT EASE 11:17:44 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair Seaton asked Mr. Teal to explain the justification for the positions in Item 2 of the conference-able items in DOC. DAVID TEAL, DIRECTOR, LEGISLATIVE FINANCE DIVISION, explained that the four positions were in the Palmer Correctional Center. With the closure of that facility, they were transferred to the IT section. The positions were no longer correctional officer positions but rather they were IT positions. They were needed to do a number of projects having to do with prison reforms that accompanied SB 91. The department felt the positions were essential to its IT systems. Representative Pruitt asked if there had been reductions in DOC. He remembered part of the discussion on SB 91 about savings resulting from not having as many people in prison as well as shutting down one of the prisons. He was aware of the opening of Meadow Creek at Highland Correctional Facility. He asked if there had been other reductions in DOC personnel in the previous year. Mr. Teal suggested taking a recess. He commented that there had been reductions but he did not know if all of them were associated with SB 91, or whether there were other reductions. He could not fully answer the question. 11:20:03 AM AT EASE 11:22:40 AM RECONVENED Co-Chair Seaton asked Mr. Teal to provide an explanation. Mr. Teal responded that the governor's budget had been reduced by approximately $18 million. However, the net (because there was a $6.9 million amount added back for pre-trial) was a reduction of $11 million for DOC in FY 18. Representative Pruitt appreciated the answer to his question. At the break, he found out about the discussion during the subcommittee process. The reason the amendment had been brought forward and accepted was that DOC could not explain why they were not currently using the money. He thanked the committee for the willingness to have the conversation. Representative Pruitt MAINTAINED his OBJECTION. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Olson, Foster, MacKinnon, Seaton, Hoffman OPPOSED: Pruitt The MOTION to ADOPT Item 2-Senate PASSED (House: 2/1 - Senate: 3/0). Co-Chair Seaton indicated that the action closed the conference-able items in the Department of Corrections. 11:24:47 AM Senator Hoffmann MOVED to ADOPT the following in the Department of Law's budget: Item 1 House minus $81,400 for a new total of $244,200. This funds the positions at 75% in recognition that the positions would not be filled on July 1. Item 2 Senate Item 3 House Item 4 House Senator Olson requested an "at ease." 11:25:25 AM AT EASE 11:25:42 AM RECONVENED There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Co-Chair Seaton indicated that the action closed the conference-able items in the Department of Law. Co-Chair Seaton conveyed that the next Conference Committee meeting would be held on Friday, June 9, 2017, at 11:30 a.m. The committee would be taking up the conference-able items in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Revenue, the Executive Branch-wide Appropriations, and Judiciary. The meeting information was available on BASIS. HB 57 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration. HB 59 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further consideration.