Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/06/2006 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 488 OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION TAX TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HCR 30 AK CLIMATE IMPACT ASSESSMENT COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 30(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 307 KNIK RIVER PUBLIC USE AREA TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 307(RES) Out of Committee
+= HB 493 SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND REIMBURSEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 493(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 105 MEDICAID FOR ADULT DENTAL SERVICES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 105(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 6, 2006                                                                                            
                         1:46 P.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:46:34 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Beth Kerttula                                                                                                    
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Pete  Ecklund,  Staff, Representative  Kevin  Meyer;  Suzanne                                                                   
Cunningham,  Staff,   Representative  Kevin   Meyer;  Mikayla                                                                   
Saito,  Staff,  Representative  Reggie Joule;  Ben  Mulligan,                                                                   
Staff,  Representative Bill  Stoltze;  Eddy Jeans,  Director,                                                                   
Education  Support  Services,  Department  of  Education  and                                                                   
Early  Development;  Janet  Clarke,  Assistant  Commissioner,                                                                   
Division of  Finance and  Management Services, Department  of                                                                   
Health and Social Services; Bill  Hogan, Deputy Commissioner,                                                                   
Department of Health and Social  Services; Andy Pope, Juneau;                                                                   
Mike  Ford,  Alaska  Native  Health   Board,  Juneau;  Robert                                                                   
Howard, Palmer                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dick Mylius,  Deputy Director,  Division  of Mining Land  and                                                                   
Water,  Department  of  Natural   Resources,  Anchorage;  Bob                                                                   
Swenson,  Director,  Division  of  Geophysical  &  Geological                                                                   
Surveying, Department  of Natural Resources,  Anchorage; John                                                                   
Kreilkamp,  Vice President  for  Land Operations  for  Cruise                                                                   
West,  Anchorage;  Dr.  Glenn Juday,  University  of  Alaska,                                                                   
Fairbanks;  Dr.   Roland  Maw,  Upper  Cook   Inlet  Driftnet                                                                   
Association;   Dr.  Kathinka   White,  Alaska  Primary   Care                                                                   
Association,  Anchorage;  Jeff   Jesse,  Executive  Director,                                                                   
Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust   Authority,  Anchorage;  Carla                                                                   
Shelton,  Parent Advocate;  Emily  Ennis, Fairbanks  Resource                                                                   
Agency,   Fairbanks;   Stacy   Messerschmidt,   Tok;   Sydney                                                                   
Stredicket,   Partners  in   Policy;   Pat  Lubby,   Advocacy                                                                   
Director,  Alaska  Association  of  Retired  Persons  (AARP),                                                                   
Anchorage;  Meg  Mitchell, Homer;  Stan  Steadman,  Executive                                                                   
Director,  Center  Peninsula   Health  Center,  Aspen  Dental                                                                   
Center; Jennifer  McElroy, Dental  Hygienists, Soldotna;  Dr.                                                                   
Marguerite  McIntosh, Family Doctor,  Soldotna; Pamela  Hawk,                                                                   
Anchorage Neighborhood  Health Consortium; Carrie  Grey Wolf,                                                                   
Knik  River   Watershed  Group;  Cecile  Fritz,   Knik  River                                                                   
Watershed   Group;  Eric   Uhde,   Alaska   Center  for   the                                                                   
Environment,  Anchorage; Todd  Clark,  Alaska Outdoor  Access                                                                   
Alliance,  Anchorage;  Patti   Barber,  Palmer;  Ken  Barber,                                                                   
Palmer;   Dick   Coutts,  Butte   Community   Council   Trail                                                                   
Committee, Palmer                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HCR 30    Creating   an  Alaska  Climate  Impact   Assessment                                                                   
          Commission.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          CS HCR 30 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          "individual"      recommendations     and      with                                                                   
          indeterminate note #1  by the Department of Natural                                                                   
          Resources  and fiscal  note #2  by the  Legislative                                                                   
          Affairs Agency.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 105    An  Act  relating  to  coverage  for  adult  dental                                                                   
          services  under  Medicaid;  and  providing  for  an                                                                   
          effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 105 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          a   "do   pass"   recommendation,   House   Finance                                                                   
          Committee  Letter of Intent  and with  fiscal notes                                                                   
          #1 and  #2 by the  Department of Education  & Early                                                                   
          Development   and  a   new  fiscal   note  by   the                                                                   
         Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HB 307    An Act creating the Knik River Public Use Area.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 307 (FIN) was  reported out of Committee with                                                                   
          a "no"  recommendation and  with fiscal note  #1 by                                                                   
          the Department of Natural Resources.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB 493    An  Act  relating  to  reimbursement  of  municipal                                                                   
          bonds for school construction.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB 493 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          "individual"    recommendations    and   with    an                                                                   
          indeterminate  note by the Department  of Education                                                                   
          & Early Development.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:47:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 307                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act creating the Knik River Public Use Area.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  HOWARD,  FRIENDS  OF   RESIDENCE,  PALMER,  testified                                                                   
against  HB 307.   He noted  his last  two decades  seriously                                                                   
advocating the  committing of local resources  to responsible                                                                   
use.   [Mr. Howard distributed  photographs to  the Committee                                                                   
of the area.]                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
He  said he  served  with the  Trails  Committee, the  Mat-Su                                                                   
Trails  Council  and a  founding  member  of the  Knik  River                                                                   
Watershed Group.   Mr. Howard believes there  are better ways                                                                   
to  address problems  of  that region.    A State  recreation                                                                   
access  area could  provide a  better solution.   He  thought                                                                   
that an area accessible to more  than 300 thousand people and                                                                   
riddled with  trail services will create  undeniable impacts.                                                                   
Mr. Howard stressed the need for  a management plan including                                                                   
a Citizen's  Advisory Board.   He urged  that HB  307 contain                                                                   
stated deadlines.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:52:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARRIE GREY  WOLF, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  WILDLIFE                                                                   
BIOLOGIST,   PALMER,   testified   in   opposition   to   the                                                                   
legislation.   She pointed  out that  birds and waterfowl  do                                                                   
not  have the  option  to  leave; the  Valley  is  part of  a                                                                   
critical  migration route.    Bird watching  in  Alaska is  a                                                                   
multi  million-dollar  business.   If  the bill  passes,  she                                                                   
urged that  the Commissioner have  the authority  to restrict                                                                   
the type  of weapons  used in the  critical habitat  area and                                                                   
regulate  the  time  of  discharge  in  the  wetlands.    She                                                                   
advocated for sufficient funding  for education, enforcement,                                                                   
habitat   protection,    sanitary   facilities    and   trail                                                                   
maintenance.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CECILY  FRITZ,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  KNIK  RIVER                                                                   
WATERSHED GROUP,  PALMER, thanked Representative  Stoltze for                                                                   
initiating a  plan that would  help bring people  together to                                                                   
accommodate  all users and  the resources in  the area.   She                                                                   
urged effective enforcement, asking  how the enforcement will                                                                   
happen.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Fritz  recommended  the Committee  amend Page 2,  Section                                                                   
41-23-190  - to  include  a Citizen's  Advisory  Board.   She                                                                   
stated that  Page 3, Lines  13-18, does not allow  management                                                                   
of  the trails  near  residential  areas,  in the  dunes,  or                                                                   
consideration of  motorized use  of the upland  trails during                                                                   
the winter season.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Fritz  pointed out  that  swans  are present  near  that                                                                   
trail.   She  urged  that the  bill be  amended  on Line  13,                                                                   
inserting language  "as compatible with the  purposes of that                                                                   
section and ending the sentence  after the word "ariel".  She                                                                   
noted  that with  good legislation,  their  group could  work                                                                   
effectively with the various agencies.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC UHDE, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ALASKA CENTER FOR                                                                   
THE ENVIRONMENT (ACE), ANCHORAGE,  testified in opposition to                                                                   
HB  307,  noting   that  it  does  nothing   to  help  manage                                                                   
activities.  ACE recommends a  local management style for the                                                                   
area,  managed as  a  recreation  area.   The  Knik River  is                                                                   
notorious  for being a  dangerous place  and the  legislation                                                                   
fails  to  tackle   those  problems.    HB   307  limits  the                                                                   
Commissioner  of  the  Department  of  Natural  Resources  to                                                                   
manage the  resources and  does not provide  for any  "on the                                                                   
ground  enforcement".   HB 307 allows,  "grand fathering"  of                                                                   
all existing trails; he recommended  that section be deleted.                                                                   
The  planning process  is  the best  place  to address  trail                                                                   
issues for critical habitat areas.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Uhde recommended  that  a  Citizen's Advisory  Board  be                                                                   
established   to  compliment   the   Department  of   Natural                                                                   
Resources management.   In any  event, proper funding  is the                                                                   
key.  He  pointed out that  the fiscal note does  not address                                                                   
enforcement and  funding that  is essential.   In conclusion,                                                                   
the local population should be  the ones to determine the use                                                                   
of management areas.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:02:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TODD CLARK,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), ALASKA  OUTDOOR                                                                   
ACCESS  ALLIANCE (AOAA),  ANCHORAGE, discussed  the goals  of                                                                   
AOAA to  maximize the  largest use  of the public  resources.                                                                   
In  South-central   Alaska,  there   needs  to  be   a  place                                                                   
designated for  use by motorized  vehicles.  HB  307 provides                                                                   
the  opportunity  for education,  protection  and  management                                                                   
enforcement.  He  suggested that HB 307 could  help solve the                                                                   
problems, reiterating that enforcement is the key issue.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATTI BARBER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PALMER, voiced                                                                   
appreciation  for HB  307, which protects  motor home  users.                                                                   
She agreed there  needs to be greater funding  for the Alaska                                                                   
State Troopers for proper enforcement.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:06:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEN BARBER,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), PALMER,  voiced                                                                   
100% support  for HB  307 and recommended  no changes  to the                                                                   
bill.  Mr. Barber agreed that enforcement is essential.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:08:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DICK COUTTS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  BUTTE COMMUNITY                                                                   
COUNCIL TRAIL  COMMITTEE, PALMER,  noted support for  HB 307.                                                                   
He  explained the  need for  public use  designation for  the                                                                   
Knik River valley.  The traditions  and rural lifestyles must                                                                   
be  protected -  hunting,  fishing, prospecting  &  trapping.                                                                   
There  are other  parts  of Alaska  that  offer  areas of  no                                                                   
motorized  vehicles.    Tourism   is  a  choice  of  economic                                                                   
viability  in  the   Butt  area.    Offering   a  public  use                                                                   
designation  is   an  option   for  everyone.     Mr.  Coutts                                                                   
acknowledged the need for more  law enforcement but not a lot                                                                   
of  new restrictions.    There  are approximately  72  public                                                                   
agencies that have  regulations in place already  for such an                                                                   
infrastructure.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:11:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DICK   MYLIUS,   (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   DEPUTY                                                                   
DIRECTOR, DIVISION  OF MINING  LAND AND WATER,  DEPARTMENT OF                                                                   
NATURAL RESOURCES,  ANCHORAGE, commented that  the Department                                                                   
of Natural Resources  has worked closely  with Representative                                                                   
Stoltze &  Senator Huggins  on the  legislation.  He  thought                                                                   
the changes made have been good.   The legislation sets aside                                                                   
264 thousand  acres as  a public use  area; there  is general                                                                   
support  for addressing  the concerns.   The management  plan                                                                   
offers a  good opportunity  to address  the issues.   Another                                                                   
key point of the  bill is that it provides  the Department of                                                                   
Natural  Resources  enforcement   authority  along  with  the                                                                   
Alaska  State  Troopers  for   citing  violations.    Current                                                                   
enforcement is not working on the ground.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:13:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE BILL STOLTZE, SPONSOR,  thanked the Department                                                                   
of Natural Resources  for the proposed  enforcement language.                                                                   
He appreciated the  direction the bill has moved;  he pointed                                                                   
out he  is working  on an amendment  that would allow  groups                                                                   
outside government,  to provide resources  for organizational                                                                   
costs.  He highlighted long-term issues of the area.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:15:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  voiced  her appreciation  with  the                                                                   
proposed cleaning up; she asked  how the public process would                                                                   
include   involvement   from   the  Department   of   Natural                                                                   
Resources.    Mr.  Mylius  said they  intend  to  follow  the                                                                   
standard public project process,  which takes about two years                                                                   
and  involves   public  meetings   to  identify   issues  and                                                                   
concerns.  There  were hearings held on the  legislation last                                                                   
summer to  focus on the issues.   The Department  will gather                                                                   
data to  deal with issues such  as a public  survey regarding                                                                   
area  use.   A draft  plan would  be  written, following  the                                                                   
meetings on the plan and then  a final plan would be written.                                                                   
He  summarized the  three  rounds of  public  meetings.   The                                                                   
planning team  would consist of  the State agencies  involved                                                                   
in land and resource management and the borough.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:17:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula understood the  time and  effort put                                                                   
into  planning, and  asked if  at  some point  a more  formal                                                                   
group could happen.   Mr. Mylius responded that  had occurred                                                                   
from time to time in the planning  efforts.  Initially, there                                                                   
was a  formal advisory board  - a group  that was  useful but                                                                   
added time and  expense to the process.  It is  known who the                                                                   
prime usury groups will be.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:18:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  pointed  out that  the  enforcement                                                                   
section appears to  be broader than normal and  asked what it                                                                   
encompasses.  Mr. Mylius replied  at this time, the only ones                                                                   
authorized to  issue warrants are the Alaska  State Troopers,                                                                   
which  includes employees  from  the Department  of Fish  and                                                                   
Game and State Rangers.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  agreed there needs to be  a "show of                                                                   
enforcement and  commitment" to deal with the  seriousness of                                                                   
the  legislation.   Mr. Mylius  pointed out  that the  fiscal                                                                   
note  contains   funding  for   a  position  that   would  be                                                                   
responsible  for patrolling  the  area and  that  the use  is                                                                   
somewhat seasonal.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:21:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  inquired how  the  public use  area                                                                   
could interact  with the adjacent  land.  Mr.  Mylius replied                                                                   
that most  of the  Bureau of Land  Management (BLM)  lands do                                                                   
not see much  intensive public use.   The BLM used  to have a                                                                   
few parcels closer to the road  system but most of those have                                                                   
been transferred to the State.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:22:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula referenced the  section of  the bill                                                                   
that  addresses recognition  of the  existing off-road  motor                                                                   
vehicle trails and asked if that  meant "consideration".  Mr.                                                                   
Mylius  understood  that it  meant,  "recognized".   Some  of                                                                   
those trails might need to be  rerouted; the current language                                                                   
provides that flexibility.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula asked if  some of those  trails were                                                                   
creating  more debilitation,  would the  Department have  the                                                                   
authority to rehabilitate  the area to bring them  back.  Mr.                                                                   
Mylius replied they have that authority.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:24:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch MOVED  to ADOPT  New Amendment  #1,                                                                   
#24-LS0737\S.2, Bullock, 4/6/06.  Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch explained  the amendment  clarifies                                                                   
that  the  Commissioner  cannot  prohibit  hunting  within  a                                                                   
marine  park-system.    He  noted   the  language  came  from                                                                   
Representative Kerttula's  bill, which creates  a marine park                                                                   
in Southeast Alaska. He thought  the provision fit well in HB
307.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:25:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly pointed  out it  restates the  existing                                                                   
wording.     Representative  Weyhrauch  clarified   that  one                                                                   
restricts while  the other  prohibits.  Representative  Kelly                                                                   
asked   if   it   would   affect    fishing   and   trapping.                                                                   
Representative Weyhrauch  said it could not.   Representative                                                                   
Kelly  countered   that  it  could  reduce   restrictions  on                                                                   
hunting.   Discussion  between  Representative Weyhrauch  and                                                                   
Representative  Kelly took place  on the verbiage  addressing                                                                   
hunting restrictions.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:27:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula clarified  that the  reason for  the                                                                   
language in her bill was to address  concerns brought forward                                                                   
by  the territorial  sportsman.   She did  not believe  there                                                                   
were  concerns  regarding  hunting  but  thought  the  issues                                                                   
brought   forward   by  Representative   Kelly   were   worth                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch WITHDREW  the  MOTION on  Amendment                                                                   
#1.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was withdrawn.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:29:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze commented that  the amendment deals mostly                                                                   
with  Southeast park  issues and  does not  address land  and                                                                   
management concerns that the Knik public use area has.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:30:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Mylius  pointed  out  the   fiscal  note  addresses  two                                                                   
components:                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
   · A two year planning process effort, and                                                                                    
   · A long-term position for a manager to that area                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer noted the two employees  hired for FY07 & FY08                                                                   
and then one position  in FY09.  Mr. Mylius  replied that was                                                                   
correct,  as the  first  two years  require  funding for  the                                                                   
planning  effort. The  long-term manager  hired in the  first                                                                   
two years  would be  involved  in the planning  effort.   The                                                                   
planning position  would exist only  as long as  the planning                                                                   
efforts  continue.   Mr. Mylius  said  the planning  position                                                                   
would be  placed in  Anchorage; the  Valley position  funding                                                                   
would  be through  the  State  Agriculture Office,  the  cost                                                                   
covered in the fiscal note.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:34:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault inquired  if the position  could  help the                                                                   
State Troopers.   Mr.  Mylius replied that  it was  the other                                                                   
way around and that they would  be assisting the Alaska State                                                                   
Troopers.  The area has become  a dump ground for many stolen                                                                   
vehicles    and   requires    State   Trooper    involvement.                                                                   
Enforcement will  have several purposes for  patrolling those                                                                   
grounds.    Co-Chair  Chenault  appreciated  that  the  hired                                                                   
person would be working in the field, not in an office.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly emphasized  the area  clearly is  not a                                                                   
park.   Mr. Mylius  understood that; there  are a  few public                                                                   
use areas managed by the Division of Mining, Land & Water.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  asked if it was a  critical habitat                                                                   
area.  Vice Chair  Stoltze said not as a whole  but that part                                                                   
of  the  process is  to  identify  such  areas.   Creating  a                                                                   
multiple use area is the intent.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:38:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  REPORT CS HB 307 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  307 (FIN) was  reported out of  Committee with  a "no"                                                                   
recommendation and  with fiscal note #1 by  the Department of                                                                   
Natural Resources.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:39:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 493                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to reimbursement of municipal bonds for                                                                    
     school construction.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  pointed  out  that  Amendment  #1  had  been                                                                   
adopted at the previous hearing.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule WITHDREW Amendment #2.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule   MOVED  to  ADOPT  Amendment   #3  for                                                                   
discussion purposes.  Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  explained  that  the  amendment  would                                                                   
provide   a  limit   of  the   total  amount   of  the   debt                                                                   
reimbursement  to  $400  thousand dollars,  to  be  allocated                                                                   
between districts  based on their  size, as done  in previous                                                                   
years.  Co-Chair Meyer noted his  intent there be no 60% cap,                                                                   
as it would not be as attractive with the 70% amount.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PETE ECKLUND,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  KEVIN MEYER,  explained                                                                   
that from 2002 to 2004, there  was an open-ended 70% approved                                                                   
and  60%  non-approved   reimbursement  rate.     Under  that                                                                   
program,  there  was  $699  million  dollars  authorized  for                                                                   
bonds.    Last  year, $177  million  dollars  for  bonds  was                                                                   
authorized with a cap structure.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule WITHDREW Amendment #3.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule MOVED to  ADOPT conceptual Amendment #4.                                                                   
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  explained that conceptual  Amendment #4                                                                   
would  provide  an effective  date.     Representative  Joule                                                                   
observed  that last  time bonds  were issued,  it included  a                                                                   
provision for rural development.   Co-Chair Meyer agreed that                                                                   
HB  202 added  funding  for rural  schools;  he observed  the                                                                   
importance  of keeping  the balance between  rural and  urban                                                                   
schools.    He  pointed  out   that  rural  needs  have  been                                                                   
addressed partly through the major maintenance lists.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule WITHDREW Amendment #4.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Joule  MOVED  to   ADOPT  Amendment   #5,  a                                                                   
conceptual  amendment  which  would  add  an  effective  date                                                                   
clause.  Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:45:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  explained  that  Amendment  #5  allows                                                                   
rural   school  districts   to   participate   in  the   debt                                                                   
reimbursement  program.    The   amendment  is  technical  in                                                                   
nature, addressing the North Slope Borough School District.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  clarified that the amendment  would allow the                                                                   
North Slope  Borough School  District  to participate  in the                                                                   
                                                 st                                                                             
current 70/30 program, in effect  until October 1,  2006.  He                                                                   
asked  if it  was  intended they  be  included  in the  60/40                                                                   
reimbursement after that date.   Representative Joule did not                                                                   
know about that eligibility.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer asked  if it would be possible  to provide for                                                                   
Representative Joule's request.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
EDDY JEANS, DIRECTOR, EDUCATION  SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF  EDUCATION  AND  EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  explained  that  the                                                                   
proposed legislation  is open to  all school districts  & the                                                                   
North  Slope would  qualify under  the proposal.   He  stated                                                                   
that Amendment #5  would reallocate funds approved  in SB 73,                                                                   
by taking $2 million out of the  allocation for the Anchorage                                                                   
School District for the North  Slope Borough School District.                                                                   
Mr. Jeans noted  that the Borough had passed  the school bond                                                                   
package,  so they  would  fit within  the  timeline but  they                                                                   
would  not be  eligible for  any reimbursements  in the  FY07                                                                   
budget since they did not notify  the Department of Education                                                                   
of their intended debt.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer maintained his opposition to Amendment #5.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:50:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  pointed out that the Anchorage  bonds failed,                                                                   
but through the new election, they would qualify.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  questioned if the North Slope  Borough School                                                                   
District understood that they  would be responsible for 100%.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:51:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Ecklund explained that the  list at the time crafted, did                                                                   
not include projects for the North Slope Borough.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  WITHDREW Amendment #5.   Co-Chair Meyer                                                                   
said he would support the amendment  if it did not take funds                                                                   
away  from other  school districts.   Mr.  Jeans pointed  out                                                                   
that under the  debt program, districts have  to submit their                                                                   
projects separately.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:52:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer acknowledged  disappointment  that  Anchorage                                                                   
voters did not  approve the 70/30-school  bond reimbursement.                                                                   
He hoped at the 60/40 level, the  district would bond without                                                                   
a cap be in place.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:54:54 PM                                                                                                                    
]                                                                                                                               
Representative  Weyhrauch  indicated   his  support  for  the                                                                   
legislation  &  the  proposed   mechanism.    Co-Chair  Meyer                                                                   
pointed  out that  the  legislation is  a  form of  municipal                                                                   
revenue  sharing.     Representative   Hawker  offered   full                                                                   
endorsement for financing in the proposed legislation.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice    Chair   Stoltze    asked   clarification    regarding                                                                   
reimbursement.   Co-Chair Meyer  stated that the  current 70%                                                                   
is in effective until October 2006.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  REPORT CS HB 493 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS  HB  493   (FIN)  was  reported  out  of   Committee  with                                                                   
"individual" recommendations  and with an  indeterminate note                                                                   
by the Department of Education & Early Development.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:57:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 30                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Creating   an    Alaska   Climate   Impact    Assessment                                                                   
     Commission.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer MOVED to ADOPT  work draft #24-LS1605\L, Kane,                                                                   
4/06/06, as  the version  of the  bill before the  Committee.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REGGIE JOULE,  SPONSOR, spoke  in support  of                                                                   
the legislation.   He stated that the Resolution  attempts to                                                                   
create  an Alaska  climate  impact assessment  commission  to                                                                   
identify  and address  issues  relating  to climate  changes.                                                                   
There  are already  economic impacts  to the  infrastructure.                                                                   
The  legislation places  a group  together  to bring  greater                                                                   
understanding in  planning for the anticipated  changes.  The                                                                   
Commission would  consist of two  members from each  body and                                                                   
11 public participants.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
JOHN   KREILKAMP,   (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   VICE                                                                   
PRESIDENT  FOR LAND  OPERATIONS FOR  CRUISE WEST,  ANCHORAGE,                                                                   
voiced support for  the legislation.  Cruise West  is a small                                                                   
ship cruise line  with 9 vessels in operation  in Alaska that                                                                   
travels to 23  statewide communities.  The  vessels have seen                                                                   
damage  from  back-to-back  storms  in  the Nome  area.    He                                                                   
pointed out  that the ice  gap has been shrinking,  requiring                                                                   
an additional day  to be reached by ship.   He suggested that                                                                   
the  Commission look  at the  affects on  docks, bridges  and                                                                   
roads.    A changing  climate  affects  travelers  coming  to                                                                   
Alaska, and the future of tourism to Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:07:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. GLENN  JUDAY, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PROFESSOR                                                                   
OF  ECOLOGY,  SCHOOL  OF  NATURAL  RESOURCES,  UNIVERSITY  OF                                                                   
ALASKA, FAIRBANKS,  noted he has  been involved  in accessing                                                                   
climate change  for over a quarter  century.  He  mentioned a                                                                   
series  of papers he  published in  1982 providing  important                                                                   
criteria  regarding serious  information  on climate  change.                                                                   
He was  happy that  considerations were  being made  and that                                                                   
there is a process now happening.   The real question is what                                                                   
can be  done now.   There  are many  questions on the  issues                                                                   
coming.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
He said the fiscal note is modest  given the intention of the                                                                   
legislation  to   assist  in  the  process   of  transferring                                                                   
information.  He urged that the bill pass from Committee.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:12:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ROLAND MAW,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, UNITED  COOK INLET DRIFTNET ASSOCIATION,  testified                                                                   
in support  for HCR 30.   He complimented the sponsor  of the                                                                   
legislation,   noting  that   he   fully  supports   previous                                                                   
testimony.  The Cook Inlet area  is currently struggling with                                                                   
salmon returns  into the  upper Inlet.   There  is a  lack of                                                                   
rainfall from the 50-year norm  and water temperatures are up                                                                   
to the limit  for salmon survival.  Kenai supports  the bill,                                                                   
having great concerns  regarding the issues.   Dr. Maw looked                                                                   
forward to serving on the Commission.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:14:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  SWENSON,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   DIRECTOR,                                                                   
DIVISION OF  GEOPHYSICAL &  GEOLOGICAL SURVEYING,  DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF NATURAL RESOURCES, ANCHORAGE,  offered to answer questions                                                                   
of the Committee.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:15:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch questioned  why retreating  sea-ice                                                                   
could affect polar navigation and raise security concerns.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MIKAYLA SAITO, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  REGGIE JOULE, responded                                                                   
that the  receding sea  ice is  opening up polar-regions  and                                                                   
that passage  for the  vessels is of  concern.  The  security                                                                   
revolves  around the  many docks  and ports  for the  foreign                                                                   
entry.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  discussed the possibility  of the North                                                                   
West Passage opening up with increased traffic.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:18:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  MOVED  to ADOPT  to  Amendment  #1,                                                                   
amending Page 2, Line 30, Subsection (d) to read:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     (d) A member that is knowledgeable in the area of and                                                                      
     management and restoration of wildlife and natural                                                                         
     resources.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula  pointed  out  a  technical  change,                                                                   
deleting "that" and  inserting "who".  The Department  of Law                                                                   
advised  that the  Legislative  Branch  couldn't mandate  the                                                                   
participation  of the  Executive Branch.   The Department  of                                                                   
Natural Resources is comfortable with the amended language.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair  Stoltze questioned  the request.   Representative                                                                   
Kerttula stated  it could  be placed  in the intent  language                                                                   
that  someone from  the Department  of  Natural Resources  is                                                                   
involved on the Commission.  Vice  Chair Stoltze indicated he                                                                   
has  served on  various commissions  and had  not heard  that                                                                   
objection.   Representative  Kerttula  pointed  out that  the                                                                   
issue deals with the separation of powers.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:21:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule commented  that in earlier testimony, it                                                                   
was suggested some  departments could serve in  an ex officio                                                                   
capacity  and hoped  the legislation  would  reach a  broader                                                                   
audience.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:22:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Kelly  commented   on  the  composition   of                                                                   
membership.     Representative   Joule  clarified   that  the                                                                   
language of the bill addresses membership changes.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:26:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION  to  Amendment  #1.                                                                   
There being NO further OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:26:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch   noted    his   appreciation   to                                                                   
Representative Joule for introducing the legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kerttula  MOVED to REPORT CS HCR  30 (FIN) out                                                                   
of Committee  with  individual recommendations  and with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CS  HCR  30   (FIN)  was  reported  out  of   Committee  with                                                                   
"individual" recommendations  and with indeterminate  note #1                                                                   
by the Department of Natural Resources  and fiscal note #2 by                                                                   
the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:29:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 105                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to coverage for adult dental services                                                                      
     under Medicaid; and providing for an effective date.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  ADOPT work draft #24-GH108\F,                                                                   
Mischel,  4/5/06,  as the  version  of  the bill  before  the                                                                   
Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:30:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  HOGAN, DEPUTY  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH  AND                                                                   
SOCIAL SERVICES,  explained that the Department  is proposing                                                                   
changes to the range of adult  dental services allowed in the                                                                   
Medicaid  program.    The  adult  dental  coverage  currently                                                                   
provides only  emergency dental care.  The  legislation would                                                                   
enhance  the existing  emergency  dental  program to  include                                                                   
preventive and restorative care.   The expanded program would                                                                   
benefit those  most in need  as well  as Alaskan seniors.   A                                                                   
proposed cap of $1150 per year  would allow for a full set of                                                                   
dentures over a two-year period.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Hogan  continued, infections of  the mouth can  result in                                                                   
all sorts  of physical  problems.   Dental infections  can be                                                                   
passed to  unborn infants  and can  keep a person  unemployed                                                                   
given  the decayed  teeth.   The Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                                   
(AMHT)  has a mini  grant program,  annually dispersing  over                                                                   
$700  thousand  dollars on  dental  care programs  for  their                                                                   
beneficiaries.   If the bill  passes, those Medicaid  dollars                                                                   
could be used.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
The  Division of  Vocational  Rehabilitation  has noted  they                                                                   
spend annually  about  $100 thousand dollars  to help  people                                                                   
with  dental concerns,  increasing the  possibility they  can                                                                   
become employed.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:34:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET  CLARKE, ASSISTANT  COMMISSIONER,  DIVISION OF  FINANCE                                                                   
AND  MANAGEMENT SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH AND  SOCIAL                                                                   
SERVICES, pointed out that the  revised fiscal note was based                                                                   
on  the  committee  substitute   and  was  reduced  from  the                                                                   
original  note.    FY07  number  reduction  of  $3.5  million                                                                   
dollars  estimate   to  $2.6  million  dollars   providing  a                                                                   
reduction to general funds.  The  fiscal note request for the                                                                   
first year assumes coverage for 25% of a full year.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Clarke  explained how the  fiscal note had  been reduced.                                                                   
She mentioned  the utilization assumptions.   In looking back                                                                   
at those  assumptions, it  was changed  to a 15%  utilization                                                                   
the first  year, 25% the second  year and then up to  35% the                                                                   
following year, which reduces some costs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
She indicated how  much the State spends on  emergency dental                                                                   
coverage,  factoring  in  the  savings.    When  HB  105  was                                                                   
introduced  last year,  it was  based  on a  federal-Medicaid                                                                   
percentage of  50%; our congressional delegation  was able to                                                                   
change  that to 57.5%  federal participation,  saving  in the                                                                   
General  Fund requirement.   The Alaska  Mental Health  Trust                                                                   
Authority has agreed  to maintain their funding  level.  AMTA                                                                   
will be  investing significant  dollars during the  next four                                                                   
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Clarke pointed out that the  committee substitute sunsets                                                                   
after  FY09.    She  offered   to  answer  questions  of  the                                                                   
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:37:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  inquired  about  the  reallocation  of                                                                   
funding  within  the Department.    Ms. Clarke  advised  that                                                                   
making  cuts  to  the Medicaid  program  is  complicated  and                                                                   
difficult.  She stated that if  the Department is not aligned                                                                   
with the Legislature  on what direction it is  going into the                                                                   
Medicaid program,  there will  be many criticisms  for making                                                                   
such  reductions.     To  find  money  internally   would  be                                                                   
difficult.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:39:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kerttula inquired  if  most similar  programs                                                                   
begin  with a sunset.   Ms.  Clarke replied  that there  have                                                                   
been programs with a sunset such  as Senior Care; sunsets are                                                                   
becoming a trend  of this Legislature.   Representative Kelly                                                                   
was  not comforted  with the  sunset  concept, realizing  the                                                                   
enormity of the Department's budget.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:41:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  disagreed.  The point  of establishing                                                                   
a short  windowed sunset, offers  the Legislature  the option                                                                   
of  making  a  policy call,  rather  than  creating  it  into                                                                   
perpetuity; the  sunset offers a  trial time.  He  noted that                                                                   
the  bill  has   been  restructured  to  avoid   concerns  of                                                                   
continued growth.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:43:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDY POPE, JUNEAU,  spoke in support of the  legislation.  He                                                                   
noted  that  he  represented the  seniors  at  Mountain  View                                                                   
Senior Center,  many of whom  are low-income and  have fallen                                                                   
through  the  cracks  of  dental   care  reimbursement.    He                                                                   
commented  that   the  $1100  dollar  threshold   would  help                                                                   
tremendously for  initial dental  care expenses and  then the                                                                   
seniors  could  pay  the  rest   with  their  Permanent  Fund                                                                   
Dividend (PFD).  He urged passage of HB 105.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:46:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE FORD,  ALASKA NATIVE HEALTH  BOARD, JUNEAU,  stated that                                                                   
they completely  support  HB 105.   The committee  substitute                                                                   
provides a cautious approach and  allows taking a look at the                                                                   
program.   The proposed legislation  is a prudent,  practical                                                                   
and critical for many residents  of the State.  He urged that                                                                   
it pass quickly from Committee.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:47:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.   KATHINKA   WHITE,   (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  FOR  THE  ALASKA  PRIMARY  CARE  ASSOCIATION,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE,  testified  in  strong  support  of  the  proposed                                                                   
legislation.   Dental infections  of the tooth,  gums, tissue                                                                   
and bone  are infectious diseases.   Dental problems,  except                                                                   
in early stages, are irreparable and cumulative.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Dr. White  stated that oral  disease is associated  with many                                                                   
other  problems.   As many as  80% of  the premature  infants                                                                   
born  in  the   United  States  can  be  attributed   to  the                                                                   
infectious oral  diseases.   Providing emergency  dental care                                                                   
may relieve acute  symptoms.  She urged passage  of the bill,                                                                   
stressing  the  need  to address  oral  health  and  improved                                                                   
access to dental care.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:51:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF  JESSE,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  CEO,  ALASKA                                                                   
MENTAL HEALTH TRUST AUTHORITY,  ANCHORAGE, reiterated support                                                                   
for  HB 105.   He  mentioned the  seriousness  of the  sunset                                                                   
provision and offered to answer questions of the Committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:52:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARLA   SHELTON,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   PARENT                                                                   
ADVOCATE, emphasized the importance  of adult dental services                                                                   
and urged passage of the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:55:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EMILY  ENNIS,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR, FAIRBANKS RESOURCE AGENCY,  FAIRBANKS, testified in                                                                   
support   of  dental   care  for  adults   &  children   with                                                                   
developmental  disabilities.  Preventative  dental care  is a                                                                   
necessary investment  that goes  hand-in-hand with  the other                                                                   
disability  services offered  by the  State.   She urged  the                                                                   
Committee's support in passage of the legislation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:56:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STACY  MESSERSCHMIDT,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  TOK,                                                                   
spoke in support of HB 105.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:56:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SYDNEY STREDICKET,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE),  PARTNERS                                                                   
IN POLICY, spoke in strong support of HB 105.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:58:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT   LUBBY,   (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   ADVOCACY                                                                   
DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  ASSOCIATION  OF  RETIRED  PERSONS  (AARP),                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, noted that Medicaid  has never provided any dental                                                                   
care coverage  and consequently, some older people  stay away                                                                   
from dentists because  they cannot afford it.   The result is                                                                   
bad  oral  health,  which  adds   to  other  physical  health                                                                   
concerns.   He stressed it  is a real  concern faced  by real                                                                   
Alaskans.  He urged  passage of  HB 105, because  it is  good                                                                   
public health legislation.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MEG MITCHELL,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), HOMER,  cited                                                                   
her   experience    in   working   with    individuals   with                                                                   
disabilities,  noting  the need  for  adults  on Medicaid  to                                                                   
receive dental  care.   She expressed  strong support  of the                                                                   
legislation, pointing  out there are 40,000  adults in Alaska                                                                   
that  need the  coverage but  cannot  afford it.   She  urged                                                                   
passage of HB 105.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
STAN  STEADMAN,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  EXECUTIVE                                                                   
DIRECTOR,  CENTER  PENINSULA   HEALTH  CENTER,  ASPEN  DENTAL                                                                   
CENTER, KENAI, stated that his  clinic has seen many patients                                                                   
that desperately need such services.   He urged passage of HB
105.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  MCELROY,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  DENTAL                                                                   
HYGENIST, SOLDOTNA,  noted the great need for  adult Medicaid                                                                   
recipients to receive dental benefits  and echoed support for                                                                   
passage of the legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR.  MARGUERITE  MCINTOSH,  (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),                                                                   
FAMILY  DOCTOR,   SOLDOTNA,  testified  in  support   of  the                                                                   
legislation.   As a  family practioner  in private  practice,                                                                   
she noted costs  for medical concerns that begin  with dental                                                                   
issues.   She  pointed out  incidents  of adults  contracting                                                                   
lung infections  resulting from  a lack  of dental  care over                                                                   
the years.  She urged passage of HB 105.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA   HAWK,   (TESTIFIED   VIA   TELECONFERENCE),   DENTAL                                                                   
OPERATIONS MANAGER FOR ANCHORAGE  NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH CENTER,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, noted  that she had  seen many patients  suffering                                                                   
from  dental  infections,  and  that those  people  can  only                                                                   
receive  tooth  extractions.   She  noted,  many  individuals                                                                   
would  like  to  receive  preventative   care  prior  to  the                                                                   
extraction.  She addressed the  high cost for root canals and                                                                   
restorative  treatments;  she  stated  that  dental  care  is                                                                   
completely prohibitive  for anyone that does  not have dental                                                                   
health  benefits  and  insurance.     Ms.  Hawk  thanked  the                                                                   
Committee for consideration of the bill and urged passage.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY CLOSED.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer MOVED  to  ADOPT  Amendment  #1.   Vice  Chair                                                                   
Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE  CUNNINGHAM,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   KEVIN  MEYER,                                                                   
explained  that  the amendment  was  brought  forward at  the                                                                   
request  of the  Department of  Health  and Social  Services,                                                                   
because the wording in the draft  committee substitute was of                                                                   
concern.   The proposed change  to Page 2, Line  6, clarifies                                                                   
that the Department  will pay for preventive  and restorative                                                                   
dental services as well as minimum treatment.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The second  change on  Page 2, Lines  16-18, instead  of only                                                                   
palliative  treatment,  the  Department  requests  "immediate                                                                   
relief  of  pain  and/or  the   spreading  of  infection  and                                                                   
provided by a  licensed dentist".  Janet  Clarke acknowledged                                                                   
they had requested the change for clarity purposes.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze  WITHDREW  his OBJECTION.  There  being NO                                                                   
further OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED  to ADOPT Amendment  #2.  Vice                                                                   
Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch explained   that   amendment   would                                                                   
remove  the  initial portion  of  the  bill, making  it  into                                                                   
intent  language   and  putting  it  into  a   House  Finance                                                                   
Committee Letter of Intent.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker   indicated   his  support   of   the                                                                   
amendment, pointing out the precedent  to include intent in a                                                                   
Letter of Intent rather than in the bill itself.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:12:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze  REMOVED  his OBJECTION to  the amendment.                                                                   
There being  NO further  OBJECTIONS, conceptual  Amendment #2                                                                   
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In response  to Co-Chair  Meyer, Representative  Hawker noted                                                                   
that a  great deal of  time was spent  on the revised  fiscal                                                                   
note, which  adequately reflects  an excellent return  on the                                                                   
investment.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:14:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly asked  clarification  between  emergency                                                                   
and continuing care.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Clarke responded  that the  statute clarifies  emergency                                                                   
dental care  very well as the  "immediate relief of  pain and                                                                   
acute  infection".   That  definition  is maintained  in  the                                                                   
legislation.  She  noted that other services  were defined as                                                                   
"preventative and restorative"  and that restorative services                                                                   
were  being   added  in  the  legislation,   while  emergency                                                                   
services remain in tact.  She  reiterated that there is a cap                                                                   
of $1,150 for total restorative services each year.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:17:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker addressed  the criticism of the bill as                                                                   
a "new  program".   He emphasized  that dental services  were                                                                   
provided under  the existing  Medicaid program; he  explained                                                                   
that the readjusted program toward  preventative maintenance,                                                                   
in the hope that emergency services  would then be reduced in                                                                   
the new model.   He stressed the  cap as being unique  to the                                                                   
program, which allows his strong support of the bill.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly noted   he   too  supports   the   bill,                                                                   
however, expressed  concern regarding  the sustainability  of                                                                   
the program  within the  Department's budget.   He  noted the                                                                   
escalation of  that Department's  budget in addition  to what                                                                   
is going on with the public employee retirement system.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  MOVED  to  REPORT CS  HB 105  (FIN)                                                                   
out  of Committee  with individual  recommendations and  with                                                                   
the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being NO OBJECTION, it                                                                   
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  105 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation,  House  Finance  Committee  Letter  of                                                                   
Intent and with  fiscal notes #1 and #2 by the  Department of                                                                   
Education &  Early Development and  a new fiscal note  by the                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:22 P.M.                                                                                          

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