Legislature(2017 - 2018)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/02/2017 01:00 PM FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as
Download Video part 1. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:03:22 PM Start
01:04:43 PM HB57 || HB59
01:05:13 PM Public Testimony: Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-su, and Seward
03:46:53 PM Public Testimony: Barrow, Dillingham, and Fairbanks
05:48:50 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+= HB 57 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
+= HB 59 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
Testimony Instructions:
1:00 - 3:30 PM - Homer, Kenai, Ketchikan,
Kodiak, Mat-Su & Seward
3:45 - 6:00 - PM Barrow, Dillingham & Fairbanks
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 15 min. prior to end of
allotted time or testimony will close early
- Select a spokesperson if you are part of a
group with the same message
- All Off Net callers must hang up immediately
after testifying to keep lines open
- Continue to access meeting through akleg.gov
- The hearing may be televised on Gavel to
Gavel, please check listings
- If you are an Off Net caller without an LIO,
only call during designated Off Net times on
3/3/17 & 3/4/17
- Call 465-4648 by 5:00 PM 3/1/17 - 3/4/17 to
obtain call-in number
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
In case of postponement, Thursday's public
testimony will be rescheduled to:
3/4/17 - 3:00 - 5:00 PM - Homer, Kenai,
Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su & Seward
3/6/17 - 1:30 - 3:45 PM - Barrow, Dillingham &
Fairbanks
HOUSE BILL NO. 57                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;   repealing    appropriations;   making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations and  reappropriations, and                                                                    
     making  appropriations  under   art.  IX,  sec.  17(c),                                                                    
     Constitution  of   the  State   of  Alaska,   from  the                                                                    
     constitutional budget  reserve fund; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 59                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:04:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: HOMER,  KENAI, KETCHIKAN, KODIAK, MAT-SU,                                                                  
and SEWARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:05:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM HORNADAY, KENAI, KENAI  PENINSULA COLLEGE COUNCIL, KENAI                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  in support  of the  University                                                                    
Board  of Regents  funding request  of $341  million funding                                                                    
versus the  governor's proposal of  $325 million.  He shared                                                                    
information about his professional  background as a teacher.                                                                    
He  shared it  had  been exciting  to  watch the  university                                                                    
campuses  grow in  the region  over the  years. He  remarked                                                                    
that the Senate had proposed  reducing the budget request to                                                                    
$309  million.  He  talked  about  the  effects  of  reduced                                                                    
funding  for   the  university   system.  He   relayed  that                                                                    
additional  cuts  would  have  an  adverse  effects  on  the                                                                    
communities. He thanked the committee.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:08:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE  ILLG, SELF/KENAI  PENINSULA  BOROUGH SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
HOMER  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  fully                                                                    
funding the  BSA and pupil  transportation spoke  in support                                                                    
of  fully  funding the  Base  Student  Allocation (BSA)  and                                                                    
pupil transportation.  Additionally, he asked  the committee                                                                    
to  consider fully  funding  bond  debt reimbursements  that                                                                    
played a significant role in  the investment and commitments                                                                    
in  municipalities and  boroughs  throughout  the state.  He                                                                    
stressed that  school districts really  needed to  know what                                                                    
the funding  scenario would be  because the  districts could                                                                    
not keep stringing along  employees, teachers, and community                                                                    
members.  He suggested  forward  funding the  formula a  few                                                                    
years out. He urged members  to consider the benefits of the                                                                    
schools and for all Alaskan children. He thanked members.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Seaton noted  that Representatives  Ortiz, Pruitt,                                                                    
Kawasaki, and Guttenberg had joined the meeting.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:10:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRYAN ZAK,  SELF, HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke  of the                                                                    
importance of  high school and college  education. He shared                                                                    
that the Homer  High School was number one in  the state for                                                                    
performance  of the  graduating  seniors.  He discussed  the                                                                    
importance  of  preparing  high school  seniors  to  achieve                                                                    
scholarships to universities. He  also encouraged members to                                                                    
find new  revenue sources, which  would help with  a portion                                                                    
of   the  state's   budget  deficit.   He  appreciated   the                                                                    
legislature's efforts.  He asked the legislature  to develop                                                                    
a fiscal  plan within  90 days. He  underscored that  it was                                                                    
not possible to  cut the state's way out of  the deficit. He                                                                    
also warned against cost shifting to municipalities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:13:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEG  MITCHELL, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
opposition to the proposal of  the cap to community services                                                                    
for individuals  with disabilities to eight  hours per week.                                                                    
She shared  that she had  worked as  a case manager  for the                                                                    
past 26  years. She  believed people with  disabilities were                                                                    
wonderful  and   deserving  of  having  the   fullest  lives                                                                    
possible.  She stressed  that the  cap would  limit disabled                                                                    
individuals'  time   in  community  settings,   meaning  the                                                                    
individuals  would  not  have  access  to  their  choice  of                                                                    
community    activities    for    learning,    volunteering,                                                                    
recreating,  or socializing.  She underscored  that the  cap                                                                    
would cut  dozens of jobs  of direct service  providers. She                                                                    
spoke to the  benefits of the services.  She emphasized that                                                                    
the cut  would promote  program participants to  be excluded                                                                    
from the community.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:15:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERYL  TUTTLE,  STUDENT  UNION PRESIDENT,  KENAI  PENINSULA                                                                    
COLLEGE  (KPC),  NIKISKI   (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of  full  funding the  university  system  at  $325                                                                    
million.  She  stressed that  anything  less  than the  full                                                                    
amount  would  be a  deficit  for  the community,  students,                                                                    
staff,  and faculty.  She asked  the committee  to keep  the                                                                    
college campuses in  mind and to avoid cutting  too far. She                                                                    
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:17:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AUBREY  DUNCAN,  STUDENT  REPRESENTATIVE,  KPC,  KENAI  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support  of funding the university                                                                    
system.  She shared  that she  was currently  a freshmen  in                                                                    
high  school.   She  represented  the  next   generation  of                                                                    
workers, parents,  and leaders. She reinforced  the need for                                                                    
the  local  colleges.  She provided  information  about  her                                                                    
experience as  a student.  She asked  the committee  to keep                                                                    
students in  mind as the  future of Alaska.  She underscored                                                                    
that decisions  made by the  legislature impacted  more than                                                                    
just the college itself; it impacted all of Alaska.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:18:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOCELYN RISKE, KPC, SOLDOTNA  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support of  funding the university  system. She  shared that                                                                    
she was currently pursuing a  degree in nursing. She enjoyed                                                                    
her experience at the Kenai  Peninsula College. She stressed                                                                    
that  staff were  very dedicated  to  helping students.  She                                                                    
urge members to continue funding.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:19:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE PIERCE, SELF, KASILOF  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
opposition  of funding  oil tax  credits  and subsidies.  He                                                                    
thought  the committee  should limit  lobbyist testimony  to                                                                    
two minutes  as well in  order to  make things even.  He did                                                                    
not support  state funding for  nonprofits and  believed the                                                                    
state  needed to  tax s  corporations and  limited liability                                                                    
companies. He asked the legislature  to cut its own per diem                                                                    
by  three-quarters.  He  did  not  believe  the  legislature                                                                    
should receive  any per diem after  90 days if it  could not                                                                    
finish its work within that  time. He urged an advisory vote                                                                    
of the  people before taking  money from the  Permanent Fund                                                                    
and   cutting  the   dividend.  He   believed  the   state's                                                                    
government  was   bloated.  He   spoke  to  the   change  in                                                                    
leadership  in  the  legislature   and  emphasized  the  new                                                                    
leadership  could  listen to  the  people.  He stressed  his                                                                    
opposition  to  the use  of  the  Permanent Fund,  which  he                                                                    
believed  would hurt  Alaskans. He  thought legislators  had                                                                    
selective hearing. He asked the  committee to increase taxes                                                                    
on the oil industry.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:21:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICK MICHELS,  KPC, SOLDOTNA (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
support  for   funding  for  the  Kenai   Peninsula  College                                                                    
funding.  He shared  that he  was  currently an  18-year-old                                                                    
high  school senior  attending KPC.  He  stressed the  great                                                                    
learning environment at the college.  He urged the committee                                                                    
to keep the college's budget in mind.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:22:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRED   STURMAN,   SELF,   SOLDOTNA   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
suggested that  legislators should limit their  testimony to                                                                    
two minutes on  the House floor. He thought  the Division of                                                                    
Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the  railroad should be eliminated.                                                                    
He reasoned  that in the  business world when  something got                                                                    
into  financial  trouble  it was  eliminated.  He  suggested                                                                    
contracting the Alaska Marine Highway  System (AMHS) out and                                                                    
eliminating the  [Alaska Aerospace Corporation]  launch pad.                                                                    
He  believed the  governor  was making  too  much money.  He                                                                    
recommended discontinuing funding for  the gasline and doing                                                                    
away with heating  and oil subsidies for  rural Alaskans. He                                                                    
thought individuals  receiving free schools in  rural Alaska                                                                    
should be taxed.  He urged members to cut their  own pay. He                                                                    
thought pay  for state  workers should  be cut.  He believed                                                                    
unions should be responsible for collecting their own dues.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:24:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE  JONES,   KENAI  PENINSULA  BOROUGH   SCHOOL  DISTRICT,                                                                    
SOLDOTNA  (via teleconference),  spoke in  support of  fully                                                                    
funding  the BSA  and pupil  transportation. He  appreciated                                                                    
that full BSA funding had  been restored in the current bill                                                                    
version. He was concerned  about the bond debt reimbursement                                                                    
cut  and supported  full funding.  He spoke  of the  loss of                                                                    
about  $1.2 million  could hinder  the borough's  ability to                                                                    
fully  fund  the school  district.  He  thanked members  for                                                                    
their support of education.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:26:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROCKY EMERSON, SELF, NIKISKI  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
opposition of  using the  people's PFD.  He depended  on his                                                                    
dividend.  He believed  there were  many  other options  the                                                                    
legislature  could select  to solve  the budget  problem. He                                                                    
asked the committee to let  seniors have their fair share of                                                                    
funds. He  shared that  he had not  voted for  a legislative                                                                    
incumbent in  recent years and did  not plan on doing  so in                                                                    
the next election.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:27:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KELLY  JOHNSON,  SELF,  SOLDOTNA (via  teleconference),  was                                                                    
opposed cutting the PFD. He  discussed that the current U.S.                                                                    
president  and Congress  had gotten  elected based  on their                                                                    
campaigns to  increase the number  of jobs and to  cut taxes                                                                    
and  regulation.  He  did  not   support  the  bill  or  tax                                                                    
increases. He  shared that  almost all  of his  dividends in                                                                    
the past  had gone  towards his  college education  at Kenai                                                                    
Peninsula  College.  He   stressed  that  young  individuals                                                                    
needed the money  to help them get through  college as well.                                                                    
Additionally, he  stated that seniors  depended on  the PFD.                                                                    
He  thought  it  was  important  to  leave  the  PFD  alone,                                                                    
increase jobs,  and cut some regulation  to encourage growth                                                                    
in the state.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC MUENCH, SELF, KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
favor  of everyone  paying their  fair  share. He  supported                                                                    
income taxes  and shared that  when the state had  an income                                                                    
tax in the past it had  not hurt the economy. He underscored                                                                    
that  the  longer  tax  was not  addressed,  the  worse  the                                                                    
problem  would get.  He believed  the  state needed  revenue                                                                    
independent  of oil.  He thought  it was  necessary for  the                                                                    
state  to  have  the  ability  to  raise  money  from  every                                                                    
thriving  economic industry  or user  of state  services. He                                                                    
talked   about  the   importance   of  maintaining   certain                                                                    
services. He  disagreed with the  belief that an  income tax                                                                    
should not be  implemented until more cuts were  made to the                                                                    
state budget.  He emphasized that existing  cuts had already                                                                    
impacted  numerous services  that  benefit  the economy.  He                                                                    
supported  maintaining funding  for the  Department of  Fish                                                                    
and Game, forestry, troopers, and highways.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:31:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CYNNA   GUBATAYAO,  FINANCE   DIRECTOR,  KETCHIKAN   GATEWAY                                                                    
BOROUGH,   KETCHIKAN  (via   teleconference),  supported   a                                                                    
comprehensive  fiscal   plan  and  spoke   against  shifting                                                                    
additional costs  to the municipality.  She did  not believe                                                                    
continued  cuts  to  individual  programs  would  solve  the                                                                    
state's  financial problems.  The  borough was  particularly                                                                    
concerned  about  cuts  to   bond  debt  reimbursement.  She                                                                    
underscored  that as  costs were  shifted to  municipalities                                                                    
the burden was  placed on the local  taxpayers. She detailed                                                                    
that  100  percent of  the  borough's  property tax  and  20                                                                    
percent of  its sales tax  went to education. The  local tax                                                                    
payer was  already suffering the  burden of losing  jobs and                                                                    
positions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:32:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  STEPHENSON,  SELF,   KETCHIKAN  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified against  the bill. She  discussed that  on January                                                                    
21,  2017  millions  of  people  had  marched  worldwide  to                                                                    
express the  message that  the system  is broken.  She spoke                                                                    
against  the   new  federal  administration's   proposal  to                                                                    
increase defense spending by $54  billion, while cutting the                                                                    
same   amount  from   non-defense  programs   such  as   the                                                                    
Environmental   Protection   Agency.   She   stressed   that                                                                    
Ketchikan's  lifestyle was  centered on  air, land,  and sea                                                                    
environmental  programs. She  talked  about struggling  with                                                                    
household budgets,  while social  services tried  to sustain                                                                    
itself   with   the    revolving   door   of   dysfunctional                                                                    
individuals.  She believed  city  officials adjusted  fiscal                                                                    
responsibility  back onto  taxpayers  and local  industries.                                                                    
She   continued  that   legislators   had   not  been   held                                                                    
accountable for  the deficit. She  spoke against  taking the                                                                    
PF earnings  reserves to fund  government; however,  she was                                                                    
not opposed to  funds being lent from the  Permanent Fund in                                                                    
order for  Alaskans to be  debt-free in  future generations.                                                                    
She thanked the committee.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUTH  BULLOCK,  CLINICAL   DIRECTOR,  GATEWAY  CENTER  HUMAN                                                                    
SERVICES, KETCHIKAN, spoke of the  30 percent in their grant                                                                    
in the  previous year. She  thanked the committee  and added                                                                    
that treatment worked. She shared  that the center had taken                                                                    
a  cut  of  approximately  30  percent  to  its  grants  the                                                                    
previous  year, which  had been  startling.  The center  had                                                                    
been doing  well and was  billing Medicaid for  most people.                                                                    
She thanked the committee  for continuing to fund community-                                                                    
based programs. She emphasized that treatment worked.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DAN  ROHRER,  MAYOR,  KODIAK  ISLAND  BOROUGH,  KODIAK  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  opposition  to  the proposed  42                                                                    
percent  reduction to  school bond  debt reimbursement.  The                                                                    
cut  would  be  approximately  $2.2 million  to  the  Kodiak                                                                    
Island Borough.  He stressed that  the legislature  had many                                                                    
tools  it  could use  to  deal  with the  financial  crisis.                                                                    
Kodiak really only had property  taxes and fees to deal with                                                                    
its financial challenges. He looked  at options to cover the                                                                    
cut -  it could  increase its  mill rate by  2 (which  was a                                                                    
significant increase)  or it could reduce  the allocation to                                                                    
its  school  district. The  proposed  cuts  would mean  many                                                                    
municipalities would  push off  much of  the costs  to local                                                                    
schools.  He  respectfully  requested that  the  legislature                                                                    
fully fund the school bond debt reimbursement.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:39:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  SMILEY,  ASSEMBLY   MEMBER,  KODIAK  ISLAND  BOROUGH,                                                                    
KODIAK (via teleconference),  testified against the proposed                                                                    
reduction to  school bond debt reimbursement.  The community                                                                    
could not afford  the cut and he hoped the  state would stop                                                                    
passing  bills  off  to municipalities  that  it  could  not                                                                    
solve. He  supported the  implementation of  a sales  tax on                                                                    
online purchases,  a state income  tax, and using  a portion                                                                    
of the Permanent Fund.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:40:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  LEDOUX,  DEPUTY  MAYOR-KODIAK  BOROUGH,  KODIAK  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke   in  opposition  of   the  proposed                                                                    
reduction  to school  bond debt  reimbursement. He  spoke to                                                                    
the  state's financial  crisis  and  solutions suggested  to                                                                    
address the  situation including  an income tax,  sales tax,                                                                    
increase in  fisheries tax,  and reductions  in the  PFD and                                                                    
revenue  sharing. He  noted  that no  one  really liked  the                                                                    
options, but they were equitable  across the state. The debt                                                                    
reduction  would   affect  some  municipalities   more  than                                                                    
others, Kodiak  in particular. He  detailed that  Kodiak had                                                                    
been prudent  over the years  to request no more  money than                                                                    
it needed. In Kodiak the  increase in debt payments amounted                                                                    
to almost  2 mills. He  asked committee members  to consider                                                                    
how the cuts would impact  schools. Kodiak was going through                                                                    
an economic  crisis due challenges in  the fishing industry.                                                                    
He thanked the committee for its work for education.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton replied that the  legislature was facing bad                                                                    
choices, which meant either a  $300 per student Base Student                                                                    
Allocation (BSA) decrease  or at a similar  amount through a                                                                    
bond debt  reimbursement. He asked testifiers  to vocalize a                                                                    
choice between the two if desired.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:43:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  FORBES, SELF,  KODIAK (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of using  the PFD to fund government.  She loved the                                                                    
quality  of life  Alaska had  to  offer and  had raised  her                                                                    
family in  the state. She viewed  the PFD as a  gift, not as                                                                    
an  entitlement. She  strongly favored  a state  income tax.                                                                    
She wanted to see out of  state residents making a living in                                                                    
Alaska  paying  their  fair share.  She  stressed  that  the                                                                    
budget problems  could not  be solved  with cuts  alone. She                                                                    
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:44:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARB  BROWN, SELF,  KODIAK  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support full  funding for K-12 education.  She was horrified                                                                    
that  school lunches  were being  considered for  reductions                                                                    
nationally. She  discussed that the  kids eating  the school                                                                    
lunches were  many times having  their only hot meal  of the                                                                    
day.  She  supported funding  the  University  at the  level                                                                    
recommended  by the  Board of  Regents.  Further cuts  would                                                                    
negatively  impact  enrollment  and  completion  rates.  She                                                                    
favored an income  tax. She thought it was  important to tax                                                                    
people earning a wage in Alaska. She thanked the committee.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT   BRANSON,   MAYOR,   CITY  OF   KODIAK,   KODIAK   (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in opposition  of reducing the school                                                                    
bond  debt reimbursement.  She discussed  that the  city was                                                                    
not  responsible  for  its  schools,  it  was  part  of  the                                                                    
community  and  any cut  to  school  bond  debt would  be  a                                                                    
tremendous burden  on the whole  community. She  referred to                                                                    
three  options proposed  by Co-Chair  Seaton, the  governor,                                                                    
and  Senator  Bert  Stedman  and   asked  the  committee  to                                                                    
consider each idea. She stressed  it was not possible to cut                                                                    
the state's way out of  the deficit. She talked about having                                                                    
met with  the municipal league regarding  the state's fiscal                                                                    
situation.  She  relayed  that   any  cuts  should  be  fair                                                                    
reductions. She thanked members for their service.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:48:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN SHARRATT, SELF,  KODIAK (via teleconference), supported                                                                    
the  budget  of  the  Department of  Military  and  Veterans                                                                    
Affairs  (DMVA).  He   provided  information  regarding  his                                                                    
military  background, having  been  a member  of the  Alaska                                                                    
National Guard. He was currently  a business owner employing                                                                    
107 staff.  He discussed  the attributes of the current DMVA                                                                    
budget. He thanked members for the opportunity to testify.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:50:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN MAYFIELD,  ASSEMBLY MEMBER, MAT-SU BOROUGH,  MAT-SU (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  opposition  of  the school  bond                                                                    
debt reimbursement  reduction of  41.8 percent,  which would                                                                    
mean a  loss of approximately  $9.5 million to  the borough.                                                                    
He stated  it would equate to  a 10 percent tax  increase to                                                                    
residents.  The borough  had  already taken  a  hit of  $5.9                                                                    
million when  Governor Walker had  vetoed 25 percent  of the                                                                    
reimbursement.  He  discussed  that the  cuts  broke  public                                                                    
trust.  He referred  to a  prior  vote on  a school  bonding                                                                    
proposal. He  thought it was  an inequitable burden  for the                                                                    
Mat-Su  Borough. He  opposed  BSA  and pupil  transportation                                                                    
reductions. He urged members to vote no on the amendment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:53:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEORGE  HAYS,  DEPUTY  MAYOR, MAT-SU  BOROUGH,  MAT-SU  (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged  members to oppose  Co-Chair Seaton's                                                                    
amendment  to  reduce  school bond  debt  reimbursement.  He                                                                    
explained   the  amendment   would  cut   state  bond   debt                                                                    
reimbursement for  prior year  capital improvement  bonds by                                                                    
41.8  percent.  He  stressed  that  the  burden  would  fall                                                                    
unequally  on specific  citizens of  Alaska. He  underscored                                                                    
that  the reductions  would harm  borough  services and  the                                                                    
public's  trust.  He  listed negative  consequences  of  the                                                                    
cuts. He  explained the  results of  a similar  reduction by                                                                    
Governor Parnell. Any delay in  bond payment would adversely                                                                    
affect  the borough's  bond rating.  He  specified that  the                                                                    
combination   of   the   school    bond   debt   and   pupil                                                                    
transportation reduction  placed an unfair burden  on school                                                                    
systems operating  in the organized  areas of the  state. He                                                                    
suggested that  it would  cost $100  to citizens  within the                                                                    
borough.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:56:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GENE  STONE, MAT-SU  BOROUGH  SCHOOL  DISTRICT, MAT-SU  (via                                                                    
teleconference), opposed  the amendment  to the  school bond                                                                    
debt reimbursement  program. He encouraged members  to honor                                                                    
its  funding commitment.  He supported  fully funding  pupil                                                                    
transportation  and the  BSA. He  detailed  that failing  to                                                                    
fund pupil  transportation would  mean a cut  to classrooms.                                                                    
He thanked the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:58:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BETH  FREAD,   SELF,  PALMER  (via   teleconference),  urged                                                                    
members to cut the budget,  avoid cutting the PFD, and avoid                                                                    
imposing new  revenues or taxes  (until the budget  had been                                                                    
cut further). She  stressed that the current  budget was not                                                                    
sustainable. She  suggested the  only solution in  the House                                                                    
Majority  Coalition  was  to   continue  its  spending.  She                                                                    
opposed automatic  merit increases for state  employees. She                                                                    
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:00:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVE  ST.  CLAIRE,   SELF,  WASILLA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
pointed out that public testimony  was being held while most                                                                    
Alaskan  were at  work.  He  suggested comparing  apples-to-                                                                    
apples. He referred  to the FY 17  Department of Corrections                                                                    
budget compared  to the FY  18 budget that had  been reduced                                                                    
by  $7 million.  He wondered  what had  happened to  the $10                                                                    
million in savings  from SB 91. He thought  more cuts should                                                                    
be  made. He  asked what  had  happened to  the proposal  to                                                                    
close  a Palmer  facility.  He asked  members  if they  were                                                                    
being truthful about what was occurring with the budget.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:03:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ABBY ST.  CLAIRE, SELF, WASILLA (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the  legislature to  live within  its budget.  She supported                                                                    
additional cuts to the budget.  She shared information about                                                                    
her  fixed   income  and  relayed   she  could   not  afford                                                                    
additional taxes.  She opposed  using the people's  PFD. She                                                                    
believed  government  was  bloated and  that  Alaskans  were                                                                    
expected  to do  more  with less.  She reminded  legislators                                                                    
they represented their constituents and not the governor.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:05:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBBIE   MCCARTHY,  SELF,   WASILLA  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
opposed  her PFD  being taken  away as  a civil  forfeiture,                                                                    
which  she  believed was  unlawful.  She  thought the  state                                                                    
needed  to  clean  up  its   own  house,  particularly  with                                                                    
fraudulent practices.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:06:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAVE   BRIGHTON,   PRESIDENT,  KENAI   PENINSULA   EDUCATION                                                                    
ASSOCIATION,  KENAI (via  teleconference), spoke  in support                                                                    
of  funding public  education. He  referred  to fiscal  plan                                                                    
legislation  under  consideration  by  the  legislature  and                                                                    
believed HB  115 was  the most  balanced approach.  He noted                                                                    
the current status quo budget  for education was causing the                                                                    
districts to  cut due to  inflation. The district  had spent                                                                    
its fund balance trying to not  cut as many teachers and had                                                                    
cut over  $4 million  out of  its budget  in the  past three                                                                    
years.  He  did  not  support more  cuts  to  education.  He                                                                    
thanked the committee.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:08:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SOPHIANNE   SERGIE,  PARENTS   AS   TEACHERS,  SEWARD   (via                                                                    
teleconference), supported funding  for Parents as Teachers.                                                                    
She  discussed  the  merits of  the  program,  which  helped                                                                    
children with  learning and developing skills.  She spoke to                                                                    
her children's personal experience with the program.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:09:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH   KLEIN,   PARENTS    AS   TEACHERS,   SEWARD   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  continued  funding                                                                    
Parents as Teachers.  She shared that the  program had acted                                                                    
as  a lifeline  for her  family  that had  connected her  to                                                                    
resources and other parents. She  spoke to the merits of the                                                                    
program.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:09:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN  HOHL, KENAI  PENINSULA  SCHOOL  DISTRICT, SEWARD  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke  in   support   of  public   school                                                                    
education.  She  shared  information  about  her  children's                                                                    
education  in  Alaska.  She   had  appreciated  the  forward                                                                    
funding for  education that  had occurred  in the  past. She                                                                    
supported  a  comprehensive  fiscal  plan  without  shifting                                                                    
costs  to  local  municipalities that  maintained  important                                                                    
governmental services  such as  education. She  stressed the                                                                    
state could not cut its way  out of the deficit. She thanked                                                                    
the committee.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:11:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
POLLY-BETH  ODOM,  ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  DAYBREAK,                                                                    
INC.,  PALMER, testified  in  support  of behavioral  health                                                                    
grant funds. She provided some  background about the purpose                                                                    
of the agency that provided  case management for adults with                                                                    
long-term mental  health issues  and other. Due  to Medicaid                                                                    
expansion the program had been  able to double the number of                                                                    
individuals it could  provide services to. She  spoke to the                                                                    
merits  of  the  program.  She  thanked  the  committee  for                                                                    
looking at the budget.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:12:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRIS   HOLDERIED,  KACHEMAK   BAY   ADVISORY  BOARD,   KENAI                                                                    
PENINSULA COLLEGE,  HOMER (via teleconference),  thanked the                                                                    
committee for its work. She  spoke in support of funding the                                                                    
university system.  The Senate numbers would  be devastating                                                                    
to the university  on top of the cuts that  had already been                                                                    
made  in recent  years.  She relayed  additional cuts  would                                                                    
mean a loss  of staff and reduced classes  and job training.                                                                    
As a citizen  and Navy veteran she supported  an income tax.                                                                    
She  thought  the  people  of   the  state  should  pay  for                                                                    
services.   She  asked   for   a   balanced  proposal.   She                                                                    
appreciated   members   understanding  the   importance   of                                                                    
education.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:14:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GHERET ABBOTT,  SELF, KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of a state  income tax.  He stated it  was clear                                                                    
the current fiscal  crisis stemmed from an  over reliance on                                                                    
oil  revenue,  which   fluctuated  constantly.  He  believed                                                                    
stabilizing  state  finances  required a  broader  and  less                                                                    
volatile taxation  system. He supported  a state  income tax                                                                    
over a  state sales tax. He  explained that a sales  tax was                                                                    
regressive  and  would  fall   most  heavily  on  the  poor,                                                                    
students,  small  business  owners,   and  other.  He  urged                                                                    
members  to refuse  any fiscal  proposal  without an  income                                                                    
tax.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:16:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RODNEY  DIAL, ASSEMBLY  MEMBER,  KETCHIKAN GATEWAY  BOROUGH,                                                                    
KETCHIKAN (via  teleconference), believed the  committee was                                                                    
intent  on balancing  the  budget on  the  backs of  working                                                                    
Alaskans. He  stated that approximately $700  million of the                                                                    
state's budget went to Medicaid.  He did not support the tax                                                                    
free private ownership of land  in rural Alaska. He stressed                                                                    
that Alaska was  the only state that did not  impose a five-                                                                    
year  lifetime limit  on welfare.  He believed  the proposed                                                                    
budget was about making urban  areas pay more so rural areas                                                                    
could continue to  pay nothing. He spoke  to the give-a-ways                                                                    
in the  state which he  suggested was costing the  state. He                                                                    
thought fairness and parity in  the fiscal circumstances. He                                                                    
opposed a state income tax  and supported additional cuts to                                                                    
the budget.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  communicated there  were currently  no more                                                                    
testifiers  signed up.  The committee  would reconvene  once                                                                    
additional testifiers were available.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:18:09 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:46:49 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
BOB FASSINO,  SELF, WASILLA  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of the  income tax.  He thanked  the committee  for                                                                    
dealing with  the issues. He believed  many individuals were                                                                    
not looking  at the original  intent of the  Permanent Fund.                                                                    
He  stressed it  was not  possible to  keep kicking  the can                                                                    
down the road.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN   MUNSON,  CEO,   MAT-SU   HEALTH  SERVICES,   MAT-SU,                                                                    
testified in  support of community treatment  health grants.                                                                    
He  stressed that  behavioral health  was a  key element  to                                                                    
helping  to  solve the  cost  of  healthcare in  Alaska.  He                                                                    
thanked the  committee for preserving programs.  He believed                                                                    
behavioral health  services had  the ability to  help divert                                                                    
and lower  costs. He discussed  that many of  the healthcare                                                                    
costs  were  driven by  social  determinants  of health.  He                                                                    
explained  that the  behavioral health  and substance  abuse                                                                    
communities could help to treat and resolve the issues.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:50:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAROL  SHULER, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of a balanced  state budget. She applauded continued                                                                    
efforts  to find  areas of  wasteful spending.  She did  not                                                                    
consider  waiver  services  to  be wasteful.  She  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  home and community  based services  and Medicaid                                                                    
waivers.  She underscored  that  limiting  individuals to  a                                                                    
maximum of  8 hours per  week to services  would essentially                                                                    
confine  them to  their homes.  She urged  the committee  to                                                                    
continue funds at the current level of Medicaid services.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:52:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GARVIN BUCERIA, SELF, WASILLA  (via teleconference), was not                                                                    
impressed with  the legislature's changes to  the budget. He                                                                    
stated that the primary  responsibility for Alaska Permanent                                                                    
Fund Corporation  (APFC) was  to protect  the corpus  of the                                                                    
Permanent Fund.  He believed the  commitments could  best be                                                                    
kept  under the  current system.  He believed  changes would                                                                    
handicap the system  and would use the  funds for government                                                                    
spending. In order for the  fund to serve future generations                                                                    
in perpetuity  it should be  preserved in its  current form.                                                                    
He referred  to separate legislation and  observed there was                                                                    
no contemplation of  an income tax in  the operating budget.                                                                    
He was  opposed to  an income tax  when he  believed further                                                                    
cuts were necessary.  He supported a 5  percent reduction in                                                                    
the  state's personnel  budget. He  spoke to  double dipping                                                                    
related  to Medicaid.  He did  not support  the ability  for                                                                    
individuals to travel with Medicaid  funds when they did not                                                                    
meet with medical personnel on the trip.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  provided the email address  for individuals                                                                    
to submit public testimony.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:56:23 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:16:04 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Seaton  noted there  were no  additional testifiers                                                                    
signed up  from any  of the LIOs.  He relayed  the committee                                                                    
would break  until 3:45  p.m. to hear  testimony from  a new                                                                    
set of locations.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:46:25 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: BARROW, DILLINGHAM, and FAIRBANKS                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARL  KASSEL,  MAYOR,  FAIRBANKS  NORTH  STAR  BOROUGH  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   spoke  in   support   of  fully   funding                                                                    
education.  He  understood  the  magnitude  of  the  state's                                                                    
budget situation,  but stressed  that he did  not understand                                                                    
the obligation  for the municipality  to institute  taxes in                                                                    
order to  cover the state's  budget shortfall. He  felt that                                                                    
there should be a balanced  and sustainable state budget. He                                                                    
felt  that there  should  not be  further  cost shifting  to                                                                    
local governments.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:50:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GAIL  WOODALL, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in   opposition  to   funding  for   additional  Office   of                                                                    
Children's  Services (OCS)  personnel. She  felt that  there                                                                    
should  be reforms  in OCS,  and  create an  option for  OCS                                                                    
personnel participate  in training to understand  the family                                                                    
and child situations.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:52:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN  WOODALL, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), echoed                                                                    
the comments of Ms. Gail  Woodall. She spoke against funding                                                                    
for additional OCS personnel.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:53:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NICHOLE  COLLINSON,  SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  opposition of funding for  additional OCS workers.                                                                    
She  recalled a  situation where  a child  had been  removed                                                                    
with  no proof  or investigation.  She spoke  in support  of                                                                    
funding for  behavioral health programs.  She felt  that the                                                                    
children  learn the  negative mental  health behaviors  from                                                                    
their parents.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:55:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTINA LONG, FAIRBANKS  NATIVE ASSOCIATION, FAIRBANKS (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  of funding for mental                                                                    
health and addiction prevention  programs. She felt that the                                                                    
state  would  pay  for  jail time  should  the  programs  go                                                                    
unfunded.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:56:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FRANK GOLD, SELF, FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference), felt that                                                                    
the  committee  did not  give  adequate  warning for  public                                                                    
testimony. He  did not  feel that there  was an  interest in                                                                    
the budget from the legislature  or public. He remarked that                                                                    
the committee  was not asking  any questions.  He encouraged                                                                    
the committee  to consider entrenchment.  He shared  that he                                                                    
was formulating a list of budget concerns.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:59:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREA MERCHANT, PARTICIPANT,  WOMEN'S AND CHILDREN'S CENTER                                                                    
INNER  HEALING,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of  funding  for behavioral  health  programs.  She                                                                    
stated that she was able  to enter into a treatment program,                                                                    
with her daughter by her side.  She stated that she had been                                                                    
homeless,  and was  grateful for  the programs  that allowed                                                                    
her a second chance. She  remarked that she was suddenly and                                                                    
active member  of her community,  because of  the behavioral                                                                    
health programs.  She stressed that addiction  programs were                                                                    
imperative to those with addiction problems.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:02:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHERIE FORNESS,  PARTICIPANT, WOMEN'S AND  CHILDREN'S CENTER                                                                    
INNER  HEALING,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  funding for  addiction treatment  and behavioral                                                                    
health programs. She  stated that she had  used Medicaid and                                                                    
Denali  Kid  Care.  She  remarked  that  her  children  were                                                                    
successful due  to the staff  at the Women's  and Children's                                                                    
Center Inner Healing.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:03:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANGIE  HARMAN, PARTICIPANT,  WOMEN'S  AND CHILDREN'S  CENTER                                                                    
INNER  HEALING,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  funding for  addiction treatment  and behavioral                                                                    
health programs. She  stated that she had  used Medicaid and                                                                    
Denali Kid Care. She stressed  that the programs had changed                                                                    
her life.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:04:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BAILEY  ROGERS, PARTICIPANT,  WOMEN'S AND  CHILDREN'S CENTER                                                                    
INNER  HEALING,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  funding for  addiction treatment  and behavioral                                                                    
health programs.  She remarked  that the state  could either                                                                    
pay for health programs or incarceration.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:05:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA  HEDGE,  COUNSELOR,  WOMEN'S AND  CHILDREN'S  CENTER                                                                    
INNER  HEALING,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  funding for  addiction treatment  and behavioral                                                                    
health programs.  She stressed that her  family were addicts                                                                    
and  felons. She  stated  that she  had  seen firsthand  the                                                                    
issue of  addiction. She stated  that she had  an experience                                                                    
with  addiction, and  dealt with  many issues.  She stressed                                                                    
that she was now a productive member of society.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:07:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT   CALDER,   SELF,  FAIRBANKS   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified against the funding for  OCS workers. He felt that                                                                    
parents should provide input to  a citizens review panel, in                                                                    
order to review the cases twice a year.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:09:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN TABER,  REPRESENTATIVE, FAIRBANKS  WELLNESS COALITION,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke  in support of funding                                                                    
for addiction  prevention programs. She shared  that she had                                                                    
a brother who she had lost  to suicide. She spoke in support                                                                    
of  funding for  behavioral  health  programs. She  remarked                                                                    
that without  mental health programs,  issues could  lead to                                                                    
suicide or  addiction. She remarked  that the  treatment and                                                                    
prevention services  were essential  to the  state's overall                                                                    
health.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:12:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF BENOWITZ,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of adding a  faculty member  to the UA  Board of                                                                    
Regents. He  felt that  the staff and  faculty at  UA should                                                                    
have  more input  about the  actions of  UA. He  stated that                                                                    
faculty was best  suited to direct appropriation  and use of                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:14:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSE   LOERA,  CITY   MANAGER,  CITY   OF  DILLINGHAM   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in  support of additional revenue                                                                    
to the  state. She did  not feel that  taxing municipalities                                                                    
was  a  proper  solution.  She remarked  that  the  City  of                                                                    
Dillingham  was  facing   increasing  budget  deficits.  She                                                                    
remarked  that there  were efforts  to increase  the revenue                                                                    
for  Dillingham.  She stressed  that  the  cost to  run  the                                                                    
landfill was nearly $700,000 per year.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:46:46 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
INGRID  S. RAMOS-ANSAKNOK,  MARRULUT  ENIIT GRANDMA'S  HOUSE                                                                    
ASSISTED LIVING,  DILLINGHAM (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of   funding  for  assisted  living   centers.  She                                                                    
remarked  that  her facility  provided  services  to all  of                                                                    
Bristol Bay. She  stated that there was grant  that had been                                                                    
issued to  help keep  the facility  open. She  remarked that                                                                    
there was success in supporting  a staff of young women with                                                                    
children and elders.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:49:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DON I. GRAY, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
support  of the  committee examining  Wall Street's  role in                                                                    
providing  money to  the state.  He noted  the large  budget                                                                    
cuts  since 2013.  He stressed  that  revenue was  essential                                                                    
such  as  the Permanent  Fund  earnings,  sales tax,  and  a                                                                    
graduated income tax. He felt  that there could be an income                                                                    
tax based  on a  percentage of  the income  tax paid  to the                                                                    
federal  government.  He  urged the  committee  to  consider                                                                    
additional revenue and continued budget cuts.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:52:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PERRY  AHSOGEAK,   BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH   DIRECTOR,  FAIRBANKS                                                                    
NATIVE  ASSOCIATION,  FAIRBANKS,  testified  in  support  of                                                                    
funding  for   behavioral  health  treatment   programs.  He                                                                    
stressed  that   the  programs  his  center   provided  were                                                                    
directed  at  both  native and  nonnative  participants.  He                                                                    
shared that there were currently  50 people on the waitlist,                                                                    
and  remarked  that  the recent  crime  bill's  passage  had                                                                    
increased the waitlist.  He also remarked that  there was an                                                                    
added  safety issue,  because of  the passage  of the  crime                                                                    
bill. He  urged the  committee to  continue funding  for the                                                                    
center.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara  remarked  that   DHSS  had  asserted  that                                                                    
programs  were leveraged  by federal  funds. He  wondered if                                                                    
there was a cut to  behavioral health programs. Mr. Ahsogeak                                                                    
replied that it  was based on Medicaid  funding. He stressed                                                                    
that  every consumer  was provided  with the  opportunity to                                                                    
apply  for funding  resources. He  stated that  many of  the                                                                    
consumers  were transient  people,  so it  was difficult  to                                                                    
follow up  with those individuals.  He stressed that  it was                                                                    
not  viable  to  assume  that Medicaid  would  offset  those                                                                    
costs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Gara   noted  that  the  expansion   funds  were                                                                    
available,  but   it  was  difficult  to   ensure  that  the                                                                    
individuals would receive those  funds. Mr. Ahsogeak replied                                                                    
that the state did not  have adequate staff to process those                                                                    
applications.  He  added  that  there was  also  no  way  to                                                                    
contact many of those individuals.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  queried more  safety issues  that may                                                                    
not  have  existed  before  the  crime  bill.  Mr.  Ahsogeak                                                                    
replied  that some  individuals  were  assaulting staff  and                                                                    
bringing drugs into the facilities.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Wilson  surmised   that  the   people  were                                                                    
arriving directly from  the prison or jail  to the treatment                                                                    
center. Mr. Ahsogeak agreed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  stated that  the testifier  did a                                                                    
great job speaking.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:59:41 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:33:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:34:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  HIBLER,  FACULTY,   UNIVERSITY  OF  ALASKA  FAIRBANKS,                                                                    
FAIRBANKS  (via  teleconference),     spoke  in  support  of                                                                    
funding for the University  of Alaska Fairbanks. He stressed                                                                    
that the University of Alaska  Fairbanks is a world renowned                                                                    
polar research  center. He stressed that  the maintenance of                                                                    
the  facility was  essential for  success. He  remarked that                                                                    
research  facility   was  tasked  with  collected   its  own                                                                    
revenue.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:36:31 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:45:01 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:45:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSALIE REIN,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoked                                                                    
in support of funding for  personnel in OCS. She shared that                                                                    
there  was a  remarkably high  case  load in  the local  OCS                                                                    
office.  She stressed  that workers  who  could not  provide                                                                    
adequate  attention   to  families  resulted   in  neglected                                                                    
children. She  remarked that staffing  was directly  tied to                                                                    
families and one another. She  stressed that the small staff                                                                    
put  a strain  on  the current  workers.  She remarked  that                                                                    
there was less support of families and children.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB  57  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  59  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 57 - Documents in Support 3.2.17.pdf HFIN 3/2/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 57
HB 57 Documents in Opposition 3.2.17.pdf HFIN 3/2/2017 1:00:00 PM
HB 57