Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519
03/18/2006 10:00 AM FINANCE
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HB 365-APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS HB 366-APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET PUBLIC TESTIMONY: Kenai, Valdez, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Seward, Matsu Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Homer, Dillingham, Cordova Bethel, Kotzebue, Barrow, Nome, Delta Junction, Tok Glennallen, Offnets TIME SPEAKER DISCUSSION 10:06:36 AM Co-Chair Convened the House Finance Committee Chenault meeting to allow public testimony from areas outside of Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. KENAI, VALDEZ, KETCHIKAN, KODIAK, SEWARD, MATSU 10:07:03 AM Margaret Asked what will happen with the Gilman, statewide infrastructure during the next Assembly Kenai 25 years. She encouraged more funding Borough, Kenai for education and urged that revenue sharing be reinstated. 10:10:58 AM Tony Lewis, Addressed past year's funding of the Parent, charter schools and he applauded that Kaleidoscope effort. He requested continued funding School of for that system. Sciences, Kenai 10:12:43 AM Loretta Urged continued & full funding for all Spalding, the youth in transition programs. She TALENTS, Kenai concurred for continued full funding for services for the independent living options. 10:14:28 AM Cheri Edwards, Testified in support of Home and Independent Community based waiver services for Living Center, persons with disabilities. Soldotna 10:15:13 AM Elijah Added his support for the Home and Stafford, Community based waiver services for Kenai persons living with disabilities. 10:16:16 AM Nadine Hatch, Urged greater funding for the youth in Independent transition programs. She testified in Living Center, support of full funding for the Soldotna vocational rehabilitation programs and requested that the $200 thousand dollar increment be restored. 10:17:57 AM Debra Mullins, Addressed her support of greater funding Kenai for K-12 Education programs. Peninsula Borough School District, Kenai 10:19:53 AM David Means, Addressed the TALENTS program and Self, Kenai pointed out the need for funding that productive program. He pointed out that students from the program have proven increased interest for remaining in the school system and being more active in their participation. 10:22:08 AM Kris Moore, Testified in support of greater funding Self, Wasilla for K-12 education programs. Greater funding for education is not reaching the kids but rather to the PERS & TRS system deficit. Mr. Moore stressed that the increases need to go into the classrooms. VALDEZ 10:24:31 AM Alan Sorum, Spoke in support of greater funding for Citizen, K-12 education programs. He noted Valdez concern with where past funding has gone within that system. He mentioned paying the fuel costs, the need for municipal revenue sharing when considering education funding. 10:25:53 AM Ruth Knight, Stressed that Valdez is experiencing Valdez painful times from lack of funding in Schools, education. The Governor proposed an Valdez increase. She urged that education- funding decisions must be made quickly and that the $90 million dollars would barely cover the PERS and TRS deficit. 10:28:21 AM Deanne Addressed education concerns given the Porritt, decreased funding in that departments Citizen, budget. Valdez 10:31:12 AM Stacy Smith, Advocated support for the Governor's Community proposed Youth Success Initiative; she Coordinator, spoke to how it would help continued Big Brothers funding for the Big Brothers, Big and Big Sisters Program in Valdez and statewide. Sisters, Valdez 10:35:42 AM Dr. Kathy Stated that every school district in the Todd, Valdez State is having programs cut and many School Board, problems. All the additionally funding Valdez for the electricity has gone into PERS and TRS issue. Most of the current school budget is used for personnel. She urged greater funding for education statewide. 10:38:51 AM Melissa Reese, Testified in support of greater funding Valdez High for the K-12 education programs. She School, Valdez pointed out a need to have skilled workers within the State of Alaska and testified in support of the vocational rehabilitation programs. She maintained that children should not be held accountable for the PERS and TRS deficit. KODIAK 10:40:35 AM Mark Vinsel, Spoke to the State's investment in the Executive fish and gaming statewide within the Director, Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He United urged more funding for the United Fisherman of Fishermen of Alaska. He stated they Alaska, Kodiak support the funding level recommended by the Governor this year. He noted past returns of the Alaska Seafood Marketing programs and asked consideration of further funding. 10:42:40 AM Al Burch, Pointed out that funding has been cut Executive for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Director, programs and urged that the $2.3 million Alaska dollars be placed back into the budget. Draggers Association, Kodiak KETCHIKAN 10:44:25 AM Ed Zastrow, Spoke in support of HB 365 and the Chairman, Governor's recommended increase to the Pioneer Home Pioneer Home component. Advisory Board, Ketchikan 10:48:54 AM Sarah Gucker, Read a note from a fellow worker that Big Brothers, advocated support of the Governor's Big Sisters, proposed Youth Success Initiative and Ketchikan how beneficial the BBBS program has been in her life and that of many other children statewide. 10:49:20 AM Cathy Gucker, Advocated greater support of the Big Brothers, Governor's proposed Youth Success Big Sisters, Initiative, particularly the Big Ketchikan Brothers, Big Sisters program. 10:49:46 AM Christine Advocated in support of the Governor's Lyshol, Big proposed Youth Success Initiative, Brothers, Big particularly the Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Sisters program. Ketchikan 10:50:47 AM Bruce Wallace, Requested further funding for Alaska Vice Chair, Seafood Marketing Institute. He Alaska Seafood mentioned how that agency affects the Marketing State's resource development philosophy. Institute, He urged that sustainability requires Ketchikan full funding for the Department of Fish and Game. 10:52:03 AM Robert Noted his support for more funding for Sivertsen, the Alaska State Pioneer Homes and Ketchikan pointed out the need for more staffing of those facilities. MATSU 10:53:49 AM Linda Menard, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Vice education programs. She warned about the President, decline in quality education for all Matsu Borough school districts and urged funding to School the cap. District, She added that revenue sharing is a Matsu necessary component for education funding. 10:57:59 AM Pat Purchell, Addressed support of full funding for Matsu Borough the K-12 education programs. She urged School that the Legislative members put youth District, and education first. Matsu 10:59:33 AM Marilyn Pointed out the huge education growth Muller, increase in the Matsu Valley and the Parent, Matsu need for full funding support for Borough School education. She recommended separate District, funding for TRS and PERS costs. Matsu 11:01:14 AM Ron Rucker, Commented that the State should not own CEA, Matsu any part of the pipeline. He spoke in support for full funding for K-12 education programs and urged full funding for TRS and PERS costs separately from the education funding. Mr. Rucker added support of revenue sharing. 11:04:06 AM Debby Johnson, Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Schools, Matsu education programs. She pointed out that funding for custodians had been cut and that special education hours might be cut. Ms. Johnson urged that separate full funding for TRS and PERS costs be allocated. 11:05:53 AM Tammy Smith, Advocated support for the Governor's Big Brothers, proposed Youth Success Initiative; Big Sisters, emphasizing the importance of the Big Matsu Brothers, Big Sisters program. 11:07:24 AM Anne Spoke in support of funding for K-12 Killkenny, education programs, adding support for Education, revenue sharing and how that affects Matsu education. She did not support the "bonus proposal". She believes that high-energy staff and parents would gravitate to the higher performing schools, undermining the weaker ones. She felt that funding should be added to the base so that all would benefit. 11:10:21 AM John Cannon, Testified in support of full funding for Matsu services for people with disabilities. 11:14:11 AM Don Zoerb, Encouraged continued support for public Alaska Public broadcasting funding and the increment Broadcasting, recommended by the Governor. Matsu 11:15:27 AM Donna Swihart, Testified in support of Home and GCDSE/Parent, Community based waiver services for Matsu persons with disabilities. She addressed the Home Initiative for kids and how it beneficially affects those children that are developmentally delayed. She voiced concern with out-of State placements. 11:19:51 AM Mary Geurde, Spoke in support of full funding for K- Matsu 12 education programs and additionally classroom assistants. She acknowledged how teacher's aids help with the reading and math programs. She urged that the critical education situation be addressed with the State's surplus dollars being spent on the children. DILLINGHAM 11:22:24 AM Teresa Urged continued support for the Seybert, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) funding Bristol Bay increase through the Department of Emergency Health and Social Services proposed Medical budget. Services (EMS), Dillingham 11:24:23 AM Rachel Muir, Encouraged continued support and full Public Radio, funding for public broadcasting. Dillingham 11:25:55 AM Nels Anderson, Urged full funding to the Department of Jr., Self, Fish and Game and the Governor's Dillingham proposed Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute budget component. He stressed how serious that concern is for Alaskan fishermen, continuing a consumer marketing program and the cost of doing business for Alaska fishermen. Mr. Anderson addressed statewide energy concerns and urged support for Power Cost Equalization. Mr. Anderson added his support for fully funding for K-12 education programs. 11:32:38 AM Dorothy Testified in strong support for full Anderson, funding of the Governor's recommended Self, increment for FASD programs. She warned Dillingham it would cost more in the long run if the funding is not placed up front. Ms. Anderson added request for continued funding to address the bootlegging concerns happening in the Village Bush areas. WRANGELL 11:35:49 AM Julie Decker, Urged greater funding for the fisheries Executive throughout the State and full funding Director, for the Department of Fish and Game. SARDFA-Dive Fisheries, Wrangell 11:36:53 AM Alice Rooney, Testified continued funding support for Social Worker, the long-term flexible care program Alaska Island within the Division of Senior Services. Community That program allows seniors to remain in Services, their homes safely. Wrangell 11:38:41 AM Valerie Voiced appreciation for proposed funding McCandless, for Public Health and Public Mayor, Broadcasting in the budget. Wrangell She included her support for the rural EMS services. Ms. McCandless added her support for funding increments in the Energy Assistance programs and urged support for Power Cost Equalization. 11:40:21 AM Janet Strom, Said she would not testify. Self, Wrangell 11:40:38 AM Gig Decker, SE Addressed the urgent need for continued Alaska funding of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Rainforest Institute. He stated that he supported Wild, Wrangell the Governor's requested amount. CORDOVA 11:42:17 AM Valerie Covel, Urged support for Power Cost Self, Cordova Equalization and added support for full funding for K-12 education programs. 11:43:12 AM Kurt Urged that the Department of Fish and Herschleb, Game be funded at the level proposed by Cordova the Governor. District Fishermen United, Cordova 11:43:58 AM Clay Koplin, Urged support for statewide Power Cost President, Equalization funding. Chamber of Commerce, Cordova 11:44:59 AM Ken Gates, Urged support for Power Cost CEO, Cordova Equalization at the Governor's Electric Coop, recommended level. Cordova 11:46:44 AM Hap Symmonds, Urged support for stabilized funding for Ocean Beauty Power Cost Equalization. Seafood and Mr. Symmonds requested that the Cordova Department of Fish and Game budget and Electric Coop, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Cordova program be fully funded. He added support for greater funding for the Home and Community based waiver services for those persons with disabilities. SITKA 11:49:34 AM Scott McAdams, Spoke to full funding for K-12 education President, programs. He stressed: Sitka School · Equity for Schools Board, Sitka · Adequacy for Schools · Unity in the school budgeting 11:54:13 AM Kelly Emphasized the importance of the Big Ferguson, Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, pointed Brothers, Big out support for the Governor's proposed Sisters, Sitka Youth Success Initiative. She asked her Little Sister to voice her support and Darien Scarborough emphasized that the program works. 11:55:57 AM Jane Demmert, Stated her mother lives at the Sitka Pioneer Home, Pioneer Home; she urged continued Sitka funding for the statewide pioneer home programs, particularly the one in Sitka. 11:57:41 AM Fredi Young, Commented that she lives in the Sitka Pioneer Home, Pioneer Home and urged further funding Sitka those programs, particularly the one in Sitka. 11:59:42 AM Theresa Pazar, Noted that she lives in the Sitka Pioneer Home, Pioneer Home and urged continued funding Sitka for the statewide programs, particularly the program in Sitka. 12:00:56 PM Dr. Sharon Advocated support for the Governor's Cox, Big proposed Youth Success Initiative; she Brother, Big emphasized the importance of the Big Sisters, Sitka Brothers, Big Sisters program. 12:04:55 PM Mary Larsen, Spoke on behalf of her mother who lives Pioneer Homes, in the Sitka Pioneer Home. She urged Sitka continued funding for the statewide Pioneer Home programs, particularly the program in Sitka. She worried about staffing cuts occurring in the homes. She stressed that she does not support any rate increases for those currently living in the Pioneer Homes, considering the existing staffing issues. 12:07:48 PM John Murray, Spoke in support of the Governor's Self-proposed budget increment for the Fisherman, Department of Fish and Game, Commercial Sitka Fisheries budget. He mentioned the need for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. HOMER 12:09:55 PM Sue Hecks, Urged full funding for the Emergency Kenai Medical Services grant in the Department Peninsula EMS, of Health and Social Services. She Anchor Point outlined the sacrifices made by volunteer EMS personnel and urged support. 12:12:43 PM Barry Levit, Testified regarding the need to support Self, Homer, programs focusing on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and urged full funding that program, especially for diagnosis. He recounted his experience as a mental health clinician working with juveniles in rural areas. 12:15:10 PM Deb Germano, Testified in support of full funding for Self, Homer K-12 education and in support of revenue sharing. She noted the need for fully funding vocational training and other borough expenses and programs. She also urged funding for Public Broadcasting. Finally, she spoke to the need for greater funding of the Public Defender's office. 12:18:14 PM Scott Wheat, Testified in support of full funding for The Center for Mental Health Services, including 'Bring SEAL, Homer the Kids Home Initiative'. He noted the need for a higher level of community service support for youth. 12:20:10 PM Kelly Behen, Scott Wheat read the Kids Home Self, Homer Initiative a statement on Ms. Behen's behalf in support of the Bring. She requested that prevention and intervention programs also be fully funded. 12:21:07 PM Skip Richards, Testified in favor of the 20% increase Chugachmuit, to the EMS regional budget. He Homer expressed his appreciation of past funding, and spoke to his experiences as an EMS trainer. He explained that in rural areas, Native non-profits have provided additional funding to complete EMS services. 12:25:02 PM Charlie Franz, Spoke in support of the Governor's K. Bay Campus increments for the University. He noted Advisory that funding the full budget request Council, Homer would provide programs that supported the health care systems in Alaska. 12:26:45 PM Joyanna Testified in support of replacement of Geisler, the $200 thousand increment in the Independent Department of Labor, Independent Living Living Center, component. She thought the increment Homer would provide transitional services for high-risk youth in Southeast Alaska, as well as for sign language interpreter referral services. 12:28:27 PM Beth Bowe, Testified in support of continued Fireweed funding for charter schools, stating Academy, Homer that funding would allow schools to remain in operation. 12:29:23 PM Elise Nacht Testified in support of funding for Boyer, charter schools. She emphasized the Fireweed need for that option within the school Academy, Homer system and the communities. 12:31:18 PM Meg Mitchell, Testified in support of Home and Self, Homer Community based waiver services for persons with disabilities. She also testified in support of funding for Mental Health Services as well as the University of Alaska. Ms. Mitchell urged support for other bills, which support Medicaid dental services. She added her support for the continued funding for diagnostic services for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD). 12:35:18 PM Terry Emphasized the importance of the Thompson, K. University for Alaska and urged full Bay College funding support. He noted the benefit Advisory of providing excellent higher education Council, Homer within the State to help retain students, as well as to provide needed health care professionals. 12:37:39 PM Chairman AT EASE. Chenault 12:47:23 PM Allen Testified regarding the importance of Sagoonick fully funding schools throughout the rural communities. OFFNETS 12:49:26 PM Rose Walker, Testified in support of the Pioneer Ketchikan Homes of Alaska. She noted the shortage of staff at facilities and urged full funding. 12:53:38 PM Testified in support of Pioneer Homes of PALMER PIONEER Alaska, and recounted the generations of HOME: her family that has relied on those Barbara Hecker services. She expressed concern over the need for more specialized care for residents with dementia. 12:58:33 PM Cathy Testified in support of funding for the Christenson Pioneer Homes of Alaska. She noted that the level of care for patients has increased and that more caregivers are needed. 12:59:44 PM Catherine Cain Testified in support of greater funding for the statewide Pioneers Homes. 1:00:32 PM Jesse DeVries As a resident of the Pioneer Home, and a former nurse, she testified in support to fully fund the Pioneer Homes and mentioned the need for adequate staffing. 1:01:46 PM Jean Chapman Testified in support of the Pioneer Homes of Alaska and expressed concern over the need for more adequate staffing. 1:03:13 PM Karen Steward, Testified in support of full funding for Nurse Pioneer Homes. She outlined the number of patients in the Palmer Pioneer Home that require specialized care, and emphasized the need for more trained staff to support them. 1:05:08 PM Maria Testified in support of funding for the Strandberg, Pioneer Homes and for adequate staffing. Resident 1:06:02 PM Mary Advocated support of full funding for McConnell, the Pioneer Homes of Alaska. She Social Worker pointed out that residents currently appear to have more physical needs, emphasizing the need for increased staffing. 1:09:12 PM Carol Berger, Spoke to the need for entrepreneurship Bethel in rural Alaska; she testified in support of the Power Cost Equalization. She emphasized the need to lower fuel costs in the rural areas. She added support for funding for Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and Public Broadcasting. 1:11:40 PM Barbara Lewis, Testified in support of funding for the Alaska Native following programs: Sisterhood, · Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Haines · K-12 Education · Alcohol education counseling · Power Cost Equalization · Pioneer Homes · Increases in nursing salaries · Bring the Kids Home, Youth Success Initiative · Public Broadcasting · Alaska Marine Highway System · Mental Health Services. She urged the Legislature to use oil revenues to provide those services. 1:15:57 PM Sandy Testified in support of funding for Sanderson, Interpreter Referral Services. Exec Director, Service for the Blind 1:17:34 PM Joan McBeen, Testified in support of funding for the Tenakee Marine Highway System. She emphasized the dependence of remote communities upon the ferry system. Ms. McBeen urged support for Power Cost Equalization and Public Broadcasting. 1:19:41 PM Gary Hennigh, As a coastal community, he noted the City Manager, economic impact of federal fisheries King Cove changes. He emphasized that their municipal revenues offset challenges, and urged support of Revenue Sharing equal to $150 per resident, as well as full Power Cost Equalization funding and full funding for the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Highway and Aviation and Department of Fish and Game. 1:22:48 PM Vicky Madsen, Testified in support of vocational ANC rehabilitation programs. She noted the impact of those programs have on her life as a victim suffering from a disabling disease, and her ability now to contribute to the local economy. 1:24:52 PM Emily Urged support for Power Cost Rosebery, Equalization. She requested that the Barrow Governor's original budget be reinstated. She pointed to the high impact level on rural areas resulting from the high fuel costs. 1:26:23 PM Alexandria Spoke in support of funding for EMS Chartier, services, emphasizing the importance to Seldovia rural areas. She noted the efforts of regional volunteers in education and training. 1:27:42 PM Judy Dobbins, Testified in support of proposed Old Harbor increases to EMS programs. She spoke to her experience as an EMS volunteer, and noted efforts in fund raising, education and training. She emphasized the importance of small clinics to remote, village areas. 1:30:14 PM Wanda Testified in support of funding for Baltazar, substance abuse and treatment programs. Kotzebue Spoke in favor of full funding the Governor's proposed increment to the FASD programs. 1:31:28 PM Ron Huffman, Testified in support of adult basic Adult Basic education programs. Education, Nome 1:33:38 PM Audrey Tate Testified in support of adult basic Walunga, Nome education programs. She acknowledged the benefit she received from earning her GED, which resulted in higher education and her current career. 1:36:00 PM Lee Hagen, Spoke in support of the Governor's Northwest increments for the University. She Campus, Nome spoke to the need for increased funding in specific programs, such as teacher education. She noted the service of the University in training the Alaskan workforce. 1:38:32 PM Ross Testified in support of support of Schaeffer, funding for borough services, such as K- Mayor, 12 education. He expressed concern over Kotzebue the elimination of the mentor program for teachers. He noted support for the University scholars program, as well Revenue Sharing for municipal governments and Power Cost Equalization. He expressed support for the Youth Success Initiative and substance abuse treatment, while solving the PRS/TRS challenges. 1:43:08 PM Brad Reeve, Urged support for Power Cost KEA, Kotzebue Equalization. He pointed out the 100% cost increase in fuel over the past year in his community. 1:45:53 PM Lincoln Saito, Testified in support of full funding for Educator, Power Cost Equalization. He noted Kotzebue current cost savings measures in electricity. He also expressed support for full funding for the University of Alaska, especially for rural campuses, pointing out the number of older students attending classes and commitment to village life enabled by that education. 1:51:03 PM Ben Frantz, Testified in support of the Governor's Barrow proposed $25 million funding for Power Cost Equalization. He emphasized the importance of that funding to the rural communities. He indicated efforts those areas were already making in energy cost savings. 1:53:36 PM Barbara Testified in support of reinstating Angaiak, funding to the Mentoring Program; she Statewide spoke to the benefits she witnessed Mentoring working as a mentor. Programs, Bethel 1:57:31 PM Raymond Thor Urged support for Power Cost Williams, Equalization. He noted the importance Mayor, City of of that funding in offsetting the high Bethel cost of living in rural areas, and the ability to retain community members. He also encouraged full separate funding for PERS and TRS, which currently draws municipal revenues away from community needs. 2:00:15 PM Kathy Hansen, Testified in support of adult basic Adult Basic education programs. She noted the Education, importance of GED programs to rural Bethel Alaskans. 2:02:35 PM Christy Davis, Testified in support of adult basic Department of education programs. She noted the Corrections, correlation between illiteracy and crime Bethel and the importance of obtaining a GED and how it affect the students ability to re-enter society. 2:03:57 PM Michelle Urged support for Power Cost Dewitt, TWC, Equalization. Bethel She noted support for the special appropriation for the Kotzebue shelter, Revenue Sharing for non-profits as well as an increased funding for the Village Public Safety Officers (VPSO). 2:06:01 PM Elizabeth Testified in support for funding to Roll, TWC support Domestic Violence shelters statewide and urged support for great funding for VPSO's. 2:07:15 PM Jean Gerhardt-Testified to request restoration of Cyrus, Parent, funding for support of programs for Kiana Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, especially for the diagnostic services. She noted the successful prevention campaign in her community as a result of funding. Ms. Gerhardt-Cyrus suggested that to not fund prevention results in larger cost to the State. 2:11:23 PM Terry Stone, Testified in support of fully funding Kodiak EMS services, which is especially important to the rural areas. She noted the use of those funds in providing equipment and training. 2:16:04 PM John Stripe, Testified in support of reinstating the Anchorage $200 thousand increment for Independent Living. He emphasized the benefit of those services in preventing more costly assisted services. He expressed support of Representative Hawker's amendment adding funds. 2:19:59 PM Jan Haines, Testified in support of full funding for Ketchikan the Alaska Pioneer Homes. She spoke to Pioneer Home the support given to her family by those services. She pointed out the need for adequate salaries for nurses and adequate staffing. 2:23:28 PM Kris Aubertine Testified in support of full funding for the Alaska Pioneer Homes. She expressed the increasing needs of her family as a resident and stressed the need for adequate staffing. 2:24:18 PM Joan Martin Testified in support of full funding for the Alaska Pioneer Homes. She spoke to the support provided to her family and urged further funding for care positions. 2:25:26 PM Vanessa Olson Testified in support of full funding for on behalf of the Alaska Pioneer Homes. She stressed Betty Streeper the need for increased staffing and discussed the danger to fragile residents in the absence of adequate nurses. 2:27:05 PM Doris Bailey Testified in support of full funding for the Alaska Pioneer Homes. A resident for a number of years, she emphasized the need for continuing care. She noted the increased needs of the residents, and the decreased staffing. She spoke to the need for specialized care, especially for conditions such as dementia. 2:31:19 PM Vanessa Olson, Testified in support of full funding for Social Worker the Alaska Pioneer Homes. She noted that the majority of admissions to the homes are residents in their 80's; there exists a lack of room in the more supervised areas. Ms. Olson emphasized the lack of staffing positions and urged funding to increase salaries and positions. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 2:34 P.M.