Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/25/1994 01:40 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER brought the meeting back to order at 3:00 p.m.  He            
 introduced  SB 304  (AHFC BONDS FOR UNIV. OF ALASKA USES) as the last    st   
 order of business before the committee.                                       
 ALLISON ELGEE, Budget Director for the University of Alaska,                  
 explained that SB 304 would authorize $75 million in bonds in order           
 to deal with approximately one-half of the identified deferred                
 maintenance needs of the university system.  $30 million would be             
 bonded through the Alaska Housing Finance Corporations in order to            
 address the deferred maintenance needs of student housing.  She               
 said that the remaining $45 million would be bonded through the               
 University of Alaska to deal with a portion of the other deferred             
 maintenance needs.                                                            
 SENATOR ELLIS moved Amendment 1.  He explained that he had worked             
 on this language with the university and the sponsor.  Amendment 1            
 adds language addressing the needs of the University of Alaska-               
 Southeast (UAS) and the University of Alaska housing needs.                   
   Hearing no objections, Amendment 1 was adopted.                           
 CHIP WAGONER, Vice-President of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks            
 Alumni Association and member of the Board of Directors,  said that           
 SB 304 was the only legislative priority for the Alumni                       
 Association.  He explained that the university became a true                  
 university in 1935 with a three part mission to teach, research and           
 serve the public.  He noted that the University of Alaska-Fairbanks           
 is recognized internationally and ranks in the top 100 research               
 universities in the U.S.  He described the Fairbanks campus and               
 pointed out that it is one of the oldest facilities in Alaska, some           
 of these buildings are twenty years old.  He described the                    
 disintegration found on the Fairbanks campus.  He asserted that the           
 Fairbanks campus is a mess.  He urged the committee to support SB
 304 because it is important for the future of the University of               
 Number 309                                                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN said that he did not disagree with Mr. Wagoner's                
 assessments; however, he expressed frustration that money which               
 should have been used for maintenance was used in other programs.             
 Now there is a serious need to fix up the campus and the                      
 legislature cannot turn its back.  He suggested that there had been           
 mismanagement which created this problem and it is unfair.                    
 CHIP WAGONER did not believe that it was due to mismanagement, it             
 was due to the age of the campus.  He pointed out that there are              
 deferred maintenance problems at UAS and UAA also.  He offered to             
 talk to the committee later about the various problems.                       
 SENATOR MILLER moved SB 304 as amended out of committee with                  
 individual recommendations.                                                   
 CHAIRMAN RIEGER stated that he could not see borrowing more money;            
 where does it end.  He did acknowledge that there was a pressing              
 need, but the state's fiscal future should be reviewed as well.               
 Hearing no objections, it was so ordered.                                     

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