Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHJR 19(TRB) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                          May 7, 2019                                                                                           
                           8:02 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Sara Hannan, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Sharon Jackson                                                                                                   
Representative Josh Revak                                                                                                       
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19                                                                                                   
Urging  the  United States  Congress  to  fully fund  the  United                                                               
States Census Bureau for the  2020 Census; urging the governor to                                                               
prioritize  an accurate  count for  the 2020  Census; and  urging                                                               
local governments to establish local complete count commissions.                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 19(TRB) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
HOUSE BILL NO. 69                                                                                                               
"An Act repealing the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission; and                                                                
providing for an effective date."                                                                                               
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HJR 19                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT 2020 DECENNIAL CENSUS                                                                                      
SPONSOR(s): TRIBAL AFFAIRS                                                                                                      
04/24/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/24/19       (H)       TRB, CRA                                                                                               
04/25/19       (H)       TRB AT 8:00 AM CAPITOL 106                                                                             
04/25/19       (H)       Moved CSHJR 19(TRB) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/25/19       (H)       MINUTE(TRB)                                                                                            
04/26/19       (H)       TRB RPT CS(TRB) 6DP                                                                                    
04/26/19       (H)       DP:   VANCE,   ORTIZ,   LINCOLN,   KOPP,                                                               
                         TALERICO, ZULKOSKY                                                                                     
05/07/19       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
BILL: HB  69                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: REPEAL AK PUBLIC BROADCASTING COMM.                                                                                
SPONSOR(s): RULES BY REQUEST OF THE GOVERNOR                                                                                    
02/20/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/20/19       (H)       CRA, STA, FIN                                                                                          
05/07/19       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TIFFANY ZULKOSKY                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, presented HJR 19.                                                                      
ELIZABETH MEDICINE CROW, President/CEO                                                                                          
First Alaskans Institute                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HJR 19.                                                                  
MIKE WALSH, Ph.D., Vice President                                                                                               
Public Policy                                                                                                                   
Foraker Group; Staff Support                                                                                                    
Alaska Census Working Group                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 19.                                                                          
MARY DAVID                                                                                                                      
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified about the importance of the                                                                    
Census in her region during the hearing on HJR 19.                                                                              
GRACE SINGH, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky                                                                                                 
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions during the hearing on                                                                 
HJR 119, on behalf of Representative Zulkosky, prime sponsor.                                                                   
KELLY TSHIBAKA, Commissioner                                                                                                    
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Introduced HB 69.                                                                                        
KELLY HANKE                                                                                                                     
Legislative Liaison                                                                                                             
Department of Administration                                                                                                    
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Read informational documentation from the                                                                
department and gave a PowerPoint related to the Alaska Public                                                                   
Broadcasting Commission (APBC) during the hearing on HB 69.                                                                     
MOLLIE KABLER, Executive Director                                                                                               
Alaska Public Broadcasting, Inc.                                                                                                
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HB 69.                                                                   
RACHEL LORD                                                                                                                     
Homer, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
MIKE COONS, President                                                                                                           
Greater Alaska Chapter                                                                                                          
Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)                                                                                  
Palmer, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 69.                                                                           
CARL BERGER                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
BILL TREMBLAY, President                                                                                                        
KFSK Public Radio Board                                                                                                         
Petersburg, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
RUSSELL LYMAN                                                                                                                   
Haines, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
REBECCA MEIRS                                                                                                                   
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69                                                                         
CHARLIE WILBER                                                                                                                  
Sitka, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
KARY BIRDSALL, Member                                                                                                           
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
KTNA Radio                                                                                                                      
Talkeetna, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
FRANK KELTY, Mayor                                                                                                              
City of Unalaska                                                                                                                
Unalaska, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
LIN DAVIS                                                                                                                       
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
MAUREEN LONGWORTH, M.D.                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
MARK SPRINGER                                                                                                                   
Bethel, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
HANS JAMES                                                                                                                      
Fort Yukon, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in opposition to HB 69.                                                                        
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:02:03 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SARA HANNAN  called the  House  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:02  a.m.                                                               
Representatives  Revak,  Thompson,   Drummond,  and  Hannan  were                                                               
present at  the call to  order.  Representatives  Claman, Kreiss-                                                               
Tomkins, and Jackson arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                    
              HJR 19-SUPPORT 2020 DECENNIAL CENSUS                                                                          
8:03:18 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced that the  first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO.  19,  Urging the  United  States                                                               
Congress to  fully fund the  United States Census Bureau  for the                                                               
2020 Census; urging the governor  to prioritize an accurate count                                                               
for the  2020 Census; and  urging local governments  to establish                                                               
local  complete count  commissions.   [Before  the committee  was                                                               
CSHJR 19(TRB).]                                                                                                                 
8:03:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TIFFANY ZULKOSKY,  Alaska  State Legislature,  as                                                               
prime  sponsor, presented  HJR  19.   She  stated  that the  2020                                                               
Census is vital to Alaska.   Required under Article I, Section II                                                               
of the Constitution of the United  States, the goal of the Census                                                               
is to count  every resident in the U.S. at  their residence "as a                                                               
basis   for   sharing   resources   and   determining   political                                                               
representation."  She continued as follows:                                                                                     
     Dependent  on federally  established  formulas tied  to                                                                    
     Census data,  Alaska receives  $3.2 billion  in federal                                                                    
     funding each  year across  70 programs.   In a  time of                                                                    
     state  and local  budget  constraints, maintaining  the                                                                    
     amount  of federal  investment is  crucial to  Alaska's                                                                    
     economies,  communities, and  programs.   Organizations                                                                    
     across public,  private, and nonprofit sectors  rely on                                                                    
     funding   allocations   determined    by   the   Census                                                                    
     information,  illustrating the  importance of  accurate                                                                    
     account data.  ...  [Each] uncounted individual results                                                                    
     in  a loss  of roughly  $3,000 of  federal funding  for                                                                    
     Alaska per  year, equivalent  to a  loss of  $30,000 of                                                                    
     federal funding  for Alaska over a  10-year period, for                                                                    
     every  person who  is  not counted.    This results  in                                                                    
     reduced essential services,  like health, housing, road                                                                    
     repairs,  and education.   It  compounds harm  to local                                                                    
     and  state  budget gaps,  and  it  results in  improper                                                                    
     enforcement in voting in civil  rights laws.  For these                                                                    
     reasons, it  is imperative Census data  is accurate and                                                                    
     we  have   done  everything  that  we   can  to  ensure                                                                    
     Alaskans, communities,  and the  state ...  [are] ready                                                                    
     to be counted.                                                                                                             
     In partnership with the Alaska  Census Working Group, a                                                                    
     public/private  partnership of  local organizations  in                                                                    
     our  state, the  [House]  Special  Committee on  Tribal                                                                    
     Affairs sponsored  HJR 19  to highlight  the importance                                                                    
     of  the decennial  Census.   The resolution  also urges                                                                    
     the federal  delegation to fully fund  the Census [and]                                                                    
     encourages the state to  prioritize outreach, to ensure                                                                    
     the accuracy  of data, and invite  local governments to                                                                    
     engage  in the  count  by  establishing local  complete                                                                    
     count  commissions.     With   significant  geographic,                                                                    
     language,   and   connectivity  barriers,   Alaska   is                                                                    
     considered one  of the most  difficult states  to count                                                                    
     in the country.                                                                                                            
8:06:45 AM                                                                                                                    
     The difficulty  of counting Alaska  is even  greater in                                                                    
     the  2020   Census  with  the  borough's   decision  to                                                                    
     eliminate three  things:   the notification  mailing to                                                                    
     [United   States  Postal   Service  mailboxes]   ("P.O.                                                                    
     Boxes"), translation support  for materials into Native                                                                    
     languages,  and   transitioning  to  a   mostly  online                                                                    
     response system.  With the  Census Bureau launching its                                                                    
     count in  my home district  in Toksook Bay,  on January                                                                    
     21, 2020, it is vital  that Alaska's leadership, at all                                                                    
     levels  of  government  and  organizations  across  the                                                                    
     state,  prioritize an  accurate  count before  starting                                                                    
     conversations about how the data will be used.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY,  in conclusion, related that  HJR 19 had                                                               
been  unanimously moved  out of  the House  Special Committee  on                                                               
Tribal Affairs.                                                                                                                 
8:08:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  ZULKOSKY added  that her  work on  the issue  has                                                               
increased her awareness of its importance.                                                                                      
8:09:09 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  asked the  sponsor  if  she  was aware  of  any                                                               
discussions that  had been  held in terms  of the  capital budget                                                               
and an appropriation to support local Census committees.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY  offered her understanding  that Governor                                                               
Mike Dunleavy  put in  resources for  "the Census  work following                                                               
the  count," but  she is  not aware  of any  additional resources                                                               
designated  "to  help  develop  community  readiness  around  the                                                               
CO-CHAIR   HANNAN   asked   Representative   Zulkosky   how   the                                                               
legislature could [help  the state prepare for  the Census] other                                                               
than passing a resolution.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY deferred to  invited testifiers to answer                                                               
that  question.   She  mentioned  the  confidentiality aspect  of                                                               
Census  data gathering  and fines  resulting from  breaching that                                                               
confidentiality.    She said  the  proposed  joint resolution  is                                                               
important,  because  it  would educate  Alaskans  on  how  Census                                                               
information   is   used   to  secure   resources   that   support                                                               
8:12:17 AM                                                                                                                    
ELIZABETH   MEDICINE   CROW,    President/CEO,   First   Alaskans                                                               
Institute,  by  way  of  introduction,  gave  the  names  of  her                                                               
grandparents  and parents,  as well  as  her Native  affiliation.                                                               
She  said the  institute is  a statewide,  nonprofit organization                                                               
whose  vision is  "progress  for  the next  10,000  years."   She                                                               
remarked  upon the  combined strengths  of Native  and non-Native                                                               
Alaskans and all  entities, and she emphasized  the importance of                                                               
counting all  Alaskans in the Census.   She said Alaska  takes in                                                               
about $3.2 billion over the  ten years between each Census, which                                                               
calculates  to approximately  $31,000 per  person annually.   She                                                               
said  a household  with  two parents,  a  grandparent, and  three                                                               
children,  [which  does not  participate  in  the Census],  would                                                               
result in  a loss  of $186,000 annually,  which equals  almost $2                                                               
million  in  a  10-year  period.   She  said  these  figures  are                                                               
significant when considering  the amount of money  in the state's                                                               
budget that  may be "a  lifesaving amount of money"  for programs                                                               
and services.   She referred to an article in  The Juneau Empire,                                                             
in which the author wrote that  every 1 percent - or 7,500 people                                                               
- who don't respond to the Census  results in a loss to the state                                                               
of approximately $22 million annually.   She said the nonresponse                                                               
rate of the 2010 Census was  36 percent, which equated to $798.93                                                               
million dollars  per year for a  total of nearly $8  billion lost                                                               
over the course of 10 years.                                                                                                    
8:17:58 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEDICINE CROW said in her  community of Kake, Alaska, a break                                                               
in the  waterline resulted in  half the community  without water,                                                               
and  federal funding  would be  necessary  to get  it fixed,  and                                                               
those  federal  funds  are  allocated [as  a  result  of]  Census                                                               
information.   She  emphasized that  accurate  Census counts  are                                                               
imperative  for  education  funding  and housing  dollars.    She                                                               
talked about the  importance of listing the head  of household as                                                               
Alaska Native  in mixed  race households,  because that  helps to                                                               
ensure that federal funding connected  with tribal governments is                                                               
allocated.   She  said for  Alaska Natives,  "those are  actually                                                               
political rights,  not racial  rights."   She explained  that she                                                               
came before the committee on  behalf of First Alaskans Institute,                                                               
which ensures  that "our community  is at  the table and  able to                                                               
participate in  decision-making that's impacting  our community,"                                                               
to share  "how these things  really affect  us on the  ground and                                                               
how it  also affects our neighbors  all the way across  the state                                                               
of Alaska."                                                                                                                     
8:21:20 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR   DRUMMOND  asked   for  clarification   regarding  "the                                                               
numbers" related to the Census in Alaska.                                                                                       
MS. MEDICINE  CROW mentioned Eddie  Hunsinger, with the  State of                                                               
Alaska.  She  said the U.S. Census Borough has  shared data about                                                               
the impact [of  the Census] on the states.   She relayed that the                                                               
George  Washington  University has  published  a  series of  data                                                               
points  on the  impact on  Alaska specifically,  and that  is the                                                               
source  of   the  aforementioned   $3.2  billion  figure.     She                                                               
recollected that  that number includes 55  federal programs whose                                                               
funding allocations are to Alaska  annually.  She noted that Mike                                                               
Walsh   was  available   to  testify   and   could  add   further                                                               
illumination regarding the statistics.                                                                                          
8:22:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN,  in response to  a question  from Representative                                                               
Jackson  regarding a  fiscal note,  confirmed there  is no  money                                                               
being sought through HJR 19.                                                                                                    
8:23:40 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. MEDICINE  CROW said  the Census is  busy setting  up complete                                                               
count  committees (CCCs)  across  Alaska,  and anyone  interested                                                               
could  form a  committee.   She stated  that "the  Census has  no                                                               
money"; therefore, HJR 19 urges  Alaska's delegation to fight for                                                               
full funding  in Washington,  D.C., as well  as urges  the Alaska                                                               
State Legislature  to "get behind  that complete  count committee                                                               
process."  She said there  is opportunity for the Census Borough,                                                               
the state, and tribes to partner.                                                                                               
8:24:59 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE WALSH, Ph.D., Vice President,  Public Policy, Foraker Group;                                                               
Staff Support,  Alaska Census Working  Group, said he  and Laurie                                                               
Wolf  testified  before the  House  Special  Committee on  Tribal                                                               
Affairs  two  weeks  ago  regarding Census  2020.    He  reminded                                                               
committee  members that  the Foraker  Group serves  as the  state                                                               
nonprofit  association for  Alaska  and  the nonprofit  capacity-                                                               
building organization for  nonprofits across the state.   He said                                                               
the  Foraker  Group  gives voice  to  nonpartisan  public  policy                                                               
issues  that affect  Alaska's  nonprofit  sector, which  directly                                                               
employs approximately  44,000 people, who provide  "services that                                                               
touch, virtually, every Alaskan, every  day."  He said nonprofits                                                               
organizations rely on  Census data to do their work.   He said it                                                               
is the  Foraker Group's public  policy and focus to  ensure every                                                               
Alaskan  is counted,  which brings  him before  the committee  to                                                               
speak in support of HJR 19.   He stated, "We get one chance every                                                               
10 years to  get this right, and HJR 19  will certainly help with                                                               
DR. WALSH mentioned  some of the people who  had testified during                                                               
the  aforementioned House  Special  Committee  on Tribal  Affairs                                                               
hearing on HJR 19, including  Mr. Hunsinger, a state demographer,                                                               
and  others  affiliated with  the  Alaska  Census Working  Group.                                                               
They spoke  on the importance  of having a complete  and accurate                                                               
Census 2020 in  Alaska and how the $3.2 billion  in federal funds                                                               
are  allocated to  dozens  of federal  programs  based on  Census                                                               
data.  Also  discussed at that meeting  were specific enumeration                                                               
issues  facing  Alaska,  especially those  communities  in  rural                                                               
Alaska that  are the  most difficult  to count.   He  stated, "We                                                               
were really  pleased to be  able to  include that figure  - about                                                               
$3.2 billion -  in our 2018 report on the  economic impact of the                                                               
nonprofit sector on Alaska's economy."                                                                                          
8:28:19 AM                                                                                                                    
DR. WALSH  said no community in  the state goes untouched  by the                                                               
federal  programs that  operate with  Census-driven funding.   He                                                               
said  that  data is  used  to  determine allocations  for  roads,                                                               
marine   transportation,  water,   wastewater  systems,   housing                                                               
programs,  education, substance  abuse prevention  and treatment,                                                               
among others.   He said the working group is  pleased that HJR 19                                                               
addresses the importance  of participation in the  2020 Census in                                                               
all levels  of government.  He  said the group believes  that HJR                                                               
19  would support  the growing  efforts within  Alaska to  ensure                                                               
that  complete and  accurate count  and appreciates  the language                                                               
within  the  proposed  joint resolution  that  encourages  active                                                               
participation and coordination  by the state.  He  said the group                                                               
also   supports  the   language  encouraging   local  governments                                                               
establishing CCCs.  He echoed  Ms. Medicine Crow's statement that                                                               
creating  CCCs  is   an  excellent  way  for   tribes  and  local                                                               
governments  to effectively  coordinate  and  cooperate with  the                                                               
U.S. Census  Borough.  Local  CCCs can create trust  in residents                                                               
and  educate them  as to  why the  Census matters.   He  said the                                                               
working  group   and  the  Foraker  Group   have  found  Alaska's                                                               
congressional  delegation to  be  100 percent  supportive of  the                                                               
efforts aimed  at counting all  Alaskans, including  the "pursuit                                                               
of full and adequate funding."                                                                                                  
8:30:23 AM                                                                                                                    
DR.  WALSH addressed  previously posed  questions.   He indicated                                                               
that  Governor  Dunleavy  had removed  money  from  his  proposed                                                               
budget that  had been included  in former Governor  Bill Walker's                                                               
budget, and he offered his  understanding that the Senate Finance                                                               
Committee "put  forward a  $250,000 line  item to  support Census                                                               
activities on  behalf of the state."   In terms of  what could be                                                               
done to support the work of  the Census, he named several things,                                                               
including  that legislators  could,  with  each e-mail,  Facebook                                                               
post,  and newsletter,  make  the public  aware  of the  upcoming                                                               
Census and  the importance of  it in terms  of funding.   He said                                                               
some legislators  have said they will  go door to door  to spread                                                               
the  word.   Other ways  to lend  support, he  suggested, include                                                               
notice in  state correspondence, publications,  and applications,                                                               
including  the permanent  fund dividend  (PFD) application.   Mr.                                                               
Walsh  noted  that  the  Alaska Census  Working  Group  has  been                                                               
ramping up  its activities  in terms of  rural outreach  to those                                                               
communities where  it is most  difficult to get  accurate counts.                                                               
The campaign will  include social media, web  sites, public radio                                                               
advertising, and a PO Box outreach campaign.                                                                                    
8:33:15 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND,  regarding the mentioned of  the $250,000 line                                                               
item,  asked  which budget  contained  it  and what  the  current                                                               
status is.                                                                                                                      
DR. WALSH offered his understanding  that the funds were included                                                               
in the Senate Finance Committee's  proposed operating budget.  He                                                               
said he  does not  know the  current status,  but hoped  it would                                                               
remain.  In  response to follow-up questions,  he reiterated that                                                               
the funds  had originally been  in Governor Walker's  budget, and                                                               
said  there  have  been  a couple  of  studies  highlighting  the                                                               
importance  of  state support  of  Census  activities.   He  said                                                               
approximately $1.5  million would be adequate  for Census funding                                                               
in Alaska; therefore, $250,000 is  "woefully inadequate" but "any                                                               
number is  important ...  to ensure a  fair and  accurate account                                                               
through those  outreach activities."   He said the  Alaska Census                                                               
Working Group has put forward  a budget of approximately $690,000                                                               
that would target the outreach  activity.  He said Foraker Group,                                                               
along with  its partner,  the Cook  Inlet Housing  Authority, has                                                               
put forward well over $200,000 in  in-kind support.  He said that                                                               
"a national funder  interested in a fair and  accurate count" has                                                               
given  $175,000.    He  remarked that  other  dollars  are  still                                                               
needed.  He noted that the job  of the Census Working Group is to                                                               
supplement - not supplant - the work of the state.                                                                              
8:37:27 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN opened public testimony on HJR 19.                                                                              
8:37:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MARY DAVID  emphasized the importance  of the Census to  a region                                                               
where the  cost of infrastructure is  so high.  She  talked about                                                               
"the  cost benefit  of  funding  efforts on  the  Census for  our                                                               
state."  She relayed that  a Bering Straits Region Complete Count                                                               
Committee has been formed and  many volunteers are supporting the                                                               
Census  effort.   She said  she  sees the  importance of  forming                                                               
regional  complete count  committees and  applauds the  statewide                                                               
efforts; each  region knows  what will  work best  [in supporting                                                               
the  Census].   She  said in  her region  the  Internet does  not                                                               
always  work well.    She noted  that homes  in  the region  hold                                                               
multi-generations,  so  getting  an accurate  count  through  the                                                               
Census is important.                                                                                                            
8:40:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON noted  that  the Census  has taken  place                                                               
every 10 years "forever," and  she questioned whether it was just                                                               
[the  2010  Census]  where  Ms.  David feels  there  was  "a  big                                                               
MS. DAVID answered  that there are about 10,000  residents in her                                                               
region, and  that number is  increasing; therefore,  she believes                                                               
it is  important for an  accurate count to  occur.  In  order for                                                               
that  to happen,  she said,  it is  important for  individuals to                                                               
understand  the benefits  they can  receive by  partaking in  the                                                               
Census.   She talked about  the importance of  outreach beginning                                                               
long before the  Census takes place.  She  ventured that [people]                                                               
may  be reticent  in  giving information  to  a stranger  without                                                               
knowing  why   the  questions  are   being  asked  and   how  the                                                               
information will  be used.   She said  the Bering  Straits Region                                                               
Complete  Count Committee  is encouraging  local people  to apply                                                               
for Census  jobs, because the  people being asked  questions will                                                               
feel  more comfortable  giving the  information  to someone  from                                                               
their community.                                                                                                                
8:42:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN closed public testimony on HJR 19.                                                                              
8:43:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND echoed Ms. David's  remark about the importance                                                               
of beginning outreach long before  Census data collecting begins.                                                               
She urged  that the committee  not delay  in passing out  HJR 19.                                                               
She indicated that two of  Alaska's congressional delegation have                                                               
expressed encouragement toward receiving  resolutions.  She said,                                                               
"If we  wait until next  year to push this  out, it will  have no                                                               
8:44:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN said  he  supports HJR  19  and thinks  it                                                               
makes sense to  move it out of committee after  just one hearing.                                                               
He stressed the importance of  Census-related work, especially to                                                               
rural communities in Alaska.                                                                                                    
8:44:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REVAK asked whether  the committee had reached out                                                               
to the U.S.  Census Borough and received a response.   He said he                                                               
is  interested "to  hear what  they have  to say  about it."   He                                                               
asked  the   bill  sponsor   if  "this   was  requested   by  the                                                               
[AN UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER] from the  back of the room, in response                                                               
to  Co-Chair  Hannan, said  she  was  not authorized  to  testify                                                               
before the committee  but would be willing to  come to individual                                                               
offices to speak with Representatives.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  REVAK  said  he  was not  asking  for  the  joint                                                               
resolution to be  held; he just wants the U.S.  Census Borough to                                                               
"know what we're doing and is in support."                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  noted that representatives from  the U.S. Census                                                               
Borough  were  present during  the  joint  meeting of  the  House                                                               
Special Committee on  Tribal Affairs and the  House Community and                                                               
Regional Affairs Standing Committee two  weeks ago; they spoke on                                                               
the  hiring of  local Census  workers, among  other things.   She                                                               
said  she does  not have  an answer  regarding whether  the joint                                                               
resolution is in response to a request from Alaska's delegation.                                                                
8:46:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND observed that the  sponsor was not available to                                                               
answer   Representative  Revak's   question,   because  she   was                                                               
currently  chairing   the  House  Special  Committee   on  Tribal                                                               
Affairs.  She  said [the Census] happens only every  10 years and                                                               
there is pressure to get it  "done right."  She said a resolution                                                               
simply tells the delegation that the issue is important to "us."                                                                
8:47:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REVAK  asked if the  joint resolution is  aimed at                                                               
informing the  administration that the legislature  wants to work                                                               
with the administration "to augment the Census."                                                                                
8:47:26 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN pointed  to the "BE IT RESOLVED"  portions of HJR                                                             
19, which ask to work with  the executive branch agencies and the                                                               
Alaska  Census  Working Group  for  the  purpose of  establishing                                                               
complete  counts   and  to   encourage  every   municipality  [to                                                               
participate].   Copies of HJR 19  would be sent to  the governor,                                                               
the Alaska  Municipal League,  and the  congressional delegation.                                                               
She  offered her  understanding  that the  federal government  is                                                               
funding  the Census  but not  any outreach  efforts prior  to the                                                               
Census; this  includes notifications  and alerts  to communities.                                                               
She said the  state has not "picked  that up as an  effort."  She                                                               
then noted  that translation  to Alaska  Native languages  is not                                                               
being done.   She recollected that the federal  government has in                                                               
the past  supplied translation to some  indigenous languages, but                                                               
would not  be doing so this  time around.  Finally,  she said the                                                               
Census would  be largely  conducted online,  and because  this is                                                               
primarily  a  new  method, the  complete  count  commissions  are                                                               
important to getting the word out.                                                                                              
8:49:41 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REVAK  said  he appreciates  knowing  the  intent                                                               
behind the proposed joint resolution.                                                                                           
8:49:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  suggested the  information Representative                                                               
Revak  is asking  for be  made  available for  him to  see.   She                                                               
offered  her  understanding  that the  federal  government  "does                                                               
advertise," and there  will be jobs available that pay  up to $31                                                               
per hour.   She said,  "So, if we can  ... focus people  to check                                                               
that out  - get a job  - then they can  communicate the languages                                                               
of their neighbors, as well.   [I'm] just leveraging what we have                                                               
to make sure we get that to count."                                                                                             
8:51:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  shared  that Governor  Dunleavy  has  already                                                               
appointed 9-10  people to the  2020 Census Alaska  Complete Count                                                               
Commission  through   Administrative  Order   303.     The  state                                                               
demographer  is one  of those  people  appointed.   She said,  "I                                                               
think we  need to  find out  where that funding  is, but  I don't                                                               
think  that  has  anything  to do  with  moving  this  particular                                                               
resolution out today  and getting it through  ... the legislature                                                               
before we adjourn."                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE REVAK  emphasized that he thinks  it is imperative                                                               
to ensure everyone  is counted [in the Census],  and he clarified                                                               
that he wanted  to understand the intent of HJR  19.  He remarked                                                               
that if  all the documents  were distributed to the  former joint                                                               
committee hearing, he had not seen them.                                                                                        
8:52:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  suggested Representative  Revak could  listen to                                                               
the recording  of the joint  meeting.   She recalled some  of the                                                               
presenters from that meeting and  suggested the handouts could be                                                               
collected for Representative Revak.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  REVAK  assured  Co-Chair  Hannan  that  he  could                                                               
obtain the information.                                                                                                         
8:53:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON  noted  that  Representative  Zulkosky's                                                               
staff had returned, thus was available to respond to questions.                                                                 
8:53:44 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE REVAK restated his question.                                                                                     
8:53:58 AM                                                                                                                    
GRACE  SINGH,  Staff,  Representative  Tiffany  Zulkosky,  Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  on behalf  of Representative  Zulkosky, prime                                                               
sponsor  of  HJR  19,  in   response  to  Representative  Revak's                                                               
concerns, noted  that the U.S.  Census Borough has  been involved                                                               
in  the Alaska  Complete Census  Working  Group.   She said,  "We                                                               
didn't have them testify, because we  would need to call the D.C.                                                               
office  for that,  but  they  are very  involved  in the  working                                                               
group;  they're  invested  in  making  sure that  we  do  have  a                                                               
complete  count  in Alaska."    She  continued, "On  the  federal                                                               
delegation,  we  made  them aware  of  this  resolution;  they're                                                               
excited;  they're also  invested in  ensuring that  Alaska has  a                                                               
complete  count,   ...  especially  [for]  the   federal  funding                                                               
8:55:07 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND moved to report  CSHJR 19(TRB) out of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations   [and  the  accompanying  zero                                                               
fiscal  notes].   There  being no  objection,  CSHJR 19(TRB)  was                                                               
reported  out  of  the  House   Community  and  Regional  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
8:55:52 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:56 a.m. to 8:58 a.m.                                                                       
           HB 69-REPEAL AK PUBLIC BROADCASTING COMM.                                                                        
8:58:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced that the  final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL NO.  69,  "An  Act  repealing the  Alaska  Public                                                               
Broadcasting Commission; and providing for an effective date."                                                                  
8:59:34 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY  TSHIBAKA,  Commissioner,   Department  of  Administration,                                                               
introduced HB 69.  She  said the proposed legislation would bring                                                               
statutes into  alignment with  Governor Mike  Dunleavy's proposed                                                               
budget,  which  would  rescind  funding  for  the  Alaska  Public                                                               
Broadcasting Commission (APBC).   She informed the committee that                                                               
Kelly Hanke would provide a PowerPoint.                                                                                         
9:01:41 AM                                                                                                                    
KELLY HANKE,  Legislative Liaison, Department  of Administration,                                                               
read  "informational  documentation"   provided  by  Commissioner                                                               
Tshibaka [and  included in the  committee packet], which  read as                                                               
follows  [original  punctuation  provided, with  some  formatting                                                               
                             HB 69                                                                                              
          Repeal Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission                                                                          
                  Informational Documentation                                                                                   
     Across  Alaska,  183   rural  and  village  communities                                                                    
     receive  emergency  notifications through  a  satellite                                                                    
     service,  Alaska Rural  Communications Service  (ARCS),                                                                    
     made available  via a  contract between  the Department                                                                    
     of Administration  (DOA) and AT&T.  These notifications                                                                    
     include tsunami,  extreme weather, and  child abduction                                                                    
     alerts.   The  population  of the  183  communities  is                                                                    
     approximately 102,291.                                                                                                     
     Alaska  Public Broadcasting,  Inc.  (APBI) has  managed                                                                    
     ARCS  and  served  as the  DOA's  source  of  satellite                                                                    
     expertise.  ARCS  also is  used  to  provide a  mix  of                                                                    
     public and commercial television network content.                                                                          
     FY19  funding for  the  satellite  service is  $879,500                                                                    
     which   includes  the   DOA/AT&T   contract  and   some                                                                    
     management  contracts with  APBI. The  contract details                                                                    
     between the  State of  Alaska and  AT&T is  internal to                                                                    
     the DOA.                                                                                                                   
     For  the 3-year  period  from 2015  through 2018  there                                                                    
     were 29 emergency alerts on  ARCS. ARCS alerts are sent                                                                    
     statewide,   regardless   of   the  location   of   the                                                                    
               3 Tsunami Warnings                                                                                               
               4 Amber Alerts                                                                                                   
               22 Extreme Weather Warnings                                                                                      
     Total costs for operating  the system from 2015 through                                                                    
     2018  was  $3,809,500.  On  average,  each  alert  cost                                                                    
     Of  the   183  communities,  90  have   more  than  one                                                                    
     alternative  way of  receiving emergency  alerts (e.g.,                                                                    
     symmetrical    broadband     service,    fiber    optic                                                                    
     connectivity,   telephony).  In   addition,  APBI   has                                                                    
     confirmed  all 183  communities  can receive  emergency                                                                    
     alerts via telephone;  however, widespread distribution                                                                    
     of  the  information  would not  occur  as  quickly  or                                                                    
     Included with  this document,  please find  graphs that                                                                    
     illustrate the above information.                                                                                          
          The emergency alerts that the Alaska Public                                                                           
      Broadcasting Commission pushes do not include forest                                                                      
     fire alerts.                                                                                                               
9:04:19 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HANKE began the PowerPoint  presentation.  She drew attention                                                               
to slide 2, titled "AKPBC  Rural Communities," and noted that the                                                               
blue area  of the  circle graph shows  the Alaska  population [of                                                               
736,239,  88 percent]  versus the  orange area,  which shows  the                                                               
rural site community population of  102,291, [12 percent].  Slide                                                               
3,  titled "AKPBC  Rural  Sites -  Community  Size," depicts  bar                                                               
graphs  showing  that the  average  community  size is  565,  the                                                               
largest  is Fort  Wainwright,  with 7,374,  and  the smallest  is                                                               
Bettles,  with   a  community  size   of  13.    The   median  is                                                               
approximately 237.                                                                                                              
9:05:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  referred back  to slide 2,  and noted  that by                                                               
adding the two  numbers together, it appears  that the department                                                               
is saying Alaska's population is approximately 838,000.                                                                         
9:05:48 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HANKE  answered that  the numbers came  to her  from "another                                                               
department,"  and  she  stated her  assumption  that  "these  are                                                               
probably older numbers."  She  said DOA worked directly with APBI                                                               
to get a lot of the information.                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND said  she does  not think  Alaska's population                                                               
has  been declining,  and she  would like  explanation about  the                                                               
numbers that have been provided for the graph on slide 2.                                                                       
9:06:54 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND, in response to  Co-Chair Hannan clarified that                                                               
the  graph  on slide  2  "appears  to  be representing  too  many                                                               
9:07:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  REVAK  suggested  that  the number  in  blue  may                                                               
represent the  entire population; the  maker of the  circle graph                                                               
may have  forgotten to subtract the  number in orange to  get the                                                               
number in blue.                                                                                                                 
MS. HANKE  said she would  have to check to  see if that  is what                                                               
9:07:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON,  referring to  slide 3, noted  that Fort                                                               
Wainwright is  completely within the  City of Fairbanks,  thus he                                                               
questioned what "Wainwright" means in the graph.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  asked,  "Fort  Wainwright  or  the  Village  of                                                               
MS. HANKE apologized and explained  that the graph should read as                                                               
the Village of Wainwright.                                                                                                      
9:08:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND observed  that the graph on slide  3 shows [the                                                               
Village  of] Wainwright  as having  a population  of 7,374.   She                                                               
said a  quick "Google search" shows  that as of 2010  the village                                                               
had 556 people.   She told Co-Chair Hannan that  she has "serious                                                               
concerns with the numbers in this PowerPoint."                                                                                  
MS. HANKE said, "These numbers  actually came directly from AKPBC                                                               
as  to who  they service."   She  said she  could check  with the                                                               
commission regarding the numbers.                                                                                               
9:09:20 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON surmised  the number  could include  the                                                               
area around Wainwright.                                                                                                         
MS. HANKE answered that could be possible.                                                                                      
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  noted that AKPBC  would be testifying  and could                                                               
be asked to clarify.                                                                                                            
9:10:00 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  HANKE moved  on  to  slide 4,  titled  "Emergency Alerts  By                                                               
Year."   She noted  the alerts  on the bar  graph show  for years                                                               
2015 through  2018.  She said  the alerts "go out  to everybody."                                                               
To  slide 5,  "Emergency Alerts  by  Type," she  said the  graphs                                                               
lists tsunami,  extreme weather, amber alerts,  and total alerts.                                                               
She offered  her understanding  that the  graph does  not include                                                               
earthquakes.  She  showed slide 6, titled  "AKPBC Rural Community                                                               
Sites By Population,"  and she explained the  sites listed depict                                                               
the number of people the commission reaches through its system.                                                                 
9:11:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MOLLY  KABLER, Executive  Director,  Alaska Public  Broadcasting,                                                               
Inc., explained  that APBI is  a small nonprofit which  serves in                                                               
an  executive  capacity  for  APBC.   Regarding  the  system  and                                                               
information  just  discussed,  she explained  that  Alaska  Rural                                                               
Communications System  (ARCS) is not  under the purview  of APBC;                                                               
therefore, HB 69 has no direct  relevance to ARCS.  She said ARCS                                                               
is a low-powered television system  owned by the State of Alaska,                                                               
and APBI,  under contract with the  Department of Administration,                                                               
manages ARCS;  however, HB 69  is actually about the  APBC, which                                                               
is, under  statute, a  group of  nine commissioners  appointed by                                                               
the governor  that oversee  Alaska Public  Broadcasting stations.                                                               
She further  clarified that there  are 27 licensees of  radio and                                                               
television stations  funded through  APBC.  She  explained, "ARCS                                                               
is something  that we collaborate  with and share  some services,                                                               
... but the commission has no oversight of ARCS."                                                                               
9:13:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS  asked   if  the   commission  is                                                               
responsible for  the allocation of  resources among  public radio                                                               
stations in Alaska on "an equitable and rational basis."                                                                        
MS. KABLER answered that is correct.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE KREISS-TOMKINS offered  his understanding that the                                                               
role the commission  plays is similar to the role  the Council on                                                               
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault  (CDVSA) plays in dispersing                                                               
resources  to domestic  violence  and  sexual assault  prevention                                                               
organizations.    In  other  words,  one  main  entity  with  the                                                               
expertise is charged  with distributing the resources.   He asked                                                               
Ms.  Kabler to  describe the  process and  considerations of  the                                                               
MS.  KABLER responded  that  the  commission spends  considerable                                                               
time learning how the 27  licensees serve their communities, work                                                               
together, receive  federal funding, and how  that federal funding                                                               
may  match that  which comes  through the  commission.   It is  a                                                               
complex system.   She  said there  is a  large annual  survey and                                                               
there are service reports, which  help in understanding where the                                                               
dollars go.                                                                                                                     
9:16:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  asked how Ms. Kabler's  clarification may                                                               
relate to the PowerPoint slides the committee had just viewed.                                                                  
MS. KABLER answered that she had  not seen the slides before, and                                                               
while  some  of  the  community   names  are  that  of  the  ARCS                                                               
community, she did not compile the information.  She continued:                                                                 
     I'm a  little surprised, because although  we work well                                                                    
     together  with the  commissioner of  the Department  of                                                                    
     Administration and  the liaison,  Kelly Hanke,  this is                                                                    
     not  under the  purview of  the commission.   So,  this                                                                    
     isn't particularly relevant  to the bill.   ... I think                                                                    
     this demonstrates  the problem  ... that there's  a lot                                                                    
     of detail  here, and it's,  in my mind, the  reason why                                                                    
     we  have  the  Alaska Public  Broadcasting  Commission:                                                                    
     ...  those are  nine volunteers  from around  the state                                                                    
     that  understand  what   public  broadcasting  does  in                                                                    
     communities  and spend  their time  and energy  on that                                                                    
     topic.  They don't actually  work on ARCS for this ARCS                                                                    
     information that's been presented  by the Department of                                                                    
9:18:00 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  CLAMAN mentioned  the governor's  proposed budget                                                               
and suggested  that without  any funding in  place it  would make                                                               
sense  to eliminate  the commission,  but with  funding still  in                                                               
place,  it would  "be  in  our interest  to  keep the  commission                                                               
running."  He asked, "Have I got that right?"                                                                                   
MS. KABLER answered  yes.  She said at this  point both bodies of                                                               
the legislature have included funding  for public broadcasting in                                                               
their  budget  proposals and,  while  HB  69 "would  represent  a                                                               
companion  to   eliminating  funding,"  she  surmised   that  the                                                               
Department  of  Administration  would  support  the  need  for  a                                                               
commission "if there's going to be funding coming through."                                                                     
9:19:23 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  asked if  nine commissioners  would still                                                               
be necessary if funding was cut in half.                                                                                        
MS.  KABLER answered  yes, because  regardless of  the amount  of                                                               
money, the  process would  be the  same for  those commissioners.                                                               
In response  to follow-up questions from  Representative Jackson,                                                               
she  reviewed  that there  are  27  stations,  and they  are  all                                                               
broadcast  licensees  that  are   licensed  through  the  Federal                                                               
Communications  Commission  (FCC);  therefore they  all  have  an                                                               
over-the-air  broadcast  component,  and   most  have  a  digital                                                               
stream, as well.                                                                                                                
9:20:42 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN asked  for the Section Analysis  [included in the                                                               
committee packet] to be covered.                                                                                                
9:21:13 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. HANKE reviewed the Sectional  Analysis, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
    Sections   1   through   3:   repeal   state   statutes                                                                   
     establishing the Alaska Public Broadcasting                                                                                
        Commission and removes responsibilities from the                                                                        
     Department of Administration pursuant to                                                                                   
     Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission activities.                                                                          
    Section   4:   provides    that   the   Alaska   Public                                                                   
     Broadcasting Commission transfer all assets to the                                                                         
    Commissioner   of   Administration   and   allows   the                                                                     
     Commissioner to transfer the assets at no cost                                                                             
     to Alaska nonprofit broadcasting entities.                                                                                 
      Section 5: establishes an effective date of June 30,                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  next asked someone  to speak to the  four fiscal                                                               
notes included in the committee packet.                                                                                         
9:22:42 AM                                                                                                                    
COMMISSIONER  TSHIBAKA  said each  of  the  fiscal notes  in  the                                                               
committee  packet   assumes  that  funding  for   APBC  is  being                                                               
repealed.   The  commission carries  all the  funding for  radio,                                                               
television, and emergency satellite  service, which are separated                                                               
in  the  fiscal notes.    Commissioner  Tshibaka highlighted  the                                                               
amounts  in each  fiscal note  and  the entity  assigned to  each                                                               
amount:    [fiscal   note  1],  $46.7  thousand   to  the  Public                                                               
Broadcasting Commission;  [fiscal note  2], $2,036.6  thousand to                                                               
radio;  [fiscal  note  3], $633.3  thousand  to  television;  and                                                               
[fiscal note 4], $879.5 thousand to satellite.                                                                                  
9:24:17 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON asked  for clarification  regarding what                                                               
was proposed under HB 69.                                                                                                       
COMMISSIONER  TSHIBAKA responded  that HB  69 would  transfer any                                                               
assets  in the  commission to  the Department  of Administration;                                                               
however,  the  intent is  that  "it  goes  in parallel  with  the                                                               
proposal to eliminate  all of the funding  under the commission."                                                               
She continued,  "And so,  there would be  very minimal  assets at                                                               
this point  that transfer into the  Department of Administration.                                                               
And so, when  we represent the fiscal note as  carrying all these                                                               
consequences, it's  because it's  supposed to  be read  in tandem                                                               
with the other proposal."                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON  said the Division of  Homeland Security,                                                               
through  the   U.S.  Department  of  Veterans'   Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
administers the  emergency alert  system (EAS).   He said  he has                                                               
read that "the FCC is a  mandated function that we're supposed to                                                               
do."    He   asked  Ms.  Tshibaka  if  she   has  considered  how                                                               
eliminating   the  satellite   funding   would  affect   Alaska's                                                               
emergency alert  system and whether  the state would then  be out                                                               
of compliance with federal mandate.                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER   TSHIBAKA  said   the  commission   has  considered                                                               
alternative  ways  of  reaching  communities if  it  cannot  fund                                                               
satellite service.   She said there are  approximately 91 smaller                                                               
communities  that would  have emergency  connectivity  only to  a                                                               
telephone;  other  communities  have  multiple  ways  of  sending                                                               
emergency alerts, such  as through fiber optic cables.   She said                                                               
the department would have to work  with DMVA or the Department of                                                               
Public Safety  (DPS) to develop  emergency management  plans "for                                                               
each of those communities."   She said telephone is obviously not                                                               
as  optimal a  method by  which to  reach a  mass audience  as is                                                               
satellite,  so  the department  would  have  to work  with  those                                                               
communities  to development  emergency management  plans specific                                                               
to each community.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE   THOMPSON   expressed    curiosity   about   "the                                                               
television side of it being unfunded."   He said, "No we've got a                                                               
hundred and  some thousand people in  the state that have  no ...                                                               
ability to see  what's going on with our  state legislature, with                                                               
Gavel to Gavel."  He asked if  it was "part of this" to eliminate                                                               
the ability of people to watch Gavel to Gavel.                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER  TSHIBAKA answered  that  HB 69  only addresses  the                                                               
commission  and "the  group  that Ms.  Kabler  runs" and  whether                                                               
"they would  be part  of deciding  who these funds  go to."   She                                                               
said  "the broader  package" considers  whether to  eliminate the                                                               
commission altogether and the state  funding of those funds.  She                                                               
said,  "Altogether, what  that would  represent is  a 17  percent                                                               
reduction in  funding for public  broadcasting across  the state;                                                               
83  percent  of  the  funds  -  local  and  federal  -  would  be                                                               
preserved."     That  said,  she  remarked   that  Representative                                                               
Thompson  is correct  that  the  communities currently  receiving                                                               
television service  through the  satellite funds would  no longer                                                               
be able  to receive that  service if the legislature  decides not                                                               
to fund the service.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON asked  for information  regarding fiscal                                                               
note 4, which shows a proposed reduction of $879,500.                                                                           
COMMISSIONER TSHIBAKA  explained that amount reflects  a contract                                                               
the state  had with  AT&T for  satellite service.   Approximately                                                               
$719,000  was  for  the  actual   use  of  the  satellite,  while                                                               
approximately $160,000 was for  maintenance agreements to service                                                               
the satellite.                                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  THOMPSON expressed  that he  does not  understand                                                               
how eliminating that  satellite is going to help  anybody in such                                                               
a vast  state with  so many  miles between locales.   He  said he                                                               
thinks  this would  be a  disservice  to anyone  living in  rural                                                               
Alaska, and this bothers him.                                                                                                   
COMMISSIONER  TSHIBAKA   responded  that   the  reason   for  the                                                               
PowerPoint  that was  given was  to provide  the numbers  for the                                                               
legislature in  order for  them to best  make a  difficult policy                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE THOMPSON said, "I  understand on the ... emergency                                                               
alert system,  but how about  just for Gavel  to Gavel?   I mean,                                                               
that television,  I'm sure that  connection must be  utilized for                                                               
that also, isn't it, in rural areas?"                                                                                           
COMMISSIONER TSHIBAKA deferred to Ms. Kabler.                                                                                   
9:31:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  said Ms. Kabler  was nodding in  the affirmative                                                               
that ARCS carries Gavel to Gavel as part of its programming.                                                                    
9:31:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON concluded  that the  committee was  being                                                               
told that ARCS  carries Gavel to Gavel; however,  she pointed out                                                               
that  the  committee  had  been  told  that  Public  Broadcasting                                                               
Service  (PBS)   was  a   different  entity.     She   asked  for                                                               
9:32:37 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KABLER explained  that the  challenge  is that  many of  the                                                               
services  being   discussed  are   created  by  one   entity  and                                                               
distributed by  another.  She said  Gavel to Gavel is  created by                                                               
KTOO in Juneau, Alaska, and is  part of PBS, which is overseen by                                                               
APBC.  However,  ARCS, which is not under  APBC, also distributes                                                               
[Gavel to  Gavel] as  a service  to Alaskans.   She said  ARCS is                                                               
owned  by  the  State of  Alaska.    She  said  this is  why  the                                                               
commission is  of value, because  it understands  this integrated                                                               
9:33:59 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN opened public testimony on HB 69.                                                                               
9:34:23 AM                                                                                                                    
RACHEL  LORD said  she is  a  mother, small  business owner,  and                                                               
member  of the  Homer  City  Council, but  she  is testifying  on                                                               
behalf of herself.   She emphasized the  important service public                                                               
broadcasting provides, not only by  providing Gavel to Gavel, but                                                               
also by airing  city council and borough assembly  meetings.  She                                                               
said people "from every shade  of the political spectrum" tune in                                                               
to listen.   Ms. Lord  shared that a  couple months ago,  an all-                                                               
hazards  training  through  Federal Emergency  Management  Agency                                                               
(FEMA)  and Texas  A&M University  was held  in Homer,  and local                                                               
public radio  was "a major player"  in the discussion.   She said                                                               
in all communities, public broadcasting  is important.  She said,                                                               
"Suggesting  that   we  spend  time  and   money  recreating  the                                                               
important value  that they provide currently  seems irresponsible                                                               
at best."   Ms. Lord  concluded by  stating her opposition  to HB                                                               
69.   She said  she believes  it is  completely unwise  to divest                                                               
from a  critical and wide-ranging  statewide tool  that leverages                                                               
local and federal support to  assist in the response to disasters                                                               
and helps engage  Alaskans and local and state  government."  She                                                               
encouraged the committee not to move HB 69 out of committee.                                                                    
9:36:52 AM                                                                                                                    
MIKE  COONS, President,  Greater Alaska  Chapter, Association  of                                                               
Mature American Citizens (AMAC),  said AMAC comprises 200 members                                                               
in the  valley and  Anchorage area of  Alaska -  all conservative                                                               
seniors fully in support of  Governor Dunleavy's proposed budget.                                                               
He stated full support of HB 69.   He said the state is in a $1.6                                                               
million deficit.   He mentioned  $3.5 million in state  funds and                                                               
federal, local, tribal, and private  entities in relation to PBS.                                                               
He also  mentioned "Pick, Click,  Give" - a program  available to                                                               
Alaskans to  donate from their  permanent fund  dividends (PFDs).                                                               
He opined that  Alaska needs to join the 14  other states working                                                               
toward PBS  getting donations and  grants from  private entities.                                                               
He  said  ARCS and  Gavel  to  Gavel  get donations  "from  other                                                               
people," whose names are listed  "on their shows."  He encouraged                                                               
the committee to move HB 69 out of committee.                                                                                   
9:38:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CARL BERGER said  he serves on the APBC, but  he is testifying on                                                               
behalf of  himself.  He  said "we"  have raised money  for public                                                               
broadcasting  from many  sources;  however, the  amount of  money                                                               
that  the  state gives  to  stations  is  important in  terms  of                                                               
obtaining federal match  money or replacing equipment.   He said,                                                               
"The loss of  state funds would prevent stations  from being able                                                               
to  do  that."    He  talked  about  how  [HB  69  proposes]  the                                                               
transference of  power of key broadcasting  decisions and funding                                                               
to  the executive  branch  and change  of  the current  statewide                                                               
geographic  representation, which  he  said has  worked well  for                                                               
many years.   He  encouraged continuing  with the  current system                                                               
and stated his opposition to HB 69.                                                                                             
9:40:11 AM                                                                                                                    
BILL TREMBLAY,  President, KFSK Public Radio  Board, testified in                                                               
opposition  to HB  69.   He  said Petersburg  is  a community  of                                                               
approximately 3,200, 1,200 of which  are subscribers to the radio                                                               
station.   He  noted  that in  his  transmittal letter,  Governor                                                               
Dunleavy had noted  that the function of the  commission could be                                                               
accomplished  using   nongovernmental  entities  that   could  be                                                               
attuned to be more responsive  to local broadcasting needs of the                                                               
community.  He said, "Saying  that is one thing; identifying what                                                               
those are is  totally something different."  He  said the program                                                               
manager of  KFSK works hard  to increase funding  through various                                                               
grants,  and  he  opined  that   saying  that  "it  can  be  done                                                               
elsewhere" is  not useful.   He said  the governor  stated during                                                               
campaigning  that  he  does   not  support  public  broadcasting;                                                               
therefore,   Mr.   Tremblay    indicated   that   [the   proposed                                                               
legislation]  is   a  move  toward  eliminating   the  commission                                                               
MR.   TREMBLAY   reminded   the   committee   that   during   the                                                               
administration   of   former   Governor   Bill   Walker,   public                                                               
broadcasting  already had  to absorb  a 48  percent reduction  in                                                               
state funding  to local  stations, which  increased the  need for                                                               
fundraising.  He said, "The  state levels, as identified for this                                                               
year, only represent 16 percent  of what our total station budget                                                               
is; however,  it's a  critical component  in meeting  our federal                                                               
matches, which  we probably  won't do  without the  state funds."                                                               
Mr. Tremblay  said the commission  is important  in understanding                                                               
"how  things move  across the  state" and  for the  allocation of                                                               
funds to  all the  resources.   He indicated  that the  people of                                                               
Petersburg  consider  the local  radio  station  as an  essential                                                               
service and don't  want it to lose any more  than it already has.                                                               
Regarding  an emergency  response system,  he opined  that it  is                                                               
irresponsible  to remove  funding without  having an  alternative                                                               
plan in place.                                                                                                                  
9:42:57 AM                                                                                                                    
RUSSELL LYMAN  testified in opposition  to HB  69.  He  said APBC                                                               
makes  decisions that  keep  public  broadcasting operating,  and                                                               
this broadcasting  is vital because it  provides communities with                                                               
emergency  information,  local government  meeting  broadcasting,                                                               
and  safety information.   He  asked the  committee to  "block HB                                                               
9:44:02 AM                                                                                                                    
REBECCA MEIRS  said she is  "a part  of" KCAW radio  station, [in                                                               
Sitka, Alaska], and strongly opposes HB  69.  She said she thinks                                                               
there  is   "a  primary   misunderstanding  around   what  public                                                               
broadcasting does," and  it would be shortsighted  to destroy the                                                               
infrastructure  that   allows  communities  to   share  important                                                               
information.   She characterized  herself as "a  strong supporter                                                               
of public broadcasting  in general," and she  urged the committee                                                               
not to pass HB 69 out of committee.                                                                                             
9:45:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CHARLIE  WILBER testified  in opposition  to HB  69.   He opined,                                                               
"Maintaining  the   Alaska  Public  Broadcasting   Commission  is                                                               
essential  to  protecting the  economic  health  and vitality  of                                                               
public  broadcasting in  Alaska."   He said  doing away  with the                                                               
commission would  lead to the elimination  of public broadcasting                                                               
in Alaska, and  he urged that it must be  maintained.  Mr. Wilber                                                               
said  the community  of Sitka  depends upon  local radio  to stay                                                               
informed regarding  local, state, and  legislative news -  all of                                                               
which he said are "very important."   He asked the committee [not                                                               
to pass] HB 69.                                                                                                                 
9:46:01 AM                                                                                                                    
KARY BIRDSALL,  Member, Board of  Directors, KTNA  Radio, pointed                                                               
out that  Representative Kreiss-Thompkins  is the only  member of                                                               
the House Community and Regional  Affairs Standing Committee that                                                               
does  not live  in a  large population  center, and  Talkeetna is                                                               
even less  populated than  Sitka.  He  listed local  news, public                                                               
safety,  public  access,  unifying  community,  "so  many  little                                                               
things that make up day-to-day  life," and political campaigning,                                                               
and  said "all  this would  be gone  without public  radio."   He                                                               
named  people on  other stations  across  the state  that can  be                                                               
heard  on public  radio.   He talked  about the  support that  is                                                               
available,  both  educational  and  technical.   He  said  public                                                               
broadcasting in  Alaska does  not pay for  itself.   He explained                                                               
that it costs the state less  than .03 percent of its budget, and                                                               
communities   triple  that   investment   with  member   pledges,                                                               
volunteer  support, and  grants, but  communities need  the state                                                               
money  in  order to  leverage  the  other  money.   Mr.  Birdsall                                                               
stated, "I know  this legislation does not  expressly kill public                                                               
broadcasting in  Alaska, but  it's a pretty  sizable nail  in our                                                               
coffin."  He  urged the committee to advise  the executive branch                                                               
that repealing APBC  is against the best interest of  Alaska.  He                                                               
posited  that  communities  are  what  make  Alaska,  and  public                                                               
broadcasting connects those communities and the state.                                                                          
9:47:58 AM                                                                                                                    
FRANK KELTY, Mayor, City of  Unalaska, testified in opposition to                                                               
HB 69.   He said public broadcasting is important  to the City of                                                               
Unalaska, because  it is  a link to  the emergency  alert system.                                                               
He  said  the  city  works  closely with  DPS  to  get  emergency                                                               
information to  the City of  Unalaska, which  is "on the  Ring of                                                               
Fire" and  has seen numerous  earthquakes and  subsequent tsunami                                                               
drills.  He  said the City of Unalaska has  given its local radio                                                               
station a  grant of  over $100,000.   The  loss of  funding would                                                               
cripple  the radio  station.   Without the  station, the  City of                                                               
Unalaska would have no access to  public radio, because it is too                                                               
far west  to receive satellite  programming from  National Public                                                               
Radio (NPR).  Mayor Kelty  said that [without its radio service],                                                               
the community would no longer  receive programming for the Alaska                                                               
Public Radio  Network, and "the statewide  emergency system would                                                               
suffer."   He  explained  that  the City  of  Unalaska relies  on                                                               
statewide satellite  services for several of  its emergency alert                                                               
channels.  He said he had  heard someone comment that the cost of                                                               
each alert is $100,000, and he  opined that that is a small price                                                               
to pay to save even one person.                                                                                                 
9:50:00 AM                                                                                                                    
LIN   DAVIS  remarked   that  "the   quest   to  abolish   public                                                               
broadcasting ... [is] making the  rounds of state capitals."  She                                                               
called  HB  69 "a  democracy  alert."    She opined  that  public                                                               
television and radio  need to be separate  from politics, because                                                               
"none of us" wants state-run  Alaska broadcasting.  She said, "If                                                               
HB 69 passes, we  will need Voice of America to  let us know what                                                               
is really going  on."  She indicated there have  been 50 years of                                                               
attacks on public broadcasting, and  PBS and NPR "continue to win                                                               
bipartisan congressional funding support."   She opined, "It is a                                                               
tsunami alarm for Alaska that  certain political leaders continue                                                               
to wage war against  public tv and radio.  There  is no reason to                                                               
pass HB 69."                                                                                                                    
9:51:50 AM                                                                                                                    
MAUREEN LONGWORTH,  M.D., said  she has been  a physician  for 29                                                               
years and has  practiced medicine from Ketchikan to  Bethel.  She                                                               
said, "Like most  Americans in repeated surveys over  the past 30                                                               
years, I also  rely on PBS to deliver nonpartisan  facts by radio                                                               
and   television."     She   said   this  broadcasting   benefits                                                               
communities,  health, homes,  education, and  gives all  families                                                               
equal  access  while  providing  "local  news,  safety  messages,                                                               
public health  warnings, and  community social  news."   She said                                                               
she  has   championed  community  outreach,   cancer  prevention,                                                               
palliative  care, public  health education,  and patient  rights.                                                               
She talked  about the growth  of some  of her efforts  in Juneau,                                                               
Alaska, and she said she  thinks "these kinds of activities would                                                               
not mushroom into the awareness  they are today ... [without] the                                                               
word of public  radio."  She said partisan  broadcasting would be                                                               
a restriction of democracy; therefore,  funneling funds through a                                                               
state entity  would take away the  current nonpartisan management                                                               
of a public service.   She asked the committee to  stop HB 69 and                                                               
vote instead to preserve the state's democracy.                                                                                 
9:54:34 AM                                                                                                                    
MARK  SPRINGER said  he is  a consumer  of broadcast  media.   To                                                               
Representative  Jackson's previous  question,  he explained  that                                                               
Alaska's  broadcasting  is  traditional AM/FM  broadcasting;  the                                                               
television  station in  Bethel broadcasts  in digital,  with four                                                               
channels, which is  the current requirement of the FCC.   He said                                                               
the nice thing  about analog radio is that he  can leave town, as                                                               
is  typical  for the  traveling  communities  of Bethel  and  the                                                               
Yukon-Kuskokwim  area, and  bring an  inexpensive radio  along to                                                               
receive public  broadcasting.   He characterized  broadcasting as                                                               
"a  quilt that  covers  the  state" and  the  commission as  "the                                                               
quilters  that  keep  that  system tied  together."    He  stated                                                               
opposition to HB 69 and urged  the committee to "keep the bill in                                                               
committee for further  study."  He indicated  that he appreciated                                                               
the  legislature's  support  of  "a  robust  public  broadcasting                                                               
9:56:56 AM                                                                                                                    
HANS JAMES  opined that broadcast  radio is an  essential service                                                               
and [the commission] is part  of that service that provides news,                                                               
weather, and  alerts.  In  springtime, there are  swollen rivers,                                                               
and  the community  has  had great  need  for public  fundraising                                                               
through radio stations.  He stated his opposition to HB 69.                                                                     
9:58:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN announced  that public  testimony would  be held                                                               
9:58:29 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN,  on behalf  of a committee  member no  longer in                                                               
the  room, asked  Commissioner Tshibaka  to  clarify whether  the                                                               
$879,00 in fiscal  note 4 is currently used to  pay for emergency                                                               
notification for rural Alaska.                                                                                                  
COMMISSIONER TSHIBAKA answered yes.                                                                                             
9:58:55 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JACKSON  asked  whether the  majority  of  public                                                               
broadcasting is paid for federally.                                                                                             
COMMISSIONER TSHIBAKA offered her understanding  that it is not -                                                               
the  majority of  the  funds are  raised  locally and  subsidized                                                               
federally - but she deferred to Ms. Kabler for confirmation.                                                                    
9:59:31 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KABLER stated that the  funding for each station is different                                                               
depending  on  the size  of  the  station.   She  said,  "There's                                                               
significant federal  funding, local  funding, and  state funding;                                                               
it's a  complement of all  three that  funds each station."   She                                                               
said for  small stations, a  larger percentage of the  funding is                                                               
sourced federally,  and that  is because there  are only  so many                                                               
people in the  community from which to raise  money.  Conversely,                                                               
in  large communities,  the majority  of the  funding is  sourced                                                               
from local members and businesses.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE JACKSON  asked if "the  stations would be  able to                                                               
continue to move on" should the state cut funding.                                                                              
MS. KABLER answered that if the  funding from the State of Alaska                                                               
is  cut, then  the impact  would be  that matching  federal funds                                                               
would  be reduced.    She said  the tipping  point  upon which  a                                                               
station  would no  longer be  viable would  vary from  station to                                                               
station.   Funding cuts  have already been  faced in  fiscal year                                                               
2016  (FY 16)  and FY  17.   She said  cuts result  in diminished                                                               
service, but said  she cannot predict at what  point funding cuts                                                               
would cause the  end of each station.  She  reemphasized that the                                                               
biggest  impact of  state funding  loss would  be to  the smaller                                                               
10:01:31 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR HANNAN [announced that HB 69 was held over].                                                                           
10:01:40 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 10:02 a.m.                                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0069 version A.PDF HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB0069 Sponsor Statement 3.27.19.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB0069 Sectional Analysis 3.27.19.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB069 Fiscal Note 1 Broadcasting Commission.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB069 Fiscal Note 2 Public Broadcasting Radio.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB069 Fiscal Note 3 Public Broadcasting TV.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB069 Fiscal Note 4 Public Broadcasting Satellite Infra.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB0069 Additional Documents 3.27.19.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HJR019 ver S CS.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HJR 19
HB069 Letters of Support.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69
HB 069 Letters of Opposition - Consolidated 5.10.19.pdf HCRA 5/7/2019 8:00:00 AM
HB 69