Legislature(2001 - 2002)

05/03/2001 06:08 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
         HB 234-TOBACCO SETTLEM'T:BONDS & SMOKING PROGRAM                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  GREEN announced  that a proposed  Senate Hess  Committee                                                            
substitute was before the committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN  moved to adopt SCS  CSHB 234(HES), Version  R, as the                                                            
working document of the committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN explained  that SCS CSHB 234(HES) contains language                                                            
in Section  2 that allows  the legislature  to appropriate  money to                                                            
the tobacco  use education and cessation  fund.  Regarding  the list                                                            
of projects, the House  bill funds two school construction projects,                                                            
14 major maintenance  projects, the  University of Alaska  Southeast                                                            
(UAS)  Egan classroom  building,  the  Ketchikan tech  remodel,  the                                                            
University of  Alaska (UA) center for $13 million  and the Fairbanks                                                            
museum  expansion.    The  Senate  Hess  version  funds  two  school                                                            
construction  projects and  27 major maintenance  projects,  the UAS                                                            
Egan classroom  building,  the Ketchikan  tech  remodel, the  Mat-Su                                                            
Ortner building  and the Fairbanks  museum expansion.   The  savings                                                            
from changing  from the UA center  to the Mat-Su Ortner building  is                                                            
about  $12.5  million.    That  money  will  be  used  to  fund  the                                                            
additional major  maintenance projects.  The bills  are identical in                                                            
the lists of ports and harbor projects.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  GREEN  announced  that  with no  objection,  the  motion                                                            
carried.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LEMAN noted  that Chairwoman  Green stated  that the  money                                                            
from the UA center  will be used for more maintenance  projects.  He                                                            
clarified that  the House version  was amended on the floor  so that                                                            
the money for  that UA project was  for the purchase and  remodel of                                                            
facilities, not specifically for the UA center.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN asked if  the amount for the schools listed on page 4                                                            
is  the total  amount of  each  project or  the state's  70  percent                                                            
reimbursement  amount.   He said he  is asking  because the  version                                                            
that passed  from the House  Finance Committee  (Version B.A)  has a                                                            
lower number.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Number 190                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. JERRY BURNETT,  staff to Senator Green, clarified  that SCS CSHB
234(HES) should  have the same numbers as the version  of SB 94 that                                                            
passed out of the Senate HESS Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WILKEN  commented that the  Finance Committee can  look into                                                            
that question.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN  asked if the  total cost of  the bill is now  more or                                                            
less than the amount started with.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN answered it is the same.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN  said he is aware of  the need for renovations  at the                                                            
University of Alaska Anchorage  (UAA) medical laboratory, which will                                                            
cost $600,000.   He moved to insert  $600,000 into the bill  for the                                                            
medical laboratory at the UAA campus.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN  asked if that project is on the  University's list                                                            
of projects.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN said he did not know.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN  GREEN pointed  out the additional  project added  to the                                                            
list was from the UA's list of priorities.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN  said he would investigate that further  in the Senate                                                            
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WARD  asked if the funding  source for this bill  is tobacco                                                            
settlement money.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN said she believes that is correct.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR WARD  commented the  purpose of the  tobacco settlement  and                                                            
tobacco tax money  is to stop youth from smoking,  not for ports and                                                            
museum expansions.   He asked  if this bill  requires a vote  of the                                                            
people.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN  said it does not.  She commented  that a fund will                                                            
be created  and the money will be  appropriated as each legislature                                                             
decides.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR LEMAN  indicated that he is  not excited about this  funding                                                            
method for school projects  but he is in favor of the projects so he                                                            
will not object to moving this bill from committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRWOMAN GREEN stated  that she believes it is important that this                                                            
bill be  part of  the package that  is under  consideration  for the                                                            
final budget close-out.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  LEMAN   moved  SCS  CSHB   234(HES)  from  committee   with                                                            
individual  recommendations  and its  attached fiscal  note.   There                                                            
being no objection, the motion carried.                                                                                         

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