Legislature(1997 - 1998)

03/27/1998 01:50 PM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
           HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                             
              MARCH 27, 1998                                                   
                 1:50 P.M.                                                     
                                                                               
TAPE HFC 98 - 80, Side 1                                                       
TAPE HFC 98 - 80, Side 2                                                       
                                                                               
CALL TO ORDER                                                                  
                                                                               
Co-Chair Gene Therriault called the House Finance Committee                    
meeting to order at 1:50 p.m.                                                  
                                                                               
PRESENT                                                                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley    Representative Kelly                                        
Co-Chair Therriault   Representative Kohring                                   
Representative Davies  Representative Martin                                   
Representative Davis   Representative Moses                                    
Representative Foster  Representative Mulder                                   
Representative Grussendorf                                                     
                                                                               
ALSO PRESENT                                                                   
                                                                               
Dwayne Peeples, Director, Division of Administrative                           
Services, Department of Corrections; Karen Rehfeld,                            
Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of                   
Education; Barbara Thompson, Director, Teaching and Learning                   
Support, Department of Education; Betsy Robson, Assistant                      
Director, Division of Institutions, Department of                              
Corrections (testified via teleconference); Arbe Williams,                     
Director, Division of Administrative Services, Department of                   
Corrections; Al Dwyer, Director, Division Labor Standards                      
and Safety, Department of Labor; Sara Fisher, Staff,                           
Representative Therriault; Karen Pearson, Health Program                       
Manager, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and                   
Social Services; Bob Labbe, Director, Division Medical                         
Assistance, Department of Health and Social Services.                          
                                                                               
SUMMARY                                                                        
                                                                               
HB 28 An Act repealing the Alaska Coastal Management                           
Program and the Alaska Coastal Policy Council, and                             
making conforming amendments because of those                                  
repeals."                                                                      
                                                                               
HB 28 was HELD in Committee for further                                        
consideration.                                                                 
                                                                               
HB 144 "An Act authorizing the Department of                                   
Environmental Conservation to charge certain fees                              
relating to registration of pesticides and                                     
broadcast chemicals; and providing for an                                      
effective date."                                                               
                                                                               
CSHB 144 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                              
"no recommendation" and with a zero fiscal note by                             
the Department of Environmental Conservation.                                  
                                                                               
HB 325 "An Act making appropriations for the operating                         
and loan program expenses of state government, for                             
certain programs, and to capitalize funds; making                              
appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c),                                      
Constitution of the State of Alaska, from the                                  
constitutional budget reserve fund; and providing                              
for an effective date."                                                        
                                                                               
  RESULTS BASED GOVERNMENT/FINAL COMMITTEE ACTION:                             
   MEDICAID                                                                    
   MECHANICAL INSPECTION                                                       
   QUALITY SCHOOLS                                                             
   CORRECTIONS FEMALE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT                                         
DIVISION OF FAMILY AND YOUTH SERVICES - ABUSE                                  
& NEGLECT PREVENTION                                                           
HOUSE BILL NO. 144                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental                            
Conservation to charge certain fees relating to                                
registration of pesticides and broadcast chemicals; and                        
providing for an effective date."                                              
                                                                               
House Bill 144 was previously heard in Committee on 2/25/98,                   
3/06/98, 3/20/98, 3/24/98, and 3/26/98.  Co-Chair Therriault                   
provided members with Amendment 13 (copy on file).  He                         
explained that Amendment 13 would conform section 2, which                     
pertains to negotiated fees.  Language pertaining to the                       
fixed fee would be the same as the negotiated fee, so that                     
the hourly rate would be identical.                                            
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 13.  There                        
being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                         
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault discussed the fiscal note by the                           
Department of Environmental Conservation.  He observed that                    
the fiscal note would need further review and negotiation to                   
determine if the fund source changes are appropriate.  He                      
observed that $1.7 million dollars would be switched from                      
general fund program receipts to general fund dollars.                         
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Martin, Co-Chair                   
Therriault explained that some fixed costs would no longer                     
be passed into fees.                                                           
                                                                               
Representative Davies summarized that the State would                          
receive $1.7 million dollars less through fees.  Instead of                    
receiving $1.7 million dollars from applicants the money                       
would come from the general fund.  Co-Chair Therriault noted                   
that general fund expenditures would not change.                               
Expenditures by the Department of Environmental Conservation                   
would not be increased.                                                        
                                                                               
Representative Mulder MOVED to report CSHB 144 (FIN) out of                    
Committee with the accompanying fiscal note.   There being                     
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                               
                                                                               
CSHB 144 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with "no                          
recommendation" and with a zero fiscal note by the                             
Department of Environmental Conservation.                                      
HOUSE BILL NO. 28                                                              
                                                                               
"An Act repealing the Alaska Coastal Management Program                        
and the Alaska Coastal Policy Council, and making                              
conforming amendments because of those repeals."                               
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault provided members with a proposed                           
committee substitute. work draft 0-LS0189\T, dated 3/26/98                     
(copy on file).                                                                
                                                                               
SARA FISHER, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE THERRIAULT reviewed the                     
proposed committee substitute.  The provision prohibiting a                    
coastal resource district from incorporating statues and                       
regulations into their statements of policies and                              
regulations was not changed.  A new provision was added that                   
would require the Council to adopt regulations to provide                      
for periodic review of approved district programs.  This                       
would ensure consistency with the guidelines and standards                     
of the Alaska Coastal Management Program (ACMP), to ensure                     
that the approved programs are implemented and enforced and                    
to ensure that the program does not restrict uses of state                     
concern.  Procedures would be established to revoke a                          
program if the district does not address the deficiencies.                     
The provision that agencies could not stipulate onto a                         
consistency provision was removed.  The proposed committee                     
substitute defines where the consistency determination can                     
be made.  Consistency determination could not be required                      
outside and inland of the area subject to the ACMP.  The                       
proposed committee substitute prohibits a requirement for a                    
consistency determination with the area that is subject to                     
the ACMP but beyond the interim coastal zone boundary                          
adopted in 1979.  A standard 10-mile mark was used in the                      
previous version, work draft 0-LS0189\L.  Under the new                        
version, a consistency determination would only be required                    
when the user activity has a direct and significant impact                     
on coastal waters.  "Coastal waters" are defined as those                      
waters adjacent to the tidal shorelines, which contain a                       
measurable quantity or percentage of seawater.  This would                     
allow the program to continue where the boundaries will not                    
have to be changed.  A trapping cabin well into the interior                   
would not have a significant impact on the coast waters and                    
would therefore not require a consistency determination.                       
The petition process is eliminated.  A municipality or                         
Coastal Resource Service Area would have one year to amend                     
their programs.                                                                
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault explained that offshore areas would be                     
covered.  An area would have to be outside and inland for a                    
consistency determination to not be required.  He                              
acknowledged the problem of not allowing state agencies to                     
comment on federal projects.  The state program would have                     
more control over local district programs.                                     
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault clarified that the prohibition against                     
agencies stipulating beyond their statute requirements has                     
been deleted.  Representative Davies agreed with the                           
deletion and emphasized that a major benefit of the program                    
is the coordination function.  He added that this function                     
encourages development.                                                        
                                                                               
HB 28 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                         
HOUSE BILL NO. 325                                                             
                                                                               
"An Act making appropriations for the operating and                            
loan program expenses of state government, for certain                         
programs, and to capitalize funds; making                                      
appropriations under art. IX, sec. 17(c), Constitution                         
of the State of Alaska, from the constitutional budget                         
reserve fund; and providing for an effective date."                            
                                                                               
RESULTS BASED GOVERNMENT                                                       
Final Committee Action:                                                        
 Medicaid                                                                      
 Mechanical Inspection                                                         
 Quality Schools                                                               
 Corrections Female Psychiatric Unit                                           
Division of Family and Youth Services - Abuse &                                
neglect prevention                                                             
                                                                               
CORRECTIONS FEMALE PSYCHIATRIC UNIT                                            
                                                                               
BETSY ROBSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF INSTITUTIONS,                    
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (testified via teleconference).                      
She is the program manager for inmate health care programs.                    
She observed that the Department supports the proposed                         
mission statement.  She expressed concerns with the                            
recidivism rate of inmates receiving services on the                           
Psychiatric Unit compared to general recidivism rate as a                      
performance measure.  She emphasized that this encompasses                     
more than the women's mental health unit in terms of                           
outcome.  There are factors beyond treatment provided in the                   
women's mental health unit.  Increased law enforcement could                   
impact recidivism rate.                                                        
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley maintained that there should be an                             
incremental impact on recidivism.  Ms. Robson replied that                     
they would anticipate an impact.                                               
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Davies, Ms.                        
Robson clarified that "open population" refers to the                          
general population inside the prison.  The function of open                    
population is one issue and reduced recidivism is another                      
issue.  He asked if there is information regarding the                         
recidivism rate of persons who are mentally ill but do not                     
receive services.  Ms. Robson observed that it would be                        
difficult to identify a control group.  She stated that a                      
high recidivism rate would be an impetus to look at                            
contributing factors to determine if there are things in the                   
unit that might be impacting recidivism.                                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies questioned why the comparison would be                   
to the general population.  He suggested the rate be                           
measured and changes noted.                                                    
                                                                               
Representative Mulder spoke in support of measuring against                    
the general recidivism rate.  He observed that the                             
expectation is that by more appropriately treating mentally                    
ill inmates, that they will have a lower recidivism rate and                   
by treating their mental illness they can be kept out of the                   
system.   Representative Davies stressed that the                              
expectation assumes that the mental illness is treatable.                      
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley observed that the performance measures are                     
intent language to focus people.  He emphasized that more                      
information will determine if they are appropriate or can be                   
improved.                                                                      
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the mission statement                     
and performance measures for the Department of Corrections                     
Female Mentally Ill Offenders Psychiatric Unit as contained                    
in Attachment 1 (copy on file).  There being NO OBJECTION,                     
it was so ordered.                                                             
                                                                               
MECHANICAL INSPECTION                                                          
                                                                               
AL DWYER, DIRECTOR, DIVISION LABOR STANDARDS AND SAFETY,                       
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR stated that the Department agrees with                     
the mission statement and performance measures.                                
                                                                               
Representative Davies asked if the first performance measure                   
should be normalized to the incident rates.                                    
                                                                               
Mr. Dwyer observed that their jurisdiction is to new                           
construction or alterations of existing structures.  He                        
emphasized that the manner of measurement is by the rate of                    
injuries in these areas.                                                       
                                                                               
Representative Davies interpreted the first performance                        
measure as pertaining to a geographic distribution.  Mr.                       
Dwyer observed that there are areas of the State where                         
inspections are by the local entity.  Representative Davies                    
maintained that a population-adjusted rate should be used.                     
Representative Foster noted that in his entire district that                   
there is only one elevator that goes to one floor.                             
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the mission statement                     
and performance measures for the Department of Labor,                          
Mechanical Inspection as contained in Attachment 2 (copy on                    
file).  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                           
                                                                               
MEDICAID                                                                       
                                                                               
BOB LABBE, DIRECTOR, DIVISION MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT                   
OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE, DEPARTMENT OF                      
HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES stated that the Division is in                      
agreement with the mission statement and performance                           
measures.  In response to a question by Representative                         
Martin, Mr. Labbe noted that there are different income                        
levels for eligibility.  A family of 4 is eligible at $14                      
thousand dollars.  The eligibility level for a family of                       
four with a child is $20 thousand dollars.                                     
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Martin, Mr.                        
Labbe observed that the state of Alaska holds harmless                         
recipients that receive permanent fund dividends. Some                         
Native dividends are also held harmless.  Some groups are                      
linked to the federal poverty level.  Some increases in the                    
program are due to federal mandates to cover new groups.                       
There is an Alaskan federal poverty level.                                     
                                                                               
Representative Davies questioned how the Division of Medical                   
Assistance maintains access to quality health care.  Mr.                       
Labbe observed that the program supports the basic health                      
care infrastructure through reimbursement payments.  It is                     
an indirect result.  The Division also licenses health care                    
facilities.                                                                    
                                                                               
Representative Davies observed that the last performance                       
measure pertains to the percent of nursing homes that are                      
surveyed for licensure on an annual basis.  He emphasized                      
that the intended result is that the nursing homes pass the                    
survey.  He asked if the performance measure should be                         
amended to "the percentage of surveys conducted and passed".                   
Mr. Labbe noted that the suggestion was considered.  He                        
stressed that the Division works with the facilities to come                   
into compliance.  By the time the survey is completed the                      
facilities have passed.  Nursing homes are surveyed every                      
year.  Half of the hospitals are surveyed every two years.                     
The surveys are quite extensive.                                               
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the mission statement                     
and performance measures for the Division of Medical                           
Assistance, Medicaid as contained in Attachment 3.                             
Representative Kohring OBJECTED.  He stressed that the goal                    
should be to reduce governmental programs.                                     
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley observed that the mission statement and                        
performance measures support the statutory requirement.  He                    
stated that guidelines are set in statute by the state and                     
federal governments.                                                           
                                                                               
Representative Martin agreed with remarks by Representative                    
Kohring.  He expressed concern that the state of Alaska is                     
moving in the wrong direction in encouraging participation                     
in the Medicaid program.                                                       
                                                                               
Co-Chair Hanley clarified that the state of Alaska loses                       
federal funds in the hold harmless program.                                    
                                                                               
Representative Davies pointed out that the program measures                    
more than the level of federal participation.  He stressed                     
that inspection of medical facilities is an appropriate                        
governmental function.                                                         
                                                                               
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                      
                                                                               
IN FAVOR: Davies, Davis, Grussendorf, Foster, Kelly, Hanley                    
OPPOSED: Martin, Kohring                                                       
                                                                               
Co-Chair Therriault and Representatives Moses and Mulder                       
were absent.                                                                   
                                                                               
The MOTION PASSED (6-2).                                                       
                                                                               
(Tape Change, HFC 98 - 80, Side 2)                                             
                                                                               
DIVISION OF FAMILY AND YOUTH SERVICES - ABUSE & NEGLECT                        
PREVENTION                                                                     
                                                                               
KAREN PEARSON, HEALTH PROGRAM MANAGER, DIVISION OF PUBLIC                      
HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES stated that                   
the Division is in support of the proposed mission statement                   
and performance measures.                                                      
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the mission statement                     
and performance measures for the Division of Family and                        
Youth Services - Abuse & neglect prevention component.                         
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                   
                                                                               
QUALITY SCHOOLS                                                                
                                                                               
Representative Kelly stated that the subcommittee agreed to                    
include assessment in the mission statement.                                   
                                                                               
BARBARA THOMPSON, DIRECTOR, TEACHING AND LEARNING SUPPORT,                     
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION explained that the Department felt                     
strongly that assessment is a part of student performance                      
and achievement.                                                               
                                                                               
Representative Kelly observed that professional development                    
is difficult to measure through an increase in student                         
performance.  He emphasized that professional development is                   
integrated into classroom instruction.  "Percentage of                         
teachers trained to incorporate training into classroom                        
instruction" was added based on self-reporting surveys.                        
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf expressed concern that there are                    
a number to teachers that are not teaching in the area of                      
their major.  Representative Kelly suggested that the                          
problem lies with contract negotiations.                                       
                                                                               
Ms. Thompson noted that the Teachers Certification Unit is                     
looking at the issue.                                                          
                                                                               
In response to a question by Representative Davies, Ms.                        
Thompson noted that training could constitute grants to                        
school districts for staff development within districts.                       
Federal and state funding in this component could be used                      
for in-service days or for other training.  One example of                     
professional development would be time spent working on                        
aligning curriculums to standards.                                             
                                                                               
Representative Davies questioned if there is a mechanism to                    
demonstrate that student achievement would be affected.  Ms.                   
Thompson emphasized that other components assess student                       
achievement.  She stressed that continual on-going                             
assessment based on standards leads to improvement of                          
instruction because teachers know what they need to teach                      
and what students need to know.                                                
                                                                               
Representative Grussendorf asserted that teachers should                       
have the necessary background and degree to help students                      
pass the standards tests.                                                      
                                                                               
Representative Foster MOVED to ADOPT the mission statement                     
and performance measures for the Quality Schools component.                    
ADJOURNMENT                                                                    
                                                                               
The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.                                             
House Finance Committee 8                                                      

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