Legislature(2005 - 2006)
03/30/2005 03:16 PM FIN
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HOUSE BILL NO. 66 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and capital expenses of the state's integrated comprehensive mental health program; and providing for an effective date." HOUSE BILL NO. 67 "An Act making appropriations for the operating and loan program expenses of state government, for certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing for an effective date." DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION Representative Holms MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DOA-4, Technology Services. This would allow a fund source switch of $500, from general funds to the Information Services Fund. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Holms MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DOA-5, which would eliminate an increment of $45 thousand for an additional Administrative Clerk II in the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Representative Croft OBJECTED. He noted that the increment was approved at the subcommittee level. Representative Holms explained that the intent is to limit addition of personnel. The funding level would remain flat. ERIC SWANSON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION explained that the amendment would fund the Commission at the Governor's requested level. He felt that the funding level would be sufficient to carry out their mission. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DOA-6, which would allocate $200 to the Department of Administration, Centralized Administration Services, Finance. He noted that the amendment reflects the Governor's initial request of $1.8 million. Representative Meyer OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. Representative Croft observed that the amendment would return the component to the Governor's original request. Representative Holms did not object to the amendment. He explained that the intent of the reduction was to shift funds to other areas. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment COM-4. Department: Commerce, Community, & Economic Dev. Appropriation: Executive Administration Allocation: Commissioners Office Fund Source: 1004 General Fund Amount: $49,000 Explanation: This decrement deletes $49,000 of unrequested travel funds. Representative Chenault OBJECTED. Representative Croft noted that the amendment would delete additional travel funds. SUE STANCLIFF, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE KELLY, explained that the Subcommittee shifted funds. The Commissioner moved funds between RBU's, only $31 thousand was reflected [in the travel component]. The Subcommittee decided to reflect the actual cost of travel and reduced the travel budget by $30 thousand. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 3:28:04 PM Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT Amendment COM-5. Add: Department: Commerce, Community and Economic Dev. Appropriation: State Revenue Sharing & Safe Communities Allocation: State Revenue Sharing Fund source: 1004 General Funds Amount: $15,000,000 Allocation: Safe Communities Fund source: 1004 General Funds Amount: $35,000,000 Total amt. of amendment: $50,000,000 Description: Local governments have been hampered in providing local services since the elimination of State Revenue sharing and safe communities funding in FY04. Many communities are having problems meeting the most basic of obligations such as insurance coverage for community owned facilities. Many basic services are also in jeopardy. Small communities are having difficulties maintaining the road between the airport and the village which not only hampers deliveries of supplies, but puts residents at risk in case there is need to do an emergency evacuation due to medical reasons. Local government operations are jeopardized in communities without sufficient funding to provide a salary for the skeletal administrative staff necessary to address the delivery of local government services. Government is most meaningful when decision-making is closest to the people affected. The state does not have the resources to provide direct services to residents everywhere. It is important to assist local residents with the financial resources necessary to provide services for themselves. Representative Chenault OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. Representative Joule stressed that the state's resources were once shared with communities. He noted the high cost of insurance, and taxes. Municipal Assistance, revenue sharing and the Safe Community Program, which assisted communities with these issues, have been reduced. He expressed concern that municipalities would begin to shut down without assistance. 3:31:43 PM Representative Hawker noted that he supports state support to communities, but expressed concern with the straight general fund support. Representative Hawker MOVED to AMEND Amendment COM-5: Change the funding source to 1041, Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account, for Safe Communities and reduce the amount of the amendment to $35 million. Representative Stoltze OBJECTED. Representative Hawker spoke in support of the amendment to the amendment. He stressed that the amendment would help communities with the PERS issue. The Safe Communities Program contains restrictions regarding the use of funds and provides a priority for their use. He maintained that the amendment would stand within the priorities. The legislature recognized with AS 29.63.50 that communities might need help. He stressed that Subsection (d) of states that: section may not be construed to require a municipality to fund all requests it receives for services in a category with a higher ranking of priority before funding services in a category with a lower ranking of priority. He concluded that the amendment would support communities of the state and give them flexibility in addressing these issues. 3:37:28 PM Representative Joule MOVED to DIVIDE the question into three parts: 1. Fund revenue sharing 2. Identify the funding source 3. Identify the funding level Representative Meyer OBJECTED to dividing the question. He maintained that the issue of revenue sharing must be tied to the fund source. Representative Chenault observed that a vote on the amendment to the amendment would be a vote on the fund source. Representative Croft argued in support of dividing the question. 3:40:22 PM Representative Stoltze pointed out that if the amendment to the amendment fails, the original question would remain. Representative Joule explained that his intent is to support revenue sharing, but at a higher level: $50 million. Representative Meyer WITHDREW his objection to dividing the question. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Joule WITHDREW his Motion to Divide the Question. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT an amendment to Representative Hawker's amendment to COM-5: delete "$35" and insert "$50" million. He spoke in support of the amendment. He pointed out that the Committee worked on percent of market value (POMV) legislation, which would have supported a 5% pay out to communities. The pay out would have been $70 million. Representative Hawker stated that although he wished to support the amendment to the amendment, he did not think that the amount would be supported [by the majority of members]. A roll call vote was taken on the motion to amend the amendment to COM 5: increase the funding level to $50. IN FAVOR: Joule, Moses, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Weyrauch, Foster, Hawker, Meyer, Chenault The MOTION FAILED (3-8). 3:47:52 PM Representative Croft observed that the smallest communities would be eliminated from the funding. He maintained that some of the state's oil wealth should be shared with the state's communities, but did not support the use of the Permanent Fund without a vote of the people. He noted that unincorporated communities also provide valuable services to their constituents. Representative Hawker spoke to the issue of using permanent fund earnings without a vote of the people. He emphasized that the Fund was created to give future legislatures the greatest, unrestricted, latitude to use the funds as they deemed needed. This was the intent of the people who voted to create the fund. He stressed the art of the possible, as opposed to everything that one would wish done. He felt that the amendment would be provide the best chance of success. Representative Joule stressed that the small communities would not be covered. Representative Croft objected to the amendment to the amendment because the use of the public's funds would go only to the incorporated communities. A roll call vote was taken on Representative Hawker's Motion to amend Amendment COM-5: change the funding source to 1041, Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account. IN FAVOR: Moses, Weyrauch, Foster, Hawker OPPOSED: Joule, Kelly, Stoltze, Croft, Holm, Chenault, Meyer The MOTION FAILED (4-7). 3:52:52 PM A roll call vote was taken on the motion to adopt COM-5. FAVOR: Weyrauch, Joule, Moses, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Foster, Hawker, Meyer, Chenault The MOTION FAILED (3-8). 3:59:20 PM Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to ADOPT DEED-2: Charter school funding. (b) The sum of $250,000 is appropriated from the general fund to the Department of Education and Early Development for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006, for payment as grants to each school district that operates a charter school with an average daily membership of 150 or less for support of those charter schools in those districts. The amount appropriated for grants by this subsection is to be allocated among eligible school districts in the proportion that the average daily membership of eligible charter schools in a district bears to the total average daily of all eligible charter schools in all school districts that operate an eligible charter school. Representative Croft spoke in support of the amendment. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DEED-3. AGENCY: Education and Early Development APPROPRIATION: Alaska Library & Museums ALLOCATION: Library Operations Add: 187.0 General Fund 1004 Explanation: $62,000 covers the FY06 cost of staff reclassification that became effective January 2005. The Governor requested this amount along with 30.0 to cover FY05 costs. $125,000 is for contractual costs and for acquisition and materials. ALLOCATION: Archives Add: 70.0 General Fund 1004 1 PFT Explanation: Electronic records management. ALLOCATION: Museum Operations Add: 50.0 General Fund 1004 Explanation: Provides funds for acquisition of historically valuable artifacts. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:01:39 PM Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DEED-4. Add: Department: Education Appropriation: Teaching and Learning Support Allocation: Student and School Achievement Fund source: 1004 General Funds Amount: $5,000,000 Description: Numerous studies have demonstrated the value of pre-K funding in the performance of students academically, socially, and economically. These funds would be for pilot program grant funding to allow school districts to develop pre-K programs based upon models utilized in other parts of the country. These demonstration programs would allow the Department of Education to track and document student achievement of children receiving a quality pre-K program throughout their academic career. Other studies have also demonstrated higher earning potential, less incarceration, and fewer applicants for public assistance among graduates of pre-K programming. Vice-Chair Meyer OBJECTED. Representative Joule spoke in support of the amendment. He noted that the state of Alaska once funded pre-K education. He stressed that pre-K education works. He noted that the amendment would allow the department to look at programs around the state. Representative Chenault acknowledged that early intervention is important, but stressed that class size is needs to be addressed. He maintained his objection and stated that he needed additional information regarding the success of past programs. Representative Joule noted that in some communities pre-K support was used for K-12 support. He noted that a school in his district, which does provide pre-K support, has demonstrated the success of early intervention. Representative Croft spoke in support of the amendment. He maintained that the number one priority [education] should be funded. A roll call vote was taken on the motion to adopt DEED-4. FAVOR: Weyrauch, Joule, Moses, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Foster, Hawker, Meyer, Chenault The MOTION FAILED (3-8). 4:09:29 PM Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DEED-5. Department: Education Appropriation: Teaching and Learning Support Allocation: Student and School Achievement Fund source: 1004 General Funds Amount: $5,000,000 Description: This funding would provide the necessary discretionary grant funding for the Department of Education and Early Development to provide grants to school districts exploring alternate delivery models for secondary education coupled with the necessary research/tracking component to assess the effectiveness of the delivery model. Many districts have expressed interest and/or begun efforts to address delivery problems for educational offerings in small village high schools. In some districts, the programs are designed around a boarding school approach such as Nenana and Galena. Other districts are looking at magnet school approaches with specialty offerings to emphasize program areas that are not adequately addressed with small high school populations, and are needed to better prepare young people for post secondary education and training. Representative Chenault OBJECTED. Representative Joule spoke in support of the amendment. He stressed the importance of supporting education and observed that the grant process has been successful. The amendment would help identify what is working at the high school level and reduce the drop out level. Representative Chenault noted that some districts might want to do further research as to the best delivery mode. He felt that there were other models for school districts to use. He felt that sufficient delivery models already exist. A roll call vote was taken on the motion to adopt COM-5. FAVOR: Weyrauch, Foster, Joule, Moses, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Hawker, Meyer, Chenault The MOTION FAILED (4-7). 4:15:45 PM Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment DEED-6: ADD: Department: Education and Early Development Appropriation: Teaching and Learning Support Allocation: Head Start Grants Fund Source: 1004 General Fund Amount: $450,000 Description: This amendment will provide additional general funds to the grants line of the Head Start program in order to place 50 more eligible, wait-listed children in Head Start programs in the coming year. National studies show that children who participate in quality preschools are more likely to graduate from high school than other children, need less expensive special or remedial services and, as adults, are more likely to attend college and be employed. Representative Meyer OBJECTED. Representative Croft spoke in support of the amendment. He stressed that the Head Start Program has been successful and maintained the money would be well worth it if one child were prevented from going to prison. EDDY JEANS, DIRECTOR, EDUCATION SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT, explained that the issue came up during subcommittee hearings. The dilemma is that state funds go to providers and the money is used to apply for an additional federal match. There is no guarantee that additional state dollars would result in matching federal grants. There is no guarantee that the funds would be used [for the Head Start Program.} A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Joule, Moses, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Weyrauch, Foster, Hawker, Meyer Representative Chenault was absent from the vote. The MOTION FAILED (3-7). 4:18:30 PM Representative Meyer MOVED to ADOPT DEC-2. AGENCY: Environmental Conservation APPROPRIATION: Administration ALLOCATION: Agency-Wide Unallocated Reduction Fund Change ($11.1) G/F Match 1003 $18.5 General Fund 1004 ($ 7.4) GF/Program Rcpts 1005 Explanation: Technical correction of GF funding sources for the purpose of spreading the agency-wide unallocated reduction in travel. Representative Croft OBJECTED. Representative Meyer explained that the amendment would allow a fund shift. The subcommittee reduced travel by $25 thousand. The Amendment would spread out the reduction by fund source. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:19:30 PM Representative Holms MOVED to ADOPT Amendment F&G-2, which would add $150.0 in interagency receipts for Wildlife Conservation Shooting Ranges. Representative Stoltze OBJECTED. Representative Holms noted that the amendment would provide authorizations for schools to spend or collect funds for the use of the ranges. Some schools could pay. There may also be some education funds available. The Alaska State Troopers have also indicated interest in using the ranges from midnight to 7 am. Representative Joule questioned which communities would be impacted. Representative Holms responded: Juneau, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. Representative Joule questioned if school participation in the shooting ranges would be considered as interagency receipts. Representative Croft questioned which agencies would be involved. JIM DERRINGER, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE HOLM, clarified that state troopers would be allowed to use the facility and pay for its use. High school kids use the facility from 3 - 7 pm and pay $5 dollars an hour. It may be possible to increase these fees. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:23:42 PM Representative Holms MOVED to ADOPT F&G-3, which would rename the Wildlife Conservation Shooting Ranges to Hunter Education Shooting Ranges. Representative Chenault OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. Mr. Derringer explained that the amendment would allow application for grants that are on an educational manner. Representative Croft thought that some of the money being used to fund the ranges was limited to wildlife conservation. Mr. Derringer clarified that there is approximately $8 million in Pittman-Roberston federal funds, $7.5 million of which is utilized for wildlife conservation projects. The remaining $500 thousand is specifically targeted to higher education and can be used to conduct classes, but could not be used for operation of the range. The Pittman-Roberston funds come from the sale of ammunition. TOM LAWSON, DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME, clarified that the federal funds could be used for the shooting ranges in Fairbanks and Juneau are indoors. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:27:46 PM Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment GOV-1: To page 14 after line 7 and page 29 after line 31 insert the following intent language: "It is the intent of this Legislature that none of the monies appropriated in either the Office of the Governor or the Department of Public Safety is to be spent for a jet, no matter what the stated purpose, without prior legislative approval." Representative Chenault OBJECTED. Representative Croft spoke in support of the amendment. He explained that the intent would be specifically reject the appropriation [to fund a jet for the Office of the Governor]. Representative Stoltze noted that the Subcommittee took out the funding for the jet. He pointed out that the Governor could veto the intent language and felt that it was unnecessary and would not have the force of law. Representative Hawker observed that the amendment would not prevent other departments from purchasing a jet. Representative Croft spoke in support of the amendment. He expressed concern that without specific intent that the jet could still be purchased. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Foster, Joule, Croft OPPOSED: Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Hawker, Meyer, Chenault Representatives Moses and Weyrauch were absent from the vote. The MOTION FAILED (3-6). 4:32:28 PM Representative Chenault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment HSS-2 as amended below: AGENCY: Health & Social Services APPROPRIATION: Public Assistance ALLOCATION: Tribal Assistance Programs Delete: Tribal Assistance Programs Add: Alaska Native Assistance Programs Explanation: This is a name change only. Renaming this allocation to the Alaska Native Assistance Programs will avoid future State sovereignty issues. Representative Chenault explained that the amendment was technical. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Amendment HSS-3 was HELD. Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment HSS-4: ADD: Department: Department of Health & Social Services Appropriation: Departmental Support Services Allocation: Agency-Wide Unallocated Reduction/ Reversal Fund Source: 1003 General Fund Match Amount: $ 3,180.0 Description: The HFBS directed the Department to use the FY 05 TANF high performance bonus to reduce qualified general fund expenditures in the existing budget and placed the unallocated reduction of $3,180.0 as a placeholder in the budget pending identification of qualified costs. This has proven to be difficult given the criteria for TANF spending. This amendment reverses the unallocated reduction and in doing so holds the TANF high performance bonus in reserve. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment HSS-5: Add: Department: Health and Social Services Appropriation: Behavioral Health Allocation: Ak. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Program Fund source: 1007 Interagency Receipts $500,000 IAR Amount: 1004 General Funds $596,000 GF Representative Kelly OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. He stated that he would support the amendment, but stressed the need to address the underlying problem. Representative Kelly WITHDREW his OBJECTION. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:36:53 PM Representative Meyer MOVED to ADOPT HSS-3, which would add $500 thousand in general funds to Public Health, Community Health Grants, which would free the same amount of Tobacco Education/Cessation funds. Representative Stoltze OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. Representative Meyer noted that 20 percent of tobacco [cessation] funds were to go to cessation and prevention programs. He objected to the movement of a portion of this money to community health grants. He noted that the cessation and prevention programs are working. Representative Stoltze WITHDREW his OBJECTION. Representative Hawker OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. He observed that he had previously objected to the amendment, but had been convinced of its validity. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. 4:40:17 PM Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT Amendment HSS-6: Add: Department: Health and Social Services Appropriation: Behavioral Health Allocation: Behavioral Health grants Fund source: 1004 General Funds 1007 Interagency Receipts Amount: $4,500,000 general funds $1,500,000 IAR Description: Funding is requested to develop a comprehensive alcohol and substance abuse prevention package, aimed primarily at Alaska's youth. Current funding available for alcohol and substance abuse efforts is directed primarily at treatment. This funding would enable the Department to get ahead of the abuse curve by addressing the problems facing Alaskan youth and thus discourage them from attempted escape through alcohol and substance abuse. This amendment combines funding the Governor proposed in both the FY06 budget and the FY05 supplemental for FY06 spending. The source of the Interagency receipts is the TANF high performing bonus. Representative Chenault OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion. Representative Joule spoke in support of the amendment. He acknowledged the use of general funds, but emphasized the importance of prevention. He stressed that prevention is the highest priority, but that spending goes to adults in treatment and intervention. Representative Hawker acknowledged the seriousness of the issue. He expressed concern that funds are being proposed for expenditure without proper planning. He stressed that success requires planning, which did not occur. Counselors, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Board were not involved in the planning process. A tactical approach was not developed or a coordinated plan. He indicated that the issue should be looked into for future years. He also expressed concern that the entire amount would come from general funds and that there are no alcohol funds being proposed for involvement. Alcohol taxes result in $30 million a year; only half of which are spent on alcohol programs. 4:46:38 PM Representative Croft stressed that the funding would go toward prevention. He spoke in support of the amendment. He noted that there are very few dedicated funds. Representative Joule recalled the difficulty incurred in raising the alcohol tax. He emphasized that the funding would be used to reach children, which are subjected to peer pressure. He spoke in support of the amendment, and stressed the need to start with our youth, in order to save funds with the adult population. 4:52:45 PM Representative Holms acknowledged the need, but questioned the timing of the amendment. He stressed that the amendment is process oriented. He spoke in support of programs with defined results. Representative Joule questioned if there is a way to provide measurable results and if the department would be willing to do so. JANET CLARKE, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, DIVISION OF FINANCE AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES, noted that the Department included the proposal as part of its prevention and early intervention initiative. The proposal was modeled on ones used by other states and entities, which have demonstrated results. She stressed that they are not bureaucratic, but are based on sound evidence from federal agencies. Representative Croft noted that the amendment represents the Governor's initiative for grants in specific areas, targeted to children. He spoke in support of the amendment. Representative Hawker reiterated that there was not an adequate planning process, and stressed the need for accountability. He noted that the Department is deficient in measuring the performance. He maintained that there is an anachronistic system for managing grants. He stated that he would like to see more planning and accountability for the funds. 5:02:21 PM Representative Kelly expressed concern that outcomes ignore high unemployment rates. He maintained that that the problem cannot be addressed in areas with high unemployment, until those issues are addressed. Representative Joule acknowledged the concerns of Representative Kelly and concluded that the problem [of alcohol] needs to be addressed on many fronts. He reiterated that the best way to build a foundation for hope is "through our young people". People need to be accountable, but sometimes it is hard to change. Systems need to occur in order to shift our youth; it is only the first part. A roll call vote was taken on the motion. IN FAVOR: Foster, Joule, Weyrauch, Croft OPPOSED: Hawker, Holm, Kelly, Stoltze, Meyer, Chenault Representative Moses was absent from the vote. Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment HSS-7: ADD Department: Health and Social Services Appropriation: Public Health Allocation: Women, Children and Family Health Amount: 500,000 General Fund (Fund 1004) DESCRIPTION: Continue to meet demand for Breast and Cervical Health Checks. Provides for Breast & Cervical Health Checks (pelvic exam, mammogram, PAP test) to the 7,200 that are currently eligible women. Eligibility is based on income at or below 250% of federal poverty level and no health insurance. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. Amendment HSS-8 was WITHDRAWN. 5:08:47 PM Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT HSS-9: ADD: Department: Department of Health & Social Services Appropriation: Public Assistance Allocation: Public Assistance Field Services Fund Source: 1108 Statutory Designated Program Receipts Amount: $ 110.0 Description: Alaska Native Medical Center Support Representative Hawker explained that the amendment would allow the state of Alaska to receive money from Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) for [two] staff to work with employees at ANMC [to improve the processing of Medicaid applications.] He explained that the funds would be federal. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.