Legislature(2021 - 2022)BARNES 124

05/06/2021 08:00 AM House COMMUNITY & REGIONAL AFFAIRS

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08:04:00 AM Start
08:04:41 AM HR8
09:13:46 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHR 8(CRA) Out of Committee
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
    HOUSE COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                   
                          May 6, 2021                                                                                           
                           8:04 a.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Sara Hannan, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Calvin Schrage, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Josiah Patkotak, Vice Chair                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Ken McCarty                                                                                                      
Representative Kevin McCabe                                                                                                     
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Prax                                                                                                        
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 8                                                                                                          
Creating the House Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.                                                                       
     - MOVED CSHR 8(CRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                       
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HR 8                                                                                                                    
SHORT TITLE: POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY TASK FORCE                                                                                 
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TARR                                                                                              
04/21/21       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/21/21       (H)       CRA                                                                                                    
05/04/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
05/04/21       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
05/04/21       (H)       MINUTE(CRA)                                                                                            
05/06/21       (H)       CRA AT 8:00 AM BARNES 124                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE GERAN TARR                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, presented HR 8.                                                                        
CHARLES MCKEE                                                                                                                   
No address provided                                                                                                             
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HR 8.                                                                    
TREVOR STORRS, President/CEO                                                                                                    
Alaska Children's Trust                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HR 8.                                                                    
CAROL PISCOYA                                                                                                                   
Kawerak, Inc.                                                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HR 8.                                                                    
ED MARTIN                                                                                                                       
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the hearing on HR 8.                                                                    
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
8:04:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SARA HANNAN  called the  House  Community and  Regional                                                             
Affairs  Standing  Committee  meeting   to  order  at  8:04  a.m.                                                               
Representatives Patkotak,  Drummond, McCabe, Schrage,  and Hannan                                                               
were  present  at the  call  to  order.   Representative  McCarty                                                               
arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                         
            HR 8-POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY TASK FORCE                                                                         
8:04:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN announced  that the only order  of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE RESOLUTION  NO. 8,  Creating  the House  Task Force  on                                                               
Poverty and Opportunity.                                                                                                        
8:05:22 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GERAN TARR,  Alaska State  Legislature, as  prime                                                               
sponsor of HR  8, said many people in Alaska  are suffering [as a                                                               
result of  poverty], especially  during the  pandemic.   She said                                                               
the idea  for HR 8  came from  the Rural Alaska  Community Action                                                               
Program,  Inc. ("RurAL  CAP").   She said  if there  are Alaskans                                                               
willing to  volunteer their  time, as suggested  under HR  8, she                                                               
believes there  are options for  spending dollars more  wisely to                                                               
improve  outcomes.   She mentioned  Representatives Patkotak  and                                                               
McCabe and  that issues  differ in  rural and  urban areas.   She                                                               
spoke of improving service or program  delivery in a way that not                                                               
only "can overcome people being  in desperate situations but also                                                               
provide opportunities for people."                                                                                              
8:07:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK  moved to adopt Amendment  1, labeled 32-                                                               
LS0728\B.1, Dunmire, 5/4/21, which read as follows:                                                                             
     Page 4, lines 12 - 13:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
               "(4)  two members from tribal governments or                                                                     
     tribal nonprofits;                                                                                                         
               (5)  two members from corporations formed                                                                        
     under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act;"                                                                            
     Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
     Page 4, line 19, following "members":                                                                                      
          Insert ", not from the same municipality,"                                                                            
     Page 4, line 21, following "members":                                                                                      
     Insert ", not from the same municipality,"                                                                                 
8:07:30 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK  spoke to  Amendment  1.   He  said  the                                                               
reason for  dividing four of  the proposed members into  two from                                                               
tribal  governments  or tribal  nonprofits  and  two from  Native                                                               
corporations  is because  those factors  play different  economic                                                               
roles in  the villages.  The  second part of the  amendment would                                                               
ensure   that  there   are  not   two  members   from  the   same                                                               
municipality, and the  reason for that is  to ensure geographical                                                               
8:08:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND said  she thought Amendment 1  was a good                                                               
amendment.    She  asked  how  many  tribal  governments,  tribal                                                               
nonprofits, and Native corporations there are.                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK answered  that  he does  not have  exact                                                               
numbers,  but  explained  he  was  distinguishing  the  roles  of                                                               
village  and  regional  economics.    In  response  to  follow-up                                                               
questions, he  shared some history  of regional  corporations and                                                               
the  Alaska   Native  Claims  Settlement  Act   (ANCSA),  and  he                                                               
confirmed that any corporation formed  under ANCSA could have two                                                               
members under Amendment 1.                                                                                                      
8:12:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE asked for  the definition of "municipality"                                                               
in order to make a decision on Amendment 1.                                                                                     
8:13:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR said she was looking for a definition.                                                                      
8:14:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK   said  the  language  of   Amendment  1                                                               
mimicked  that  of  HR  8;  however,  if  desired,  he  suggested                                                               
"subdivision   of   the  state"   could   be   used  instead   of                                                               
CO-CHAIR HANNAN offered her understanding  that the definition of                                                               
"municipality"  is   found  under  statutes  pertaining   to  the                                                               
organization of governments.                                                                                                    
8:14:34 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR   cited  AS  01.10.060(4),  which   read  as                                                               
          (4) "municipality"  means a  political subdivision                                                                    
     incorporated  under the  laws of  the state  that is  a                                                                    
     home rule or  general law city, a home  rule or general                                                                    
     law borough, or a unified municipality;                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE noted  that  Wasilla has  a population  of                                                               
10,000,  but if  Knik Fairview  is included,  that increases  the                                                               
population  to 27,000.    He said,  "So, there's  ...  sort of  a                                                               
little issue here."  He  told Representative Patkotak, "I think I                                                               
know  what you're  trying to  get at,  and I'm  not sure  Wasilla                                                               
would fit  under what  you're trying  to get  at."   He clarified                                                               
that he  is in favor  of Amendment 1 but  just wanted "to  have a                                                               
little clarification on that."                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN reminded  members that  the House  Community and                                                               
Regional Affairs  Standing Committee serves as  governing body to                                                               
unorganized  boroughs  and  unorganized  lands of  Alaska.    She                                                               
offered  her understanding  that Wasilla  is a  first-class, home                                                               
rule city.   She said  Knik, while  not having its  own municipal                                                               
government, would  still be  within the  Matanuska-Susitna ("Mat-                                                               
Su") Borough.                                                                                                                   
8:16:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK,  following up  on his  previous response                                                               
to Representative  Drummond, reported that there  are 13 regional                                                               
corporations,   over   200    village   corporations,   and   229                                                               
"legitimately  listed" federal  recognized tribes;  therefore, he                                                               
said he  thinks "it's fair  to break distinction between  the two                                                               
because they're pretty well balanced."                                                                                          
8:17:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  opined that  since  there  are so  many                                                               
tribal governments,  they should have more  representation on the                                                               
task force proposed under HR 8.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND   moved  [Conceptual]  Amendment   1  to                                                               
Amendment 1,  to change "two" to  "three" on line 3  and "two" to                                                               
"one" on line 4 [lines as  numbered on the hard copy of Amendment                                                               
8:18:15 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK responded  that  while  he respects  the                                                               
intent,  he thinks  that if  one of  the groups  is increased  to                                                               
three memberships, then the other should be, as well.                                                                           
8:19:39 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  said she  is open to  that and  agrees about                                                               
the balance.                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK noted  he has  sat as  a tribal  council                                                               
member  and   a  village   corporation  member.     He   gave  an                                                               
illustration of  how both  groups play a  role in  spending money                                                               
and  overseeing  projects.    In  response  to  a  question  from                                                               
Representative  McCabe   as  to  whether  members   of  a  tribal                                                               
government  would  automatically be  part  of  a corporation,  he                                                               
explained that anyone  who is at least "some kind  of Native" can                                                               
be  part of  a tribe.   He  explained that  someone from  another                                                               
tribe  in the  Lower  48, a  Navajo for  example,  could move  to                                                               
Barrow and appeal to become part  of the tribe there.  He pointed                                                               
out  that grant  money  from the  federal  government is  awarded                                                               
based  on tribal  membership.   He indicated  that membership  in                                                               
regional  village   corporations  is  based  on   genealogy.    A                                                               
grandparent born before 1971, which  is when ACSA was passed, was                                                               
an  original shareholder  of  a  corporation.   In  the '90s,  an                                                               
amendment  to  ANCSA allowed  "after-borns"  -  those born  after                                                               
December 18, 1971  - to be shareholders by  proving, for example,                                                               
that their grandfather was an original shareholder.                                                                             
8:24:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE   observed  that  Conceptual  Amendment   1  to                                                               
Amendment  1  would  increase  the  numbers  unequally,  yet  the                                                               
discussion is  now focused  on having  equal representation.   He                                                               
questioned whether  Representative Drummond  would like  to amend                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 to Amendment 1.                                                                                          
8:25:10 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  indicated that  any further  increase in                                                               
the total number of the task  force may be unwieldy, and that was                                                               
not the intent  of [Conceptual Amendment 1 to Amendment  1].  She                                                               
said  she would  almost prefer  to  leave [the  total number]  of                                                               
members from  Native corporations, tribal governments,  or tribal                                                               
nonprofits at four, and "let  them decide" along with the Speaker                                                               
of the House.  She stated, "I feel  that on the basis of how many                                                               
village corporations  and federally  recognized tribes  there are                                                               
that  they need  to have  more representation  rather than  equal                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK  remarked that  he was  now more  open to                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 to Amendment  1 after recalling that a lot                                                               
of Indian Health Service (HIS)  hospitals are compacts of village                                                               
tribal governments,  which opens  up even more  representation in                                                               
terms of the healthcare system.                                                                                                 
8:26:55 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:26 a.m. to 8:27 a.m.                                                                       
8:27:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  restated the motion to  adopt Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 to Amendment 1.                                                                                                     
CO-CHAIR HANNAN offered her understanding  that there had been an                                                               
objection by Representative Patkotak.                                                                                           
8:28:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK  removed his  objection.  There  being no                                                               
further  objection, Conceptual  Amendment  1 to  Amendment 1  was                                                               
8:28:25 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND regarding Amendment  1, as amended, said,                                                               
"I  am not  sure that  the items  regarding the  municipality are                                                               
very clear for this organization."   She said someone may live in                                                               
a borough  but not in a  municipality, home rule city,  or any of                                                               
the other  small governments within  the borough.   She explained                                                               
that she was uncertain whether  "municipality" would be inclusive                                                               
of all the various governments in the state.                                                                                    
8:29:35 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN stated as follows:                                                                                              
     Let  me just  interject  to make  sure  that we're  all                                                                    
     reading  that the  original bill  is not  saying you're                                                                    
     from [emphasis  on "from"] a municipality;  so you work                                                                    
     ...  [emphasis   on  "work"]   ...  in   the  municipal                                                                    
     government,  and then  it defines  the size  of it,  so                                                                    
     you've got two  categories.  ... So, that's  one of the                                                                    
     things I  think that helps  clear it  up.  There  are a                                                                    
     lot   of  people   that   live   outside  a   municipal                                                                    
     government,  but  these  two  appointees,  well,  four,                                                                    
     would  be people  who work  for municipal  governments,                                                                    
     and I think that narrows the definition, right?                                                                            
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  concluded  that  there   would  have  to  be  a                                                               
municipal government in order for  an individual to work for one,                                                               
but that  individual might live outside  the municipal government                                                               
and commute to the municipality for work.                                                                                       
8:30:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR re-read the  definition of municipality.  She                                                               
said,  "The purpose  here are  people involved  with the  service                                                               
delivery, and  that's ...  sort of  the role  they would  play in                                                               
this task force."  She added the  goal was to figure out how this                                                               
could  be  done with  better  outcomes  and in  a  cost-effective                                                               
8:31:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY directed  attention to  the phrase,  "two                                                               
members who  work in municipal  government", on page 4,  line 19,                                                               
of HR 8, and he made  a distinction between working "in" or "for"                                                               
a municipal government.                                                                                                         
8:32:00 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE, while admitting that  he was not a lawyer, said                                                               
he was  not sure there  was a distinction  made there.   In other                                                               
words,  the  language  "makes  it  clear  that  you  work  for  a                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TARR responded that she thought that was true.                                                                   
8:32:32 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCABE suggested focusing  on the intent, which he                                                               
offered his understanding  was to "access somebody  that works in                                                               
a service  level of  the government  that would  be able  to help                                                               
provide information to  this task force on ... sort  of what they                                                               
do to help out..."                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  interjected an affirmation that  [desired on                                                               
the  task  force] would  be  people  knowledgeable about  program                                                               
delivery, what works and does not work, and what is needed.                                                                     
8:33:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  gave an  example of an  individual hired  by the                                                               
City  &  Bureau of  Juneau,  whose  work  includes serving  as  a                                                               
homelessness coordinator, and  she surmised he would  make a good                                                               
task  force member,  representing a  municipality of  over 15,000                                                               
and offering insight into those living in poverty.                                                                              
8:33:50 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY asked  for clarity  on tribal  structure.                                                               
He asked  whether an  elder steeped in  wisdom would  be excluded                                                               
because he/she does not work for a municipal government.                                                                        
8:34:36 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  noted that  one task  force member  would be                                                               
selected  from  senior citizens,  a  category  separate from  the                                                               
8:35:08 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PATKOTAK   [moved  to   adopt  Amendment   2]  to                                                               
Amendment  1,  as   amended,  to  replace  "not   from  the  same                                                               
municipality"  with  "not  representing the  same  municipality".                                                               
The language  is found in  Amendment 1,  as amended, on  lines 10                                                               
and 13, [as numbered on the hardcopy of Amendment 1].                                                                           
8:35:50 AM                                                                                                                    
The committee took an at-ease from 8:35 a.m. to 8:36 a.m.                                                                       
8:36:31 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK repeated the  motion to adopt Amendment 2                                                               
to Amendment 1, as amended.   There being no objection, Amendment                                                               
2 to Amendment 1, as amended, was adopted.                                                                                      
8:37:34 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN  removed  her   objection  to  Amendment  1,  as                                                               
amended.   There  being  no further  objection,  Amendment 1,  as                                                               
amended, was adopted.                                                                                                           
8:38:04 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE  moved  to  adopt   Amendment  2,  labeled  32-                                                               
LS0728\B.2, Dunmire, 5/5/21, which read as follows:                                                                             
     Page 4, line 14:                                                                                                           
          Delete "one member"                                                                                                   
          Insert "two members"                                                                                                  
     Page 4, line 15:                                                                                                           
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
     Renumber the following paragraphs accordingly.                                                                             
CO-CHAIR HANNAN objected for discussion purposes.                                                                               
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE deferred to the sponsor of HR 8.                                                                               
8:38:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  explained  she  originally  had  considered                                                               
offering the  proposed legislation  as a House  joint resolution,                                                               
but she  indicated the choice  to use  a House resolution  as the                                                               
vehicle had to do with "the  dynamics of the progress."  She said                                                               
Amendment 2 would change the number  of House members on the task                                                               
force  from one  member  of each  body to  two  members from  the                                                               
House.  She further remarked  that the current number of proposed                                                               
legislators for the  task force is "light," but  assured that any                                                               
legislator would be welcome to attend task force meetings.                                                                      
8:39:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCARTY  said   he  liked   the  resolution   as                                                               
originally written  to include  a member from  the House  and one                                                               
from the Senate.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TARR explained her  understanding that the Speaker                                                               
of  the  House  cannot  appoint  a  member  of  the  other  body;                                                               
therefore, since HR 8 is not  a joint resolution, that is why the                                                               
legislative members appointed  on the task force need  to be from                                                               
the House.                                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY observed  that HR 8 "is not  even going to                                                               
the other body to consider."                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN  asked for  confirmation that if  HR 8  passes in                                                               
committee and is adopted on the  House floor, "it is a House task                                                               
force on poverty versus a legislative task force."                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  confirmed that  is correct.   She reiterated                                                               
the issue  of timing.   She related that  she had reached  out to                                                               
the Senate President but proceeded  with a House resolution after                                                               
not receiving a response.                                                                                                       
8:41:11 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND asked  for confirmation that HR  8 is the                                                               
House stating its intent to instigate  a task force, and it would                                                               
not be signed by the governor.                                                                                                  
[AN UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER] said, "Um-hmm."                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  pointed to language [from  paragraph (7), on                                                               
page 5, lines 2-5, of HR 8], which read as follows:                                                                             
               (7)  not later  than December  31, 2022,  the                                                                    
     task force  shall deliver to  the speaker of  the house                                                                    
     of representatives,  the president  of the  senate, the                                                                    
     chief clerk  of the  house of representatives,  and the                                                                    
     senate  secretary  a   final  report  with  legislative                                                                    
      recommendations and notify the legislature that the                                                                       
     report is available.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR said  she felt  comfortable moving  forward,                                                               
since the  membership of legislators  on the proposed  task force                                                               
would be light.                                                                                                                 
8:42:16 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   MCCARTY  asked   whether   there   would  be   a                                                               
differentiation  between the  two  House members,  such that  one                                                               
would be from a rural area and one from an urban area.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR responded  that that  was a  great question.                                                               
She noted that there had  been discussion regarding partisanship,                                                               
but the  intent was to "leave  it open for any  interested member                                                               
of the  House."  She allowed  that one urban and  one rural House                                                               
member may be helpful in terms of representation.                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY said  he  would be  willing  to offer  an                                                               
amendment, and  then he questioned  what the  distinction between                                                               
urban and rural may be.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  shared her  ideas on  rural and  urban being                                                               
geographical,  since each  representative  has  roughly the  same                                                               
number of constituents.                                                                                                         
8:44:28 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  proffered  that urban  areas,  such  as                                                               
Anchorage,  are densely  populated,  while rural  areas, such  as                                                               
Representative   Patkotak's  district   are  vast   and  sparsely                                                               
populated  in comparison;  therefore, she  opined that  selecting                                                               
one urban and one rural member  from the House for the task force                                                               
would  be  "a  fair  ...  characterization  of  ...  one  of  the                                                               
differences amongst our districts."                                                                                             
8:45:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE concurred  with  Representative  Drummond.   He                                                               
suggested  one distinction  could be  a railbelt  community.   He                                                               
indicated  he  would be  agreeable  with  whatever the  committee                                                               
decides is the comfortable solution.                                                                                            
8:46:07 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE PATKOTAK  noted that  the Department  of Commerce,                                                               
Community  &  Economic  Development (DCCED)  publishes  "economic                                                               
opportunity zones,"  which he observed were  "well-balanced" on a                                                               
map.  He  suggested one House member could be  chosen from within                                                               
an economic  opportunity zone and  one from outside such  a zone,                                                               
and that may create the desired balance.                                                                                        
8:46:46 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE suggested  the committee  may be  "getting                                                               
into  the weeds"  with the  minutia.   He speculated  that it  is                                                               
probably more  important to have  representatives from  the House                                                               
who  have an  interest  in  the task  force  regardless of  their                                                               
8:47:50 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR SCHRAGE  echoed Representative McCabe's remark  that the                                                               
important thing  is to  have members  on the  task force  who are                                                               
actively engaged.  He cautioned putting up too many sideboards.                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN described  her district  as including  urban and                                                               
rural  communities,  and she  recommended  not  defining the  two                                                               
members   from   the  legislative   body.      She  agreed   that                                                               
fundamentally it is important to  have legislators serving on the                                                               
task force who have the interest in doing so.                                                                                   
8:49:30 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR  expressed  that  her  experience  attending                                                               
meetings of a  task force on which she was  not a member revealed                                                               
to her  how some who  were members were  not in attendance.   She                                                               
surmised  she was  more interested  because  it was  an issue  on                                                               
which she  had worked.   That said,  she expressed hope  that the                                                               
two House members  on the task force would end  up being from two                                                               
different areas, because "that would add value."                                                                                
CO-CHAIR HANNAN drew attention to  the short time period in which                                                               
the task  force would be compiled  and need to complete  its task                                                               
and make recommendations - the deadline being December 31, 2022.                                                                
8:50:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCARTY reflected  back to  Representative Tarr's                                                               
mention of one House member being  from the majority and one from                                                               
the minority, and he said, "I'm good with that, as well."                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE TARR replied  that she was open to  that; she just                                                               
had not  gotten to  know all  the legislators,  and she  left the                                                               
number at two, unspecified House members  in the end.  She agreed                                                               
with Representative  McCabe about  not wanting to  choose members                                                               
based on which caucus they were  apart of if those members had no                                                               
interest in working on the task force.                                                                                          
8:52:04 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MCCABE said  while he  appreciated Representative                                                               
McCarty's  efforts to  be all-inclusive,  he opined  that poverty                                                               
does not  have politics  associated with  it and  "we need  to be                                                               
above that."   He said  the task force  membership Representative                                                               
Tarr  had proposed  was already  diverse, and  he questioned  how                                                               
necessary  it   would  be  to   require  minority   and  majority                                                               
membership.   He reiterated the importance  of seeking interested                                                               
8:52:48 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY  moved to adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1 to                                                               
Amendment 2,  on page 4, line  14, to require of  the two members                                                               
from the  House that one  be from the  majority and one  from the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  objected.   She  pointed  out that  the                                                               
legislature has one member who is  not a member of either caucus,                                                               
and she questioned,  "How do we deal with that?"   She stated her                                                               
preference  to  leave the  resolution  as  is,  so that  the  two                                                               
members from  the House serving  on the  task force can  be those                                                               
interested in doing so.                                                                                                         
8:54:05 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MCCARTY said Representative  Drummond brought up a                                                               
good point  about not all  members of the legislature  being part                                                               
of the majority or minority.   For that reason, he stated that he                                                               
would  withdraw the  motion to  adopt Conceptual  Amendment 1  to                                                               
Amendment 2.                                                                                                                    
8:54:41 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  HANNAN removed  her objection  to the  motion to  adopt                                                               
Amendment 2.   There being no further objection,  Amendment 2 was                                                               
8:55:25 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN opened public testimony on HR 8, as amended.                                                                    
8:55:58 AM                                                                                                                    
CHARLES MCKEE, testified  that "this is not a remedy."   He noted                                                               
he had submitted  written testimony.  He opined that  there is "a                                                               
mental condition that gets ... woven  into a group of people that                                                               
cause  poverty  to begin  with."    He mentioned  "injunction  by                                                               
court"  and  posited that  "you're  not  using these  injunctions                                                               
8:58:58 AM                                                                                                                    
TREVOR  STORRS, President/CEO,  Alaska Children's  Trust, advised                                                               
that "one  of the most  effective ways of preventing  child abuse                                                               
and neglect is by addressing  the social determinants that foster                                                               
an environment that promotes trauma  and discourages building the                                                               
skills necessary  to manage  it."  He  said Alaska  ranks thirty-                                                               
sixth  in the  nation for  child overall  well-being and  thirty-                                                               
fourth for  family economic  well-being.  He  said growing  up in                                                               
poverty  is  a  major  barrier   to  healthy  child  development,                                                               
increasing  the  likelihood  of  poor  academic,  cognitive,  and                                                               
health outcomes.   He offered statistics  about childhood poverty                                                               
in Alaska  in 2018.  He  said the pandemic has  magnified issues;                                                               
families are struggling  to have food and shelter,  and nearly 20                                                               
percent of  adults in Alaska  living in households  with children                                                               
"have little  or no confidence in  their ability to pay  the next                                                               
rent  or  mortgage payment."    He  added  that 38  percent  have                                                               
difficulty paying typical monthly household expenses.                                                                           
MR. STORRS stated that federal  poverty guidelines do not account                                                               
for  costs related  to health  insurance, child  care, and  other                                                               
necessities  such as  Internet access.   He  said, "Behind  every                                                               
statistic there's  a child going  to bed  with an empty  belly, a                                                               
single mother unable  to take her child to  the pediatrician, and                                                               
youth who do  not see a viable career without  a college or trade                                                               
education, which all  cost money."  He  emphasized the importance                                                               
of  addressing the  "structural  reasons that  are causing  these                                                               
numbers."   He expressed  how easy  it is to  write off  those in                                                               
poverty as having  made wrong life choices or to  say they should                                                               
just  pull  themselves  up  by their  bootstraps.    He  reminded                                                               
everyone that some  do not have boots, let alone  bootstraps.  He                                                               
talked about  HR 8 as putting  focus on solutions to  poverty and                                                               
providing opportunity.   He  concluded, "Alaska  needs to  take a                                                               
comprehensive  approach  and   create  opportunity  for  economic                                                               
mobility,  provide hope,  and collectively  ensure all  children,                                                               
youth,  and families  in Alaska  have the  chance and  tools they                                                               
need to thrive."                                                                                                                
9:02:02 AM                                                                                                                    
CAROL PISCOYA, Kawerak,  Inc., gave a brief  overview on Kawerak,                                                               
Inc.  She shared her  sources for information were primarily from                                                               
a  Bering Strait  community needs  assessment completed  in 2019,                                                               
with additional  information from DCCED, the  Department of Labor                                                               
& Workforce Development  (DLWD), and the 2010  Census.  Regarding                                                               
poverty and  opportunity, she said  overcrowding is an  issue; 30                                                               
percent  of   households  are  overcrowded,  with   some  regions                                                               
experiencing  overcrowding in  up  to 60  percent of  households.                                                               
She  said housing  is  expensive, homeowners  pay  30 percent  of                                                               
their income on housing.  She  talked about the age of houses and                                                               
the  lack of  water  services in  some  communities, which  means                                                               
little or  no sanitation.   She named issues related  to poverty,                                                               
including housing, water, sewer,  substance abuse, health impacts                                                               
due  to   alcohol  and   drugs,  limited   economic  opportunity,                                                               
inadequate  public safety,  high  turnover  of teachers,  limited                                                               
treatment  for  mental  illness,  and  more,  and  she  said  the                                                               
pandemic has  magnified many  of these issues.   She  stated that                                                               
Kawerak, Inc. fully  supports a fact-finding task  force that can                                                               
come up with solutions for its region.                                                                                          
9:06:05 AM                                                                                                                    
ED MARTIN  testified that he  read the sponsor statement,  and he                                                               
said the war  on poverty "hasn't done the job  that Lyndon Baines                                                               
Johnson enacted ... by federal law  in '64."  He posited that the                                                               
permanent  fund dividend  (PFD)  has helped  to  bring people  in                                                               
Alaska  out  of  poverty,  and not  receiving  PFDs  pushed  some                                                               
Alaskans  across  the  poverty  line.     He  noted  the  sponsor                                                               
statement mentions  COVID-19 and  people losing  their jobs.   He                                                               
said the  government wants "to save  us all" and yet  "they don't                                                               
do much  to actually help  us."  He  speculated that the  war [on                                                               
poverty] is  probably one of the  worst being taken on.   He said                                                               
he thinks  [the task force]  is worth having but  advised, "Let's                                                               
make it  quick, because we're  not getting any further  ahead ...                                                               
with this  so-called war  on poverty,  and a lot  of it  we can't                                                               
cure."  He  explained there will never be  100 percent employment                                                               
or  eradication of  abuse  and  fraud and  waste.   He  suggested                                                               
keeping  the  task  force  limited   in  size  for  the  sake  of                                                               
9:09:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR HANNAN,  after ascertaining that  there was no  one else                                                               
who  wished to  testify,  closed  public testimony  on  HR 8,  as                                                               
9:10:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  TARR expressed  thanks for  the great  discussion                                                               
and testimony and said she felt positive about the task force.                                                                  
9:10:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  SCHRAGE  moved to  report  HR  8,  as amended,  out  of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
zero  fiscal note.   There  being no  objection, CSHR  8(CRA) was                                                               
reported  out  of  the  House   Community  and  Regional  Affairs                                                               
Standing Committee.                                                                                                             
9:13:46 AM                                                                                                                    
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Community  and Regional  Affairs Standing  Committee meeting  was                                                               
adjourned at 9:14 a.m.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HR 8 Amendment Patkotak 5.4.2021.pdf HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Supporting Documents.pdf HCRA 5/4/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Sponsor Statement.pdf HCRA 5/4/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Zero Fiscal Note.pdf HCRA 5/4/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Version A.PDF HCRA 5/4/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Letters of Support 5.6.21.pdf HCRA 5/4/2021 8:00:00 AM
HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8
HR 8 Amendment B.2.pdf HCRA 5/6/2021 8:00:00 AM
HR 8