Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/27/1993 10:00 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         March 24, 1993                                        
                            8:30 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 56, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 56, Side 2, #000 - #481.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting of  the House Finance                 
  Committee to order at 8:30 A.M.                                              
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Therriault                      
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown was not present for the meeting.                        
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Deborah   Wing,  Director,   Family   and  Youth   Services,                 
  Department of Health and Social Services; John Peterson, Aid                 
  to  Representative  Gail  Phillips;  Gary  Bader,  Director,                 
  Administrative  Services,  Department  of  Education;  Bruce                 
  Garrett,   Kodiak,   Alaska;    Laura   Fleming,   Aid    to                 
  Representative  Bill Williams;  Kate  Tesar, Association  of                 
  Independent  Tour Operators,  Juneau, Alaska;  Irene Morris,                 
  Alaska Environmental Lobby, Juneau,  Alaska; Romaine Careen,                 
  People Safety  Coordinator, Department  of Education;  Geron                 
  Bruce, Special Assistant, Department of Fish and Game.                       
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  HB 2      An Act requiring drug and alcohol tests for school                 
            bus drivers.                                                       
                                                                               
            CS HB 2 (FIN)  was reported out of  Committee with                 
            "no recommendation" with a Letter of Intent by the                 
            House Judiciary  Committee and  with a  new fiscal                 
            note by the Department of Education.                               
  HB 97     An  Act  clarifying  the responsibilities  of  the                 
            Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  and                 
            parents  for  children  who are  committed  to the                 
            custody of the  department and  are placed by  the                 
            department with the parents;  and providing for an                 
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            HB  97 was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                 
            pass" recommendation  and with a  zero fiscal note                 
            by the Department of Health and Social Services.                   
  HB 172    An Act relating  to the wildlife conservation  tag                 
            and  to  entry  onto   state  game  and   wildlife                 
            sanctuaries,  state  game  refuges,   state  range                 
            areas, and  fish and game critical  habitat areas;                 
            and providing for an effective date.                               
                                                                               
            HB   172  was   held  in  Committee   for  further                 
            discussion.                                                        
  HOUSE BILL 97                                                                
                                                                               
       "An   Act  clarifying   the  responsibilities   of  the                 
       Department of  Health and  Social Services  and parents                 
       for children  who are committed  to the custody  of the                 
       department and are  placed by  the department with  the                 
       parents; and providing for an effective date."                          
                                                                               
  DEBORAH   WING,  DIRECTOR,   FAMILY   AND  YOUTH   SERVICES,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH  AND SOCIAL  SERVICES, stated that  the                 
  Department of  Health and Social Services  strongly supports                 
  HB   97,  which   clarifies  the  responsibilities   of  the                 
  Department for children  committed to its legal  custody and                 
  who continue to reside with the parent or parents.  The bill                 
  amends  AS  47.10.084  to  require a  parent  or  parents to                 
  provide for the day  to day care of their  children if these                 
  children  are residing  with them  when the State  has legal                 
  custody as a result of child protection services.                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  inquired  if  medical  care   would                 
  include the cost of counseling.  Ms. Winger stated it would.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin discussed medical care costs of foster                 
  children.  Ms. Wing noted that children in foster care would                 
  continue to remain a responsibility of the State.                            
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell inquired if parents would be asked to                 
  pay for  counseling services of  abused children.   Ms. Wing                 
  noted,  that if the  child is qualified  under Medicaid, the                 
  parents are able to utilize that resource.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report HB 97 out of Committee                 
  with individual  recommendations and  with the  accompanying                 
  fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                   
                                                                               
  HB  97  was  reported out  of  Committee  with  a "do  pass"                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  recommendation and with a zero fiscal note by the Department                 
  of Health and Social Services.                                               
  HOUSE BILL 2                                                                 
                                                                               
       "An Act requiring drug and alcohol tests for school bus                 
       drivers."                                                               
                                                                               
  JOHN  PETERSON, AID TO  REPRESENTATIVE GAIL  PHILLIPS, noted                 
  that  current Alaska law makes  no provision for the routine                 
  testing  of school  bus drivers  for drug  and alcohol  use.                 
  This bill  would  provide for  such  testing.   The  federal                 
  government is in  the process of preparing  regulations that                 
  will mandate  testing for  those who  are  required to  have                 
  commercial  drivers  licenses  for the  operation  of school                 
  buses.  HB 2 is needed at this time as the effective date of                 
  the  federal   regulations  is   uncertain.     The  federal                 
  regulations will not  apply to school buses with  fewer that                 
  fifteen  passengers, which  does  not  require a  commercial                 
  license for operation.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  requested  testimony  from  the                 
  Department   of  Law  regarding   the  legal  definition  of                 
  "improper" use of drugs and alcohol.  Representative Parnell                 
  questioned   the   constitutionality  of   mandating  random                 
  testing.    Mr.  Peterson   pointed  out  previous  concerns                 
  regarding privacy  was  addressed  in  the  House  Judiciary                 
  Committee Letter of Intent.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Foster asked how the legislation's cost would                 
  be handled for the small village areas.                                      
                                                                               
  GARY BADER,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF  ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                 
  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION,   responded  that  the   cost  is                 
  determined by  a statewide average.   Most  of the  services                 
  would  be  contracted out.   He  added  that the  testing is                 
  legitimate for the safety of students.                                       
  ROMAINE  CAREEN,  PEOPLE  SAFETY TRANSFORATION  COORDINATOR,                 
  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION,  noted  there  is  a  company  in                 
  Anchorage which performs  most of  the state's testing,  and                 
  added  that  drug   testing  is  required  by   the  federal                 
  government.    Representative   Parnell  questioned  if  the                 
  federal regulations mandated the proposed testing.                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Hoffman  recommended  that  the  legislation                 
  clarify the coverage of costs for this testing.                              
                                                                               
  BRUCE  GARRETT,  KODIAK  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  KODIAK,  ALASKA,                 
  stated that under federal law, the school district must be a                 
  "drug-free" work  place.   He voiced  his  concern with  who                 
  would have the burden of paying the costs  for testing.  Mr.                 
  Garrett noted that testing  would show any drugs  or alcohol                 
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  in the persons system taken within a 72-hour period.                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Hoffman  felt that  the  testing would  be a                 
  violation of the privacy act.  Discussion followed regarding                 
  an   employee   who   consumes   on   their   "off"   hours.                 
  Representative Parnell pointed out that the "drug free" zone                 
  was created by federal law.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED to report HB  2 out of Committee with                 
  individual  recommendations  and   the  new  Department   of                 
  Education fiscal  note.  Representative  Parnell OBJECTED in                 
  order to  make an  amendment.   He MOVED  deleting the  word                 
  "improper" from Page 1, Line 7 and Line 8.                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-56, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  recommended adding "illegal"  on Page                 
  1,  Line 8 and deleting the word "improper".  Representative                 
  Parnell WITHDREW his  motion to delete "improper"  and MOVED                 
  to delete the word "improper" on Line 7 and on Line 8 delete                 
  "improper"  and  replace  with "illegal".    There  being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman  offered a technical  amendment which                 
  would  explain  that the  Department  of Education  would be                 
  responsible for payments of all testing.  Mr.  Bader pointed                 
  out that it was the intent of the Department to pay  for the                 
  testing.  Representative  Hoffman asked for approval  of the                 
  conceptual  amendment  which  would  legally  clarify   that                 
  information.   Representative Martin  noted that  the fiscal                 
  note states that the money is allocated to the Department of                 
  Education    for    specifically    paying   for    testing.                 
  Representative  Hoffman  objected  and asked  that  detailed                 
  clarification  be  contained in  the  bill.   Representative                 
  Foster OBJECTED to moving the bill from Committee.                           
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Hanley,  Martin,   Parnell,  Therriault,                 
                      MacLean, Larson.                                         
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Hoffman, Navarre, Foster.                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown and Representative Grussendorf were not                 
  present for the vote.                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (6 - 3).                                                  
                                                                               
  CS  HB  2  (FIN) was  reported  out  of  Committee with  "no                 
  recommendation" and  with a House Judiciary Committee Letter                 
  of Intent and a fiscal note  by the Department of Education.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 172                                                               
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to the wildlife conservation  tag and                 
       to  entry onto  state  game  and wildlife  sanctuaries,                 
       state game  refuges, state  range areas,  and fish  and                 
       game  critical  habitat  areas;  and providing  for  an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  LAURA FLEMING, AID FOR  REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS, stated                 
  that HB 172 would create a wildlife conservation tag program                 
  aimed  at  encouraging  non-consumptive  users  of  Alaska's                 
  wildlife to help  pay for  wildlife programs and  facilities                 
  they use.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Wildlife viewing is a fast-growing form of recreation in the                 
  world, and a major factor in attracting visitors  to Alaska.                 
  Careful  management  and  development  of  viewing  areas is                 
  important to  protect the  wildlife while  enhancing visitor                 
  opportunities.    The bill  is  a  "user pays"  approach  to                 
  generating funds to  support this  growing area of  wildlife                 
  use.                                                                         
                                                                               
  The  primary  thrust  of  HB 172  is  a  voluntary  program.                 
  Participants would pay  a fairly  small price  for the  tag.                 
  The price of the tag is  left to the Department but will  be                 
  kept low since the goal is to sell large numbers of the tags                 
  to those who voluntarily purchase them.                                      
                                                                               
  Ms.   Fleming   explained   the  amendments   submitted   by                 
  Representative  Williams   which  will   make  three   small                 
  technical changes to CS HB 172 (RES) version.                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean presented her concerns with the legislation                 
  and  the limitations created in the  McNeil River area which                 
  she  felt  would  restrict  individual  freedom  to  explore                 
  certain parts of that area.                                                  
                                                                               
  GERON BRUCE, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME,                 
  noted the legislation  would not restrict people  from going                 
  into  areas to  pursue exempted  activities.  He  added that                 
  McNeil  is a  small area  sanctuary which  is exclusively  a                 
  brown bear viewing  area.  This area  can be used  by permit                 
  only and  is already existing in  law.  The function  of the                 
  permit system  is to  protect the intrinsic  quality of  the                 
  environment for the animals of those areas and for those who                 
  come to view the animals.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  voiced  her  concern with  the  potential                 
  expansion  of  areas  added to  the  conservation  tag entry                 
  system.   Mr.  Bruce  advised that  the  Department will  be                 
  working closely with  tourism, the visitor industry  and the                 
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  public.                                                                      
                                                                               
  KATE  TESAR,  ASSOCIATION  OF  INDEPENDENT  TOUR  OPERATORS,                 
  JUNEAU,  ALASKA,  noted  support of  the  legislation.   She                 
  stated that her group has been  assured by the Department of                 
  Fish and Game that the tourism  industry will be included in                 
  changes  in  the  current regulations.    There  will be  no                 
  arbitrary designation of tagged  areas without good  reason.                 
  She spoke of  the profit which  could be generated from  the                 
  pins.                                                                        
                                                                               
  IRENE  MORRIS,  ALASKA  ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY  (AEL),  JUNEAU,                 
  ALASKA, spoke in  support of HB  172.  She recommended  that                 
  non consumptive  users pay a portion of the management costs                 
  for specified areas.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Foster interjected his many concerns with the                 
  proposed legislation.   He felt HB 172 would  be detrimental                 
  to Western  and Arctic  Alaska.   Mr. Bruce  noted that  the                 
  Department would  be willing  to  substitute language  which                 
  would help clarify the legislation.  The  legislation is not                 
  directed  at  establishing additional  fees  for subsistence                 
  users, but rather allowing users  to contribute to programs.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  recommended limiting  the law  to the                 
  two  designated areas.  If additional areas should be added,                 
  then  the  Legislature  would  determine  if they  would  be                 
  advantageous.                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  advised  that the  legislation  should  be                 
  returned to  Subcommittee for further  considerations.   The                 
  bill was HELD in Committee.                                                  
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:45 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         MARCH 27, 1993                                        
                           10:00 A.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 70, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 70, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 71, Side 1, #000 - #123.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting of the House  Finance                 
  Committee to order at 10:00 A.M.                                             
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Brown                           
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Therriault                                                    
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Gail Phillips;  Representative Jim  Nordlund;                 
  Representative Tom  Brice; Ron Garzini,  Executive Director,                 
  Alaska Energy  Authority (AEA,  Department  of Commerce  and                 
  Economic Development; Glona Manni, Director, Accounting  and                 
  Administration,  Alaska  Energy  Authority,   Department  of                 
  Commerce  and  Economic Development;  Jan  Hansen, Director,                 
  Division  of Public  Assistance,  Department  of Health  and                 
  Social Services.                                                             
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 67     An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                 
            public assistance; and providing for an  effective                 
            date.                                                              
                                                                               
            CS HB 67 (FIN) was reported out of  Committee with                 
            "individual recommendations" and with fiscal notes                 
            by the Department  of Health and Social  Services,                 
            three  from AFDC  Division,  three  from  the  APA                 
            Division, and three from PFD Hold Harmless and the                 
            Medicaid Non-Facilities.                                           
                                                                               
  HB 126    An  Act relating  to  payment  of prevailing  wage                 
            rates on public construction projects.                             
                                                                               
            HB  126 was reported  out of Committee  with a "do                 
            pass"  recommendation  and  with  two zero  fiscal                 
            notes by  the  Department  of  Transportation  and                 
            Public Facilities dated 3/12/93 and the Department                 
            of Labor dated 3/12/93.                                            
                                                                               
  HB 216    An Act relating  to power  cost equalization;  and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
            HB  216   was  held   in  Committee   for  further                 
            discussion.                                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 126                                                               
                                                                               
       An Act  relating to payment of prevailing wage rates on                 
       public construction projects.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GAIL  PHILLIPS said current law provides that                 
  a construction contractor or subcontractor who performs work                 
  on public construction in the State  shall pay not less than                 
  the current prevailing  wage for work  of a similar  nature.                 
  However, an increase in the prevailing wage in the middle of                 
  a contract creates  a financial hardship on  the contractor;                 
  and  anticipation  of interim  increases  may also  serve to                 
  inflate  the  cost  of  construction  projects  because  the                 
  contractor or  subcontractor must  absorb the  costs of  any                 
  wage rate change.                                                            
                                                                               
  The prevailing rate of wages is determined by the Department                 
  of Labor based  on a periodic  survey of public and  private                 
  commercial heavy and  highway construction  projects in  the                 
  State.    If the  union rate  is  prevailed from  the survey                 
  results,  interim wage and  benefit increases  are currently                 
  prevailed.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Phillips stated that HB 126 was introduced to                 
  amend AS 36.05.010 so that the prevailing wage as determined                 
  by the Department of Labor will no  longer apply immediately                 
  to contracts in  progress.  The wage in effect  at least ten                 
  days before final bid  submission will remain in effect  for                 
  24 months from the date the contract is awarded.  Wages will                 
  remain the same for the life  of most construction projects.                 
  In the case of contracts that are longer than 24 months, the                 
  bill provides  for stable  wages for a  subsequent 24  month                 
  period, and so forth for the life of the contract.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell  MOVED  to report  SS HB  126 out  of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying  two  zero  fiscal  notes.     There  being  NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  SS HB  126 was reported  out of Committee  with a  "do pass"                 
  recommendation and with zero fiscal  notes by the Department                 
  of  Transportation and Public  Facilities dated  3/12/93 and                 
  the Department of Labor dated 3/12/93                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 67                                                                
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  eligibility for  and payments  of                 
       public  assistance;  and  providing  for  an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  JAN  HANSEN,  DIRECTOR,  PUBLIC  ASSISTANCE,  DEPARTMENT  OF                 
  HEALTH  AND  SOCIAL SERVICES,  explained  that HB  67 (HESS)                 
  would   amend  the  Governor's  welfare  reduction  bill  by                 
  permanently repealing the  authority to automatically  award                 
  cost-of-living allowances  (COLA's) in  benefits paid  under                 
  the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Adult                 
  Public  Assistance  (APA)  programs.   The  Governor's  bill                 
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  proposed a one-year  suspension of the COLA's and would have                 
  denied the  three percent COLA's  expected to be  awarded in                 
  January 1994 while  retaining the authority to  award COLA's                 
  in future years.                                                             
                                                                               
  She  added,  the  Governor's  bill has  the  dual  goals  of                 
  producing immediate savings in program costs and curbing the                 
  rate of increase in the welfare caseload.  Suspending rather                 
  than  repealing  the  COLA's was  a  strategy  calculated to                 
  achieve  the  necessary  savings   in  program  costs  while                 
  maintaining  the  protection  against  rising  living  costs                 
  afforded by the statutory  COLA provision.  CS HB  67 (HESS)                 
  removes the protection.   The benefit reductions  imposed by                 
  the  Governor's  bill are  substantial.   The  Department of                 
  Health and Social  Services does not support  the assistance                 
  reductions which would  result from the permanent  repeal of                 
  the AFDC and APA COLA's.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman noted that the cost-of-living and the                 
  earning power in Alaska is higher than all the other states.                 
  His comments preceded a discussion  regarding the high ratio                 
  of payments distributed to Alaskans on public assistance and                 
  welfare.  Ms. Hansen stated that the poverty level in Alaska                 
  is twenty-five percent higher than the federally established                 
  poverty level guideline.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED Amendments #1 - #4 [Attachment #1                 
  - #4].  She proceeded to withdraw  Amendment #3 and #4.  She                 
  added  Amendments  #1  and  #2  would restore  the  proposed                 
  legislation to the Governor's recommended level  of funding.                 
  The Amendment [Attachment #2] would not change the reduction                 
  level and  would continue to  have the three  year roll-back                 
  for the Adult Public Assistance and a two year roll-back for                 
  AFDC.  Co-Chair Larson asked how  many states currently have                 
  a COLA.   Ms. Hansen  stated that Alaska was  the only state                 
  with an automatic COLA.   Representative Parnell OBJECTED to                 
  Amendment #1.                                                                
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Foster,  Grussendorf,   Hoffman,  Brown,                 
                      MacLean, Navarre.                                        
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault,  Hanley,   Martin,  Parnell,                 
  Larson.                                                                      
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, ( 6 - 5).                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  MOVED Amendment  #2  [Attachment #3].                 
  She explained  that the amendment  would make a  less severe                 
  reduction   to   the   level  of   the   FY   92  roll-back.                 
  Representative  Hoffman   indicated  his   support  of   the                 
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  amendment explaining  that energy,  food and  rent costs  in                 
  Alaska are more expensive.  Representative Martin OBJECTED.                  
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,   Grussendorf,  Hoffman,                 
  MacLean,                 Navarre.                                            
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault,  Hanley,   Martin,  Parnell,                 
                      Larson.                                                  
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (6 - 5).                                                  
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-70, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre MOVED to report CS HB 67 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee   with   individual   recommendations    and   the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  Representative Hoffman OBJECTED.                 
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Foster,  Grussendorf,  Hanley,   Martin,                 
                      Navarre, Parnell, Therriault, MacLean.                   
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Larson, Brown, Hoffman.                                  
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8 - 3).                                                   
                                                                               
  CS  HB  67   (FIN)  was  reported  out   of  Committee  with                 
  "individual  recommendations" and with  fiscal notes  by the                 
  Department of Health  and Social  Services, three from  AFDC                 
  Division, three from the APA Division, PFD Hold Harmless and                 
  the Medicaid Non-Facilities.                                                 
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 216                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to  power  cost  equalization;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson noted that HB 216 was sponsored by the House                 
  Finance Committee.  The legislation  would affect Power Cost                 
  Equalization, a formula program reducing  the consumers cost                 
  of electricity generated  and sold by eligible  utilities in                 
  rural Alaska.                                                                
                                                                               
  RAY GARZINI,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA ENERGY  AUTHORITY,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, stated that                 
  the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)  does support the approach                 
  taken in HB  216.   He referenced SB  124 and explained  the                 
  differences  between  the two  pieces  of legislation.   Mr.                 
  Garzini advised that the cost savings  due to the removal of                 
  state and federal  facilities from the  program would be  $1                 
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  million   dollars.      The  schools   continued   cost  for                 
  participation in the  program would  be about $570  thousand                 
  dollars.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Based on the FY  91 PCE program statistics report  issued in                 
  December,   1992,  the   average   monthly  consumption   of                 
  residential and commercial customers eligible for PCE is 374                 
  kwh  per month.  Community facilities  are excluded from the                 
  computation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean felt  that APUC should decide  the kilowatt                 
  hour average, not AEA.  She stated her concern with the cost                 
  of  the fiscal  note.  She  pointed out  historically fiscal                 
  concerns have  been funded at  eighty percent.   Mr. Garzini                 
  stated  that the  legislation could  accommodate  the budget                 
  level.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Discussion followed  regarding the funding  request level in                 
  the  proposed  legislation.   Mr.  Garzini stated  last year                 
  because of the funding cut, AEA and PCE had a difficult time                 
  determining the cost allocations.   A program did not  exist                 
  from  which  to  allocate  the  reductions.    Consequently,                 
  attention  was  focused  on  the  residential customers  and                 
  reductions to the benefit of the commercial customers users.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  understood  that  PCE's  function  was  to                 
  balance the electrical  cost to consumers between  the urban                 
  and the rural consumption.  His  concern was the system used                 
  in determining the 750 kilowatt  hour average usage cost  in                 
  Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.  Mr. Garzini responded, the                 
  average monthly residential consumption residential kilowatt                 
  use was 367  kwh/hrs.  Co-Chair  Larson thought that it  was                 
  placed  artificially  high to  encourage  consumption.   Mr.                 
  Garzini noted  the 750 kwh/hrs  per month originated  in the                 
  urban areas.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell questioned if cost savings could come                 
  from  accepting  federal  facilities to  the  program.   Mr.                 
  Garzini  replied they  currently include  federal and  state                 
  facilities and schools, amounting to $1 million dollars.                     
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean offered  a "friendly amendment" to  Page 2,                 
  Line 9, deleting the  language "rate of change in  fuel cost                 
  and power demand"  and inserting  "average cost of  kilowatt                 
  hour  in Anchorage, Juneau and  Fairbanks".  She pointed out                 
  that   APUC  should   be   the   authority  addressing   the                 
  legislation.  Mr. Garzini agreed  that APUC should have  the                 
  final say on such matters, since APUC is a reviewing agency.                 
  He recommended  that AEA  prepare the  rates  and then  APUC                 
  review it.                                                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted  for the record that  her husband                 
  is one of the APUC Commissioners.  She pointed out that APUC                 
  reviews regulated utilities which have a monopoly, to assure                 
  that  the  monopolies  are  not  over  charging  people  for                 
  services  and  costs.   Mr.  Garzini  elaborated,  there are                 
  currently   one  hundred  thirty  utilities  which  are  not                 
  regulated.    He   reiterated  that   the  operational   and                 
  administrative procedures of the  program should be  handled                 
  by AEA.                                                                      
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-71, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown asked  the average  cost per  kilowatt                 
  hour  for  residential   and  commercial  uses   in  Juneau,                 
  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks.     She  pointed  out   that  the                 
  comparisons   are   currently   based    on   non-compatible                 
  information.                                                                 
                                                                               
  HB 216 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         March 24, 1993                                        
                            8:30 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 56, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 56, Side 2, #000 - #481.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting  of the House Finance                 
  Committee to order at 8:30 A.M.                                              
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Therriault                      
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown was not present for the meeting.                        
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Deborah   Wing,   Director,  Family   and   Youth  Services,                 
  Department of Health and Social Services; John Peterson, Aid                 
  to  Representative  Gail  Phillips;  Gary  Bader,  Director,                 
  Administrative  Services,  Department  of  Education;  Bruce                 
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Garrett,   Kodiak,   Alaska;    Laura   Fleming,   Aid    to                 
  Representative  Bill Williams;  Kate  Tesar, Association  of                 
  Independent  Tour Operators,  Juneau, Alaska;  Irene Morris,                 
  Alaska Environmental Lobby, Juneau,  Alaska; Romaine Careen,                 
  People Safety  Coordinator, Department  of Education;  Geron                 
  Bruce, Special Assistant, Department of Fish and Game.                       
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 2      An Act requiring drug and alcohol tests for school                 
            bus drivers.                                                       
                                                                               
            CS HB  2 (FIN) was reported out  of Committee with                 
            "no recommendation" with a Letter of Intent by the                 
            House Judiciary  Committee and  with a new  fiscal                 
            note by the Department of Education.                               
                                                                               
  HB 97     An  Act  clarifying  the responsibilities  of  the                 
            Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  and                 
            parents  for  children who  are  committed to  the                 
            custody of the  department and  are placed by  the                 
            department with  the parents; and providing for an                 
            effective date.                                                    
                                                                               
            HB 97 was  reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
            pass" recommendation  and with a zero  fiscal note                 
            by the Department of Health and Social Services.                   
                                                                               
  HB 172    An Act relating to  the wildlife conservation  tag                 
            and   to  entry  onto   state  game  and  wildlife                 
            sanctuaries,  state  game  refuges,   state  range                 
            areas, and  fish and game  critical habitat areas;                 
            and providing for an effective date.                               
                                                                               
            HB  172  was   held  in   Committee  for   further                 
            discussion.                                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 97                                                                
                                                                               
       "An  Act   clarifying  the   responsibilities  of   the                 
       Department  of Health  and Social Services  and parents                 
       for children  who are committed  to the custody  of the                 
       department and are  placed by  the department with  the                 
       parents; and providing for an effective date."                          
                                                                               
  DEBORAH   WING,   DIRECTOR,  FAMILY   AND   YOUTH  SERVICES,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH  AND SOCIAL  SERVICES, stated that  the                 
  Department of Health  and Social Services  strongly supports                 
  HB  97,  which   clarifies  the   responsibilities  of   the                 
  Department for children  committed to its legal  custody and                 
  who continue to reside with the parent or parents.  The bill                 
  amends  AS  47.10.084  to require  a  parent  or parents  to                 
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  provide for the day  to day care of their children  if these                 
  children are  residing with  them when  the State  has legal                 
  custody as a result of child protection services.                            
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  inquired  if  medical  care   would                 
  include the cost of counseling.  Ms. Winger stated it would.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative Martin discussed medical care costs of foster                 
  children.  Ms. Wing noted that children in foster care would                 
  continue to remain a responsibility of the State.                            
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell inquired if parents would be asked to                 
  pay for  counseling services of  abused children.   Ms. Wing                 
  noted, that  if the child  is qualified under  Medicaid, the                 
  parents are able to utilize that resource.                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report HB 97 out of Committee                 
  with individual  recommendations and  with the  accompanying                 
  fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                   
                                                                               
  HB  97  was  reported out  of  Committee  with  a "do  pass"                 
  recommendation and with a zero fiscal note by the Department                 
  of Health and Social Services.                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 2                                                                 
                                                                               
       "An Act requiring drug and alcohol tests for school bus                 
       drivers."                                                               
                                                                               
  JOHN PETERSON,  AID TO  REPRESENTATIVE GAIL  PHILLIPS, noted                 
  that current Alaska law  makes no provision for the  routine                 
  testing  of school  bus drivers  for drug  and alcohol  use.                 
  This  bill  would provide  for  such testing.    The federal                 
  government is in  the process of preparing  regulations that                 
  will  mandate testing  for those  who  are required  to have                 
  commercial drivers  licenses  for the  operation  of  school                 
  buses.  HB 2 is needed at this time as the effective date of                 
  the  federal   regulations  is  uncertain.     The   federal                 
  regulations will  not apply to school buses  with fewer that                 
  fifteen  passengers,  which does  not  require a  commercial                 
  license for operation.                                                       
                                                                               
  Representative  Grussendorf  requested  testimony  from  the                 
  Department  of   Law  regarding  the  legal   definition  of                 
  "improper" use of drugs and alcohol.  Representative Parnell                 
  questioned   the   constitutionality  of   mandating  random                 
  testing.     Mr.  Peterson  pointed  out  previous  concerns                 
  regarding  privacy  was  addressed  in the  House  Judiciary                 
  Committee Letter of Intent.                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Foster asked how the legislation's cost would                 
                                                                               
                               14                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  be handled for the small village areas.                                      
                                                                               
  GARY BADER,  DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF  ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES,                 
  DEPARTMENT  OF   EDUCATION,  responded  that   the  cost  is                 
  determined  by a  statewide average.   Most of  the services                 
  would  be  contracted out.   He  added  that the  testing is                 
  legitimate for the safety of students.                                       
  ROMAINE  CAREEN,  PEOPLE  SAFETY TRANSFORATION  COORDINATOR,                 
  DEPARTMENT  OF  EDUCATION,  noted  there  is  a  company  in                 
  Anchorage which performs  most of  the state's testing,  and                 
  added  that  drug   testing  is  required  by   the  federal                 
  government.    Representative   Parnell  questioned  if  the                 
  federal regulations mandated the proposed testing.                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Hoffman  recommended  that  the  legislation                 
  clarify the coverage of costs for this testing.                              
                                                                               
  BRUCE  GARRETT,  KODIAK  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  KODIAK,  ALASKA,                 
  stated that under federal law, the school district must be a                 
  "drug-free"  work place.   He  voiced his  concern with  who                 
  would have the  burden of paying the costs for testing.  Mr.                 
  Garrett noted  that testing would show any  drugs or alcohol                 
  in the persons system taken within a 72-hour period.                         
                                                                               
  Representative  Hoffman  felt that  the  testing would  be a                 
  violation of the privacy act.  Discussion followed regarding                 
  an   employee   who   consumes   on   their   "off"   hours.                 
  Representative Parnell pointed out that the "drug free" zone                 
  was created by federal law.                                                  
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean MOVED to report HB  2 out of Committee with                 
  individual  recommendations   and  the  new   Department  of                 
  Education fiscal  note.  Representative Parnell  OBJECTED in                 
  order to  make an  amendment.   He MOVED  deleting the  word                 
  "improper" from Page 1, Line 7 and Line 8.                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-56, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley  recommended adding "illegal"  on Page                 
  1, Line 8 and deleting the word "improper".   Representative                 
  Parnell WITHDREW his  motion to delete "improper"  and MOVED                 
  to delete the word "improper" on Line 7 and on Line 8 delete                 
  "improper"  and  replace  with "illegal".    There  being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman offered  a technical amendment  which                 
  would  explain  that the  Department  of Education  would be                 
  responsible for payments of all testing.   Mr. Bader pointed                 
  out that it was the intent of  the Department to pay for the                 
  testing.  Representative  Hoffman asked for approval  of the                 
  conceptual  amendment  which   would  legally  clarify  that                 
  information.   Representative Martin  noted that  the fiscal                 
                                                                               
                               15                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  note states that the money is allocated to the Department of                 
  Education    for    specifically    paying   for    testing.                 
  Representative  Hoffman  objected  and asked  that  detailed                 
  clarification  be contained  in  the bill.    Representative                 
  Foster OBJECTED to moving the bill from Committee.                           
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Hanley,  Martin,   Parnell,  Therriault,                 
                      MacLean, Larson.                                         
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Hoffman, Navarre, Foster.                                
                                                                               
  Representative Brown and Representative Grussendorf were not                 
  present for the vote.                                                        
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (6 - 3).                                                  
                                                                               
  CS  HB  2  (FIN) was  reported  out  of  Committee with  "no                 
  recommendation"  and with a House Judiciary Committee Letter                 
  of Intent and a fiscal note  by the Department of Education.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 172                                                               
                                                                               
       "An Act relating  to the wildlife conservation  tag and                 
       to  entry  onto state  game  and wildlife  sanctuaries,                 
       state game  refuges, state  range areas,  and fish  and                 
       game  critical habitat  areas;  and  providing  for  an                 
       effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  LAURA FLEMING, AID FOR REPRESENTATIVE BILL WILLIAMS,  stated                 
  that HB 172 would create a wildlife conservation tag program                 
  aimed  at  encouraging  non-consumptive  users  of  Alaska's                 
  wildlife to help  pay for  wildlife programs and  facilities                 
  they use.                                                                    
                                                                               
  Wildlife viewing is a fast-growing form of recreation in the                 
  world, and a major factor in attracting  visitors to Alaska.                 
  Careful  management  and  development of  viewing  areas  is                 
  important  to protect  the wildlife while  enhancing visitor                 
  opportunities.    The bill  is  a  "user pays"  approach  to                 
  generating funds to  support this  growing area of  wildlife                 
  use.                                                                         
                                                                               
  The  primary  thrust of  HB  172  is  a  voluntary  program.                 
  Participants would  pay a  fairly small  price for  the tag.                 
  The price  of the tag is left to  the Department but will be                 
  kept low since the goal is to sell large numbers of the tags                 
  to those who voluntarily purchase them.                                      
                                                                               
  Ms.   Fleming   explained   the   amendments  submitted   by                 
                                                                               
                               16                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Williams   which  will   make  three   small                 
  technical changes to CS HB 172 (RES) version.                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean presented her concerns with the legislation                 
  and the limitations created  in the McNeil River area  which                 
  she  felt  would  restrict  individual  freedom  to  explore                 
  certain parts of that area.                                                  
                                                                               
  GERON BRUCE, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME,                 
  noted the legislation  would not restrict people  from going                 
  into areas  to pursue  exempted activities.   He  added that                 
  McNeil is  a  small area  sanctuary which  is exclusively  a                 
  brown bear  viewing area.   This area can be  used by permit                 
  only and is already  existing in law.   The function of  the                 
  permit system  is to  protect the  intrinsic quality  of the                 
  environment for the animals of those areas and for those who                 
  come to view the animals.                                                    
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  voiced  her concern  with  the  potential                 
  expansion  of  areas  added to  the  conservation  tag entry                 
  system.   Mr.  Bruce advised  that  the Department  will  be                 
  working closely with  tourism, the visitor industry  and the                 
  public.                                                                      
                                                                               
  KATE  TESAR,  ASSOCIATION  OF  INDEPENDENT  TOUR  OPERATORS,                 
  JUNEAU,  ALASKA,  noted  support of  the  legislation.   She                 
  stated that her group has been  assured by the Department of                 
  Fish and Game that the tourism  industry will be included in                 
  changes  in  the current  regulations.    There will  be  no                 
  arbitrary  designation of tagged  areas without good reason.                 
  She spoke of  the profit which  could be generated from  the                 
  pins.                                                                        
                                                                               
  IRENE  MORRIS,  ALASKA  ENVIRONMENTAL  LOBBY (AEL),  JUNEAU,                 
  ALASKA, spoke in  support of HB  172.  She recommended  that                 
  non  consumptive users pay a portion of the management costs                 
  for specified areas.                                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Foster interjected his many concerns with the                 
  proposed legislation.   He felt HB 172  would be detrimental                 
  to Western  and Arctic  Alaska.   Mr. Bruce  noted that  the                 
  Department  would  be willing  to substitute  language which                 
  would help clarify the legislation.   The legislation is not                 
  directed  at establishing  additional  fees for  subsistence                 
  users, but rather allowing users  to contribute to programs.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Representative  Hanley recommended  limiting the law  to the                 
  two designated areas.  If additional areas should be  added,                 
  then  the  Legislature  would  determine  if they  would  be                 
  advantageous.                                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               17                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson advised  that  the  legislation  should  be                 
  returned  to Subcommittee for  further considerations.   The                 
  bill was HELD in Committee.                                                  
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:45 a.m.                                           
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                         MARCH 27, 1993                                        
                           10:00 A.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 70, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 70, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 71, Side 1, #000 - #123.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson  called the meeting of the House Finance                 
  Committee to order at 10:00 A.M.                                             
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Brown                           
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Therriault                                                    
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Gail Phillips;  Representative Jim  Nordlund;                 
  Representative Tom Brice;  Ron Garzini, Executive  Director,                 
  Alaska  Energy  Authority (AEA,  Department of  Commerce and                 
  Economic Development; Glona  Manni, Director, Accounting and                 
  Administration,  Alaska  Energy  Authority,   Department  of                 
  Commerce  and Economic  Development;  Jan Hansen,  Director,                 
  Division  of Public  Assistance,  Department of  Health  and                 
  Social Services.                                                             
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 67     An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                 
            public assistance; and  providing for an effective                 
            date.                                                              
                                                                               
            CS HB 67 (FIN) was reported out  of Committee with                 
            "individual recommendations" and with fiscal notes                 
            by the Department of  Health and Social  Services,                 
            three  from  AFDC  Division,  three  from the  APA                 
            Division, and three from PFD Hold Harmless and the                 
                                                                               
                               18                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            Medicaid Non-Facilities.                                           
                                                                               
  HB 126    An  Act relating  to  payment  of prevailing  wage                 
            rates on public construction projects.                             
                                                                               
            HB 126  was reported out  of Committee with  a "do                 
            pass"  recommendation  and  with  two zero  fiscal                 
            notes by  the  Department  of  Transportation  and                 
            Public Facilities dated 3/12/93 and the Department                 
            of Labor dated 3/12/93.                                            
                                                                               
  HB 216    An Act  relating to  power cost  equalization; and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
            HB  216   was  held   in  Committee  for   further                 
            discussion.                                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 126                                                               
                                                                               
       An Act relating to payment  of prevailing wage rates on                 
       public construction projects.                                           
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE GAIL PHILLIPS said current law  provides that                 
  a construction contractor or subcontractor who performs work                 
  on public construction in the State  shall pay not less than                 
  the current  prevailing wage for  work of a  similar nature.                 
  However, an increase in the prevailing wage in the middle of                 
  a contract creates  a financial hardship on  the contractor;                 
  and  anticipation  of interim  increases  may also  serve to                 
  inflate  the  cost  of  construction  projects  because  the                 
  contractor or  subcontractor must  absorb the  costs of  any                 
  wage rate change.                                                            
                                                                               
  The prevailing rate of wages is determined by the Department                 
  of Labor based  on a periodic  survey of public and  private                 
  commercial heavy  and highway  construction projects in  the                 
  State.    If the  union rate  is  prevailed from  the survey                 
  results, interim  wage and  benefit increases  are currently                 
  prevailed.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Phillips stated that HB 126 was introduced to                 
  amend AS 36.05.010 so that the prevailing wage as determined                 
  by the Department of Labor will  no longer apply immediately                 
  to contracts in  progress.  The wage in effect  at least ten                 
  days before final  bid submission will remain in  effect for                 
  24 months from the date the contract is awarded.  Wages will                 
  remain the same for the  life of most construction projects.                 
  In the case of contracts that are longer than 24 months, the                 
  bill  provides for  stable wages for  a subsequent  24 month                 
  period, and so forth for the life of the contract.                           
                                                                               
  Representative  Parnell  MOVED to  report SS  HB 126  out of                 
                                                                               
                               19                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying  two  zero  fiscal  notes.     There  being  NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  SS HB 126  was reported  out of Committee  with a "do  pass"                 
  recommendation and with zero fiscal  notes by the Department                 
  of Transportation and  Public Facilities  dated 3/12/93  and                 
  the Department of Labor dated 3/12/93                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 67                                                                
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  eligibility for  and payments  of                 
       public  assistance;  and  providing  for  an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  JAN  HANSEN,  DIRECTOR,  PUBLIC  ASSISTANCE,  DEPARTMENT  OF                 
  HEALTH  AND  SOCIAL SERVICES,  explained  that HB  67 (HESS)                 
  would  amend  the  Governor's  welfare  reduction  bill   by                 
  permanently repealing the  authority to automatically  award                 
  cost-of-living allowances  (COLA's) in  benefits paid  under                 
  the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Adult                 
  Public  Assistance (APA)  programs.    The  Governor's  bill                 
  proposed a  one-year suspension of the COLA's and would have                 
  denied the  three percent COLA's  expected to be  awarded in                 
  January 1994 while  retaining the authority to  award COLA's                 
  in future years.                                                             
                                                                               
  She  added,  the Governor's  bill  has  the  dual  goals  of                 
  producing immediate savings in program costs and curbing the                 
  rate of increase in the welfare caseload.  Suspending rather                 
  than  repealing  the  COLA's was  a  strategy  calculated to                 
  achieve  the  necessary  savings  in  program  costs   while                 
  maintaining  the  protection  against  rising  living  costs                 
  afforded by the statutory  COLA provision.  CS HB  67 (HESS)                 
  removes the protection.   The benefit reductions  imposed by                 
  the  Governor's  bill are  substantial.   The  Department of                 
  Health and Social  Services does not support  the assistance                 
  reductions which would  result from the permanent  repeal of                 
  the AFDC and APA COLA's.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman noted that the cost-of-living and the                 
  earning power in Alaska is higher than all the other states.                 
  His comments preceded a discussion  regarding the high ratio                 
  of payments distributed to Alaskans on public assistance and                 
  welfare.  Ms. Hansen stated that the poverty level in Alaska                 
  is twenty-five percent higher than the federally established                 
  poverty level guideline.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED Amendments #1 - #4 [Attachment #1                 
  - #4].   She proceeded to withdraw Amendment #3 and #4.  She                 
  added  Amendments  #1  and  #2  would restore  the  proposed                 
  legislation to the Governor's  recommended level of funding.                 
                                                                               
                               20                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  The Amendment [Attachment #2] would not change the reduction                 
  level and  would continue to  have the three  year roll-back                 
  for the Adult Public Assistance and a two year roll-back for                 
  AFDC.  Co-Chair Larson asked how many states currently  have                 
  a COLA.  Ms.  Hansen stated that Alaska  was the only  state                 
  with an automatic COLA.   Representative Parnell OBJECTED to                 
  Amendment #1.                                                                
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Foster,  Grussendorf,   Hoffman,  Brown,                 
                      MacLean, Navarre.                                        
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault,  Hanley,   Martin,  Parnell,                 
  Larson.                                                                      
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, ( 6 - 5).                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Brown  MOVED Amendment  #2  [Attachment #3].                 
  She explained  that the amendment  would make a  less severe                 
  reduction   to   the   level  of   the   FY   92  roll-back.                 
  Representative  Hoffman   indicated  his   support  of   the                 
  amendment explaining  that energy,  food and  rent costs  in                 
  Alaska are more expensive.  Representative Martin OBJECTED.                  
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,  Grussendorf,   Hoffman,                 
  MacLean,                 Navarre.                                            
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault,  Hanley,  Martin,   Parnell,                 
                      Larson.                                                  
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (6 - 5).                                                  
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-70, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre MOVED to report CS HB 67 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee   with   individual   recommendations    and   the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  Representative Hoffman OBJECTED.                 
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Foster,  Grussendorf,   Hanley,  Martin,                 
                      Navarre, Parnell, Therriault, MacLean.                   
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Larson, Brown, Hoffman.                                  
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (8 - 3).                                                   
                                                                               
  CS  HB  67   (FIN)  was  reported  out   of  Committee  with                 
  "individual recommendations"  and with  fiscal notes  by the                 
                                                                               
                               21                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Department of Health  and Social  Services, three from  AFDC                 
  Division, three from the APA Division, PFD Hold Harmless and                 
  the Medicaid Non-Facilities.                                                 
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 216                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to  power  cost  equalization;  and                 
       providing for an effective date."                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson noted that HB 216 was sponsored by the House                 
  Finance Committee.  The legislation  would affect Power Cost                 
  Equalization, a formula program  reducing the consumers cost                 
  of electricity generated  and sold by eligible  utilities in                 
  rural Alaska.                                                                
                                                                               
  RAY GARZINI,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ALASKA ENERGY  AUTHORITY,                 
  DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, stated that                 
  the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)  does support the approach                 
  taken in HB  216.  He  referenced SB 124  and explained  the                 
  differences  between  the two  pieces  of legislation.   Mr.                 
  Garzini advised that the cost savings  due to the removal of                 
  state and federal  facilities from the  program would be  $1                 
  million  dollars.      The  schools   continued   cost   for                 
  participation in the  program would  be about $570  thousand                 
  dollars.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Based on the FY  91 PCE program statistics report  issued in                 
  December,   1992,   the  average   monthly   consumption  of                 
  residential and commercial customers eligible for PCE is 374                 
  kwh per month.  Community  facilities are excluded from  the                 
  computation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean felt  that APUC should decide  the kilowatt                 
  hour average, not AEA.  She stated her concern with the cost                 
  of the  fiscal note.   She pointed  out historically  fiscal                 
  concerns  have been funded  at eighty percent.   Mr. Garzini                 
  stated that  the  legislation could  accommodate the  budget                 
  level.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Discussion followed  regarding the funding request  level in                 
  the  proposed  legislation.   Mr.  Garzini stated  last year                 
  because of the funding cut, AEA and PCE had a difficult time                 
  determining the cost allocations.   A program did  not exist                 
  from  which  to  allocate  the  reductions.    Consequently,                 
  attention  was  focused  on the  residential  customers  and                 
  reductions to the benefit of the commercial customers users.                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  understood  that  PCE's  function  was  to                 
  balance the electrical  cost to consumers between  the urban                 
  and the rural consumption.  His  concern was the system used                 
  in determining the 750  kilowatt hour average usage  cost in                 
                                                                               
                               22                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.  Mr. Garzini responded, the                 
  average monthly residential consumption residential kilowatt                 
  use was 367  kwh/hrs.  Co-Chair  Larson thought that it  was                 
  placed  artificially high  to  encourage consumption.    Mr.                 
  Garzini noted  the 750 kwh/hrs  per month originated  in the                 
  urban areas.                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative Parnell questioned if cost savings could come                 
  from  accepting  federal  facilities to  the  program.   Mr.                 
  Garzini  replied they  currently include  federal and  state                 
  facilities and schools, amounting to $1 million dollars.                     
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean offered  a "friendly amendment" to  Page 2,                 
  Line 9, deleting the  language "rate of change in  fuel cost                 
  and power demand"  and inserting  "average cost of  kilowatt                 
  hour in Anchorage, Juneau  and Fairbanks".  She  pointed out                 
  that   APUC  should   be   the   authority  addressing   the                 
  legislation.  Mr.  Garzini agreed that APUC should  have the                 
  final say on such matters, since APUC is a reviewing agency.                 
  He  recommended that  AEA prepare  the rates  and then  APUC                 
  review it.                                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown noted  for the record that  her husband                 
  is one of the APUC Commissioners.  She pointed out that APUC                 
  reviews regulated utilities which have a monopoly, to assure                 
  that  the  monopolies  are  not  over  charging  people  for                 
  services  and  costs.   Mr.  Garzini  elaborated,  there are                 
  currently  one  hundred  thirty  utilities   which  are  not                 
  regulated.     He  reiterated   that  the  operational   and                 
  administrative  procedures of the  program should be handled                 
  by AEA.                                                                      
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-71, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  asked the  average  cost per  kilowatt                 
  hour  for  residential   and  commercial  uses  in   Juneau,                 
  Anchorage  and  Fairbanks.     She  pointed  out   that  the                 
  comparisons   are   currently   based    on   non-compatible                 
  information.                                                                 
                                                                               
  HB 216 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                         
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 11:55 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
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