Legislature(2021 - 2022)SENATE FINANCE 532

03/17/2021 09:00 AM FINANCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
09:01:13 AM Start
09:03:55 AM SB49 || SB50 || SB51
09:03:55 AM Public Testimony: Nome, Bethel, Kotzebue, Utqiagvik, Unalaska, Dillingham, and All Other Locations
10:40:46 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Please Note:
All Public Testimony Conducted via Telephone
Juneau (907) 586-9085
Anchorage (907) 563-9085
Elsewhere (844) 586-9085
Written Testimony Will Be Accepted at:
finance.committee@akleg.gov
For Nome, Bethel, Kotzebue, Utqiagvik, Unalaska,
Dillingham & All Other Locations:
Call In/Sign Up by 10:30 a.m.
+= SB 49 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 51 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 50 APPROP: CAP; REAPPROP; SUPP; AMEND TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
SENATE BILL NO. 49                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs;    capitalizing   funds;   amending                                                                    
     appropriations;    making   reappropriations;    making                                                                    
     supplemental   appropriations;  making   appropriations                                                                    
     under art.  IX, sec.  17(c), Constitution of  the State                                                                    
     of  Alaska,  from  the  constitutional  budget  reserve                                                                    
     fund; and providing for an effective date."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 50                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations,     reappropriations,     and     other                                                                    
     appropriations;  making   supplemental  appropriations;                                                                    
     making   appropriations   to  capitalize   funds;   and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 51                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive    mental    health    program;    making                                                                    
     supplemental  appropriations;  and   providing  for  an                                                                    
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:03:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY: NOME, BETHEL, KOTZEBUE, UTQIAGVIK,                                                                         
UNALASKA, DILLINGHAM, AND ALL OTHER LOCATIONS                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:03:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman handed the gavel to Senator Olson.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:04:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TERRI  WALKER,  SUPERINTENDENT,   NORTHWEST  ARCTIC  BOROUGH                                                                    
SCHOOL  DISTRICT, KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference), spoke  in                                                                    
support  of stable  education school  funding. She  spoke in                                                                    
support of  the current  Base Student Allocation  (BSA). She                                                                    
urged support of funding for  early education. She requested                                                                    
a true-up for full funding  the dormitory need. She noted an                                                                    
increase in adult students with  children who needed housing                                                                    
for  to  attend  the  technical  school,  and  requested  $3                                                                    
million for  the project. She  spoke in full support  of the                                                                    
Power Cost  Equalization (PCE). She  stated that  her school                                                                    
district served  an area the  size of West Virginia,  and 95                                                                    
percent  of the  students were  Alaska Native.  She remarked                                                                    
that  vaccination rates  were increasing,  and many  schools                                                                    
were operating with full in person learning.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:08:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHUCK DEGNAN,  SELF, UNALAKLEET (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
to  the  issues of  the  necessary  upgrades for  the  water                                                                    
system in  Unalakleet. He stressed  that the  current system                                                                    
was  out of  date.  He  stressed that  the  water and  sewer                                                                    
system was in great need of a full replacement.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:10:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson  stressed  the  importance  of  clean  water,                                                                    
especially during the current pandemic.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:10:23 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:33:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  JAFFERY,  SELF,   UTQIAGVIK  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
remarked that he  would be testifying based  on the proposed                                                                    
budget,  with the  understanding that  it could  change over                                                                    
time.  He  spoke  in  support  of  funding  for  therapeutic                                                                    
courts. He  felt that  therapeutic courts  met the  needs of                                                                    
individuals, reduced  jail time, and saved  the state money.                                                                    
He spoke  against the  reductions of  the funding  for legal                                                                    
services.  He  spoke  against transferring  money  from  the                                                                    
general  fund to  the Alaska  Mental Health  Trust Authority                                                                    
(AMHTA).  He spoke  in support  of  maintaining the  state's                                                                    
savings  accounts. He  testified in  support of  funding for                                                                    
public broadcasting  because many  of the  rural communities                                                                    
depended on public radio.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:38:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIN  HOLLINGSWORTH, SELF,  UTQIAGVIK (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support  of adding the $635,000  for the Alaska                                                                    
Library Network  back into the  budget. She shared  that she                                                                    
had worked  in the library,  and that students  and teachers                                                                    
needed  funding   to  maintain  credential   licensure.  She                                                                    
stressed that  the Alaska Library Network  connected over 90                                                                    
libraries  to  help  link  to  other  resources,  which  was                                                                    
especially  necessary  during  the pandemic.  She  spoke  in                                                                    
support of Alaska Public Media.  She remarked that the rural                                                                    
areas  relied on  public radio.  She  felt that  investments                                                                    
would work to make Alaska stronger.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:41:55 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  MOORE, ALASKA  MENTAL HEALTH  BOARD, ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke against the  $35 million reduction to                                                                    
Medicaid. She  understood that it  might be  backfilled with                                                                    
Coronavirus Aid,  Relief, and Economic Security  (CARES) Act                                                                    
funding,  but  noted  that  there   had  been  no  plan  for                                                                    
implementation.  She expressed  concern about  the reduction                                                                    
to the public  field services, which could  result in delays                                                                    
in access  to benefits. She  spoke against the  reduction to                                                                    
the Civil Legal Services Fund.  She stated that the sobering                                                                    
centers  had  a  reduction,  and   she  spoke  against  that                                                                    
reduction.  She   stressed  that  the  providers   were  not                                                                    
prepared  to  bill  for  reimbursement,   and  some  of  the                                                                    
services  were not  reimbursable.  She spoke  in support  of                                                                    
funding for the therapeutic courts.  She spoke in concern of                                                                    
the appropriation of AMHTA reserves,  but believed that work                                                                    
was focused on  that issue, and she was  paying attention to                                                                    
that issue.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:46:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Olson agreed  that there  was a  concern about  the                                                                    
AMHTA appropriation.  He stated  that there  would be  an AT                                                                    
EASE until 10am.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:46:13 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:18:06 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:18:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALYSSA SAPPENFIELD,  ENERGY ANALYST, ALASKA  PUBLIC INTEREST                                                                    
GROUP,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  spoke   against                                                                    
$375,000 for  the Hillcorp storage.  She wanted to  know the                                                                    
benefit of the  agreement with Hillcorp, and  wanted to know                                                                    
why Hillcorp could not cover the cost of storage.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:22:02 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:22:26 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman handed the gavel to Senator Olson.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:22:45 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HERMAN MORGAN,  SELF, ANIAK (via teleconference),  felt that                                                                    
accepting  the  governor's  money,   would  result  in  "end                                                                    
times."  He  felt  that  "Babylon   had  fallen",  and  used                                                                    
analogies by  quoting scripture. He expressed  concern about                                                                    
vaccinations  and culture.  He encouraged  the committee  to                                                                    
look beyond money.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:26:27 AM                                                                                                                   
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
10:39:51 AM                                                                                                                   
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stedman discussed the afternoon's agenda.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB  49  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB  50  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SB  51  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:40:46 AM                                                                                                                   
RECESSED                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 49.51.50 Public Testimony Packet 1.pdf SFIN 3/17/2021 9:00:00 AM
SB 49