Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/11/1996 03:06 PM TRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 290 APPROPRIATIONS: CAPITAL & OTHERS Number 274 CHAIRMAN RIEGER introduced SB 290 as the next order of business. NANCY SLAGLE, Director in the Office of Management & Budget, began with the Department of Fish and Game on page 12. The first item is $400,000 for the statewide facilities repair, maintenance and replacement. She noted that the committee had been provided with a list of projects. The $400,000 would be used for the higher priority projects which were considered life, health and safety critical projects. SENATOR TAYLOR inquired as to the funding source for the $330,000 for the Clean Vessel Act - Pumpout Station renovation and construction grants, and the $180,000 for the development of educational materials and programs avoiding conflicts with bears. NANCY SLAGLE informed Senator Taylor that of the $180,000, $135,000 is federal receipts and $45,000 is Fish and Game funds. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if that funding was coming from license holders, ammunition taxes, etc. KEVIN BROOKS, Department of Fish and Game, said that Senator Taylor was correct. The split is 75/25, the 75 being federal funds. SENATOR TAYLOR reiterated his question regarding the Clean Vessel Act - Pumpout Station. KEVIN BROOKS clarified that the $330,000 was 100 percent federal funds specified for that purpose by the federal government. SENATOR TAYLOR said that the other $180,000 was Fish and Game funds or federal Fish and Game funds. KEVIN BROOKS agreed. SENATOR TAYLOR inquired as to where the $80,000 listed in other funds for the South Denali development wildlife studies would come from. KEVIN BROOKS said that $80,000 was evenly split between the state Fish and Game funds and federal aid dollars. This would allow studies of wildlife patterns in the area so that the building of the facility would do the least harm to the area's resources. Number 340 SENATOR TAYLOR said that those federal funds could not be used for construction. The Department of Fish and Game is specifically prohibited from using those funds for construction. KEVIN BROOKS clarified that any construction of a facility would have to go through the department's federal aid office for approval. This is not contemplated with this funding. SENATOR TAYLOR reiterated that the department was precluded from using that money for construction, therefore the department is using $80,000 for the study so that construction could be done. Senator Taylor said that the department was using the money from licenses and such to do this under a different project. KEVIN BROOKS did not know if this area was open to hunting. There is a representative from the division who could address that issue. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the $400,000 would be characterized as money to be spent at the discretion of the agency. KEVIN BROOKS said that the money would be discretionary. Mr. Brooks noted that he had provided committee staff with a list of the most critical projects. Several factors are reviewed in order to establish a priority. The highest priority being a life safety issue. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the commercial fisheries vessel and aircraft repair and maintenance appropriation of $425,000 in general funds. She discussed specific projects in the detailed backup. The next appropriation is $300,000 for the replacement and enhancement of salmon escapement sonar systems. The current system is no longer in production. The systems are located on the Copper River, the Kenai, the Kasilof, the Noatak, the Kuskokwim, the Yukon, etc. She did not believe that there was a list specifying which pieces of equipment would be replaced. Number 403 SENATOR LINCOLN inquired as to where the sonars would be replaced. KEVIN BROOKS pointed out that the river systems are listed in the detailed backup and the river systems would not change. The existing sonar would be replaced. SENATOR LINCOLN asked how much sonar equipment would cost. KEVIN BROOKS did not have a per item cost. Mr. Brooks said that this is the second phase of funding for this replacement. SENATOR LINCOLN requested the detailed backup on this matter. She pointed out that not having the adequate technology or equipment for the river systems has long been a concern. This lack of technology and equipment creates difficulty in decisions regarding escapement and other fishery related questions. Senator Lincoln did not believe that $300,000 would go very far. How many more phases are there? She noted that federal Fish and Wildlife have equipment that is not being used; could that be utilized? KEVIN BROOKS said that information could be provided. He added that in the six year plan, there is a third and final phase for this project. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the $160,000 appropriation for South Denali wildlife studies of which $80,000 is general funds, $40,000 federal receipts and $40,000 from Fish and Game funds. This study would be for planning and development of a project for the improvement of visitor facilities and access. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if this study would take place in the state or the national park. Number 451 KEN TAYLOR, Deputy Director for the Division of Wildlife Conservation, said that he had not seen the study plans for the South Denali expansion. This would not be in the national park, but may be on state land adjacent to Denali State Park. In response to Senator Taylor, Ken Taylor said that hunting is allowed in the state park. The area being discussed is popular for moose hunting. NANCY SLAGLE moved on with the statewide recreational boating and sport fish access projects. Of the $1.7 million appropriation, $1,275,000 are federal receipts and $425,000 from Fish and Game funds. She informed the committee that facilities are developed in order to meet the following objectives: marine boating, fresh water boating, angler access, remote sites, and some land acquisition money. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if that was the full amount from the federal government dedicated to that purpose. KEVIN BROOKS replied yes. This is the mandatory 12.5 percent set aside on the tax on the boat motor fuel portion of the federal taxes. Mr. Brooks said that he could provide the committee with a list of possible sites. He explained that this public access project is an annual request. SENATOR TAYLOR emphasized that these funds are used for this purpose because the federal government specifically dedicates the funds for these projects. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the $110,000 appropriation for the construction of the Anchorage regional office animal autopsy laboratory. Of the $110,000, $82,500 are federal receipts and $25,700 are Fish and Game funds. This appropriation would help construct a 500 square foot building. SENATOR GREEN asked if the animal autopsy laboratory was part of a consolidation plan. KEVIN BROOKS explained that this would be a small building at the Raspberry Road facility for hunters to off load their game. Number 506 NANCY SLAGLE continued with the next project, the Fairbanks Indoor Shooting Range appropriation of $2 million which is comprised of $1.5 million in federal receipts and $500,000 in Fish and Game funds. This would construct a rifle and pistol range classroom and storage area for hunter education classes in the Fairbanks area. KEVIN BROOKS specified that this building would be at the same location as the Fairbanks regional office. SENATOR TAYLOR realized that the federal funding designates that the money be spent for this. Senator Taylor asked if any additional offices would be included in this building. KEVIN BROOKS clarified that no offices are anticipated. This would only provide classrooms for teaching hunter education classes. KEN TAYLOR explained that the appropriation would construct a shooting facility and a classroom area for hunter education. The classroom would probably be used for advisory committee meetings in order to eliminate the current practice of renting space for those meetings. There are no plans to use this building for office space, it would not be feasible for use as office space. NANCY SLAGLE specified that the building would include two meeting classrooms, a shooting range, storage, lockers, and parking. Hearing no further questions, Ms. Slagle continued with the clean vessel pumpout station appropriation of $330,000 in federal receipts. These funds would be used to provide new and upgraded sewage pumpouts and dump stations at boating facilities. She said this would be achieved by making grants to local communities and private businesses. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said this would be a discretionary appropriation. He asked if there was a project list. KEVIN BROOKS said that the detailed backup lists the communities that have been reviewed up to this point. Mr. Brooks said that he could check on a proposed list. CHAIRMAN RIEGER noted that wherever there is a lump sum allocation, the committee would like a project list. KEVIN BROOKS pointed out that there are federal requirements that must be met. The department encourages the communities to come forward with land or in kind matches. SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the shooting range would be open to the public. KEN TAYLOR explained that the shooting range would be open to the public by appointment. Groups such as 4H, Boy Scouts, the Tanana Valley Sportsman Association, and school teams could all use the facility. The facility could only be used when there is a certified range master on site. SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the groups would have to provide their own instructor or would the state provide the instructor. KEN TAYLOR said that the state would not provide an instructor on a regular basis, if at all. Most of the groups who participate in shooting sports have certified instructors as part of the group. Mr. Taylor noted that Fairbanks has a Hunter Education Instructor's Association comprised of volunteers from department staff, Fish & Wildlife protection, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and some from the general public. All of these instructors work on a volunteer basis in order to provide the hunter education course. This is a voluntary 20 hour course taught to all age groups. Number 569 SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the University of Alaska had a shooting range. KEN TAYLOR replied yes. The University of Alaska has the intercollegiate national championship team. There is interest in having championships in Alaska which require a 16 point range. The university's current range is 10 points. Mr. Taylor said that there is also interest in having a more centrally located range more appropriate for community use. The university and the Tanana Valley Sportsman's Association as well as most other groups in the Fairbanks area support this proposal. SENATOR TAYLOR inquired as to the amount of federally designated money for rifle and pistol ranges. KEN TAYLOR was not sure that any federal funds were specifically designated for rifle and pistol ranges. A certain amount of money is received through the general federal aid wildlife restoration component. Another funding component is the hunter education component. There is no specific component for shooting ranges. SENATOR TAYLOR asked where the $2 million went in previous years. TAPE 96-12, SIDE B KEN TAYLOR informed the committee that the federal aid wildlife restoration funds have been increasing over the past several years. These funds have been increasing faster than the legislature has permitted their expenditure, therefore, a balance has been building in the federal aid account. The funds have been sitting in the bank. SENATOR TAYLOR inquired as to the balance on that account. KEVIN BROOKS said that he could provide the committee with a balance on the Fish & Game funds as well as the unallocated federal fund balance. SENATOR TAYLOR commented that many communities across the state have been requesting rifle and pistol ranges for years. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked how the decision was made to locate the new rifle range in Fairbanks. KEN TAYLOR said that the need for more shooting range facilities across the state has been recognized. He noted that the legislature appropriated money for shooting ranges about 15 years ago and the funds were dispersed to many communities. The Fairbanks area has one of the highest percentages of people involved in the shooting sport. The Fairbanks community expressed much interest, more than other communities, last year in establishing an indoor range. He pointed out that the area is losing many of its ranges. Mr. Taylor acknowledged Juneau's interest in moving the shooting range from the school to somewhere outside of town. That request is part of the FY 99 long term capital project request. Number 556 SENATOR TAYLOR expressed interest in an on-going process other than the fact that a lot of calls were received from Fairbanks. There should have been $2 million spent in the previous years. The legislature should be informed of the percentage of federal funds being generated by those purchasing guns and ammunition that actually is used in these programs. KEVIN BROOKS stated that it was inaccurate to assume that there is $2 million available each year. The federal aid funds do not lapse every year. Mr. Brooks offered to provide the committee with the specific restrictions which govern the use of these funds. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the sport fish hatchery repair, renovation and maintenance which amounts to $150,000 of Fish & Game funds. These funds would be used at Crystal Lake, Clear, Elmendorf, and Fort Richardson hatcheries. In the past, these facilities have experienced a lack of funding for preventative maintenance in the past years. KEVIN BROOKS noted that the most pressing need is the housing at the Crystal Lake hatchery. NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the $180,000 for the development of educational materials and programs to avoid conflicts with bears. $135,000 is federal receipts and $45,000 is Fish & Game funds which would provide public information on how to prevent bear problems. SENATOR TAYLOR surmised that this was basically for tourists. KEVIN BROOKS said that a problem with bears and humans in urban areas has been recognized. He indicated that the number of bear- human incidents is increasing. This is aimed at the residents of the state. Mr. Brooks specified that the goal is to avoid the loss of life with bear-human interaction. NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the Office of the Governor which consists of $500,000 in general funds. This money would modify state facilities in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She had a list of projects that have been funded over the last few years; the list includes those items that remain to be funded. Basically, the list includes all state owned facilities as well as some of the universities and court system facilities. She offered to provide the committee with the list. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if Ms. Slagle knew which projects would be done with the $500,000. NANCY SLAGLE did not know if there is such a list. The list to which she referred includes the points assigned the projects. Ms. Slagle assumed that the projects would be done in about the order of points awarded. Number 494 SENATOR GREEN asked if there was a penalty if these were not done. NANCY SLAGLE said that would risk not complying with ADA requirements. The list of ADA needs totals almost $50 million. Ms. Slagle said that this attempts to chip away at the problem areas. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the Johnson Youth Center appropriation of $3 million in general funds. This would design and construct a 20 bed treatment unit at the Johnson Youth Center in Juneau. Currently, there is no treatment facility in Juneau. All the youth in Southeast Alaska are sent to McLaughlin for treatment. This funding would relieve the over crowding in McLaughlin as well as place the youths closer to home. SENATOR TAYLOR informed the committee that for about 20 years, Ketchikan has requested a youth detention facility. He understood that 50 percent of the youth in the Johnson Youth Center are from areas other than Juneau, the majority coming from Senator Taylor's district. Senator Taylor indicated that this was the department's desire and that this would only increase the room in the Johnson Youth Center in order to house more people from out of town. This illustrates that the Administration has not listened to anyone else in Southeast Alaska on this matter. TOM LANE, Facilities Manager with the Department of Health & Social Services, informed the committee that for 10 years, there has been a plan to build a treatment facility in Juneau as well as a detention center in Ketchikan. At this time, the department feels that there is more need for the treatment facility in Juneau. Mr. Lane agreed with Senator Taylor that there are many problems in Ketchikan. In the last few years, the department has attempted to develop a holding capacity for detention in Ketchikan. In terms of cost, it would be cheaper to build and operate a facility in Juneau where there is already staff available. NANCY SLAGLE pointed out that the six year capital plan includes the need for the juvenile justice master plan for the state. SENATOR GREEN asked if the appropriation was a typical price. Is this construction an add on or renovation? TOM LANE explained that a module had been developed and constructed in Anchorage. That same plan would be used in Juneau with a few adaptations, therefore the additional design costs would be relatively small. Mr. Lane provided the committee with a copy of the 1997 plan that was done for a treatment facility at Johnson Youth Center. Number 430 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the engineer's estimate was $3 million. TOM LANE replied yes. Mr. Lane said that estimate includes design revisions and the construction. If the money is appropriated, then construction would be planned for the end of the next fiscal year. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if Mr. Lane had any plans that he could distribute on the Ketchikan facility. TOM LANE said that there is a programming study from 1986 that does need some revision which could be provided to the committee. Mr. Lane believed that Ketchikan would need an eight bed facility. Mr. Lane reiterated that there is a master plan for facilities in the state which is in the beginning stages. SENATOR TAYLOR commented that this notion that nothing should be done until a statewide plan is completed is also held by the Department of Corrections and the Department of Transportation. He felt that all the money would end up in Juneau. Senator Taylor indicated that whoever set the priorities did not listen to anyone in his district. NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation which has an appropriation of $7,333,000 of which $6,333,000 is federal receipts and $1 million is general funds. This would complete the design and construction of a 60,000 square foot regional public health center. This is the first of a three phase project. There is not space to house the public health nurses, therefore, this would be a combined effort to house the public health nurses while meeting the areas public health needs. SENATOR GREEN asked if this was living quarters as well as a clinic. TOM LANE clarified that this is a clinic. The proposal is for space to be used jointly by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation as well as the public health nursing staff. By combining forces, the department estimates savings of about $3.7 million in construction costs. The state's contribution would be approximately one-third of the project cost. The $1 million would be utilized for design and construction. In FY 98 and 99 additional funds will be requested to complete the building. In total the state would provide $6,343,000 in funds through FY 99. NANCY SLAGLE said that is included in the six year capital plan. Ms. Slagle continued with the $1,118,000 appropriation for renewal, deferred maintenance, replacement and equipment. Of the total, $118,000 is federal while the remaining $1 million is general funds. This would deal with the critical immediate needs. She informed the committee that there is a list of representative projects such as office security systems that is necessary to be in compliance with OSHA. She reviewed a list of projects. TOM LANE noted that the committee was sent the list of projects with the funding amounts. The dollars exceed what is being requested. The list also included deferred maintenance totalling $18 million. There was also a representative renewal, replacement, and renovation detailed list which amounts to $1.9 million. In response to Chairman Rieger, Mr. Lane said that the projects were not listed in order of priority. Mr. Lane noted that the list changes and the list is reviewed once the money is appropriated. Number 326 NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the $500,000 general fund appropriation for the Kodiak Island Hospital completion which would supplement the $9.5 million in local bond funds to complete construction of an addition to the hospital. This request has been around since the early 1980s. The next item is $675,000 in federal funds for the adoption and foster care analysis reporting system. This is a new mandatory requirement for foster care and adoption. Penalties would be levied against the state if this was not accomplished. The next item is $125,000 from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation for Acces Alaska in order to assist in improving the living arrangements of developmentally disabled individuals. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked where this would occur. TOM LANE said that Access Alaska is based in Anchorage, therefore, he assumed that most would be in that area. He explained that these would be small grants to individual home owners for improvements. NANCY SLAGLE said that projects such as hand railing, ramps, and bathroom accessories would be examples of how this money would be used. SENATOR GREEN said that Access Alaska would be responsible for selecting and initiating the grants. CHAIRMAN RIEGER announced that the meeting would go to 5:00 p.m. and that the committee would probably not get to DOT today. NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the Department of Labor and the scheduled computer equipment replacement program appropriation of $725,000 in federal receipts. This would allow a long range technology adaptation for the department in order to link all the department's offices with LAN and WAN. The next item is the employment security mainframe printers and inserter equipment appropriation of $480,000. This would provide a mailout efficiency for the department by allowing a merge into a single envelope and the use of zip code improvements. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the five items listed under the Department of Labor were all federal receipts. NANCY SLAGLE replied yes. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if this was a large single federal receipt category that OMB has the discretion to allocate as it is listed or are there five separate programs which received the amount of money allocated. Number 254 ARBE WILLIAMS, Director of Administrative Services in the Department of Labor, specified that the department does not have federal dollars to fund these capital projects other than those reflected in the operating budget. She informed the committee that the department has just applied for a one stop grant. If additional federal funds would be available other than the administrative dollars, then it would be in this area. At this point the Department of Labor does not receive additional federal dollars, other than what the department receives for the UI program and the Employment Security Program. CHAIRMAN RIEGER noted that these five items add up to $2 million; could $1.5 million be spent on those items and the remaining $500,000 be used for one of the federally eligible operating projects? ARBE WILLIAMS said that is what the department does. She clarified that there are two major programs. The Unemployment Insurance trust fund uses the majority of the federal dollars which is identified in the 1997 budget as $20 million. The next biggest program in the Department of Labor's budget is $8 million from the federal government for the Employment Security Division. There are other smaller grants. Ms. Williams explained that these projects were what the department thought necessary to support those operations. NANCY SLAGLE pointed out that these programs are experiencing a reduction in funding at the federal level while searching for efficiencies wherever possible. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked Ms. Williams if the department's operating budget was funded by federal dollars and the general fund present fills in where the federal dollars fall short. ARBE WILLIAMS pointed out that the largest component consists of $13,000 in general funds for the Employment/Unemployment Service component with $30 million in federal funds. In response to Chairman Rieger, Ms. Williams said that less than $9 million of the operating budget is general funds for the Department of Labor. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if some of the projects being funded with general fund dollars were eligible for federal dollars. ARBE WILLIAMS explained that these purchases support these specific federal programs. These federal dollars cannot be used otherwise. Ms. Williams pointed out that the $225,000 appropriation to network additional local offices benefits other general funded divisions as well as the department as a whole. In that way, the general funded programs ride on federal dollars. Number 201 CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the department could fund more of the $9 million with federal funding rather than general funding if there were more federal funds available. NANCY SLAGLE did not believe so. ARBE WILLIAMS noted that the department's largest state funded program is Workman's Compensation Division which is not eligible for federal funds. The Labor Standards and Safety Division, Wage and Hour Section, and Mechanical Inspection Section are the next largest programs which do not receive federal funds. The remainder of the department's federal funds are used to match OSHA federal funds and the administrative indirect cost plan. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if those were funded at the minimum match. ARBE WILLIAMS replied yes. NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA). The first appropriation is $300,000 statewide deferred maintenance. NICO BUS, Acting Director of Support Services in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), informed the committee that there is a new budget arrangement and DNR and DMVA are sharing the responsibility. He said that there is a list of $1.3 million worth of projects. Therefore, the project list would probably be determined by the emergency nature of the project. He said that he could make that list available for the total, but there is no individual priority for the $300,000. NANCY SLAGLE explained that the $175,000 appropriation for scheduled renewal and replacement of worn out major building components and retro-fitting or replacing obsolete building systems. This is mainly in the area of armories in Fairbanks, Kenai, Kotzebue, Nome, and Wasilla. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the projects for those armories mentioned add up to $175,000 or is there a longer list from which the projects will be chosen. NICO BUS said that the list includes those armories and is mainly for roof replacement. The total for all of the projects would be $800,000. Therefore, the department must choose which projects to tackle. CHAIRMAN RIEGER requested a list of the projects. Number 145 NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the Juneau Armory appropriation for the design of a new armory and organizational maintenance shop for the Army Guard activities in Juneau. Currently, DMVA are located in two different places. There is an armory and a subport building across the street. The subport building is located on Mental Health lands and the Mental Health Trust Authority is more active in revenue generating activities. The subport is becoming more expensive and is inconvenient for training. This appropriation would begin the replacement of those facilities and hopefully, construction in a better suited location. The Fairbanks Armory expansion, renovation and construction is $3,339,000 in federal receipts. This would construct a 20,064 foot addition to the existing facility and complete replacement of the existing mechanical system for that facility. CHAIRMAN RIEGER inquired as to why the Fairbanks Armory project would be eligible for federal funds and the other projects receive general funds. NANCY SLAGLE explained that a portion of the construction of the Juneau Armory would be done with federal receipts. Ms. Slagle understood that the design money has already been appropriated for the Fairbanks Armory as well as the match to access these federal funds. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if the match was a general fund match appropriated from a prior year's appropriation. NANCY SLAGLE replied yes. Ms. Slagle explained that $450,000 was appropriated in the 1992 Legislative Session and another $100,000 was appropriated in FY 94. Number 093 NANCY SLAGLE continued with the Department of Natural Resources. The first appropriation is $211,400 in response funds, 470 funds, for the North Slope lease tracts. NICO BUS interjected that this is Child's Path and Forward Alaska. NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the state land geographic information system appropriation of $350,000 in general funds. This would automate the state's existing public land records. By the end of this fiscal year, the department should be 85 percent through this project. The six-year capital plan predicts this project to be complete in 1998. The next appropriation is for $150,000 in general fund dollars in order to address major maintenance needs for safety and health concerns at the Fairbanks facility. Ms. Slagle noted that mdany deferred maintenance needs are not being addressed. The salvage timber appropriation of $75,000 in general fund dollars for the Kenai Peninsula would specifically address areas where there has been devastation from the spruce bark beetle. CHAIRMAN RIEGER inquired as to what the money would pay for. NICO BUS specified that the appropriation would be for timber layouts and contracts. There will be five to seven timber sales from 1,000 to 2,000 acres. Mr. Bus said that the project would pay for itself due to the stumpage fees. This addresses the most critical projects. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if this appropriation could be labelled general fund program receipts. Will the stumpage fees come in reasonable correlation to the $75,000? NICO BUS said that the stumpage fee may actually be delayed a bit. NANCY SLAGLE was unsure if the reforestation fund could be used for that. NICO BUS explained that more than $1 million in stumpage fees would be generated which does not currently go to the reforestation fund. Mr. Bus said that this could be funded with program receipts, but there is a timing issue. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if this project could be funded from the reforestation fund. NICO BUS informed the committee that there is no money in the reforestation fund. In response to Chairman Rieger, Mr. Bus explained that the $1 million collected from stumpage fees would go to the state's general fund and would require a legislative appropriation to go to the reforestation fund. NANCY SLAGLE said this was done last year with $250,000 which was appropriated from the general fund to the reforestation fund. TAPE 96-13, SIDE A Ms. Slagle moved on to the airborne geophysical/geological mineral inventory appropriation of $200,000. This is a multi-year project designed to survey about 40 million acres of state owned uplands within a seven year period. The goal of the project is to identify those mineral zones with major economic value on Alaska state lands. CHAIRMAN RIEGER inquired as to the funding level of this project last year. NICO BUS said that $400,000 was appropriated last year for the Fairbanks area. SENATOR GREEN asked where the $200,000 would be located. NICO BUS explained that this year's appropriation would be used to complete the Rampart-Manley-Totty Survey project that is already in progress. This request will not have any new projects. Number 036 NANCY SLAGLE continued with the oil and gas royalty accounting system improvements appropriation of $100,000 in general funds in order to complete the oil and gas royalty computer system. This would purchase some software, hardware, and some consulting. The next appropriation is $200,000 in general funds for the state parks' emergency repairs and maintenance. This would deal with the most critical needs including the replacement of building foundations, toilets, picnic shelters, and installation of water and sewage at volunteer support facilities. In response to Chairman Rieger, NICO BUS pointed out that the project list is contained in the detailed backup. The backup matches the request in the bill. NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the coalbed methane resources investigation appropriation of $400,000 in general funds. This would demonstrate the existence of commercial quantities of coalbed methane in rural Alaska. The goal is to encourage private sector exploration and development to meet rural energy needs. Ms. Slagle believed that the appropriation would fund a cost-benefit analysis. NICO BUS explained that the project first will do a cost-benefit analysis, then locate and identify candidate sites, and finally conduct geological field examinations for the most promising sites. SENATOR GREEN said that she read that coalbed methane drilling was on-line in Houston this year. She also indicated that she had talked with someone who was interested in this. Is this in conjunction with these efforts? NICO BUS believed that two years ago the legislature appropriated money for a test site in the Mat-Su Valley. This project intends to attract interested people to different locations. Mr. Bus said that there was specific talk about Houston. Number 112 NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the $250,000 request for federal receipts for the land and water conservation fund in order to plan and develop recreational facilities. Ms. Slagle said that those funds must be matched $1 for $1 at the local level. NICO BUS said that was correct. However, Mr. Bus pointed out that in the past this request has been for $500,000 and now the full $250,000 will probably not even be received. SENATOR GREEN asked for an example of how these funds have been used in the past. NICO BUS specified that the Twin Lakes shelter was funded by land and water conservation funds. Mr. Bus offered to provide the committee with a list. NANCY SLAGLE continued with the national historic preservation fund request of $640,000 of federal receipts. This would provide historic preservation, planning, survey, inventory, project review and public education as well as some cultural resource management projects. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked if this grant was from the state to someone or from the federal government to state. NICO BUS clarified that this grant is given to the state by the federal government in order to be given to the Historic Preservation Program in the Division of Parks. This is also matched with local funding. Mr. Bus said that this is a viable program and the grants look as if they will continue into the next federal fiscal year. NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the Department of Public Safety which has a $450,000 general fund appropriation for building improvements with life, health, and safety concerns as a priority. CHAIRMAN RIEGER noted that a major portion of that appropriation is for the sprinklers at the aircraft maintenance facility; is that facility leased? Number 170 KEN BISCHOFF, Department of Public Safety, clarified that it is a state owned facility. NANCY SLAGLE proceeded with the DMV mailout machine replacement for $150,000. The next item is the fish and wildlife protection aircraft/vessel repair/maintenance of $750,000. She noted that the detailed backup contains a list of possible uses of this money. Ms. Slagle began with the Department of Revenue. The first item being the Alaska Student Loan Program computer system maintenance for $196,500 of state corporate receipts. This would provide additional equipment for the transition from a manual system to a PC based system. By the end of FY 96, 60 percent of the Alaska Student Loan Program's corporate staff would be shifted to PCs which would address the remaining need while allowing for standardized software upgrades. CHAIRMAN RIEGER recalled that last year an appropriation for about $1.6 million for a computer upgrade for the Student Loan Corporation was appropriated. NANCY SLAGLE explained that went for loan processing software development. This appropriation addresses the PC hardware needs of the staff. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that he would have a hard time with that appropriation. He felt that too much money was being spent on something that could be contracted out for less money. Number 224 NANCY SLAGLE moved on to the federal case registry of child support orders which consists of $330,000 in federal receipts and $170,000 in general fund match. This federal case registry is required in the federal welfare reform bill. CHAIRMAN RIEGER asked what the required match percentage GLENDA STRAUBE, Director of Child Support and Enforcement, said that the required match is 66/34. There is legislation in Congress which would allow the hardware and software to be funded at 90 percent. SENATOR GREEN asked if this would be part of the nationwide network. GLENDA STRAUBE informed the committee that almost half of the division's cases are interstate cases. This would help make collections on interstate cases by centralizing all the information on-line with the federal government. The information would include the location of the absent parent, their employer, and if there are other child support cases around the country. CHAIRMAN RIEGER said that the remaining portions would be dealt with at the next meeting.