Legislature(2007 - 2008)HOUSE FINANCE 519
02/07/2007 01:30 PM FINANCE
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HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE February 7, 2007 1:41 P.M. CALL TO ORDER Co-Chair Meyer called the House Finance Committee meeting to order at 1:41:55 PM. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair Representative Harry Crawford Representative Les Gara Representative Mike Hawker Representative Reggie Joule Representative Mike Kelly Representative Mary Nelson Representative Bill Thomas Jr. MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Richard Foster ALSO PRESENT Representative Gabrielle LeDoux; Michael Pawlowski, Staff, Co-Chair Meyer; Sue Stancliff, Staff, Representative Mike Kelly; Christine Marasigan, Staff, Representative Gabrielle LeDoux; Diane Barrans, Executive Director, Postsecondary Education Commission, Department of Education; Pat Pitney, Vice President of Planning & Budget, University of Alaska; Rod Bettie, President, Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Homes Association (ASHNHA); Tina Cunning, Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), Coordinator, Department of Fish & Game PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE Joel Gilbertson, Regional Director, Strategic Development & Administration, Providence Hospital, Anchorage; Dr. Peter Marshal, Family & General Practitioner, Chair, WWAMI Committee, North Pole; Dr. Roland Gower, President, Alaska State Medical Association, Anchorage; Doug Griffin, Director, Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABCB), Anchorage; Steve Thomsen, Alaska Wilderness Wines, Kodiak; Dick Mylius, Deputy Director, Division of Mining Land and Water, Department of Natural Resources; Pat Luby, Advocacy Director, Alaska Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Anchorage; Susanne Tryck, Director, Alaska Regional Affairs, University of Washington School of Medicine; Kathleen Dalton, Fairbanks SUMMARY HB 18 An Act amending the functions and powers of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; and relating to the repayment provisions for medical education and postsecondary degree program participants. CS HB 18 (HES) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a new zero note by the House Finance Committee and fiscal note #1 by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education dated 1/31/07. HB 34 An Act relating to sales of wine by a winery licensee. HB 34 was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with zero note #1 by the Department of Public Safety. HB 87 An Act reestablishing the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska; and providing for an effective date. HB 87 was HEARD & HELD in Committee for further consideration. 1:44:12 PM HOUSE BILL NO. 18 An Act amending the functions and powers of the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; and relating to the repayment provisions for medical education and postsecondary degree program participants. MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI, STAFF, CO-CHAIR MEYER, explained that HB 18 is intended to increase the number of students in the WWAMI program. The WWAMI program is Alaska's medical school program and is a partnership between Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI), in which each of those states contributes to the Medical School at the University of Washington (UW) based on the amount of students they have entering the program. For Alaska, that number has traditionally been 10. The WWAMI student pays in-state tuition at the University of Washington and agrees to return to Alaska to practice medicine. Mr. Pawlowski continued, a student must repay a portion of the State's subsidy if they do not return to Alaska to practice medicine. The State forgives 20% of the obligation for each year they practice in Alaska. The WWAMI program has been immensely successful and has received national recognition for several years. It has been ranked the #1 Family Medical Education program in America for 15 consecutive years. Mr. Pawlowski noted that Alaska needs to expand WWAMI because the State is facing a significant physician shortage; a shortage which leads to more expensive and less available medical care throughout Alaska. HB 18 accomplishes the following: · Expanding the WWAMI program in section 1 · Allowing students to serve their residency outside Alaska without accumulating interest in Section 2 - (There are limited opportunities to pursue residency in Alaska now with only 12 slots at Providence); · Envisioning 20 students entering WWAMI a year, which means that eight of those would have no opportunity to pursue their residency in Alaska Expanding the WWAMI program was one of the key recommendations in the recently released report, "Alaska Physician Supply Task Force" included in the packets. Alaska already has fewer physicians per capita than the rest of the U.S. And as our physicians are approaching retirement age, the State needs to do everything possible to recruit more and HB 18 is a first step toward bridging that gap. 1:46:36 PM Representative Thomas referenced language "sufficient to accommodate 20 new people each year" & wondered if that amount would be compounded each year. He wanted to be on record, clarifying that would only be 20 students a year. Mr. Pawlowski acknowledged it was not a compounding equation and would only be 20 new freshmen each year. Representative Gara hoped to finely tune the legislation. He pointed out the shortage in the State of certain types of doctors. He noted that many doctors come to Alaska because they make a lot more money. He proposed tying eligibility for participants that are willing to go into the fields the State has serious shortages. Mr. Pawlowski thought it would be difficult to adjust for a career path, not understanding specifics when entering into the medical path. Representative Gara recommended adding incentives for specific areas & if those were not met, the student would not be given the subsidies and the annual loan payments would not be forgiven. 1:50:41 PM Representative Nelson inquired why the proposed legislation stopped at the number 10, given the serious need throughout the State. Mr. Pawlowski explained that the bill intends to "establish the floor", understanding capacity issues in both the University of Alaska and the University of Washington. Increasing the number could be worked out over time. 1:52:08 PM JOEL GILBERTSON, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), REGIONAL DIRECTOR, STRATEGIC DEVLEOPMENT & ADMINISTRATION, PROVIDENCE HOSPITAL, ANCHORAGE, discussed that the physician shortage in the State of Alaska at this time is a serious public health threat. There is a physician shortage in all specialty types making for fragmented and reduced access to care. In the Anchorage market place, there are a number of seniors unable to receive basic primary care services. Mr. Gilbertson recommended increasing the WWAMI class size, a move that Providence Hospital strongly supports. The WWAMI program has been a key element for retention. Approximately 85% of the students graduating through the program have remained in Alaska. Those individuals are involved in core services of the State. It has been a great investment. He acknowledged that the problem is still acute statewide. Representative Crawford commented on concerns voiced by constituents in Anchorage that medical access is at a crisis point. He thought that the bill would provide a beginning step, however, worried about how to address the short-term fix. Mr. Gilbertson agreed that there is a need for both short and long term fixes. The bill would not be the sole solution; core problems need to be addressed. The U.S. Congressional delegation has taken an interest in access to care. There are a number of efforts in the Anchorage area that are happening right now. One is the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, which handles many Natives coming from rural communities. The program has inadequate facilities and can not meet the volume demand. The clinic is undergoing an assessment through the Denali Commission to look at ways to grow the center. The other large primary care facility practicing in Anchorage is the Family Medicine Residency Program. That clinic trains residents, receiving some federal support, however, has been loosing money on an annual basis. Most states support their programs through direct funding and reimbursements. Alaska's reimbursement thus far, has barely kept up with what is happening in other states. There is interest in strengthening the residency program. Representative Crawford questioned what was needed to enhance the program. Mr. Gilbertson explained that there is no one solution to solving the crisis. The Neighborhood Health Center is largely a capital project. That revenue structure is stronger as they have access to cost base reimbursement; their issue is physical space and capacity. It is a capital project. He urged that both clinics be strengthened & expanded and requested further funding. 2:01:15 PM Representative Gara understood that where a person goes to medical school has a relationship on where they end up practicing, and where the residency program is done has an even stronger affect on where they end up practicing. Mr. Gilbertson agreed that was true. Representative Gara noted that the residency programs offered in Alaska are not as substantial as they could be. Mr. Gilbertson advised that the residency program would like to expand the number of slots available in Alaska. Given a more predictable revenue stream, they would be able to expand their actual office hours. A secondary benefit of more residents coming out of the program, would be more doctors feeding out into rural areas. Representative Gara questioned if the residency program provided practitioners for both the rural and urban areas. Mr. Gilbertson explained that a good percentage have gone on to work in rural areas through the Native Health Corporations. It helps with the long-term training, being around primary care and internal medicine. Representative Gara recommended that a quicker solution for those closer to practicing, would be consideration of expanding State support of the residency program, especially in family care. 2:05:04 PM DR. PETER MARSHALL, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), FAMILY AND GENERAL PRACTICE, CHAIR OF WWAMI ADMISSIONS, NORTH POLE, referenced the letter he submitted to the member's packets. (Copy on File). Dr. Marshall discussed the dire need for medical doctors in the bush areas and in Fairbanks & Anchorage. He addressed the barriers that Alaska students encounter when applying to other schools. Alaska, currently, only has 10 spots and last year, there were 78 applicants. The students attempting to get into the program apply against other states; states tend to be "stringy" with the spots, reserving them for their own residents. Well qualified students are at a disadvantage in trying to apply to other medical schools. Doubling the class size to 20, would increase the ration and would help the situation. 2:08:46 PM Representative Crawford commented that Amendment 1, 25- LS0131\K.1, Mischel, 2/06/07, could have increased the program number from 20 to 30. He was informed there was not enough physical space to accommodate that many. He agreed to not offer the amendment at this time. He asked when the program could be expanded. Dr. Marshall responded that he was not equipped to answer that. The University of Washington (UW) has made a decision to increase their class size over the next few years. He believed eventually, Alaska could have 30 students in the program and supported such a plan. 2:11:10 PM ROD BEATTIE, PRESIDENT, ALASKA STATE HOSPITAL & NURSING HOME ASSOCIATION (ASHNHA), JUNEAU, noted that the membership of his agency has identified the proposed issue as their most critical concern this legislative session. He referenced the agency handout. (Copy on File). ASHNHA strongly supports passage of HB 18. There are approximately seven ways to get additional physicians into Alaska: · Medical schools · Residency programs statewide · Federal assignments · Self selection · Loan repayment programs · Recruitment bonuses · Travelers Mr. Beattie reiterated that HB 18 is critical legislation. He pointed out that Alaska currently suffers from a shortage of over 300 physicians. The public is not receiving the care needed. He urged that the bill move swiftly out of Committee and that the University of Washington is looking for a quick response; timing is critical. 2:16:14 PM Co-Chair Meyer questioned how soon ASHNHA needs to know if passage of the bill could happen. Mr. Beattie replied that the deadline to complete the contract negotiations is the beginning of March 2007. Representative Gara asked the areas of the most acute shortages. Mr. Beattie responded a lot of the newer specialty areas and elder care, OB's, surgeries, cardiology, and internal medicine. He added that targeting students into specific areas would be problematic. Co-Chair Meyer asked if the State's residency program could accommodate all 20 students; he understood that only Providence Hospital offered a residency program. Mr. Beattie replied that was correct and that it currently offers a 12-position residency program. 2:18:07 PM DR. ROLAND GOWER, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), PRESIDENT, ALASKA STATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (ASMA), GENERAL SURGEON, ANCHORAGE, provided a copy of his testimony. (Copy on File). Dr. Gower pointed out that ASMA strongly supports HB 18. He echoed the crisis given the doctor shortage throughout Alaska. There is a nationwide shortage and recruitment will not get any easier in the future for Alaska. He thought that it made sense for Alaska to "grow our own students" into the field. There are Alaska students that want the training but do not have a school to go to. The State providing a reasonable payback acts as an incentive. It is important to nurture this resource. He offered to answer questions of the Committee. Representative Gara inquired how the legislation would increase the family residency program throughout the State. Dr. Gower explained he was not an expert on that program. There is a critical mass consideration of the number of physicians that can be trained in that area. He commented on specialty training and thought it would be possible to provide some training to specialists in Alaska but many of that type training can not happen in the State. He recommended perhaps creating rotations in the Alaska hospitals with residents from other states. 2:24:21 PM PAT LUBY, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, ALASKA ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED PERSONS (AARP), ANCHORAGE, stated that AARP supports HB 18. He claimed that AARP members tend to see physicians more often than the younger set. Now seniors are staying in the State after retirement since the health services are improving. HB 18 is an excellent first step in addressing the statewide physician shortage. He urged support. 2:26:12 PM Co-Chair Meyer noted that Representative Crawford had WITHDRAWN his amendment. Co-Chair Meyer pointed out the fiscal notes, highlighting the new note by the University of Alaska. Representative Hawker noted the number of new positions being added into the system and the note associated. He worried that the student-faculty ratio was excessive. He pointed out the capital expenditure request included. Representative Hawker requested a better evaluation. Co-Chair Meyer agreed that the capital request should be addressed in the Capital Budget. Mr. Pawlowski clarified that under the program, until the actual slots are added, the incoming class at UAA would not be above 20 people. 2:29:43 PM PAT PITNEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF PLANNING & BUDGET, UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA, advised that the fiscal note before the committee was precise. There would not be two part-time positions; of the $344 thousand, approximately $44 thousand dollars would be used for staffing assistance. It would add to staffing support for the WWAMI program. The two faculty would add to the existing faculty in the current program. There are seven faculty in the program and approximately ½ of those are dedicated for WWAMI teaching. They are also dedicated to some biological and chemistry teaching positions in the other departments and research and service. The course curriculum in the first year is very intensive. There is course work with lab and teaching requirements; it is more one-on-one. It would be a significantly larger load. She stressed that the request to move to 20 students will happen at the beginning of next school year. Representative Hawker did not understand the merits or demerits of the ratio argument. He was concerned with the travel component, the contractual & supplies. Ms. Pitney explained that those numbers were a rough estimate and they assume a modest salary. The travel allocation would be used for the entire department. Co-Chair Meyer thought the fiscal request should be analyzed during a subcommittee process. Co Chair Chenault agreed it should be examined during subcommittee before moving forward; he recommended that the capital expenditure be included in the Capital Budget Request (CBR). He asked that the fiscal note be removed and provided to the subcommittee for consideration. 2:34:11 PM Co-Chair Meyer reminded members that the University received $475 thousand dollars last year with the understanding that the remainder would be allocated FY08. Representative Gara inquired if the bill should pass how that would be affecting the capital request process. He asked if construction would be completed by then. Ms. Pitney responded that the $475 thousand appropriated last year was being used as the planning part of the construction process. In the event that the bill passes, the original $475 thousand dollars allows the planning and the second allocation in the amount of $475 thousand dollars will cover the overall construction. Construction completion is planned for during the summer and will be ready for incoming students. Representative Gara asked if the capital upgrade was really needed. Ms. Pitney emphasized it was. 2:36:57 PM Co Chair Chenault referenced comments that the allocation from last year budget was being used for planning of the renovation. Ms. Pitney responded that the University is preparing for success of the program as the need is high; the planning portion was less than $475 thousand dollars. Co Chair Chenault understood the concern to get the funding. He worried about the funding from last year being used. Ms. Pitney replied only a small piece of that amount was used. 2:38:50 PM SUSANNE TRYCK, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DIRECTOR, ALASKA REGIONAL AFFAIRS, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, explained that the issue of the number of faculty in the program is a bit difficult to grasp. At the University of Alaska - Anchorage (UAA), the numbers for faculty is lower than in some of other states. It is not uncommon for a faculty in the second year at the UW, to teach three or four lectures in a semester. There is a lot of time involved in research, which makes the teaching time less. The proposed numbers are in line with the other WWAMI states. Ms. Tryck clarified that they can not accommodate all 20 WWAMI students in the family medicine residency program unless they only intend to practice family medicine. There is no direct link in terms of the numbers. It would be cumbersome to attempt to tie the shortage of statewide doctors with those students selected for the WWAMI program. The amount of time it takes to complete the program is usually seven years. Ms. Tryck urged that the bill pass from committee at this time given the deadline. 2:42:00 PM Co-Chair Meyer recommended that the University of Alaska fiscal note be reduced to zero. Vice Chair Stoltze MOVED to REPORT CS HB 18 (HES) out of Committee with individual recommendations and with the accompanying fiscal notes including the new zero note by the House Finance Committee. Vice Chair Stoltze briefly OBJECTED. Vice Chair Stoltze noted that he supports the initiative to bring more doctors into Alaska. He worried if it had not been mandated, it would not have come through the University. He complimented the statewide professionals for making the legislation happen and wanted to make sure the leadership on the issue continues to be the medical community. Vice Chair Stoltze WITHDREW his OBJECTION. There being NO further OBJECTIONS, it was so ordered. CS HB 18 (HES) was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with a new zero note by the House Finance Committee and fiscal note #1 by the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education dated 1/31/07. AT EASE: 2:44:39 PM RECONVENED: 2:50:46 PM HOUSE BILL NO. 34 An Act relating to sales of wine by a winery licensee. 2:51:43 PM REPRESENTATIVE GABRIELLE LEDOUX, SPONSOR, testified in support of the legislation. She explained that wine production in Alaska has just started to develop. Wineries are now "mom & pop" businesses. Under current law, none of the wineries can sell or ship a bottle of wine to a customer within the State unless the customer is on the premises. Currently, out-of-state wineries can ship their product into the State of Alaska. HB 34 would level the playing field by allowing in-state wineries to ship within Alaska. The legislation is identical to HB 431, which passed the House th in the 24 legislative session. DOUG GRIFFIN, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DIRECTOR, ALCOHOL BEVERAGE CONTROL BOARD (ABCB), ANCHORAGE, spoke in support of the legislation. He emphasized that the legislation would be a beneficial tool to in-state wineries, needing to understand that there are "dry" communities within Alaska. Representative Hawker identified concerns regarding underage drinking & the dry communities. Mr. Griffin acknowledged such problems and maintained that there is an effort to restrict sales to those under 21 year old. He acknowledged that internet shipments are occurring and that the legislation would allow in-state companies to ship but that it must be delivered to a person at least 21 years old, making sure that a record was signed for the product. 2:56:11 PM Co Chair Chenault observed that wineries would have to follow all the current Alaska State laws. Mr. Griffin agreed, pointing out that they could lose their ability to operate & ship product if they do not follow the law. Co Chair Chenault mentioned the penalties that would be attached. In response to a question by Vice Chair Stoltze, Mr. Griffin explained that 5 gallons equates to 2 cases of standard unit size bottles. 2:57:58 PM Representative Thomas asked if wine could be shipped outside Alaska. Mr. Griffin noted that the bill allows shipping of up to 5 gallons out-of-state for personal use. 2:59:07 PM STEVE THOMSEN, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), ALASKA WILDERNESS WINES, KODIAK, spoke in support of the legislation. Representative Hawker MOVED to report HB 34 out of Committee with the accompanying fiscal note. There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered. HB 34 was reported out of Committee with a "do pass" recommendation and with zero note #1 by the Department of Public Safety. AT EASE: 3:01:03 PM RECONVENED: 3:02:27 PM HOUSE BILL NO. 87 An Act reestablishing the Citizens' Advisory Commission on Federal Management Areas in Alaska; and providing for an effective date. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY, SPONSOR, spoke in support of the legislation & noted that it had been discussed in the House Resources Committee. He requested that his staff report on the bill. SUE STANCLIFF, STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE MIKE KELLY, explained that the Citizens' Advisory Commission on federal areas was th established in 1981 by the 12 Alaska State Legislature in order to provide assistance to the citizens of Alaska who are affected by the management of federal lands within the State. The Commission was repealed after Governor Knowles removed funding, even though the legislature approved the sunset extension to 2003. HB 87 has a sunset provision extending the Commission until 2014. The need for the Commission arose primarily from conflicts due to the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) in 1980, which changed the federal land management climate while attempting to protect Alaskans' access and traditional activities on federal lands. The Commission is charged with the responsibility of researching issues to assist land users, monitoring federal statutes, regulations and management decisions in order to assist citizens to minimize or resolve potential conflicts with the federal land managers. Ms. Stancliff continued, the Commission was effective assuring that land management decisions were consistent with Congressional intent and protecting interests of Alaska's citizens. Twenty-five years later, the State has a loss of institutional memory and of the promises made to Alaskans. Rules are easily overlooked when the fed's are rewriting management plans for refuges and parks. Responsible public access and traditional uses on the federal lands are just as important to citizens and communities throughout the State now as they were when the Commission was originally created. Individuals still need the assistance that the Commission previously provided them. 3:06:04 PM Representative Kelly spoke in support of the Commission. He stressed that those persons do not have an advocate in interactions with the federal land managers and often, there is a differing approach. Co-Chair Meyer understood that the Commission would be an advisory group. Representative Kelly replied correct. 3:08:07 PM KATHLEEN DALTON, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), FAIRBANKS, spoke in support of the legislation. She recommended an amendment which would require the Commission to inventory other land users. She commented on the insufficient "teeth" in the relationship to the Commission's duties and recommended stronger language. She pointed out the zero fiscal note accompanying the legislation. 3:12:26 PM DICK MYLIUS, (TESTIFIED VIA TELECONFERENCE), DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF MINING LAND AND WATER, DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, ANCHORAGE, provided the Committee some back-ground information regarding the previous Commission, which was housed within the Department of Natural Resources in Fairbanks. That Department actively reviews federal regulations. The focus of the Commission would be to look at individual concerns regarding federal land managers. The Department does not have the staffing ability at this time. The Commission could fill that void. Mr. Mylius did not have an opinion as to which department the Commission should be housed. The staff previously was in Fairbanks. Initially, it was staffed with ten people, however, toward the end, the number decreased to one. TINA CUNNING, COORDINATOR, ALASKA NATIONAL INTEREST LANDS CONSERVATION ACT (ANILCA), DEPARTMENT OF FISH & GAME, noted that she had worked in the early implementation phases of ANILCA and worked closely with the executive director of the Citizen's Advisory Commission. She stated that they had been a valuable resource, which could not be accomplished by any department. There are a number of ways citizens can deal with disputes, since the Commission has been out of service, but individuals do not want to be in conflict with the federal managers, which have control over their activities. She warned that there is no one to help citizens walk through the red tape, without going to that level and then causing bad feelings with federal managers. 3:17:37 PM Representative Hawker questioned if those activities would be duplicated through the State Ombudsman's office. Ms. Cunning clarified that the State Ombudsman deals with State issues, not federal laws. Representative Hawker suggested that statutory authority to the Ombudsman Office might be changed through legislation to include those concerns. 3:18:54 PM Representative Kelly asked examples of the former Commission's activities. Ms. Cunning advised that the Commission was "out of commission" for 10 years. In the early 1980's, the management plans were being developed for the conservation system units. There are about 135 million acres in Alaska in special units. The original management plans for those units were supposed to encompass the compromise provisions of ANILCA for public use activities on that land. She recalled one example of when the Commission was very effective in the development of the Kodiak plan. There was a strong leaning by planners to proceed with extreme limitations on the public use of those cabins. The implement weather and bears make those cabins valuable & popular. They attempted to eliminate those cabins on the refuge. It was not an issue the State would deal with. The Commission raised the issues and the original decisions are "sticking". Another example dealt with a series of problems with trapping cabins, protected under ANILCA; the federal managers have a history of wanting to eliminate those cabins. The Commission worked with trappers to cut through red tape. The Commission was also effective in Title 1 of ANILCA boundaries adopted under the Alaska Lands Act. The National Park Service did not publish their boundaries after four years. The Commission brought the issues forward and was successful in having the boundaries mapped. 3:23:38 PM Representative Thomas asked for information regarding the former Commission's restrictions. Co-Chair Meyer stated the bill would be held to discuss housing location and appropriate staffing levels. 3:25:19 PM Representative Hawker was concerned with the indeterminate fiscal note, referencing a hearing in April 1998 on reauthorization. There were arguments made that budget cutting had affected the operations of the Commission. History indicates that it needs to be 5 or more employees to be effective. Representative Kelly commented on the housing issue. He said that they had considered both the Office of the Governor and the Department of Natural Resources. He felt that the Department of Natural Resources would be the most likely outcome & the Department would work to reduce the fiscal note. He observed that the problem is more prevalent in areas with large conservation units. Representative Kelly discussed the constant pressure on those utilizing the areas. 3:29:19 PM Representative Nelson mentioned concerns regarding the geographic allocation of board members. She requested it be stipulated that there is a rural participant. Representative Kelly agreed to discuss that. Co-Chair Meyer stated that HB 87 would be HELD in Committee for further consideration. ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 3:29 P.M.