Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/13/1993 08:00 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
  HB 81:  PHASE OUT LONGEVITY BONUS                                            
                                                                               
  Number 000                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN AL VEZEY stated the committee was on teleconference                 
  with Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Anchorage, Glennallen,                       
  Kotzebue, Mat-Su, Kenai/Soldotna, Ketchikan, Sitka, Tok, and                 
  Valdez.  He then read the title of HB 81 and invited                         
  Commissioner Nancy Usera to testify.                                         
                                                                               
  NANCY USERA, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION,                     
  explained and discussed the "Longevity Bonus Program                         
  Alternative Funding Proposals" chart.  "It costs one hundred                 
  million for each year we delay," she said.                                   
  Number 287                                                                   
                                                                               
  PAUL MILLER testified via teleconference from Delta Junction                 
  in opposition to HB 81.                                                      
  Number 401                                                                   
                                                                               
  ALICE OATES testified via teleconference from Tok.  She                      
  recommended HB 81 be amended.  She asked the legislature to                  
  look into medicaid.                                                          
                                                                               
  Number 427                                                                   
                                                                               
  MELLIE TERWILLEGER testified via teleconference from Tok.                    
  She discussed HB 81 and also mentioned her support of a 100                  
  day session limit.                                                           
                                                                               
  Number 454                                                                   
                                                                               
  MARILYN STERLING testified via teleconference from                           
  Anchorage.  She and her husband made their retirement plans                  
  counting on the longevity bonus for income.  They desired to                 
  stay in Alaska and asked for the longevity bonus to                          
  continue.                                                                    
  Number 254                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA supported HB 81 and said Senator                          
  Kerttula, the prime sponsor of SB 6, could clarify any                       
  questions on that bill.  She believed SB 6 phased out the                    
  longevity program over a 15 year period with a formula based                 
  step down.  In order to keep the check at $250, while the                    
  step down amount increased, the Permanent Fund investment                    
  would be at 100 percent involvement among seniors, she                       
  added.                                                                       
  Number 324                                                                   
                                                                               
  MS. MASCHMEYER spoke in support of HB 81.                                    
  Number 393                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA explained legal concerns by clarifying                    
  there would not be an eligibility problem because HB 81                      
  would pass a constitutional test.                                            
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE OLBERG pointed out ten years from now, when                   
  his mother reached the age of 75, he could move her here and                 
  she would receive a check.                                                   
                                                                               
  Number 416                                                                   
                                                                               
  COMMISSIONER USERA confirmed the immigration of seniors into                 
  Alaska had increased and they would receive checks.  This                    
  was a dilemma of the program, she added.                                     
  Number 539                                                                   
                                                                               
  ELMER LINDSTROM, SPECIAL ASSISTANT, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND                 
  SOCIAL SERVICES, testified in support of HB 81.  He                          
  discussed old age assistance being counted as income and                     
  spoke of the fiscal note savings.                                            
                                                                               
  Number 581                                                                   
                                                                               
  MR. JOHNSON, a retired economist, stated his concern with                    
  social security, which he felt was not the cushion that                      
  people expected.  He believed the longevity bonus would not                  
  be any different.  "Do not tie the program to terms of                       
  need," he added.                                                             
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  Number 627                                                                   
                                                                               
  CHAIRMAN VEZEY adjourned the meeting at 9:36 a.m.                            

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