Legislature(1993 - 1994)

01/25/1993 01:30 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                        January 25, 1993                                       
                            1:30 P.M.                                          
  TAPE HFC 93 - 8, Side 1, #000 - end.                                         
  TAPE HFC 93 - 8, Side 2, #000 - end.                                         
  TAPE HFC 93 - 9, Side 1, #000 - #647.                                        
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting of  the House Finance                 
  Committee to order at 1:30 P.M.                                              
  Co-Chair Larson                    Representative Brown                      
  Co-Chair MacLean                   Representative Foster                     
  Vice-Chair Hanley                  Representative                            
  Representative Martin              Representative Parnell                    
  Representative Therriault                                                    
  Representative Hoffman  and Representative Navarre  were not                 
  present for the meeting.                                                     
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
  Richard Burton,  Commissioner, Department of  Public Safety;                 
  Kenneth  Bischoff,  Director,  Division   of  Administrative                 
  Services,  Department  of   Public  Safety;  Charles   Cole,                 
  Attorney General,  Department of Law;  Bruce Bothelo, Deputy                 
  Attorney  General,   Department  of  Law;   Richard  Pegues,                 
  Director,  Administrative  Service  Division, Department  of                 
  Law; Mike  Greany, Director,  Legislative Finance  Division;                 
  Joan Kasson,  Fiscal Analyst, Legislative  Finance Division;                 
  Representative  Ulmer;  Representative  Barnes; Lloyd  Rupp,                 
  Commissioner, Department of Corrections; Alan Cooper, Acting                 
  Deputy  Commissioner,  Department  of   Corrections;  Danith                 
  Watts,   Director,   Division  of   Administrative  Service,                 
  Department of Corrections.                                                   
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  HB 55     FY 94 OPERATING BUDGET & LOAN PROGRAMS                             
  HB 56     APPROP:  FORMULA/MANDATED PROGRAMS; LEASES                         
  HB 60     FY 94 CAPITAL BUDGET                                               
            OVERVIEWS:     Public Safety                                       
  HB  55 FY 94 OPERATING BUDGET & LOAN PROGRAMS                                
  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                  
  provided the Committee with handouts.   [Attachments #1 & #2                 
  on file].  Commissioner Burton summarized the handouts which                 
  provided information  regarding the responsibilities  of the                 
  Department of Public Safety (DPS).  These include:                           
       1.   Fish & Wildlife Protection                                         
       2.   Fire Prevention                                                    
       3.   Highway Safety Planning Agency                                     
       4.   Motor Vehicles                                                     
       5.   Alaska State Troopers                                              
       6.   Village Public Safety Officers                                     
       7.   Alaska Police Standards Council                                    
       8.   Violent Crimes Compensation Board                                  
       9.   Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault                      
    10.     DPS Statewide Support - Contract Jails                             
    11.     DPS Statewide Support - Commissioner's Office                      
    12.     DPS Statewide Support - Training Academy                           
    13.     DPS Statewide Support - Civil Air Patrol                           
    14.     DPS Statewide Support - Laboratory Services                        
    15.     DPS  Statewide Support  -  AK. Public  Safety Info                 
    16.     DPS Statewide Support - Building Security                          
    17.     DPS Statewide Support - AK Criminal Records and ID                 
  Representative  Martin  questioned  the   fourteen  position                 
  vacancies.  He  asked how many  of those positions had  been                 
  funded in the FY 92 budget.                                                  
  SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY,  replied there are no                 
  new budget positions in the proposed  budget.  He added that                 
  seven of those  positions have been  filled and were  funded                 
  for FY 93.  Representative Martin  asked if full funding was                 
  needed for  all fourteen  positions.   Mr. Bischoff  replied                 
  that the goal of the Governor was higher trooper  visibility                 
  and placing an additional seven troopers into operations for                 
  FY 94.  Representative Martin asked if there would be double                 
  funding for those positions.                                                 
  Commissioner Burton  replied that overtime funding  was cut.                 
  Funds were distributed  for seven positions existing  in the                 
  rural  areas.   There  is no  excess  cash.   Representative                 
  Martin agreed  it  would be  cheaper to  have new  positions                 
  rather than paying the overtime costs.                                       
  Co-Chair MacLean  pointed out that  there is a  $2.1 million                 
  dollar increase in the State Trooper's budget although there                 
  is  no corresponding  increase  for  Village  Public  Safety                 
  Officers.  Commissioner  Burton stated the VPSO  Program has                 
  not existed as an independent program within the Department.                 
  There is not a VPSO position.  It is strictly a pass through                 
  grant program.                                                               
  Representative Brown asked  the status of the  troopers work                 
  in the Hillside  community near  Anchorage and other  places                 
  which do  not have  local police  protection.   Commissioner                 
  Burton stated that there is money  for the State troopers to                 
  perform  their   statutory  obligations.     Funds  are  not                 
  designated for specific areas in the State.   Currently, the                 
  Hillside  area  is   considered  the   same  as  any   other                 
  unincorporated area  with regard  to police  protection.   A                 
  change in the charter of the Municipality of Anchorage would                 
  be  required  in   order  for   police  protection  by   the                 
  municipality  to be  assumed  for the  Hillside  area.   The                 
  Department guarantees a level of service be provided to that                 
  community.  Commissioner  Burton noted the issue  would need                 
  to be addressed legislatively.                                               
  Representative Parnell  asked for  follow-up information  on                 
  "contract jails".   Commissioner Burton stated that  the law                 
  requires  the  State  to transport  prisoners;  there  is no                 
  requirement that municipalities do this.   At this time, DPS                 
  has developed  a task  force to  resolve the  concern.   The                 
  Department feels it  should be handled by the  Department of                 
  Representative Parnell asked if the Department would ask for                 
  additional funding to replace the  patrol vessel MV Vigilant                 
  which currently  is in dry dock.  Commissioner Burton stated                 
  there  would  not be  a request  for  funds to  replace that                 
  particular vessel  although  there  would  be  requests  for                 
  allocations for smaller vessels.  Some funds have  been used                 
  to charter a vessel.                                                         
  Representative Grussendorf asked if  many troopers had taken                 
  advantage  of   the  Early  Retirement   Incentive  Program.                 
  Commissioner Burton stated  that there are many  reasons for                 
  the  increased  budget  projection  which  includes  trooper                 
  retirement,  increased  prisoner  transportation  costs  and                 
  other  mandated  services.    He   added  that  the  trooper                 
  recruiting  process  is  detailed  and  expensive and  takes                 
  eighteen months to complete.                                                 
  Representative  Therriault  asked  for   an  update  on  the                 
  troopers position in  the Healy  area.  Commissioner  Burton                 
  stated that office has been maintained although one position                 
  has been eliminated.   Currently, the Department  is looking                 
  at a work load analysis for all locations where troopers are                 
  Representative  Brown questioned  the  $600 thousand  dollar                 
  accounting change to the Fish  and Wildlife component.   Mr.                 
  Bischoff stated there was an accounting change introduced by                 
  the Office of Management  and Budget (OMB) to try  to manage                 
  and contain costs of leave cash-in.                                          
  Representative  Martin  suggested  the  Division  of   Motor                 
  Vehicles (DMV) better  analyze their program receipts.   Mr.                 
  Bischoff  responded  that  with  the  exception  of  minimal                 
  federal  funds,  their  entire budget  is  solely  funded by                 
  program receipts.                                                            
  Representative Therriault asked  if there is federal  money,                 
  currently available which the  Department is not  utilizing.                 
  Mr. Bischoff offered  to provide a  written response to  the                 
  Co-Chair  Larson   noted  that  the  subcommittee   for  the                 
  Department  of   Public   Safety   would   be   chaired   by                 
  Representative  Parnell  with members  Representative Moses,                 
  Representative    Porter,    Representative    Mackie    and                 
  Representative Navarre.                                                      
  Representative  Parnell  asked  for  further information  on                 
  leave cash-in.  Mr.  Bischoff noted there could be  a twenty                 
  percent discretion by the department in allowing leave-cash-                 
  in whereas, the vast  majority of it is a  contractual right                 
  under the PSEA contract.                                                     
  that  the leave  issue  is a  statewide  concern which  will                 
  affect all departments.   The costs to DPS were  high enough                 
  that the Governor provided some relief.   Up until this past                 
  year,  there was  a  flat rate  of  assessment for  personal                 
  service cash-in.  OMB changed this rate to one based on  the                 
  experience of each  individual agency.  The cash-in would be                 
  under  the  control   of  the  administrator.     There  are                 
  collective bargaining  agreements and personnel  rules which                 
  address the concern.                                                         
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-8, Side 2).                                             
  DEPARTMENT OF LAW                                                            
  referenced  a  chart   which  had  been  prepared   for  the                 
  Committee.   The chart  diagramed services  provided by  the                 
  Department of Law under the Attorney General.                                
       JUNEAU CIVIL                                                            
            Government Affairs                                                 
            Human Services                                                     
            Natural Resources                                                  
       ANCHORAGE CIVIL                                                         
            Government Affairs                                                 
            Human Services                                                     
            Natural Resources                                                  
       FAIRBANKS CIVIL                                                         
            Human Services                                                     
            Natural Resources                                                  
       RURAL OFFICE                                                            
  Attorney  General  Cole  noted   that  there  are  forty-two                 
  positions requested in the Civil Division of the Department.                 
  He  pointed  out that  the  Governor supports  the increased                 
  Representative   Martin   asked  about   decentralizing  the                 
  Attorney General's office.                                                   
  stated there has been no  decentralization of the Department                 
  of Law.  Over the years, each attorney general has taken the                 
  position that  legal services  for the  Executive Branch  be                 
  handled exclusively by the Department of Law.                                
  Representative  Grussendorf  asked about  permit regulations                 
  filed by electrical  contractors.  Mr. Bothelo  replied that                 
  currently there is only one  attorney overseeing regulations                 
  for contractors.  She  is overloaded and behind  in handling                 
  those   permits.    New   regulation  attorneys   are  being                 
  REPRESENTATIVE ULMER inquired about the responsibilities  of                 
  the Department's rural  civil offices.  Mr.  Bothelo replied                 
  that  those  positions are  almost exclusively  dedicated to                 
  children's proceedings.   They are located where  a superior                 
  court judge is  stationed.  The caseloads  are equivalent to                 
  full time work.                                                              
  Representative Brown  questioned  the  number  of  positions                 
  requested for the civil section of the Department.                           
  replied the Department  has requested sixteen  legal service                 
  operation  positions  and  one  position   in  oil  and  gas                 
  operations.    Thirteen of  those  positions will  come from                 
  general fund monies.                                                         
  Representative Brown  questioned  the  five  million  dollar                 
  Exxon  Valdez appropriation for  FY 94.   Mr. Bothelo stated                 
  there  is an  anticipated forty percent  reduction, although                 
  there are on  going obligations  with Exxon-USA and  Alyeska                 
  even though the settlements have been made.                                  
  Representative  Grussendorf  expressed   concern  that   the                 
  Department  of  Revenue  was  decreasing  their  tax auditor                 
  positions.    Attorney  General Cole  recommended  that  the                 
  Department  of  Revenue hire  ten  additional auditors.   He                 
  noted that work by the Department  of Law is often dependent                 
  upon the audit reviews from the Department of Revenue.                       
  Representative Brown asked the structural difference between                 
  the oil and gas  litigation and the oil and  gas operations.                 
  She inquired as to the source of funds for those operations.                 
  Mr. Bothelo responded that the Legislature required that the                 
  Permanent Fund provide one quarter  of the funding necessary                 
  for litigation on royalty matters.  The overall operation is                 
  general fund dollars with royalties from the Permanent Fund.                 
  The operations are the costs to  the Department to staff its                 
  internal  staff.   The  majority  of  the money  is  used to                 
  contract with consultants for legal service expertise.                       
  Attorney  General  Cole  offered  to  discuss  the  criminal                 
  division of  the  Department  at  a  latter  date  with  the                 
  subcommittee meeting.                                                        
  Co-Chair   Larson  stated   that   the  Department   of  Law                 
  Subcommittee would consist  of Representative Larson,  Chair                 
  and  members  Representative Barnes,  Representative Porter,                 
  Representative   Olberg,    Representative   Davidson    and                 
  Representative Navarre.                                                      
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-9, Side 1).                                             
  DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                    
  provided the Committee with "STATE  OF ALASKA, DEPARTMENT OF                 
  [Attachment #4 -  on file].   He itemized the Department  of                 
  Correction's issues:                                                         
       1.   An alcohol driven correctional crisis.                             
       2.   Significant increases in the last year:                            
            *    700% increase in  court-ordered report  cases                 
                 waiting to enter jail to serve sentences.                     
            *    34%   increase   in   sentenced  misdemeanant                 
            *    11% increase in sentenced felon population                    
            *    32% increase in community  residential center                 
                 placement usage.                                              
       3.   Ten of the  12 institutions are out  of compliance                 
            with emergency population caps.                                    
       4.   Pending Impact   --  If the state  added 100  beds                 
            today, it would take  374 days to catch up  to the                 
       5.   Conservative   trends   indicate   the  need   for                 
            approximately 600 new  beds by 1996, if  no action                 
       6.   Expanded use of alternative punishments.                           
       7.   The Department  must increase  it's commitment  to                 
            the use of intermediate sanctions.                                 
       8.   Overtime   has   increased   because    of   staff                 
       9.   Overcrowding has created court ordered violations.                 
            *    prisoners sleeping on cots on gym floors                      
            *    disparity in housing women                                    
            *    cohabiting    sentenced    and    unsentenced                 
            *    cohabiting misdemeanant and felons                            
    10.     Rehabilitation programs need to be expanded                        
            *    inadequate vocational/educational programs                    
            *    inadequate substance abuse programs                           
            *    women's program disparity                                     
    11.     Medical costs are spiraling                                        
    12.     Rural and  cultural sensitivity must  be increased                 
            in the Department.                                                 
    13.     Significant need for expansion  of data collection                 
            and analysis.                                                      
  Representative   Martin   questioned  the   72-hour  alcohol                 
  prevention.  He was  concerned that the provision was  being                 
  used  as  a  punishment  technique  rather  than  finding  a                 
  solution to the  problem.  Commissioner Rupp  commented that                 
  the situation  is difficult  given the  over burdened  State                 
  jails.   The intent  is to  assess the  problem and  provide                 
  intervention.  The difficultly is  in finding an alternative                 
  to placing the person inside a correctional institution.                     
  REPRESENTATIVE BARNES stated that the intent of the DWI  law                 
  was not to provide  treatment.  The  intent was to create  a                 
  deterrent  for those  persons  who  occasionally  drink  and                 
  drive.  The law was changed to 72 hours in order that a full                 
  three days would be  served.  The sentence was  created only                 
  as "swift and  just punishment" for driving  while drinking.                 
  She added her support to the Department's "Project Hope" and                 
  recommended adding a substantial fine.                                       
  Commissioner Rupp  commented that the term "intervention" is                 
  used  loosely and  he  understands  that  no  one  could  be                 
  "treated"  in a three day period.   He supported the idea of                 
  fines and also requiring community service work.                             
  Commissioner Rupp pointed  out that the bulk of  the current                 
  budget is for institutions although with increased statewide                 
  programs.    Eighty-one percent  of  the proposed  budget is                 
  designated for institutions.                                                 
  Representative Barnes asked  to clarify  what happened at  a                 
  previous Correction's subcommittee meeting.  She pointed out                 
  that she had asked that the  previous Deputy Commissioner be                 
  fired  because  of  substantial  information  available   to                 
  warrant this  action.   Representative Barnes reviewed  with                 
  the Committee various documents substantiating her inability                 
  to receive  information requested  of the  Department.   She                 
  made reference to  the inappropriateness of a  photograph of                 
  the Deputy Commissioner which appeared  in a biker magazine.                 
  Co-Chair Larson asked for details regarding the reopening of                 
  the Wildwood Correctional Institute.                                         
  CORRECTIONS, said  that Wildwood  was closed  May 15,  1992,                 
  shifting the majority of the population to  the Palmer Camp.                 
  There has  been an  increase  of 176  prisoners since  July,                 
  1992, and  since September,  1992, there  has  been a  great                 
  increase in crime.  Ten of the facilities are over emergency                 
  capacity.  Wildwood was reopened in  early January, 1993, to                 
  accommodate these increased needs.  There remains fifty-nine                 
  unused  beds  at Wildwood.    He  added that  the  moving of                 
  prisoners jeopardizes public safety.                                         
  Commissioner Rupp  spoke in  support of  the recommendations                 
  presented by  the Corrections  subcommittee.   He added  his                 
  support for intermediate sanctions and Project Hope.                         
  Representative Brown asked if the  requested budget would be                 
  the minimum needed to maintain  public safety.  Commissioner                 
  Rupp replied that this is a frugal request although it would                 
  not reduce the FY 93 budget.  He continued, there will  be a                 
  number of pilot programs to help the Department become  more                 
  Co-Chair  Larson  noted that  the  Correction's subcommittee                 
  would  be  Chaired  by  Representative  Barnes  and  members                 
  Representative Green, Representative Parnell, Representative                 
  Ulmer and Representative Brown.                                              
  The meeting adjourned at 3:25 P.M.                                           

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