Legislature(2005 - 2006)CAPITOL 124

04/28/2005 08:00 AM COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 12 LEG TASK FORCE ON RURAL SUSTAINABILITY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHCR 12(CRA) Out of Committee
*+ HB 189 COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 189(CRA) Out of Committee
+ SB 142 REGIONAL SCHOOL BD LAND OWNERSHIP TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                         April 28, 2005                                                                                         
                           8:08 a.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kurt Olson, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bill Thomas, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux                                                                                                 
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Sharon Cissna                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 142(L&C)                                                                                                 
"An Act relating to ownership of land by regional school boards;                                                                
and providing for an effective date."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 189                                                                                                              
"An  Act relating  to an  extension  for review  and approval  of                                                               
revisions  to the  Alaska coastal  management program;  providing                                                               
for an effective date by amending  the effective date of sec. 45,                                                               
ch. 24, SLA 2003; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 189(CAR) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                                                              
Relating to the Joint Rural Assessment Task Force.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHCR 12(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB 142                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REGIONAL SCHOOL BD LAND OWNERSHIP                                                                                  
SPONSOR(S): LABOR & COMMERCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
03/16/05       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/16/05       (S)       L&C, FIN                                                                                               
03/31/05       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
03/31/05       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/31/05       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/05/05       (S)       L&C AT 1:30 PM BELTZ 211                                                                               
04/05/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 142(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/05/05       (S)       MINUTE(L&C)                                                                                            
04/06/05       (S)       L&C     RPT     CS           4DP     1NR                                                               
                         NEW TITLE                                                                                              
04/06/05       (S)       DP: BUNDE, DAVIS, SEEKINS, STEVENS B                                                                   
04/06/05       (S)       NR: ELLIS                                                                                              
04/19/05       (S)       FIN    RPT    CS(L&C)         3DP    3NR                                                               
                         NEW TITLE                                                                                              
04/19/05       (S)       DP: WILKEN, GREEN, BUNDE                                                                               
04/19/05       (S)       NR: HOFFMAN, OLSON, DYSON                                                                              
04/19/05       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
04/19/05       (S)       Moved CSSB 142(L&C) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/19/05       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
04/21/05       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/21/05       (S)       VERSION: CSSB 142(L&C)                                                                                 
04/22/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/22/05       (H)       CRA, FIN                                                                                               
04/28/05       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 189                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS                                                                                        
SPONSOR(S): STATE AFFAIRS                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
03/01/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/01/05       (H)       CRA, STA, RES                                                                                          
04/28/05       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HCR 12                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: LEG TASK FORCE ON RURAL SUSTAINABILITY                                                                             
SPONSOR(S): COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
04/26/05       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/26/05       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
04/28/05       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 124                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JANE ALBERTS, Staff                                                                                                             
to Senator Con Bunde                                                                                                            
Senate Labor and Commerce Standing Committee                                                                                    
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented SB 142 on behalf  of the sponsor,                                                               
Senator Bunde.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
KIP KNUDSON, Deputy Commissioner of Aviation                                                                                    
Office of the Commissioner                                                                                                      
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  SB  142,  answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PAM LEWIS                                                                                                                       
Department of Transportation & Public Facilities                                                                                
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION  STATEMENT:    During discussion  of  SB  142,  answered                                                               
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LOUIE FLORA, Staff                                                                                                              
to Representative Paul Seaton                                                                                                   
House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented HB 189 on behalf  of the sponsor,                                                               
the   House   State   Affairs   Standing   Committee   of   which                                                               
Representative Seaton is the chair.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
BILL JEFFRESS, Director                                                                                                         
Office of Project Management & Permitting                                                                                       
Department of Natural Resources                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  on HB 189,  related that                                                               
the  administration   supports  a  six-month  extension   of  the                                                               
submittal date for the districts.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
TOM LOHMAN, Attorney at Law                                                                                                     
Environmental Resource Specialist                                                                                               
North Slope Borough                                                                                                             
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  on HB 189,  related that                                                               
the North Slope Borough strongly supports the extension.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JOHN OSCAR, Program Director                                                                                                    
Cenaliulriit Lake Coastal Resource Service Area District                                                                        
Cenaliulriit, Alaska                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of HB 189,  testified in                                                               
support  of   a  one-year  extension  rather   than  a  six-month                                                               
extension.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW DEVALPINE, Director                                                                                                      
Bristol Bay Coastal Resource Service Area                                                                                       
Dillingham, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion  of HB 189,  testified in                                                               
support of a six-month extension.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
NOEL WOODS, Matanuska Valley Sportsman                                                                                          
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During discussion of HB  189, indicated his                                                               
support of an extension.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
EDDY JEANS, Director                                                                                                            
School Finance                                                                                                                  
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Answered   questions  that  arose  during                                                               
discussion of SB 142.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KACI SCHROEDER, Staff                                                                                                           
to Representative Bill Thomas                                                                                                   
House Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee                                                                         
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented HCR 12.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
KATHIE WASSERMAN                                                                                                                
Alaska Municipal League                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   During  discussion of  HCR 12,  related the                                                               
need to look at the big  picture with regard to problems in rural                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  KURT  OLSON called  the  House  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting  to order  at  8:08:36  AM.                                                             
Representatives Olson,  Thomas, LeDoux,  Neuman, and  Salmon were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 142-REGIONAL SCHOOL BD LAND OWNERSHIP                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:08:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON announced  that the first order  of business would                                                               
be  CS  FOR  SENATE  BILL  NO.  142(L&C),  "An  Act  relating  to                                                               
ownership of  land by regional  school boards; and  providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:09:13 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE  ALBERTS,  Staff to  Senator  Con  Bunde, Senate  Labor  and                                                               
Commerce Standing  Committee, Alaska State  Legislature, informed                                                               
the committee that currently two  statutes for state ownership of                                                               
airports  are in  conflict.   She specified  that [AS  02.15.020]                                                               
requires that  Department of  Transportation &  Public Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF) to conform  with federal requirements so  that the state                                                               
can  receive funding  from  the  Federal Aviation  Administration                                                               
(FAA).   The  other statute  [AS 14.08.151(b)]  provides regional                                                               
school boards  the opportunity to  receive title to land  used in                                                               
relation to Rural Education Attendance  Area (REAAs).  Therefore,                                                               
this   legislation   addresses   the   aforementioned   statutory                                                               
conflict.    Ms. Alberts  said  that  although the  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature clearly  intended to  allow REAAs greater  control of                                                               
their  facilities  through  acquisition  of title,  there  is  no                                                               
record that  the legislature  attended to  do so  at the  cost of                                                               
federal  liability,  significant loss  of  federal  funds, and  a                                                               
degraded state airport  system.  She informed  the committee that                                                               
several  regional schools  are located  on  airport property  and                                                               
some   are   even   close   to   active   runways   and   airport                                                               
infrastructure.   At various times, these  regional school boards                                                               
have requested  that DOT&PF convey  full title to  airport lands.                                                               
The  aforementioned has  caused  confusion in  the Department  of                                                               
Education and  Early Development (EED) and  DOT&PF, and therefore                                                               
has cost staff  time and attorney costs to  defend DOT&PF's title                                                               
to  its  airport   property.    Ms.  Alberts   stated  that  this                                                               
legislation will  clarify the intent  of the  conveyance language                                                               
to   exclude   airport   properties   from   that   statute   [AS                                                               
14.08.151(b)].   Under  SB 142,  no schools  will be  required to                                                               
move off airport lands, rather  it will merely [prohibit] schools                                                               
from gaining title to the airport lands in the future.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:11:56 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX inquired  as to why a school  would want to                                                               
own an airport.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALBERTS clarified that schools  don't want to own an airport,                                                               
but rather  want to  use some  of the  property belonging  to the                                                               
airport.  Some  of the smaller communities are  limited in regard                                                               
to where  they can build  or have school facilities.   Therefore,                                                               
the  conflict is  in regard  to  gaining title  to land.   If  an                                                               
airport  needs  extra  land  from the  areas  in  conflict,  this                                                               
legislation will provide DOT&PF with  the ability to say it can't                                                               
let the school have title to  the land because it's necessary for                                                               
FAA purposes.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  asked  whether the  airport  could  lease                                                               
property  to schools  until the  land is  actually needed  by the                                                               
airport.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALBERTS answered that she  didn't believe so, but deferred to                                                               
DOT&PF representatives.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:13:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIP  KNUDSON,  Deputy Commissioner  of  Aviation,  Office of  the                                                               
Commissioner,  Department of  Transportation &  Public Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF), informed the committee  that currently approximately 10                                                               
schools are leasing land on  airport property from DOT&PF.  Under                                                               
state statute,  the schools have the  right to seek the  title of                                                               
the land.  However, that  would jeopardize the assurances made to                                                               
the FAA  that the state  would retain its  title.  He  noted that                                                               
several schools are currently leasing land from DOT&PF.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether  those school districts could                                                               
continue to lease the land from DOT&PF.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:14:47 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN asked if there  are expansion plans for the                                                               
airports that would cause the  schools, at the time of expansion,                                                               
to lose the ability to lease those lands.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON said that if a  school district is going to expand or                                                               
build a  new school, DOT&PF  would work  with EED and  the school                                                               
district  to help  them find  land  elsewhere.   Usually when  an                                                               
expansion occurs, so  long as it is moving away  from the runway,                                                               
DOT&PF continues  to lease land  to the school.   However, DOT&PF                                                               
generally  tries to  help the  school find  land off  the airport                                                               
site when there is a complete rebuild.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN pointed out that  a [March 24, 2005] letter                                                               
from Commissioner  Mike Barton,  DOT&PF, states that  some school                                                               
districts have  problems with this  legislation.  He  inquired as                                                               
to the problems that are leading to this legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KNUDSON said  he  would characterize  it  as a  bureaucratic                                                               
problem for DOT&PF  due to the conflict in statute.   He informed                                                               
the committee that  there have been three to  four instances that                                                               
have resulted in using a couple  years of staff time to determine                                                               
a reasonable conclusion.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:17:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  inquired as  to  why  these schools  were                                                               
built on airport land.  He  also inquired as to whether the state                                                               
or the federal  government owns the land.   Representative Neuman                                                               
pointed out  that CSSB 142(L&C)  only includes the land,  not the                                                               
buildings and structures; he inquired as to how that works.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KNUDSON explained  that SB  142 included  language in  which                                                               
DOT&PF wasn't  interested.  The  current legislation  only speaks                                                               
to  land  title.   He  specified  that  DOT&PF doesn't  want  any                                                               
buildings  or  anything  else, the  department  merely  needs  to                                                               
retain  title to  the  land.   With  regard  to  why schools  are                                                               
located on  airports, in many cases  it's due to history  and the                                                               
increased FAA  requirements for safety  margins.  In  some areas,                                                               
airport land is some of the only good land in the area.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:18:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   related  her  understanding   that  this                                                               
legislation  applies   to  REAAs   as  well  as   regular  school                                                               
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON agreed.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:19:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:20:06 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  asked  whether   this  could  impact  the                                                               
ability of schools to continue the way they currently operate.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON answered that he  didn't anticipate any problems with                                                               
future plans for  schools because it involves  two state agencies                                                               
working  to achieve  two fairly  high goals.   He  mentioned that                                                               
currently there are no conflicts.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:21:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SALMON highlighted that  many small villages, such                                                               
as  Beaver, don't  have  access to  public lands.    He asked  if                                                               
[those present] have any solutions for the future.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON  informed the  committee that  large portions  of the                                                               
community  of Beaver  are on  airport lands,  but it's  land that                                                               
isn't required  for future airport  needs.  In this  case, DOT&PF                                                               
has requested removal of the  federal reverter clause in order to                                                               
return the  land to the  community.  Where the  aforementioned is                                                               
possible, DOT&PF is willing to do  so.  Mr. Knudson surmised that                                                               
schools  will be  located on  airport land  when that's  the only                                                               
land available.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:22:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  inquired  as   to  how  this  legislation                                                               
impacts schools  that aren't within  REAAs because  AS 14.08.151,                                                               
which  is being  amended by  this legislation,  speaks to  REAAS.                                                               
However,  the  earlier  mentioned  memorandum  from  Commissioner                                                               
Barton specifies an  area, Iliamna, which is not an  REAA but has                                                               
been  involved  in  the conflict  this  legislation  attempts  to                                                               
address.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. KNUDSON related his understanding  that the statute addresses                                                               
REAAs.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:23:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAM  LEWIS,  Department  of Transportation  &  Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF), confirmed  that this legislation addresses  only REAAs,                                                               
not organized school districts.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KNUDSON informed  the committee  that  in statute  organized                                                               
school districts  don't have  the ability  to request  title from                                                               
state agencies.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. LEWIS agreed, noting that was her understanding as well.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:24:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SALMON  recalled that several years  ago there was                                                               
a lagoon  problem in Chalkyitsik,  where the school was  built on                                                               
the  hill  next  to  the  airport.   However,  later  an  airport                                                               
expansion down the middle of  the school district resulted in the                                                               
lagoon being left  on DOT&PF property.  The lagoon  was leaky and                                                               
ran  down the  airport, which  the community  viewed as  a safety                                                               
hazard.  No  one, the school district or DOT&PF,  would take care                                                               
of the problem.   He asked if this legislation  would address who                                                               
is  responsible  for  facilities   located  on  airport,  DOT&PF,                                                               
property.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KNUDSON  replied   no,  but  he  offered   to  research  the                                                               
aforementioned  situation and  speak  with Representative  Salmon                                                               
about his findings.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:26:16 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN requested that  the committee take a closer                                                               
look  at  how  [this  legislation] will  impact  the  ability  of                                                               
schools to operate in the future.   He expressed the need to talk                                                               
with some of  the school boards of the  schools directly impacted                                                               
by this.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:27:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON announced that SB 142 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALBERTS related  that Eddy Jeans, EED, has  contacted all the                                                               
impacted school districts and has received no negative comments.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
[The committee returned to SB 142 later in the meeting.]                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 189-COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:27:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  next order of  business would                                                               
be  HOUSE BILL  NO. 189,  "An Act  relating to  an extension  for                                                               
review  and   approval  of  revisions   to  the   Alaska  coastal                                                               
management program;  providing for an effective  date by amending                                                               
the effective  date of sec. 45,  ch. 24, SLA 2003;  and providing                                                               
for an effective date."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:28:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMAS moved  to adopt  CSHB 189,  Version 24-LS0703\G,                                                               
Bullock,  4/27/05,  as the  working  document.   There  being  no                                                               
objection, Version G was before the committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:28:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LOUIE  FLORA, Staff  to Representative  Paul Seaton,  House State                                                               
Affairs  Standing  Committee  (HSTA), Alaska  State  Legislature,                                                               
began by noting  that the House State  Affairs Standing Committee                                                               
[members]  just received  Version  G and  although the  committee                                                               
does have concerns,  it can live with it.   Mr. Flora paraphrased                                                               
from the following written sponsor statement:                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     The  Alaska  Coastal  Management Program  (ACMP)  is  a                                                                    
     partnership   between   federal,   state,   and   local                                                                    
     governments  providing state  and  local governments  a                                                                    
     voice in federal  decision making. Alaska is  one of 34                                                                    
     coastal  and Great  Lakes states  and territories  that                                                                    
     utilize this program, a  program that annually channels                                                                    
     millions  of  dollars in  federal  grant  money to  the                                                                    
     states.  The ACMP  has helped guide coastal development                                                                    
     in the state since it was enacted in 1977.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Without  the program  the state  and local  governments                                                                    
     lose their  ability to  control development  on federal                                                                    
     land and the Outer Continental  Shelf.  In addition the                                                                    
     state will lose millions  in federal coastal management                                                                    
     planning money.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     In  2003, [House  Bill] 191  substantially revised  the                                                                    
     state  coastal program.   The  federal Office  of Ocean                                                                    
     and  Coastal Resource  Management  (OCRM) must  approve                                                                    
     the  revised   program.    OCRM  has   determined  that                                                                    
     additional  revisions  are  necessary before  they  can                                                                    
     grant approval.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     The 2003  legislation included  state-imposed deadlines                                                                    
     for  revisions  to  local coastal  programs.    Coastal                                                                    
     Districts  are  attempting   to  follow  the  statutory                                                                    
     directive  to revise  their programs  to  meet the  new                                                                    
     requirements.   However,  OCRM has  identified problems                                                                    
     with the state's guidance  to local districts regarding                                                                    
     the  scope and  content of  their program.   The  state                                                                    
     will  have  to  revise regulatory  guidelines  for  the                                                                    
     local districts before the new  program can be approved                                                                    
     by OCRM.   In  turn, the local  districts will  have to                                                                    
     revise their programs  to meet the new  guidelines.  It                                                                    
     is a waste  of time, money and effort  for districts to                                                                    
     revise  their  plans  before  the  state's  program  is                                                                    
     federally approved and any  necessary changes have been                                                                    
     made.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLORA  related his understanding  that Version G  extends the                                                               
program termination date specified in House Bill 191 from 2003.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:31:15 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  inquired as  to  the  problems the  House                                                               
State Affairs Standing Committee has with Version G.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. FLORA  explained that  HSTA wanted  districts to  have enough                                                               
time to  compose their  plans.  Due  to the  negotiations between                                                               
the state  and the  federal government  regarding the  ACMP there                                                               
was a shifting target throughout  the winter.  Although there was                                                               
a  plan  revision  mandated  in  2003  by  House  Bill  191,  the                                                               
guidelines kept changing.   The HSTA committee wanted  to be sure                                                               
that the  districts would  have a solid  agreement from  which to                                                               
work,  but  Version G  doesn't  specifically  stipulate that  the                                                               
federal government approves the state program.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:32:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON pointed  out that there are  three more committees                                                               
of  referral for  HB 189.   He  noted his  intent to  forward the                                                               
legislation  from  the  House   Community  and  Regional  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.   He related  his belief that  the Department                                                               
of Natural  Resources (DNR) and the  Department of Administration                                                               
will have an opportunity to provide more input.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:33:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMAS related  his understanding  that  the state  and                                                               
federal  governments came  to an  agreement and  [the legislation                                                               
was changed  to allow  communities] six months.   He  related his                                                               
further  understanding that  the  six-month  [extension] was  the                                                               
desire of the communities.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  FLORA  agreed,  and  then   suggested  that  perhaps  a  DNR                                                               
representative could  inform the committee  of the status  of the                                                               
negotiations.   He  said he  wasn't clear  that an  agreement had                                                               
been reached.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR   THOMAS  relayed   that  "we"   were  briefed   by  the                                                               
administration that there was an agreement.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:34:25 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  JEFFRESS,   Director,  Office   of  Project   Management  &                                                               
Permitting,  Department  of  Natural  Resources,  said  that  the                                                               
briefing  from   the  Governor's   Office  was  accurate.     The                                                               
department has  been in negotiations  with OCRM  since September,                                                               
specifically  with  regard  to  the  amendments  to  the  coastal                                                               
program.  An agreement with  the federal government regarding how                                                               
to  obtain  preliminary  approval   of  the  amendment  has  been                                                               
reached.      The   aforementioned  will   trigger   a   National                                                               
Environmental Policy Act of 1969  (NEPA) analysis of the changes.                                                               
Mr.  Jeffress specified  that  the governor  offered  and DNR  is                                                               
working  toward  extending the  submittal  date  for the  coastal                                                               
districts since  there are many  specific issues that need  to be                                                               
communicated  to the  districts.   The administration  supports a                                                               
six-month  extension of  the submittal  date  for the  districts.                                                               
Furthermore,  it's critical  to  extend the  state standards  for                                                               
another six  months.  Without  such an extension, the  ability to                                                               
continue  doing  federal  consistency   is  lost.    Furthermore,                                                               
without these standards there is  a chance that [ACMP] would lose                                                               
its staff and thus even if the  program is approved by the end of                                                               
this year there would be no  staff to implement it.  Mr. Jeffress                                                               
highlighted that  the governor and the  department have committed                                                               
to the sunset  date of existing coastal plans, which  would be 18                                                               
months from  the enactment  of the  revised regulations  that was                                                               
July  1, 2004.    Therefore, this  legislation  would extend  the                                                               
sunset  date  for the  existing  district  plans and  extend  the                                                               
period  during which  the coastal  districts  can submit  revised                                                               
plans to come into compliance with House Bill 191.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:37:31 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM LOHMAN,  Attorney at Law, Environmental  Resource Specialist,                                                               
North Slope  Borough, related that the  borough strongly supports                                                               
the extension.  The extension  is necessary for all the districts                                                               
to  properly  address  the  need   to  substantially  revise  the                                                               
district plan.  He informed the  committee that most of the plans                                                               
initially  took three  to four  years  to develop.   The  current                                                               
requirement  is  for  a  complete overhaul  of  the  local  plan.                                                               
Although there has  been some contention that  districts have not                                                               
been working diligently  to revise the plan since  the passage of                                                               
House  Bill 191  in May  2003,  he opined  that's not  true.   He                                                               
reminded the committee that all  legislators should've received a                                                               
letter from  the Alaska  Coastal District  Association explaining                                                               
why the  27 active coastal  districts could not  confidently move                                                               
forward with a revision until earlier  this year.  There is still                                                               
great uncertainty  among the districts  in what they  can address                                                               
in passing local policies under a  revised plan, he opined.  Some                                                               
of  these questions  are significant.   For  instance, the  North                                                               
Slope  Borough has  questions regarding  policies on  subsistence                                                               
and activities  on federal  land and the  OCS federal  waters off                                                               
the North Slope.  At the  end of the plan revision, the districts                                                               
will have less control and  authority over local development than                                                               
under the existing  plan.  Therefore, time to work  with the more                                                               
than  200  coastal  communities represented  by  the  27  coastal                                                               
districts  is  necessary.    He predicted  that  people  will  be                                                               
greatly  upset   that  the  plans   are  being  gutted.     Local                                                               
communities want and need development,  but they want it to occur                                                               
on their  own terms.   Furthermore,  three of  the DNR  staff who                                                               
perform plan reviews and work  with the districts are leaving the                                                               
agency; two of which are leaving in  May and the other at the end                                                               
of the summer.  Mr. Lohman said  that he didn't see how DNR could                                                               
effectively review  27 coastal district  plans if required  to be                                                               
submitted by July  1, 2005, and work on continuing  to revise and                                                               
modify these plans after submittal without an extension.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR.  LOHMAN related  that none  of the  districts like  where the                                                               
administration has  taken the program,  which is so valued  in so                                                               
many communities.   He characterized where  the administration is                                                               
taking  the program  as bad  public policy.   He  relayed to  the                                                               
committee that there  is a rumor that in a  later committee there                                                               
will be an  attempt to place a  sunset date in HB  189.  However,                                                               
it's  entirely unnecessary,  he opined,  because local  residents                                                               
are the best controllers of  development in their communities and                                                               
have been doing a good job  with that.  He characterized the 2003                                                               
legislation as  a solution in  search of  a problem.   Mr. Lohman                                                               
concluded  by  opining that  the  program  is valuable  and  that                                                               
anything that can  be done to return meaningful  local control to                                                               
some extent would be appreciated.   Furthermore, he expressed the                                                               
need to have  more time to explain the new  program to the locals                                                               
and  attempt to  make the  best programs  possible, which  simply                                                               
can't be accomplished under the current deadlines.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
8:42:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN OSCAR, Program Director,  Cenaliulriit Lake Coastal Resource                                                               
Service   Area  District,   informed  the   committee  that   the                                                               
aforementioned district serves 38  villages, which is the largest                                                               
number  of remote  communities in  the  state.   This program  is                                                               
important  to the  remote communities  in the  state in  order to                                                               
provide  an  avenue  for  participation  in  the  decision-making                                                               
process  and addressing  local concerns.   One  of the  important                                                               
local  concerns is  subsistence  and enforceable  policies.   For                                                               
example, in  Tuluksak there is  an application for mining  in the                                                               
headwaters, which  was of great  concern for the residents.   The                                                               
district  was successful  in  bringing  stakeholders together  to                                                               
discuss  the matter.    He  noted that  the  district  is in  the                                                               
process  of  working  with  other   communities  to  address  the                                                               
Kuskokwim drainage issue.  Mr.  Oscar refuted the allegation that                                                               
these  programs  have  been  dragging   their  feet,  and  turned                                                               
attention  to  an  April  letter  in  which  the  Alaska  Coastal                                                               
District  Association  identified solid  reasons  as  to why  the                                                               
districts  didn't receive  solid  guidance.   The districts  only                                                               
received a  draft of the  proposed regulations back  in February.                                                               
Mr.  Oscar stressed  the need  for an  extension, specifically  a                                                               
one-year extension rather than a  six-month extension because the                                                               
Cenaliulriit district would need more time than others.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
8:47:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDREW DEVALPINE, Director, Bristol  Bay Coastal Resource Service                                                               
Area, testified  in support of  the six-month extension  in order                                                               
to  elicit   more  participation   in  the  region.     Obtaining                                                               
meaningful   participation  before   the   current  deadline   is                                                               
virtually out of the question.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
8:48:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NOEL WOODS,  Matanuska Valley Sportsman,  related that  the local                                                               
administration is  claiming that the existing  coastal management                                                               
plan allows them  to regulate the waters reserved  for public use                                                               
within the  state, such  that these areas  are closed  to various                                                               
activities  and at  certain times.   However,  there has  been no                                                               
definitive explanation  for the  aforementioned.  He  related his                                                               
assumption  that  this  will  take  some  time  to  resolve,  and                                                               
therefore he said he would appreciate an extension.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
8:50:04 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  commented  that   he  trusts  Mr.  Woods'                                                               
judgment on this matter.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:50:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON, upon  determining no one else  wished to testify,                                                               
closed public testimony.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
8:50:52 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved to  report  CSHB  189, Version  24-                                                               
LS0703\G,  Bullock, 4/27/05,  out  of  committee with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHB  189(CRA)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SB 142-REGIONAL SCHOOL BD LAND OWNERSHIP                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
8:51:34 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON returned the committee's attention to SB 142.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:51:38 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDDY  JEANS, Director,  School Finance,  Department of  Education                                                               
and Early  Development (EED), responded  to earlier  questions by                                                               
offering the  following information.   This legislation,  SB 142,                                                               
only applies  to Rural Education Attendance  Areas (REAAs) school                                                               
districts.   He informed the  committee that currently  there are                                                               
about seven  schools that have  been built  on airport land.   He                                                               
related  his understanding  that this  legislation wouldn't  kick                                                               
those schools  off that land.   When a new  school is built  in a                                                               
community, typically  the district  requests that the  old school                                                               
be  transferred  to  the  community   for  the  community's  use.                                                               
However, that  wouldn't be allowed  under this legislation.   Mr.                                                               
Jeans clarified that the [department]  could continue to transfer                                                               
the building, but  the lands on which the  building sits couldn't                                                               
be transferred.   Therefore, if the community wanted  to use that                                                               
building, it would have to move it off of the airport land.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
8:52:53 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  OLSON restated  an earlier  question regarding  whether                                                               
all of the 10 sites have been contacted.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS replied no.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:53:22 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN suggested that  in the future perhaps there                                                               
should be focus on regional  learning centers.  He reiterated his                                                               
desire to talk  with the school districts that  would be impacted                                                               
by this legislation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
8:54:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SALMON asked  if Chalkyitsik  is included  in the                                                               
areas in which schools have been built on airport land.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JEANS replied yes.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
8:54:20 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN said that his  staff could prepare a report                                                               
regarding the feeling of other districts.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:54:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JEANS   related  his  experience  that   when  dealing  with                                                               
construction of new schools, typically  it isn't on airport land.                                                               
The issue that  will surface is in regard to  the transfer of the                                                               
surplus building  to the community; some  communities are adamant                                                               
that they want those building  for other community use.  However,                                                               
the buildings  are on  airport property and  are no  longer being                                                               
used for school  purposes.  He specified  that the aforementioned                                                               
isn't impacting the educational  program within those communities                                                               
because that's addressed differently.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
8:55:35 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  highlighted the community of  Galena as an                                                               
example because  the town  wants to acquire  and utilize  some of                                                               
the  unutilized   air  force  base  buildings.     Therefore,  he                                                               
questioned why such buildings would be torn down.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
8:56:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON announced that SB 142 would be held over.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HCR 12-LEG TASK FORCE ON RURAL SUSTAINABILITY                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
8:56:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR OLSON announced  that the final order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  12, Relating  to the  Joint                                                               
Rural Assessment Task Force.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
8:56:59 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KACI  SCHROEDER,  Staff  to  Representative  Bill  Thomas,  House                                                               
Community and  Regional Affairs Standing Committee,  Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, highlighted the state  of the communities in Alaska.                                                               
Communities throughout  the state are becoming  unable to provide                                                               
services for  residents or are  shutting down completely.   While                                                               
revenue in these communities is  declining, the cost of living is                                                               
rising.   Furthermore, many  of these  communities are  unable to                                                               
afford insurance,  which automatically makes them  ineligible for                                                               
much  state  and  federal  funding.   This  resolution,  HCR  12,                                                               
provides that  the Alaska State  Legislature, the  First Alaskans                                                               
Institute, and the Alaska Municipal  League will come together to                                                               
form a  task force, as  specified in  the resolution.   This task                                                               
force  will work  on  and address  issues  rural communities  are                                                               
facing.    First, there  will  be  a  community audit  and  needs                                                               
assessment.   Several  communities throughout  the state  will be                                                               
strategically selected  and studied in depth.   These communities                                                               
will  be selected  based  on  population, location,  organization                                                               
status, and whether  they receive federal funds.   The [community                                                               
audit and needs assessment] will  generate a report.  The report,                                                               
the   Rural   Energy   Action  Council's   Finding   and   Action                                                               
Recommendations, and the  Denali Commission's Five-Year Strategic                                                               
Plan  will be  used  to develop  legislative  findings and  draft                                                               
legislation to be proposed in  the next legislative session.  Ms.                                                               
Schroeder emphasized  that HCR 12  isn't an attempt  to side-step                                                               
already-introduced  legislation  addressing   problems  in  rural                                                               
communities.   Unfortunately,  many  of those  don't address  the                                                               
entire picture, and  therefore the desire is  for the legislature                                                               
to develop  a working plan  to solve as  many of the  problems in                                                               
rural Alaska as possible.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
8:59:42 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR THOMAS moved that the  committee adopt CSHCR 12, Version                                                               
24-LS0964\F,  Cook,  4/27/05, as  the  working  document.   There                                                               
being no objection, Version F was before the committee.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:00:24 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  THOMAS  said  that  he  has  four  communities  in  his                                                               
district that are suffering and  almost defunct, which relates to                                                               
his interest  in moving this  resolution along.   Furthermore, he                                                               
opined that it  is this committee's job to go  out and review the                                                               
situation   in    these   communities   and   come    back   with                                                               
recommendations.   He  noted that  the $14,000  fiscal note  will                                                               
require a House Finance Committee referral.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:01:57 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  echoed  Co-Chair Thomas'  comments.    He                                                               
expressed  the need  to  address  the needs  of  the schools  and                                                               
determine how  to make them better  in rural areas.   He informed                                                               
the committee that 47.3 percent  of Alaska Natives are graduating                                                               
from high  school, which  needs to  be improved.   Representative                                                               
Neuman  announced  his  support  for  HCR  12,  and  related  his                                                               
willingness  to testify  in other  committees to  help move  this                                                               
resolution through the legislature.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:03:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHIE  WASSERMAN,  Alaska  Municipal League  (AML),  highlighted                                                               
that "we"  have all  failed to  look at the  large picture.   For                                                               
example, remodels  of schools  in some  remote areas  are funded,                                                               
although  no  one takes  into  consideration  that the  community                                                               
can't provide  water or other  necessities.   Through discussions                                                               
with those interested, the conclusion  has been that there is the                                                               
need  to  look  at  the  large picture  and  the  ability  to  do                                                               
something, develop a plan, lays within the legislature.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:04:32 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX  moved to  report  CSHCR  12, Version  24-                                                               
LS0964\F,  Cook,  4/27/05,  out   of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no  objection,   CSHCR  12(CRA)  was  reported   from  the  House                                                               
Community and Regional Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:05 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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