Legislature(2005 - 2006)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/27/2005 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Mental Health Trust Authority
+ HB 257 STATE PROCUREMENT ELECTRONIC TOOLS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 257(JUD) Out of Committee
+ HB 243 REG. COST CHARGES: UTILITIES/PIPELINES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 103 OIL & GAS: REG. OF UNDERGROUND INJECTION TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled But Not Heard
+ HB 218 PRIVATE HATCHERY COST RECOVERY FISHERIES TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 279 OUTDOOR ADVERTISING; ENCROACHMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 279(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 67 CLAIMS AGAINST HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 67(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 13 SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND REIMBURSEMENT TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 13(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 53 CHILDREN IN NEED OF AID/REVIEW PANELS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSSSHB 53(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 27, 2005                                                                                           
                         1:53 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:53:49 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-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                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Ralph Seekins;  Lexi Hill, Institute  of Social  and                                                                   
Economic    Research    (ISER);   Rynnieva    Moss,    Staff,                                                                   
Representative John Coghill; Ian  Fisk, Staff, Representative                                                                   
Bill Thomas;  Kevin Brooks,  Deputy Commissioner,  Department                                                                   
of Administration;  Scott Hawkins,  General Manager  Material                                                                   
Services, Alaska Supply Chain  Integrators (ASCI); Cody Rice,                                                                   
Staff, Representative Carl Gatto;  Representative Carl Gatto;                                                                   
Representative Peggy  Green; Eddy Jeans,  Director, Education                                                                   
Support   Services,  Department   of   Education  and   Early                                                                   
Development;  Kate  Giard,  Chair, Regulatory  Commission  of                                                                   
Alaska; Russell Cockrum; Grayson Carlyle,  Student, DZ Middle                                                                   
School;  William Clifton,  British  Petroleum; Lynn  Johnson,                                                                   
President, Dowland-Bach Corporation,  Anchorage,; Larry Howe,                                                                   
General Manager,  Alliance; John MacKinnon,  Deputy Director,                                                                   
Department of Transportation and Public Facilities                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Margaret  Lowe,  Anchorage;  Jason  Wells,  Valdez  Fisheries                                                                   
Development  Association; Peter  Esquiro, NSRAA,  Sitka; Cora                                                                   
Crome, Petersburg Vessel Owners Association, Petersburg                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MENTAL HEALTH TRUST BOARD CONFIRMATION                                                                                          
 MARGARET LOWE, ANCHORAGE                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 67(JUD)(efd fld)                                                                                                           
          "An Act  relating to claims for personal  injury or                                                                   
          wrongful death against health care providers."                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
          HCSSB 67  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a "no  recommendation" recommendation and  with the                                                                   
          accompanying  zero fiscal  notes by the  Department                                                                   
          of   Law  and  by   the  Department   of  Commerce,                                                                   
          Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 13     "An Act relating to reimbursement of municipal                                                                        
          bonds  for school construction;  and providing  for                                                                   
          an effective date."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 13 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with a                                                                    
          "do  pass"  recommendation and  with  a new  fiscal                                                                   
          impact  by the  Department of  Education and  Early                                                                   
          Development, and with  indeterminate fiscal note #1                                                                   
          by   the   Department   of  Education   and   Early                                                                   
          Development,  and with  a new indeterminate  fiscal                                                                   
          note  by  the  Department   of  Health  and  Social                                                                   
          Services.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SSHB 53   "An    Act   relating    to    child-in-need-of-aid                                                                   
          proceedings; amending  the construction of statutes                                                                   
          pertaining to children  in need of aid; relating to                                                                   
          a  duty  and  standard  of  care  for  services  to                                                                   
          children  and families,  to the confidentiality  of                                                                   
          investigations,  court hearings, and  public agency                                                                   
          records  and  information  in  child-in-need-of-aid                                                                   
          matters  and certain  child protection matters,  to                                                                   
          immunity  regarding  disclosure  of information  in                                                                   
          child-in-  need-of-aid  matters  and certain  child                                                                   
          protection  matters,  to the  retention of  certain                                                                   
          privileges  of  a parent  in  a relinquishment  and                                                                   
          termination  of  a  parent and  child  relationship                                                                   
          proceeding,  to  eligibility   for  permanent  fund                                                                   
          dividends  for certain children  in the  custody of                                                                   
          the state, and to juvenile  delinquency proceedings                                                                   
          and placements; establishing  a right to a trial by                                                                   
          jury    in   termination    of   parental    rights                                                                   
          proceedings;  reestablishing and relating  to state                                                                   
          citizens'   review   panels   for   certain   child                                                                   
          protection  and custody matters; amending  the duty                                                                   
          to  disclose information pertaining  to a  child in                                                                   
          need of aid; authorizing  additional family members                                                                   
          to  consent   to  disclosure  of   confidential  or                                                                   
          privileged information  about children and families                                                                   
          involved   with  children's  services   within  the                                                                   
          Department   of  Health  and  Social   Services  to                                                                   
          officials   for   review   or   use   in   official                                                                   
          capacities;  relating  to reports  of  harm and  to                                                                   
          adoptions  and foster care; mandating  reporting of                                                                   
          the  medication  of   children  in  state  custody;                                                                   
          prescribing  the rights of grandparents  related to                                                                   
          child-in-need-of-aid   cases  and  establishing   a                                                                   
          grandparent   priority  for  adoption   in  certain                                                                   
          child-in-need-of-aid  cases; modifying adoption and                                                                   
          placement  procedures in certain  child-in-need-of-                                                                   
          aid cases; amending  treatment service requirements                                                                   
          for   parents  involved   in   child-in-need-of-aid                                                                   
          proceedings;  amending   Rules  9  and  13,  Alaska                                                                   
          Adoption  Rules;  amending  Rules  3, 18,  and  22,                                                                   
          Alaska  Child in  Need of Aid  Rules of  Procedure;                                                                   
          and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSSSHB 53 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                    
          a "no recommendation"  recommendation and with five                                                                   
          new fiscal impact notes:  one from the Alaska Court                                                                   
          System,  one from the  Department of Law,  two from                                                                   
          the Department  of Health and Social  Services, and                                                                   
          two from the Department of Administration.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB 257    "An Act relating to a procurement and electronic                                                                      
          commerce  tools program  for state departments  and                                                                   
          instrumentalities  of the state; and  providing for                                                                   
          an effective date."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 257 (JUD) was REPORTED out of Committee with                                                                     
          a "no recommendation"  recommendation and with zero                                                                   
          fiscal impact  note #1 by the Alaska  Court System,                                                                   
          and  with indeterminate note  #2 by the  Department                                                                   
          of Administration.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 243    "An Act relating to the maximum annual regulatory                                                                     
          cost  charge   collected  from  certain   regulated                                                                   
          public   utilities  and   pipeline  carriers;   and                                                                   
          providing for an effective date."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          HB 243 was heard and  HELD in Committee for further                                                                   
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
SB 103    "An Act relating to regulation of underground                                                                         
          injection  under the  federal  Safe Drinking  Water                                                                   
          Act; and providing for an effective date."                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          SB 103 was scheduled but not heard.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HB 218    "An Act relating to cost recovery fisheries for                                                                       
          private nonprofit hatchery facilities."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          HB 218 was heard and  HELD in Committee for further                                                                   
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 279    "An Act relating to encroachments in the right-of-                                                                    
          way of a highway."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 279  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a "no recommendation"  recommendation and with zero                                                                   
          fiscal  impact   note  #1  by  the   Department  of                                                                   
          Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:56:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 67(JUD)(efd fld)                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to claims for personal injury or                                                                          
     wrongful death against health care providers."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  RALPH SEEKINS,  sponsor, thanked  the committee  for                                                                   
their hard work.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:57:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 7                                                                                                             
     After "injury"                                                                                                             
     Delete "or death"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Senator Seekins  voiced support for the  technical amendment.                                                                   
The amendment would add "or death"  to paragraph (d)(e) after                                                                   
"injury."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW his objection.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:59:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT  CSSB 67 (FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  notes. There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCSSB  67 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  recommendation  and  with  the  accompanying                                                                   
zero  fiscal  notes by  the  Department  of  Law and  by  the                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:00:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MENTAL HEALTH TRUST BOARD CONFIRMATION                                                                                          
MARGARET LOWE, ANCHORAGE                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Weyhrauch  asked   if  Ms.   Lowe  has   any                                                                   
experience managing trusts.                                                                                                     
MARGARET LOWE,  ANCHORAGE, testified via  teleconference. She                                                                   
currently serves on the Endowment  Committee and Board of the                                                                   
Anchorage municipal Senior Center.  She made functional ARCA,                                                                   
The Arc of Anchorage Trust for those with disabilities.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:03:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked about  her involvement  with the                                                                   
ARK  in Anchorage  and  the  Mental  Health Trust.  Ms.  Lowe                                                                   
related  her experiences  with  the  Mental Health  Trust  as                                                                   
Director and Commissioner of Health  and Social Services, and                                                                   
the Executive Director of ARC.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:05:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault MOVED that the  Committee accept Ms. Lowe's                                                                   
appointment to the Mental Health  Trust Board. There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:07:47 PM                                                                                                                    
HOUSE BILL NO. 13                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to reimbursement  of municipal  bonds                                                                   
     for school construction;  and providing for an effective                                                                   
     date."                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft WITHDREW  Amendment 1,  which had  been                                                                   
moved during .                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, after line 16:                                                                                                     
     Add new section to read:                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     "  Sec. The uncodified  law  of the State  of Alaska  is                                                                 
     amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                   
     CONTINGENT  EFFECT. Section  3  of this  Act shall  only                                                                   
     apply if  all school districts  receive funding  that is                                                                   
     at least the  equivalent of the funding  they would have                                                                   
     received under  a base student  allocation of  $4919 per                                                                   
     student, in  2005 inflation-adjusted dollars,  under the                                                                   
     formula  of  state aid  to  public school  districts  in                                                                   
     effect  as   of  April  1,  2004.  Inflation   shall  be                                                                   
     calculated  under  this  section  as  reflected  by  the                                                                   
     United  States  Department  of  Labor's  Consumer  Price                                                                   
     Index for Anchorage, Alaska."                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft noted the  amendment would hold harmless                                                                   
the major urban  areas: Anchorage and Fairbanks.  He asserted                                                                   
that  these  areas  need  to   be  provided  for  during  the                                                                   
transition period.  The amendment would ensure  that everyone                                                                   
would receive some increase.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW his OBJECTION to adopt Amendment 2.                                                                     
There being further OBJECTION, Amendment 2 was adopted.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:10:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 3:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 1, following "to":                                                                                          
     Insert "the school construction grant fund and to"                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, following line 4:                                                                                                  
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
     "* Section 1. AS 14.11.008(a) is amended to read:                                                                      
          (a) In order to receive a grant under this chapter                                                                    
     or an appropriation under  AS 37.05.560, a district must                                                                   
               (1) be                                                                                                       
                    (A) a rural educational attendance area;                                                                
                    (B) a municipal school district and, as                                                                 
          of June 30 of the previous fiscal year, have a                                                                    
          population of less than 1,000; or                                                                                 
                    (C) a municipal school district that                                                                    
          operates schools on a military reservation; and                                                                   
               (2) provide a percentage share of the project                                                                
     cost, as determined under  (b) or (c) of this section; a                                                               
     [. A] district shall provide  the required participating                                                                   
     share  within  three  years  after  the  date  that  the                                                                   
     appropriation  bill funding the  grant is passed  by the                                                                   
     legislature.                                                                                                               
     * Sec. 2.  AS 14.11.008(a) is repealed  and reenacted to                                                                 
     read:                                                                                                                      
          (a) In order to receive a grant under this chapter                                                                    
     or an appropriation under  AS 37.05.560, a district must                                                                   
     provide  a  percentage share  of  the project  cost,  as                                                                   
     determined under (b) or  (c) of this section. A district                                                                   
     shall  provide the required  participating share  within                                                                   
     three years  after the date that the  appropriation bill                                                                   
     funding the grant is passed by the legislature.                                                                            
     *  Sec.  3. AS 14.11.008  is  amended  by adding  a  new                                                                 
     subsection to read:                                                                                                        
          (g) Grant funds provided to a municipal school                                                                        
     district  under (a)(1)(C)  of this  section may  only be                                                                   
     used  for  the costs  of  school construction  or  major                                                                   
     maintenance   for  a  school   located  on   a  military                                                                   
     reservation.                                                                                                               
  * Sec. 4. AS 14.11.011(a) is amended to read:                                                                               
          (a) A municipality that is a school district or a                                                                     
     regional  educational  attendance  area  eligible  under                                                               
     AS 14.11.008(a)  may submit a request to  the department                                                               
     for a grant under this chapter.                                                                                            
     * Sec. 5.  AS 14.11.011(a) is repealed  and reenacted to                                                                 
     read:                                                                                                                      
          (a) A municipality that is a school district or a                                                                     
     regional  educational  attendance   area  may  submit  a                                                                   
     request  to  the  department  for  a  grant  under  this                                                                   
     chapter."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 5:                                                                                                            
     Delete "Section 1"                                                                                                       
     Insert "Sec. 6"                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                              
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 17:                                                                                                           
     Delete all material.                                                                                                       
     Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                          
  "* Sec. 9. AS 14.11.008(g) is repealed.                                                                                   
       * Sec. 10.  The uncodified law of the  State of Alaska                                                                 
     is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                                
     CONTINGENT  EFFECT. Sections  1 -  7 and  9 of this  Act                                                                   
     take effect only if, at the  first regular session or at                                                                   
     a  special  session,  the   Twenty-Fourth  Alaska  State                                                                   
     Legislature passes a bill  appropriating an amount equal                                                                   
     to or more than $100,000,000  to the school construction                                                                   
     grant fund  under AS 14.11.008  - 14.11.011,  as amended                                                                   
     by secs. 1, 3, and 4 of this  Act, and that bill becomes                                                                   
     law not later than October 1, 2005.                                                                                        
   * Sec. 11. If, under sec. 10 of this Act, secs. 1, 3, 4,                                                                   
   6, and 7 of this Act take effect, they take effect                                                                           
   July 1, 2005.                                                                                                                
   * Sec. 12. If, under sec. 10 of this Act, secs. 2, 5,                                                                      
   and 9 of this Act take effect, they take effect July 1,                                                                      
   2006.                                                                                                                        
   * Sec. 13. Section 8 of this Act takes effect July 1,                                                                      
   2005.                                                                                                                        
   * Sec. 14. Section 10 of this Act takes effect                                                                             
   immediately under AS 01.10.070(c)."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Amendment  3 would  restore contingency  language adopted  by                                                                   
the  House  HES   Committee,  which  was  removed   from  the                                                                   
committee Substitute adopted on April 26, 2005.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  asked  for more  information  on  the                                                                   
contingent effect.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:11:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  CARL GATTO,  sponsor, noted  that he  was not                                                                   
present  in the  House Education  and  Social Services  (HES)                                                                   
Committee when the amendments were made.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CODY RICE, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE CARL GATTO,  explained that                                                                   
the  amendment  was offered  by  Representative  Cissna.  The                                                                   
amendment  would  make  reauthorization   of  the  bond  debt                                                                   
contingent  on a direct  appropriation of  a minimum  of $100                                                                   
million appropriation for areas  without the ability to issue                                                                   
debt: Regional Education Attendance  Area's (REAA) and school                                                                   
districts under 5,000.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:13:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  referred  to  Kasayulie  v.  State  of                                                                 
Alaska, which  questioned if  rural areas  of the  state were                                                                 
able to  get construction projects  done at the same  rate as                                                                   
urban schools. He  noted that the amendment would  be in that                                                                   
spirit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker related  his  reluctance to  authorize                                                                   
additional funding and stressed  the need to hold the line on                                                                   
the budget.  He felt that  areas with bonding  capacity would                                                                   
be  held hostage  to a  commitment  on another  appropriation                                                                   
bill. He noted  that there is a school construction  bill. He                                                                   
stated that he  would support the amendment if  there were an                                                                   
identifiable  fund  source and  questioned  if  SB 155  would                                                                   
satisfy the $100 million requirement [for rural support].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  did not know  if SB 155 would  meet the                                                                   
requirements.  He  noted that  SB  155  goes down  the  major                                                                   
maintenance   list,   but  does   not   address  new   school                                                                   
construction.  House   Bill  13  would  address   new  school                                                                   
construction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker felt  that  SB 155  would satisfy  the                                                                   
intent [of  the amendment]. Representative Joule  pointed out                                                                   
that there is no certainty about SB 155.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft referred  to Representative Hawker's use                                                                   
of  the  word  "hostage"  and  the  battle  between  the  two                                                                   
concepts rural vs. urban.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:19:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gatto  spoke in opposition to  Amendment 3. He                                                                   
felt  that HB 13  should stand  alone and  stressed that  the                                                                   
intent is to put new schools  in places where there are none.                                                                   
He  spoke against  tacking on  other  construction lists.  He                                                                   
reiterated that there are areas  that need schools. He argued                                                                   
against  adoption  of the  amendment  and recommended  it  be                                                                   
placed in separate legislation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:22:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer   noted  that  the  bill  came   forth  as  a                                                                   
continuation of a match.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  defended   his  use   of  the   term                                                                   
"hostage".  He pointed  out  that there  is  $141 million  in                                                                   
projects on  the major  maintenance list.  He noted  that the                                                                   
issue should be addressed and spoke against Amendment 3.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:24:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft maintained  that  statewide need  would                                                                   
not  be met  without  the  amendment.  He stressed  that  the                                                                   
problems  of  school  construction  is not  that  simple.  He                                                                   
asserted that  rural Alaska only  gets schools built  if they                                                                   
get  together  with  urban  projects  and  pointed  out  that                                                                   
Alaskans  had voted  for similar  language. He  felt that  it                                                                   
would  be   inappropriate  to   proceed  with  urban   school                                                                   
construction  without provisions  for rural construction.  He                                                                   
maintained  that  the  legislation,  without  the  amendment,                                                                   
would  be a  "slap in  the face"  of the  Kasayulie case.  He                                                                   
spoke  in favor  of  adopting Amendment  3  because it  would                                                                   
provide some new construction in rural Alaska.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:27:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gatto   referred  to  the  70/30   split.  He                                                                   
acknowledged  that  the  only  communities  that  only  urban                                                                   
communities  have applied,  but stressed  that any  community                                                                   
could apply. He  felt that the legislation would  satisfy the                                                                   
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Rice  addressed a  legal opinion  regarding Kasayulie  v.                                                                 
State of  Alaska. He pointed out  that the case has  not been                                                                 
decided and noted  that any appropriation to  urban districts                                                                   
is contingent  on a vote  of those districts  and legislative                                                                   
appropriation.  He  added  that  a  direct  appropriation  is                                                                   
always within  the purview of  the legislature.  In addition,                                                                   
the  2002  provision  went before  the  voters.  The  current                                                                   
legislation would  not go before  the voters. He  referred to                                                                   
SB 155  and noted  that the potential  implications  have not                                                                   
been addressed.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:29:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule spoke in  support of the  amendment and                                                                   
noted that  it would  be appropriate to  merge the  bills. He                                                                   
stressed that  there is an  opportunity to fund  rural school                                                                   
construction.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:31:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly questioned the rural participation.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
EDDY JEANS, DIRECTOR, EDUCATION  SUPPORT SERVICES, DEPARTMENT                                                                   
OF  EDUCATION  AND  EARLY  DEVELOPMENT,  explained  that  the                                                                   
participating share for a REAA is 2 percent.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster  observed that  Nome  does  not get  2                                                                   
percent.  Mr.  Jeans  explained  that there  are  REAA's  and                                                                   
municipal school  districts. There  is a graduated  scale for                                                                   
municipal school  district grant  programs based  on property                                                                   
wealth per child.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft  added  that  the percentage  is  on  a                                                                   
sliding scale.  Mr. Jeans  noted that  the sliding  scale for                                                                   
municipalities  is   5  -  35  percent.   Regional  Education                                                                   
Attendance Area's are at 2 percent.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:33:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer maintained his OBJECTION.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote  was taken on the motion  to adopt Amendment                                                                   
3.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Moses, Weyhrauch, Croft, Foster, Joule                                                                                
OPPOSED: Hawker, Holm, Kelly, Chenault, Meyer                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (5-5).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:35:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 4:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 15 through page 9, line 16                                                                                    
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
     Renumber following sections accordingly                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  explained  that the  amendment  would                                                                   
delete the mechanism  for the district cost  differential. He                                                                   
felt that  the legislation was  an inappropriate  vehicle and                                                                   
spoke in support of keeping a clean bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:36:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  spoke against Amendment 4.  He stated that                                                                   
the two  studies were  not conclusive.  He acknowledged  that                                                                   
problems remained, but emphasized  that delay would only hurt                                                                   
students. All  the studies demonstrated  need, even  if there                                                                   
is  no agreement  over  the  level of  need.  The  bill is  a                                                                   
compromise,  phased in  over  4 years,  which  helps out  the                                                                   
school districts  and forces everyone to admit  that there is                                                                   
a problem  in order to find  a remedy. He  spoke passionately                                                                   
about his school district's efficiency.  He opined that short                                                                   
funding  has  made them  efficient,  but  they can't  go  any                                                                   
farther.  Rural Alaska  only recently  had to  make the  same                                                                   
cuts.  He  said the  problem  is  the cost  differential  and                                                                   
stressed  that he  was trying  to do  what is  best for  kids                                                                   
around the state.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:41:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker observed  that the legislative drafters                                                                   
would conform  the amendment. He addressed the  fiscal notes,                                                                   
which show a $20  million increase for each of  the next four                                                                   
years. He pointed  out that the cost would be  $80 million by                                                                   
FY09. He argued for being judicious.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:44:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  WITHDREW his  objection.  Co-Chair  Chenault                                                                   
maintained his objection.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Hawker, Meyer                                                                                                         
OPPOSED:  Weyhrauch,  Croft,   Foster,  Holm,  Joule,  Kelly,                                                                   
Moses, Chenault                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (2-8).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault spoke in support for the bill.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:46:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRAYSON CARLYLE, STUDENT, DZ MIDDLE  SCHOOL, spoke in support                                                                   
of  HB 13.  He  referred to  district  cost  factors and  the                                                                   
Institute of  Social and  Economic Research (ISER)  research.                                                                   
He spoke in support  of the new costs factors,  which he felt                                                                   
were better  than the current  ones. He stressed the  need to                                                                   
take steps forward to improve school systems.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to report  CSHB 13 (FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  notes. There being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 13 (FIN) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  a   new  fiscal  impact   by  the                                                                   
Department  of  Education  and Early  Development,  and  with                                                                   
indeterminate fiscal  note #1 by the Department  of Education                                                                   
and Early  Development, and with  a new indeterminate  fiscal                                                                   
note by the Department of Health and Social Services                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:50:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 257                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating  to   a  procurement  and  electronic                                                                   
     commerce  tools   program  for  state   departments  and                                                                   
     instrumentalities  of the  state; and  providing for  an                                                                   
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN    BROOKS,   DEPUTY    COMMISSIONER,   DEPARTMENT    OF                                                                   
ADMINISTRATION,   provided    a   brief   overview   of   the                                                                   
legislation. House  Bill 313, which introduced  a procurement                                                                   
pilot  program, was  authorized  by the  legislature  several                                                                   
years  previously. The  first year  was spent  to set  up the                                                                   
pilot.  A pilot program  was  set up with  the Department  of                                                                   
Transportation and Public Facilities,  Southeast Region and a                                                                   
private contractor  (Alaska Supply Chain  Integrators). House                                                                   
Bill 257  would extend  the sunset  date for the  procurement                                                                   
pilot  program to  June 30,  2007.  Bidder preferences  would                                                                   
also  be  brought  into  statute. He  pointed  out  that  the                                                                   
process  is  in   the  early  stages.  There   has  not  been                                                                   
sufficient   time   to  demonstrate   if   privatization   of                                                                   
procurement process would result in a savings.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch   observed  that   the  contractor,                                                                   
Alaska  Supply Chain  Integrators,  does not  have to  follow                                                                   
state procurement  codes and questioned why  have procurement                                                                   
codes  if the  contractor does  not  have to  follow it.  Mr.                                                                   
Brooks stressed  that the intent  of the procurement  code is                                                                   
to  give entities  in competition  for state  dollars a  fair                                                                   
chance at winning  awards. The Administration  feels that the                                                                   
procurement  code  is a  valid  and  useful tool  [for  state                                                                   
government]. He  could not address  why the procurement  code                                                                   
was not included in the legislation.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch  referred  to A.S.  36.30.180:  The                                                                   
legislature finds  that there exists in the  state continuing                                                                   
high unemployment, underutilization  of resident construction                                                                   
and supply firms,  and high costs unfavorable  to the welfare                                                                   
of Alaskans  and  to the economic  health  of the state.  The                                                                   
purpose  of bidder  preference  for resident  firms when  the                                                                   
state  acts as  a market  participant is  to encourage  local                                                                   
industry,  strengthen  and stabilize  the  economy,  decrease                                                                   
unemployment, and strengthen  the tax and revenue base of the                                                                   
state. Mr. Brooks noted that  the intent of the pilot project                                                                   
is to analyze the process.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:56:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch   questioned  if   the  information                                                                   
should be present before the  program is expanded. Mr. Brooks                                                                   
clarified that the legislation  would not expand the program;                                                                   
the program  would  only be extended  by one  year. The  bill                                                                   
does not expand the program beyond original concept.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:57:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule spoke of  a legal review contract by the                                                                   
employee's review union. He thought  the program was found to                                                                   
be discriminatory.  Mr. Brooks did  not know. He  referred to                                                                   
Line 10, Page 1, and noted that  the statutory cite should be                                                                   
changed from "A.S. 36.30.100 -  36.30.190" to "A.S. 36.30.100                                                                   
- 36.30.265."  This would include  both sealed  proposals and                                                                   
bids.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:59:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  HAWKINS,  GENERAL MANAGER  MATERIAL  SERVICES,  ALASKA                                                                   
SUPPLY CHAIN INTEGRATORS (ASCI),  ANCHORAGE, provided a brief                                                                   
history  of the  company  and its  perspective  as a  program                                                                   
operator  and specialist  firm. He emphasized  that ASCI  has                                                                   
the  tools and  specialties to  make  advantages and  achieve                                                                   
meaningful reductions. He noted  that they are operating with                                                                   
six  people,  where the  state  used  10. He  addressed  cost                                                                   
savings  and  pointed  out  the  advantage  of  consolidating                                                                   
purchasing for  state agencies,  which would allow  the state                                                                   
to  go  to  market  and  achieve   better  arrangements.  The                                                                   
legislation  can  accomplish its  goals,  driven  in part  by                                                                   
computer   automation,  made   possible  by  using   computer                                                                   
automation  and   contracting  out  non-core   business.  The                                                                   
program  shifts  funds  from  overhead  functions  to  direct                                                                   
program  outcomes.  The  state   recently  issued  its  first                                                                   
Internet  order and  has  begun to  order  from catalogs.  He                                                                   
acknowledged that change is not easy.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  asked if there have been  cost savings.                                                                   
Mr. Hawkins responded that there  are start up costs that are                                                                   
shared. The contract  is a fixed price contract  and provides                                                                   
a $160 thousand improvement in the cost of personnel.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:06:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hawkins noted  that  the vast  majority  is for  smaller                                                                   
purchases.  Representative Croft  questioned  where the  cost                                                                   
savings are coming  from. Mr. Hawkins responded  that initial                                                                   
cost  savings occur  through  personnel and  the  use of  web                                                                   
tools. Automation of the order  delivery process accounts for                                                                   
much of the  initial savings. He stressed that  as orders are                                                                   
placed through the catalog, better prices can be obtained.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:08:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  asked if the program had  the effect of                                                                   
shifting   purchases  to  outside   suppliers.  Mr.   Hawkins                                                                   
responded  that  the  program  would  not  shift  to  outside                                                                   
vendors. The  program does not  change the vendors;  it makes                                                                   
the ordering process  quicker and more efficient.  The agenda                                                                   
is to encourage the Alaskan process.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:09:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft noted that  the initial savings are from                                                                   
the  paper system.  He noted  that  the use  of market  power                                                                   
would pressure  vendors to lower their prices  and questioned                                                                   
if  local  suppliers  will  have to  lower  their  prices  to                                                                   
respond  to that  pressure. Mr.  Hawkins did  not think  that                                                                   
there  was anything  inherent in  volume accumulation,  which                                                                   
would disadvantage Alaskan vendors.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:11:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm disagreed.  He pointed  out that  larger                                                                   
quantities allow  vendors to  reduce their freight  rates. He                                                                   
expressed  concerned that  it  would be  difficult for  local                                                                   
businesses to compete against  catalog companies. He referred                                                                   
to   vendor  kickbacks.   He  wanted   more  assurances   and                                                                   
sideboards.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:14:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hawkins  emphasized  that  the  state  of  Alaska  would                                                                   
benefit  from  any  "kickbacks".  He  observed  that  Alaskan                                                                   
suppliers are often better off,  in that they have experience                                                                   
in calculating freight costs.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:16:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm reiterated  that freight is a big concern                                                                   
and  is a  disadvantage for  Alaskan  companies. He  observed                                                                   
that Home Depot has the ability  to spread freight costs over                                                                   
all their stores.  He maintained that large  box stores could                                                                   
destroy small  businesses. He  wondered how small  businesses                                                                   
would be affected. He asked why  state procurement codes were                                                                   
not followed.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hawkins explained  that  the legislation  exempted  them                                                                   
from the  procurement  codes. He explained  that they  follow                                                                   
the  contract  terms,  which  are astringent  rules  and  are                                                                   
effectively  their procurement  code.  He  recalled that  the                                                                   
decision was  made to exempt  them from the  procurement code                                                                   
because it was  too difficult to rewrite [the  codes into the                                                                   
contract]  in a way  that would  apply to current  practices.                                                                   
Representative Holm  urged him to not adversely  impact small                                                                   
businesses.  Mr. Hawkins noted  that their contract  requires                                                                   
them to be pro-Alaskan.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  asked what the start-up  costs are.                                                                   
Mr.  Hawkins   listed  several  of  their  start   up  costs:                                                                   
developing a  5,000-item catalog  and integrating  web tools.                                                                   
Representative  Weyhrauch  asked  the  state's share  of  the                                                                   
cost. Mr.  Hawkins noted  that the  total startup  costs were                                                                   
$180 thousand, of which the state paid $60,000.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:22:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a question  by  Representative  Kelly,  Mr.                                                                   
Hawkins  explained   that  the  original  bill   allowed  the                                                                   
Administration to  extend the program to other  agencies, the                                                                   
current  version   only  extends  the  program   a  year.  He                                                                   
emphasized  that this  type of  change  is difficult  because                                                                   
there  is  natural   opposition.  He  clarified   that  their                                                                   
contract  expires in  14 months. The  legislation allows  the                                                                   
Administration to negotiate an extension.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:23:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LARRY HOWE, GENERAL MANAGER, ALLIANCE,  encouraged support of                                                                   
the  bill.   He  maintained  that   the  pilot   program  has                                                                   
demonstrated efficiencies  and that  the cost savings  can be                                                                   
achieved in other areas.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  asked if Mr. Howe  had reviewed any                                                                   
reports, which demonstrate the  economic benefits seen in the                                                                   
cost analysis.  Mr.  Howe replied  that he  had seen a  power                                                                   
point  presentation  by ASCI  that  showed $163  thousand  in                                                                   
savings.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:25:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LYNN    JOHNSON,   PRESIDENT,    DOWLAND-BACH    CORPORATION,                                                                   
ANCHORAGE,  testified  in  favor   of  HB  257.  His  company                                                                   
competes daily with outside firms.  He emphasized the ability                                                                   
of e-commerce to lower the state of Alaska's costs.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:27:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT CSHB 257  (JUD) out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  notes. There being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  257 (JUD)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "no                                                                   
recommendation"  recommendation and  with zero fiscal  impact                                                                   
note #1  by the Alaska Court  System, and with  indeterminate                                                                   
note #2 by the Department of Administration.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:28:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:36:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 53                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act relating  to child-in-need-of-aid  proceedings;                                                                   
     amending  the  construction  of statutes  pertaining  to                                                                   
     children  in  need  of  aid;  relating  to  a  duty  and                                                                   
     standard of care for services  to children and families,                                                                   
     to   the  confidentiality   of   investigations,   court                                                                   
     hearings, and  public agency records and  information in                                                                   
     child-in-need-of-aid    matters   and    certain   child                                                                   
     protection matters, to immunity  regarding disclosure of                                                                   
     information   in  child-in-   need-of-aid  matters   and                                                                   
     certain  child protection matters,  to the  retention of                                                                   
     certain privileges  of a parent in a  relinquishment and                                                                   
     termination   of  a   parent   and  child   relationship                                                                   
     proceeding, to eligibility  for permanent fund dividends                                                                   
     for certain  children in the  custody of the  state, and                                                                   
     to  juvenile  delinquency  proceedings  and  placements;                                                                   
     establishing a  right to a trial by jury  in termination                                                                   
     of  parental  rights  proceedings;   reestablishing  and                                                                   
     relating  to state citizens'  review panels  for certain                                                                   
     child protection and custody  matters; amending the duty                                                                   
     to disclose  information pertaining  to a child  in need                                                                   
     of  aid;   authorizing  additional  family   members  to                                                                   
     consent  to  disclosure  of confidential  or  privileged                                                                   
     information  about children  and families involved  with                                                                   
     children's services within  the Department of Health and                                                                   
     Social  Services  to  officials  for review  or  use  in                                                                   
     official capacities; relating  to reports of harm and to                                                                   
     adoptions  and foster care;  mandating reporting  of the                                                                   
     medication  of children  in  state custody;  prescribing                                                                   
     the rights of grandparents  related to child-in-need-of-                                                                   
     aid cases  and establishing  a grandparent  priority for                                                                   
     adoption   in   certain    child-in-need-of-aid   cases;                                                                   
     modifying adoption  and placement procedures  in certain                                                                   
     child-in-need-of-aid  cases; amending treatment  service                                                                   
     requirements  for parents involved in  child-in-need-of-                                                                   
     aid  proceedings;  amending   Rules  9  and  13,  Alaska                                                                   
     Adoption  Rules; amending  Rules 3,  18, and 22,  Alaska                                                                   
     Child in Need  of Aid Rules of Procedure;  and providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
House Bill 53 was previously heard and amended on April 26,                                                                     
2005.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 15:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 20, after the word "hearings"                                                                                 
     Delete: "in the case"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault OBJECTED.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  explained that Amendment  15 arose from                                                                   
discussions during the previous  hearing. The amendment would                                                                   
broaden the bill to exclude persons  involved in other cases.                                                                   
He  noted  that  it might  be  appropriate  to  exclude,  for                                                                   
example, a reporter who had disclosed  names of children in a                                                                   
previous case.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:38:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  JOHN  COGHILL,  noted                                                                   
that the sponsor had no objections  to adopting Amendment 15.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, Amendment 15 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:39:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 16:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
    Page 22, line 15, after the word "Confidentiality."                                                                         
     Delete lines 15 through 19                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Insert:                                                                                                                    
     "A person attending  a meeting of the state  panel or, a                                                                   
     member  or staff  of the  state panel  may not make  any                                                                   
     disclosure  related  to information  obtained  during  a                                                                   
     review by  the panel unless  authorized by  AS 47.10.092                                                                   
     or 47.10.093.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Moss  observed  that  Amendment   16  should  contain  a                                                                   
technical amendment:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Delete the comma                                                                                                           
     Insert "or"                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
There being NO  OBJECTION, the amendment to  Amendment 16 was                                                                   
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault  WITHDREW his objection to  adopt Amendment                                                                   
16. There  being NO OBJECTION,  Amendment 16, was  adopted as                                                                   
amended.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:40:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 17:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 22, line 24                                                                                                           
     Insert:                                                                                                                    
     (c) to read: "the citizen review panel is subject to                                                                       
     the provisions of the Open Meeting Act under AS                                                                            
     44.62.310.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault OBJECTED.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Moss observed  that the review panel would  operate under                                                                   
the Open Meetings Act. The amendment  would provide them with                                                                   
the ability  to declare  an executive  session and  close the                                                                   
meeting. The sponsor supported Amendment 17.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, Amendment 17 was adopted.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:41:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Croft  asked about the fiscal  notes. Ms. Moss                                                                   
observed that the total amount is $1,174,200.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:41:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked if the sponsor  concurs with the                                                                   
nature of the  fiscal notes. He asked that they  be viewed as                                                                   
one-time increments.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault agreed with Representative Hawker.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:43:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft  asked   if  a  standard  of  care  was                                                                   
addressed.  Ms. Moss believed  that case  law provides  for a                                                                   
standard of care.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:44:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  report CSSSHB 53 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with individual recommendations  and the  attached                                                                   
fiscal notes. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CSSSHB  53 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out of Committee  with  a "no                                                                   
recommendation"  recommendation  and  with  five  new  fiscal                                                                   
impact notes: one from the Alaska  Court System, one from the                                                                   
Department  of Law,  two from  the Department  of Health  and                                                                   
Social   Services,   and   two   from   the   Department   of                                                                   
Administration.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:45:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 218                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to cost recovery fisheries for private                                                                    
     nonprofit hatchery facilities."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer MOVED  to ADOPT  the work  draft for HB  218,                                                                   
labeled  24-LS0544\X,  Utermohle,  4/26/05.  There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:46:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
IAN  FISK,  STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   BILL  THOMAS,  spoke  in                                                                   
support of HB 218. He maintained  that the hatchery system is                                                                   
a  great  success  as an  economic  development  program.  He                                                                   
observed that 25  percent of the salmon value  is produced by                                                                   
hatcheries. Hatchery  operators contract with  bid processors                                                                   
through a bid  process every spring for product  harvest. The                                                                   
commercial   fishing  industry   would  like   to  see   that                                                                   
hatcheries  maximize the amount  of fish  that return  to the                                                                   
hatchery in the  common property fishery. He  maintained that                                                                   
those that are intended to benefit  from the hatchery program                                                                   
should have  the most  fish possible.  The legislation  is an                                                                   
optional  bill.  He  pointed   out  that  the  sponsor  is  a                                                                   
supporter  of  hatcheries.  The   legislation  would  provide                                                                   
sufficient  revenue  by  increasing   the  assessment  to  40                                                                   
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:50:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  asked  how   the  bill   relates  to                                                                   
corporations organized under the  state's Aquaculture Act vs.                                                                   
the Salmon  Farming Act.  Mr. Fisk  explained that  the state                                                                   
hatchery  program has  helped  the system  develop, which  is                                                                   
basically  ocean ranching  as  wild fish  are protected  from                                                                   
predation and  returned to  the ocean. Representative  Hawker                                                                   
noted that it is not salmon farming.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:51:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  observed that  the  legislation is  a                                                                   
complex  implementation  of a  way  to pay  for  the cost  of                                                                   
operating  hatcheries. He  referred to  Page 3,  line 20.  He                                                                   
noted that once  the Department of Revenue has  the funds the                                                                   
legislature  "may" appropriate  the funds.  He questioned  if                                                                   
the legislature  has to  appropriate the  money in  order for                                                                   
the   hatchery  to   receive   operating   funds.  Mr.   Fisk                                                                   
acknowledged  that the  legislature  would have  to make  the                                                                   
decision   and   stated   that  he   confidence   [that   the                                                                   
appropriation  would be  made]  based on  other pass  through                                                                   
taxes. He noted  that the intent is very clear,  though there                                                                   
are  some in  the  hatchery  business who  are  uncomfortable                                                                   
about  giving up  control. Representative  Hawker  summarized                                                                   
that  the  intent  is  that  the   hatchery  would  make  the                                                                   
ultimately  decision  to pursue  the  venue  for funding.  He                                                                   
wanted to assurance that the interests  of the investors were                                                                   
protected.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:55:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Weyhrauch referred  to Page  3, line  28, and                                                                   
questioned if "is"  should be changed to "may  be". Mr. Fisks                                                                   
stressed that the intent is that  people be held accountable.                                                                   
A misdemeanor  under the  section is a  step above  a regular                                                                   
class  A  misdemeanor and  could  result  in  the loss  of  a                                                                   
vessel,  fishing  gear  or  fish  on board  at  the  time  of                                                                   
violation. The intent is to maintain a strong penalty.                                                                          
Representative  Weyhrauch   asked  if  there   is  intent  to                                                                   
interfere  with the  cost recovery  program  of private  non-                                                                   
profit hatcheries.  Mr. Fisk noted that the  issue would come                                                                   
under subsection  (1) on Page  1, which is existing  statute.                                                                   
There is  no intent to interfere;  the intent is to  leave it                                                                   
up to  hatcheries. Representative  Weyhrauch emphasized  that                                                                   
cost recovery  and management  of the fisheries  would remain                                                                   
with the Department of Fish and Game. Mr. Fisk agreed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:58:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft  observed   that  currently  hatcheries                                                                   
contract with  fishermen for enough  to sell for the  cost of                                                                   
operations and  close the fisheries to anyone  other than the                                                                   
hatchery authorized  contract fisherman. Mr. Fisk  agreed and                                                                   
added that  the procedure has been  in place for a  while and                                                                   
is part of the genesis of the bill.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Croft observed  that if  enough fish  are not                                                                   
harvested the opening would be  extended. He acknowledged the                                                                   
difficulty of  extending the  opening, but asked  why someone                                                                   
might switch  to a  system where a  fish assessment  would be                                                                   
taken on  every opening. Mr.  Fisk pointed out that  there is                                                                   
variability  in   every  system  measuring  wild   stock  and                                                                   
periodic  adjustments   are  needed.  The   Southeast  Alaska                                                                   
fishing fleet has shown the most interest in the option.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:01:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JASON   WELLS,    EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,    VALDEZ   FISHERIES                                                                   
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (VFDA),  testified via teleconference                                                                   
against  HB 218.  He maintained  that  the legislation  would                                                                   
inhibit the hatcheries ability  to make processors compete to                                                                   
purchase salmon.  He asserted that the ability  of hatcheries                                                                   
to negotiate  price has saved  fishermen millions  of dollars                                                                   
over the  years. He  suggested that if  direct sales  must be                                                                   
minimized,  as  contained  in   the  findings  section,  that                                                                   
hatcheries  would be  open to  legal action  annually by  any                                                                   
processor that  feels they have  sold to many fish  or should                                                                   
have sold  him the fish. He  maintained that if  the findings                                                                   
in the  bill are  passed, that  the hatchery  would lose  its                                                                   
ability to set  budgets. He observed that hatcheries  are the                                                                   
last vestige of  upward pressure on the pink  salmon price by                                                                   
competition.   If  the  ability   to  bid  salmon   is  lost,                                                                   
hatcheries  would be  at the  mercy of the  processor  to set                                                                   
grounds  prices. He  expressed concern  that the  legislation                                                                   
could be made mandatory, which  would result in a loss of the                                                                   
revenue  stream and  an inability  to repay  state loans.  He                                                                   
asked that the findings section be eliminated.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:05:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER ESQUIRO,  NSSRAA, SITKA, testified  via teleconference.                                                                   
He  suggested changes  to the  legislation  (version S).  The                                                                   
first  suggestion was  to add  "if not  a qualified  regional                                                                   
aquaculture association"  on Page 2,  line 16 and on  Page 3,                                                                   
line 8". On Page  3, line 9, he suggested elimination  of "to                                                                   
the  state", which  refers  to covered  debt  service to  the                                                                   
state  of  Alaska. He  added  that  Page  3, line  11  should                                                                   
include  "operational" and  spoke in  support of  a new  line                                                                   
stating: "a corporation  board of directors may  create other                                                                   
funds as  deemed appropriate  to carrying  out its  fiduciary                                                                   
responsibilities".  He   also  asked  that  "the   amount  of                                                                   
existing  reserve" be  changed "to  undesignated reserve"  on                                                                   
Page 3, line 14.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch  stated that he would  work with Mr.                                                                   
Esquerro and discuss his suggestions with the sponsor.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:10:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CORA   CROME,    PETERSBURG   VESSEL   OWNERS    ASSOCIATION,                                                                   
PETERSBURG,   Alaska   Salmon    Fisheries,   testified   via                                                                   
teleconference in support of the  legislation. She maintained                                                                   
that  the bill  would allow  another  option for  operational                                                                   
cost  recovery.  She  maintained   that  the  legislation  is                                                                   
permissive.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:11:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RUSSELL COCKRUM,  KETCHIKAN, Salmon Seiner, spoke  in support                                                                   
of HB 218. He maintained that  the legislation would increase                                                                   
the  value, quality  production  timing  of the  harvest.  He                                                                   
observed that cost  recovery fish receive a  higher price. He                                                                   
suggested that the program be mandatory.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:14:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Weyhrauch MOVED  to ADOPT Conceptual Amendment                                                                   
1, to remove Section 1, delete  the findings section (section                                                                   
1).                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer OBJECTED for discussion purposes.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Fisk  stated that  the amendment  would be acceptable  to                                                                   
the sponsor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:16:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
At ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:20:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 218 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:21:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 279                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating to encroachments in the right-of-way                                                                      
     of a highway."                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HAWKER, SPONSOR, spoke in support of the                                                                         
legislation,    which   was    introduced   by   the    House                                                                   
Transportation Committee, on  behalf of Representative Hawker                                                                   
and   Representative   Stoltze.   He  maintained   that   the                                                                   
legislation would  clear an inconsistency in  the current law                                                                   
regarding  the  use  of highway  right-of-ways.  Federal  law                                                                   
requires all that encroachments  from project construction be                                                                   
removed  from  the  right-of-way.  He gave  examples  of  how                                                                   
current law  has inconvenienced  businesses in  his district.                                                                   
House Bill  279 inserts an  exception into statute  that will                                                                   
grandfather current  encroachments in the  right-of-way. They                                                                   
may remain until such time as  [the state of Alaska] needs to                                                                   
have the  encroachments removed.  He mentioned Amendment  #1,                                                                   
which would  further clarify  the rights  of the state.  (see                                                                   
below). The bill does not address  billboards or other signs.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:27:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holm  mentioned   the  fiscal  note,   which                                                                   
contains no increment.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:28:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN    MACKINNON,    DEPUTY    DIRECTOR,    DEPARTMENT    OF                                                                   
TRANSPORTATION  AND   PUBLIC  FACILITIES,  stated   that  the                                                                   
Department  has not  refined  the fiscal  note.  There is  an                                                                   
annual  economic  rent.  An  application  fee  would  be  set                                                                   
through  regulation for  encroachment based  on appraisal  or                                                                   
$100   dollars  per   year,   which  ever   is  greater.   He                                                                   
acknowledged  that  there would  be  an incremental  cost  in                                                                   
handling permits.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:30:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm  expressed concern with  the legislation.                                                                   
He observed  that the  landowner owns  the property,  yet the                                                                   
state  has the  right to  charge  them for  an easement.  Mr.                                                                   
MacKinnon   clarified  that   the  process   is  in   current                                                                   
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker commented  that  property is  acquired                                                                   
subject to  the easement.  The landowner  is entitled  to fee                                                                   
simple and subject to the easement rights.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Mr. MacKinnon  noted that there  are two classes of  right or                                                                   
ways: where  the state  has an easement  and where  the state                                                                   
owns the property.  It is difficult to collect  payments when                                                                   
the state only has an easement.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:32:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  asked if the legislation  would resolve                                                                   
any federal  requirements: maintenance concerns  & standards.                                                                   
He  commented on  Amendment  #1 and  questioned  if it  would                                                                   
cover  maintenance   needs.  Mr.  MacKinnon   responded  that                                                                   
encroachments  were not  close enough  to the  road to  cause                                                                   
trouble. There is no problem with mailboxes.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:33:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker   noted  that  the   legislation  only                                                                   
addresses existing  encroachments and does not  allow any new                                                                   
ones. The amendment specifically addresses qualifications.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:34:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment #1 as amended                                                                   
(see applicant below):                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 12, following "remain"                                                                                        
     Insert ",  subject only to removals required  by federal                                                                   
     highway  funding requirements  imposed on  the state  by                                                                   
     federal law,"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 15 through page 2, line 13                                                                                    
     Delete all material                                                                                                        
     Insert                                                                                                                     
     "(c)  Upon receipt  of  an application,  the  department                                                                   
     shall issue an encroachment  permit to a private person,                                                                   
     a government  agency acting  in a business  capacity, or                                                                   
     an owner or  lessee of land contiguous  to the right-of-                                                                   
     way for  an encroachment that  on the effective  date of                                                                   
     this  Act  is  present within  the  right-of-way  of  an                                                                   
     interstate,  primary, or  secondary highway  and is  not                                                                   
     authorized  by  a  written encroachment  permit  if  the                                                                   
     department finds that:                                                                                                     
     (1)  the  encroachment  does  not  pose a  risk  to  the                                                                   
     traveling  public and  the integrity  and safety  of the                                                                   
     highway is not compromised;                                                                                                
     (2)  the applicant  [application]  has demonstrated  the                                                                 
     encroachment was erected in good faith;                                                                                    
     3) the  denial of the  encroachment permit would  pose a                                                                   
     hardship  on the  person, agency,  owner, or lessee  who                                                                   
     applies for the permit;                                                                                                    
     (4)  the issuance  of an  encroachment  permit will  not                                                                   
     cause a break in access control for the highway;                                                                           
     (5)  the  land  will  not be  necessary  for  a  highway                                                                   
     construction  project  during the  initial  term of  the                                                                   
     permit; and                                                                                                                
     (6)  issuance of  a permit  is  consistent with  federal                                                                   
     requirements  regarding  encroachments  on  federal  aid                                                                   
     highways.                                                                                                                  
     (d)  The  department  may  not  remove  an  encroachment                                                                   
     present  within  the  right-of-way   of  an  interstate,                                                                   
     primary, or secondary highway  that is not authorized by                                                                   
     a written  encroachment permit on the effective  date of                                                                   
     this  Act  until  the  department  determines  that  the                                                                   
     encroachment  does  not   qualify  for  an  encroachment                                                                   
     permit  issued under  this section.  The department  may                                                                   
     charge  an application fee,  not to  exceed $100,  for a                                                                   
     permit  issued  under  this   section.  An  encroachment                                                                   
     permit issued under this  section may contain reasonable                                                                   
     conditions to  protect the traveling public,  the safety                                                                   
     and  integrity  of a  highway's  design  and the  public                                                                   
     interest.                                                                                                                  
     (e) The  land area described  in an encroachment  permit                                                                   
     may  not be  used  to meet  minimum  requirements for  a                                                                   
     contiguous land use under  applicable municipal land use                                                                   
     standards  or under  applicable  regulations adopted  by                                                                   
     the  Department of Environmental  Conservation.  The use                                                                   
     of land  contiguous to  the land  area described  in the                                                                   
     permit  must satisfy the  applicable municipal  land use                                                                   
     standards  and  applicable  regulations adopted  by  the                                                                   
     Department of Environmental  Conservation without regard                                                                   
     to the land area described in the permit.                                                                                  
     (f)  The issuance  of an  encroachment  permit under  AS                                                                   
     19.25.200  -  19.25.250  does  not  entitle  the  owner,                                                                   
     occupant, or  person in possession of  the encroachment,                                                                   
     or any other  person to a payment of  compensation or of                                                                   
     relocation benefits under  AS 34.60, if the encroachment                                                                   
     permit is revoked or not  renewed or if the encroachment                                                                   
     must  be   changed,  relocated,  or  removed   under  AS                                                                   
     19.25.200 - 19.25.250.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Holm   referred   to  provisions   for   the                                                                   
Department   of   Environmental    Conservation   to   create                                                                   
applicable regulations  for the  use of contiguous  lands. He                                                                   
questioned if contiguous  lands would be kept  under the same                                                                   
umbrella of use.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:37:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  clarified that the intent  is that the                                                                   
issuance of a permit not create,  for any land owner, a thing                                                                   
of value  that they  do not  already exist  a thing  of value                                                                   
that they already  possess. There is no intention  to devalue                                                                   
any right that  the landowner possesses. The  contiguous land                                                                   
concept addresses these concerns.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
4:39:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Holm expressed  concern  with  Section E  and                                                                   
questioned  what  type of  restraints  would  be put  on  the                                                                   
property.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:40:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In    response    to    Representative    Holm's    concerns,                                                                   
Representative  Hawker  stated  that  he  would  entertain  a                                                                   
separate amendment to remove "applicable  regulations adopted                                                                   
by the Department of Environmental Conservation".                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm WITHDREW his OBJECTION to Amendment #1.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly referred  to  liability. Mr.  MacKinnon                                                                   
noted  that  liability  is  covered as  part  of  the  permit                                                                   
holder's homeowners'  insurance. He  stated that he  was more                                                                   
concern with the public coming through and getting injured.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:41:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, Amendment #1 was adopted.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:41:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Holm asked for  more information on Section E.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr. MacKinnon replied  that the intent was not to  run a foul                                                                   
of on site wastewater requirements.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker stressed that  they are attempting  to                                                                   
walk among existing rights, standards  and regulations, while                                                                   
addressing individual problems.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. MacKinnon spoke in support of the legislation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:45:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  REPORT CS HB 279 (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note. There  being NO OBJECTION,  it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  279 (FIN)  was reported  out  of Committee  with a  "no                                                                   
recommendation" recommendation  and with zero  fiscal note #1                                                                   
by the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:46:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 243                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to the maximum annual  regulatory cost                                                                   
     charge   collected   from   certain   regulated   public                                                                   
     utilities  and pipeline carriers;  and providing  for an                                                                   
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KATE  GIARD, CHAIR,  REGULATORY COMMISSION  OF ALASKA  (RCA),                                                                   
testified via  teleconference in support of  the legislation.                                                                   
She gave a  brief history of her chairmanship  and noted that                                                                   
she  was  responding  to  concerns   expressed  to  her.  She                                                                   
emphasized that  the RCA needed  to address several  concerns                                                                   
before its renewal comes before  the legislature in 2007. She                                                                   
acknowledged  the frustrations the  legislature had  with the                                                                   
RCA.  As soon  as she  became  chair, she  began an  outreach                                                                   
effort  to  the  public  utilities   and  pipelines  that  it                                                                   
regulates  in order to  find out  more about their  concerns.                                                                   
She  gave examples  of  her attempts  to  demonstrate to  the                                                                   
utilities  that  more  can  be  expected  of  the  Regulatory                                                                   
Commission  of Alaska.  She acknowledged  that the RCA  lacks                                                                   
systems,  management, and normal  ongoing processes  expected                                                                   
to track,  follow, monitor, and  manage data in order  to get                                                                   
its  work done  in  a timely  manner.  The legislation  would                                                                   
increase [the amount allowed  to fund the commission] from .7                                                                   
to  .9 percent  for  three years.  The goal  is  to bring  in                                                                   
sufficient  additional revenues  to  support the  acquisition                                                                   
and  implementation  of these  systems  after  which the  RCA                                                                   
would  return  to  its  current funding  level.    Ms.  Giard                                                                   
concluded   by  noting   that   she  would   appreciate   the                                                                   
Committee's support of HB 243.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:51:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  asked  if the  utilities  support  the                                                                   
increase. Ms. Giard  noted that through a public  process the                                                                   
utilities  asked for  an advisory  group,  which occurred  in                                                                   
January. There  has been unified  support from  utilities. Mk                                                                   
asked  for assurance  that the increase  would be  temporary,                                                                   
which Ms. Giard provided.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:54:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked if  the receipts are  ultimately                                                                   
passed  on  to the  consumers  of  the utilities.  Ms.  Giard                                                                   
acknowledged  that   utilities  pass  the  cost   on  to  the                                                                   
ratepayers, but emphasized that  she didn't want the money to                                                                   
sit on  the capital side  because it's money  that ratepayers                                                                   
have paid.  Ratepayers pay approximately  72 cents  per year,                                                                   
per  regulated  services.  The  average  customer  has  three                                                                   
services ($2.16  per year for  there years). The  funds would                                                                   
be used as  operating expenses to fund the  systems and would                                                                   
not be put  into capital. She noted that capital  funds could                                                                   
be used for  other projects. The funding would  be designated                                                                   
as operating and would return  to the consumers the following                                                                   
year if it is not spent.                                                                                                        
Representative  Hawker summarized  that  that the  Regulatory                                                                   
Commission  of  Alaska  would  receive $3.9  million  in  new                                                                   
money.  He asked what  the public  would be  buying with  the                                                                   
money. Ms. Giard explained that  it would enable utilities to                                                                   
electronically file data and to  have a holding place, a data                                                                   
warehouse, for  that data.  Representative Hawker  noted that                                                                   
the  bill  is  the  A version  and  has  survived  Labor  and                                                                   
Commerce.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:58:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault  referred to  the  Governor's  transmittal                                                                   
letter  of  Nov.   30,  which  asks  for  money   to  improve                                                                   
information systems.  He voiced a concern about  "to fund the                                                                   
operation of  the commissioner"  to reduce regulatory  costs.                                                                   
Ms. Giard said she could understand  that concern and pointed                                                                   
out that the funding is contractual.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:00:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly spoke in  support of the legislation. He                                                                   
felt  that the  Regulatory  Commission  of Alaska  is  moving                                                                   
forward in the right direction.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:02:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM  CLIFTON, BRITISH  PETROLEUM,  spoke in  favor of  HB                                                                   
243. He described  his company's services. He  noted that the                                                                   
process  in place is  extremely expensive  for the  regulated                                                                   
parties.  He   stressed  that  efficiencies   create  greater                                                                   
financial certainty for all parties.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:06:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 243 was HELD in Committee for further consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 5:07 PM                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects