Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

03/26/2019 05:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
05:33:14 PM Start
05:35:07 PM HB39 || HB40
05:37:00 PM Public Testimony: Homer, Delta Junction, Glennallen, Tok, Valdez, Whittier, Healy, and off Net
07:10:39 PM Public Testimony: Fairbanks, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Sitka and off Net
08:44:57 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit 2 Minutes> --
5:30 - 8:30 pm Off Net
5:30 - 7:30 pm Homer, Delta Junction, Glenallen,
Tok, Valdez
7:30 - 8:30 pm Fairbanks, Anchorage, Ketchikan,
Sitka areas (available for individuals unable to
attend community meeting)
- 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
- Please arrive 15 min. early for sign-in process
- Please arrive 30 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early
- Send written testimony to
housefinance@akleg.gov by 1:00 pm on 3/27/19
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
HOUSE BILL NO. 39                                                                                                             
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;  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. 40                                                                                                             
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive   mental    health   program,   including                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations;  and   providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
5:35:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster  provided detail about the  public testimony                                                                    
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY:  HOMER, DELTA JUNCTION,  GLENNALLEN, TOK,                                                                  
VALDEZ, WHITTIER, HEALY, and OFF NET                                                                                          
5:37:00 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE   MATZ,   KBCC    COMMUNITY   COUNCIL,   HOMER   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke in  support funding  for the  of the                                                                    
University.  He   referenced  the  governor's   proposed  41                                                                    
percent  cut and  stressed it  would be  devastating to  the                                                                    
University.  He referenced  the multiplier  effect of  money                                                                    
received by the University. He  asked for $60,000 to $70,000                                                                    
for the Kachemak  Bay Research Reserve, which  would be used                                                                    
as a  matching grant for  NOAA funds. The money  would bring                                                                    
in a  $703,800 grant,  which was  a 10 to  1 return  for the                                                                    
state.  The  money  was  spent   on  ground  water  studies,                                                                    
fisheries research, and other.                                                                                                  
5:39:43 PM                                                                                                                    
MEG MITCHELL, SELF, HOMER  (via teleconference), shared that                                                                    
she  had   worked  as  a   case  manager  for   people  with                                                                    
disabilities for  28 years. She stressed  opposition to cuts                                                                    
to  Medicaid,  especially  adult  preventative  dental  care                                                                    
services. She  believed the governor's budget  would cut all                                                                    
healthcare  Medicaid services  for  adults including  senior                                                                    
and disabilities  Medicaid, behavioral health  Medicaid, and                                                                    
more. She  underscored the cuts  were the wrong thing  to do                                                                    
for Alaska. She  was strongly opposed to cuts  to the senior                                                                    
benefits program.  She did not support  cutting Medicaid for                                                                    
the  state's most  vulnerable Alaskans.  She questioned  the                                                                    
governor's  actions.  She  supported  working  together  and                                                                    
taxing the oil companies.                                                                                                       
5:42:27 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  AMUNDSON, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), thanked                                                                    
the  Department of  Education and  Early Development  (DEED)                                                                    
subcommittee  for  restoring  funding  for  early  education                                                                    
programs including Head Start,  Best Beginnings, and Parents                                                                    
As Teachers. She discussed that  the budget made substantial                                                                    
cuts but  did not look at  revenues. She believed in  a lean                                                                    
system,  but not  a gutted  system. She  characterized basic                                                                    
expenses  for education  and Medicare  as civil  rights. She                                                                    
stressed it  was the  moral responsibility  to take  care of                                                                    
the  state's  vulnerable   populations.  She  discussed  the                                                                    
importance of considering revenues.  She stated that the PFD                                                                    
was  an  entitlement,  not  a right.  She  thought  oil  tax                                                                    
credits needed  to be lessened. She  supported considering a                                                                    
personal  income  tax. She  thanked  the  committee for  the                                                                    
opportunity to testify.                                                                                                         
5:44:58 PM                                                                                                                    
JILLIAN LUSH, SELF, HOMER  (via teleconference), thanked the                                                                    
DEED subcommittee  for restoring  funds for  early childhood                                                                    
education including Head Start,  Best Beginnings, Parents As                                                                    
Teachers,  and more.  She asked  the  committee to  consider                                                                    
economic research showing the  high return on investment for                                                                    
prenatal  and early  childhood  services.  She stressed  the                                                                    
state could not afford to  cut the services. She opposed the                                                                    
governor's  proposed cuts  to  Medicaid.  She detailed  that                                                                    
Medicaid  helped  Alaskan  seniors,  children,  people  with                                                                    
disabilities, and families. She believed  it was a moral and                                                                    
economic  issue.  She shared  that  Medicaid  for women  and                                                                    
children  had dramatically  reduced  child mortality  rates.                                                                    
She  asked the  committee  to consider  what  kind of  state                                                                    
residents wanted to raise their children in.                                                                                    
5:46:53 PM                                                                                                                    
JANIS JOHNSON, SELF,  VALDEZ (via teleconference), addressed                                                                    
support for  the University -  she believed the  state would                                                                    
be shooting itself in the  foot without a strong University.                                                                    
She opposed cuts to Medicaid,  behavioral health, and senior                                                                    
and disability  services. She was against  cuts to education                                                                    
and  the  Alaska Marine  Highway  System  (AMHS). She  urged                                                                    
looking  at  other  revenue  sources  including  taxing  oil                                                                    
companies and an income tax.  She believed the PFD should be                                                                    
cut and  was an entitlement,  which she disagreed  with. She                                                                    
thought  only  cutting  would  devastate  the  economy.  She                                                                    
considered that  selling ferries and terminals  indicated no                                                                    
intention   of  ever   bringing  the   services  back.   She                                                                    
emphasized it would be devastating to rural Alaska.                                                                             
5:49:49 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICIA  RELAY, SELF/PARENT,  VALDEZ (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  opposition to the governor's  proposed drastic                                                                    
cuts  to  the University.  She  stressed  the importance  of                                                                    
fighting for  quality education  during tight  fiscal times.                                                                    
She  emphasized  that an  educated  community  was a  united                                                                    
community. She  spoke to the University's  role in educating                                                                    
a  skilled  workforce  and   participating  in  world  class                                                                    
research.  The  University had  a  long-term  impact on  the                                                                    
state's economy.  Cumulative reductions to  the University's                                                                    
budget in the past few  years had exceeded over $195 million                                                                    
and had resulted in cuts  to academic programs and jobs. The                                                                    
proposed tuition  hike unfairly placed the  financial burden                                                                    
on  the   backs  of  students.   She  thought   cutting  the                                                                    
University's  budget   by  40  percent  was   reckless.  She                                                                    
stressed that education was of the utmost importance.                                                                           
5:52:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN RADOTICH, SELF/PARENT,  VALDEZ (via teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in  support of  K-12  and  University education.  She                                                                    
shared information  about her personal life  and family. She                                                                    
stressed  the importance  of a  strong education  system for                                                                    
the state. She shared that  the University had made the most                                                                    
economic sense for her family  when compared to out-of-state                                                                    
schools. She  underscored the quality education  provided by                                                                    
the  University.  She wanted  to  keep  youths in-state  for                                                                    
education, which  would keep  them in  Alaska for  the long-                                                                    
5:54:00 PM                                                                                                                    
RAYCE   WITTNER,  MIDDLE   SCHOOL   STUDENT,  WASILLA   (via                                                                    
teleconference), shared  information about  serious problems                                                                    
facing youths  in Alaska.  She shared  that she  had friends                                                                    
who had  been sexually abused  by family members  and others                                                                    
who  had  been physically  abused  or  were uncared  for  by                                                                    
family.  She shared  personal details  about her  experience                                                                    
with sexual  assault at  a young age.  She detailed  that by                                                                    
the time young people reached  middle school they learned to                                                                    
keep abuse a  secret. She asked members whether  they had to                                                                    
take time  off work when  impacted by crime.  She elucidated                                                                    
that youths were expected to  go to school and perform well;                                                                    
when  that  did  not  happen,   teachers  were  blamed.  She                                                                    
emphasized  that  it  was  impossible  to  learn  with  such                                                                    
distractions.  She pointed  out  school was  more than  just                                                                    
budgets  and test  scores. She  stressed that  school was  a                                                                    
place some youths  received a warm meal and  to learn social                                                                    
behavior when  facing violence and substance  abuse at home.                                                                    
She had  faith the legislature  would do what was  right for                                                                    
Alaskans, including the youngest residents.                                                                                     
5:56:37 PM                                                                                                                    
JAMES   SQUYERS,   SELF,   DELTANA   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
supported  the  governor's  budget.  He did  not  support  a                                                                    
reduced  PFD. He  thought it  was necessary  to structurally                                                                    
down  build society.  He  believed  maintaining the  current                                                                    
level of spending was unsustainable.  He supported a smaller                                                                    
government that allowed the state to live within its means.                                                                     
5:58:44 PM                                                                                                                    
KIM PHILLIPS,  SELF, HAINES  (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of early  childhood  development.  She thanked  the                                                                    
DEED subcommittee  for reinstating funds to  early childhood                                                                    
programs  including Best  Beginnings,  Parents As  Teachers,                                                                    
and Head Start. She referenced  a program by Best Beginnings                                                                    
to help literacy in young  babies. She addressed benefits of                                                                    
the programs.  She spoke  to the  programs that  build adult                                                                    
trust  with children.  She recalled  meeting a  young couple                                                                    
with a six-week-old  daughter who wanted to  learn about the                                                                    
program.  She had  explained the  importance  of reading  to                                                                    
babies.  She recalled  working  with  families and  children                                                                    
6:03:52 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  LAMBERT,  SELF,  NORTH POLE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported the  governor's proposed  budget. He  believed all                                                                    
Alaskans  should receive  a full  PFD. He  suggested looking                                                                    
long-term  and stated  it fell  on the  individuals managing                                                                    
the  departments. He  stated that  a  33 percent  graduation                                                                    
rate at  the University  was a  disgrace. He  believed those                                                                    
running the University system had  failed. He supported past                                                                    
efforts  by Co-Chair  Wilson  to cut  the  budget. He  fully                                                                    
supported the proposed cuts by the governor.                                                                                    
Co-Chair Wilson thanked Mr. Lambert.                                                                                            
6:07:42 PM                                                                                                                    
HEIDI    OSTBY,    PEDIATRIC   DENTIST,    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
Medicaid.  She  discussed  the  high  rate  of  cavities  in                                                                    
children.  She  provided   statistics  about  Alaska  Native                                                                    
children  and all  kindergartners. She  provided information                                                                    
about  the work  she  performed  annually. Approximately  83                                                                    
percent of the cases she  saw were on Medicaid. She stressed                                                                    
that   if  reimbursement   rates  were   cut  it   would  be                                                                    
financially  impossible   to  treat   the  same   number  of                                                                    
children. She  stated that limiting  the number  of patients                                                                    
would  be   devastating  for   children  who   were  already                                                                    
experiencing  difficult  life  circumstances.  The  proposed                                                                    
cuts would  offer short-term savings, but  long-term damage.                                                                    
She stressed  that Alaska was  dealing with  epidemic levels                                                                    
of  dental  needs in  youth.  The  reimbursement rates  were                                                                    
still not high enough to  keep the hospitals open. She noted                                                                    
that surgery cases  were already booked two  to three months                                                                    
out. She believed  more cuts would result  in getting kicked                                                                    
out of  surgery centers and  children would have  nowhere to                                                                    
6:12:10 PM                                                                                                                    
NICKI SHELTON,  SELF, HOONAH (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support  of funding  for early  learning programs  including                                                                    
Parents  As   Teachers.  She  was   grateful  to   the  DEED                                                                    
subcommittee for  restoring early learning  education funds.                                                                    
She shared that  she had taught in Hoonah for  20 years. She                                                                    
discussed that  children's success with reading  was clearly                                                                    
correlated with their experiences  with books in early life.                                                                    
She shared that  the Imagination Library and  loans from the                                                                    
early learning  programs were the  only resources  for books                                                                    
in young  children's homes. She  stressed that  decreases in                                                                    
early learning  programs would  have devastating  impacts on                                                                    
young  children.   She  reasoned  the  cost   necessary  for                                                                    
remedial  reading   programs  would  be  much   higher  than                                                                    
providing  early  learning  support. She  pointed  out  that                                                                    
early    learning    programs   regularly    screened    for                                                                    
developmental  delays. Early  intervention services  allowed                                                                    
issues to be addressed  early. She underscored that children                                                                    
received one  shot at early  years. She supported  an income                                                                    
tax to increase the revenue side of the budget.                                                                                 
6:14:42 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC   MUENCH,   SELF,   KETCHIKAN   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
discussed that  the state budget  had been cut for  the past                                                                    
several years.  He did not  support the  governor's proposed                                                                    
cuts, which  he believed  would cause  a major  recession in                                                                    
parts of Alaska.  He supported limiting the PFD  to a modest                                                                    
amount. He pointed to low oil  revenues as the source of the                                                                    
state's budget  problems. He stated that  the Alaska problem                                                                    
was no broad-based revenue source.  He pointed out that only                                                                    
eight other  states had  no income tax  and only  four other                                                                    
states had no statewide sales  tax. He expounded that all of                                                                    
those states  had either  an income or  state sales  tax. He                                                                    
supported a modest income tax.                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair Ortiz thanked Mr. Muench for calling in.                                                                             
6:17:05 PM                                                                                                                    
JENNIFER  EUDNK, SELF,  KODIAK (via  teleconference), shared                                                                    
that she was  from Sand Point, Alaska and  had been teaching                                                                    
for over  20 years.  She was very  disappointed in  the idea                                                                    
that  cutting everything  was  the  solution. She  supported                                                                    
either a state  income or sales tax. She  opposed the entire                                                                    
proposed budget, especially cuts  to public radio, AMHS, and                                                                    
education. She detailed it was  hard enough finding teachers                                                                    
to  come to  Alaska without  more  cuts to  the system.  She                                                                    
stressed it  was impossible to  get qualified  teachers. She                                                                    
thought the idea that a  competent education system would be                                                                    
maintained if  cuts were made  was outlandish.  She believed                                                                    
the   PFD  could   be  smaller.   She  supported   a  strong                                                                    
University. She supported full funded education.                                                                                
6:20:51 PM                                                                                                                    
LEE  HART,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  the  deletion  of  snow  mobile  and  trails  grant                                                                    
program.  She  supported HB  23  that  would increase  [snow                                                                    
mobile  registration   fees].  [Note:  testifier   call  was                                                                    
dropped; her testimony resumed at 6:31 p.m.]                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster noted they would return to Ms. Hart.                                                                            
6:22:03 PM                                                                                                                    
KEVIN WALKER, SELF, HOMER  (via teleconference), supported a                                                                    
reduction in oil  tax credits to enable full  funding of the                                                                    
operating budget.  He was in  favor of a  progressive income                                                                    
tax that could tap into  the pay of out-of-state workers who                                                                    
were currently  not taxed by  Alaska. He supported a  cut to                                                                    
the  PFD. He  reasoned  it was  possible to  work  with a  1                                                                    
percent  reduction per  year to  almost anything,  including                                                                    
the  governor's   budget.  He  supported   AMHS,  education,                                                                    
recreational trails, and grants  for snow machines and other                                                                    
recreational vehicles.                                                                                                          
6:23:36 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA CALDWELL, SELF,  JUNEAU (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support of the University. She  had worked for UAS for 16                                                                    
years.  She  shared  information  about  programs.  She  had                                                                    
difficulty  with the  governor's  proposed  budget. She  was                                                                    
against  proposed  cuts  to AMHS  and  the  University.  She                                                                    
stressed  that  the  proposal  would  require  closing  some                                                                    
University campuses. She supported  a revenue source such as                                                                    
an income  and/or sales tax.  She hoped to have  new revenue                                                                    
funding in place soon.                                                                                                          
6:26:33 PM                                                                                                                    
GEORGE PAUL,  SELF, WASILLA (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of the governor. He  was in favor of  full PFDs.                                                                    
He discussed that when former  Governor Jay Hammond had come                                                                    
up with the  PFD plan to invest in the  people of Alaska. He                                                                    
underscored  that  the   PFD  was  not  merely   a  gift  to                                                                    
residents.  He recalled  a teacher  stating that  government                                                                    
was  the   art  of  compromise.  He   suggested  adding  the                                                                    
departments to the Pick.Click.Give  program for residents to                                                                    
choose  to  donate  their  PFD   to  what  they  wanted.  He                                                                    
suggested not filing  for a dividend if people  wanted it to                                                                    
remain in the state's Permanent  Fund. He had disagreed when                                                                    
former  Governor Bill  Walker and  the legislature  had used                                                                    
funds from the  Permanent Fund. He suggested  getting rid of                                                                    
the legislature's private chef and making other reductions.                                                                     
6:31:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Lee Hart  continued her earlier testimony.  She was part                                                                    
of a  coalition of  nonprofits and  state businesses  in the                                                                    
outdoor  recreation industry.  She spoke  in support  of the                                                                    
reinstatement  of  funds  for the  snowmobile  trails  grant                                                                    
program. She  explained the grant  had been cut  for unknown                                                                    
reasons  - the  program was  self-sufficient and  provided a                                                                    
cost  savings to  the government.  The program  enabled snow                                                                    
machines to  respond to emergencies  in the  wilderness. She                                                                    
was  in  favor of  HB  23,  which  would increase  the  snow                                                                    
machine  license  fee.  She noted  she  had  also  submitted                                                                    
written testimony.                                                                                                              
6:33:53 PM                                                                                                                    
VIKKY  JO   KENNEDY,  SELF,  KODIAK   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
suggested   using   funds    from   the   Alaska   Aerospace                                                                    
Corporation.  She  thought  the legislature  could  put  the                                                                    
funds where they were needed  for things like education. She                                                                    
supported the governor.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Wilson remarked  that she  did not  have the  DMVA                                                                    
budget and relayed that the  Alaska Aerospace Corporation no                                                                    
longer received any state funds.                                                                                                
6:38:44 PM                                                                                                                    
SAMANTHA KIRSTEIN, FAIRBANKS  COMMUNITY FOOD BANK, FAIRBANKS                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  thanked  the DHSS  subcommittee  for                                                                    
restoring funds  for the  human services  community matching                                                                    
grant funds.  She reported  that in  recent years  the total                                                                    
state  funds  allotted  for  the   grant  in  the  Fairbanks                                                                    
Northstar  Borough  had  been  approximately  $271,000.  The                                                                    
funds had  been locally  matched by  $118,000 to  meet basic                                                                    
human needs.  She stated that  the most any of  the agencies                                                                    
could receive  was $20,000 from  the state and  $10,000 from                                                                    
the borough.  The current year  funds provided  over 325,000                                                                    
meals  to citizens  in the  Tanana Valley.  She spoke  about                                                                    
donations  of food  that would  otherwise go  to waste.  She                                                                    
spoke about the savings provided.                                                                                               
Representative   LeBon   thanked   Ms.  Kirstein   for   her                                                                    
6:41:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES   MCKEE,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
discussed an  individual who  had quit  her job  because she                                                                    
had been offered a job  with an insurance company to decline                                                                    
worker's compensation  coverage. He provided  background. He                                                                    
noted there  was employee dishonesty. He  stated that judges                                                                    
were all employees.  He discussed the state  as a sovereign.                                                                    
He referenced operating off of bonds.                                                                                           
6:48:11 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHRYN  CARSSOW,  SELF,  HOMER  (via  teleconference),  was                                                                    
opposed  to  the  governor's  budget.  She  shared  personal                                                                    
information about  her history  and family. She  shared that                                                                    
she  had been  outside  a governor's  meeting  in Kenai  the                                                                    
night before  and could  not get  in. She  thought it  was a                                                                    
mistake that the  past income tax ended and  supported a new                                                                    
income tax.  She supported a  reduction to the PFD.  She was                                                                    
upset that  the Senate did not  act on the four  pillar plan                                                                    
passed  by the  House  the previous  year.  She supported  a                                                                    
broad-based   tax.  She   supported  taxing   oil  companies                                                                    
appropriately.  She  was  worried  about  the  state  and  a                                                                    
continuing recession.                                                                                                           
6:52:19 PM                                                                                                                    
CAROL  SORD,  SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference),  spoke  in                                                                    
opposition to  education cuts. She  stressed that  the wound                                                                    
would  not  heal  in  those children's  lives  who  did  not                                                                    
receive an education. She spoke  to the importance of caring                                                                    
for  the   state's  environment  and  natural   beauty.  She                                                                    
implored the committee to look  at what the state needed and                                                                    
to  keep the  state  strong. She  believed most  individuals                                                                    
would be willing  to pay a small income tax  in order to pay                                                                    
for services.                                                                                                                   
6:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY  MESCH, SELF,  JUNEAU (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
strong opposition  to cuts to  AMHS; she had only  been able                                                                    
to relocate to  Juneau because of the ferry  system. She was                                                                    
new to Alaska  and wanted to remain in the  state. She could                                                                    
not imagine the damage that would  be done to the state as a                                                                    
whole  if the  ferry system  was eliminated.  She needed  to                                                                    
rely  on  the  state's  infrastructure and  thought  it  was                                                                    
irresponsible  to   dismantle  the  state's   ferry  system,                                                                    
university system,  and education system.  She characterized                                                                    
the  proposed cuts  as arcane  and  did not  believe it  was                                                                    
necessary to get rid of things that worked.                                                                                     
Co-Chair   Foster  provided   the  public   testimony  email                                                                    
6:56:59 PM                                                                                                                    
ALBERT  NINGEULOOK, SELF,  SHISHMAREF (via  teleconference),                                                                    
thanked the committee  for its work. He  wished the governor                                                                    
would  take  time  to  visit the  state's  villages  on  his                                                                    
current "roadshow"  on the budget.  His primary  concern was                                                                    
related to  education; he was  opposed to major cuts  to the                                                                    
education  system. He  testified in  support of  the Village                                                                    
Public Safety Officer (VPSO) program and senior benefits.                                                                       
6:58:10 PM                                                                                                                    
LIBBY DALTON,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), shared                                                                    
that she  had lived in Alaska  during a time of  dirt roads.                                                                    
She supported fully  funding the University, but  not at the                                                                    
current  level.   She  remarked  that  the   permanent  fund                                                                    
dividend (PFD) belonged  to all Alaskans. She  felt that the                                                                    
University budget  was already "bloated." She  remarked that                                                                    
downtown Fairbanks was full of  vacant buildings, because of                                                                    
the  recession. She  shared that  Dr. William  Wood was  the                                                                    
president of  the University  of Alaska  from 1960  to 1973.                                                                    
During  his  tenure,  the  campus  grew  significantly.  The                                                                    
enrollment grew from fewer than  1000 students, to more than                                                                    
10,000 statewide.  She remarked that  Dr. Wood did  not have                                                                    
any oil money,  but he was a visionary. She  stated that Dr.                                                                    
Wood  became  the  mayor  of  Fairbanks  and  helped  create                                                                    
Fairbanks Memorial  Hospital. She  felt that  the University                                                                    
was currently too heavy with administration.                                                                                    
Representative Josephson wondered  whether Ms. Dalton wanted                                                                    
to fully fund the University.                                                                                                   
Ms.  Dalton  replied in  the  negative.  She felt  that  the                                                                    
University needed to make some cost reductions.                                                                                 
7:04:21 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE CRONIN,  SELF, SEWARD (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against  the budget.  She felt  that education  money should                                                                    
not  be  competing  against the  PFD.  She  understood  that                                                                    
people wanted  "free money," but  not at the expense  of the                                                                    
future of the kids and the state.                                                                                               
7:04:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRISTINE  HUTCHISON,  SELF,   KENAI  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of cutting  the budget. She  remarked that                                                                    
there  was a  framework to  work within.  She felt  that the                                                                    
salaries for  the university chancellors were  too high. She                                                                    
urged the committee to focus  on high school graduation. She                                                                    
felt  that  the  PFD  was the  private  property  owners  of                                                                    
Alaska.  She felt  that the  PFD should  be fully  restored,                                                                    
because it was a violation to decrease the PFD.                                                                                 
Representative  Carpenter  thanked  Ms. Hutchinson  for  her                                                                    
7:08:50 PM                                                                                                                    
ERIC LEUSCH,  SELF, STEBBINS (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of fully funding the  PFD. He remarked that Stebbins                                                                    
was a poor community, and many  people relied on the PFD for                                                                    
fuel and  hunting supplies.  He felt  that the  state should                                                                    
return  the  mineral rights  to  the  people, if  the  state                                                                    
continues to use PFD money.                                                                                                     
^PUBLIC  TESTIMONY: FAIRBANKS,  ANCHORAGE, KETCHIKAN,  SITKA                                                                  
and OFF NET                                                                                                                   
7:10:39 PM                                                                                                                    
DONALD  WESTLUND,  SELF,   KETCHIKAN  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  support of funding  the AMHS  He felt that  all of                                                                    
Alaska benefitted  from a robust  marine highway  system. He                                                                    
spoke in  support of the  Tustumena replacement  project. He                                                                    
noted that  the money  was transferred  to the  Interior. He                                                                    
spoke in  support of former  Governor Bill  Walker's budget.                                                                    
He stressed that the state  government required funding from                                                                    
the people.                                                                                                                     
7:13:50 PM                                                                                                                    
KIRA   RAFUSE,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  against the  proposed cuts  to public  education.                                                                    
She felt  that the reductions would  decimate the classrooms                                                                    
and felt that the increase  in class sizes was unacceptable.                                                                    
She remarked that  it was possible to have  a reasonable PFD                                                                    
and an adequate  education system. She felt  there should be                                                                    
provisions for those who live in Alaska.                                                                                        
7:16:07 PM                                                                                                                    
MARGARET  MACKIE,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support  of funding education. She did  not want to                                                                    
be  a teacher  in a  class for  more than  40 children.  She                                                                    
remarked that children were the  future. She understood that                                                                    
cuts need to  occur but remarked that there needed  to be an                                                                    
opportunity to be a good teacher.                                                                                               
7:17:14 PM                                                                                                                    
GENE  THERRIAULT, FAIRBANKS  COMMUNITY FOOD  BANK, FAIRBANKS                                                                    
(via   teleconference),   testified   in  support   of   the                                                                    
Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services  (DHSS)  House                                                                    
Finance  Subcommittee  recommendations to  continue  funding                                                                    
for the  community matching grants. The  statutory authority                                                                    
for   the  matching   grant  was   enacted  by   the  Alaska                                                                    
Legislature in  1992. The program  funds were  now available                                                                    
to  entities  in  Anchorage,   Mat-Su,  and  Fairbanks.  The                                                                    
available  funds were  allocated through  a population-based                                                                    
mechanism. The  funds must be  increased at the  local level                                                                    
by a required  30 percent match. The  local governments must                                                                    
also commit to spending more than  5 percent of the funds to                                                                    
further   disperse   the   funds   through   a   competitive                                                                    
application process to nonprofits  that provide a documented                                                                    
essential  service as  defined  by Alaska  law. He  remarked                                                                    
that, during  his tenure in the  legislature, his colleagues                                                                    
and he struggled  with the volatile oil  market. He remarked                                                                    
that efforts were made to  preserve the human services grant                                                                    
funds as a  means of providing essential  services through a                                                                    
community-based entity.                                                                                                         
7:19:55 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  HARRINGTON, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference),                                                                    
stated that he  was on a pension and Social  Security, so he                                                                    
would pay  more tax  out of  pocket. He  felt that  the rich                                                                    
would get  richer, and  the poor would  get poorer.  He felt                                                                    
that  those who  not file  Schedule A  taxes at  the federal                                                                    
should be exempt from the possible state tax.                                                                                   
7:21:57 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHEN  GOUGH, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), felt                                                                    
that the  PFD was the best  way to distribute the  wealth to                                                                    
everyone equally.  He agreed  with the  previous testifiers,                                                                    
who needed the PFD to support  their lives. He did not think                                                                    
that the  state should spend money  from the PFD to  bail it                                                                    
out of  its own spending.  He supported the  governor's cuts                                                                    
and  did not  believe an  income  tax would  fix the  budget                                                                    
7:23:56 PM                                                                                                                    
DAVID HURN,  SELF, PRUDHOE  BAY (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of the PFD, and  urged the committee to  take an                                                                    
economics  class to  balance the  budget. He  felt that  the                                                                    
government  was running  into the  ground. He  stressed that                                                                    
the  government  works  for the  people.  He  remarked  that                                                                    
education was worse than it was previously.                                                                                     
7:25:40 PM                                                                                                                    
LIBBY  STORTZ, SELF,  SITKA (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support of taxes, and remarked  that oil was not the future.                                                                    
She  felt that  the fiscal  problems could  be addressed  by                                                                    
repealing the  oil tax credit and  reinstating a progressing                                                                    
income  and education  tax.  She felt  that  the taxes  must                                                                    
include  nonresidents. She  felt that  Alaska needed  to pay                                                                    
taxes like the rest of  the country. She remarked that there                                                                    
needed  to be  development and  promotion of  a non-resource                                                                    
based economy that supported  healthy oceans, climate, soil,                                                                    
and the connection  to the land. She remarked  that many did                                                                    
not need  the PFD. She  felt that the  PFD was created  as a                                                                    
"rainy  day" fund,  and not  an entitlement.  She recognized                                                                    
that  some people  relied on  the  PFD, so  there should  be                                                                    
sufficient aid to those people  to thrive. She stressed that                                                                    
all  the communities  relied on  solid  social and  economic                                                                    
stability to keep and bring  people to Alaska. She felt that                                                                    
there  should be  fully funded  schools,  good health  care,                                                                    
museums,  community  service,  public safety,  healthy  fish                                                                    
runs  regulated  with  subsistence  in  mind,  and  a  clean                                                                    
environment.  She stressed  that  the Southeast  communities                                                                    
required  ferry  services,  like the  road  system  required                                                                    
roads.  She  felt  that the  native  and  rural  communities                                                                    
deserved  protection.  She  remarked  that  the  wilderness,                                                                    
including  nonhuman  inhabitants  and  the  Alaska  National                                                                    
Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) needed management and protections.                                                                       
7:28:11 PM                                                                                                                    
SUSAN  LITMAN,  SELF,   SITKA  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  the governor's  budget.  She felt  that the  budget                                                                    
would  cripple  the  communities  and set  the  state  on  a                                                                    
downward spiral.  She stated that the  proposed budget would                                                                    
cause a  swift economic meltdown.  She felt that, even  if a                                                                    
new  governor  would  reverse the  actions  of  the  current                                                                    
governor, it would take years  to recover. She remarked that                                                                    
implementing the  governor's budget  was certain to  cause a                                                                    
mass exodus  from the  state. She shared  that in  Sitka, 25                                                                    
teachers  and their  families would  be  lost. She  remarked                                                                    
that families were  already prepared to move  to states that                                                                    
valued educations.  She stated  that local  businesses would                                                                    
lose  money, because  of the  smaller populations.  She felt                                                                    
that the  PFD would  not begin  to make up  for the  loss of                                                                    
business in the rest of the year.                                                                                               
7:30:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MONICA EASTHAM,  SELF, SITKA (via teleconference),  spoke in                                                                    
support of  a state  income tax.  She testified  against the                                                                    
retro payment of the PFD.  She spoke in support of repealing                                                                    
the  oil  company tax  credits.  She  testified against  the                                                                    
proposed  reductions to  the Pioneer  Home. She  supported a                                                                    
modest PFD, if  the state was able to support  it. She spoke                                                                    
in support of funding the AMHS.                                                                                                 
7:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
SARA  BEABER  FUJIOKA,  SELF,  SITKA  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
supported an  income tax,  reducing oil  tax credits,  and a                                                                    
moderate PFD.  She stated that  the Permanent Fund  had been                                                                    
implemented to  provide funds for state  government when oil                                                                    
revenue decreased. She suggested it  was the time to use the                                                                    
earnings in a sustainable way.  She opposed the cuts to Head                                                                    
Start,  K-12   education,  the  University,   Medicaid,  the                                                                    
Pioneer  Homes, and  the  AMHS. She  stressed  the need  for                                                                    
strong public schools and University  to educate the state's                                                                    
next  generation  of   professionals.  She  underscored  the                                                                    
importance of maintaining funding  for Medicaid, the Pioneer                                                                    
Homes, and the AMHS. She pointed  to Article 7 of the Alaska                                                                    
Constitution specifying that Alaska  shall maintain a system                                                                    
of  public schools  open to  all children,  provide for  the                                                                    
promotion and  protection of public health,  and provide for                                                                    
the public welfare.                                                                                                             
7:33:58 PM                                                                                                                    
GARY  DAMRON, SELF,  FAIRBANKS  (via teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  private   prisons.  He  shared   information  about                                                                    
working for  the Department of Corrections  and Alaska State                                                                    
Troopers. He was  not supportive of changes  that past crime                                                                    
legislation  (SB  91)  had  made  to  the  criminal  justice                                                                    
system. He  spoke about high  recidivism rates.  He detailed                                                                    
information about injuries  he had sustained on  the job. He                                                                    
did  not support  putting  a large  number  of prisoners  in                                                                    
halfway houses  and community residential centers.  He urged                                                                    
the  committee to  oppose the  privatization of  prisons. He                                                                    
found it  morally reprehensible for a  corporation to profit                                                                    
off  another citizen's  misfortune. He  discussed that  more                                                                    
offenders  would  be  released  into  neighborhoods  without                                                                    
adequate  supervision. He  spoke to  the long-term  costs of                                                                    
sending  prisoners out  of state,  which  would drain  local                                                                    
economies and  result in  more dangerous  citizens returning                                                                    
to Alaska.                                                                                                                      
7:37:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHRIS   VILLANO,  SELF,   FAIRBANKS  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified against the proposed  reductions to education. She                                                                    
felt that the  cuts would result in  suffering. She believed                                                                    
education, health,  and welfare should be  the main priority                                                                    
of the legislature. She shared  that she had been a teacher,                                                                    
and the  large class sizes  were chaotic. She  remarked that                                                                    
quality teachers were more difficult  to obtain and attract.                                                                    
She felt that Alaska was  not a currently welcoming place to                                                                    
live.   She  stressed   that  teaching   was  an   extremely                                                                    
difficult.  She   shared  a  personal  anecdote   about  her                                                                    
experience  with a  student with  adverse childhood  trauma,                                                                    
who did not receive the  attention that was required to give                                                                    
him a  proper education  and guidance. She  highlighted that                                                                    
support for education resulted in  students thriving in many                                                                    
ways other than standardized testing.                                                                                           
Representative  LeBon thanked  Ms.  Villano  for taking  the                                                                    
time to share her thoughts with the committee.                                                                                  
7:42:00 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE  ENGRAM,   SELF,  FAIRBANKS   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
stated she  had seen more  state money wasted  scrambling to                                                                    
reorganize when  oil prices fell.  She believed it  was time                                                                    
for the  state to  get off the  "oil price  roller coaster."                                                                    
She reasoned  it was  foolish to run  a state  government on                                                                    
the   price   of   one    commodity.   She   supported   the                                                                    
implementation of  a state  income tax.  She noted  that the                                                                    
state never saw any money  from seasonal workers coming from                                                                    
out-of-state.  She  asked the  state  to  implement a  small                                                                    
income  tax  and  give  a   larger  PFD.  She  stressed  the                                                                    
importance of the  PFD. She urged the  committee to consider                                                                    
alternative revenue.  She supported  increased taxes  on the                                                                    
oil companies.  She did not support  the governor's proposed                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster acknowledged  Representative Grier  Hopkins                                                                    
in the audience.                                                                                                                
7:44:13 PM                                                                                                                    
EDWARD ALEXANDER,  TANANA CHIEFS CONFERENCE,  FAIRBANKS (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  opposition  to  the  governor's                                                                    
proposed budget.  He addressed  how cuts would  impact rural                                                                    
schools. He  detailed that the  costs in most  rural schools                                                                    
could not  be altered, meaning  the proposed cuts  would hit                                                                    
teachers   directly.   Some   districts  were   looking   at                                                                    
reductions  of  50  percent  or  more  in  their  number  of                                                                    
faculty,  considering   waivers  to  shorten   their  school                                                                    
calendar, and more. He discussed  other proposals that would                                                                    
hurt  rural Alaska  such  as  jeopardizing federal  matching                                                                    
dollars for  e-rates, cutting  Head Start  funding, shifting                                                                    
bonding and debt responsibilities  back to boroughs, and the                                                                    
termination  of  the  Power   Cost  Equalization  (PCE).  He                                                                    
referenced  a  Tanana  Chiefs Conference  whitepaper  titled                                                                    
"Alaska's  Educational Crisis,"  which he  would provide  to                                                                    
the committee. He  spoke in support of full  funding for the                                                                    
University. He  highlighted that  it was imperative  to have                                                                    
training  available to  have qualified  healthcare personnel                                                                    
in rural Alaska.                                                                                                                
7:47:23 PM                                                                                                                    
KATHERINE PRUSSIAN, SELF,  SITKA (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against the  cuts to the  AMHS, education,  social services,                                                                    
and  natural  resource management.  She  did  not support  a                                                                    
supplemental  PFD.  She  appreciated  her PFD  but  did  not                                                                    
depend on  it or  feel she  deserved it.  She relied  on the                                                                    
AMHS  and had  recently used  the ferry  to visit  Juneau to                                                                    
expose  her kids  to  state government.  She  also used  the                                                                    
ferry to shop in Juneau for  items she could not purchase in                                                                    
Sitka. She supported a state  income tax to maintain healthy                                                                    
and  safe   communities,  to  educate  children   in  public                                                                    
schools, to  feed the  poor, to  manage the  state's natural                                                                    
resources, and to maintain the highways.                                                                                        
Senator Olson thanked Ms. Prussian for her testimony.                                                                           
7:48:42 PM                                                                                                                    
JACQUELINE  FOSS, SELF,  SITKA (via  teleconference), shared                                                                    
that she was a fisherman and  a parent of two kids. She paid                                                                    
raw  fish tax  that came  back to  the community,  which she                                                                    
supported. She did  not support the use of the  raw fish tax                                                                    
for  activities  outside  of  her  community.  She  did  not                                                                    
support the  proposed cuts to  education funding.  She would                                                                    
support using  the raw fish  tax to  fully fund DFG  for the                                                                    
purpose of sound management.  She supported adequate funding                                                                    
of  the  state's schools  and  not  the governor's  proposed                                                                    
budget. She supported  a modest, graduated income  tax and a                                                                    
modest PFD.                                                                                                                     
7:50:50 PM                                                                                                                    
AMY SWEENEY,  SELF, SITKA (via teleconference),  opposed the                                                                    
extreme cuts in the governor's  budget. She spoke in support                                                                    
of an income tax. She did  not support the back pay of PFDs.                                                                    
She  believed  the  governor's  budget  cut  too  much  into                                                                    
essential services  such as K-12 education,  the University,                                                                    
Medicare, and  AMHS. She believed  Alaska should  take steps                                                                    
to fund state government like  other states with a graduated                                                                    
state  income  tax. She  also  supported  the payment  of  a                                                                    
modest PFD. She felt that  the cuts were draconian and would                                                                    
force people  to leave the  state. She stressed  that voters                                                                    
did not know  what having full PFDs and back  pay PFDs would                                                                    
mean in  terms of cuts  and other  changes such as  the fish                                                                    
tax and school bond debt  reimbursements. She was willing to                                                                    
pay an income tax and forego  her entire PFD in order to pay                                                                    
for essential services.                                                                                                         
7:53:01 PM                                                                                                                    
RENEE  TRAFTON,  SELF,  SITKA  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  the proposed  reductions  to education.  She was  a                                                                    
small business  owner in Sitka. She  stressed the governor's                                                                    
proposed  cuts  were  catastrophic.   She  noted  there  had                                                                    
already  been  cuts over  the  past  several years  and  her                                                                    
daughter's  middle  school   had  eliminated  its  librarian                                                                    
position. She relayed her  children attending the University                                                                    
were  concerned about  its potential  loss  in funding.  She                                                                    
underscored that the proposed  cuts would permanently damage                                                                    
the education  system and would cripple  opportunity for the                                                                    
next generation of Alaskans.                                                                                                    
7:54:17 PM                                                                                                                    
ZOE   TRAFTON,    MIDDLE   SCHOOL   STUDENT,    SITKA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  against   the  proposed  budget                                                                    
cuts.  She expressed  concern for  her teachers,  especially                                                                    
elective teachers.  She highlighted  the importance  of band                                                                    
class   and  noted   the  teacher   was  not   tenured.  She                                                                    
underscored that  schools needed  five-day school  weeks and                                                                    
classrooms  of  20  students, not  four-day  weeks  with  40                                                                    
students per class.  She wanted to study  engineering at UAF                                                                    
but noted  the program  may go away  if the  governor's cuts                                                                    
were  passed.  She detailed  that  she  may have  to  attend                                                                    
college out-of-state if that happened.                                                                                          
7:55:08 PM                                                                                                                    
AMELIA  BUDD,   SELF,  SITKA  (via   teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against   the  governor's   proposed  budget.   She  thanked                                                                    
committee members  for their service  to Alaska.  She shared                                                                    
that she had grown up in  Southeast Alaska and had worked in                                                                    
social  services  and  education  most of  her  career.  She                                                                    
shared  that she  had attended  Mount Edgecumbe  High School                                                                    
and had  a graduate  degree from  the University  of Alaska.                                                                    
She shared  that she had a  daughter who was about  to enter                                                                    
the school  system and a  parent in the local  Pioneer Home.                                                                    
She urged the committee to  support funding for pre-K, K-12,                                                                    
the University,  the Commission on  Postsecondary Education,                                                                    
65  by '25  workforce development  goals, AMHS,  the Pioneer                                                                    
Homes, public  broadcasting, and other needed  services. She                                                                    
felt  that the  governor's budget  was like  a "slap  in the                                                                    
face." The budget would devastate  Alaska's economy, and its                                                                    
quality  of life.  She shared  that  the administration  was                                                                    
giving  residents  a  false  premise  that  there  were  two                                                                    
choices - a  full PFD or funding for  services. She believed                                                                    
both were  possible. She suggested that  nonresident workers                                                                    
who accounted for  over 20 percent of  the state's workforce                                                                    
should be  paying taxes on  their often  profitable seasonal                                                                    
jobs. She  spoke in support  of a broad-based income  tax, a                                                                    
reduced PFD, and a reduction in oil tax credits.                                                                                
7:57:15 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICIA DICK,  SELF, SITKA (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
against the governor's proposed  budget. She shared that all                                                                    
of her children  and grandchildren worked hard  and lived in                                                                    
Sitka. She reported  that the governor had not  been able to                                                                    
provide specifics about the impacts  of the proposed budget.                                                                    
She  believed  the  governor  was  grasping  at  straws  for                                                                    
solutions.  She remarked  that Alaskans  had worked  hard to                                                                    
achieve  their goals.  She felt  that the  governor did  not                                                                    
understand  the challenges  of educators  in the  state. She                                                                    
referenced the  governor's recent remarks about  his ability                                                                    
to  line item  veto parts  of the  budget. She  reminded the                                                                    
governor  that he  had taken  an oath  to uphold  the Alaska                                                                    
Constitution,  which  guarantees state-supported  education.                                                                    
She urged the legislature to support education.                                                                                 
7:59:12 PM                                                                                                                    
MATH  TRAFTON,  SELF,   SITKA  (via  teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  the  governor's budget.  He  had  heard a  Talk  of                                                                    
Alaska  report earlier  in the  day where  the governor  had                                                                    
dismissed  all  of  the actions  communities  had  taken  in                                                                    
reaction  to   his  proposed  budget  cuts.   He  found  the                                                                    
governor's  claim  that  those  opposed  to  his  cuts  were                                                                    
special  interest groups  very insulting.  He stressed  that                                                                    
everyone would  be impacted  by the cuts  to the  budget. He                                                                    
pointed  to  the  proposed   drastic  reductions  to  public                                                                    
schools, health  services, universities,  local governments,                                                                    
transportation, public  broadcasting, and more.  He stressed                                                                    
his  opposition to  the proposed  budget, which  he believed                                                                    
was  amoral.  He stated  the  governor  seemingly wanted  to                                                                    
withdraw support  for those  who need  it most.  He remarked                                                                    
that he was  an average Alaskan, and he  understood the need                                                                    
to balance the budget. He  stated that there were many other                                                                    
options  to  balance the  budget.  He  spoke in  support  of                                                                    
repealing the  oil tax credits,  a progressive  state income                                                                    
tax,  funding for  alternative energy  sources,  and a  more                                                                    
modest PFD.                                                                                                                     
8:01:25 PM                                                                                                                    
ARIEL STARBUCK, SELF,  SITKA (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
against  the  budget. She  detailed  that  the budget  would                                                                    
deeply impact her friends,  neighbors, family, and residents                                                                    
statewide. She felt  that the budget would result  in a mass                                                                    
exodus  from the  state. She  supported a  progressive state                                                                    
income tax; however, she had  received a letter from Senator                                                                    
Natasha von Imhof stating she  did not support an income tax                                                                    
while  the state  was  handing  out a  four  digit PFD.  She                                                                    
supported a  modest PFD.  She wanted  to keep  the community                                                                    
healthy  with  a  vibrant   economy,  a  strong  educational                                                                    
system, and care  for its elders. She  hoped the legislature                                                                    
would listen to its constituents and do what was right.                                                                         
8:03:02 PM                                                                                                                    
BETH   SHORT-RHOADS,  SELF,   SITKA  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
opposed  the  governor's  budget. She  believed  the  budget                                                                    
presented  by  the  governor   was  a  problem  deliberately                                                                    
created by  the governor  in partnership  with multinational                                                                    
corporations to benefit outside  interests. She referenced a                                                                    
statement earlier  in the  month by  Senator von  Imhof that                                                                    
the  state did  not have  a  fiscal crisis,  but a  priority                                                                    
crisis. She  believed part  of the  priority crisis  was the                                                                    
governor's proposal  of $2.3 billion for  supplemental PFDs.                                                                    
She supported  modest PFDs.  She opposed  supplemental PFDs,                                                                    
smaller PFDs,  a graduated income  tax, and a repeal  of oil                                                                    
tax credits.                                                                                                                    
8:05:23 PM                                                                                                                    
MARSHALL  SEVERSON,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke   against   the   governor's   budget.   He   provided                                                                    
information  about his  education and  career in  Alaska. He                                                                    
felt  the  proposed  budget only  invited  and  resulted  in                                                                    
chaos.  He  spoke  to  the inducement  of  fear  related  to                                                                    
elders,  children, and  disabled.  He observed  insufficient                                                                    
homework  had been  done on  whether many  of the  budgetary                                                                    
cuts could  legally be implemented. He  stressed support for                                                                    
education  to  reduce  the need  to  import  highly  trained                                                                    
workers. He  did not  believe the  solution was  making PFDs                                                                    
whole.  He  added  support for  highways,  AMHS,  and  small                                                                    
Representative  Josephson  thanked   Mr.  Severson  for  his                                                                    
testimony and service.                                                                                                          
8:08:52 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN CAMERON,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against   the  privatization   of  the   Alaska  Psychiatric                                                                    
Institute (API). She  remarked that API had been  in a state                                                                    
of  emergency   for  six  to   eight  years  and   had  been                                                                    
chronically     underfunded.     She     highlighted     the                                                                    
administration's decision  to offer an $84  million contract                                                                    
to  the  Tennessee  company Wellpath.  She  noted  that  the                                                                    
company had ties to the  governor's Office of Management and                                                                    
Budget director.  She cited  the company's  poor reputation.                                                                    
She pointed  out that the  company's primary  experience was                                                                    
in  health  services to  prisons.  She  remarked that  other                                                                    
companies had not  been allowed to bid on  the contract. She                                                                    
detailed  that Alaska  Natives  and  African Americans  were                                                                    
disproportionately represented  at API. She  recommended the                                                                    
deletion of the contract and prioritizing mental health.                                                                        
Representative   Josephson   wondered  whether   there   was                                                                    
litigation  taken  up in  court  involving  the API  matter.                                                                    
[Note: Ms. Cameron was no longer online.]                                                                                       
8:12:03 PM                                                                                                                    
DIANNE MACRAE,  SELF, KENAI (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of the  governor's budget.  She shared  that she                                                                    
had  experience significantly  cutting her  personal budget.                                                                    
She acknowledged  that it was  challenging, but she  did it.                                                                    
She stated that eight years  later life was much better. She                                                                    
believed the ferry system had  been a temporary solution and                                                                    
she thought the  ports should be run  by private enterprise.                                                                    
She  shared additional  personal details.  She supported  an                                                                    
austerity budget  as proposed by the  governor. She believed                                                                    
giving  people a  PFD allowed  them to  use the  money where                                                                    
they  saw fit.  She  discussed problems  with the  education                                                                    
system. She supported cuts to the budget and a full PFD.                                                                        
8:15:25 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Foster noted that Ms. Cameron was back online.                                                                         
Representative Josephson  asked if Ms. Cameron  had attended                                                                    
a recent hearing on API.                                                                                                        
Ms. Cameron  affirmed. She detailed  it was  lawsuit brought                                                                    
by  the Disability  Law Center.  She reported  that Wellpath                                                                    
had been  interviewed in a  hearing earlier in the  day. She                                                                    
detailed the hearing had considered  violations of the Human                                                                    
Rights Act and  the Rehabilitation Act. She  shared that the                                                                    
judge had been interested  in the documentation Wellpath may                                                                    
or  may not  provide.  She provided  further  detail on  the                                                                    
8:18:04 PM                                                                                                                    
STEPHANIE BERGLUND, THREAD,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of early  childhood  education.  She                                                                    
cited statistics  that the state  was ranked 47th  for child                                                                    
wellbeing.  She   believed  investing  in   early  childhood                                                                    
education  would help  change the  statistics. She  spoke in                                                                    
support  of   the  Imagination  Library,   Best  Beginnings,                                                                    
Parents  As  Teachers,  and  Head  Start.  She  stated  that                                                                    
investment  in early  education  would result  in result  in                                                                    
reduced spending  on special  education services  and higher                                                                    
graduation rates.  She asked the committee  to restore early                                                                    
education funding in the FY 20 budget.                                                                                          
8:19:29 PM                                                                                                                    
DIRK  SHUMAKER, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, KID'S  CORPS, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  Head  Start,                                                                    
Parents as  Teachers, Best  Beginnings, and  early childhood                                                                    
education. He thanked the  DEED subcommittee for recognizing                                                                    
the importance  of Alaska's  investments in  early learning.                                                                    
He discussed the benefits of  early learning and the support                                                                    
it  provided   to  parents.   Early  learning   resulted  in                                                                    
healthier and more resilient students.                                                                                          
8:21:06 PM                                                                                                                    
GHERT   ABBOTT,   SELF,  KETCHIKAN   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  against  the  budget. He  stated  the  governor's                                                                    
austerity  budget would  essentially  destroy  his home.  He                                                                    
hoped the  legislature would reject the  proposed budget. He                                                                    
recognized  that permanently  resolving  the state's  fiscal                                                                    
crisis  with  a  "horrifically"  regressive  PFD  tax  would                                                                    
ultimately have  the same destructive impact.  He elaborated                                                                    
that under a  permanent PFD tax, Ketchikan's  cost of living                                                                    
would  significantly  increase,  which would  undermine  the                                                                    
community's long-term liability.  He supported a restoration                                                                    
of  the full  progressive  income tax  Alaska  had in  place                                                                    
prior to  the oil  boom. He believed  a tax  would equitably                                                                    
distribute the cost of  supporting essential public services                                                                    
across Alaska. He  elaborated that a tax  would help sustain                                                                    
public services and the PFD.                                                                                                    
8:22:55 PM                                                                                                                    
ED  ZASTROW, SELF,  KETCHIKAN  (via teleconference),  shared                                                                    
that he  had lived in both  the territory and the  state. He                                                                    
spoke in  support of the  senior programs. He felt  that any                                                                    
reductions would  be disastrous  for seniors,  especially to                                                                    
those  with lower  incomes. He  supported  Meals on  Wheels,                                                                    
transportation,  housing, and  Pioneer Homes.  He urged  the                                                                    
committee to give  a closer look at the  senior programs. He                                                                    
testified in  support of  a state income  tax. He  asked for                                                                    
common sense to prevail.                                                                                                        
8:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
NILE HAMAKER,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), stated                                                                    
that the governor  had done very little analysis  on how his                                                                    
proposed budget  would impact  the state.  He felt  that the                                                                    
legislature  must craft  a fair,  balanced, and  sustainable                                                                    
budget.  He discussed  that  cuts in  recent  years made  it                                                                    
challenging to  find places to  cut significantly.  He noted                                                                    
that state savings  were almost gone, and  he believed using                                                                    
the PFD was the most  regressive income tax on all Alaskans.                                                                    
He stated it would take money  out of the private sector. He                                                                    
was in  support of  progressive income  tax. He  thought the                                                                    
state should receive  more for its oil  resources. He wanted                                                                    
the  elimination of  SB  21. He  thanked  the committee  and                                                                    
other testifiers.                                                                                                               
8:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  BOTZ,   SELF,  JUNEAU  (via   teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against  a  supplemental  PFD and  the  governor's  proposed                                                                    
budget.  She  believed  it  was  the  duty  of  the  Alaskan                                                                    
government  to provide  safety and  funding  to operate  the                                                                    
state  properly. She  understood  that the  state  was in  a                                                                    
financial crisis. She stressed  that the citizens should not                                                                    
be punished  through the budget  cuts. She  underscored that                                                                    
children  should have  the opportunity  to learn  and senior                                                                    
citizens deserved to  live without the anxiety  of not being                                                                    
able to  pay for a  place to  live. She was  terrified about                                                                    
what the proposed budget could  do to the state. She thought                                                                    
the PFD was nothing more  than an entitlement. She felt that                                                                    
people  should be  given additional  anxiety  by the  budget                                                                    
cuts. She spoke in support of a state income tax.                                                                               
8:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
PAULA  MARTIN, SELF,  HOMER (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
full funding of  education to fund the future  of the state.                                                                    
She   stressed  that   education  provided   a  well-trained                                                                    
workforce that built the state's  economy. She felt that the                                                                    
governor's  proposed budget  cuts were  draconian and  would                                                                    
devastate  the  economy.  She  spoke  against  the  cuts  to                                                                    
elders, AMHS,  rural airports, public radio,  public safety,                                                                    
and  natural resource  protectors. She  supported a  revenue                                                                    
approach  including  a  reduction   to  the  Permanent  Fund                                                                    
Dividend,  a reduction  in oil  tax  credits for  companies,                                                                    
and/or  the  creation  of  a  progressive  income  tax.  She                                                                    
supported  a income  tax that  would factor  in out-of-state                                                                    
workers earning income in Alaska.                                                                                               
8:32:58 PM                                                                                                                    
KAREN PERRY,  SELF, CHUGIAK (via  teleconference), supported                                                                    
the governor's  fiscal plan for  a smaller  state government                                                                    
that  distributed the  state's wealth  to all  Alaskans. She                                                                    
stated that  Alaskans expected to  receive a full  PFD based                                                                    
on  statute.  She  shared a  story  of  wasteful  government                                                                    
spending. She  thought schools  had sufficient  funding. She                                                                    
believed many legislators were guilty of reckless spending.                                                                     
8:36:55 PM                                                                                                                    
JAYLENE PETERSON-NYREN, SOUTH  CENTRAL FOUNDATION, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), spoke in  support of behavioral health                                                                    
funding. She shared information  about the organization. She                                                                    
suggested    maximizing   tribal    claims   through    care                                                                    
coordination  agreements with  tribal health  organizations.                                                                    
She detailed  that in FY 17  the state saved $35  million in                                                                    
Medicaid GF  state match through these  types of agreements,                                                                    
which could  be expanded to pharmacies,  long-term care, and                                                                    
optical  services. The  organization  requested support  for                                                                    
adequate Medicaid  funding and  continued funding  for adult                                                                    
preventative  dental services.  She asked  the committee  to                                                                    
maintain  support for  behavioral  health funding  providing                                                                    
support  for Alaskans  with  mental  illness, substance  use                                                                    
disorders,  and intellectual,  developmental, and  cognitive                                                                    
8:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
MATTHEW HELLER, SELF,  FAIRBANKS (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of the  governor's  budget.  He felt  that  the                                                                    
economy  could be  rebuilt in  the private  sector with  the                                                                    
proposed cuts.  He did not  believe government  spending was                                                                    
the answer. He  believed the AMHS would  still operate under                                                                    
the  governor's   proposal,  but  it  would   eliminate  the                                                                    
operation  of  empty  ferries  in   the  winter  months.  He                                                                    
highlighted the number of  University superintendents in the                                                                    
state and thought the cuts needed  to be made at the top. He                                                                    
thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                             
8:40:56 PM                                                                                                                    
SHOSHANA   KUN,   SELF,  FAIRBANKS   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
expressed  concern   about  the  budget  as   a  whole.  She                                                                    
appreciated  the legislature  developing alternative  budget                                                                    
solutions. She  stressed that there  was an extreme  rate of                                                                    
mental health  and addiction in  Alaska. The  potential cuts                                                                    
to   services  was   alarming.  She   was  concerned   about                                                                    
correlation between the governor's  Office of Management and                                                                    
budget director and  GEO Group, the company  taking over the                                                                    
Alaska Psychiatric  Institute. She  highlighted her  goal of                                                                    
helping individuals  who had fallen through  the cracks. She                                                                    
detailed  that  services  created  a  healthier  functioning                                                                    
community  and  a  greater  sense   of  public  safety.  She                                                                    
questioned the decision  to give oil and gas  tax credits to                                                                    
industry. She  spoke in  support of  a graduated  income tax                                                                    
that  would bring  in  money  from out-of-state  individuals                                                                    
working in  Alaska. She  asked the  legislature to  devise a                                                                    
compromise  that  was  reasonable  for  the  state  and  its                                                                    
Co-Chair  Foster CLOSED  public  testimony.  He stated  that                                                                    
individuals    could    submit    written    testimony    to                                                                    
housefinance@akleg.gov,  through  Thursday,   March  28.  He                                                                    
noted that  the following day's  9:00 a.m. meeting  would be                                                                    
HB  39  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
HB  40  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
MatSu CommMtg 3.23.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Ketchikan CommMtg 3.23.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Sitka CommMtg 3.23.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Fairbanks CommMtg 3.24.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Anch CommMtg 3.24.19 Public Testimony HB39.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
Packet 2 Public Testimony HF39 OP Budget March 25 Emails.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
HB 39 Public Testimony 3.27.19-1.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39
HB 39 Public Testimony 3.27.19-2.pdf HFIN 3/26/2019 5:30:00 PM
HB 39