Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/26/2004 08:45 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 26, 2004                                                                                           
                         8:45 A.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 04 - 97, Side A                                                                                                        
TAPE HFC 04 - 97, Side B                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Meyer  called the House Finance  Committee meeting                                                                   
to order at 8:45 A.M.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Harris, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Williams, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mike Chenault                                                                                                    
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Hugh Fate                                                                                                        
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bill Stoltze                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Tom Wright,  Staff, Representative  John Harris;  Sue Wright,                                                                   
Staff,   Representative   Mike   Chenault;   Greg   O'Claray,                                                                   
Commissioner,  Department  of   Labor;  Guy  Bell,  Director,                                                                   
Division of  Administrative Services,  Department of  Labor &                                                                   
Workforce   Development;  Carl   Rose,  Executive   Director,                                                                   
Association  of Alaska  School  Boards,  Juneau; Patty  Ware,                                                                   
Director, Division of Juvenile  Justice, Department of Health                                                                   
and Social Services;  Ernie Mueller, Alaska  Juvenile Justice                                                                   
Advisory Committee;  Darrel Hargraves, Superintendent,  Yukon                                                                   
Flats  Schools;  Dorothy  Adams, President  for  Yukon  Flats                                                                   
School District                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ethyl  Christensen,  Alaska  Society for  the  Protection  of                                                                   
Cruelty  to  Animals  (SPCA), Anchorage;  Lt.  Allen  Storey,                                                                   
Alaska   State  Troopers,   Department   of  Public   Safety,                                                                   
Anchorage;  Ronnie  Rosenberg,  President,  Fairbanks  Animal                                                                   
Fund,  Fairbanks;  Christine Heintz,  Alaska  Equine  Rescue,                                                                   
Kenai;  Shana  Anderson,  Shelter   Manager,  Animal  Control                                                                   
Officer, Valdez                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 241    An Act relating to optional exemptions from                                                                           
          municipal property taxes on residential property.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CS HB  241 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                   
          a   "do    pass"   recommendation   and   with   an                                                                   
          indeterminate  note  by the  Department  of Revenue                                                                   
          and  zero note #2 by the  Department of Community &                                                                   
          Economic Development.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HB 275    An Act relating to veterinarians and animals.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          HB 275  was HEARD and HELD in Committee for further                                                                   
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 427    An    Act    relating    to    guardianships    and                                                                   
          conservatorships,  to the  public guardian  and the                                                                   
          office  of public advocacy, to private professional                                                                   
          guardians  and  private professional  conservators,                                                                   
          to   court  visitors,   court-appointed  attorneys,                                                                   
          guardians  ad  liem, and  fiduciaries,  and  to the                                                                   
          protection  of  the person  or property  of certain                                                                   
          individuals,   including  minors;   amending  Rules                                                                   
          16(f)   and   17(e),   Alaska   Rules  of   Probate                                                                   
          Procedure; and providing for an effective date.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HB 427 was WAIVED from Committee.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB 487    An Act relating to the detention of delinquent                                                                        
          minors  in  correctional  facilities;  relating  to                                                                   
          emergency  detention of  minors for  evaluation for                                                                   
          involuntary  admission for mental health treatment;                                                                   
          relating  to  detention of  intoxicated  minors and                                                                   
          minors  incapacitated  by  alcohol  or  drugs;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 487 was reported out of Committee with                                                                             
          "individual"  recommendations and with zero note #1                                                                   
          by  the Department of Health  & Social Services and                                                                   
          zero note #2 by the Department of Public Safety.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB 507    An Act providing for and relating to the issuance                                                                     
          of  general  obligation  bonds for  the  purpose of                                                                   
          paying  the cost of design, construction, and major                                                                   
          maintenance    of   educational   facilities;   and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB 507 was placed in Subcommittee consisting of                                                                       
          Representative  Harris  as Chair  and  with members                                                                   
          Representative Hawker and Representative Croft.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 559    An  Act  repealing  the termination  of  the  state                                                                   
          training and employment program; and providing for                                                                    
          an effective date.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          HB 559 was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation and with a new zero note by                                                                      
          the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 241                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to optional exemptions from municipal                                                                      
     property taxes on residential property.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault  MOVED  to RESCIND  previous  action                                                                   
taken on  passing CS HB 241  (FIN) out of Committee  in order                                                                   
to address Amendment  #1 dealing with the  optional municipal                                                                   
tax  exemption for  residences  of law  enforcement  officers                                                                   
located  within  certain  eligible  areas.   There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, action was rescinded.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault  MOVED  to  ADOPT  work  draft  #23-                                                                   
LS0851\U, Cook,  4/23/04, as the  version of the  legislation                                                                   
before  the Committee,  which clarifies  the concern.   There                                                                   
being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault explained  that under Amendment  #1,                                                                   
an eligible area  is one that is eligible for  designation as                                                                   
a special zone or an area under  certain federal programs, or                                                                   
is  an area  with a  statistically  higher crime  rate.   The                                                                   
federal programs  are identified by common names  rather than                                                                   
by  citation  of  federal  laws  or  regulations.    The  new                                                                   
language would tie it into the federal program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Chenault  MOVED to report CS HB  241 (FIN) out                                                                   
of   Committee   and   to   use   the   previous   individual                                                                   
                                           rd                                                                                   
recommendations  adopted  on  the April  23,   2004  meeting.                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS HB  241 (FIN)  was reported  out of  Committee with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with  an indeterminate note  by the                                                                   
Department of Revenue  and zero note #2 by  the Department of                                                                   
Community & Economic Development.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 559                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act repealing the termination of the state training                                                                     
     and employment program; and providing for an effective                                                                     
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
TOM WRIGHT,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN HARRIS,  stated that                                                                   
HB 559  would reauthorize the  State Training  and Employment                                                                   
Program (STEP),  which was established by the  Legislature in                                                                   
1989.  In 2002,  the Legislature reauthorized the program for                                                                   
an additional two  years.  STEP will sunset on June 30, 2004,                                                                   
without  further  action.   STEP  uses a  small  part  of the                                                                   
employee  Unemployment  Insurance (UI)  tax to  fund training                                                                   
for  Alaskan workers.   The Department  of Labor  & Workforce                                                                   
Development  collects the  STEP revenues and  administers the                                                                   
program  with  partner  agencies  and  vendors.   The  Alaska                                                                   
Workforce  Investment Board is responsible  for oversight and                                                                   
direction.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
The   STEP   program   assists   Alaskans   in  moving   from                                                                   
unemployment to  work by annually making $4.5 million dollars                                                                   
available  to  trainees  and  training providers  in  Alaska.                                                                   
Since inception,  16,000 Alaskan residents have trained under                                                                   
the STEP  program.  In FY2003, STEP paid  for the training of                                                                   
1,832  Alaskans.     The  rate  of  participants  that  enter                                                                   
employment  after  training  is  the  highest  of  all  State                                                                   
administered  programs at 83.5%.  He added  that in 1996, the                                                                   
Legislature made  several changes to increase accountability,                                                                   
cap administrative costs and re-emphasize Alaska hire.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
GREG O'CLARAY,  COMMISSIONER, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, offered to                                                                   
answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
GUY  BELL,  DIRECTOR,  DIVISION OF  ADMINISTRATIVE  SERVICES,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF  LABOR  &  WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT,  offered  to                                                                   
answer questions of the Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Foster  MOVED  to  report   HB  559  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with   individual  recommendations  and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying  fiscal note.  There being  NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HB  559  was  reported out  of  Committee  with  a "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and  with  a  new  zero  fiscal  note by  the                                                                   
Department of Labor & Workforce Development.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 487                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An  Act relating to  the detention of  delinquent minors                                                                   
     in   correctional  facilities;  relating   to  emergency                                                                   
     detention  of  minors  for  evaluation  for  involuntary                                                                   
     admission  for  mental  health  treatment;  relating  to                                                                   
     detention    of    intoxicated    minors   and    minors                                                                   
     incapacitated  by alcohol or drugs; and providing for an                                                                   
     effective date.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PATTY   WARE,   DIRECTOR,  DIVISION   OF  JUVENILE   JUSTICE,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES,  explained that in                                                                   
2002 reauthorization  of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency                                                                   
Prevention  Act (JJDPA) of  1974 went into  effect on October                                                                   
1,   2003.      The  JJDPA   has   traditionally   prohibited                                                                   
incarceration of  non-offenders and status offenders in adult                                                                   
jails   and  "lock-ups".      New   language   in  the   2002                                                                   
reauthorization  prohibits  the  use  of  juvenile  detention                                                                   
facilities for  the non-offenders and status  offenders as of                                                                   
October 1, 2003.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Ware  continued, the bill  would modify AS  47.12.240, AS                                                                   
47.30.705 and AS  47.37.170 to come into compliance  with the                                                                   
federal  requirements  set out  in  the Guidance  Manual  for                                                                   
Monitoring   Facilities  Under   the  Juvenile  Justice   and                                                                   
Delinquency Prevention  Act of  2003.  Under the  amendments,                                                                   
emergency  protective  custody  of  minors  may  not  include                                                                   
placement in a jail or other secured  facility.  The language                                                                   
is  also  found  in current  law  relating  to  placement  of                                                                   
children in need  of aid (CHINA) and has been  interpreted by                                                                   
both  State  and  federal  official   to  provide  sufficient                                                                   
flexibility  for  holding  minors until  a  more  appropriate                                                                   
facility  can be  found  or until  transportation  to such  a                                                                   
facility  is  feasible.    The  purpose of  the  bill  is  to                                                                   
preserve   Alaska's  federal   formula   grant  receipts   of                                                                   
approximately $700  thousand dollars and to  meet requirement                                                                   
to apply for other federal money.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Ware continued  that  the bill  will  bring Alaska  into                                                                   
compliance so that emergency protective  custody of juveniles                                                                   
may not include placement in a  locked jail or youth facility                                                                   
when   relating   to   detention    of   intoxicated   minors                                                                   
incapacitated by alcohol or drugs.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair  Meyer questioned  if the  program would  cost the                                                                   
State money.  Ms. Ware pointed  out that both notes are zero.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  asked what the alternative  would be in                                                                   
the  smaller   communities.    Ms.  Ware  advised   that  the                                                                   
Department  has  been  working  to determine  ways  to  place                                                                   
individuals  in  the  Public Safety  buildings  or  in  other                                                                   
secure situations.  She pointed  out that the State continues                                                                   
to  work   with  the   federal  government  regarding   their                                                                   
definitions and what is allowable.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fate  pointed  out  the  high  percentage  of                                                                   
violations.     He asked  if there was  a cut  off point  not                                                                   
retracted.   Ms. Ware responded  that there are and  that the                                                                   
numbers are highlighted  in the handout from  the Department.                                                                   
(Copy on File).  She added that  Alaska continues to struggle                                                                   
with the juvenile rule challenge.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ERNIE MUELLER,  ALASKA JUVENILE  JUSTICE ADVISORY  COMMITTEE,                                                                   
noted that the Governor appoints  the Alaska Juvenile Justice                                                                   
Advisory Committee  with members  throughout the State.   The                                                                   
mission  is  to  advise the  Governor,  Legislature  and  the                                                                   
Department   on   matters  relating   to   juvenile   justice                                                                   
throughout the  State.  He noted  that they had  been working                                                                   
with  the Division  on  these bills  and  that the  Committee                                                                   
endorses  HB 487,  which is  important legislation  that will                                                                   
ensure continued funds for the Division.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
LT.  ALLEN  STOREY,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ALASKA                                                                   
STATE  TROOPERS, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC  SAFETY, commented that                                                                   
they  had been  working with  Department  of Health  & Social                                                                   
Services  and  Ms.  Ware to  insure  that  the Department  of                                                                   
Public  Safety   is  in  compliance  with  the  requirements.                                                                   
Juvenile   Justice  has  made   a  commitment   to  work  the                                                                   
Department of Public  Safety and the local police departments                                                                   
to  educate them regarding  the standard.   He commented that                                                                   
Department of Public Safety supports the legislation.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Foster  MOVED  to  report   HB  487  out  of                                                                   
Committee  with   individual  recommendations  and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB  487  was  reported  out of  Committee  with  "individual"                                                                   
recommendations  and with zero  note #1 by the  Department of                                                                   
Health &  Social Services and zero note  #2 by the Department                                                                   
of Public Safety.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 275                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to veterinarians and animals.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MIKE  CHENAULT,  SPONSOR,  stated  that  the                                                                   
Committee  would be working from the  House Judiciary version                                                                   
of the legislation.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SUE WRIGHT,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MIKE  CHENAULT, noted that                                                                   
two years  ago in Sterling, State  Troopers, animal rescuers,                                                                   
veterinarians  and office staff  witnessed the  worst case of                                                                   
mass animal  cruelty in Alaska.  Dozens  of dogs, some frozen                                                                   
to  the ground, but  still alive, were  found on a  parcel of                                                                   
land in the Sterling  area.  Some were locked in an abandoned                                                                   
bus,  some  tied  to  trees  and stakes.    Recently,  police                                                                   
officer  stopped a drunk driver  who had his dog  tied to the                                                                   
bumper of  his truck.  She commented that  it is appalling to                                                                   
find  any   human  being  capable  of   such  horror.    Many                                                                   
individuals  later  convicted of  grave crimes  are  found to                                                                   
have seriously abused animals at some point in their lives.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wright stressed that this is not an issue for partisan                                                                      
politics,  as most people  either have pets  or have memories                                                                   
of   childhood   pets.     She   noted   that  learning   the                                                                   
responsibility  of caring  and providing  for  another living                                                                   
being is an important part of becoming an adult.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Wright provided  a sectional analysis of the legislation.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Stoltze referenced  Page 6, Lines 12 & 13, and                                                                   
asked   how    the   provision    would   affect    trapping.                                                                   
Additionally,  he  asked if  "the  defense to  a  prosecution                                                                   
under  (a)(3)" was  the  highest threshold  of  defense.   He                                                                   
wanted to  make sure  that the  legislation would not  create                                                                   
problems  for  trappers.    Ms.  Wright  responded  that  the                                                                   
concern  had been discussed  with trappers,  statewide.   She                                                                   
noted that the intent of the legislation  is not to interfere                                                                   
with commercial trapping.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze questioned  if  the Alaska  Trapper's                                                                   
Association  had endorsed  the legislation.   Ms. Wright  did                                                                   
not know  if it  had been  endorsed, but  indicated that  the                                                                   
office   had   worked   a  long   time   on   the   language.                                                                   
Representative  Stoltze pointed  out that  there is  a formal                                                                   
organization  of trappers and  that he  wanted to know  their                                                                   
stand on the issue.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule referenced  subsistence  trapping.   He                                                                   
understood  that the  bill was  aimed  at pets  and not  wild                                                                   
animals and  recommended that language be  added specifically                                                                   
indicating pets.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Fate  echoed   concern  regarding   how  the                                                                   
legislation  would  affect  dog  mushers and  the  fact  that                                                                   
shelter  is often  not offered  along the racing  areas.   He                                                                   
inquired if  input had  been received from  that group.   Ms.                                                                   
Wright  commented  that during  the  past four  years,  their                                                                   
office  had worked  with both  trappers and  dog mushers  and                                                                   
that it comes down to a practical  interpretation of the law.                                                                   
The bill attempts to affect only domestic animals.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ETHYL  CHRISTENSEN,  (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE),  ALASKA                                                                   
SOCIETY  FOR THE PROTECTION  OF CRUELITY  TO ANIMALS  (SPCA),                                                                   
ANCHORAGE, pointed  out that the only dollar note  is the one                                                                   
from  the  Public  Defender  Agency   in  the  Department  of                                                                   
Administration.   She  countered that  the legislation  would                                                                   
save the  State money, noting  that currently, the  courts do                                                                   
not have the tools to adequately address these crimes.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Meyer inquired how  many years had Ms. Christensen                                                                   
worked  with concerns  regarding  animals.   Ms.  Christensen                                                                   
replied that she started the work in 1966.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Meyer referenced Page  6, Line 14, and the cruelty                                                                   
and  unsecured animals  in pick-up  trucks.   He pointed  out                                                                   
that happens  a lot  throughout the  State.  Ms.  Christensen                                                                   
commented that  it is happening  less now  and that it  is no                                                                   
longer legal  in Anchorage and  hoped that more  people would                                                                   
soon be paying close attention to that.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair  Meyer inquired if  Ms. Christensen would  like to                                                                   
see  that  provision  continued   to  be  implemented.    Ms.                                                                   
Christensen responded  that she  would, as unsecured  dogs in                                                                   
pickups  can be  a traffic hazard.   She  concluded testimony                                                                   
that  in Anchorage  in 1977  and 1978,  the SPCA  was killing                                                                   
1,100  dogs and cats  a year; now  the average is  183.  Vice                                                                   
Chair  Meyer  commented  that the  goal  should  be that  the                                                                   
shelters are putting down no animals.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RONNIE ROSENBERG,  (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PRESIDENT,                                                                   
FAIRBANKS ANIMAL  SHELTER FUND, FAIRBANKS, discussed the need                                                                   
for enhanced  protection of animals.   She indicated that the                                                                   
shelters  support including mandatory reports,  to Section 5,                                                                   
Page 7.  Ms. Rosenberg  commented that they were disappointed                                                                   
that  the  penalty provision  for  serious  abusers had  been                                                                   
removed.  She added  that it would be a big mistake to exempt                                                                   
sled  dogs and  requested that language  be added  to address                                                                   
those animals.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Rosenberg addressed  the  concern with  dogs in  pick up                                                                   
trucks, noting  it was in the Title VI portion of the borough                                                                   
code.  The provision  works well.  She urged that the bill be                                                                   
passed from Committee  and that serious abusers be prosecuted                                                                   
under a felony statute.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Stoltze questioned  who enforces  the borough                                                                   
code.  Ms. Rosenberg  responded that animal control officers,                                                                   
who  have the  authority to  issue citations  enforce  it and                                                                   
that  most people accept  that.   She added that  their group                                                                   
attempts to educate the public.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fate referenced Page 2,  Lines 18-25, and the                                                                   
language  "somebody who believes  that there has  been animal                                                                   
cruelty  may file  a  complaint and  may apply  for  a search                                                                   
warrant".    He  thought  that  language  was "murky".    Ms.                                                                   
Rosenberg  responded that most complaints  to law enforcement                                                                   
come via a citizen  complaint rather than law enforcement out                                                                   
patrolling.   If  someone calls  in, the  officer then  has a                                                                   
duty  to do an  investigation before  it can go  any further.                                                                   
In  order to  get a  search warrant,  the  officer has  to go                                                                   
before  the judicial  officer and  establish grounds  for the                                                                   
warrant.  Ms. Rosenberg  pointed out that she did not see the                                                                   
troopers,  registering   all  the  complaints  that  come  in                                                                   
regarding  domestic circumstances.  The  troopers are used to                                                                   
responding  to complaints about abuse  to children and others                                                                   
and they are well trained in how to respond.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fate questioned if a complaint could be based                                                                   
upon  a "belief"  or would the  person filing  that complaint                                                                   
need  evidence  to support  it.   Ms.  Roseburg advised  that                                                                   
there must  be evidence or the Court would  not be willing to                                                                   
issue a warrant.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams  interjected that  the bill  would  not be                                                                   
moved  from Committee  at this time.   He requested  that the                                                                   
Committee only take public testimony at this meeting.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE HEINTZ, (TESTIFIED VIA  TELECONFERENCE), VOLUNTEER,                                                                   
ALASKA  EQUINE RESCUE,  KENAI, testified  strong support  for                                                                   
the  bill.   She  questioned how  the  note  from the  Alaska                                                                   
Public Defender had been determined.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SHANA  ANDERSON,   (TESTIFIED  VIA  TELECONFERENCE),   ANIMAL                                                                   
CONTROL OFFICIER,  SHELTER MANAGER,  VALDEZ, referenced  Page                                                                   
2, Lines 11-30,  defining who has the authority  to determine                                                                   
what  is  "cruelty"  and to  investigate  and  prosecute  the                                                                   
cruelty.  She asked if animal  control officers were included                                                                   
in that.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
TAPE HFC 04 - 97, Side B                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Wright  understood  that  animal  control  officers  are                                                                   
classified in the State of Alaska  as Peace Officers and they                                                                   
do have  the authority  to investigate.   The  bill does  not                                                                   
name animal control officers specifically.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Chenault referenced  Page 2,  Line 18,  which                                                                   
addresses investigation  of animal  control complaints.   Ms.                                                                   
Anderson  did not believe  that the  animal control  officers                                                                   
were  considered  peace  officers.     She  stated  that  she                                                                   
supports all the language defining  what constitutes cruelty;                                                                   
however, was concerned  about areas in the State  that do not                                                                   
have any animal control and how  the animal cruelty abides in                                                                   
those places.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Anderson added  that it is important to  include language                                                                   
regarding when prosecuting cases,  animals are taken care of.                                                                   
Sometimes, the animals are kept  as evidence for as long as a                                                                   
year  and someone  needs  to  pay for  that  service.     She                                                                   
stressed that  asking for reimbursement from  a county agency                                                                   
is  important.   She  thought  that mandatory  reporting  was                                                                   
something that  animal control people  should be doing.   Ms.                                                                   
Anderson  reminded  members that  domestic  violence  usually                                                                   
begins with animal cruelty.  She  added that the authority to                                                                   
prosecute and  investigate cruelty  should not be  taken away                                                                   
from  animal  control  officers as  they  are  professionally                                                                   
trained in that area.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris   mentioned  for  the  record   that  issues                                                                   
relating to farm animals and livestock must be addressed.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 275 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 507                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     An Act  providing for  and relating  to the issuance  of                                                                   
     general obligation  bonds for the purpose  of paying the                                                                   
     cost of  design, construction, and major  maintenance of                                                                   
     educational facilities; and providing for an effective                                                                     
     date.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE HAWKER, SPONSOR, commented that the bill                                                                   
was introduced  following consultation with the University of                                                                   
Alaska,   recognizing   the   needs   for  continued   design                                                                   
construction  and expansion  for  statewide facilities.   The                                                                   
                               nd                                                                                               
bill  is modeled  after  the 22   Legislature  education bond                                                                   
bill.   As structured, HB 507 is a  general obligation (G.O.)                                                                   
bond  and would  require voter  approval.   Getting  any G.O.                                                                   
bond  on a  ballot  could be  problematic unless  there  is a                                                                   
larger  package of fiscal  legislation.  The  bill as drafted                                                                   
contains  only  a  list  of University  facilities  with  the                                                                   
largest  item   being  the  integrated  science  facility  in                                                                   
Anchorage.  There are other facilities included.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  pointed  out  that  when  originally                                                                   
introduced, the  amounts proposed were brought forward by the                                                                   
administration  of the University.  He suggested that part of                                                                   
the intent of introducing  HB 507, is contemplating statewide                                                                   
K-12 needs.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Williams stated that the bill  would be placed into                                                                   
a  Subcommittee consisting  of Representative John  Harris as                                                                   
the  Chair   and  with  members   Representative  Hawker  and                                                                   
Representative Croft.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DARREL HARGRAVES,  SUPERINTENDANT, YUKON FLATS SCHOOLS, noted                                                                   
that  HB  507  is the  only  bill  with  a  title that  could                                                                   
incorporate  some regular  K-12 projects.   He  stressed that                                                                   
the  Capital Improvement Project  (CIP) list prepared  by the                                                                   
Department   of  Education   &  Early   Development  includes                                                                   
projects  that  have been  scrutinized.     He stressed  that                                                                   
these are needed projects.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DOROTHY  ADAMS, PRESIDENT  FOR YUKON  FLATS  SCHOOL DISTRICT,                                                                   
stated  that the Arctic  Village School  is number #5  on the                                                                   
CIP  list.   It is a  former Bureau  of Indian  Affairs (BIA)                                                                   
facility   and  judged  to  be  inadequate   and  unsafe  for                                                                   
students.   There is heavy oil saturation.   The furnace is a                                                                   
fire hazard  due to oil leaks.  She  noted that the last bond                                                                   
issue provided  sufficient funds to do an architecture design                                                                   
and it  would be best to  proceed at this time.   The project                                                                   
would  require $182  thousand dollars  from the  district and                                                                   
the  district is  prepared to  make  that contribution.   Ms.                                                                   
Adams  requested that the  school's CIP list  should be added                                                                   
to HB 507.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Harris asked if they were aware  of SB 283, dealing                                                                   
with  school  funding and  if  they had  applied pressure  on                                                                   
their  Senator to support  that legislation.   He pointed out                                                                   
that  there  has  been  a proposal  to  put  in  the top  ten                                                                   
projects into that  bill.  Ms. Adams responded that they have                                                                   
spoken to their senator and anyone else who would listen.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker clarified  that there is both the major                                                                   
maintenance  list  and the  capital  construction  list.   He                                                                   
pointed  out that  their needs  are listed  in the CIP  list.                                                                   
Mr. Hargraves  agreed and  noted that  he would also  support                                                                   
the major  maintenance list,  as it  is important because  it                                                                   
keeps projects off the CIP list.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CARL ROSE, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ASSOCIATION OF  ALASKA SCHOOL                                                                   
BOARDS, JUNEAU,  stated that  the Association is  considering                                                                   
how to accomplish  tasks that need  to be addressed.   He put                                                                   
forward that  a couple years  ago, they  were part of  a G.O.                                                                   
Bond,   however,  they   no  longer   have  the  ability   to                                                                   
appropriate  for the  needs for  the  State but  do have  the                                                                   
ability to bond  out over a period of time,  taking advantage                                                                   
of low interest  rates.  That  option appears to be  the only                                                                   
way  to address  many of  the capital  and major  maintenance                                                                   
needs.   When  putting  a  G.O.  bond together,  passing  the                                                                   
electorate must be  considered.  A major appeal  package must                                                                   
be shaped.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rose  identified projects, noting  one on the  list where                                                                   
the well system has failed; in  Copper River, the result from                                                                   
the serious  leakage is now dry  rot; another project  on the                                                                   
list  is a  roof system  that is  in need  of serious  repair                                                                   
where the roof is now sagging.   That project is listed as #3                                                                   
with life safety at hand.  He  urged that each critical issue                                                                   
on the list be addressed.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Rose commented  that  the State  must  determine how  to                                                                   
fashion a  G.O. bond  so the critical  issues are  addressed.                                                                   
He  pointed out  the document  included in  the files,  which                                                                   
educates  people  regarding  the  critical  needs  statewide.                                                                   
(Copy on  File).   He advised  that the Association  supports                                                                   
the concept  of G.O. bonds,  as it would  be a viable  way to                                                                   
address  critical  needs.   Public  schools  are the  State's                                                                   
investment and must be protected.   Major maintenance must be                                                                   
addressed in an  appropriate fashion to reduce  the long-term                                                                   
need for construction.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rose noted  that there are  a number of items in  play at                                                                   
this  time   having  the  Senate   dealing  with   the  major                                                                   
maintenance  list.   He noted  that there  are other  options                                                                   
available, however, the end result  is, if no action is taken                                                                   
this year,  the problems  will become  even more  exacerbated                                                                   
and dangerous.   He  acknowledged that this  is also  tied to                                                                   
the fiscal plan and that a G.O.  bond is most likely the only                                                                   
way to  address these  needs.   He offered  to work  with the                                                                   
Subcommittee.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 507 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 9:54 A.M.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                

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