Legislature(2019 - 2020)ADAMS ROOM 519

02/06/2020 01:30 PM FINANCE

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Audio Topic
01:38:46 PM Start
01:40:15 PM Fy 21 Budget Overview: Department of Corrections
02:40:05 PM Fy 21 Budget Overview: Department of Public Safety
03:29:34 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
+ FY21 Dept. Budget Overviews: TELECONFERENCED
- Dept. of Public Safety
- Dept. of Corrections
HOUSE BILL NO. 205                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     loan  program  expenses  of  state  government  and  for                                                                   
     certain    programs;    capitalizing    funds;    making                                                                   
     appropriations  under art. IX, sec.  17(c), Constitution                                                                   
     of the State  of Alaska, from the  constitutional budget                                                                   
    reserve fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 206                                                                                                            
     "An  Act making  appropriations  for  the operating  and                                                                   
     capital    expenses    of   the    state's    integrated                                                                   
     comprehensive mental  health program; and  providing for                                                                   
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
^FY 21 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS                                                                             
1:40:15 PM                                                                                                                    
NANCY  DAHLSTROM,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT  OF  CORRECTIONS                                                                   
(via  teleconference),provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                                   
titled "Department  of Corrections  House Finance  Overview,"                                                                   
dated February 6,  2020 (copy on file). She began  on slide 1                                                                   
titled Mission:                                                                                                                 
     The  Alaska  Department   of  Corrections  enhances  the                                                                   
     safety   of   our   communities.   We   provide   secure                                                                   
     confinement,  reformative  programs,  and a  process  of                                                                   
     supervised community reintegration.                                                                                        
Commissioner  Dahlstrom mentioned  that slide  2 contained  a                                                                   
chart    of   the    Department    of   Corrections     (DOC)                                                                   
organizational structure.  She turned to slide  3 titled  DOC                                                                   
at a Glance:                                                                                                                    
     Alaska  is  one  of  six   states  in  the  nation  that                                                                   
     operates   a   unified  correctional   system   (Alaska,                                                                   
     Connecticut,   Delaware,  Hawaii,   Rhode  Island,   and                                                                   
     A  unified   system  is  one   in  which  there   is  an                                                                   
     integrated state-level prison and jail system.                                                                             
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  corrected  slide  3 and  noted  that                                                                   
there were  seven states  in the  nation operating  a unified                                                                   
correctional  system.   She  indicated  that   West  Virginia                                                                   
adopted  a unified  system  in  2018. She  moved  to slide  4                                                                   
titled DOC at a Glance (continued)                                                                                              
     DOC  booked  33,813  offenders into  its  facilities  in                                                                   
          ? 21,661 were unique offenders                                                                                        
          ? 1,601 were non-criminal Title 47 bookings                                                                           
     As of 1/24/2020, DOC was responsible for 10,986                                                                            
          ? 4,733 offenders in jail or prison                                                                                   
     51% of the offender population is unsentenced                                                                              
          ? 4,878 offenders on pretrial, probation or                                                                           
          ? 253 offenders in Community Residential Centers                                                                      
          ? 1,122 offenders on electronic monitoring (985                                                                       
            pretrial EM)                                                                                                        
1:43:14 PM                                                                                                                    
APRIL    WILKERSON,   ADMINISTRATIVE    SERVICES    DIRECTOR,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT OF  CORRECTIONS, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT  AND BUDGET,                                                                   
OFFICE  OF  THE GOVERNOR,  reviewed  slide  5 titled   HB  49                                                                   
Projections  and  Actual Counts  with  Revised  Projections.                                                                    
The slide  included a graph  and chart of prison  populations                                                                   
from July 2019  through June 2020. She noted  that the orange                                                                   
line  on  the  graph  represented  the  projected  population                                                                   
under  HB  49 [HB  49  - Crimes;  Sentencing;  Drugs;  Theft;                                                                   
Reports   Chapter  4 FSSLA 19  - 07/08/2019].  The blue  line                                                                   
represented the  actual population. She pointed  out that the                                                                   
lines  intersected   beginning  in  February  2020   and  was                                                                   
aligned with population projections.                                                                                            
Commissioner Dahlstrom  asked Ms. Wilkerson to  review slides                                                                   
6 through 8.                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson reviewed  slides  6 through  8. She  addressed                                                                   
slide  6 titled   Prison  Population  by Legal  Status.   The                                                                   
slide  portrayed a  graph of  the  sentenced and  unsentenced                                                                   
prison  population.  She  delineated   that  the  unsentenced                                                                   
population  was higher  than  the sentenced  population.  She                                                                   
pointed  to slide 7  titled  Projected  Prison Population  by                                                                   
Legal Status." The  slide contained a graph  of the sentenced                                                                   
and  unsentenced  projected prison  population  from  January                                                                   
2020  through December  2020,  which fluctuated  between  one                                                                   
being  higher  than  the  other   throughout  the  year.  She                                                                   
examined  slide  8  titled   DOC  FY  2021  Operating  Budget                                                                   
     Significant Changes FY2019 to FY2021                                                                                       
     ? House Bill 49, Crimes; Sentencing Drugs; Theft;                                                                          
    ? Federal Grants: Second Chance, Equitable Sharing,                                                                         
       Residential Substance Abuse Treatment                                                                                    
     ? Medical Fees, Chronic Disease, Nursing Shortages and                                                                     
     ? Nursing Study                                                                                                            
Ms.  Wilkerson   reported  that  the  bar  graph   and  chart                                                                   
demonstrated  that  the overall  budget  in  FY 19  was  $332                                                                   
million  compared  to  the  FY  21  budget  request  of  $404                                                                   
million  and reflected  an overall increase  of 21.6  percent                                                                   
and  a  20  percent  increase  in  General  Funds  (GF).  She                                                                   
delineated  that  the  overall  increase  from FY  20  was  7                                                                   
percent or  a difference of  $25 million. She  indicated that                                                                   
the  primary  drivers  of  the budget  were  related  to  the                                                                   
passage of HB 49.                                                                                                               
1:46:18 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wool referenced  the increase  due to  HB 49.                                                                   
He  asked  about  provisions  in  SB  54  [SB  54  -  Crimes;                                                                   
Sentencing;  Probation;  Parole   -  CHAPTER  1  4SSLA  17  -                                                                   
11/26/2017]  that allowed  conditional  release  of a  person                                                                   
awaiting  sentencing and  returned individuals  to jail  if a                                                                   
condition  was  violated.  He  asked if  the  population  had                                                                   
increased  due to  the bill.  Ms. Wilkerson  replied that  it                                                                   
was  not   only  SB   54  that   had  increased  the   prison                                                                   
population.   She   observed   that   several   other   bills                                                                   
contributed   to  the   trending  increase   in  the   prison                                                                   
population. She  related that when  SB 91 Omnibus Crim  Law &                                                                   
Procedure; Corrections  - CHAPTER 36 SLA 16 - 07/11/2016] had                                                                 
passed  there  had  been  a  decrease   in  the  incarcerated                                                                   
population.  Subsequently,  the  trend  had leveled  and  was                                                                   
increasing.  Representative Wool  agreed that  the number  of                                                                   
inmates had  increased due  to many  factors, but he  deduced                                                                   
that SB  54 had  changed the conditions  of pretrial  release                                                                   
and resulted  in higher  pretrial custody.  He asked  whether                                                                   
his assessment was fair.                                                                                                        
JENNIFER  WINKELMAN, ACTING  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF CORRECTIONS, replied in the affirmative.                                                                                     
Representative  Josephson  interjected that  the  legislature                                                                   
repealed  the 3, 5,  and 10-day  rule and  reverted to  a 30,                                                                   
60,   and  90-day   timeframe   for  violating   a   pretrial                                                                   
condition,  which meant  spending  more time  in custody.  He                                                                   
asked  whether he  was correct.  Ms.  Winkelman replied  that                                                                   
they  had  repealed  the  3,  5,  and  10-day  law  regarding                                                                   
technical violations.  However, the administrative  sanctions                                                                   
remained and even  though violators were still  serving time,                                                                   
the trends were  not as high as the 30, 60,  and 90 day laws.                                                                   
She would follow up with details.                                                                                               
1:49:11 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Johnston   cited  slide   6  and  noted   that  the                                                                   
unsentenced  population increased  relative to the  sentenced                                                                   
population. She  wondered whether  there was a  difference in                                                                   
costs between  the two  populations. Ms. Wilkerson  responded                                                                   
that the slide  represented only the incarcerated  population                                                                   
and  the costs  between sentenced  and  unsentenced were  not                                                                   
separated because the populations co-mingled.                                                                                   
Commissioner   Dahlstrom   interjected   that  one   of   the                                                                   
important  factors  between  the   two  populations  was  the                                                                   
importance  of keeping  unsentenced individuals  on the  road                                                                   
system, closer  to courts and attorney access.  Additionally,                                                                   
corrections  officers  observed  that the  populations  acted                                                                   
differently   with   the  sentenced   population   eventually                                                                   
acquiescing to incarceration.                                                                                                   
1:51:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wool  asked  if  there  was a  graph  with  a                                                                   
historical  perspective  of  the  sentenced  and  unsentenced                                                                   
populations. He  was curious how  the population  had changed                                                                   
over  time.   Ms.  Wilkerson   would  follow   up  with   the                                                                   
Representative  Tilton cited  the   significant changes   box                                                                   
listed  on slide  8 and asked  if there  was a  place in  the                                                                   
presentation  that associated  the  changes  with costs.  Ms.                                                                   
Wilkerson answered  that the  information was included  later                                                                   
in the presentation.                                                                                                            
Vice-Chair  Ortiz asked  if there  was information  comparing                                                                   
the  percentages of  the  state's unsentenced  and  sentenced                                                                   
population  to other states.  Commissioner Dahlstrom  replied                                                                   
that she did not have a comparison.                                                                                             
Ms. Winkelman  did not have  the data. She would  investigate                                                                   
and follow up.                                                                                                                  
1:53:26 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Ortiz   asked  what   made  up  the   unsentenced                                                                   
population   figure.  Ms.   Winkelman   responded  that   the                                                                   
unsentenced population  was comprised  of people who  had not                                                                   
been convicted and were also considered pretrial.                                                                               
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard   referenced  the  chart  on                                                                   
slide 8.  She pointed  to the  Designated General Fund  (DGF)                                                                   
figure for  the FY 20 management  plan showing  $35.2 million                                                                   
that was decreased  to $13.9 million in the  FY 21 governors                                                                    
request. She  inquired about the  reason for the  difference.                                                                   
Ms.  Wilkerson replied  that the  difference  was related  to                                                                   
fund  source  changes.  She explained  that  the  Power  Cost                                                                   
Equalization Fund  (PCE) had been  part of DGF that  had been                                                                   
moved into  the UGF column. In  addition, there was  a change                                                                   
from  the  Other   fund source,  which was  a reduction  from                                                                   
the  Restorative  Justice Fund  and  the reduced  amount  was                                                                   
replaced  with   GF  from   the  Health  and   Rehabilitation                                                                   
1:55:07 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson  moved to  slide  9  titled  DOC  FY2021  Fund                                                                   
Source Breakdown by Fund Category:                                                                                              
     The DOC budget reflects the Governor's commitment to                                                                       
     Public Safety by adding $24,976.3 (or 7%) to the total                                                                     
     operating budget.                                                                                                          
Ms. Wilkerson  noted that $25.6  million in the   Other  fund                                                                   
category  on the  slides   chart  reflected items  that  were                                                                   
duplicated  in  the  budget. She  reviewed  slide  10  titled                                                                   
 Fiscal Year  2021 Operating Budget  Request by  Fund Source                                                                    
that continued the  breakdown of DOCs  budget  by depicting a                                                                   
pie  chart. She  remarked that  the  departments  budget  was                                                                   
the fifth largest  of all agencies and had  the third largest                                                                   
UGF budget. She  discussed Slide 11 titled   Fiscal Year 2021                                                                   
Operating Budget Request by Line Item:                                                                                          
     The DOC budget is broken out as:                                                                                           
          56% Personal Services                                                                                                 
          .6% Travel                                                                                                            
          36% Services                                                                                                          
          7% Commodities                                                                                                        
          .25% Capital Outlay                                                                                                   
Ms. Wilkerson  pointed out that  DOC had a small  maintenance                                                                   
and  renovation budget  of about  $1  million. She  presented                                                                   
slide 12  titled  Fiscal Year  2021 Operating  Budget Request                                                                   
by Core Services:                                                                                                               
     The DOC budget is broken out as:                                                                                           
     80% Secure Confinement                                                                                                     
     14% Supervised Release                                                                                                     
     6% Reformative Programs                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson  indicated that  secure  confinement  included                                                                   
the  medical  budget.  She  added   that  supervised  release                                                                   
included individuals  supervised within  a community  and the                                                                   
reformative programs were offered in the institutions.                                                                          
Ms. Wilkerson  turned to  slide 13  titled  Priority  Program                                                                   
Comparison  FY 2020  Management  Plan to  FY 2021  Governor's                                                                   
Request.    She  reported   that  the   chart  included   the                                                                   
approximately $25 million or 7 percent budget increase.                                                                         
1:57:00 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Dahlstrom   reviewed  slide  14   titled   Core                                                                   
Service Secure Confinement:                                                                                                     
     Includes resources for:                                                                                                    
          Institution   Director's    Office,   12   In-State                                                                   
          Correctional     Centers,    Classification     and                                                                   
          Furlough,  Inmate Transportation, Point  of Arrest,                                                                   
          Out-of-State   Contractual,    Regional   Community                                                                   
          Jails,  Physical  Health Care,  Administration  and                                                                   
          Support,   Correctional  Academy,  and   Facilities                                                                   
          Capital Improvement Unit.                                                                                             
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  moved  to slide  15  titled   Secure                                                                   
Confinement.  The  map depicted the locations  of the state's                                                                   
correctional  facilities; 12 were  state institutions  and 15                                                                   
were community and  regional jails. She highlighted  slide 16                                                                   
titled Core Service Reformative Programs:                                                                                       
     Includes resources for:                                                                                                    
          Health   &   Rehabilitation    Director's   Office,                                                                   
          Behavioral    Health    Care,    Substance    Abuse                                                                   
          Treatment,   Sex  Offender   Management   Programs,                                                                   
          Education     Programs,    Vocational     Education                                                                   
          Programs,  Domestic Violence Programs,  Faith-Based                                                                   
          Services,  Recidivism  Reduction, Reentry  Services                                                                   
          and Administration and Support                                                                                        
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  asked  whether  access  to  the  different                                                                   
programs  varied   by  location  within  the   state  system.                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom answered  that in  the past they  had                                                                   
varied by  location. Currently,  the department attempted  to                                                                   
provide  the  core  programs   available  in every  facility.                                                                   
She  added  that  some  of  the   programs  like  faith-based                                                                   
services  were provided  by  volunteers  and were   stronger                                                                    
than other programs.                                                                                                            
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  moved   to  slide  17  titled   Core                                                                   
Service Supervised Release:                                                                                                     
     Includes resources for:                                                                                                    
          Pretrial,  Probation and Parole Director's  Office,                                                                   
          Statewide  Pretrial, Probation and  Parole Regional                                                                   
          Offices,     Community     Residential     Centers,                                                                   
          Electronic    Monitoring,     Administration    and                                                                   
          Support, Correctional Academy, Parole Board                                                                           
Commissioner  Dahlstrom indicated that  the Parole  Board was                                                                   
listed  under the  purview of  DOC but was  really under  the                                                                   
governor's   office.   She  pointed   to   Slide  18   titled                                                                   
 Supervised Release   that contained a map of  the supervised                                                                   
release  locations. She  detailed that  13 were Pretrial  and                                                                   
Probation  Offices,  8  had  Community   Residential  Centers                                                                   
(CRC), and 6 locations provided electronic monitoring.                                                                          
Representative  Wool asked  whether DOC  had a  graph of  the                                                                   
supervised   release  population   over  time.  He   wondered                                                                   
whether  the  supervised release  population  had  increased.                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom answered that  it had increased.  She                                                                   
deferred to Ms. Winkelman to further answer the question.                                                                       
Ms.  Winkelman  replied  that  she would  follow  up  with  a                                                                   
historical   graph.   Representative  Wool   commented   that                                                                   
supervised release was trending higher nationally.                                                                              
2:01:32 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Dahlstrom asked Ms.  Wilkerson to review  slide                                                                   
19 titled FY 2021 Significant Operating Budget Changes:                                                                         
     Changing Inmate Population - $18,072.1 (UGF)                                                                               
           Second Year Fiscal Note Assault; Sex Offenses;                                                                       
           Sent. Aggravator Ch11 SLA2019 (HB 14)                                                                                
           Second Year Fiscal Note Crimes; Sentencing;                                                                          
           Drugs; Theft; Reports Ch4 FSSLA2019 (HB 49)                                                                          
           ($18,512.6) Reversal of First Year Fiscal Note                                                                       
           Structure change moving Community Residential                                                                        
           Center and Electronic Monitoring from individual                                                                     
           RDUs to the Population Management RDU                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson   relayed  that  moving  CRC   and  Electronic                                                                   
Monitoring  (EM) back  to the  Population Management  Results                                                                   
Delivery Unit  (RDU) granted the department  more flexibility                                                                   
as  the population  flowed from  intake  and transitioned  to                                                                   
supervised release.                                                                                                             
Representative Josephson  looked at slide 19 and  asked about                                                                   
the Population  Management  RDU. He wondered  what the  total                                                                   
appropriated was for  the item in FY 20. Ms.  Wilkerson would                                                                   
follow up with the information.                                                                                                 
2:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Dahlstrom addressed  slide 20  titled  FY  2020                                                                   
Significant Operating Budget Changes:                                                                                           
        • Recruitment Efforts - $136.8 (UGF)                                                                                  
             o Expand    recruitment   outreach,    including                                                                 
               developing  recruitment  strategies,  identify                                                                   
               target     populations,     developing     and                                                                   
               maintaining  a  recruitment outreach  website,                                                                   
               identifying   markets  for  advertising,   and                                                                   
               attendance  at   recruitment  fairs  statewide                                                                   
               and out of state.                                                                                                
      • Secure and Safe Institutions - $668.9 (UGF)                                                                           
             o Adding a new drug dog to assist in combating                                                                   
               contraband  at  the facilities.  The dogs  are                                                                   
               used  for  module   and  cell  searches;  they                                                                   
               attend  and  screen  visitor  events  and  are                                                                   
               used   for  staff  searches  as   needed.  The                                                                   
               department  currently has one drug  dog, Koda,                                                                   
               who  has  been  instrumental in  reducing  the                                                                   
               quantity  of  contraband  in  our  facilities.                                                                   
               Finding  contraband  in  the prisons  or  that                                                                   
               someone  is attempting to bring  into a prison                                                                   
               greatly  increases the  safety of inmates  and                                                                   
             o Increasing non-certified staff to combat                                                                       
               contraband   received  through  the   mail  by                                                                   
               photocopying incoming inmate mail and only                                                                       
               distributing the copied documents to the                                                                         
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard  discussed  the  problem  of                                                                   
the hidden drugs  coming into prisons. She asked  whether the                                                                   
drug dog  was deployed to  address the  issue and if  the dog                                                                   
could help  identify exactly how  the drugs were  transferred                                                                   
into the  facility. She wondered  what the success  rate was.                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom answered  that drug  dogs could  find                                                                   
drugs that people  were not able to find. She  noted that she                                                                   
would be foolish  to believe that DOC was catching  all drugs                                                                   
with  the  dog  and  lacked  statistics.   She  informed  the                                                                   
committee  that  DOC  had requested  body  scanners  to  find                                                                   
drugs  hidden  internally.  She reported  that  inmates  were                                                                   
very creative about where and how they hid drugs.                                                                               
2:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair  Johnston recalled  a  process  for checking  inmate                                                                   
mail as  part of  drug enforcement.  She wondered whether  it                                                                   
was still  in place.  Commissioner Dahlstrom  pointed  to the                                                                   
bottom  of slide  20 that  cited the  process. She  expounded                                                                   
that DOC requested  $400 thousand for additional  staff, that                                                                   
were not  officers, to  copy mail  and inmates would  receive                                                                   
photocopies  of  their  mail.  Inmates  received  their  mail                                                                   
within  24 hours  of the  institution receiving  it and  that                                                                   
remained  the goal.  Often,  drugs  and contraband  were  not                                                                   
visible  to the  naked eye.  Co-Chair Johnston  asked if  the                                                                   
method  had  been tried  in  other  facilities.  Commissioner                                                                   
Dahlstrom  replied that  there had  been a  test done at  the                                                                   
Goose  Creek  Correctional  Center   (GCCC)  and  was  proven                                                                   
effective. She  reported that  according to commissioners  in                                                                   
other states, the method was very effective.                                                                                    
2:09:02 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon asked about  computer access  and email                                                                   
for  inmates.   He  wondered  if   it  was  limited   or  not                                                                   
available.   Commissioner   Dahlstrom   answered   that   the                                                                   
administration  was  introducing  a  bill  allowing  computer                                                                   
tablets  for   inmates  to  access  education   classes,  and                                                                   
treatment.  The institutions  did  not have  internet  access                                                                   
available to inmates due to safety concerns.                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter relayed that  he had discussed  the                                                                   
idea  of  consolidating  mail  services  with  DOC  during  a                                                                   
subcommittee   hearing.  He   noted  that   dogs  were   only                                                                   
effective  for  a  few  hours  and  needed  frequent  breaks.                                                                   
Commissioner   Dahlstrom   agreed   with   Rep.   Carpenters                                                                    
statement  regarding  the  dog. Depending  on  its  training,                                                                   
dogs  worked 20  minutes  at a  time and  took  a break.  She                                                                   
spoke  to the  mail  consolidation suggestion.  She  informed                                                                   
the  committee  that  since  the  subcommittee  meeting,  the                                                                   
department had  been looking into  the different  methods and                                                                   
where it could be done.                                                                                                         
2:11:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wool  referenced  the  success  of  the  mail                                                                   
photocopying  trial  at  GCCC.  He asked  how  the  programs                                                                    
success was  measured. Commissioner  Dahlstrom answered  that                                                                   
success   was  measured   in  outcomes   of  random   urinary                                                                   
analysis. Representative  Wool thought that email  was a good                                                                   
way to  limit contraband. He  asked whether other  states had                                                                   
employed  a  prison  email  system  that  prevented  internet                                                                   
access.  Commissioner  Dahlstrom  answered  that  some  email                                                                   
programs  did exist  in other  states, but  she did not  have                                                                   
cost estimates.  She  agreed it  would not  be wise to  allow                                                                   
live  internet  access  and was  aware  of  the  departments                                                                    
responsibility to  protect victims - DOC could  not allow any                                                                   
contact  with  victims  from the  institution.  She  reported                                                                   
that the department was considering computer tablet use.                                                                        
2:14:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Dahlstrom highlighted  slide 21 titled   FY2021                                                                   
Significant Operating Budget Changes:                                                                                           
       Recidivism Reduction - $1,821.1                                                                                          
       ($1,075.0 Federal / $746.1 UGF)                                                                                          
          Establish  and bolster reentry efforts  by creating                                                                   
          a  new Reentry  Unit component.  Without some  form                                                                   
          of   human  intervention   or  services   there  is                                                                   
          unlikely  to  be  much effect  on  recidivism  from                                                                   
          punishment alone.                                                                                                     
          The Reentry  Unit will work to ensure  offenders in                                                                   
          custody   have  available   programs  designed   to                                                                   
          address  their  criminogenic  needs and  that  they                                                                   
          are   connected  to   supportive  programming   and                                                                   
          resources upon release.                                                                                               
          Maintain and expand federal grant opportunities                                                                       
          for offender reentry support.                                                                                         
Ms.  Wilkerson   addressed  slide  22  titled    Division  of                                                                   
Institutions Secure Confinement:                                                                                                
     Institution Director's Office                                                                                              
          ? Classification & Furlough                                                                                           
         ? Inmate Transportation & Point of Arrest                                                                              
          ? 12 Correctional Centers                                                                                             
          ? Community Residential Centers                                                                                       
          ? 6 locations                                                                                                         
          ? Regional and Community Jails                                                                                        
          ? 15 locations                                                                                                        
          ? Electronic Monitoring                                                                                               
          ? 6 locations                                                                                                         
          ? Out-of-State                                                                                                        
Ms.  Wilkerson  delineated  that  the  divisions  budget  was                                                                   
$271.4 million  with 1,378  budgeted positions. The  division                                                                   
was  the largest  and most  costly division  within DOC.  The                                                                   
divisions   budget  contained  various funding  sources  that                                                                   
included DGF  received through  mandate billings  for housing                                                                   
offenders  on a  local or  municipal hold.  In addition,  $13                                                                   
million  was received  via interagency  receipts and  federal                                                                   
funding of  just over  $11.9 million.  The federal  money was                                                                   
comprised of the funds received via mandate billings.                                                                           
Representative  Josephson asked  about population  management                                                                   
and the  appropriation in  the range of  $16 million  to open                                                                   
the  Palmer   Correctional  Center.  He  surmised   that  the                                                                   
department needed  the $16 million and would  not have enough                                                                   
funding to  cover other facilities  if Palmer  opened without                                                                   
the  additional funding.  Ms. Wilkerson  answered that  there                                                                   
was a  $14.8 million increment  requested in the  Institution                                                                   
Directors   Office.   In  addition,  the   supplemental  bill                                                                   
included an extension  request for the current  $16.6 million                                                                   
for  the  Palmer Correctional  Center  reopening.  The  $14.8                                                                   
million afforded  DOC the ability to house  individuals until                                                                   
the Palmer facility was open.                                                                                                   
2:18:21 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms. Wilkerson turned  to slide 23 titled  Division  of Health                                                                   
and Rehabilitation Reformative Programs:                                                                                        
     ? Health & Rehabilitation Director's Office                                                                                
          ? Physical Health Care                                                                                                
          ? Behavioral Health Care                                                                                              
          ? Substance Abuse                                                                                                     
          ? Sex Offender Management                                                                                             
          ? Domestic Violence Program                                                                                           
          ? Reentry & Recidivism Unit                                                                                           
          ? Education/Vocational Programs                                                                                       
Ms.   Wilkerson   remarked   that  the   division   was   the                                                                   
departments   second largest.  She  noted  that the  division                                                                   
contained  the Reentry  & Recidivism  Unit  and included  the                                                                   
$700 thousand request for reentry.                                                                                              
Ms.  Wilkerson   reviewed  slide   24  titled   Division   of                                                                   
Pretrial Probation and Parole Supervised Release:                                                                               
     Pretrial, Probation & Parole Director                                                                                      
          ? Victim Notification                                                                                                 
     Statewide Probation and Parole                                                                                             
          ? 13 regional locations                                                                                               
          ? Probation Accountability w/ Certain Enforcement                                                                     
          ? Pre-sentencing Unit                                                                                                 
          ? Inter-state Compact                                                                                                 
     Pretrial Services                                                                                                          
          ? Assessments                                                                                                         
          ? Basic Supervision                                                                                                   
          ? Enhanced Supervision                                                                                                
Ms.  Wilkerson emphasized  that  the department  successfully                                                                   
incorporated the  Division of  Pretrial into the  Division of                                                                   
Probation  and  Parole under  Jennifer  Winkelman,  Director,                                                                   
Division   of    Pretrial,   Probation   and    Parole.   The                                                                   
consolidation  expanded the  effectiveness  of the  division.                                                                   
Ms.  Wilkerson continued  that  the  division had  234  staff                                                                   
assigned  statewide and  the budget  was comprised  primarily                                                                   
of GF. The  divisions  budget also contained  a small portion                                                                   
of  federal   funds  utilized   via  the  Equitable   Sharing                                                                   
Representative  Wool  asked how  many  of the  234  positions                                                                   
were  filled. Ms.  Winkelman  replied that  approximately  40                                                                   
positions   were  vacant  and   were  exclusively   probation                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom interjected  that Pretrial  was newly                                                                   
created and candidates  had not applied for  the jobs because                                                                   
they thought it  would be eliminated. She predicted  that the                                                                   
jobs would be filled.                                                                                                           
Representative  Wool asked  if  Pretrial  existed because  of                                                                   
provisions  in  SB  54 that  created  a  supervised  pretrial                                                                   
population.   Ms.  Winkelman   corrected  that   SB  91   had                                                                   
established  the Pretrial Enforcement  Division and  affirmed                                                                   
that   the   provision  created   the   supervised   pretrial                                                                   
Co-Chair Johnston  requested the  number of vacancies  broken                                                                   
down by divisions.  Commissioner Dahlstrom agreed  to provide                                                                   
the information.                                                                                                                
Representative   Josephson  asked   whether  the   supervised                                                                   
pretrial  unit survived  the  reform repeals  in  HB 49.  Ms.                                                                   
Winkelman replied in the affirmative.                                                                                           
2:22:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Ms.  Wilkerson spoke  to  slide 25  titled   Board of  Parole                                                                   
Supervised Release:                                                                                                             
     Parole Board                                                                                                               
          ? Administrative                                                                                                      
          ? Discretionary                                                                                                       
          ? Mandatory                                                                                                           
          ? Special Medical                                                                                                     
          ? Geriatric                                                                                                           
          ? Clemency Investigations                                                                                             
    ? The Parole Board consists of 5 Governor appointed                                                                         
       board members.                                                                                                           
Ms. Wilkerson indicated  that the board was  a quasi-judicial                                                                   
branch  that   operated  autonomously   and  oversaw   parole                                                                   
releases.  She  moved  to  slide 26  titled   Office  of  the                                                                   
     Commissioner's Office                                                                                                      
          ? Constituent Relations                                                                                               
          ? Ombudsman Liaison                                                                                                   
          ? American Civil Liberties Union Liaison                                                                              
          ? Compliance Standards                                                                                                
          ? Inmate ADA Grievances                                                                                               
     Training Academy                                                                                                           
          ? Basic Correctional Officer Training                                                                                 
          ? Basic Probation Officer Training                                                                                    
          ? Field Officer Training                                                                                              
         ? Prisoner Transportation Officer Training                                                                             
          ? Firearm Training & Certification                                                                                    
          ? Taser Instruction & Certification                                                                                   
          ? Municipal Officer Academy                                                                                           
Ms.  Wilkerson  reported  that the  offices   budget  totaled                                                                   
$2.6  million and  had  18 budget  positions  with  8 of  the                                                                   
positions dedicated  to the Training  Academy. She  turned to                                                                   
slide 27 titled Division of Administrative Services:                                                                            
     Administrative Services                                                                                                    
          ? Budget and Finance                                                                                                  
          ? Inmate Banking/Auditing                                                                                             
     ? Human Resources                                                                                                          
          ? Alaska Police Standard Council Certification                                                                        
          ? Employee Background Investigations                                                                                  
     ? Procurement                                                                                                              
          ? Ignition Interlock Certification                                                                                    
     Information Technology & Data Management                                                                                   
          ? Alaska Corrections Offender Management System                                                                       
     Research and Records                                                                                                       
          ? PFD Eligibility                                                                                                     
          ? Research & Reporting                                                                                                
     Facilities Capital Unit & OSHA Compliance                                                                                  
Ms. Wilkerson offered that the divisions budget totaled                                                                         
$10.4 million GF and roughly $150 thousand in federal                                                                           
authority with 52 budgeted positions.                                                                                           
2:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Dahlstrom reviewed slide 28 titled Goals:                                                                          
     • Protect the Public                                                                                                     
     • Provide Safe and Secure Care and                                                                                       
     • Custody                                                                                                                
     • Reduce the Prison Population                                                                                           
     • Reduce Recidivism                                                                                                      
     • Ensure that Incarcerated Offenders                                                                                     
        Spend Productive Time While in Custody                                                                                  
     • Reentry and Community Supervision                                                                                      
     • Work Collaboratively with Outside                                                                                      
     • Stakeholders to Achieve These Goals                                                                                    
Commissioner   Dahlstrom  elaborated   that  the   department                                                                   
strove  to  incentivize  inmate   participation  in  programs                                                                   
ensuring    offenders    used   their    incarcerated    time                                                                   
2:25:20 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon  noted that  the previous  session  the                                                                   
committee  had spent time  discussing electronic  monitoring.                                                                   
He   asked  if   there  was   an  update   on  the   concept.                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  answered  that  the numbers  for  EM                                                                   
clients had increased. She deferred to Ms. Winkelman.                                                                           
Ms.  Winkelman  replied  that  DOC offered  EM  for  pretrial                                                                   
individuals.  Regarding  EM for  sentenced  individuals,  she                                                                   
reminded  the  committee that  DOC  was  moving CRCs  and  EM                                                                   
under population  management to allow greater  flexibility in                                                                   
managing  the  sentenced  population  and  more  easily  move                                                                   
individuals to EM  or CRCs. The unsentenced  population on EM                                                                   
were run through the Pretrial Enforcement Division.                                                                             
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  added  that some  inmates  who  were                                                                   
eligible  for EM or  CRCs chose  to remain  in jail  to avoid                                                                   
participating  in  classes  or  productive  activities.  Some                                                                   
individuals  preferred to  sit in  jail and  wait their  time                                                                   
2:27:49 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter  asked  if  the  prison  population                                                                   
would continue  to increase or  whether the population  would                                                                   
peak.  Commissioner Dahlstrom  believed that  there would  be                                                                   
an increase in  Alaska over the next several  years and hoped                                                                   
there would  be a  peak. She confirmed  that Palmer  would be                                                                   
brought  online -  there was  currently  a feasibility  study                                                                   
underway  that should be  completed the  following week.  She                                                                   
relayed  that  DOC   was  working  with  the   Department  of                                                                   
Transportation  and Public Facilities  (DOT) and  was issuing                                                                   
an  RSA of  $400  thousand for  design  and inspections.  She                                                                   
offered that  different dates  were given for  opening Palmer                                                                   
in approximately  12 to 18  months. She committed  to getting                                                                   
the facility open as soon and as safely as possible.                                                                            
2:30:09 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Wool hoped the  opening would happen  faster.                                                                   
He  referenced the  Coronavirus  epidemic  in China  where  a                                                                   
1,000 bed hospital  had been built in 10 days.  He understood                                                                   
it  was not  a  fair comparison.  He  felt  that the  process                                                                   
could be  expedited and  that the  prison could open  section                                                                   
by section.  He voiced that  accommodations were made  in the                                                                   
past  to handle  overcrowding. He  asked at  what point  were                                                                   
institutions at  standard capacity and not  maximum capacity.                                                                   
Commissioner   Dahlstrom  responded   that  the  number   was                                                                   
different  for different  facilities  and she  was unable  to                                                                   
answer. She assured  that measures were taken  to accommodate                                                                   
capacity.  She elaborated that  the system  had done  what it                                                                   
could safely do  to house inmates. She pledged to  do all she                                                                   
could  to  open   the  Palmer  facility  in   an  accelerated                                                                   
manner.  She commented  that DOC  was required  to work  with                                                                   
DOT through  the procurement process  and believed  DOT would                                                                   
work  effectively.  She emphasized  that  she was   open   to                                                                   
operating part  of the Palmer  facility if it was  a feasible                                                                   
option and was committed to the process.                                                                                        
2:33:12 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson looked  at  slide 4  and noted  the                                                                   
bullet   point   regarding  1,601   non-criminal   Title   47                                                                   
bookings. He asked  whether they were following  court orders                                                                   
and asked  for more information.  Ms. Winkelman  deferred the                                                                   
answer to Laura Brooks.                                                                                                         
LAURA  BROOKS,  DIVISION  OPERATIONS   MANAGER,  DIVISION  OF                                                                   
HEALTH   AND    REHABILITATIVE   SERVICES,    DEPARTMENT   OF                                                                   
CORRECTIONS,  responded that DOC  operated under  the  letter                                                                   
of  the  law.    She  expounded  that  statute   allowed  the                                                                   
department to  provide protection  for an individual  waiting                                                                   
for a  bed at the Alaska  Psychiatric Institution  (API)to be                                                                   
held  in  a correctional  facility.  The  1,601  number  also                                                                   
included  Title 47  alcohol  holds  of up  to  12 hours.  She                                                                   
indicated  that since API's  reduction  of patient beds,  150                                                                   
individuals   were    temporarily   held    in   correctional                                                                   
Commissioner  Dahlstrom  interjected that  the  institutional                                                                   
officers  did an   exceptional  job  keeping the  psychiatric                                                                   
clients   safe   and   the  department   was   committed   to                                                                   
maintaining a safe environment for them.                                                                                        
2:36:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson asked  for clarification  regarding                                                                   
the  150 number.  Ms.  Brooks  restated  that since  API  had                                                                   
reduced  its  beds   on  October  6,  2018,   the  number  of                                                                   
individuals  affected  by the  reduction  and  housed in  DOC                                                                   
facilities was roughly 150.                                                                                                     
Representative Wool  cited slide 4 and asked  about the 1,122                                                                   
offenders on  EM [985  pretrial EM]. He  deduced that  out of                                                                   
the  entire sentenced  population only  137 were  on EM.  Ms.                                                                   
Winkelman responded  in the affirmative.  Representative Wool                                                                   
repeated that  out of thousands  of sentenced  offenders only                                                                   
137  were  on  EM.  He  expected   a  higher  number  in  the                                                                   
sentenced population  and deemed that the number  seemed low.                                                                   
Ms. Winkelman  replied  that he was  not misinterpreting  the                                                                   
numbers.  She   communicated  that   placing  EM   under  the                                                                   
authority  of  population management  would  provide  greater                                                                   
opportunity  to   move  some  of  the   sentenced  population                                                                   
eligible for  electronic monitoring onto  EM or to  the least                                                                   
restrictive housing.  The change  eliminated the need  for an                                                                   
inmate to apply for EM.                                                                                                         
2:39:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Josephson recalled  that  EM eligibility  had                                                                   
been reduced  under HB  49 by  restraining the categories  of                                                                   
felons that  were eligible.  He asked  for confirmation.  Ms.                                                                   
Winkelman was unable to respond due to uncertainty.                                                                             
^FY 21 BUDGET OVERVIEW: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY                                                                           
2:40:05 PM                                                                                                                    
AMANDA  PRICE,  COMMISSIONER,  DEPARTMENT OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY,                                                                   
listed staff  available to answer  questions. She  provided a                                                                   
PowerPoint presentation  titled "Department of  Public Safety                                                                   
FY 2021  Operating Budget Overview,"  dated February  6, 2020                                                                   
(copy on  file). She began on  slide 2 titled   Department of                                                                   
Public Safety:                                                                                                                  
     Our Mission                                                                                                                
          To   administer    functions   relative    to   the                                                                   
          protection of life and property.                                                                                      
     Our Core Services                                                                                                          
          ? Law enforcement patrol and investigations                                                                           
            Rural law enforcement services                                                                                      
          ? Domestic violence and sexual assault programs                                                                       
          ? Statewide public safety programs                                                                                    
          ? Resource protection                                                                                                 
          ? Highway safety                                                                                                      
Commissioner  Price  reviewed  the department's  mission  and                                                                   
core  services.  She  turned to  slide  3  titled   Statewide                                                                   
        • DPS is Alaska's primary statewide law enforcement                                                                   
        • Direct support to other agencies                                                                                    
            Investigative assistance                                                                                            
            Search and rescue                                                                                                   
          Alaska Public Safety Information Network                                                                              
            Crime lab                                                                                                           
2:42:04 PM                                                                                                                    
TORREY  JACOBSON,   BUDGET  ANALYST,  DEPARTMENT   OF  PUBLIC                                                                   
SAFETY,  turned to  slide  4 titled   DPS  FY 2021  Operating                                                                   
Budget Comparison:                                                                                                              
     Significant Changes                                                                                                        
          Federal grants:                                                                                                       
          • High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area                                                                              
          • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)                                                                                       
[The slide also contained a table and bar graph.]                                                                               
Mr.  Jacobson explained  that  between FY  19 and  FY 21  the                                                                   
departments  budget  increased by approximately  $34 million.                                                                   
The  increase was  primarily comprised  of increased  federal                                                                   
fund authority  for $5  million in HIDTA  and $4  million for                                                                   
the  Council   on  Domestic   Violence  and  Sexual   Assault                                                                   
(CDVSA).  He  reported  that  most of  the  GF  increase  was                                                                   
related  to  personnel  for state  troopers  who  received  a                                                                   
classification  increase in FY  19 and  a salary increase  in                                                                   
FY 20.  He clarified that the  change in  Other   funding was                                                                   
mostly  related  to the  Violent  Crimes  Compensation  Board                                                                   
(VCCB) that  was moving  to the  Department of Public  Safety                                                                   
(DPS) from the  Department of Administration (DOA).  He noted                                                                   
that the  change in  Designated General  Funds (DGF)  was due                                                                   
to  an approximately  $300  thousand appropriation  from  the                                                                   
Power  Cost  Equalization fund  (PCE)  included  in  a HB  49                                                                   
fiscal  note  that was  currently  switched  to  Undesignated                                                                   
General  Funds (UGF).  In addition,  the department  received                                                                   
an estimated  $2 million in  Recidivism Reduction  funds from                                                                   
the marijuana  tax. The department  also received  GF program                                                                   
receipts from building plan reviews.                                                                                            
Mr.  Jacobson moved  to  slide  5 titled   DPS  FY 2021  Fund                                                                   
Source  Breakdown  by  Fund  Category.    He  commented  that                                                                   
funding  from the   Other  category  included  items such  as                                                                   
background  checks   and  handgun  permits  handled   in  the                                                                   
Criminal  Justice Information  Systems  Unit  and the  Alaska                                                                   
Police  Standards and  Council  surcharges  on citations  and                                                                   
criminal convictions.                                                                                                           
2:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Price  listed  the department's  FY  21  budget                                                                   
broken  down   by  percentages:   59  percent  for   personal                                                                   
services, 3  for percent travel,  19 percent for  services, 3                                                                   
percent  for commodities,  1 percent capital  outlay,  and 15                                                                   
percent  for   grants  and  benefits.  She   elaborated  that                                                                   
between FY  18 and  FY 19 the  amount for overtime  increased                                                                   
by  26  percent  and  DOC  was  currently  on  track  for  an                                                                   
increase of  9 percent due  to staff shortages.  Commissioner                                                                   
Price  addressed   slide  6   titled   FY  2021   Significant                                                                   
Operating Budget Changes:                                                                                                       
     Improve Building Plan Review Turnaround Time                                                                               
        • Fire and Life Safety: $219.0 UGF / $217.1 DGF and                                                                   
          4   PFT positions                                                                                                     
     Meet Operational Needs                                                                                                     
        • Alaska State Troopers: $2,733.9 UGF                                                                                 
     Increase Operational Capacity                                                                                              
        • Alaska State Troopers: $7,599.1 UGF and 36 PFT                                                                      
     Establish Emergency Communications Center                                                                                  
        • Statewide Support: $872.8 UGF and 7 PFT positions                                                                   
Commissioner  Price  shared that  the  administration  wanted                                                                   
the building plan  review time reduced to two  weeks from the                                                                   
prior years  time  of 16 to 18 weeks, which  currently took 6                                                                   
to 8 weeks.  She believed that with the additional  staff the                                                                   
two week  timeline would  be met. She  offered that  the $2.7                                                                   
million for  the Alaska State  Troopers was also  included in                                                                   
the  supplemental budget.  The  department would  run out  of                                                                   
funding  for FY  20  in mid-April  if  the  $2.7 million  UGF                                                                   
appropriation  was not  approved. The same  amount was  added                                                                   
as an increase  in the FY 21 request because it  would be the                                                                   
third  consecutive year  the spend  occurred  and required  a                                                                   
supplemental;  FY  19 was  the  first year  the  supplemental                                                                   
occurred.  She  noted  the departments   desire  to  increase                                                                   
trooper  capacity  and elucidated  that  the request  for  36                                                                   
full  time  civilian  positions   would  alleviate  troopers                                                                    
partaking  in administrative  work and  allow them to  return                                                                   
to   the   streets.    She  mentioned   that  the   Emergency                                                                   
Communications Center would be established in Anchorage.                                                                        
2:47:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Ortiz  cited  the   $872,800  for  the  Emergency                                                                   
Communications  Center. He inquired  whether the  spend would                                                                   
be  a recurring  increment.  Commissioner  Price answered  in                                                                   
the affirmative and  voiced that a savings would  be realized                                                                   
after FY 21.  Vice-Chair Ortiz asked whether  the 7 positions                                                                   
were in addition  to the existing positions  in Ketchikan and                                                                   
other  parts   of  the  state   that  were  being   moved  to                                                                   
Anchorage.  Commissioner Price  replied  in the  affirmative.                                                                   
She  informed  the   committee  that  the  total   number  of                                                                   
dispatch positions  was 18 and DPS was only  moving positions                                                                   
from Ketchikan.  She believed that the positions  were moving                                                                   
to provide  "more  impactful" service  to rural  communities.                                                                   
Vice-Chair  Ortiz asked  for more  information regarding  the                                                                   
Emergency  Communications  Center.  He  asked  whether  prior                                                                   
years  costs were  $3.5 million. Commissioner  Price answered                                                                   
in  the affirmative  and  explained  that the  former  Walker                                                                   
administration made  a $3.5 million capital  appropriation in                                                                   
FY  19 that  was comprehensively  paying for  the  upfit   of                                                                   
the  existing  infrastructure  in  Anchorage;  no  additional                                                                   
funding  was   necessary  for  infrastructure.   The  funding                                                                   
request  was for staffing  only. Vice-Chair  Ortiz asked  how                                                                   
much  of  the  $3.5  million   of  funding  had  been  spent.                                                                   
Commissioner Price  replied that  she would follow  up. Vice-                                                                   
Chair  Ortiz  asked  for  an   estimate.  Commissioner  Price                                                                   
answered that  the project was  at 65 percent  completion and                                                                   
estimated  that 50 percent  of the  cost was expended.  Vice-                                                                   
Chair  Ortiz   asked  whether   the  initial  plan   included                                                                   
centralizing  operations  in   Anchorage  and  moving  the  7                                                                   
2:51:15 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner  Price  believed that  DPS  had not  provided  a                                                                   
clear  accounting   that  the   plan  involved  closing   the                                                                   
dispatch  facility.  She  qualified  that  it  was  a  common                                                                   
practice  for  departments  to move  resources  in  alignment                                                                   
with its statewide  mission. She emphasized that  the closing                                                                   
was  specific  to the  state  dispatch  facility  dispatching                                                                   
state resources.  She maintained  that the City  of Ketchikan                                                                   
had its own municipal dispatch facility.                                                                                        
Representative  LeBon   asked  about  the   DPS  supplemental                                                                   
budget request.  He asked  for a rough  estimate of  how much                                                                   
was  specifically for  trooper  overtime. Commissioner  Price                                                                   
answered  that   most  of  the  request  was   for  overtime.                                                                   
Representative  LeBon  asked   if  the  overtime  number  per                                                                   
trooper would  decline as the  trooper positions  were filled                                                                   
or  whether   overtime  was   expected.  Commissioner   Price                                                                   
answered  that  the  amount of  overtime  the  troopers  were                                                                   
expected   to  perform   had   a   significant   impact    on                                                                   
retention. She  stressed that  the situation was  not normal;                                                                   
overtime was expected  but not 800 to 900 hours.  She relayed                                                                   
some  statistical  data  from   a  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough                                                                   
(Mat-Su) detachment  staffing assessment  study done  in 2017                                                                   
that reported  the troopers were  woefully  understaffed  and                                                                   
did not  meet minimum  staffing levels.  The study  concluded                                                                   
that if  the trooper detachment  met minimum staffing  levels                                                                   
overtime costs would decrease approximately 30 percent.                                                                         
2:54:03 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Knopp  cited   the   building  plan   review                                                                   
improvements on slide  6 and inquired whether  the state fire                                                                   
marshal  recently  retired. Commissioner  Price  answered  in                                                                   
the  affirmative and  noted that  Richard Boothby,  Director,                                                                   
Division of Fire  and Life Safety was the current  state fire                                                                   
marshal replacing  David Tyler who retired in  December 2018.                                                                   
Representative  Knopp favored  the  improved turnaround  time                                                                   
for  building  plan   reviews  and  mentioned   that  he  had                                                                   
received many  calls regarding  plan review delays  impacting                                                                   
the  construction   season.  He   asked  whether   the  state                                                                   
dispatchers in Mat-Su  and Soldotna the were  not being moved                                                                   
to  Anchorage.  Commissioner  Price replied  that  the  state                                                                   
dispatch in Mat-Su  and Soldotna were contracted  out and the                                                                   
dispatchers were not state employees.                                                                                           
Representative  Knopp  recounted  that moving  the  Ketchikan                                                                   
dispatch was  a  point of  contention  the previous  year. He                                                                   
recalled  conversations  about  rural communities  not  being                                                                   
able  to  reach  911  and  problems   associated  with  rural                                                                   
response  and moving the  Ketchikan office  to Anchorage.  He                                                                   
wondered   what  the  conclusion   was.  Commissioner   Price                                                                   
answered   that   the   large  multi-year   project   had   a                                                                   
 significant  scope  of impact  to  our state.   She  related                                                                   
that early in  her tenure she did not believe  the department                                                                   
had adequately vetted  the issue for potential  options aside                                                                   
from  funding  a  new  building  while  maintaining  existing                                                                   
infrastructure.  She detailed  that  she  paused the  project                                                                   
for a  year and  engaged in   exhaustive conversations   with                                                                   
her  contract   services  partners,  Soldotna,   and  Mat-com                                                                   
Dispatch.  They could  not find  another  mechanism to  allow                                                                   
the  department to  accomplish  the goals  of increasing  and                                                                   
providing emergency  911 phase two compliant services  in the                                                                   
state. She  elaborated that  in 20 percent  of the  state the                                                                   
location of  the 911 caller  was unknown unless  specified by                                                                   
the caller.  The current  plan accomplished DOCs   identified                                                                   
goals. An  emergency communications  center  met many  of the                                                                   
technical  aspects and  needs  for emergency  communications.                                                                   
All the  technical hurdles were  vetted, and solid  solutions                                                                   
were in place. She was confident in the plan.                                                                                   
Representative  Knopp  continued with  a  question about  the                                                                   
Alaska  Fire   Standards  Council.  He  announced   that  the                                                                   
council lost  funding and one  position. He relayed  that the                                                                   
council  was overwhelmed  with  work.  He wondered  what  the                                                                   
plan  for the  council  was. He  asked  whether the  position                                                                   
would  be  reinstated  if  there  was  funding.  Commissioner                                                                   
Price responded  that the  council  established  professional                                                                   
standards  for  the fire  service  personnel  and  curriculum                                                                   
requirements  for the  certification  of training  programs.                                                                    
She acknowledged  that  the council was  very short  staffed.                                                                   
She noted  the lack  of a  statutory mandate  to provide  the                                                                   
service. She  judged that   providing necessary  training for                                                                   
fire service  personnel throughout  the state  was  the right                                                                   
thing to do.   However, budgetary constraints  funneled tight                                                                   
funding  to   meet  the   departments  statutorily   mandated                                                                   
services. She  hoped to  recoup the funding,  but it  was not                                                                   
included  in the governors   request. She  detailed that  the                                                                   
improvements  in the  building  plan review  turnaround  time                                                                   
prompted  significant  changes   to  the  divisions  internal                                                                   
structure  including an  online application  and credit  card                                                                   
payment  portal to  speed up  the process.  She assumed  that                                                                   
the internal changes  would enable the department  to ask for                                                                   
supplemental funding  in FY 21  to  stand up the  fire safety                                                                   
council.   She  believed  that there  were   statutory  gaps                                                                    
defining the states obligation to the council.                                                                                  
3:00:13 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Knopp asked  if the council  would be  better                                                                   
served under another  department. Commissioner Price  did not                                                                   
believe  the  state  should  move   the  council  to  another                                                                   
department.  She  believed  there were  some  statutory  gaps                                                                   
that needed to be addressed to rectify the problem.                                                                             
Vice-Chair  Ortiz looked at  the increment  at the  bottom of                                                                   
slide  6  related  to  the  Emergency  Communications  Center                                                                   
consolidation.  He  wondered  what  study had  been  done  to                                                                   
determine  that the  consolidation  of service  and  building                                                                   
overhaul in  Anchorage at  the cost of  $3.5 million  was the                                                                   
best  course  of  action.  He asked  if  DPS  had  considered                                                                   
looking  at  other  ideas such  as  revamping  the  Ketchikan                                                                   
facility.  Commissioner Price  answered  in the  affirmative.                                                                   
She  indicated  that  a  number  of  studies  were  completed                                                                   
including  a site  assessment  of the  Ketchikan facility  by                                                                   
two  nationally   renowned  experts  in   building  emergency                                                                   
communication centers  in the Pacific Northwest.  She relayed                                                                   
that the  facility did not  have the built-in  infrastructure                                                                   
to adequately respond to the anticipated call volume.                                                                           
3:02:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Ortiz thought  that the  Anchorage facility  also                                                                   
did  not  have   the  capability  before  the   $3.5  million                                                                   
renovation.   Commissioner  Price   answered   that  it   was                                                                   
difficult  to answer  questions  about  how the  project  was                                                                   
communicated and  prepared for prior  to her tenure  with the                                                                   
department. She  voiced that she was sharing  information she                                                                   
had  uncovered.  Vice-Chair  Ortiz  recounted  that  she  had                                                                   
referred  to  a study  undertaken  in  2006. He  assumed  the                                                                   
department  had been  looking into  the issue  for 14  years.                                                                   
Commissioner  Price replied  that  DPS consistently  assesses                                                                   
what   was  available   to   provide  improved   service   as                                                                   
technology  advances.  Vice-Chair  Ortiz thought  it   seemed                                                                   
strange  that the  first time he had heard about  the idea of                                                                   
consolidating  services was  in January  2020 after 14  years                                                                   
of  considering   the  issue.  Commissioner  Price   did  not                                                                   
believe  it was strange.  She countered  that the  department                                                                   
decided to meet  the mission it was statutorily  obligated to                                                                   
provide to Alaskans with existing resources.                                                                                    
3:04:19 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon  discussed  that  he  had  hoped  there                                                                   
would  be a  couple hundred  thousand dollars  for the  Civil                                                                   
Air  Patrol in  the  budget. He  noted  that  the DPS  budget                                                                   
increase from  FY 19 to FY  21 was $20 million.  He commented                                                                   
that there had  not been funding for the Civil  Air Patrol in                                                                   
the last two years. He asked for comment.                                                                                       
Commissioner  Price  responded  that  it  was  a  challenging                                                                   
topic. She  offered that there  were many items  people hoped                                                                   
could  be  funded  that  provided   excellent  services.  She                                                                   
delineated that  two years ago  the legislature  added intent                                                                   
language  to  the  budget  that   eliminated  the  Civil  Air                                                                   
Patrols   continued  funding   and  appropriated  a  one-time                                                                   
increment   with  direction  to   find  alternative   funding                                                                   
sources.  The governors   FY 20 budget  followed through  and                                                                   
eliminated  the Civil  Air  Patrol appropriation.  The  Civil                                                                   
Air  Patrol  was a  pass  through  for  DPS  and it  was  not                                                                   
mission  critical  for  the  department.  She  believed  that                                                                   
although  it  was   a  valuable  and  critical   service  the                                                                   
department  did  not  find  a  discernable  impact  with  the                                                                   
elimination of  funding. Representative LeBon  disagreed with                                                                   
the  later  statement.  He  asserted  that  its  mission  was                                                                   
critical to the department.                                                                                                     
Co-Chair  Johnston  asked  whether  many  of  the  Civil  Air                                                                   
Patrol  planes   left   after  the  funding  was  eliminated.                                                                   
Commissioner Price could not speak to the issue.                                                                                
Representative  Sullivan-Leonard   asked  how  the  Emergency                                                                   
Communications  Center would  work with  the Mat-Com  system.                                                                   
She  relayed   that  the  City   of  Wasilla   was  concerned                                                                   
regarding  the change.  She wondered how  the department  was                                                                   
working  with emergency  services  as a  centralized unit  to                                                                   
include  Mat-Com. Commissioner  Price  replied  that DPS  had                                                                   
initially  engaged in  significant  discussions with  Mat-Com                                                                   
regarding  amending   its  contract  and  providing   for  an                                                                   
ownership opportunity.  She offered that the City  of Wasilla                                                                   
declined to enter  the arrangement. The current  plan allowed                                                                   
the department to  improve the service to  rural communities.                                                                   
She communicated  that other than  the contractual  impact to                                                                   
Mat-Com they  would continue to  operate in the  same manner.                                                                   
Representative Sullivan-Leonard  asked whether a  911 call in                                                                   
Wasilla   would  go  through   Mat-Com   or  the  center   in                                                                   
Anchorage. Commissioner Price deferred the question.                                                                            
3:08:59 PM                                                                                                                    
CAPTAIN RICK  ROBERTS, ALASKA  STATE TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT  OF                                                                   
PUBLIC  SAFETY  (via  teleconference),   responded  that  all                                                                   
calls from  a specific  region were  routed into the  primary                                                                   
911  dispatch  center  known  as  a  public-safety  answering                                                                   
point (PSAP).  He elaborated  that the  PSAP for Wasilla  was                                                                   
the City  of Wasilla Communications  Center and on  the Kenai                                                                   
Peninsula  it was  the  Kenai  Borough Dispatch  Center.  All                                                                   
regional  911  calls   funnel  into  the  centers   and  were                                                                   
dispersed  to  the  appropriate  municipal  dispatch  or  the                                                                   
emergency  center in Anchorage  for troopers.  Representative                                                                   
Sullivan-Leonard  provided a scenario  where a person  in the                                                                   
rural  Mat-Su area  called  911. She  wondered  if the  call,                                                                   
routed through  the emergency  center in  Anchorage would  be                                                                   
competing with a call from another rural community.                                                                             
Commissioner Price  answered in the negative.  There were two                                                                   
dispatch  centers: one  in  Fairbanks covering  the  northern                                                                   
part of  the state and the  center in Anchorage  covering the                                                                   
southern half. The  reason for the redundancy was  in case of                                                                   
a natural disaster to ensure coverage.                                                                                          
Representative  Carpenter asked where  the priority  lay when                                                                   
there was simultaneously a fire and police issue.                                                                               
COLONEL  BRYAN  BARLOW,  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA  STATE  TROOPERS,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF  PUBLIC  SAFETY,  was  unable  to  answer  the                                                                   
question. He reasoned that it was a question for dispatch.                                                                      
Commissioner  Price responded that  the answer was  situation                                                                   
dependent and dispatch  would determine the priority  and act                                                                   
3:12:46 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Carpenter  assumed   that  the  incident  had                                                                   
already  occurred by the  time the  regional center  received                                                                   
the call.  He deduced  that if  the call  went straight  to a                                                                   
local dispatcher,  they  would have the  authority to  direct                                                                   
the  call to  the appropriate  responder. Commissioner  Price                                                                   
deferred the question to Captain Roberts.                                                                                       
Captain Roberts  answered that dispatch centers  had priority                                                                   
level  policies that  determined  where the  calls should  be                                                                   
routed. He  indicated that  there were  both fire and  police                                                                   
dispatch   centers.   The  type   of   calls   Representative                                                                   
Carpenter  described   were  common.  The   dispatchers  were                                                                   
trained  to work together  to  reduce the amount  of time  it                                                                   
took  to   properly  route   the  calls.   He  assured   that                                                                   
comprehensive  policies were  in place  to ensure the  system                                                                   
worked optimally.                                                                                                               
Representative  Carpenter deduced  that if  the incident  was                                                                   
already  occurring  in  Anchorage  that was  great,  but  his                                                                   
district  was in  Kenai and  the  calls had  to be  initially                                                                   
routed  to Anchorage.  Commissioner Price  answered that  she                                                                   
would follow up  with specifics. She added that  the Soldotna                                                                   
dispatch  center  would  operate   in  the  same  manner  and                                                                   
dispatch  calls  to  local  areas. The  only  change  to  its                                                                   
contract with the  state was regarding calls  that dispatched                                                                   
3:15:43 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Knopp informed the  committee that  the Civil                                                                   
Air Patrol still  had many airplanes and had  only gotten rid                                                                   
of Beaver  airplanes.  He shared  that he had  been a  member                                                                   
for over  20 years and had  acted as a flight  instructor. He                                                                   
relayed information  about the planes. He explained  that the                                                                   
Civil  Air Patrol  had  two primary  purposes:  to assist  in                                                                   
disaster relief  and search and  rescue. His squadron  needed                                                                   
$10 thousand  per year to operate  and found it  difficult to                                                                   
maintain  with the  budget  slashed  to zero.  He  emphasized                                                                   
that the  troopers typically  did not  have the resources  to                                                                   
engage in search  efforts. He found it  bothersome   that the                                                                   
item was  not a priority for  the department. The  patrol was                                                                   
important to many  Alaskans. He  could not imagine   that DPS                                                                   
would like  statutory requirements  for everything it  did in                                                                   
order  to set  priorities. He  hoped  the commissioner  would                                                                   
reconsider the  issue. Commissioner  Price submitted  that it                                                                   
was a  sticky situation because  the department  was partners                                                                   
with  the Civil  Air Patrol.  She  offered that  one way  the                                                                   
department  supported  the  patrol was  to  increase  airport                                                                   
hangar payments from  25 to 50 percent in the  Fairbanks area                                                                   
and  provided snow  removal.  The  department was  trying  to                                                                   
figure out  ways to  support the  patrol. The items  included                                                                   
in  the  budget  had  been  deemed  critically  important  to                                                                   
preserve life  and property. The  department was  not certain                                                                   
it would  receive its  total budget  request. She wished  she                                                                   
could  be a   strong advocate   for  the patrol  and ask  for                                                                   
more funding,  but with  budget uncertainties  and her  other                                                                   
duties to uphold, she could not.                                                                                                
3:19:05 PM                                                                                                                    
Vice-Chair Ortiz  returned to the topic of  dispatch services                                                                   
and recounted that  the commissioners  initial  plan, Plan A,                                                                   
was  to continue  contract services  with  Mat-Com. He  asked                                                                   
for confirmation.  Commissioner Price  replied that  the plan                                                                   
was   more   comprehensive   and   affirmed  that   continued                                                                   
contract  services with  Mat-Com was  part of  Plan A.  Vice-                                                                   
Chair Ortiz asked  whether the failure to secure  Plan A with                                                                   
Mat-Com  played a  role  in the  decision  to move  Ketchikan                                                                   
dispatch.  Commissioner Price  would need  to follow  up. She                                                                   
recalled  that  to  expand services  with  Mat-Com  and  move                                                                   
forward  with the  Anchorage facility,  moving the  positions                                                                   
from Ketchikan  was necessary.  Vice-Chair Ortiz  returned to                                                                   
Representative Carpenter's  question about  the effectiveness                                                                   
of  dispatch.   He  pondered   whether  there  would   be  an                                                                   
opportunity cost  without the current more  localized system.                                                                   
He believed  that local  dispatchers were  familiar with  the                                                                   
specifics  of  streets  and locations  versus    dispatch  in                                                                   
Anchorage  and lacking  knowledge of  the area.  Commissioner                                                                   
Price  believed  that  centralized   emergency  centers  were                                                                   
fully  capable of  covering all  the  dispatch needs  because                                                                   
the Fairbanks  dispatch had  been reliably serving  Ketchikan                                                                   
during  the night.  Vice-Chair Ortiz  asked whether  dispatch                                                                   
services for  Ketchikan would  be in Fairbanks.  Commissioner                                                                   
Price answered  in the  negative and  added that the  service                                                                   
would  be  provided  from  Anchorage.   She  reiterated  that                                                                   
history suggested  that the  Anchorage service would  perform                                                                   
effectively  based   on  the  night  service   Fairbanks  had                                                                   
provided for quite some time.                                                                                                   
3:21:59 PM                                                                                                                    
Representative  LeBon   referenced  increasing   the  trooper                                                                   
operational  capacity   noted  on  slide  6.  He   asked  the                                                                   
commissioner to  update the committee  on rural  versus urban                                                                   
trooper assignments.  Commissioner Price answered  that DPSs                                                                    
priority  was  to  expand  the  trooper  ranks  within  rural                                                                   
communities.  She   furthered  that  the  15   extra  trooper                                                                   
positions she  requested would  be placed in:  Ambler, Anchor                                                                   
Point,  Bethel,  Dillingham,  Emmonak,  Glenallen,  Kotzebue,                                                                   
Nome,  St Marys,   St Michaels,   and Unalakleet.  Additional                                                                   
civilian  support   staff  positions  would  be   in  Juneau,                                                                   
Kotzebue,  Dillingham, and  Kodiak, and  a pilot position  in                                                                   
Nome.  She  indicated  that  the   placement  decisions  were                                                                   
difficult  because the  urban posts  covered vast  geographic                                                                   
territory    and     were     dramatically     understaffed.                                                                    
Representative  LeBon  asked   if  the  Kenai  and  Fairbanks                                                                   
boroughs were  adequately staffed. Commissioner  Price stated                                                                   
that it  was difficult  to say  that any  location in  Alaska                                                                   
was adequately staffed.                                                                                                         
Co-Chair  Foster asked  whether  the position  in  Unalakleet                                                                   
added a  trooper to the  one existing position.  Commissioner                                                                   
Price answered in the affirmative.                                                                                              
Co-Chair Johnston  shared a situation in Anchorage  where the                                                                   
city  wanted  to expand  police  service  to Girdwood  and  a                                                                   
 hybrid  solution  was found where the city  paid for trooper                                                                   
coverage.  She elucidated  that  troopers  were considered  a                                                                   
 rural unit   and sometimes  it was  just as appropriate  for                                                                   
the troopers  to work in  urban areas especially  where there                                                                   
was  a tax  base.  She asked  about  the Alaska  Land  Mobile                                                                   
Radio  System  (ALMR),  which  was moving  from  DOA  to  the                                                                   
Department  of  Military  and Veterans  Affairs  (DMVA).  She                                                                   
understood  that  DPS  was  one  of  the  biggest  users  and                                                                   
learned  that  ALMR  need  a much  larger  upgrade  than  was                                                                   
budgeted for. She asked for details.                                                                                            
3:25:54 PM                                                                                                                    
Commissioner Price  answered that there was an  increment for                                                                   
$24 million  to replace  repeaters throughout  the state  and                                                                   
must be  completed by  July or  the United States  Department                                                                   
of Defense would  withdraw and build its  own infrastructure.                                                                   
She furthered that  under the later scenario   the cost would                                                                   
have  been   immeasurable   with  significant   impacts.  She                                                                   
remarked that  additional funding  was not requested  because                                                                   
the  department   was  vetting  two  alternatives   forms  of                                                                   
funding outside of the capital and operating budget.                                                                            
Commissioner   Price  reviewed  slide   7  titled    FY  2021                                                                   
Significant Operating Budget Changes:                                                                                           
     Increase Federal Receipt Authority                                                                                         
     • Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:                                                                       
        $1,000.0 Fed                                                                                                            
        Increase Crime Lab Capacity                                                                                             
     • Statewide Support/Laboratory Services: $744.2 and 4                                                                    
        PFT positions                                                                                                           
Commissioner  Price highlighted that  the councils   work was                                                                   
often  overlooked  and  she  noted  the  councils   director,                                                                   
Diane  Casto,   Executive  Director,   Council  on   Domestic                                                                   
Violence  and  Sexual  Assault(CDVSA)  worked  very  hard  to                                                                   
secure  the most  federal dollars  from  state match  dollars                                                                   
than   ever  received   in   the   history  of   the   state.                                                                   
Consequently, the  council recently awarded funding  for many                                                                   
programs   in  numerous   rural   communities.  The   funding                                                                   
provided  for  new  programs   like  Child  Advocacy  Centers                                                                   
offering  comprehensive   services  for  treating   childhood                                                                   
trauma  and enhanced  mental health  services for  survivors.                                                                   
She   indicated  that   the  laboratory   services   included                                                                   
processing  sexual   assault  kits   and  would   answer  any                                                                   
members questions regarding the kits.                                                                                           
3:28:48 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair    Foster   thanked    the   department    for   its                                                                   
presentation.  He reviewed  the  schedule  for the  following                                                                   
HB  205  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                   
HB  206  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in  committee   for  further                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
FY2021 DOC Overview H-FIN Committee 2-6-2020.pdf HFIN 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
DPS HFIN FY21 Dept Budget Overview Distributed 02.06.pdf HFIN 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
Clarification to be sent to House Finance .pdf HFIN 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
DPS Response HFIN Overview
DOC Responses to HFIN 02.14.20.pdf HFIN 2/6/2020 1:30:00 PM
DOC Response HFIN