Legislature(2001 - 2002)
04/30/2002 04:43 PM FIN
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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.