Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/23/1993 03:00 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 65:  IMPROVEMENT OF STATE FINANCES                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON outlined the material contained in the                       
  members' bill packets.  Chairman Hudson explained that it                    
  was his intention to ask the committee to review and move                    
  out a committee substitute (CS) covering the treatment of                    
  fees by the state and to ask the committee to approve the                    
  introduction of two other bills covering most of the rest of                 
  HB 65.                                                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON further explained there were serious                         
  problems with the content of the bill violating the single                   
  subject rule.  It was therefore decided to divide it up into                 
  the following:                                                               
                                                                               
   1) the CS will cover the biannual treatment of the various                  
  licenses and fees;                                                           
                                                                               
   2) a new bill for introduction to cover changes to                          
  Medicaid; and                                                                
                                                                               
   3) a new bill for introduction for the changes to the                       
  Division of Motor Vehicles.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 211                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHERYL FRASCA, DIRECTOR, BUDGET REVIEW, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT                 
  AND BUDGET, outlined section by section the new committee                    
  substitute.                                                                  
                                                                               
                      SECTIONS 1 THROUGH 32                                    
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA testified that Sections 1 through 32 concerned                    
  the Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC Board), and by                       
  changing the payment of fees from an annual to biennial                      
  basis, the board would be able to spread out the workload.                   
                                                                               
                     SECTIONS 33 THROUGH 35                                    
                                                                               
  BRANT McGEE, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PUBLIC ADVOCACY, DEPARTMENT                 
  OF ADMINISTRATION, testified that this section would allow                   
  his agency to charge fees for public guardians to people who                 
  are incapacitated but can afford to pay for the services.                    
                                                                               
  Number 278                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. MACKIE inquired why the word `may' replaced the word                    
  `shall' in Section 34.                                                       
  MR. MCGEE explained that the OPA does not have the resources                 
  to investigate every case where a public guardian is                         
  appointed or requested, so this language change would give                   
  the agency some discretion.                                                  
                                                                               
                     SECTIONS 36 THROUGH 43                                    
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA explained that these sections give the                            
  postsecondary education department the right to charge a one                 
  percent loan guarantee fee.                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 300                                                                   
                                                                               
  DAVID DIERDORF, REVISOR OF STATUTES, LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS                     
  AGENCY, suggested the committee amend the language in                        
  Section 38, page 12, line 1:  after the word `and' insert                    
  "subject to appropriation,".                                                 
                                                                               
  MR. DIERDORF suggested the same language change to Section                   
  40, page 12, line 20.                                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON  asked what happens to the money collected                   
  through this one percent loan guarantee fund.                                
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA explained that this fund would be used to help                    
  defray costs of defaults, deaths and disability.                             
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that the statutes already provide for                  
  these types of problems.                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 350                                                                   
                                                                               
  DOUG HANON, FINANCE OFFICER, POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION                         
  COMMISSION, testified that the one percent fee was a one                     
  time only fee and comes off the top of the loan.  The                        
  commission views this money as an insurance policy against                   
  defaults.                                                                    
                                                                               
  REP. PORTER asked if this one percent fee was like points a                  
  person would pay at the bank for a mortgage loan.                            
                                                                               
  REP. PORTER also inquired if this fee would be retroactive.                  
                                                                               
  MR. HANON said no, the one percent would only apply to new                   
  applications.                                                                
                                                                               
  Number 365                                                                   
                                                                               
  The committee asked for further clarification on how the one                 
  percent fee would be handled within the department.                          
                                                                               
  MR. HANON responded with examples.                                           
                                                                               
                     SECTIONS 44 THROUGH 48                                    
                                                                               
  Number 465                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA stated that Sections 44 through 48 address some                   
  fee increases and changes in which certificates are issued                   
  in the Department of Labor.                                                  
                                                                               
  REP. PORTER told the committee for their information that he                 
  had an amendment to Section 47.                                              
                                                                               
  Number 483                                                                   
  REP. MACKIE asked why, in Sections 44 and 45, the fees                       
  weren't spelled out.                                                         
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA explained that the trend in recent years has been                 
  to allow the departments to set the fees and not spell them                  
  out in statute.  It was felt it was more difficult to set                    
  fees in statute because the process is more political.                       
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA stated that Section 48 raised the fees paid by                    
  approximately eight agencies in the state from $10 to $100,                  
  for a net benefit to the state of $700.                                      
                                                                               
  REP. SITTON suggested the committee delete this section                      
  completely since the revenue generated was so small and the                  
  number of businesses affected was low.                                       
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he believed that to remain consistent                 
  in the in fee structure this one would have to be increased                  
  too.                                                                         
                                                                               
  REP. MACKIE commented that it seemed strange to be in the                    
  business of charging people who help others get jobs.                        
                                                                               
                       SECTIONS 49 AND 50                                      
                                                                               
  Number 533                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA outlined these sections as dealing with the                       
  definition of program receipts.  She said AETNA currently                    
  pays the state of Alaska to administer the health benefits                   
  program, and the new language would change the account the                   
  money would be deposited to.                                                 
                                                                               
                       SECTIONS 50 AND 51                                      
                                                                               
  Number 550                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA explained that this section related to the                        
  catastrophe reserve account and was amended to allow                         
  deposits of proceeds from state insurance settlements.  Ms.                  
  Frasca further stated that it was the federal government                     
  that noted that since there were federal monies involved,                    
  the money should not be deposited in the general fund but                    
  into the catastrophe reserve account.                                        
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked for the amount in this account.                        
                                                                               
  Number 565                                                                   
                                                                               
  DON HITCHCOCK, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF RISK MANAGEMENT,                        
  testified that the catastrophe reserve account was capped at                 
  $5,000,000.  Mr. Hitchcock further stated that if the state                  
  collected more than $5,000,000 the balance would go into the                 
  general fund.                                                                
                                                                               
                       SECTIONS 52 AND 53                                      
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA testified that these sections would provide a                     
  vehicle for the state to charge for use of park facilities.                  
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that this idea had been before the                     
  legislature last year and was not a popular one.                             
                                                                               
                       SECTIONS 54 AND 55                                      
  MS. FRASCA explained that Section 54 allowed the Department                  
  of Environmental Conservation to charge for inspections that                 
  under current statutes it was mandated to perform.  Section                  
  55 requires the department to charge for both direct and                     
  indirect costs of air quality permit programs.                               
                                                                               
  TAPE 93-15, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  JANICE ADAIR, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF                          
  ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, testified that Section 55 would                  
  broaden the department's authority to charge fees to all the                 
  health related public facility inspections that the                          
  department performs.                                                         
                                                                               
                           SECTION 56                                          
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA explained that this section repeals AS                            
  13.26.410(b) and AS 37.05.210(1).  The first repealed                        
  statute would eliminate the court's responsibility to                        
  determine the ability to pay by persons needing services                     
  from the OPA under this section.  The second statute to be                   
  repealed would make a change in the uniform accounting                       
  procedure that was no longer needed since the state                          
  implemented its new accounting system eight years ago.                       
                                                                               
                           SECTION 57                                          
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA stated this section allows the Department of                      
  Natural Resources to establish temporary fees until the                      
  permanent fee structure is in place.                                         
                                                                               
  Number 089                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON inquired if there were any public hearing                    
  processes to establish temporary fees.                                       
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA answered no.                                                      
                                                                               
                           SECTION 58                                          
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA testified that Section 58 allows for a transition                 
  period for implementation of the biennial licenses issued by                 
  the ABC Board.                                                               
                                                                               
                           SECTION 59                                          
                                                                               
  MR. DIERDORF explained that this section gives the authority                 
  to the state agencies to proceed on the regulation process.                  
                                                                               
                           SECTION 60                                          
                                                                               
  MR. DIERDORF stated this section would allow the Department                  
  of Administration to charge for guardian's services without                  
  a court order.  It would have the effect of amending the                     
  Alaska Rule of Probate Procedure.                                            
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON noted that this section would require a 2/3                  
  vote since it changes a court order.                                         
                                                                               
                     SECTIONS 61 THROUGH 64                                    
                                                                               
  MS. FRASCA stated these sections provided for effective                      
  dates.                                                                       
                                                                               
  Number 152                                                                   
  REP. MACKIE moved that CSHB 65(L&C) be adopted by the                        
  committee and asked for unanimous consent.  There being no                   
  objections, it was so ordered.                                               
                                                                               
  Number 159                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. MACKIE moved Amendment 1 as suggested by the revisor of                 
  statutes, that on page 12, line 1, and page 12, line 20,                     
  following the word `and' insert ", subject to                                
  appropriation".  No objections were heard and it was so                      
  ordered.                                                                     
                                                                               
  REP. PORTER moved Amendment 2:  on page 14 delete lines 13                   
  through 17 and replace it with the following:                                
                                                                               
    (7) charge and collect reasonable fees, established by the                 
  council by regulation, for processing applications for basic                 
  certification of police, probation, parole, and correctional                 
  officers under 13 AAC 85.040 and 230.                                        
                                                                               
  No objections were heard; it was so ordered.                                 
                                                                               
  Number 258                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. MACKIE asked to be excused from committee as he had                     
  other business.                                                              
                                                                               
  Number 260                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. SITTON moved Amendment 3: on page 14 delete lines 18                    
  through 22.  An objection was noted.  Discussion ensued.                     
                                                                               
  REP. SITTON noted that this section only affects eight                       
  businesses and brings in a minimal amount of money to the                    
  state.  Rep. Sitton further stated that the section was more                 
  bothersome than it was worth.                                                
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON again noted his belief that if the state was                 
  going to charge fees for services, then they should be                       
  consistent.                                                                  
                                                                               
  REP. SITTON withdrew his amendment.                                          
                                                                               
  Number 360                                                                   
                                                                               
  REP. GREEN moved Amendment 4:  housekeeping amendments.  No                  
  objections were heard; it was so ordered.                                    
                                                                               
  REP. PORTER moved CSHB 65(L&C)am with fiscal notes and asked                 
  unanimous consent.  No objections were heard; it was so                      
  ordered.                                                                     
                                                                               
  Number 370                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if the committee had any objections to                 
  introducing the two work drafts noted earlier covering                       
  Medicaid and motor vehicle issues as Labor and Commerce                      
  bills.  No objections were heard; it was so ordered.                         
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON adjourned the meeting at 4:27 p.m.                           

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