Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/03/1993 10:00 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          APRIL 2, 1993                                        
                           10:00 A.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 91, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 91, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 92, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 92, Side 2, #000 - #257.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting of the House  Finance                 
  Committee to order at 10:00 A.M.                                             
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Brown                           
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Therriault                                                    
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Gail  Phillips;  Senator Dave  Donley;  Paul                 
  Fuhs,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Commerce and  Economic                 
  Development;  Representative  Ramona  Barnes; Representative                 
  Carl  Moses;   Representative  Eldon  Mulder;   Jan  Hansen,                 
  Director, Adult Public Assistance,  Department of Health and                 
  Social   Services;    Rose   Palmquist,    (teleconference),                 
  Anchorage, Alaska; Ida McMahon, (teleconference), Anchorage,                 
  Alaska; Penny Griffin, (teleconference),  Anchorage, Alaska;                 
  John  Lopez,  (teleconference),   Anchorage,  Alaska;   Greg                 
  Wakefield (teleconference) Anchorage,  Alaska; Gina  Kaiser,                 
  (teleconference),  Anchorage,  Alaska;  Sherry Goll,  Alaska                 
  Women's Lobby,  Juneau, Alaska; Mary Guthrie,  Alaska Native                 
  Sisterhood  (ANS), Grand  Camp  President, Klawock,  Alaska;                 
  Barbara  Lewis,  Alaska Native  Sisterhood,  Haines, Alaska;                 
  Jenny Bell, Director, AWARE, ANS, Juneau, Alaska.                            
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
  HB 59     An  Act  making  a special  appropriation  to  the                 
            Department  of  Natural Resources  for  refunds to                 
            certain veterans who purchased  state land and for                 
            reimbursement  to the University of Alaska for the                 
            veterans'   land   discount   applied    to   land                 
            transferred  to  the  University  of  Alaska;  and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                1                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            CS HB 59 was reported out  of Committee with a "do                 
  pass"          recommendation.                                               
  HB 168    An Act relating to multiple-beneficiary charitable                 
            gaming permits  and  door  prizes  for  charitable                 
            gaming; and providing for an effective date.                       
                                                                               
            HB  168 was  placed  in  Subcommittee  with  Chair                 
            Representative    Parnell    and    with   members                 
            Representative  Hanley  and  Representative Brown.                 
            The bill was held for further discussion.                          
  HB 67     An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                 
            public assistance; and providing for an  effective                 
            date.                                                              
                                                                               
            CS HB 67 (FIN) was reported out of  Committee with                 
            "no recommendations" and with nine fiscal notes by                 
            the Department of Health and Social Services.                      
  HOUSE BILL 168                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to multiple-beneficiary  charitable                 
       gaming permits  and door prizes for  charitable gaming;                 
       and providing for an effective date."                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN  LOPEZ,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  ALASKA, spoke  in opposition  to the  legislation given  the                 
  impact of the legislation.  He stated that real estate would                 
  be vacated and  noted the lost  taxes which the State  would                 
  experience.                                                                  
                                                                               
  ROSE  PALMQUIST,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  MATSU,                 
  ALASKA, spoke in  support of the  legislation and felt  that                 
  the State would be able to better audit gaming.                              
                                                                               
  GREG WAKEFIELD, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  ALASKA, spoke  in opposition  to the  legislation.   He felt                 
  that  there would  serious  ramifications for  charities and                 
  gaming organizations  with the  passage of  the legislation.                 
  He asked for further consideration of the bill.                              
                                                                               
  IDA MCMAHON, (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), MATSU, ALASKA,                 
  spoke in opposition to the legislation.                                      
                                                                               
  GINA KAISER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ASSOCIATION FOR                 
  RETARDED CITIZENS - ANCHORAGE (ARCA), ALASKA, asked for more                 
  time to consider the legislation and work draft.                             
                                                                               
  PAUL FUHS, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC                 
  DEVELOPMENT  (DCED), provided  the Committee  with handouts.                 
  [Attachments #1 and  #2].   He asked that  the Committee  to                 
                                                                               
                                2                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  consider amendments  made to  the House Judiciary  Committee                 
  version  pointing  out  that original  law  was  intended to                 
  benefit  charities.  At  this time,  there is  an increasing                 
  diversion of funds from charities  to political purposes and                 
  lobbyists.  DCED would  like to see more  of the funds  from                 
  charitable gaming going to charities.   The Senate committee                 
  substitute would place  10% into  a bingo fund  and 30%  for                 
  pull  tab   contributions  which  would  establish  the  40%                 
  regulatory figures, doubling  the amount  of money going  to                 
  charities.   Commissioner  Fuhs requested  the Committee  to                 
  adopt the Senate committee substitute.                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA BARNES  interjected that the  Governor                 
  did not support the Senate committee substitute.                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked  the Administration's  philosophy                 
  regarding charitable  gaming political  contributions.   She                 
  thought  that  political   candidates  depending  on  direct                 
  corporate contributions from other organized interest groups                 
  would  provide   more  opportunity  for   illegal  pressure.                 
  Commissioner Fuhs stated that the  Department believes it is                 
  wrong to  combine gambling  and government  and pointed  out                 
  that the  money for charitable gaming is being diverted from                 
  charitable  purposes   and  used  for   political  interests                 
  creating a conflict  of interest.  He noted  that of the net                 
  proceeds,  ten  percent  of  funds  are currently  going  to                 
  campaign contributions.                                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR DAVE DONLEY spoke to  the Senate Judiciary committee                 
  substitute.    He  advised that  the  full  Senate Judiciary                 
  Committee   was  not   given  the   version  referenced   by                 
  Commissioner  Fuhs.   That  version contains  new  expansion                 
  proposals from the  original bill.  He  recommended that the                 
  House Finance Committee be cautious in adopting the proposed                 
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-91, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  PENNY  GRIFFIN,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   MATSU,                 
  ALASKA, asked for more time for consideration of the bill.                   
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  placed HB  168 in  Subcommittee with  Chair                 
  Representative Parnell and members Representative Hanley and                 
  Representative Brown.   The bill  was HELD in  Committee for                 
  further discussion.                                                          
  HOUSE BILL 59                                                                
                                                                               
       "An  Act  making   a  special   appropriation  to   the                 
       Department of  Natural Resources for refunds to certain                 
       veterans who purchased state land and for reimbursement                 
       to  the  University of  Alaska  for the  veterans' land                 
                                                                               
                                3                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       discount applied  to land transferred to the University                 
       of Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER  spoke in  favor of HB  59.   He                 
  stated that in 1978,  the Land Discount Program was  created                 
  by  the  Tenth Legislature.    The program  granted eligible                 
  persons a discount  on the purchase  price of land sold  for                 
  residential  use.  The discount amounted  to a percentage of                 
  the  price of the land for each full year that the purchaser                 
  had been a  resident of the state.  The discount was limited                 
  to 50% or  $25 thousand dollars, whichever was less.   To be                 
  eligible, a person must have been physically  present in the                 
  state for at least 12 months.                                                
                                                                               
  The program was amended in 1979 to increase the discount for                 
  eligible veterans.   Under  the amended  program, a  veteran                 
  could receive a discount  which was limited to 75%  or $37.5                 
  thousand dollars, whichever was less.                                        
                                                                               
  He  noted  that  a  problem  arose  with  veterans  who  had                 
  purchased land from the State between April 1, 1983 and July                 
  6, 1984.  These  veterans had not been granted  any discount                 
  at  all,  due to  the fact  that the  program was  not being                 
  implemented then and the new program  did not go into effect                 
  until July 6, 1984.                                                          
                                                                               
  In  an  effort  to  correct   the  inequity,  the  Sixteenth                 
  Legislature passed CS  HB 134 (RES)  which made the  current                 
  veterans land  benefit effective  retroactively to April  1,                 
  1983  when  DNR  stopped the  implementation  of  the former                 
  discount program.  HB 176 provides an appropriation to cover                 
  previous  legislation.     The  bill   provides  a   special                 
  appropriation  to the  Department of  Natural Resources  for                 
  refunds to veterans  who purchased state land  between April                 
  1, 1983 and July 6, 1984.  It also reimburses the University                 
  of  Alaska for the  veterans' land discount  that applied to                 
  land that was transferred to the University of Alaska.                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  MOVED to  report CS  HB  59 (MLV)  out of                 
  Committee with  individual recommendations.  There  being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  CS  HB 59  (MLV) was  reported out  of Committee with  a "do                 
  pass" recommendation.                                                        
  HOUSE BILL 67                                                                
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  eligibility for  and payments  of                 
       public  assistance;  and  providing  for  an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown WITHDREW  the previous amendment  which                 
                                                                               
                                4                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  she provided at the last meeting.  There being NO OBJECTION,                 
  it was withdrawn.  She provided the Committee with three new                 
  amendments.  [Attachment #3 - #5].                                           
                                                                               
  SHERRY GOLL, ALASKA WOMEN'S  LOBBY, JUNEAU, ALASKA, provided                 
  the  Committee with  information regarding how  other states                 
  gauge  decisions relating to COLA.   Alaska's automatic COLA                 
  is  an  unique program  but not  unusual  in trying  to keep                 
  payments  level with the  inflation factor.   In 1992, there                 
  were seven other states which  increased their payment level                 
  due to inflation.                                                            
                                                                               
       Alaska              2.8%                                                
       Arizona & Hawaii    4%                                                  
       Washington          3%                                                  
       Alabama             10%                                                 
                                                                               
  She  noted  in  twenty-seven  other  states  there  are  two                 
  optional  programs  not existing  in  Alaska.   These states                 
  "special needs" include:                                                     
                                                                               
       1.   High shelter costs;                                                
       2.   High fuel or utility costs;                                        
       3.   Burial costs;                                                      
       4.   Clothing;                                                          
       5.   Expenses due to natural disasters or eviction.                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Goll added, thirty states operate "emergency assistance"                 
  programs designed  to provide short  term cash aid  to house                 
  holds in crisis.  Emergency assistance payments are used for                 
  such purposes as preventing eviction by paying rent arrears,                 
  preventing  utility  shot  off by  paying  past  due utility                 
  bills, deposits, repair  replacements, and enabling homeless                 
  families to move to an apartment.                                            
                                                                               
  States set their  own budget  priorities.  These  priorities                 
  can  reflect  a  commitment  to  protecting   their  poorest                 
  residents from  large cuts  or they  can plunge  those whose                 
  incomes  already  fail  to  meet  society's standard  for  a                 
  minimal level of subsistence still deeper into poverty.                      
                                                                               
  The federal government  has followed the explicit  principle                 
  of putting such  cuts off  limits, and in  1985, most  major                 
  low-income  benefit programs were  exempted from  the across                 
  the  board cuts  triggered  under the  Gramm-Rudman-Hollings                 
  balanced budget act when deficit targets are missed.                         
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson questioned  the  State's responsibility  to                 
  those persons on  AFDC who  misuse their state  money.   Ms.                 
  Goll  stated  that  concern  would  be  dealt  with  by  the                 
  Department of Health and Social Services.                                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                5                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  JAN HANSEN, DIRECTOR, ADULT PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF                 
  HEALTH AND SOCIAL  SERVICES, commented that the  majority of                 
  the persons on AFDC  and APA are using their  monthly checks                 
  appropriately.   She stated that the Department  does not do                 
  anything  to  determine  how the  allowance  is  used.   The                 
  program is there to foster responsibility in individuals for                 
  managing their lives  and money.   She felt  that there  was                 
  little abuse of  the money, as  the Department is trying  to                 
  operate the most cost effective program.                                     
                                                                               
  Discussion followed regarding the possibilities establishing                 
  additional systems which would be more effective.                            
                                                                               
  Ms. Hansen noted that  the primary strategy has been  to cut                 
  costs by creating a rigorous eligibility program.                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  questioned  the impact  of  the  proposed                 
  amendments  to  the  legislation.    Ms.  Hansen   addressed                 
  Amendment #2, Attachment #4, which would establish a minimum                 
  floor from which AFDC payments would not fall.  This payment                 
  would be determined as a  percentage of the federal  poverty                 
  guideline.                                                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-92, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Ms.  Hansen  stated  the poverty  guideline  in  the federal                 
  statutes at this  time would provide the Alaskan  AFDC claim                 
  81% of the poverty level.  The bill would provide a floor of                 
  75%.   She continued, for  the Adult Public  Assistance, the                 
  poverty guideline for one person is $725  dollars per month.                 
  The payment made  at the FY  92 level would  be 108% of  the                 
  federally established poverty level.                                         
                                                                               
  Ms.  Hansen  pointed   out  that  Amendment  #4,   the  COLA                 
  provisions in current  statute remain with the  exception of                 
  an appropriation  made specifically  for it.   The  language                 
  states that the state "shall" award  the COLA if the federal                 
  government makes an increase subject to appropriation funds.                 
                                                                               
  The  Committee  discussed if  Amendment  #2 or  Amendment #4                 
  would be best  for the poor  of the State while  maintaining                 
  the budgetary cap  and economic development in  rural areas.                 
  Representative Brown reiterated that  the APA program  often                 
  suffices as  the  rural Alaskan  retirement program  because                 
  those people  worked at  jobs in  which retirement  benefits                 
  were not available.  She urged the Committee not  to cut the                 
  COLA adjustments  for the poorest.   An APA  recipient often                 
  pays  70% of their  income for  rent.   Representative Brown                 
  requested the Committee to adopt  Amendment #2 and Amendment                 
                                                                               
  MARY  GUTHRIE,  ALASKA NATIVE  SISTERHOOD,  KLAWOCK, ALASKA,                 
                                                                               
                                6                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  spoke in opposition  to HB 67.   She noted her concern  with                 
  alleviating the COLA for the Adult Public Assistance.                        
                                                                               
  BARBARA C. LEWIS, ALASKA NATIVE SISTERHOOD, HAINES,  ALASKA,                 
  spoke in opposition to  HB 67, representing the small  rural                 
  minority areas.                                                              
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-92, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  JENNY  BELL,  DIRECTOR,  AWARE,  CAMP  -  2,  ALASKA  NATIVE                 
  SISTERHOOD, JUNEAU,  ALASKA, noted that  subsistence was the                 
  pension plan for  the older  rural Alaskans.   She spoke  in                 
  opposition to HB  67.  She  urged the Committee to  consider                 
  other solutions than  cutting the COLA and  instead offering                 
  incentive programs to help the poor.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown  MOVED Amendment  #2.   Co-Chair Larson                 
  OBJECTED  for further discussion.  Representative Therriault                 
  OBJECTED.                                                                    
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,   Grussendorf,  Hoffman,                 
                      Martin, Navarre, Larson, MacLean.                        
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault, Parnell.                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley was not present for the vote.                          
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (8-2).                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman  MOVED Amendment #4.   Representative                 
  Martin OBJECTED.                                                             
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,  Grussendorf,   Hoffman,                 
                      Navarre, Parnell, Therriault, MacLean.                   
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Martin, Larson.                                          
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (8-2).                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman MOVED to report CS HB 67 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
  CS  HB   67  (FIN)  was  reported  out   of  Committee  with                 
  "individual recommendations" and with  nine fiscal notes  by                 
  the Department of Health and Social Services.                                
                                                                               
                                7                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 12:37 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                          APRIL 3, 1993                                        
                           10:00 A.M.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 93 - 91, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 91, Side 2, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 92, Side 1, #000 - end.                                        
  TAPE HFC 93 - 92, Side 2, #000 - #257.                                       
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Ron Larson called the meeting of the  House Finance                 
  Committee to order at 10:00 A.M.                                             
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson               Representative Brown                           
  Co-Chair MacLean              Representative Foster                          
  Vice-Chair Hanley             Representative Grussendorf                     
  Representative Hoffman        Representative Martin                          
  Representative Navarre        Representative Parnell                         
  Representative Therriault                                                    
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Representative  Gail  Phillips;  Senator  Dave Donley;  Paul                 
  Fuhs, Commissioner,  Department  of  Commerce  and  Economic                 
  Development;  Representative  Ramona  Barnes; Representative                 
  Carl  Moses;  Representative   Eldon  Mulder;  Jan   Hansen,                 
  Director, Adult Public Assistance, Department  of Health and                 
  Social   Services;    Rose   Palmquist,    (teleconference),                 
  Anchorage, Alaska; Ida McMahon, (teleconference), Anchorage,                 
  Alaska; Penny Griffin, (teleconference),  Anchorage, Alaska;                 
  John  Lopez,  (teleconference),   Anchorage,  Alaska;   Greg                 
  Wakefield (teleconference) Anchorage,  Alaska; Gina  Kaiser,                 
  (teleconference),  Anchorage,  Alaska;  Sherry Goll,  Alaska                 
  Women's Lobby, Juneau,  Alaska; Mary Guthrie, Alaska  Native                 
  Sisterhood  (ANS),  Grand Camp  President,  Klawock, Alaska;                 
  Barbara  Lewis, Alaska  Native  Sisterhood, Haines,  Alaska;                 
  Jenny Bell, Director, AWARE, ANS, Juneau, Alaska.                            
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  HB 59     An  Act  making  a  special appropriation  to  the                 
            Department  of Natural  Resources  for refunds  to                 
            certain veterans who purchased state land  and for                 
            reimbursement to the University  of Alaska for the                 
                                                                               
                                8                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
            veterans'   land   discount   applied    to   land                 
            transferred  to  the  University  of  Alaska;  and                 
            providing for an effective date.                                   
                                                                               
            CS HB 59 was reported out  of Committee with a "do                 
  pass"          recommendation.                                               
                                                                               
  HB 168    An Act relating to multiple-beneficiary charitable                 
            gaming  permits  and  door prizes  for  charitable                 
            gaming; and providing for an effective date.                       
                                                                               
            HB  168  was  placed in  Subcommittee  with  Chair                 
            Representative    Parnell    and    with   members                 
            Representative  Hanley  and  Representative Brown.                 
            The bill was held for further discussion.                          
                                                                               
  HB 67     An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                 
            public assistance; and  providing for an effective                 
            date.                                                              
                                                                               
            CS HB 67 (FIN) was reported out  of Committee with                 
            "no recommendations" and with nine fiscal notes by                 
            the Department of Health and Social Services.                      
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 168                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act  relating  to multiple-beneficiary  charitable                 
       gaming permits and  door prizes for charitable  gaming;                 
       and providing for an effective date."                                   
                                                                               
  JOHN  LOPEZ,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  ALASKA, spoke  in opposition  to the  legislation given  the                 
  impact of the legislation.  He stated that real estate would                 
  be vacated and  noted the lost  taxes which the State  would                 
  experience.                                                                  
                                                                               
  ROSE  PALMQUIST,  (TESTIFIED  VIA   TELECONFERENCE),  MATSU,                 
  ALASKA, spoke  in support of  the legislation and  felt that                 
  the State would be able to better audit gaming.                              
                                                                               
  GREG WAKEFIELD, (TESTIFIED  VIA TELECONFERENCE),  ANCHORAGE,                 
  ALASKA, spoke  in opposition  to the  legislation.   He felt                 
  that  there would  serious ramifications  for  charities and                 
  gaming  organizations with the  passage of  the legislation.                 
  He asked for further consideration of the bill.                              
                                                                               
  IDA MCMAHON, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), MATSU,  ALASKA,                 
  spoke in opposition to the legislation.                                      
                                                                               
  GINA KAISER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ASSOCIATION FOR                 
  RETARDED CITIZENS - ANCHORAGE (ARCA), ALASKA, asked for more                 
  time to consider the legislation and work draft.                             
                                                                               
                                9                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  PAUL FUHS, COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC                 
  DEVELOPMENT  (DCED), provided  the Committee  with handouts.                 
  [Attachments #1 and  #2].   He asked that  the Committee  to                 
  consider amendments  made to  the House  Judiciary Committee                 
  version  pointing  out  that original  law  was  intended to                 
  benefit charities.   At this  time, there  is an  increasing                 
  diversion of funds from charities  to political purposes and                 
  lobbyists.   DCED would like  to see more  of the funds from                 
  charitable gaming going to charities.   The Senate committee                 
  substitute would place  10% into  a bingo fund  and 30%  for                 
  pull  tab  contributions  which   would  establish  the  40%                 
  regulatory figures, doubling  the amount  of money going  to                 
  charities.    Commissioner Fuhs  requested the  Committee to                 
  adopt the Senate committee substitute.                                       
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE RAMONA  BARNES interjected that  the Governor                 
  did not support the Senate committee substitute.                             
                                                                               
  Representative Brown asked  the Administration's  philosophy                 
  regarding  charitable gaming  political contributions.   She                 
  thought  that  political  candidates   depending  on  direct                 
  corporate contributions from other organized interest groups                 
  would  provide   more  opportunity  for   illegal  pressure.                 
  Commissioner Fuhs stated that the  Department believes it is                 
  wrong to  combine gambling  and government  and pointed  out                 
  that  the money for charitable gaming is being diverted from                 
  charitable  purposes  and   used  for  political   interests                 
  creating a conflict of interest.   He noted that of the  net                 
  proceeds,  ten  percent  of  funds  are currently  going  to                 
  campaign contributions.                                                      
                                                                               
  SENATOR DAVE DONLEY spoke to  the Senate Judiciary committee                 
  substitute.    He  advised that  the  full  Senate Judiciary                 
  Committee   was   not  given   the  version   referenced  by                 
  Commissioner  Fuhs.    That version  contains  new expansion                 
  proposals  from the original bill.   He recommended that the                 
  House Finance Committee be cautious in adopting the proposed                 
  legislation.                                                                 
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-91, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  PENNY  GRIFFIN,  (TESTIFIED   VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   MATSU,                 
  ALASKA, asked for more time for consideration of the bill.                   
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson  placed HB  168 in  Subcommittee with  Chair                 
  Representative Parnell and members Representative Hanley and                 
  Representative  Brown.  The  bill was HELD  in Committee for                 
  further discussion.                                                          
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 59                                                                
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               10                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       "An  Act   making  a   special  appropriation  to   the                 
       Department of Natural Resources for refunds  to certain                 
       veterans who purchased state land and for reimbursement                 
       to  the  University of  Alaska  for the  veterans' land                 
       discount applied to land  transferred to the University                 
       of Alaska; and providing for an effective date."                        
                                                                               
  REPRESENTATIVE ELDON MULDER  spoke in  favor of HB  59.   He                 
  stated that in  1978, the Land Discount Program  was created                 
  by  the  Tenth Legislature.    The program  granted eligible                 
  persons a discount  on the purchase  price of land sold  for                 
  residential use.  The discount  amounted to a percentage  of                 
  the price of the land for each full year  that the purchaser                 
  had been a resident of the state.  The discount was  limited                 
  to 50% or $25 thousand  dollars, whichever was less.   To be                 
  eligible, a person must have been  physically present in the                 
  state for at least 12 months.                                                
                                                                               
  The program was amended in 1979 to increase the discount for                 
  eligible veterans.   Under  the amended  program, a  veteran                 
  could receive a discount  which was limited to 75%  or $37.5                 
  thousand dollars, whichever was less.                                        
                                                                               
  He  noted  that  a  problem  arose  with  veterans  who  had                 
  purchased land from the State between April 1, 1983 and July                 
  6, 1984.  These  veterans had not been granted  any discount                 
  at  all, due  to the  fact that  the program  was  not being                 
  implemented then and the new program  did not go into effect                 
  until July 6, 1984.                                                          
                                                                               
  In  an  effort  to  correct   the  inequity,  the  Sixteenth                 
  Legislature passed  CS HB 134  (RES) which made  the current                 
  veterans land  benefit effective  retroactively to  April 1,                 
  1983  when  DNR  stopped the  implementation  of  the former                 
  discount program.  HB 176 provides an appropriation to cover                 
  previous  legislation.     The   bill  provides  a   special                 
  appropriation to  the  Department of  Natural Resources  for                 
  refunds to veterans  who purchased state land  between April                 
  1, 1983 and July 6, 1984.  It also reimburses the University                 
  of Alaska for  the veterans' land  discount that applied  to                 
  land that was transferred to the University of Alaska.                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  MOVED to  report CS  HB  59 (MLV)  out of                 
  Committee  with individual recommendations.   There being NO                 
  OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                
                                                                               
  CS HB  59 (MLV)  was reported out  of Committee  with a  "do                 
  pass" recommendation.                                                        
                                                                               
  HOUSE BILL 67                                                                
                                                                               
       "An Act  relating to  eligibility for  and payments  of                 
                                                                               
                               11                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
       public  assistance;  and  providing  for  an  effective                 
       date."                                                                  
                                                                               
  Representative Brown WITHDREW  the previous amendment  which                 
  she provided at the last meeting.  There being NO OBJECTION,                 
  it was withdrawn.  She provided the Committee with three new                 
  amendments.  [Attachment #3 - #5].                                           
                                                                               
  SHERRY GOLL, ALASKA WOMEN'S LOBBY, JUNEAU,  ALASKA, provided                 
  the Committee  with information  regarding how  other states                 
  gauge  decisions relating to  COLA.  Alaska's automatic COLA                 
  is  an  unique program  but not  unusual  in trying  to keep                 
  payments level with  the inflation factor.   In 1992,  there                 
  were seven other states which  increased their payment level                 
  due to inflation.                                                            
                                                                               
       Alaska              2.8%                                                
       Arizona & Hawaii    4%                                                  
       Washington          3%                                                  
       Alabama             10%                                                 
                                                                               
  She  noted  in  twenty-seven  other  states  there  are  two                 
  optional  programs  not existing  in  Alaska.   These states                 
  "special needs" include:                                                     
                                                                               
       1.   High shelter costs;                                                
       2.   High fuel or utility costs;                                        
       3.   Burial costs;                                                      
       4.   Clothing;                                                          
       5.   Expenses due to natural disasters or eviction.                     
                                                                               
  Ms. Goll added, thirty states operate "emergency assistance"                 
  programs designed  to provide short  term cash aid  to house                 
  holds in crisis.  Emergency assistance payments are used for                 
  such purposes as preventing eviction by paying rent arrears,                 
  preventing  utility  shot  off by  paying  past  due utility                 
  bills, deposits, repair replacements,  and enabling homeless                 
  families to move to an apartment.                                            
                                                                               
  States set their  own budget  priorities.  These  priorities                 
  can   reflect  a  commitment  to  protecting  their  poorest                 
  residents from  large cuts  or they  can plunge  those whose                 
  incomes  already  fail  to  meet  society's standard  for  a                 
  minimal level of subsistence still deeper into poverty.                      
                                                                               
  The federal  government has followed  the explicit principle                 
  of putting such  cuts off  limits, and in  1985, most  major                 
  low-income  benefit programs  were exempted from  the across                 
  the  board  cuts triggered  under  the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings                 
  balanced budget act when deficit targets are missed.                         
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  Larson  questioned the  State's  responsibility to                 
                                                                               
                               12                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  those persons on  AFDC who  misuse their state  money.   Ms.                 
  Goll  stated  that  concern  would  be  dealt  with  by  the                 
  Department of Health and Social Services.                                    
                                                                               
  JAN HANSEN, DIRECTOR, ADULT PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF                 
  HEALTH AND SOCIAL  SERVICES, commented that the  majority of                 
  the persons on AFDC  and APA are using their  monthly checks                 
  appropriately.   She stated that the  Department does not do                 
  anything  to  determine how  the  allowance  is  used.   The                 
  program is there to foster responsibility in individuals for                 
  managing their lives  and money.   She felt  that there  was                 
  little abuse of  the money, as  the Department is trying  to                 
  operate the most cost effective program.                                     
                                                                               
  Discussion followed regarding the possibilities establishing                 
  additional systems which would be more effective.                            
                                                                               
  Ms. Hansen noted that  the primary strategy has been  to cut                 
  costs by creating a rigorous eligibility program.                            
                                                                               
  Co-Chair  MacLean  questioned  the  impact of  the  proposed                 
  amendments  to   the  legislation.    Ms.  Hansen  addressed                 
  Amendment #2, Attachment #4, which would establish a minimum                 
  floor from which AFDC payments would not fall.  This payment                 
  would be determined as  a percentage of the  federal poverty                 
  guideline.                                                                   
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-92, Side 1).                                            
                                                                               
  Ms.  Hansen  stated  the poverty  guideline  in  the federal                 
  statutes at  this time would provide the  Alaskan AFDC claim                 
  81% of the poverty level.  The bill would provide a floor of                 
  75%.   She continued, for  the Adult Public  Assistance, the                 
  poverty guideline for one person is  $725 dollars per month.                 
  The payment  made at the  FY 92 level  would be 108%  of the                 
  federally established poverty level.                                         
                                                                               
  Ms.  Hansen  pointed   out  that  Amendment  #4,   the  COLA                 
  provisions in current  statute remain with the  exception of                 
  an appropriation  made specifically  for it.   The  language                 
  states that the state "shall" award  the COLA if the federal                 
  government makes an increase subject to appropriation funds.                 
                                                                               
  The  Committee  discussed if  Amendment  #2 or  Amendment #4                 
  would be best  for the poor  of the State while  maintaining                 
  the budgetary cap  and economic development in  rural areas.                 
  Representative Brown  reiterated that the APA  program often                 
  suffices as  the rural  Alaskan  retirement program  because                 
  those people  worked at  jobs in  which retirement  benefits                 
  were not available.  She urged  the Committee not to cut the                 
  COLA adjustments  for the poorest.   An APA  recipient often                 
  pays 70% of  their income  for rent.   Representative  Brown                 
                                                                               
                               13                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  requested the Committee to adopt  Amendment #2 and Amendment                 
                                                                               
  MARY  GUTHRIE,  ALASKA NATIVE  SISTERHOOD,  KLAWOCK, ALASKA,                 
  spoke in opposition to  HB 67.  She  noted her concern  with                 
  alleviating the COLA for the Adult Public Assistance.                        
                                                                               
  BARBARA C.  LEWIS, ALASKA NATIVE SISTERHOOD, HAINES, ALASKA,                 
  spoke in opposition  to HB 67, representing the  small rural                 
  minority areas.                                                              
                                                                               
  (Tape Change, HFC 93-92, Side 2).                                            
                                                                               
  JENNY  BELL,  DIRECTOR,  AWARE,  CAMP  -  2,  ALASKA  NATIVE                 
  SISTERHOOD, JUNEAU, ALASKA, noted  that subsistence was  the                 
  pension plan for  the older  rural Alaskans.   She spoke  in                 
  opposition to HB  67.  She  urged the Committee to  consider                 
  other solutions than  cutting the COLA and  instead offering                 
  incentive programs to help the poor.                                         
                                                                               
  Representative Brown MOVED  Amendment #2.   Co-Chair  Larson                 
  OBJECTED  for further discussion.  Representative Therriault                 
  OBJECTED.                                                                    
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,   Grussendorf,  Hoffman,                 
                      Martin, Navarre, Larson, MacLean.                        
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Therriault, Parnell.                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Hanley was not present for the vote.                          
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (8-2).                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman  MOVED Amendment #4.   Representative                 
  Martin OBJECTED.                                                             
                                                                               
  A roll call was taken on the MOTION.                                         
                                                                               
       IN FAVOR:      Brown,  Foster,   Grussendorf,  Hoffman,                 
                      Navarre, Parnell, Therriault, MacLean.                   
                                                                               
       OPPOSED:       Martin, Larson.                                          
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED, (8-2).                                                    
                                                                               
  Representative Hoffman MOVED to report CS HB 67 (FIN) out of                 
  Committee  with  individual  recommendations  and  with  the                 
  accompanying fiscal notes.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was                 
  so ordered.                                                                  
                                                                               
                                                                               
                               14                                              
                                                                               
                                                                               
  CS   HB  67  (FIN)  was   reported  out  of  Committee  with                 
  "individual  recommendations" and with  nine fiscal notes by                 
  the Department of Health and Social Services.                                
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 12:37 P.M.                                          
                                                                               
                                                                               
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