Legislature(2001 - 2002)

04/30/2002 04:43 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
     CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 515(FIN) am                                                                                          
     "An  Act relating  to missions  and measures  to be applied  to                                                            
     certain   expenditures  by  the   executive  branch   of  state                                                            
     government  and the University  of Alaska  and by the  judicial                                                            
     branch of state government  from the state operating budget for                                                            
     the  fiscal year  ending June  30, 2003; and  providing  for an                                                            
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DENNY DEWITT,  Staff to  Representative Eldon  Mulder, explained  to                                                            
the Committee that this  is a missions and measures bill, which is a                                                            
component of the  FY 03 budget. He stated this bill  is a continuing                                                            
process, established approximately  six years earlier, to review the                                                            
accomplishments  of and to monitor  the State's agencies.  He stated                                                            
that subcommittees of both  the State's House of Representatives and                                                            
the Senate  have focused  on attempting to  keep data as uniform  as                                                            
possible  to   generate  information   that  could  be  used   as  a                                                            
performance  gauge from  year to year.  He stated  the missions  and                                                            
measures' goal  is not to be too issue-specific, but  rather to keep                                                            
performance  goals general  at the policy  issue level. He  stressed                                                            
this  is a  continuing process  and  discussions  are becoming  more                                                            
focused on accomplishing  the specified measurements  and the return                                                            
the State is receiving  from investing its resources  in each of the                                                            
agencies.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SFC 02 # 82, Side B 05:34 PM                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Amendment  #2: This amendment  inserts new  language to Section  66,                                                            
the Department  of  Environmental  Conservation,  Division of  Spill                                                            
Prevention  and Response on page 25,  following line 30,  to read as                                                            
follows.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     (8) average time to approve oil spill prevention contingency                                                               
     plans as compared to the prior year.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Senator Leman moved for  adoption of Amendment #2 and explained this                                                            
amendment would  insert a new measure  into the bill to address  the                                                            
average time of approving  an oil spill prevention contingency plan.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment #2 was ADOPTED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #3: This amendment  inserts new language to Section 3, the                                                            
Department  of  Administration,  on  page  2,  line  6, to  read  as                                                            
follows.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          (2) reasonable but not excessive legal and advocacy                                                                   
     services for indigent Alaskans.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
This amendment also inserts  in Section 4, Administration, Office of                                                            
the Commissioner,  on page 2, following  line 16, new paragraphs  to                                                            
read as follows.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (3) number of work initiatives implemented that resulted                                                              
     in more efficient ways to perform the department's mission                                                                 
     compared to the prior year.                                                                                                
          (4) innovative ways the department uses to improve the                                                                
     state's compliance with the merit system requirement while                                                                 
     reducing costs.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Additionally this amendment  inserts a new paragraph into Section 8,                                                            
Administration,  Division of  Personnel, on  page 3, following  line                                                            
30, to read as follows.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          (5) number of workers given merit increases for truly                                                                 
     meritorious performance compared to the number of workers                                                                  
     denied merit increases.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
This amendment also inserts  into Section 18, Administration, Public                                                            
Defender  Agency, on page  7, following line  2, a new paragraph  to                                                            
read as follows.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (4)  wins and losses of appeals compared  with the private                                                            
     sector.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
This  amendment   also  inserts  into  Section  31,  Department   of                                                            
Community and  Economic Development, Rural Energy  Programs, on page                                                            
11, following line 21, a new paragraph to read as follows.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          (5)  number of communities  that have become self-reliant                                                             
     in fully maintaining their power systems.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Additionally  this amendment inserts  new language into Section  32,                                                            
Department  of Community  and Economic Development,  Alaska  Science                                                            
and Technology  Foundation,  on page 11, lines  27 - 30,  subsection                                                            
(b). The amended language reads as follows:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (1)  the number  of  new jobs  created in  the state  from                                                            
     technology projects;                                                                                                       
          (2) project diversity;                                                                                                
          (3)   the  new  revenue  to  the  state  from   technology                                                            
     projects;                                                                                                                  
          (4)  the  percentage  of technology  project  grantees  in                                                            
     business in the state because of ASTF grants;                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
This amendment  additionally deletes  and inserts new language  into                                                            
Section  33,  Department  of  Community  and Economic  Development,                                                             
Alaska Seafood  Marketing Institute,  on page 12, lines 9  and 10 to                                                            
read as follows.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          (a)(3)   accomplish    these   marketing   efforts   while                                                            
     maximizing ASMI staff who are Alaska residents and under ASMI                                                              
     employment in Alaska.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
This amendment  also inserts  language into  Section 33,  subsection                                                            
(b)(3)  on  page  12,  line  15, following   "Alaska."  The  amended                                                            
language reads as follows.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          (3)  percentage of ASMI  staff that resides in  Alaska and                                                            
     average salaries of Alaska staff compared to out-of-state                                                                  
     staff.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
This  amendment  also  inserts  a new  paragraph  into  Section  39,                                                            
Department of  Corrections, Office of the Commissioner,  on page 14,                                                            
following line 16 to read as follows.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          (5) compliance with statutory requirements for                                                                        
      facilities, including the Alaska No Frills Prison Act."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Additionally  on  page 14,  line 28  in  Section 40,  Department  of                                                            
Corrections,  Division  of Administrative  Services,  the  amendment                                                            
deletes "audit exemptions"  and inserts "audits" so that the amended                                                            
language reads as follows.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          (5) number of outstanding audit exceptions divided by the                                                             
     audits during the fiscal year.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
In Section  80, Department of Health  and Social Services,  Division                                                            
of Juvenile Justice,  on page 31, following line 28,  this amendment                                                            
inserts a new paragraph to read as follows.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (5) satisfaction of the victims of juvenile crime with                                                                
     the juvenile justice system.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Additionally  under Section  144, Department  of Transportation  and                                                            
Public  Facilities, Division  of  Statewide Design  and Engineering                                                             
Services,  on page 54 following  line 13;  this amendment inserts  a                                                            
new paragraph to read as follows.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          (7) number of miles of roads that have a level of service                                                             
     rating of E or F compared to the prior year.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
This amendment  also inserts language  into Section 151,  Department                                                            
of Transportation  and  Public  Facilities, Marine  Highway  System,                                                            
page 56, line 24, following "system" to read as follows.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Sec. 151.  DOT/PF - Marine Highway  System. (a) The  mission of                                                            
     the Alaska  Marine Highway System  is to assist in meeting  the                                                            
     transportation   needs   of  the  traveling   public  and   the                                                            
     communities   served  by the  system   while  prioritizing  and                                                            
     maximizing access to service by Alaska residents."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
In conclusion,  this amendment inserts a new paragraph  into Section                                                            
151, on page 57, line 3 to read as follows.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          (6) development of a reservation and pricing system that                                                              
     prioritizes use by Alaska residents.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Donley moved for adoption of Amendment #3.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Donley read the  amendment language  to the Committee.  He                                                            
explained  that   this  amendment  contains  both  substantive   and                                                            
technical changes.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Leman,  referring  to  Amendment   #3 language   concerning                                                            
Section  8,  Administration,  Division  of  Personnel,  on  page  3,                                                            
following  line  30  about  the  "number   of  workers  given  merit                                                            
increases for  truly meritorious performance compared  to the number                                                            
of workers  denied merit  increases," questioned  if "it would  make                                                            
more sense" to  compare the number of workers given  merit increases                                                            
for truly meritorious  performance compared to "the  total number of                                                            
workers."  He  voiced concern  "that  many  workers are  just  being                                                            
advanced and given merit increases just for being there."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly stated  that  the wording  of this  amendment  would                                                            
provide  a   percentage  of  the   total.  He  continued   that  the                                                            
information this amendment  language provides would show whether the                                                            
merit  system  truly  reflects  deserving  work or  just  masks  "an                                                            
automatic advance system."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Leman  reasoned   that  if  this  language  would   provide                                                            
pertinent data it is acceptable.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Donley continued  that within  the past  few years  "there                                                            
have been serious  allegations that the Public Defenders  Agency had                                                            
a  reputation for  appealing  cases  that did  not have  merit."  He                                                            
commented  that this amendment  would compare  the number of  Public                                                            
Defenders  Agency  wins and  losses  of appeals  with  those of  the                                                            
private sector  as a measure from  which to draw a conclusion  as to                                                            
whether the allegations have merit.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Donley   continued  explaining   the  provisions   of  the                                                            
amendment.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ward  informed the  Committee of a  program proposed  by the                                                            
Commissioner of  the Department of Corrections that  would allow for                                                            
the  early release  of  felons. He  voiced  his opposition  to  this                                                            
program  and inquired  if this could  be addressed  in this  bill by                                                            
requiring  that "the Commissioner  should  enforce the sentences  of                                                            
the Legislature  and the  judges and juries  concerning felons."  He                                                            
stated the understanding  that the Department's intent of this early                                                            
release  program is  to alleviate  overcrowding in  the prisons.  He                                                            
noted  the  intent  is  that  the  early  release  felons  would  be                                                            
electronically monitored.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Dewitt stated he is  familiar with this program, and expected it                                                            
to be addressed in a Conference Committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Senator Austerman  voiced a point-of-order as there  is an amendment                                                            
on the table.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ward stated  his desire to have the early  release of felons                                                            
program concern  addressed  as an amendment  to the amendment  as he                                                            
thought this would  be the appropriate place to address  the matter.                                                            
He  continued that  he  has received  multiple  communications  from                                                            
individuals voicing concern  that the Commissioner is making release                                                            
decisions  contrary  to those  of  the Legislature  and  judges  and                                                            
juries.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Kelly interjected  this would lean toward being a change in                                                            
Alaska  Statutes  rather  than  an amendment  in  the  missions  and                                                            
measures bill before the Committee.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ward reiterated his concern.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Kelly  asked  Senator  Ward to  submit  his  amendment  in                                                            
written form.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator Ward agreed to do so.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Leman, referring  to language in  the Amendment  concerning                                                            
how victims  of  juvenile crime  rate the  success  of the  Juvenile                                                            
Justice System,  asked how  a response would  be solicited  from the                                                            
victims.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Donley replied that  the Department  of Health and  Social                                                            
Services reports  they have established  a rapport with victims  and                                                            
would therefore talk with them to solicit feedback.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PHIL CUTLER, Staff  to Co-Chair Dave Donley, informed  the Committee                                                            
that one  of the missions  and measures proposed  in this  amendment                                                            
for  the  Department   of  Transportation   and  Public   Facilities                                                            
addresses highway  congestion. He explained there  is a term labeled                                                            
"level of service"  which provides  a rating of "A" to "F"  based on                                                            
what percentage of time  a major highway is congested and inhibiting                                                            
the free  movement of  traffic. He  stated the rating  of "E  and F"                                                            
indicates that  a highway is congested  more than 90 percent  of the                                                            
time.  Mr.  Cutler  continued  that  the  amendment  language  would                                                            
measure  how well the  Department addresses  improving those  highly                                                            
congested roads "which  costs businesses and people time and money."                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Donley  clarified that  the  measure of  the Department's                                                             
success would be whether  progress had been made from the prior year                                                            
reflected by a better rating.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Donley concluded his reading of the amendment details.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment #3 was ADOPTED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
AT EASE 5:51 PM / 6:00 PM                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Amendment #4:  This amendment inserts  language to Section  82, page                                                            
32, line 23 as follows.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     (7) number of juvenile clients who return for treatment within                                                             
     6 and 12 months of being discharged from a residential alcohol                                                             
     or drug abuse treatment program.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Donley moved for adoption of Amendment #4.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT,  explained  that this  amendment  contains                                                            
language to  assist in gauging the  affects of the State's  juvenile                                                            
treatment programs  for drug and alcohol  abuse. He noted  the State                                                            
pays for  some residential  treatment  programs in  which youth  are                                                            
heavily monitored and isolated  in what is commonly referred to as a                                                            
"Spin-Dry" program;  however, the concern is there  is no counseling                                                            
provided  to  the  youth  to  "address  the  underlying   behavioral                                                            
problem."  He furthered  that, upon  release, the  youth often  fall                                                            
back into their "addictive  pattern." He stated this amendment would                                                            
assist in providing  data to determine the success  of the programs.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
There being no objection, Amendment #4 was ADOPTED.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Donley  moved to report "CS for House Bill  #515 as amended                                                            
by this  Committee from  Committee with  individual recommendations                                                             
and accompanying zero fiscal note."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being  no objections,  SCS CS HB #515(FIN)  was REPORTED  from                                                            
Committee  with  a  zero fiscal  note  for  all  Departments,  dated                                                            
4/16/02, from the House Finance Committee.                                                                                      

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