Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/18/1993 01:40 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                        February 18, 1993                                      
                            1:40 p.m.                                          
  TAPE HFC 93-26, Side 1, #000 - end.                                          
  TAPE HFC 93-26, Side 2, #000 - 309.                                          
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
  Co-Chair Larson called the House  Finance Committee to order                 
  at 1:40 p.m.                                                                 
  Co-Chair Larson                                                              
  Representative Hoffman                                                       
  Representative Martin                                                        
  Representative Navarre                                                       
  Representative Therriault                                                    
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
  Representatives Brown, Foster,  Hanley, Parnell,  Therriault                 
  and Co-Chair MacLean were absent from the meeting.                           
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
  Cheryl Frasca, Division  Director, Office of  Management and                 
  Budget,  Office  of  the  Governor;  Duane  Guiley,  Finance                 
  Director Department  of Education;  Janet Clarke,  Director,                 
  Division  of Administrative  Services, Department  of Health                 
  and  Social  Services;  Jan Hansen,  Director,  Division  of                 
  Public Assistance, Department of Health and Social Services;                 
  Richard   Pegues,   Director,  Division   of  Administrative                 
  Services,   Department  of  Law;  Rod  R.  Mourant,  Special                 
  Assistant, Department of Revenue.                                            
  HB 135    "An   Act   making   supplemental    and   special                 
            appropriations   for   the   expenses   of   state                 
            government;   making,   amending,   and  repealing                 
            capital   and   operating    appropriations;   and                 
            providing for an effective date."                                  
  BUDGET, OFFICE OF  THE GOVERNOR noted that  the supplemental                 
  request totals $40,500.0 million general  fund dollars.  She                 
  reviewed HB 135 by section:                                                  
  DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION                                                 
       *    Sec. 1    Longevity  Bonus   -  $1,340.3   million                 
            Additional funds  are requested to  cover the cost                 
            of increased applicants.  The Governor's  proposal                 
            will not decrease appropriations until FY 96.                      
  Representative Martin asked that  Ms. Frasca identify  which                 
  supplemental  requests  have been  adjusted  into the  FY 94                 
  Operating  Budget.    (FY  93  Authorized  and  supplemental                 
  appropriations  have  been  added  together  for the  FY  94                 
  requested total.)   Ms. Frasca  noted that sec.  1 has  been                 
  adjusted for in the FY 94 budget.                                            
       *    Sec. 2    Public   Defender   -   $383.0  thousand                 
            This  represents operating  costs unfunded  in the                 
            current  budget.  Sec. 2  has been adjusted for in                 
            the FY 94 Operating Budget.  Thirty percent of the                 
            Public Defender's cases are civil.  Criminal cases                 
            represent 70 percent of the cases.                                 
       *    Sec. 3    RATNET - $200.0 thousand dollars                         
            Anticipated savings were not realized in the FY 93                 
            Operating  Budget.   Competitive  bids for  uplink                 
            services were delayed.  Savings are anticipated in                 
            FY  94.    If the  appropriation  is  not approved                 
            service  could be discontinued  for the  final two                 
            months of fiscal year FY 93 or daily service could                 
            be drastically curtailed.                                          
       *    Sec. 4    Personnel Board - $64.0 thousand dollars                 
            Increased hearings have  resulted in a  shortfall.                 
            This appropriation  will pay  for special  counsel                 
            and a hearing officer.                                             
       *    Sec. 5    Office  of  Public  Advocacy   -  $616.4                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
            The  Office   of  Public  Advocacy   caseload  has                 
            increased by 19 percent in FY 93.  Sec. 5 has been                 
            adjusted for in the FY 94 Operating Budget.                        
  Co-Chair Larson noted that  18 percent of the cases  are for                 
  criminal defense  and 82 percent are for  child abuse cases.                 
  Ms. Frasca  observed that HB 65 contains provisions to alter                 
  the Office  of  Public Advocacy's  responsibilities.    (See                 
  section 2.)                                                                  
       *    Sec. 6    Elected  Officials  Retirement  -  $30.4                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
            There  has  been  an increase  in  former  elected                 
            officials who have  elected to collect retirement.                 
            Increased health costs are also included.                          
  Co-Chair Larson  asked  if the  Legislators'  retirement  is                 
  based on current salaries.  Ms. Frasca was unable to answer.                 
  Representative Navarre clarified that only legislators  that                 
  elected to join the  system during the years 1974  -1976 are                 
       *    Sec. 7    Leasing  of  State  facilities -  $642.9                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
  Representative Martin  pointed out that  agencies should  be                 
  encouraged to seek less expensive leasing space.                             
  DEPARTMENT OF LAW                                                            
       *    Sec. 8    Prosecution - $400.0 thousand dollars                    
            Reductions resulted  in the  elimination of  three                 
            prosecutors  and  three  support staff  positions.                 
            The Governor felt that prosection activities would                 
            be  adversely   affected  and   elected  to   seek                 
            supplemental funding.   Sec.  8 has been  adjusted                 
            for in the FY 94 Operating Budget.                                 
       *    Sec. 9    Oil and  Gas Litigation  - $6.6  million                 
  Representative Navarre observed that the Permanent  Dividend                 
  Fund  pays  25   percent  of  litigation  costs   under  the                 
  assumption that the  Fund will benefit from settlements.  He                 
  asked if 25  percent of  the proceeds are  returning to  the                 
  Co-Chair Larson  asked if  additional  litigation cases  are                 
  SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF  LAW replied that all  the potential                 
  tax cases are not underway.                                                  
  Representative Hoffman noted that the  Department of Law has                 
  a  $8.8  million dollar  reduction  in  FY 94.    Ms. Frasca                 
  stressed that it is  impossible to project the actual  level                 
  of litigation.   She observed  that several cases  have been                 
       *    Sec. 10   FCC   Telephone   Proceeding   -  $280.0                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
            The   request   will   pay   legal   counsel    in                 
            telecommunications proceedings.   Proceedings will                 
            decide how long distance rates will be apportioned                 
            between outside carriers.                                          
       *    Sec. 11   Subsistence Legislation - $35.0 thousand                 
            This will  pay for  the  enactment of  subsistence                 
            legislation which was  paid for during the  Second                 
            Special  Session  of  the Seventeenth  Legislative                 
            Session.     Regulations  will   be  drafted   and                 
            implemented    to    reflect    the    subsistence                 
       *    Sec. 12   Judgement and Claims -  $1,087.7 million                 
            The  Southeast  Conference   judgement  award   is                 
            included in this request.                                          
  DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE                                                        
       *    Sec. 13   Income  &  Excise   -  $325.0   thousand                 
            Unallocated reductions  resulted in  a backlog  of                 
            cases.  Sec. 13 has been adjusted for in the FY 94                 
            Operating Budget.                                                  
  clarified that five positions were eliminated  in FY 93.  He                 
  observed that  $50.0 thousand  dollars will  go to  personal                 
  services,  $25.0  thousand  dollars for  travel  and  $250.0                 
  thousand  dollars   in  contractual  costs   for  additional                 
  researchers.  Returns  beyond 1985  and  1986 have  not been                 
  audited.   Issues in oil and gas  that need to be researched                 
  go  back  to 1976.   Older  audits  will be  forgone without                 
  funding.  Mr. Morant agreed that  there are additional cases                 
  to be instigated.                                                            
  DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION                                                      
       *    Sec. 14   Foundation  Program  -  $6,427.1 million                 
            This  represents  an  increase  in  enrollment  in                 
            grades K - 12.                                                     
  Co-Chairman  Larson  noted  that  as  enrollment in  special                 
  education  and vocational  education  increases that  school                 
  districts enrollments are not being met.                                     
  noted that the  federal definition  of special education  is                 
  expanding.  The State of Alaska services gifted and talented                 
  and  handicapped  students  as special  education  students.                 
  Increases  to  the  Special   Education  Program  represents                 
  $5,184.0 million dollars.  Of  this amount, $5,141.7 million                 
  dollars  go to Anchorage,  Fairbanks and Juneau.   There has                 
  been a 184 student decrease in enrollment based upon  school                 
  district projections.  He acknowledged that school districts                 
  also receive federal funds directly.                                         
       *    Sec. 15   Postsecondary    Commission   -    $98.5                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
            The  WAMI  Program  is  short  funded  due  to  an                 
            accounting error.  A FY 92 billing was paid out of                 
            FY 93 accounts.  The amount was lapsed from FY 92.                 
       *    Sec. 16   Ratification and amendment of prior year                 
                      expenditures - $0                                        
            Errors  resulting from  conversions  in the  state                 
            accounting system in 1985 will be cleared.                         
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES                                     
       *    Sec. 17   Aid to Families with  Dependent Children                 
                      (AFDC) - $3,203.5 million dollars                        
            This request will cover shortfalls due to caseload                 
            increases and the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).                 
            Legislation to suspend the COLA failed to pass the                 
            Second Session of the Seventeenth Legislature.                     
  HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES  pointed out that HB 67  contains                 
  provisions to suspend the COLA for one year.                                 
       *    Sec. 18   Adult Public Assistance (APA) - $1,671.1                 
                      million dollars                                          
            This request will cover shortfalls due to caseload                 
            increases and the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).                 
            Legislation to suspend the COLA failed to pass the                 
            Second Session of the Seventeenth Legislature.                     
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-26, Side 2)                                             
  Ms. Hansen interjected that of those receiving AFDC benefits                 
  nine percent have been in the State for less than one  year.                 
  In 1985, six  percent of those  receiving AFDC benefits  had                 
  been in the State less than one year.  Of those applying for                 
  benefits 15  - 20 percent  have been  in the State  for less                 
  than one year.  She observed  that surveys by the Department                 
  of Health and Social Services showed that the primary reason                 
  new clients moved to the State was to seek employment.                       
  Ms. Hansen  stressed that  funds were  not transferred  from                 
  this BRU  to  the Commissioner's  Office  for travel.    Ms.                 
  Hansen observed that AFDC makes an average of 12,485 monthly                 
  payments to households.  APA  average monthly payments reach                 
  8,908 households.                                                            
       *    Sec. 19   Medicaid Facilities  - <3,808.9  million                 
            This amount will return to the General Fund due to                 
            a caseload decrease.                                               
       *    Sec. 20   Public       Assistance      eligibility                 
                      Determination - $77.9 thousand dollars                   
            There has been an increase in caseload.                            
       *    Sec. 21   JOBS Program - $195.0 thousand dollars                   
            This  request will pay  for child-care costs while                 
            Public   Assistance   clients   are   engaged   in                 
            education,   training   and   employment   related                 
       *    Sec. 22   Public  Assistance  Data   Processing  -                 
            This is the result of increased use of the State's                 
            mainframe computer system as a result of increased                 
       *    Sec. 23   Medical   Assistance  Administration   -                 
                      $187.5 thousand dollars                                  
            The  State has  reduced  medicare dollars  through                 
            increased screening.   There has  been an increase                 
            in  administrative  costs   associated  with   the                 
            screening process.                                                 
       *    Sec. 24   Foster Care - $1,100.0 million dollars                   
            Four hundred thousand dollars are the result of an                 
            increased  number  of  placements.   In  addition,                 
            there has been a delay in the start of anticipated                 
            federal programs that  will subsidize state costs.                 
            Savings will be realized in FY 94.                                 
       *    Sec. 25   McLaughlin   Youth   Center   -   $110.0                 
                      thousand dollars                                         
            This  request  is  the result  of  an  increase of                 
            contractual  costs   due  to   the  expansion   of                 
       *    Sec. 26   Post  Mortem  Exams  -  $229.6  thousand                 
            This is the result of an increased number of court                 
            ordered autopsies.                                                 
       *    Sec. 27   Bloodborne Pathogens  - $155.9  thousand                 
            This  is  the  result  of  the  implementation  of                 
            federal requirements.                                              
  HB 135 was HELD in Committee.                                                
  The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.                                           

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