Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/14/1996 05:15 PM MLV

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 HJR 47 - AK NAT'L GUARD YOUTH CORPS CHALLENGE PROG                          
 Number 1192                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE introduced HJR 47:                                   
 "The Alaska National Guard Youth Corps ChalleNGe program seeks to             
 prevent "at-risk" youths, those who have left school without having           
 completed a high school program, from entering society's                      
 correctional systems.  According to national statistics, 80 percent           
 of those in federal prisons do not have high school diplomas or GED           
 "The ChalleNGe program offers the opportunity for students to                 
 complete a GED program, or return to high school with new, positive           
 skills and strengths which allow them to obtain a diploma in a                
 traditional setting.  Currently, 85 percent of the ChalleNGe                  
 program graduates are fully employed or attending school.  136                
 students have graduated from the ChalleNGe program, with another 64           
 slated to graduate February 16, 1996.                                         
 "It can cost between $20,000 and $50,000 per year to house a                  
 prisoner in Alaska.  For a fraction of that cost, the ANG Youth               
 Corps ChalleNGe program offers Alaska's at-risk youths the skills             
 necessary to not only stay out of our jails, but to succeed in                
 today's even more complicated society.  The ChalleNGe program is              
 cost effective, utilizing $2.9 million (1996 program year) in                 
 federal funding to provide opportunities to succeed to at-risk                
 young people in Alaska.  At $20,000 per year, 136 inmates would               
 cost Alaska $2.72 million.  According to the Department of                    
 Corrections, Alaska's approximate cost for a medium security                  
 prisoner is $107 per day, or $39,055 per year.                                
 "Through tough, structured military-style training, ChalleNGe                 
 program graduates receive the discipline and self-esteem needed to            
 succeed.  ChalleNGe program graduates tend to have a drive to                 
 succeed, become productive Alaskans, and serve as role models for             
 other youths and adults.  ChalleNGe program graduates are likely to           
 stay off public assistance rolls.  They are also likely to support            
 their local economies, pay taxes, and contribute to the well-being            
 of their communities.                                                         
 "Supporting continued funding of this program pays off far beyond             
 its cost."                                                                    
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE said HJR 47 asks Congress and the President to           
 continue funding support for the ChalleNGe program.                           
 Number 1287                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE referred to page 1, line 5 stating that the              
 number 85 should be changed to 136.  136 students have passed                 
 through this program.                                                         
 Number 1326                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE informed the chairman that the ChalleNGe                 
 program is jointly funded between the state and the federal                   
 government.  The importance of the program is that it does give               
 kids a little incentive to get over that hard hump that a lot of              
 kids have between the ages of 16 and 18.                                      
 Number 1350                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER asked to have his name added as a co-sponsor.           
 Number 1380                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved to amend page 1, line 5, change 85 to             
 136.   Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.                               
 Number 1400                                                                   
 CAROL CARROLL, Director, Division of Administrative and Support               
 Services, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, testified in           
 support of HJR 47, stating that the department feels that this is             
 a very important program.                                                     
 Number 1423                                                                   
 REPRESENTATIVE DAVIES moved that HJR 47, as amended, move from the            
 House Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs with                 
 individual recommendations and the zero fiscal note.  Hearing no              
 objection, HJR 47 passed from committee.                                      

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