Legislature(1995 - 1996)

02/06/1996 01:07 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
              HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS                             
                       STANDING COMMITTEE                                      
                        February 6, 1996                                       
                           1:07 p.m.                                           
                                                                               
                                                                               
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
                                                                               
 Representative Ivan Ivan, Co-Chair                                            
 Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                       
 Representative Kim Elton                                                      
 Representative Al Vezey                                                       
 Representative Pete Kott                                                      
 Representative Irene Nicholia                                                 
                                                                               
 MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                
                                                                               
 Representative Jerry Mackie                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                            
                                                                               
 HOUSE BILL NO. 409                                                            
 "An Act combining parts of the Department of Commerce and Economic            
 Development and parts of the Department of Community and Regional             
 Affairs by transferring some of their duties to a new Department of           
 Community and Economic Development; transferring some of the duties           
 of the Department of Commerce and Economic Development and the                
 Department of Community and Regional Affairs to other existing                
 agencies; eliminating the Department of Commerce and Economic                 
 Development and the Department of Community and Regional Affairs;             
 adjusting the membership of certain multi-member bodies to reflect            
 the transfer of duties among departments and the elimination of               
 departments; and providing for an effective date."                            
                                                                               
      -  HEARD AND HELD                                                        
                                                                               
 * HOUSE BILL NO. 330                                                          
 "An Act relating to the unincorporated community capital project              
 matching grant program; and providing for an effective date."                 
                                                                               
      -  PASSED OUT OF COMMITTEE                                               
                                                                               
 (* First public hearing)                                                      
                                                                               
 PREVIOUS ACTION                                                               
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 409                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: DEPT OF COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                         
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) KELLY, Therriault, James, Kohring               
                                                                               
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 01/11/96      2409    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 01/11/96      2409    (H)   CRA, FINANCE                                      
 01/16/96      2456    (H)   COSPONSOR(S): KOHRING                             
 02/01/96              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 02/01/96              (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                       
 02/03/96              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
 02/03/96     (H)   MINUTE(CRA)                                                
 02/06/96              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
 BILL:  HB 330                                                               
 SHORT TITLE: UNINCORP COMMUNITY CAPITAL PROJ GRANTS                           
 SPONSOR(S): REPRESENTATIVE(S) MOSES                                           
                                                                               
 JRN-DATE     JRN-DATE             ACTION                                      
 05/03/95      1814    (H)   READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRAL(S)                 
 05/03/95      1814    (H)   CRA, FINANCE                                      
 02/06/96              (H)   CRA AT 01:00 PM CAPITOL 124                       
                                                                               
 WITNESS REGISTER                                                              
                                                                               
 PETE KELLY, Representative                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 513                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2327                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  As sponsor, answered questions on HB 409.                
                                                                               
 WILSON L. CONDON, Commissioner                                                
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 P.O. Box 110400                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0400                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2300                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented department's position and answered             
                      questions on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 RICHARD S. CROSS, Deputy Commissioner                                         
 Department of Education                                                       
 801 West Tenth Street, Suite 200                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801-1894                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2800                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented department's position and answered             
                      questions on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 KAREN PERDUE, Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Health and Social Services                                      
 P.O. Box 110601                                                               
 Juneau, Alaska  99811-0601                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-3030                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented department's position and answered             
                      questions on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 MYRA OLSEN                                                                    
 Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP)                             
 P.O. Box 74                                                                   
 Egegik, Alaska  99579                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 233-2424                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 LINDA HARRISON, Family Services Coordinator                                   
 Tlingit and Haida Head Start Program; and                                     
    Member, Alaska Head Start Association                                      
 320 West Willoughby                                                           
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 586-1432                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant                                             
 Office of the Commissioner                                                    
 Department of Labor                                                           
 P.O. Box 21149                                                                
 Juneau, Alaska  99802-1149                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 465-2700                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented department's position and answered             
                      questions on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 ERNESTINE HANLON                                                              
 P.O. Box 358                                                                  
 Hoonah, Alaska  99829                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 945-3624                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 409.                                          
                                                                               
 CHESTER MIYASATO                                                              
 405-B DeGroff                                                                 
 Sitka, Alaska  99835                                                          
 Telephone:  (907) 747-1496                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 409.                                          
                                                                               
 ANN VELARDI                                                                   
 16140 Old Glenn Highway, Number 1                                             
 Eagle River, Alaska  99577                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 696-5281                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Opposed HB 409.                                          
                                                                               
 DEANNA CAPTAIN                                                                
 Chairperson, Tanana Chiefs Head Start                                         
    Policy Council                                                             
 P.O. Box 55                                                                   
 Ruby, Alaska  99768                                                           
 Telephone:  (907) 468-4429                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified on HB 409.                                     
                                                                               
 CARL MOSES, Representative                                                    
 Alaska State Legislature                                                      
 State Capitol Building, Room 204                                              
 Juneau, Alaska  99801                                                         
 Telephone:  (907) 465-4451                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented sponsor statement and answered                 
                      questions on HB 330.                                     
                                                                               
 WALT WREDE, Manager                                                           
 Lake and Peninsula Borough                                                    
 P.O. Box 495                                                                  
 King Salmon, Alaska  99613                                                    
 Telephone:  (907) 246-3421                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported HB 330.                                        
                                                                               
 DAN SALMON, Administrator                                                     
 Village of Igiugig                                                            
 P.O. Box 4008                                                                 
 Igiugig, Alaska  99613                                                        
 Telephone:  (907) 533-3211                                                    
 POSITION STATEMENT:  Supported Hb 330.                                        
                                                                               
 ACTION NARRATIVE                                                              
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-9, SIDE A                                                             
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN IVAN called the House Community and Regional Affairs            
 Committee meeting to order at 1:07 p.m.  Members present at the               
 call to order were Representatives Ivan, Austerman, Vezey and Kott.           
 Members absent were Representatives Elton, who joined the meeting             
 at 1:08 p.m., Mackie and Nicholia.  Co-Chair Ivan invited                     
 Representative Carl Moses to join the committee at the table.                 
 HB 409 - DEPT OF COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT                           
                                                                               
 Number 0075                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that the committee had received that day, from            
 the Department of Administration, an analysis on how the department           
 had calculated moving costs for personnel affected by HB 409.  He             
 informed the committee that testimony would be provided by several            
 agencies and advocate groups affected by the legislation.  He then            
 invited Representative Kelly to comment on the bill.                          
                                                                               
 Number 0146                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KELLY, sponsor of HB 409, spoke briefly, noting           
 that economic development was important for all of Alaska.  He said           
 HB 409 attempted to merge the functions of economic development,              
 placing it under one roof for efficiency and to achieve cost                  
 savings.  He advised the committee that he was there primarily to             
 listen.                                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0206                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that Jeff Bush, Deputy Commissioner of the                
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCED), was                   
 available to answer questions.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 0235                                                                   
                                                                               
 WILSON L. CONDON, Commissioner, Department of Revenue ("Revenue"),            
 urged that neither the Division of Banking, Securities and                    
 Corporations nor the Division of Insurance be moved from DCED to              
 Revenue.  In terms of managing the department, Revenue already had            
 a full plate.  The department's main mission was to raise revenue             
 efficiently and effectively, he said, as well as to preserve,                 
 protect and enhance, through the Treasury Division, revenue raised.           
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER CONDON pointed out that Revenue had responsibility for           
 numerous independent revenue-related corporations, including the              
 Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, the Alaska Permanent Fund                 
 Corporation, the Municipal Bond Bank Authority and the Alaska                 
 Student Loan Corporation.  Revenue's main responsibilities were               
 revenue-raising and protection.  Although the department was                  
 pleased to have its non-revenue divisions, the Child Support                  
 Enforcement Division and the Permanent Fund Dividend Division,                
 adding more such divisions would compromise its ability to manage             
 those primary responsibilities.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0364                                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER CONDON explained that Revenue had a number of crucial            
 projects on the front burner, which were being managed from the               
 commissioner's office.  These included continuing the department's            
 project to revise oil and gas tax regulations, as well as                     
 initiating the revision of corporate income tax regulations.                  
 Commissioner Condon explained the department also needed to focus             
 more than in previous years on tax policy questions, as they arose,           
 relating to efforts to close the fiscal gap, both at the state and            
 national levels.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0443                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KIM ELTON noted Commissioner Condon's objection to             
 moving the Division of Insurance and the Division of Banking,                 
 Securities and Corporations to the Department of Revenue.  He asked           
 how the commissioner viewed moving the Alaska Public Utilities                
 Commission, as well as other functions from DCED, to the                      
 department.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0467                                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER CONDON replied the same was true for those.  However,            
 the Division of Insurance and the Division of Banking, Securities             
 and Corporations would more greatly affect Revenue's ability to               
 manage its core functions.                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0545                                                                   
                                                                               
 RICHARD S. CROSS, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Education                
 (DOE), referred to Section 265 of HB 409, which amended the duties            
 of DOE to include operation of the Head Start program, currently              
 under the Department of Community and Regional Affairs (DCRA).  Mr.           
 Cross praised Head Start, saying when the history of families and             
 children in the last half of the century was written, one of the              
 greatest success stories would be the Head Start program and its              
 positive affect on children and families.  Simply, the program                
 worked.  People from all sides of the political spectrum recognized           
 its effectiveness.  It reached children early and involved not only           
 their families, but all aspects of a child's needs.                           
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS noted that Head Start served 88 Alaska communities.  He             
 commented that some people in Head Start had greater confidence in            
 the program because it was not located in DOE.  He thought the                
 tension between education and Head Start was healthy.  He expressed           
 that both he and Commissioner Holloway wanted the committee to                
 realize the vital nature of Head Start.  He emphasized that the               
 program was extremely successful and well-placed in DCRA.                     
                                                                               
 Number 0695                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE AL VEZEY asked Mr. Cross why he thought Head Start             
 had been proven effective.  He suggested that data indicated Head             
 Start functioned well as day care.  However, he could not see the             
 educational advantage down the street.                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0723                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS responded that extensive research was available because             
 of Head Start's long-term existence.  Although a report somewhere             
 might suggest negative aspects, the research, on balance, was                 
 overwhelmingly supportive.  Comparative studies of matched groups             
 of children, including both those in Head Start and those similarly           
 situated but not in the program, indicated success for Head Start             
 children both from the educational viewpoint and the viewpoint of             
 those children as citizens later in life.  Overwhelmingly, the                
 program received high marks.  It was generally proven and accepted            
 to be successful.                                                             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY wondered why, if it was an education program,            
 Head Start should not be placed in DOE.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0803                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS replied that having every program affecting a child in              
 the same agency might not be good.  He suggested that people                  
 receiving the benefit of Head Start could probably answer that                
 question best.  Mr. Cross noted that public education was a K-12              
 endeavor.  However, Head Start dealt with children's needs earlier            
 and thus did not belong in DOE.  He clarified that Commissioner               
 Holloway had discussed the issue at length with her staff; no one             
 in DOE would say Head Start was not vital and important.  He                  
 emphasized that Alaska needed to support a strong Head Start                  
 program.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 0888                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said he appreciated the answer.  However, he             
 did not understand why the state had a pool of educational dollars            
 being divided into K-12, Head Start, and post-secondary education             
 funding.  If Head Start was primarily an educational program rather           
 than day care, he wondered if legislators should be making funding            
 decisions at that micro-level, or whether the money would be better           
 allocated by the school boards.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0940                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS recognized the difficulty of making decisions about where           
 dollars were spent too far away from the source.  He also supported           
 the concept of communities making more decisions about what                   
 happened locally.  However, he believed they were discussing two              
 different things, local community decisions and agency decisions.             
 Whether or not a local school board would be the best place to make           
 decisions about a program such as Head Start was open to question.            
 Mr. Cross expressed that as it currently existed, Head Start                  
 provided for a tremendous amount of local input and decision-making           
 in terms of developing the programs in the 88 communities.  The               
 concern here, he said, was whether DOE was the right agency.  Given           
 that Head Start was extremely effective where it was, he could not            
 say DOE would improve it.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1025                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said he understood Mr. Cross to be saying Head           
 Start was a good fit within DCRA.  Yet, as Representative Kelly               
 looked at what DCRA did, he saw grants for rural development and              
 legal services, municipal assistance, revenue sharing, power cost             
 equalization and other programs.  He did not see how that was a               
 better fit for early childhood education than DOE would be.  He               
 expressed the desire to hear a stronger argument explaining exactly           
 why Head Start did not belong in DOE or why it belonged in DCRA or            
 somewhere else.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 1102                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS said he was not the best person to tell Representative              
 Kelly why Head Start was the right fit in DCRA.  His main message,            
 he said, was that Head Start was vital for Alaska; it was                     
 functioning effectively and serving 88 communities in a high-                 
 quality way.                                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1146                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR ALAN AUSTERMAN asked if Head Start served a                          
 disproportionate number of rural, rather than urban, Alaskans.                
                                                                               
 MR. CROSS replied he was not the best person to answer that                   
 question.                                                                     
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN responded that he would follow up on it.                   
                                                                               
 Number 1175                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted for the record that Representatives Elton and             
 Nicholia had joined the meeting.                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE IRENE NICHOLIA discussed the children's caucus that            
 she had just attended.   Many good things had been said there about           
 Head Start, including parent involvement and social interactions.             
 Having children in Head Start, she said, changed their perceptions            
 about education.  Representative Nicholia mentioned that some of              
 the caucus attendees who would testify later could answer questions           
 from the committee.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 1227                                                                   
                                                                               
 KAREN PERDUE, Commissioner, Department of Health and Social                   
 Services (DHSS), discussed the proposed transfer of day care                  
 assistance and related programs to DHSS.  A large department, DHSS            
 had $850 million in funds and a full plate of activities to                   
 implement.  The commissioner said DHSS looked at four                         
 possibilities, both at the community level and within the                     
 department:  1) cooperation, which was basically staying out of               
 each other's way; 2) coordination, usually manifested through                 
 memoranda of agreement; 3) collaboration, where parties shared                
 resources and staff in working on problems together; and 4)                   
 consolidation.  She suggested caution in proposing consolidation              
 rather than collaboration.  She felt DHSS was already collaborating           
 with DCRA on child care programs in the most fundamental way.  For            
 example, the departments had met for more than a year on                      
 implementing welfare reform.  In her opinion, day care assistance             
 was the flip side of welfare reform as it helped families avoid               
 welfare and assisted families coming off welfare to stay off.                 
 Commissioner Perdue felt it was important to send a message to the            
 public that they did not need to go through the welfare system to             
 receive assistance to attend work or training.                                
                                                                               
 Number 1388                                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER PERDUE explained that DHSS had worked with DCRA on a             
 comprehensive strategy addressing working parents, as well as                 
 people moving from welfare to work.  Over the next four or five               
 years, she said, approximately 6,000 families would come off of Aid           
 to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).  Most of those were               
 single parents who would need some kind of help with child care               
 costs, either during training or while working.  Collaboration was            
 important, she said, and the departments were doing so                        
 successfully.  They had discussed common forms, sharing staff                 
 functions and other issues; Commissioner Perdue felt those                    
 dialogues would be fruitful.  She reiterated that DHSS's plate was            
 full.  She expressed appreciation for the effort to look at                   
 integration and said she believed DHSS was working in that                    
 direction.                                                                    
                                                                               
 Number 1430                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN said while he had heard that DHSS's plate was              
 full, he had not heard whether the department would accept the day            
 care program.                                                                 
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER PERDUE responded that there were reasons to oppose the           
 transfer at this time.  She did not believe the community was                 
 behind the issue.  She expressed fondness for the program; she said           
 she thought it was one of the best investments and that she would             
 responsibly manage it.  However, it was doing fine where it was.              
                                                                               
 Number 1486                                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER PERDUE concluded by discussing the relationship                  
 between Head Start and child care.  She explained that Head Start             
 was a comprehensive program with health, social development and               
 education components that set it apart from other day care.  Under            
 welfare reform, many Head Start parents would be required to get              
 jobs or training.  However, because most Head Start programs were             
 not full-day programs, they were difficult for working parents to             
 use.  The state was looking at ways to meet the needs of working              
 parents receiving Head Start services.  That was one good reason,             
 Commissioner Perdue said, to keep those programs integrated.                  
                                                                               
 Number 1539                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA mentioned that a parent from Fairbanks, who           
 had testified the previous Saturday, had said she feared child care           
 would be viewed as a welfare program and that she would prefer that           
 it be known as an economic tool.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1567                                                                   
                                                                               
 COMMISSIONER PERDUE replied that she had also heard that comment              
 and had been concerned about it.  Welfare did have a stigma to it,            
 she said.  It was true that people on welfare generally wanted to             
 be off of it.  She hoped that as the welfare reform package was put           
 together, people would not feel compelled to make those statements.           
 She also hoped they would see welfare as temporary help and realize           
 they were no different from people receiving child care subsidies.            
 Commissioner Perdue expressed the desire to dissolve those                    
 divisions in our society.                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 1610                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that Commissioner Hensley from DCED was present           
 and invited him to comment if he wished.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 1642                                                                   
                                                                               
 MYRA OLSEN, Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP),                
 testified that cutting DCRA in two would reduce its effectiveness;            
 it was working now, she said.  She thought the perception was that            
 urban people felt they no longer needed to take of rural people.              
 People in rural areas lived under third-world conditions in many              
 villages, she said, with few economic development opportunities.              
 She wondered how splitting DCRA and combining it with other                   
 departments could be justified when villages had not yet moved out            
 of the 19th century.  Ms. Olsen noted that rural Alaska had the               
 highest drop-out and teen pregnancy rates, as well as a deplorable            
 job situation.  She asked if the majority intended to keep them               
 under the yoke of extreme poverty and not recognize their unmet               
 needs.  Closing the fiscal gap, she said, should not be done on the           
 backs of the rural people.  Head Start was not just education or              
 day care, but economic development, empowering the parents to                 
 better their lives, including building confidence to break the                
 cycles of abusive relationships.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1780                                                                   
                                                                               
 LINDA HARRISON, Family Services Coordinator, Tlingit and Haida Head           
 Start Program, and Member, Alaska Head Start Association, expressed           
 concern about transferring Head Start to DOE.  Head Start's                   
 success, she said, was based on parent involvement.  It was not               
 basically an education program.  Head Start was effective under               
 DCRA because it was a community-based program.  After a community             
 requested the program, Head Start conducted a needs assessment to             
 determine whether it would meet the needs of the people there.                
 Head Start worked with all the agencies in a village, including               
 public health agencies; local doctors and dentists, many of whom              
 travelled to the rural villages; early childhood programs in the              
 local schools; and police and fire departments.  It also worked               
 with "transitioning" from the infant learning program, as well as             
 the Planned Approach to Community Health (PACH) program, alcoholism           
 support and related programs.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1890                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON reiterated that education was not Head Start's major             
 and only focus.  It was under the right department with DCRA, she             
 added.  She did not want to see DCRA disbanded because she feared             
 losing an important influence in rural Alaska, as well as losing              
 the trust of the parents involved.  Parents developed their own               
 plans and goals with Head Start, she added.                                   
                                                                               
 Number 1972                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON said it was not a good idea to move day care                     
 assistance to DHSS's Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS).            
 She emphasized that Head Start was not day care.  However, Head               
 Start was moving towards the potential of working with "wrap-                 
 around" programs to provide day care during the hours Head Start              
 was not in session.  It would not necessarily be Head Start staff             
 providing the day care, she said, but it would occur at the same              
 facility.                                                                     
                                                                               
 Number 2008                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked Ms. Harrison where she was from.                
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON replied she was born and raised in Fairbanks.  She               
 worked in Head Start from 1972 - 1975 with the home-based program,            
 then went into nursing for ten years.  She referred to herself as             
 a "Head Start success story."  She had been working with Head Start           
 the past seven years.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2033                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN asked Ms. Harrison to elaborate on parent                  
 involvement in Head Start.                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON explained that Head Start was made up of program                 
 performance standards in four major areas:  parent involvement,               
 education, social services and health.  The parent involvement                
 aspect required that Head Start be a parent-run program.  A policy            
 council composed of parents oversaw the program and developed the             
 policies and procedures for each local grantee program.  Parents              
 were further involved in numerous aspects including acting as bus             
 monitors, coming into classrooms, attending parent meetings and               
 training, doing presentations, helping with community needs                   
 assessments, contacting agencies and volunteering time for agency             
 programs like WIC and others.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 2124                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON discussed the social services component, which                   
 included home visits teaching parenting or other skills, depending            
 on what the parents wanted to learn; connecting families with                 
 services in the communities such as getting a GED or obtaining                
 vocational training; or helping parents learn about the job market.           
 She cited an example of Head Start assisting in Wrangell when the             
 sawmill closed.                                                               
                                                                               
 Number 2160                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON referred to the health component of Head Start and               
 explained the program required all children to have complete                  
 immunizations, tuberculosis tests and physical and dental exams.              
 Treatment was provided and followed up, with parents being taught             
 about health and nutrition.  Education involved parents; if a                 
 parent was strong in an area, for example, he or she was utilized             
 in the trainings and meetings.  There was more, Ms. Harrison said.            
                                                                               
 Number 2187                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked where the four components were                     
 developed.                                                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON responded that Head Start national performance                   
 standards were under federal regulation.  There were detailed                 
 specifics for each area.  For example, one aspect of education                
 might be appropriate ambience of a classroom, with children                   
 involved, laughing and talking among themselves or to adults.  That           
 was one aspect of approximately 200 - 300 written performance                 
 standards, Ms. Harrison said, developed in 1965.                              
                                                                               
 Number 2234                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked if those were all national standards.              
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON replied yes.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said his point was that if Head Start remained           
 in DCRA or was moved to another department, those standards would             
 remain the same.  The mission of Head Start and everything about it           
 would remain the same, no matter where it was.  It was a grant                
 function of the state to fund it; it would continue to be funded,             
 he said, whether it was under DOE or another department.                      
                                                                               
 Number 2249                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON responded that if Head Start moved to DOE, it might              
 lose significance simply because it was preschool and early                   
 childhood.  If cuts were going to be made in education, she foresaw           
 Head Start being an easier target there.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2295                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked Ms. Harrison if she thought, in an                 
 environment of cutting budgets, that Head Start would somehow be              
 better protected in DCRA than in DOE.                                         
                                                                               
 Number 2300                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON affirmed that was exactly the point.  She added that             
 Head Start was a community-based program.  Its focus was not just             
 education; education was a small part of it.                                  
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY referred back to his original question and               
 asserted that if Head Start standards were set nationally, its                
 being a community-based program would not change whether it were in           
 DCRA or some other department.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 2342                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON replied DCRA was Community and Regional Affairs; Head            
 Start was a community program.  It was in an appropriate place.               
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded that although it was a community               
 program, it was also an education program.                                    
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON pointed out it was also a parent involvement program,            
 a social service program and a health program, which involved the             
 whole community.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY said that was his original question; all those           
 things remained no matter where it was.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 2337                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON indicated that should be true for that one aspect.               
 However, she said, there were trust development and other aspects.            
 She likened a transfer to pulling a child out of his own family and           
 placing him with another, where he would be a stranger.  Things               
 were going to change, she said emphatically.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 2357                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY asked Ms. Harrison why things would change               
 just because it was administered through a different department.              
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON responded that different people would administer it.             
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY questioned who would be different.                       
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON replied the department and the people heading it.                
 With change, people would move from one position to another and new           
 people would be involved.  She expressed that she had no idea what            
 would be involved.                                                            
                                                                               
 Number 2387                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE VEZEY said the only person who would change was the            
 commissioner.  He suggested that Ms. Harrison and others in the               
 Head Start program probably never dealt with the commissioner                 
 directly.                                                                     
                                                                               
 MS. HARRISON reiterated that with the changes, people would quit or           
 move.  Things would change.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 2411                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked if the committee standard was to make              
 the agencies prove Head Start should move, or if the bill sponsor             
 needed to prove it should move.  Representative Elton suggested the           
 committee think about that as the debate continued.  He added that            
 he was not sure it was helpful to ask people to prove it should not           
 move.  He thought it was more helpful to address whether it would             
 be better for it to move somewhere else.                                      
                                                                               
 Number 2433                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN expressed appreciation for the testimony provided,              
 which the committee would use as guidance.                                    
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA thought there was a misconception in saying           
 there would be no change when, in fact, changes were being made to            
 a department.  There would definitely be changes when moving a                
 person from one division to another, she said.                                
                                                                               
 Number 2470                                                                   
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Labor, said he spoke on behalf of Commissioner                  
 Cashen.                                                                       
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-9, SIDE B                                                             
 Number 0008                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS referred to sections of HB 409 that transferred                   
 functions from DCRA to the Department of Labor, particularly the              
 STEP program, Jobs Partnership Training Act (JTPA) and the                    
 dislocated workers program, as well as the entire Division of                 
 Occupational Licensing.  His department's mission, he explained,              
 was to foster and promote the welfare of Alaska's wage earners;               
 improve their working conditions; and advance their opportunities             
 for profitable employment.  On the other hand, the mission of DCRA            
 was to render maximum state assistance to government and community            
 at regional levels.  Mr. Perkins noted that the Department of Labor           
 was currently working in partnership with DCRA; he said the high              
 level of cooperation between the two departments allowed them to              
 successfully and efficiently administer the state training and                
 employment program, while ensuring the program's integrity.                   
                                                                               
 Number 0059                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS said the Department of Labor felt that in a time of               
 declining resources, no savings associated with the transfer could            
 be identified that would justify the required expense of moving the           
 Division of Occupational Licensing.                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0084                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PETE KOTT referred to the four identified areas                
 proposed for transfer and asked Mr. Perkins if the move of the                
 Division of Occupational Licensing was the only one opposed by the            
 Department of Labor.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0094                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS explained that the STEP program was administered in a             
 partnership between the Department of Labor and DCRA.  While DCRA             
 received money and ran the programs, the Department of Labor                  
 collected and helped distribute the funds.  Mr. Perkins suggested             
 the Department of Administration would have the numbers for that.             
 He indicated the Department of Labor was perplexed about where the            
 people would be moved to; they felt the program was already working           
 fine and they could not identify savings in the long run to justify           
 the enormity of potential up-front costs.  He said they were                  
 anxiously awaiting Representative Kelly's analysis of the savings.            
 The Department of Labor had been working earnestly with                       
 Representative Kelly to produce the information requested, he                 
 added.  However, they were having a hard time thinking where the              
 savings would be.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0165                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded that he did not recall asking the              
 Department of Labor to produce cost savings.  He had asked the                
 departments that were merging to provide a model, to see what they            
 thought was their best-case scenario.  He said his own office was             
 also working on that.  However, he had not asked other agencies to            
 produce cost savings; he would leave it to those agencies and the             
 Administration, he said, to find efficiencies in the out years if             
 they so chose, if they saw efficiencies that could be reached.                
 Never was it his expectation that the "catching" agencies would               
 provide a cost savings analysis.  All he had asked for were fiscal            
 notes on up-front moving costs.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0196                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS responded that those still needed to be reviewed.  In             
 some of their initial ones, he said, they had looked at the moving            
 costs, but not the associations of data processing resources needed           
 for the move, remodeling and other costs for which the Department             
 of Administration would have the figures.                                     
                                                                               
 Number 0219                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA asked why the bill was before the committee           
 if it was not a cost savings bill.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 0229                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY replied that was not the question he was                 
 answering.  He said the question Mr. Perkins had posed stemmed from           
 his thinking that Representative Kelly was asking the Department of           
 Labor for cost saving efficiencies.  The answer to that,                      
 Representative Kelly said, was no, he was not asking the department           
 for that.  He himself, the subcommittees and the Administration               
 would come up with those.  The cost savings, he said, were going to           
 be achieved in the merger of DCED and DCRA.                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA responded that Mr. Perkins had said he                
 could not see any cost savings in moving this division to another             
 department.                                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0259                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY stated that Mr. Perkins had said there was no            
 cost savings in the Department of Labor, which Representative Kelly           
 recognized.  Representative Kelly added he was not expecting costs            
 savings there.  He clarified that Mr. Perkins had not been making             
 a statement overall about the cost saving efforts of HB 409.                  
                                                                               
 Number 0269                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN referred to the discussion by Mr. Perkins of the           
 Department of Labor and DCRA working together on job training and             
 the STEP program; he asked whether Mr. Perkins could see an                   
 efficiency if those two programs were moved to the Department of              
 Labor.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0288                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS replied that it might take time to build those                    
 efficiencies in.  Right now, DCRA handled those functions.  The               
 Department of Labor collected funds and distributed them, although            
 they might help with some programs.  Mr. Perkins emphasized the               
 partnership relationship.  He expressed uncertainty about achieving           
 efficiencies downstream.  He reiterated the department's concern              
 about where to put the people and said there were questions they              
 had been unable to answer.  As Representative Kelly had indicated             
 he would present his plan within a week or two, the Department of             
 Labor wanted to see how that might affect them.                               
                                                                               
 Number 0378                                                                   
                                                                               
 ERNESTINE HANLON testified in opposition to HB 409, expressing                
 concern it would lessen the effectiveness of Head Start if that               
 program were transferred to DOE, because DOE would reportedly be              
 looking at cutbacks that would then affect Head Start.  She                   
 supported keeping Head Start where it was.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0429                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked, if HB 409 were to become law, creating             
 a new department, whether Ms. Hanlon would oppose Head Start being            
 retained in that new department.                                              
                                                                               
 MS. HANLON responded that she did not understand the question.                
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT explained that HB 409 consolidated two                    
 departments into one and dispersed some activities currently                  
 performed by the departments.  He clarified that if DCRA and DCED             
 were consolidated into one department known as the Department of              
 Community and Economic Development, keeping Head Start within that            
 new department rather than transferring it to DOE, he wanted to               
 know whether Ms. Hanlon would be opposed to that.                             
                                                                               
 Number 0485                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. HANLON emphasized what she was opposed to was that every time             
 any changes came about, it was usually the rural people who were              
 most affected and who lost out the most.  They were not the main              
 focus of any decisions, she said.  "As rural people," she said, "we           
 can't stand to lose anymore.  We've lost enough."                             
                                                                               
 Number 0519                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHESTER MIYASATO testified in opposition to HB 409, saying he did             
 not believe making one large department would be effective for                
 programs such as Head Start.  He discussed the collaboration                  
 project under DCRA, which had funded him for several years to                 
 attend Alaska Head Start Association meetings.  He said the paper             
 chase from a larger department would bog things down.  He could not           
 imagine a larger department operating effectively for something               
 like Head Start that was already running efficiently and smoothly.            
                                                                               
 Number 0620                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MIYASATO explained his children were involved with Head Start.            
 He expressed that placing Head Start under DOE would diminish the             
 quality of the program at some point.  Eventually, he said, when              
 cuts came about, Head Start would be seen as the program from which           
 to cut first.  Mr. Miyasato spoke about Head Start's emphasis on              
 early childhood and again suggested it would be harmed by being               
 moved to a larger department.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 0684                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY asked if Mr. Miyasato was aware the entire               
 Head Start budget would be sent to the new department.  He added              
 that the budget would probably receive some cuts, just as                     
 everything else was likely to this year.                                      
                                                                               
 MR. MIYASATO replied he was aware of that.  He expressed                      
 apprehension about the effectiveness of a larger department.                  
                                                                               
 Number 0733                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY responded to Mr. Miyasato's suggestion that              
 Head Start would be the first to be cut under DOE.  He explained              
 that the program had been in his budget subcommittee the previous             
 year; due to his own efforts, he said, it was not cut at all, while           
 a lot of other things were.  He added that in the majority, there             
 was an objection to cutting Head Start.                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0759                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. MIYASATO said at the same time, the people who helped Head                
 Start, such as the collaboration project with DCRA, were essential            
 to Head Start itself.  He envisioned the quality going down if the            
 department became larger.                                                     
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY emphasized that HB 409 did not cut Head Start,           
 nor cut anything.                                                             
                                                                               
 Number 0807                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA commented that while Representative Kelly             
 might be the current subcommittee chairman for DCRA, he would not             
 always be there to protect it.  She added that HB 409 had impacts             
 on future children's lives.                                                   
                                                                               
 Number 0845                                                                   
                                                                               
 ANN VELARDI distributed Head Start buttons that read "Our                     
 children's hearts are in your hands" to the committee and audience.           
 A Head Start parent from the Chugiak/Eagle River area, she opposed            
 HB 409.  She voiced concern about transferring Head Start to DOE              
 because she felt education in Alaska was run on a different                   
 philosophy from Head Start, which worked "from the bottom up,"                
 coming from community need, with decisions made by parents.  In               
 education, on the other hand, dictates were sent to communities;              
 parents were not as big a part of that process.  Although they                
 would only be changing the commissioner, eventually, from the top             
 down, she said, that philosophy would filter down.                            
                                                                               
 Number 0915                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. VELARDI discussed Head Start components, saying they were not             
 a blueprint, but guidelines.  If twenty different people were                 
 handed the same blueprint, they would build the same house.  But if           
 they were handed guidelines, they would build twenty similar houses           
 that were not exactly the same.  Ms. Velardi's experience with DCRA           
 had been extremely positive, not just as a Head Start parent but              
 also as a policy council president and as a member of the Chugiak             
 Children's Services board of directors, the Alaska Head Start                 
 Association and the Region 10 Head Start Association.  What she had           
 seen with DCRA was that the department did not send dictates down             
 to the people, but worked with them.  She was not sure they would             
 get that level of commitment from DOE.                                        
 Number 0979                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. VELARDI explained that DOE's program was mandated to                      
 communities, whereas Head Start was optional and originated in the            
 community itself.  Each community, within Head Start guidelines,              
 was free to work out different options.  Head Start helped parents            
 obtain job skills, increase parenting skills and become advocates             
 in their communities.  Ms. Velardi suggested that school districts,           
 which did not know how to invite parents to become part of the                
 process, could learn from Head Start about parent involvement.                
 Placing Head Start, which had successfully involved parents for 30            
 years, into DOE did not seem fair, she said.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1060                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON noted that Ms. Velardi had been named the                
 current Head Start Parent of the Year.  He asked her what she                 
 thought would happen if those community-based organizations in the            
 88 communities also became clients.                                           
                                                                               
 MS. VELARDI said she had spoken on the regional level to other                
 people who were attached to school districts; they were often                 
 lacking direction and guidance.  She expressed that just being left           
 alone was not the answer.  It was also not good management.                   
 Guidance was needed from a larger entity, as well as coordination             
 of efforts.  Head Start really was a series of small businesses, in           
 some ways, around the state, she said, supported by state and                 
 federal money.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1165                                                                   
                                                                               
 DEANNA CAPTAIN, Chairperson, Tanana Chiefs Head Start Policy                  
 Council, and a Head Start mother for several years, said she backed           
 Head Start 100 percent.  She voiced concern about the changes in HB
 409.  If DOE took over Head Start, she felt it would not be                   
 considered a priority, as it was not mandated by the state.  She              
 feared it would be first in line to be cut from the budget.  She              
 spoke about Head Start's focus on family unity and said her                   
 community wanted to see Head Start continue under DCRA.  She                  
 explained that Head Start was not a day care program, but also                
 provided socialization skills for children, as well as education in           
 nutrition, safety and health.                                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1290                                                                   
                                                                               
 MS. CAPTAIN explained that Head Start recognized the parent as the            
 first educator.  In Ruby, she said, nine children were enrolled in            
 the Head Start home-based program.  She added that she would                  
 support an alcohol and tobacco tax, a percentage of which she                 
 wished to see go into the children's trust fund.                              
                                                                               
 Number 1328                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Ms. Captain to elaborate on why she                 
 thought Head Start was so successful in the present department, as            
 opposed to shifting it to DOE.                                                
                                                                               
 MS. CAPTAIN responded that under DCRA, the program was family-                
 oriented.  If taken over by DOE, she felt the emphasis would be               
 different because Head Start was not mandated, but rather                     
 community-based and optional.  She feared cuts to the program.                
                                                                               
 Number 1400                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN commented that he had hoped to get to the Department            
 of Administration's estimated moving costs which had been provided            
 to the committee.  He said the committee would address those                  
 estimates at the next meeting.  He also asked that Representative             
 Kelly develop an organizational flow chart for the committee to               
 view.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1474                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN suggested that a DCRA representative should be             
 at the table the next time HB 409 was discussed.  Through listening           
 to testimony, Co-Chair Austerman said, he had developed enough                
 questions to direct to the department.  He noted for the benefit of           
 testifiers that an organizational chart prepared by Representative            
 Kelly's office existed, showing proposed moves.  He said he would             
 like input on the perceived affects of placing Head Start into the            
 new Department of Community and Economic Development, rather than             
 into DOE, as currently proposed under HB 409.                                 
                                                                               
 Number 1554                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON asked Representative Kelly whether he                    
 envisioned a sponsor substitute incorporating some of the testimony           
 and if so, when.                                                              
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KELLY replied yes, he was working on that.  He added           
 that there were issues brought up at the first meeting which he had           
 thought legitimate and sensible; he was making some of those                  
 changes.  Whether there would be a sponsor substitute or committee            
 substitute, he did not know.                                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1607                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT commented that testimony had suggested that               
 consolidating DCRA and DCED would hurt the "identity" of rural                
 Alaska.  If that were proven beyond a reasonable doubt, he would              
 not support HB 409, he said; nor did he feel the bill's prime                 
 sponsor would have that intent.  He suggested that by dispersing              
 some programs, if they did go along with the consolidation, maybe             
 they would be able to raise the identity of rural Alaska.  He hoped           
 it would not become a rural-versus-urban issue.  He wanted the                
 proper recognition to be given to rural Alaska by every department.           
 However, he had not heard any testimony, to date, that led him to             
 believe rural Alaska would be harmed at all.                                  
                                                                               
 Number 1703                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that in looking for changes to HB 409, he would           
 rather deal with individual amendments, preferably simple, rather             
 than a committee substitute.  The fiscal notes involved, he said,             
 might get confusing if not handled amendment by amendment.                    
                                                                               
 Number 1731                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE NICHOLIA stated that in the previous Saturday's                
 testimony, a person had spoken about DCRA bridging the gap between            
 Juneau and rural Alaska, saying they hated to see that bridge                 
 dissolved.  People had finally set up communication systems,                  
 Representative Nicholia said, and knew who to deal with in DCRA.              
 If the apple cart were upset, it would take years again for people            
 to relearn the system.  This bill did upset the system currently in           
 place.                                                                        
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN said that concluded the hearing on HB 409 and                   
 recessed the meeting at 2:33 p.m.                                             
 HB 330 - UNINCORP COMMUNITY CAPITAL PROJ GRANTS                             
                                                                               
 TAPE 96-10, SIDE A                                                            
 Number 0001                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN called the meeting back to order at 2:41 p.m.  He               
 noted that committee packets for HB 330 included the bill; the                
 sponsor statement; affected statutes; a fiscal note from DCRA; a              
 zero fiscal note from the Department of Administration; letters in            
 support; and additional backup material.  He invited Representative           
 Carl Moses to present the bill.                                               
                                                                               
 Number 0053                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE CARL MOSES, sponsor of HB 330, explained the bill              
 called for more equitable distribution in the state's                         
 unincorporated capital project matching grant program by affording            
 unincorporated communities, existing within boroughs, the chance to           
 obtain the full $25,000 matching grant.  This had been consistently           
 available to those unincorporated communities that existed outside            
 of organized boroughs.  Communities inside boroughs, which had                
 shared from a pool of resources obtained by the boroughs, had fared           
 much less well, on average, than unincorporated communities outside           
 of boroughs.  This bill would restore equity by making communities            
 within boroughs eligible under the same program currently in place            
 for outside communities.  It would have them adhere to the same               
 criteria for eligibility; it would correspondingly reduce their               
 boroughs' eligibility through the municipal capital project                   
 matching grant program to avoid double-dipping.  It would also                
 increase the list of potential applicant communities by up to 60.             
 Representative Moses noted that participants familiar with the                
 issue were available to testify via teleconference.  He added that            
 experts were also present to answer technical questions.  He                  
 concluded by noting there had been a similar bill in 1964.                    
                                                                               
 Number 0280                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN referred to the unincorporated communities,                     
 municipalities and second-class cities that received the $25,000              
 capital matching grants under the program.  He asked whether HB 330           
 affected unincorporated communities not currently eligible or                 
 whether there was a funding disparity among recipients.                       
                                                                               
 Number 0325                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES responded that an unincorporated community               
 within a borough received less money, sharing in a pool received by           
 the borough.  If it were outside a borough, it received the full              
 $25,000.  In essence, the law discouraged a community from going              
 into a borough, because it would receive less money under the grant           
 program.                                                                      
                                                                               
 Number 0366                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR AUSTERMAN noted that DCRA's fiscal note indicated                    
 approximately 60 unincorporated communities could participate; the            
 fiscal note starting in 1996 was for $42 million, increasing to $49           
 million in FY 2001.  He thought HB 330 was a good bill and that the           
 committee should go ahead and move it out; the only question would            
 probably be the fiscal note, he said.  He added that the bill would           
 go to the House Finance Committee next, where the fiscal note                 
 should be discussed.                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0425                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES clarified the amounts were not millions of               
 dollars, but thousands.  He noted that in the similar 1964                    
 legislation, there was no fiscal note attached, indicating DCRA               
 felt it could handle it within its budget.                                    
                                                                               
 Number 0442                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he had no problem with moving it from               
 committee.  He said it was a great program for unorganized                    
 communities outside of boroughs; it ought to be a great program for           
 those inside boroughs as well.  He added that they should not                 
 penalize everyone else by not funding the program and having the              
 money taken from other people's budgets.  He encouraged the                   
 legislature to take the second step, to not only authorize it, but            
 to fund it as well.                                                           
                                                                               
 Number 0483                                                                   
                                                                               
 CO-CHAIR IVAN noted that the sponsor had said unincorporated                  
 communities belonging to a borough received less than those in                
 unorganized boroughs.  This seemed like a reverse of policy.  He              
 added it was in the state's interest to organize communities in as            
 many areas as possible.                                                       
                                                                               
 Number 0513                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT asked Representative Moses about the grant                
 monies available.  Specifically, he wondered if there was a set               
 amount of money, without adding any to the grant program, to                  
 disburse to the various communities.                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0550                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE MOSES replied more could be added to it.                       
 Technically, though, it would be pro rata among the communities,              
 slightly decreasing the present allotments unless money were added.           
 He emphasized that the amounts should be equitable to all                     
 unincorporated communities, without penalizing those that had                 
 joined a borough.  In essence, he said, that would encourage                  
 communities to disassociate themselves from boroughs.                         
                                                                               
 Number 0598                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT responded that was basically what he was                  
 driving at; he did not think more money needed to be added to the             
 program.  It would be nice, he said, but not required.  It was an             
 equitability issue and it would be the only fair thing to do.                 
                                                                               
 Number 0624                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE ELTON said he thought that was exactly right.  They            
 did not have to expand the pie.  However, if they did not,                    
 everybody would get less, which he did not favor.  If the program             
 was good for those now receiving it, it should be good for others.            
 If they did not expand the pie, people would be penalized because             
 the legislature did the right thing by expanding the program to               
 other communities.  He thought HB 330 was equitable and fair and              
 ought to be moved out of committee.  However, he hoped the                    
 legislature would think about making the pie a little bigger to               
 accommodate the new communities without penalizing the existing               
 ones.                                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 0687                                                                   
                                                                               
 WALT WREDE, Manager, Lake and Peninsula Borough, testified via                
 teleconference from King Salmon in favor of HB 330.  He said the              
 bill would implement the original intent of the program, as he                
 understood it, fixing a problem that had existed for several years.           
 He explained the Lake and Peninsula Borough area was adversely                
 affected by the program as it now existed.  The borough had 11                
 unincorporated villages, representing almost half the borough's               
 population, that did not qualify for the $25,000 matching grant               
 funds.                                                                        
                                                                               
 Number 0774                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WREDE explained that in 1995, the Lake and Peninsula Borough              
 received a grant of $44,000, to be divided up among the 11                    
 communities; they expected to receive approximately the same amount           
 for 1996.  He noted that $4,000 was not much money.  If each                  
 village was guaranteed $25,000 per year, that would total $275,000            
 per year.  He added that communities could roll funds over from               
 year to year, which would allow money to accumulate.                          
                                                                               
 Number 0827                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. WREDE cited a number of reasons why he felt the current system            
 was unfair.  He noted that Representative Elton had spoken                    
 eloquently about the fairness issue.  Mr. Wrede said the way the              
 program was currently set up hurt economic development and                    
 investment in capital improvements in the borough.  There was also            
 a policy issue, which Co-Chair Ivan had mentioned, where the state            
 was trying to downsize and transfer more responsibility to local              
 governments.  Mr. Wrede felt that was good, but said the current              
 grant program acted as a disincentive to forming organized                    
 boroughs.  He reiterated that the borough strongly supported HB
 330.                                                                          
                                                                               
 Number 0990                                                                   
                                                                               
 DAN SALMON, Administrator, Village of Igiugig, testified via                  
 teleconference from King Salmon.  He explained that Igiugig, a                
 small village of approximately 40 people that swelled to 150 - 200            
 in the summertime due to tourism, was located at the west end of              
 Lake Iliamna, within the Lake and Peninsula Borough.  He said HB
 330 greatly affected his community.  Igiugig currently funded its             
 own preschool, snow removal, street maintenance, refuse disposal              
 and so forth.  Funds to garner capital projects were difficult to             
 obtain.  The village lacked sufficient bulk fuel storage                      
 facilities, fire fighting equipment, emergency services facilities,           
 and equipment to build and maintain projects, among other things.             
 As intended originally, Mr. Salmon said, the grant program would              
 have been an avenue for Igiugig to realize its economic development           
 goals and plans.  It also would have created a level playing field            
 for communities.                                                              
                                                                               
 Number 1067                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. SALMON said right now, his village could not compete with                 
 unincorporated villages in unorganized boroughs.  Igiugig, with its           
 $4,000 grants, had to compete for projects with communities that              
 could put up $25,000.  That inequitable distribution of money had             
 resulted in less major capital projects being accomplished in his             
 community.  He said Igiugig supported HB 330, as he was sure other            
 similarly situated villages would.                                            
                                                                               
 Number 1165                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE KOTT moved that HB 300 move from committee with                
 individual recommendations and accompanying fiscal notes.  There              
 being no objection, it was so ordered.                                        
 CO-CHAIR IVAN informed members that the committee would address               
 Executive Order 93, HB 391 and HB 358 at the next meeting on                  
 Thursday, February 8.                                                         
                                                                               
 Number 1200                                                                   
                                                                               
 ADJOURNMENT                                                                   
                                                                               
 There being no further business to conduct, CO-CHAIR IVAN adjourned           
 the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee meeting at 2:55            
 p.m.                                                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               

Document Name Date/Time Subjects