Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/05/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 122 LIFE INSURANCE FOR NATIONAL GUARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+= HB 149 SALE OF METHAMPHETAMINE AND PRECURSORS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 149(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 156 COMMISSION ON AGING TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 201 PERM. FUND DIVIDEND APPS OF MILITARY TELECONFERENCED
<Pending Referral><Bill Hearing Postponed
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= HB 16 SCHOOL FUNDS RELATED TO BOARDING SCHOOLS
Moved Out of Committee
= HB 119 AK REGIONAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Moved CSHB 119(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 5, 2005                                                                                            
                         1:46 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:46:06 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Eric Croft                                                                                                       
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Jim Holm                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Carl Moses                                                                                                       
Representative Bruce Weyhrauch                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  John  Coghill;   Sally  Saddler,  Legislative                                                                   
Liaison, Department  of Community  and Economic  Development;                                                                   
Eddy Jeans, Director, Education  Support Services, Department                                                                   
of Education  and Early  Development; Kaci Schroeder,  Staff,                                                                   
House  Community and  Regional  Affairs; Suzanne  Cunningham,                                                                   
Staff, Co-Chair Meyer; Representative  Nancy Dahlstrom; Kelly                                                                   
Huber, Staff,  Representative Nancy Dahlstrom;  Major General                                                                   
Craig Campbell, Commissioner,  Military and Veterans Affairs;                                                                   
Representative   Jay   Ramras;   Jane  W.   Pierson,   Staff,                                                                   
Representative  Jay   Ramras;  Sergeant  Tim   Birt,  Juneau,                                                                   
Alaska  State  Troopers;  Linda Gohl,  Alaska  Commission  on                                                                   
Aging                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Wanetta   Ayers,   Executive   Director,   Southwest   Alaska                                                                   
Municipal Conference; Jason Carroll,  Chair, MatSu Resource &                                                                   
Conservation District  (RC&D); Rob Well,  Executive Director,                                                                   
MatSu Resource  Conservation &  Development Council;  Marlena                                                                   
Adams, Wasilla; Kurt Kornchuck, Anchorage Police Department                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 16     "An Act relating to funding for school districts                                                                      
          operating  secondary school  boarding programs  and                                                                   
          to   funding  for  school   districts  from   which                                                                   
          boarding  students   come;  and  providing  for  an                                                                   
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          HB  16 was  REPORTED out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
          pass"  recommendation and  with fiscal impact  note                                                                   
          #1  by  the  Department   of  Education  and  Early                                                                   
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 119    "An  Act  extending  the termination  date  of  the                                                                   
          Alaska  regional economic  assistance program;  and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 119 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do pass" recommendation  and with two new fiscal                                                                   
          impact notes by the House Finance Committee.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 156    "An Act  relating to  the membership of  the Alaska                                                                   
          Commission   on  Aging;   and   providing  for   an                                                                   
          effective date."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB (HES) 156 was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "do  pass" recommendation and with  fiscal impact                                                                   
          note  #1 by  the Department  of  Health and  Social                                                                   
          Services.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 122    "An  Act  relating   to  payment  of  premiums  for                                                                   
          Servicemembers'  Group Life Insurance on  behalf of                                                                   
          members of the Alaska  National Guard deployed to a                                                                   
          combat zone; and providing  for an effective date."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HB 122 was heard and  HELD in Committee for further                                                                   
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 149    "An  Act  relating  to further  regulation  of  the                                                                   
          sale,   possession,   and   delivery   of   certain                                                                   
          chemicals  and precursors  used in the  manufacture                                                                   
          of methamphetamine."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 149  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a   "do   pass"  recommendation   and   with   four                                                                   
          previously  published  fiscal notes:  zero note  #1                                                                   
          COR, zero  note #2 LAW, indeterminate  note #3 DOA,                                                                   
          indeterminate  note #4 DOC,  and with a  new fiscal                                                                   
          impact note by CED.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 201    "An Act relating to  an application for a permanent                                                                   
          fund dividend  for a member of the  armed forces of                                                                   
          the  United States serving  on active  duty outside                                                                   
          of  the  state;  and  providing  for  an  effective                                                                   
          date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 201 was postponed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:46:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 119                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska                                                                       
     regional economic assistance program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
KACI SCHROEDER, STAFF, HOUSE COMMUNITY  AND REGIONAL AFFAIRS,                                                                   
explained the bill.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:48:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WANETTA  AYERS,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   SW  ALASKA  MUNICIPAL                                                                   
CONFERENCE,  spoke in  favor of  HB 119.   She explained  the                                                                   
benefits of  the program  and how funds  are generated.   She                                                                   
related the  funding formula used  for the various  tiers and                                                                   
explained how reauthorization  is a distraction from economic                                                                   
development.   She  spoke of  past  funding mechanisms,  AIDA                                                                   
receipts,  a balanced  long-term  fiscal  plan,  and a  well-                                                                   
funded regional development plan.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:54:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JASON CARROLL,  CHAIR, KENAI  PENINSULA ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT                                                                   
DISTRICT, spoke of  difficulties and how much  easier it will                                                                   
be if the date is extended.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ROB WELL, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, MATSU RESOURCE  CONSERVATION &                                                                   
DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, read a statement (copy on file.)                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer closed public testimony.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:56:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SALLY SADDLER,  LEGISLATIVE LIAISON, DEPARTMENT  OF COMMUNITY                                                                   
AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, in response to a question from Co-                                                                    
Chair Meyer, spoke about the new fiscal note.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly asked about  the $650,000 amount and how                                                                   
it is funded.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Saddler  explained that it  was intended to be  funded by                                                                   
business licenses,  but now  is funded  by the general  fund.                                                                   
Now there are two fiscal notes;  one takes AIDA receipts, and                                                                   
one    transfers   those    receipts    to   the    division.                                                                   
Representative Kelly asked if  it is funded by AIDA receipts.                                                                   
Ms. Saddler said it is.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:01:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 6                                                                                                             
     Delete "2013"                                                                                                              
     Insert "2010"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  spoke against the  2013 date and  in favor                                                                   
of the 2010 date.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze  WITHDREW his  OBJECTION.  There  being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSHB 119  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  119 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation and with  two new fiscal impact notes by                                                                   
the House Finance Committee.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:03:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 16                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to  funding   for  school  districts                                                                   
     operating  secondary  school  boarding programs  and  to                                                                   
     funding  for   school  districts  from   which  boarding                                                                   
     students come; and providing for an effective date."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
EDDY JEANS, DIRECTOR, EDUCATION  SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF EDUCATION AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT,  spoke of Resolution 0125                                                                   
from the state  Board of Education  in support of HB  16.  He                                                                   
reported on  the number of  small boarding schools  and their                                                                   
enrollment.  He related an example  from Nenana regarding the                                                                   
hold-harmless provision,  which is a stopgap  while the pilot                                                                   
program is in place.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze asked how many  schools are involved.  Mr.                                                                   
Jeans responded that there are three.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  questioned the need for  a requirement                                                                   
that  all students  go to  a boarding  school.   He  wondered                                                                   
about the overriding  policy that fewer than  10 students are                                                                   
not viable.   Mr. Jeans  responded that  he does not  want to                                                                   
see communities left out.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:10:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  asked how  long before it  is no  longer a                                                                   
pilot program.   Mr. Jeans reported  that the program  is not                                                                   
in  effect  right  now.   The  three  schools  are  currently                                                                   
generating resources to support  themselves.  The bill allows                                                                   
DOE  time  to  gather information  about  how  to  deal  with                                                                   
boarding schools.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly voiced a  concern about going  below 10                                                                   
students.   He said he supports  the boarding  school concept                                                                   
and the test period, but not beyond  that.  He suggested that                                                                   
boarding schools  need to have high caliber  discipline plans                                                                   
like in Galena.   He referred to page 2, line  4, and said he                                                                   
wants  to have  parents involved.   He  stated opposition  to                                                                   
line 2.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jeans  related  that the  per-pupil  stipend  mirrors  a                                                                   
current   program  already   in   place  regarding   airfare.                                                                   
Stipends  on the spreadsheet  that support  the fiscal  notes                                                                   
are the same  as currently in place.   They do not  add up to                                                                   
100  percent.   Representative Kelly  suggested that  parents                                                                   
pay all of the stipend.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:17:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN COGHILL, sponsor  of HB 16,  agreed that                                                                   
the government  should not  hold the costs.   Under  the bill                                                                   
the stipend  would cover about 1/3  of the costs.   He agreed                                                                   
that the  benefit to Alaska is  great.  He  requested support                                                                   
for the bill.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  spoke of  a personal  experience  with                                                                   
boarding schools and his family.   He said he is very pleased                                                                   
to see  this bill, but  noted that it  is not a  broad enough                                                                   
look.  He  suggested that the  state step up to the  plate to                                                                   
help.   He spoke of  regional learning  centers and  how they                                                                   
contribute to communities.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:24:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze  related a  personal story about  a family                                                                   
growing up poor.   He asked if students could  work off their                                                                   
stipends.   Mr.  Jeans  replied that  DOE  does not  regulate                                                                   
tuition amounts.  Nenana has scholarships to help families.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill added  that families  could work  for                                                                   
the tuition in Nenana.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  pointed  out  that  taking  the  $1.2                                                                   
million fiscal note  and dividing it by 231  students arrives                                                                   
at a per student cost of $5,311.   He noted that the language                                                                   
that says the stipend should be  determined by the department                                                                   
on a regional basis is troublesome.   He suggested that it be                                                                   
more specific.   Mr. Jeans  responded that the  boarding home                                                                   
program has  been in  regulation since  1985, and costs  have                                                                   
remained at  about $185,000 for  five years.  He  opined that                                                                   
the  department  has  not  abused the  stipend.    Mr.  Jeans                                                                   
explained that  there is statutory authority  to operate this                                                                   
program.  Representative  Hawker read from the  statute about                                                                   
who is  eligible to claim costs  incurred from the  per pupil                                                                   
stipend.   He interpreted  it  to allow anyone  to run  their                                                                   
program as they want.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:31:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill replied that  was not the  intention,                                                                   
nor the practice  of the department.  He said  he was open to                                                                   
suggestions.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  commended the Rasmuson  Foundation for                                                                   
the  grant.   Mr. Jeans  replied  that he  did  not know  the                                                                   
dollar amount  of the  grant, but  it accompanied a  business                                                                   
plan.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked  what  the  State  Board  of                                                                   
Education is doing to develop  policies for boarding schools.                                                                   
Mr.  Jeans said  the board  has not  developed policies,  but                                                                   
does support this  pilot program.  All three  of these school                                                                   
districts started  the programs on  their own, and  the board                                                                   
passed a resolution  and found them worthy of  a second look.                                                                   
He explained the evaluation system.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:35:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked  if  there is  a defined  public                                                                   
program.  Mr.  Jeans replied only the three  boarding schools                                                                   
that are  currently operating  are eligible: Galena,  Nenana,                                                                   
and Bethel.   Representative  Hawker  observed that  there is                                                                   
nothing that shows what will be  had because of this program.                                                                   
He inquired about the pilot project.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Coghill replied  that the purpose of the pilot                                                                   
project  is to evaluate  whether to  participate in  boarding                                                                   
school  programs  at  this level.    Student  access,  career                                                                   
moves, and  No Child  Left Behind Standards  will be  used to                                                                   
evaluate success.  Representative  Hawker spoke against open-                                                                   
ended  commitments.    He  asked  for  accountability  and  a                                                                   
definition of a  work product.  He concluded  that funding is                                                                   
important, but it needs missions and measures.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:40:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill explained there  are ways  to measure                                                                   
progress.  He noted  that this is part of the  question, "Can                                                                   
we do it better?"                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze pointed  out  that that  charter  schools                                                                   
need to  display credibility,  also.   Missions and  measures                                                                   
are already in place.  Representative  Coghill explained that                                                                   
he did not mean to disparage charter schools.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:45:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Meyer  concluded   that   there   would  be   some                                                                   
measurements of success, such as benchmark exams.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch WITHDREW Amendment 1.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 17                                                                                                            
     Delete "2010"                                                                                                              
     Insert "2006"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch explained  that  Amendment 2  would                                                                   
provide an earlier sunset date for the legislation.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Coghill stated  that he would  like to  see a                                                                   
five-year period  before a review.   He estimated  that there                                                                   
would be discussions during the entire five years.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  point out  that  budget  subcommittees                                                                   
raise the  issue of how  programs are  doing every year.   He                                                                   
felt that the current process  would allow sufficient review.                                                                   
He spoke against the amendment.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:49:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer questioned if the  department would be able to                                                                   
provide a report  in 2010 regarding school performance.   Mr.                                                                   
Jeans stated  that it  would be their  intent to  provide the                                                                   
State  Board  of Education  a  report  detailing  performance                                                                   
statistics on a yearly basis.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch WITHDREW Amendment 2.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker maintained  an objection to the idea in                                                                   
the amendment.   He  reiterated that the  there are  no clear                                                                   
expectations outlined  in regards to  the pilot program.   He                                                                   
expressed concern with the lack of accountability.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker said he  would not object to moving the                                                                   
bill out today.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:52:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  reiterated that  there  would  be means  and                                                                   
standards to measure the return of the programs.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holm   noted    that   there   are   several                                                                   
intangibles.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer agreed.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:53:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly agreed with  Representative Hawker about                                                                   
accountability.     He   stressed   that   schools  need   to                                                                   
demonstrate what they are replacing  and that the schools are                                                                   
performing.   He  maintained  that   there  should   be  high                                                                   
performance measures  in terms  of graduation rates  and GPA.                                                                   
He stressed there should be better returns than "average".                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer agreed that there  is concern that the state's                                                                   
money be well spent.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:55:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Coghill    agreed   with   the    need   for                                                                   
accountability.  Communities have  reached into their pockets                                                                   
to  go  the  extra miles.  Students  and  parents  have  made                                                                   
sacrifices.   He urged  the Committee to  step up  to support                                                                   
boarding   schools.   Boarding    schools   have   the   same                                                                   
requirements as  other schools.   He questioned  why boarding                                                                   
schools should have to outperform other schools.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  clarified   that  there  should  be  a                                                                   
measurement of improvement from  the local school the student                                                                   
left behind.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:58:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  clarified   that  he  is  not  asking                                                                   
boarding schools to outperform  other schools.  He reiterated                                                                   
the need have performance measures.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  report HB 16 out of Committee                                                                   
with  individual recommendations  and  with the  accompanying                                                                   
fiscal note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HB  16  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and  with a  fiscal  impact  note #1  by  the                                                                   
Department of Education and Early Development.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:01:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 156                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to the membership of the Alaska                                                                           
     Commission on Aging; and providing for an effective                                                                        
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm spoke in support  of HB 156.  He provided                                                                   
the history of the bill and urged the committee's support.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  asked if the commission would  change from                                                                   
7 to 8 members.  Representative Holm said yes.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 6                                                                                                             
     Delete Section 2                                                                                                           
     Renumber the remaining sections accordingly.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representatives Stoltze and Holm OBJECTED.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:05:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE  CUNNINGHAM, STAFF,  CO-CHAIR  MEYER, explained  that                                                                   
the  way  the  statutes  are   written  the  Commissioner  of                                                                   
Administration does  not have the ability to  vote on matters                                                                   
before the commission.  HB 156  would remove the Commissioner                                                                   
of Administration, and a person  who provides senior services                                                                   
and is a recipient of a grant  awarded under the senior grant                                                                   
program is added  to the commission.  This  person would have                                                                   
the ability to vote on matters  before the commission.  Under                                                                   
AS47.45.240,   power,   duties,   and  limitations   of   the                                                                   
Commission on  Aging, there is  some confusion about  the way                                                                   
the statute is written, and Amendment 2 would correct this.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm referred to  a letter from the Commission                                                                   
on  Aging dated  March  3 regarding  voting  on  grants.   He                                                                   
agreed that there  might be problems with policies  and grant                                                                   
recipients.  He requested comments from Linda Gohl.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:08:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA GOHL,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA COMMISSION  ON AGING,                                                                   
agreed  that  the  statute  is   misleading  because  of  who                                                                   
approves grants.   She noted that commission  members are not                                                                   
involved in  the award  process.  If  there were  a potential                                                                   
conflict of  interest, the  chair would  ask that the  member                                                                   
abstain.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm asked Ms.  Gohl if there is a conflict of                                                                   
interest.  She opined that there  is no conflict of interest.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Cunningham  noted  a concern  about  a  senior  services                                                                   
provider  and departmental  conflicts.   Representative  Holm                                                                   
responded  that  all commissions  and  boards  have the  same                                                                   
potential  conflict of  interest.   It  is  desirous to  have                                                                   
knowledgeable people on the board.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer asked  if Ms. Gohl agreed with  the removal of                                                                   
Amendment 1.  She said yes.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW Amendment 1.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:13:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze MOVED  to report  CSHB 156  (HES) out  of                                                                   
Committee with the accompanying  fiscal note.  There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  (HES) 156  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with fiscal  impact note #1  by the                                                                   
Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:14:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 122                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An   Act   relating   to  payment   of   premiums   for                                                                   
     Servicemembers'  Group  Life   Insurance  on  behalf  of                                                                   
     members  of  the Alaska  National  Guard  deployed to  a                                                                   
     combat zone; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
KELLY   HUBER,   STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE   NANCY   DAHLSTROM,                                                                   
explained  that  HB 122  allows  military  men and  women  in                                                                   
foreign  countries  in  combat  zone to  defer  payments  for                                                                   
various contracts and bills.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm asked why  there is a  zero note  on the                                                                   
education loans  portion.  Ms.  Huber replied that  the loans                                                                   
are deferred and will still have to be paid in full.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:20:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer Moved to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 18 - 19:                                                                                                     
     Delete "; a termination under this paragraph does not                                                                      
     remove the liability for any amount"                                                                                       
     Insert ", and the payment of any amounts"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 27, following "Bank":                                                                                         
     Insert ", except for a loan made by the Alaska Housing                                                                     
     Finance Corporation"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Huber  explained that the  sponsor's intent is  to exempt                                                                   
AHFC.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
In response  to a question  by Vice-Chair Stoltze,  Ms. Huber                                                                   
replied  that  it helps  so  families  are not  displaced  or                                                                   
evicted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze WITHDREW his  objection to adopt Amendment                                                                   
1.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:23:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 7                                                                                                             
     Delete Section 1                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair    Meyer   OBJECTED    for   discussion    purposes.                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch explained that  Section 1  could be                                                                   
written in a letter of intent.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft noted that  it is  a temporary  law and                                                                   
the section does no harm.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair    Meyer   agreed    with   Representative    Croft.                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch asked  if making  an exception  for                                                                   
the National Guard is appropriate.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NANCY  DAHLSTROM requested that  the statement                                                                   
stay  in the  bill because  it reflects  how the  legislature                                                                   
feels about the National Guard.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer asked Representative  Foster if there is a set                                                                   
pattern for  including such sections.   Representative Foster                                                                   
replied that there is no set pattern.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch WITHDREW Amendment 2.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:25:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED to adopt Amendment 3:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 9                                                                                                             
     Delete Section 2                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch explained  that the original section                                                                   
allowed reimbursement  similar to  a life insurance  program.                                                                   
Ms.  Huber explained  that  National Guardsmen  already  have                                                                   
access  to  life  insurance premiums.    She  clarified  that                                                                   
Section 2 was added as areas for  relief which DMVA wished to                                                                   
address,   and   was  based   on   what  other   states   do.                                                                   
Representative Weyhrauch  replied that he likes  the original                                                                   
bill  and has  problems  with  Section 2  because  it puts  a                                                                   
burden on some  and is not defined.  He pointed  out that the                                                                   
National Guard is a volunteer  service.  He referred to costs                                                                   
imposed  on   motor  vehicle   leasing  companies,   wireless                                                                   
telephone  services, higher  education institutions,  heating                                                                   
fuel companies, state  loans, and the Department  of Fish and                                                                   
Game.  He opined this goes beyond  the original intent of the                                                                   
bill.  It is too broad and has unintended consequences.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:29:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Huber related  that the  bill developed  into one  which                                                                   
provides more relief for guardsmen  than just life insurance.                                                                   
There have  been no  complaints about these  new items.   All                                                                   
the bill  does is  terminate a  contract; it  does not  allow                                                                   
someone out  of making  payments.   The University  of Alaska                                                                   
already  has this  in policy.    Public utilities  provisions                                                                   
such as this one are found in  legislation in other states to                                                                   
prevent family hardships.   The guardsman will  still have to                                                                   
pay  their  bills,  but  with  no  penalties  charged.    The                                                                   
Department of  Fish and Game will  only have to  re-issue the                                                                   
actual license.   Deferments of student loans  are already in                                                                   
place.   This  bill is  not trying  to create  a hardship  on                                                                   
private companies.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker   MOVED  to  ADOPT  an   amendment  to                                                                   
Amendment 3,  to delete  Section 2 through  page 3,  line 27.                                                                   
He  voiced  concerns  about  Section  2  and  suggested  that                                                                   
legislative legal take a look at it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Dahlstrom  related  that she  is  comfortable                                                                   
with  the bill  as it  is because  it  has been  a matter  of                                                                   
public record and no opposition has been voiced.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:36:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft suggested that  the goals of  Section 2                                                                   
are appropriate.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze commented on the scope of the bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer suggested holding Amendment 3.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch WITHDREW Amendment 3.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  thanked the sponsor  of the bill.   He                                                                   
suggested that the public would  support this bill.  He asked                                                                   
how many would be impacted by the bill.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MAJOR  GENERAL  CRAIG CAMPBELL,  COMMISSIONER,  MILITARY  AND                                                                   
VETERANS AFFAIRS, related the  numbers of guardsmen overseas,                                                                   
many who  are earning  significantly less  than they  were in                                                                   
the private  sector.  There are  125 soldiers from  the Third                                                                   
Battalion in Iraq,  27 soldiers in Haiti, 70  in Afghanistan,                                                                   
150 deployed  from the  176 Wing, plus  many from  the rescue                                                                   
squad,  for  a total  of  500  out of  4,000  National  Guard                                                                   
overseas this year.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:43:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch declined to move Amendment 4.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer noted that a new  fiscal note would be written                                                                   
by the Department of Fish and Game.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 122 was HELD in committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 149                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to further  regulation  of the  sale,                                                                   
     possession,  and  delivery   of  certain  chemicals  and                                                                   
     precursors used in the manufacture  of methamphetamine."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:45:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault MOVED  to ADOPT  the  new CS  for HB  149,                                                                   
labeled  24-LS0596\U,  Luckhaupt, 3/31/05.    There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JAY  RAMRAS, sponsor, mentioned  that there is                                                                   
an indeterminate  fiscal note related to costs  by the Public                                                                   
Defender Agency.   He noted  that the governor  is supportive                                                                   
of  this bill.   He  pointed  out that  the  bill deals  with                                                                   
deterrents, but  also attempts to  cut down on the  supply of                                                                   
methamphetamines.  He spoke of  areas in Alaska with profound                                                                   
problems  such  as  Barrow, the  MatSu  Valley,  North  Pole,                                                                   
outside of  Fairbanks, and other  rural areas.   He explained                                                                   
some of  the problems associated  with methamphetamines.   He                                                                   
noted that the bill also addresses the abuse of steroids.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  talked  about  enhanced  protection  and                                                                   
first responders.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JANE W.  PIERSON, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE JAY RAMRAS,  related                                                                   
that  the bill  went  before  legislative legal,  which  said                                                                   
enhancement  is not  a new element  of the  crime.   Reckless                                                                   
endangerment is already a crime.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:54:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ramras clarified that  pseudo ephedrine  is a                                                                   
necessary ingredient  of methamphetamine.   He noted  that it                                                                   
is the best substance to cook the agent with.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TIM BIRT, SERGEANT, JUNEAU, STATE  TROOPERS, spoke in support                                                                   
of  the  legislation.   He  explained  that   without  pseudo                                                                   
ephedrine  there is  no methamphetamine.    He observed  that                                                                   
there is a legitimate use for  pseudo ephedrine.  He spoke to                                                                   
the benchmark  of products.   Six grams  would allow  the use                                                                   
suggested by the  manufacturer.  For every $100  put into the                                                                   
cost   of   manufacturing,   there  is   a   $1,000   return.                                                                   
Methamphetamine is extremely addictive.   He spoke in support                                                                   
of  provisions  requiring  registration  by  consumers.    He                                                                   
stated that there  is a spectrum on retail  sales, where some                                                                   
manufacturers  provide  little  or no  records  sales.  Other                                                                   
manufacturers attempt  to control products from  theft or ask                                                                   
for names and addresses for suspicious sales.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In response  to a  question by  Vice-Chair Stoltze,  Sergeant                                                                   
Birt noted that  there are a variety of ways  of transmitting                                                                   
information  regarding  sales  of pseudo  ephedrine  at  this                                                                   
point.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  observed that buyers could  be required to                                                                   
sign as they  currently do for prescription drugs.   He asked                                                                   
how the state would access the information.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Sergeant Birt responded that troopers  would create a working                                                                   
relationship  with  retailers. The  intent  would  be to  not                                                                   
adversely impact the retailers or create burdens.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:04:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Chenault  noted   the  delicate   nature  of   the                                                                   
information.   He  questioned if  there needs  to be  statute                                                                   
changes  to   allow  access  to  confidential   material.  He                                                                   
expressed  concern with  the indeterminate  fiscal notes.  He                                                                   
pointed out  that he didn't know  if there would be  200 or 2                                                                   
more arrests with the legislation.   He acknowledged the need                                                                   
for the  legislation,  but stressed that  the Committee  must                                                                   
look at the ability to finance the law.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:07:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ramras emphasized  that the intent is to choke                                                                   
the  supply  and  make  it  more   difficult  to  obtain.  He                                                                   
estimated  that  there could  be  a  positive affect  on  law                                                                   
enforcement if methamphetamine laboratories were shut down.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:08:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker referred  to nine  and six tab  limits                                                                   
and  questioned   how  many  tablets  make   up  nine  grams.                                                                   
Sergeant Birt stated that three  hundred tablets make up nine                                                                   
grams.   Every unit of pseudo  ephedrine equals  5.75 product                                                                   
produced.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  discussed dosages  in  an attempt  to                                                                   
ascertain if the parameters were  appropriate.  He noted that                                                                   
a 30-milligram  tablet would be  reduced to 75 percent  or 24                                                                   
milligrams of  methamphetamine.  He concluded  that one-tenth                                                                   
of a gram would be a street dose of methamphetamine.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked if it would be  an impediment to                                                                   
require similar procedures for other prescription drugs.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Sgt. Birt responded that it would not.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:14:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  suggested that there would  be privacy                                                                   
issues.   He expressed  a concern that  the right  to privacy                                                                   
not be over-stepped.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm expressed  concern  about  the right  to                                                                   
warrant.    He  noted  that  other  information  couldn't  be                                                                   
obtained with  out court interaction.  The  legislation would                                                                   
allow the  state to  obtain the information  at will,  and he                                                                   
questioned if it would violate the right to privacy.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm questioned if  nine grams was  too great                                                                   
an  amount.   He asked  why anyone  would need  more than  30                                                                   
tablets.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:17:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  noted that he lives in  rural areas in                                                                   
the summer and that he stocks up on all his supplies.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  stressed that it is  a national and                                                                   
rural problem in all areas of  the nation.  He emphasized the                                                                   
severity of the problem of pseudo ephedrine use.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MARLENA  ADAMS, WASILLA,  (via  teleconference) testified  in                                                                   
support of the legislation.  She  noted that she was addicted                                                                   
to  methamphetamine, which  almost cost  her life.   She  was                                                                   
burned on 47 percent of her body  as a result of an explosion                                                                   
resulting  from methamphetamine  use.    She emphasized  that                                                                   
users become vicious  and paranoid.  She spoke  in support of                                                                   
stronger limitations and penalties.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
KURT   KORNCHUCK,    ANCHORAGE   POLICE   DEPARTMENT,    (via                                                                   
teleconference) testified in support  of the legislation.  He                                                                   
noted that  similar legislation  in California has  been very                                                                   
successful.   He did  not think  the measure  was drastic  in                                                                   
comparison to  the problem.  He recounted  instances relating                                                                   
to methamphetamine  use in Anchorage.  He agreed  with a six-                                                                   
gram limit.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:29:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  stressed the  intent  to protect  the                                                                   
confidentiality of  records so that they do not  fall prey to                                                                   
marketing.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker MOVED to  ADOPT Conceptual Amendment 1:                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 19 and 20:                                                                                                   
     After "dispensed." Delete all material and insert the                                                                      
     following:                                                                                                                 
     "Upon the  request, the Department of Public  Safety and                                                                   
     other law enforcement officers  shall have access to the                                                                   
     log.  The log may be used  for law enforcement purposes,                                                                   
     but is otherwise confidential  and not subject to public                                                                   
     disclosure under AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker explained  that  confidentiality of  a                                                                   
records log, kept by the retailer,  should be maintained with                                                                   
a  confidentiality  standard in  keeping  with  that used  by                                                                   
paramedical  companies,  but  should not  require  a  warrant                                                                   
situation for law enforcement.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ramras   expressed  concern   that  retailers                                                                   
should  not be  subject to  a crime  if they do  not keep  up                                                                   
their logs adequately.  He pointed  out that there could be a                                                                   
variety  of areas  where pseudo  ephedrine is  sold, such  as                                                                   
hotel gift shops.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  responded   that  less  sophisticated                                                                   
sellers  would need  to  ask the  vast  majority of  innocent                                                                   
Alaskans  to  register  their  driver's  licenses  and  other                                                                   
information.  He  brought up the issue of identity  theft and                                                                   
asked for a legal opinion.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:34:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Ramras suggested  that Representative  Hawker                                                                   
look on  page 9, line 8,  where a conceptual  amendment could                                                                   
be inserted to address confidentiality concerns.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker pointed  out that  he referred  to the                                                                   
wholesaler's portion.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Carpenetti offered  to help  Representative Hawker  with                                                                   
the language for Conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There  being   NO  OBJECTION,  Conceptual  Amendment   1  was                                                                   
ADOPTED.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer asked  if there  should be  a penalty if  the                                                                   
provision is not met.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker affirmed,  but emphasized that he would                                                                   
leave it up to the Department of Law.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer agreed with the intent of the amendment.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report CSHB 149  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee with  the accompanying  fiscal notes.   There being                                                                   
NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  149 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation  and  with  four  previously  published                                                                   
fiscal  notes:   zero  note  #1   COR,  zero  note   #2  LAW,                                                                   
indeterminate  note #3  DOA, indeterminate  note #4  DOC, and                                                                   
with a new fiscal impact note by CED.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
[HB 201 was postponed.]                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 4:37 PM.                                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects