Legislature(1997 - 1998)

02/11/1998 08:40 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HOUSE BILL NO. 86                                                              
"An Act relating to the payments in lieu of taxes                              
program for cities in the unorganized borough; and                             
providing for an effective date."                                              
A Senate Finance subcommittee had been formed to study this                    
proposal and make recommendations to the full Committee.                       
Senator Torgerson gave a brief overview of those                               
recommendations contained in a committee substitute draft                      
and subsequently move to adopt the CS.                                         
Senator Adams objected saying he felt the CS was unfair to                     
rural communities with over one thousand residents.  Senator                   
Torgerson retorted observing that communities in his                           
district were the ones paying for these services.  Senator                     
Donley voiced concerns about the Village Public Safety                         
Officers (VPSO) program in general and specifically the 32                     
percent of the budget being spent for administrative                           
overhead.  He stated he would like to examine the source of                    
funding for the program and how the monies are being spent.                    
He admitted he would like to see communities other than                        
Anchorage shoulder some of the program costs.  He concluded                    
by saying he does not support the CS because Anchorage pays                    
at a much higher rate.                                                         
Senator Adams cited examples on the Kenai Peninsula where                      
the state funds extensive Alaska State Trooper services.  He                   
said he would rather eliminate some State Trooper coverage                     
in favor of more VPSO activities.  He stated his main                          
concern is for public safety in all communities.  Senator                      
Donley expanded on his observations of the imbalance of                        
state-funded services provided for rural communities versus                    
Anchorage.  His examples included police training, water and                   
sewer, transportation and school construction.  He perceives                   
Anchorage as being discriminated against.  Senator Adams                       
Co-Chair Pearce then called for a vote on adoption of SCSHB
86(FIN).  The CS passed by a vote of four to one (Pearce,                      
Donley, Phillips and Torgerson for adoption and Adams                          
opposed.)  Co-Chair Pearce announced the CS be adopted and                     
held the bill in committee for further consideration.                          

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