Legislature(1993 - 1994)

05/05/1994 08:35 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
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                     HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                   
                           May 5, 1994                                         
                            8:35 a.m.                                          
                                                                               
  TAPE HFC 94-158, Side 2, #000 - end.                                         
                                                                               
  CALL TO ORDER                                                                
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson called the House Finance Committee to order                  
  at 8:35 a.m.                                                                 
                                                                               
  PRESENT                                                                      
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson     Representative Martin                                    
  Vice-Chair Hanley   Representative Navarre                                   
  Representative Brown     Representative Parnell                              
  Representative Foster    Representative Therriault                           
  Representative Grussendorf                                                   
  Representative Hoffman                                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the meeting.                            
                                                                               
  ALSO PRESENT                                                                 
                                                                               
  Teresa Sager-Stancliff, Senator Mike Miller; David Skidmore,                 
  Senator Steve Frank; Helvi Sandvic, Deputy Commissioner,                     
  Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.                          
                                                                               
  SUMMARY INFORMATION                                                          
                                                                               
  SB 46 "An Act authorizing moose farming."                                    
                                                                               
         SB 46 was HELD in Committee for further discussion.                   
                                                                               
  SB 101 "An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of                   
  public               assistance; and providing for an                        
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
          HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee                     
  with "no               recommendation" and with two fiscal                   
  impact notes by the                Department of Health and                  
  Social Services, dated 4/28/94.                                              
                                                                               
  SB 135 "An Act making a special appropriation to the                         
  Department of              Transportation and Public                         
  Facilities to determine the cost of           acquiring real                 
  property within the right-of-way of the proposed                             
  extension of the Alaska Railroad from Eielson Air Force Base                 
  to          the Alaska-Canada border; and providing for an                   
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
          CSSB 135 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                    
                                                                               
                                                                               
  "no                   recommendation".                                       
                                                                               
  SB 256 "An Act increasing the tax on transfers and                           
  consumption of               aviation fuel."                                 
                                                                               
          CSSB 256 (STA) was reported out of Committee with                    
  "individual           recommendations" and with two fiscal                   
  impact notes, one by the           Department of Revenue,                    
  dated 1/28/94, and one by the Department          of                         
  Transportation and Public Facilities, dated 4/27/94.                         
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 135                                                          
                                                                               
  "An Act making a special appropriation to the Department of                  
  Transportation and Public Facilities to determine the cost                   
  of acquiring real property within the right-of-way of the                    
  proposed extension of the Alaska Railroad from Eielson Air                   
  Force Base to the Alaska-Canada border; and providing for an                 
  effective date."                                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson noted that SB 135 would appropriate $10.0                    
  thousand dollars to the Department of Transportation and                     
  Public Facilities.                                                           
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report CSSB 135 (FIN) out of                  
  Committee with individual recommendations.                                   
                                                                               
  CSSB 135 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no                        
  recommendation".                                                             
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 256                                                          
                                                                               
  "An Act increasing the tax on transfers and consumption of                   
  aviation fuel."                                                              
                                                                               
  HELVI SANDVIC, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF                            
  TRANSPORTATION AND PUBLIC FACILITIES spoke in support of SB
  256. She noted that the court ruled against Department of                    
  Transportation and Public Facilities imposed airport landing                 
  fees. She explained that the legislation would institute an                  
  aviation fuel tax in an amount to equal the landing fee                      
  revenue lost by the Department of Transportation and Public                  
  Facilities. She emphasized that without the additional                       
  funding the department does not have the ability to meet its                 
  cost at rural airports.                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Foster spoke in support of SB 256. He noted                   
  that the Air Carrier Association supports the legislation.                   
                                                                               
  Representative Foster MOVED to report CSSB 256 (FIN) out of                  
  Committee with individual recommendations and with the                       
                                                                               
                                                                               
  accompanying fiscal notes.                                                   
                                                                               
  Representative Brown questioned if the revenue would be                      
  placed in a designated fund for accounting purposes. Ms.                     
  Sandvic clarified that the Department of Transportation and                  
  Public Facilities' budget includes the funding in their                      
  general fund request. There is no designated fund.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Brown stressed that the legislative intent in                 
  approving the increase is that the money be used to offset                   
  revenues lost with the termination of landing fees.                          
                                                                               
  There being NO OBJECTION, CSHB 256 (TRA) was moved from                      
  Committee.                                                                   
                                                                               
  CSSB 256 (STA) was reported out of Committee with individual                 
  recommendations and with two fiscal impact notes, one by the                 
  Department of Revenue, dated 1/28/94, and one by the                         
  Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, dated                    
  4/27/94.                                                                     
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 101                                                          
                                                                               
  "An Act relating to eligibility for and payments of public                   
  assistance; and providing for an effective date."                            
                                                                               
  DAVID SKIDMORE, STAFF, SENATOR STEVE FRANK explained that SB
  101 would amend the Interim Assistance provision (IA). He                    
  pointed out that IPA pays individuals $280 dollars a month                   
  while they await determination of eligibility for Social                     
  Security Insurance (SSI) or Adult Public Assistance (APA).                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore emphasized that the legislation would allow the                 
  Division of Public Assistance to return to its practice of                   
  terminating interim assistance after an initial                              
  determination of SSI ineligibility. This was the                             
  department's practice prior to the 1986 Alaska Supreme Court                 
  ruling, Morre versus Beirne. The court mandated that the                     
  state make payments during the appeal process.                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore observed that individuals who are eligible for                  
  SSI repay the state for interim assistance received. The                     
  legislation would require that individuals who are                           
  determined ineligible for SSI also repay the state for                       
  interim assistance. The legislation would define interim                     
  assistance owed to the state as an overpayment of public                     
  assistance. Overpayment could be recouped through                            
  garnishment of permanent fund dividend payments.                             
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore noted that the legislation directs the Division                 
  of Public Assistance to work with the Division of Vocational                 
  Rehabilitation in establishing consistent standards to                       
  govern the disability determination process.                                 
                                                                               
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Brown, Mr.                       
  Skidmore observed the intent to clarify that payments are                    
  terminated after the first determination of ineligibility.                   
  He clarified that APA and IA payments are state funded,                      
  while SSI is federally funded.                                               
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore provided members with AMENDMENT 1 (copy on                      
  file). He explained that the amendment would pertain to                      
  applicability. The amendment clarifies that the legislation                  
  applies to new applications, applications pending and                        
  appeals pending at the effective date.                                       
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson MOVED to ADOPT AMENDMENT 1. Representative                   
  Brown OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                    
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Grussendorf,                      
  Larson                                                                       
  OPPOSED: Brown, Hoffman                                                      
                                                                               
  Representatives Navarre and Therriault were not present for                  
  the vote.                                                                    
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (6-2).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 2 (copy                 
  on file). She explained that the amendment would allow the                   
  Division to make an exception for hardship cases.                            
                                                                               
  JAN HANSEN, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE,                        
  DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES observed that                       
  individuals applying for SSI must have an income below                       
  $450.0 dollars a month. She stated that eligibility is based                 
  on a physician's opinion that the individual has a                           
  disability that is and will continue to be incapacitating to                 
  the degree that they are not able to work.                                   
                                                                               
  Mr. Skidmore spoke in opposition to the amendment.                           
                                                                               
  Representative Martin OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken                   
  on the MOTION to adopt AMENDMENT 2.                                          
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre                               
  OPPOSED: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Therriault, Larson                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (4-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Brown provided members with AMENDMENT 3 (copy                 
  on file). She explained that the amendment would change                      
  "initial" to "final" in order to initiate the cut off after                  
  the final determination of SSI eligibility. She emphasized                   
  that the amendment would be consistent with the court's                      
                                                                               
                                                                               
  ruling.                                                                      
                                                                               
  Representative Navarre spoke in support of Amendment 3.                      
                                                                               
  Representative Martin OBJECTED. A roll call vote was taken                   
  on the MOTION.                                                               
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Brown, Grussendorf, Hoffman, Navarre                               
  OPPOSED: Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell, Therriault, Larson                 
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION FAILED (4-6).                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Martin MOVED to report HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) out                 
  of Committee with individual recommendations and with the                    
  accompanying fiscal notes. Representative Brown OBJECTED. A                  
  roll call vote was taken on the MOTION.                                      
                                                                               
  IN FAVOR: Grussendorf, Foster, Hanley, Martin, Parnell,                      
  Therriault, Larson                                                           
  OPPOSED: Brown, Hoffman, Navarre                                             
                                                                               
  Co-Chair MacLean was not present for the vote.                               
                                                                               
  The MOTION PASSED (7-3).                                                     
                                                                               
  HCS CSSB 101 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with "no                    
  recommendation" and with two fiscal impact notes by the                      
  Department of Health and Social Services, dated 4/28/94.                     
                                                                               
  SENATE BILL NO. 46                                                           
                                                                               
  "An Act authorizing moose farming."                                          
                                                                               
  Co-Chair Larson provided members with a proposed committee                   
  substitute, work draft #8-LS0371\S, dated 5/3/94 (copy on                    
  file).                                                                       
                                                                               
  TERESA SAGER-STANCLIFF, STAFF, SENATOR MILLER testified in                   
  support of SB 46. She explained that the legislation expands                 
  game farming statutes and transfers authority from the                       
  Department of Fish and Game to the Department of Natural                     
  Resources. She maintained that the legislation provides a                    
  better regulatory mechanism to assure a healthy game farm                    
  industry in Alaska. The bill also sets up an experimental                    
  animal husbandry permit, which can be issued for the farming                 
  of new species such as moose or caribou. The animals would                   
  remain the property of the state. Permits would be regulated                 
  by the Department of Fish and Game. If the permittee can                     
  demonstrate that breeding animals in captivity is successful                 
  they can apply for private ownership of the animals.                         
                                                                               
                                                                               
  Ms. Sager-Stancliff addressed the proposed committee                         
  substitute. She noted that the proposed committee substitute                 
  adds sections defining "moose and caribou" as game farm                      
  animals. She added that the sections would not take effect                   
  until the Department of Fish and Game determines that those                  
  species are game farm animals. The determination would be                    
  made through regulation.                                                     
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault MOVED to ADOPT work draft #8-                      
  LS0371\S, dated 5/3/94. He reiterated that the Department of                 
  Fish and Game will have complete control over the                            
  determination of the animals. There being NO OBJECTION, it                   
  was so ordered.                                                              
                                                                               
  In response to a question by Representative Parnell, Ms.                     
  Sager-Stancliff restated that the Department of Fish and                     
  Game has the authority and discretion to issue experimental                  
  permits and provide animals to the permittee. The permittee                  
  would petition to the Department of Fish and Game for                        
  private ownership after a five year trial period. The                        
  department will determine through regulation the criteria                    
  for an animal being identified as a game farm species. The                   
  permittee must demonstrate that they have cared properly for                 
  the animals and obtain a game farming license.                               
                                                                               
  Representative Therriault MOVED to report HCS CSSB 46 (FIN)                  
  out of Committee with individual recommendations and with                    
  the accompanying fiscal notes. The motion remained pending                   
  due to a lack of minority members being present.                             
                                                                               
  ADJOURNMENT                                                                  
                                                                               
  The meeting adjourned at 9:10 a.m.                                           

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