Legislature(2013 - 2014)SENATE FINANCE 532

04/08/2014 01:30 PM FINANCE

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01:46:34 PM Start
01:48:09 PM HB263
01:55:27 PM HB278
01:55:27 PM Presentation: Education Funding
03:23:05 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Education Funding TELECONFERENCED
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 263(HSS)                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the Alaska senior benefits payment                                                                       
1:48:09 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  HAWKER, explained the  legislation. The                                                                    
legislation would extend the  Alaska senior benefits payment                                                                    
program. He stated that the  program was slated to sunset on                                                                    
June  30, 2013,  and  the  bill would  move  the sunset  six                                                                    
years. The  program paid  benefits to  seniors who  had very                                                                    
low or moderate  income. The benefits had  three levels, and                                                                    
were determined  by the individuals' standings  with regards                                                                    
to  the  federal poverty  level  as  an index.  The  monthly                                                                    
benefits could be  $250 per month for someone who  was at 75                                                                    
percent of  the federal  poverty level;  $175 per  month for                                                                    
someone at  100 percent  of the  federal poverty  level; and                                                                    
$125 per  month for  someone at 175  percent of  the federal                                                                    
poverty level.                                                                                                                  
Co-Chair  Meyer wondered  if the  bill originated  after the                                                                    
Longevity  Bonus  Program   was  eliminated.  Representative                                                                    
Hawker  replied in  the affirmative.  He explained  that the                                                                    
Longevity  Bonus Program  was  eliminated in  2003, and  was                                                                    
replaced  by a  short-lived senior  assistance program  that                                                                    
existed for one  year in 2004. Another  program, "The Senior                                                                    
Care Program" also  failed. He explained that  he had worked                                                                    
with the Mental  Health Trust to design  the current program                                                                    
with the intent that it  would be a durable and long-lasting                                                                    
program. He felt that it  reached the intended beneficiaries                                                                    
as effectively and efficiently as possible.                                                                                     
Co-Chair Meyer agreed that the program was very effective.                                                                      
Co-Chair Kelly looked  at the second page  of the Department                                                                    
of Health and Social Services  (DHSS) fiscal note, and noted                                                                    
that  analysis showed  a different  payment  than the  other                                                                    
fiscal notes.                                                                                                                   
1:51:40 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
1:51:57 PM                                                                                                                    
Co-Chair Kelly rescinded his question.                                                                                          
Co-Chair  Meyer   queried  the  reason  for   the  six  year                                                                    
extension.  Representative Hawker  replied  that there  were                                                                    
already two  three year terms  of the program. He  felt that                                                                    
the program  has proven  its ability  to reach  the intended                                                                    
beneficiary population.  He stressed that  the beneficiaries                                                                    
were   Alaska's   most   impoverished  seniors,   and   most                                                                    
vulnerable  populations,   he  hoped   that  the   six  year                                                                    
extension  would give  those  individuals  some comfort  and                                                                    
durability of the program.                                                                                                      
Co-Chair  Meyer wondered  why the  fiscal note  reflected an                                                                    
increase  of 2.8  percent.  Representative Hawker  responded                                                                    
that  the   program  was  growing,  and   the  annual  grant                                                                    
expenditures also were expected to grow.                                                                                        
Co-Chair Meyer CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                         
CSHB 263(HSS)  was HEARD and  HELD in committee  for further                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB278 4 8 14 SFC FY14 ADM to AADM by district.pdf SFIN 4/8/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 278
HB278 4 8 14 SFC K-12 Presentation.pdf SFIN 4/8/2014 1:30:00 PM
HB 278