Legislature(2007 - 2008)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/03/2007 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 92 JURISDICTION OF OMBUDSMAN TELECONFERENCED
Moved Out of Committee
+ HB 166 CONTRIBUTIONS FROM PERM. FUND DIVIDENDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 166(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 198 SENIOR PAYMENT PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 198(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 61 TAX CREDIT FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO VOC ED TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 61(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 3, 2007                                                                                            
                         1:38 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House  Finance Committee meeting to                                                                   
order at 1:38:51 PM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Mary Nelson                                                                                                      
Representative Bill Thomas, Jr.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
None                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Karleen  Jackson,  Commissioner,  Department  of  Health  and                                                                   
Social  Services;   Janet  Clarke,  Assistant   Commissioner,                                                                   
Division of  Finance and  Management Services, Department  of                                                                   
Health  and   Social  Services;  Ellie  Fitzjarrald,   Acting                                                                   
Director,  Division  of  Public   Assistance,  Department  of                                                                   
Health   and   Social   Services;    Rex   Shattuck,   Staff,                                                                   
Representative  Mark  Neuman; Representative  Ralph  Samuels;                                                                   
Jerry   Burnett,   Director,   Division   of   Administrative                                                                   
Services, Department  of Revenue; Rosemary  Hagevig, Catholic                                                                   
Community Services                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Kathy Hansen,  Office of Victims Rights; Linda  Lord Jenkins,                                                                   
State Ombudsman,  Office of the Ombudsman; Jeff  Clarke, Vice                                                                   
President,  Rasmuson Foundation;  Brenda Hewitt, United  Way,                                                                   
Southeast Alaska                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 198    "An Act  establishing the Alaska  senior assistance                                                                   
          payment program; repealing the senior care and                                                                        
          longevity bonus payment programs; and providing                                                                       
          for an effective date."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 198  (FIN) was REPORTED out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a  "do pass"  recommendation and  with zero  fiscal                                                                   
          note  #1 by  the Department  of Administration  and                                                                   
          with  four new  fiscal notes  by the Department  of                                                                   
          Health and Social Services.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 61     "An Act relating to tax credits for cash                                                                              
          contributions  by taxpayers  that are accepted  for                                                                   
          certain educational  purposes, including vocational                                                                   
          education  programs  and courses  at the  secondary                                                                   
          school  level;  and   providing  for  an  effective                                                                   
          date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 61 (FIN) was REPORTED  out of Committee with a                                                                   
          "do  pass"  recommendation and  with  indeterminate                                                                   
          fiscal note #1 by the Department of Revenue.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB 92     "An Act removing the victims' advocate and the                                                                        
          staff  of the  office of victims'  rights  from the                                                                   
          jurisdiction of the  office of the ombudsman in the                                                                   
          legislative branch."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB  92 was  REPORTED out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
          pass" recommendation  and with zero fiscal  note #1                                                                   
          by the Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HB 166    "An Act relating to contributions from permanent                                                                      
          fund   dividends  to   community  foundations,   to                                                                   
          certain  educational organizations, and  to certain                                                                   
          other  charitable  organizations   that  provide  a                                                                   
          positive   youth  development  program,   workforce                                                                   
          development,  aid to the arts, or aid  and services                                                                   
          to    the    elderly,    low-income    individuals,                                                                   
          individuals   in  emergency  situations,   disabled                                                                   
          individuals,  or individuals  with mental  illness;                                                                   
          and providing for an effective date."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 166  (FIN) was reported out of  Committee with                                                                   
          a "do  pass" recommendation  and with a  new fiscal                                                                   
          note by the Department of Revenue.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:39:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 198                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  establishing  the   Alaska  senior  assistance                                                                   
     payment   program;  repealing   the   senior  care   and                                                                   
     longevity bonus  payment programs; and providing  for an                                                                   
     effective date."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Crawford MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #3:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 2:                                                                                                            
          Delete "and longevity bonus programs"                                                                                 
          Insert "program"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14:                                                                                                           
          Delete "former"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 12 - 19:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, lines 23 - 25:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, lines 14 - 17:                                                                                                     
          Delete all material.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, lines 2 - 4:                                                                                                       
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Sec. 12. AS 47.45.320 is repealed."                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 12"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 9"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 19:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 7"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 4"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 25, through page 10, line 4:                                                                                  
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
        "* Sec. 17. The uncodified law of the State of                                                                      
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          RETROACTIVITY AND REVIVAL. If secs. 1 - 12 of this                                                                    
     Act take effect after June 30, 2007,                                                                                       
               (1)  AS 47.45.300 - 47.45.390, as amended by                                                                     
     this Act, the repeal of AS 47.45.320, and secs. 11, 12,                                                                    
     and 14 of this Act, are retroactive to June 30, 2007;                                                                      
     and                                                                                                                        
               (2)  AS 47.45.300, 47.45.310, 47.45.330,                                                                         
     47.45.340, 47.45.350, 47.45.360, and 47.45.390, as                                                                         
     amended by this Act, are revived.                                                                                          
        * Sec. 18. Sections 15, 16(b), and 17 of this Act                                                                     
     take effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                                                             
        * Sec. 19. Except as provided in sec. 18 of this                                                                      
     Act, this Act takes effect June 30, 2007."                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Crawford  explained  that  he would  like  to                                                                   
remove the mention of the longevity  bonus from the bill.  He                                                                   
wanted to vote  to pass HB 198 without killing  the longevity                                                                   
bonus.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  spoke  against  the  amendment.    He                                                                   
related  that the  purpose  of  the bill  is  to replace  the                                                                   
longevity  bonus  and  senior  care  payment  programs.    He                                                                   
addressed  the lowering  of the  poverty level  rate and  his                                                                   
work with state agencies to develop  policy direction for the                                                                   
state  in the  future.    He spoke  in  favor of  the  higher                                                                   
poverty allowance because the  battle of pitting the rich vs.                                                                   
the poor  is removed due to  this legislation.   He described                                                                   
HB 198 as a  very good policy decision, which  melds the best                                                                   
features of all ideas.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Crawford disagreed  that the senior  benefits                                                                   
payment  program  replaces  the longevity  bonus  program,  a                                                                   
promise made to those eligible for the program.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:46:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  asked if there  are legal concerns  regarding                                                                   
reinstating  the  longevity  bonus.    Representative  Hawker                                                                   
recalled  testimony   in  the  Health  and   Social  Services                                                                   
Subcommittee that the attorney  general's office had made the                                                                   
determination that  a statutory  change would be  required to                                                                   
re-establish the longevity bonus  program.  He asked that the                                                                   
neediest populations be served.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Crawford, Gara                                                                                                        
OPPOSED:  Joule,  Kelly,  Nelson,   Thomas,  Foster,  Hawker,                                                                   
Chenault, Meyer                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltz was absent from the vote.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (2-8).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:48:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #4:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 8,                                                                                                            
          Delete "175"                                                                                                          
          Insert "150"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 1,                                                                                                            
          Delete "175"                                                                                                          
          Insert "150"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 2,                                                                                                            
          Delete "175"                                                                                                          
          Insert "150"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 7, line 15,                                                                                                           
          Delete "175"                                                                                                          
          Insert "150"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  explained   how  the  amendment  would                                                                   
impact  Denali  Kid  Care and  the  senior  benefits  payment                                                                   
program  by changing  the  proposed  poverty  level from  175                                                                   
percent to  150 percent.   His concern  is that the  state is                                                                   
entering a  period of  deficit spending.   He stated  support                                                                   
for the senior benefits program,  but not at the level of 175                                                                   
percent of  poverty level.   He maintained that  this program                                                                   
at this  level is  not sustainable.   He emphasized  that the                                                                   
Department   of  Health   and  Social   Services  budget   is                                                                   
approaching   $2   billion.      He   called   for   personal                                                                   
responsibility.  He requested a "yes" vote on Amendment #4.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:52:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  reminded the committee that  Alaska is                                                                   
the wealthiest state in the nation  and the legislature lacks                                                                   
the vision and will to do "what's  right by our communities."                                                                   
This   bill  addresses   the   "bookends"   of  the   state's                                                                   
population,  the   most  needy  children  and   elders.    He                                                                   
maintained  that front-end  loading  the  health care  system                                                                   
saves future  costs.  He  related how inflation  has impacted                                                                   
social services for children.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker   addressed  the  benefits   regarding                                                                   
seniors.  The most empowering  way to give seniors assistance                                                                   
is  through a  cash assistance  payment.   This  bill is  not                                                                   
beyond  Alaska's  means.    He  opined  that  the  two  areas                                                                   
addressed in HB 198 are the priorities needed at this time.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:57:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  testified against  Amendment  #4.   He                                                                   
brought up  the fact that  there is a  sunset clause  and the                                                                   
matter can  be re-addressed in  five years.  He  recalled the                                                                   
number of seniors who need these extra funds.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas also spoke  against Amendment #4.   He                                                                   
opined that the bill is needed  to help children and seniors.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:00:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
A roll call vote was taken on the motion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
IN FAVOR: Kelly, Foster, Meyer, Chenault                                                                                        
OPPOSED: Nelson, Thomas, Crawford, Gara, Hawker, Joule                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltz was absent from the vote.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
The MOTION FAILED (4-6).                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:01:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #5:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 3, following "age":                                                                                         
          Insert  ", for  pregnant  women,  and for  disabled                                                                 
     persons; relating to the poverty guideline and cost                                                                      
     sharing for certain recipients of medical assistance"                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, lines 29 - 31:                                                                                                     
          Delete  "official  poverty  line  applicable  to  a                                                                   
     family of that size according to the federal Office of                                                                     
     Management and Budget"                                                                                                     
          Insert  "federal poverty  guideline for Alaska  set                                                               
     by  the United  States Department  of  Health and  Human                                                               
     Services [OFFICIAL POVERTY  LINE] applicable to a family                                                               
     of  that  size  [ACCORDING  TO  THE  FEDERAL  OFFICE  OF                                                                   
     MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET]"                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 31, through page 6, line 11:                                                                                  
          Delete all material and insert:                                                                                       
                    "(14)  pregnant women who are not                                                                           
          covered  under  (a)   of  this  section  and  whose                                                                   
          household  income does  not exceed  175 percent  of                                                               
          the  federal poverty  guideline for  Alaska set  by                                                               
          the  United States Department  of Health  and Human                                                               
          Services                                                                                                          
                         [(A)     $2,208   A  MONTH   IF  THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF TWO PERSONS;                                                                               
                         (B)      $2,782  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF THREE PERSONS;                                                                             
                         (C)      $3,355  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF FOUR PERSONS;                                                                              
                         (D)      $3,928  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF FIVE PERSONS;                                                                              
                         (E)      $4,501  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF SIX PERSONS;                                                                               
                         (F)      $5,074  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF SEVEN PERSONS;                                                                             
                         (G)      $5,647  A   MONTH  IF   THE                                                                   
               HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF EIGHT PERSONS;                                                                             
                         (H)     $5,647  A  MONTH,   PLUS  AN                                                                   
               ADDITIONAL $574 A MONTH FOR EACH EXTRA PERSON                                                                    
               ABOVE EIGHT PERSONS WHO IS IN THE HOUSEHOLD                                                                      
               IF THE HOUSEHOLD CONSISTS OF NINE PERSONS OR                                                                     
               MORE];"                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, following line 13:                                                                                                 
          Insert new bill sections to read:                                                                                     
        "* Sec. 6. AS 47.07 is amended by adding a new                                                                      
     section to read:                                                                                                           
               Sec. 47.07.022. Extended medical assistance                                                                    
          coverage  for children; costs.  (a) In  addition to                                                                 
          the  persons specified  in  AS 47.07.020, a  person                                                                   
          who  resides  in  the   state  and  who  meets  the                                                                   
          criteria under (b) of  this section is eligible for                                                                   
          extended medical assistance  coverage equivalent to                                                                   
          the  mandatory  and   optional  services  described                                                                   
          under AS 47.07.030 if  the person submits an annual                                                                   
          application  and contribution  as specified  in (c)                                                                   
          of this section.                                                                                                      
               (b)  The department shall administer a                                                                           
          program  of  extended medical  assistance  coverage                                                                   
          for  a person  who is  under  19 years  of age  and                                                                   
          whose  household  income  is  between 200  and  350                                                                   
          percent  of  the  federal   poverty  guideline  for                                                                   
          Alaska  set  by  the United  States  Department  of                                                                   
          Health and Human Services.                                                                                            
               (c)  The program administered under this                                                                         
          section  must  include  an annual  application  and                                                                   
          sliding  scale  contribution, payable  under  terms                                                                   
          specified    in   regulations   adopted    by   the                                                                   
          department. The regulations must                                                                                      
                    (1)  include the option of an assignment                                                                    
          of an  applicant's permanent fund dividend  and the                                                                   
          permanent   fund  dividend   of  a  parent,   legal                                                                   
          guardian, or other authorized  representative of an                                                                   
          applicant; and                                                                                                        
                    (2)  set the contribution amount for an                                                                     
          applicant in an amount  that, except as provided in                                                                   
          (d) and (e) of this  section, is not more than one-                                                                   
          half percent  of the federal poverty  guideline for                                                                   
          Alaska for the annual  household income of a family                                                                   
          of  two if  the applicant's  income is between  200                                                                   
          percent  and  225 percent  of  the federal  poverty                                                                   
          guideline  for Alaska, and increases  progressively                                                                   
          to  not  more  than  three percent  for  an  annual                                                                   
          household  income  for  a  family of  two  that  is                                                                   
          between 300 percent  and 350 percent of the federal                                                                   
          poverty guideline for Alaska.                                                                                         
               (d)  In addition to the annual contribution                                                                      
          established   under  (c)   of  this  section,   the                                                                   
          department  may  impose a  co-payment  of not  more                                                                   
          than   20   percent   of   medical   services   and                                                                   
          prescription  drug costs covered under  the program                                                                   
          for a person whose household  income is between 250                                                                   
          and  350 percent of  the federal poverty  guideline                                                                   
          for Alaska.                                                                                                           
               (e)  Except as provided in (f) of this                                                                           
          section,  the department  may set the  contribution                                                                   
          amount for an applicant  in an amount less than the                                                                   
          amount specified in  (c) and (d) of this section if                                                                   
          a  lesser  amount  is required  to  obtain  federal                                                                   
          approval   for  the   maximum   level  of   federal                                                                   
          financial  participation  in  the  state's  program                                                                   
          under  42 U.S.C.  1396 - 1396v  (Title XIX,  Social                                                                   
          Security Act)  or 42 U.S.C. 1397aa  - 1397jj (Title                                                                   
          XXI,   Social    Security   Act),    whichever   is                                                                   
          applicable.                                                                                                           
               (f)  The department may not provide for a                                                                        
          contribution amount  less than the amounts provided                                                                   
          in  (c) and (d)  of this  section for an  applicant                                                                   
          whose  household  income   is  not  less  than  250                                                                   
          percent  of  the  federal   poverty  guideline  for                                                                   
          Alaska  and  who  qualifies for  coverage  under  a                                                                   
          separate  health  insurance  policy if  the  policy                                                                   
          provides   coverage  that  is  equivalent   to  the                                                                   
          coverage  available  under  AS 47.07.030  for  that                                                                   
          applicant.                                                                                                            
               (g)  The department may limit or exclude a                                                                       
          person's   eligibility  for  coverage   under  this                                                                   
          section   by  regulation   for  an  applicant   who                                                                   
          qualifies for coverage,  with or without payment of                                                                   
          an  insurance  premium,  under  a  separate  health                                                                   
          insurance policy if the policy                                                                                        
                    (1)      provides    coverage   that   is                                                                   
          equivalent   to   the  coverage   available   under                                                                   
          AS 47.07.030 for the applicant;                                                                                       
                    (2)  is provided at a cost that does not                                                                    
          create an  undue hardship for the applicant  or the                                                                   
          applicant's  family; the department  shall describe                                                                   
          in  regulation the standards  for finding  an undue                                                                   
          hardship; and                                                                                                         
                    (3)  would exclude an applicant from                                                                        
          coverage under  42 U.S.C. 1396 - 1396v  (Title XIX,                                                                   
          Social Security  Act) or 42 U.S.C.  1397aa - 1397jj                                                                   
          (Title  XXI,  Social  Security  Act)  or  otherwise                                                                   
          jeopardize  federal  approval  of  the  state  plan                                                                   
          submitted under this section.                                                                                         
               (h)  The department may adopt regulations                                                                        
          necessary to implement this section.                                                                                  
        * Sec. 7. AS 47.07.042(d) is amended to read:                                                                         
               (d)  In addition to the requirements                                                                             
          established under (a)  and (b) of this section, the                                                                   
          department  shall [MAY]  require premiums  or cost-                                                               
          sharing  contributions   from  recipients  who  are                                                                   
          eligible  for  benefits   under  AS 47.07.022.  The                                                               
          [AS 47.07.020(b)(13)  AND WHOSE HOUSEHOLD INCOME IS                                                                   
          GREATER THAN  THE APPLICABLE AMOUNT SET  OUT IN (f)                                                                   
          OF THIS SECTION. IF THE DEPARTMENT REQUIRES                                                                           
          PREMIUMS OR COST-SHARING CONTRIBUTIONS UNDER THIS                                                                     
          SUBSECTION, THE] department                                                                                           
                    (1)  shall adopt in regulation a sliding                                                                    
          scale for those premiums or contributions based on                                                                    
          household income;                                                                                                     
                    (2)  may not exceed the maximums allowed                                                                    
          under federal law; and                                                                                                
                    (3)  shall implement a system by which                                                                      
          the department or its designee collects those                                                                         
          premiums or contributions."                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, following line 6:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 19. AS 47.07.042(f) is repealed."                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, following line 7:                                                                                                  
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec. 21. The uncodified law of the State of                                                                      
     Alaska is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                                         
          NOTIFICATION OF FEDERAL APPROVAL. The commissioner                                                                    
     of health and social services shall notify the revisor                                                                     
     of statutes when federal approval under sec. 23 of this                                                                    
     Act is obtained."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill sections accordingly.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 12:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 12"                                                                                                      
          Insert "sec. 14"                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 19:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 7"                                                                                                       
          Insert "sec. 9"                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 22, following "proceed":                                                                                      
          Insert "to seek federal approval and"                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 27:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 1 - 17"                                                                                                 
          Insert "secs. 1 - 5, 8 - 18, and 20"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Page 9, line 30:                                                                                                           
          Delete "secs. 14, 15, and 17"                                                                                         
          Insert "secs. 16, 17, and 20"                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 2:                                                                                                           
          Delete "Sections 18, 19(b), and 20"                                                                                   
          Insert "Sections 21, 22, 23(b), and 24"                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, following line 3:                                                                                                 
          Insert a new bill section to read:                                                                                    
        "* Sec.  26. Sections 6, 7,  and 19 of this  Act take                                                               
     effect six months from the  effective date of sec. 23 of                                                                   
     this   Act  or  upon   the  approval   of  the   changes                                                                   
     necessitated by secs. 6 and  7 of this Act by the United                                                                   
     States   Department  of   Health  and  Human   Services,                                                                   
     whichever is later."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Renumber the following bill section accordingly.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Page 10, line 4:                                                                                                           
          Delete "sec. 21"                                                                                                      
          Insert "secs. 25 and 26"                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  explained   that  the  amendment  is  a                                                                   
scaled-back  version  of  a  proposal   of  universal  health                                                                   
coverage for  kids by Senator  Wielechowski and himself.   It                                                                   
would  take advantage  of a  70  percent federal  match.   He                                                                   
spoke about Denali  Kid Care and the ability to  buy into the                                                                   
program  once the  175 percent  level has been  reached.   He                                                                   
referred to page 3 of an attachment  to Amendment #5 (copy on                                                                   
file), a spreadsheet  addressing modifications of  the Denali                                                                   
Kid  Care  program.   He  explained  that this  would  extend                                                                   
coverage  to families  that cannot  afford health  insurance,                                                                   
and cost  about $500 to  $1,300 per person.   He  pointed out                                                                   
that HB  198 would  cost the  state about  $1.5 million  more                                                                   
than  what is  currently being  paid.   This amendment  would                                                                   
cost the state around $1.5 million more than that.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:04:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara spoke  about  the savings  to the  state                                                                   
from  covering the  uninsured.   Six other  states are  doing                                                                   
some version  of this  plan.   It would  affect about  18,000                                                                   
people in Alaska.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  pointed   out  that  the   amendment                                                                   
introduces  a  significant  new policy  initiative  into  the                                                                   
statutory  framework.   He emphasized  that universal  health                                                                   
care  coverage does  not belong  in  this bill,  which is  an                                                                   
attempt to "fix  what we have", not to expand  programs.  The                                                                   
amendment  goes beyond  his comfort  level.   He agreed  that                                                                   
this issue needs to be addressed, but not in this bill.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:07:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault  asked  for clarification  on  an  earlier                                                                   
comment  made by Representative  Gara  regarding if a  higher                                                                   
level  of  income  results  in   higher  health  care  needs.                                                                   
Representative   Gara   explained  that   children's   health                                                                   
insurance costs  the state about  $1,200 to $1,400  per child                                                                   
with the  federal government picking  up about 70  percent of                                                                   
that.   If higher income  families are  allowed to buy  in, a                                                                   
higher  proportion with  kids with  significant health  needs                                                                   
are going  to buy in, according  to the Department  of Health                                                                   
and Social  Services.  Co-Chair  Chenault assumed  that there                                                                   
are two  scenarios; families  with private health  insurance,                                                                   
or those who have no health insurance at all.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker pointed  out that this discussion shows                                                                   
how complex the topic of universal health care is.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara WITHDREW Amendment #5.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:10:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET  CLARKE, ASSISTANT  COMMISSIONER,  DIVISION OF  FINANCE                                                                   
AND  MANAGEMENT SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  HEALTH AND  SOCIAL                                                                   
SERVICES, addressed the four fiscal  notes by the department.                                                                   
The  fiscal note  with the  component  labeled "Senior  Care"                                                                   
incorporates yesterday's Amendment  #1.  She related that the                                                                   
total  cost is $20,163,100  with  the bulk  of the costs  for                                                                   
benefits.  The  attachments describe the estimated  case load                                                                   
for  FY  08,  the dollar  amount  for  each  federal  poverty                                                                   
guideline  amount, and  the estimated  benefit cost  for each                                                                   
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Chenault asked if the  proposal is to roll over four                                                                   
positions  from   the  Senior  Care  program   and  hire  two                                                                   
additional  case load  managers.   Ms.  Clarke  said that  is                                                                   
correct.  The  two additional staff are due  to the increased                                                                   
case  load  and  the complexity  of  verification  of  income                                                                   
eligibility.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  explained how the fiscal  note relates                                                                   
to the human services  budget on the House Floor  today.  All                                                                   
costs  were  removed  from Senior  Care  expenses;  none  are                                                                   
duplicated.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:14:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  referenced the old Senior  Care program                                                                   
and  wondered  if there  was  a  Medicaid  match in  the  new                                                                   
program.  Ms.  Clarke explained that the old  Senior Care was                                                                   
a  combination  of   cash  and  a  Medicaid   match  for  the                                                                   
prescription  drug  program,  which  was quite  small.    The                                                                   
general  fund  for  that program  was  about  $10.6  million.                                                                   
Representative  Kelly   summarized  that  the   old  and  new                                                                   
programs were very similar.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Clarke pointed out that the  remaining three fiscal notes                                                                   
relate to  the Denali  Kid Care program.   She addressed  the                                                                   
Behavioral Health Medicaid Services  component fiscal note, a                                                                   
request for  $455,900.  It  is an estimate  of the  number of                                                                   
children  who  might  need the  services.      Representative                                                                   
Hawker  asked how  much  is general  funds  and  how much  is                                                                   
federal matching funds.  Ms. Clarke  replied that the federal                                                                   
receipts  are  estimated at  $311,100  and the  general  fund                                                                   
match is $144,800.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:17:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Clarke addressed  the Health  Care  Services -  Medicaid                                                                   
Services fiscal  note and clarified that $617,800  is general                                                                   
funds  and $1,577,600  is federal  funds.   She related  that                                                                   
these are all direct benefit programs.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Clarke spoke  to the  Public  Assistance Field  Services                                                                   
fiscal note,  the component where eligibility  is determined.                                                                   
The request is  for one eligibility worker to be  added.  The                                                                   
FY 08  costs are less  because it is  estimated that  it will                                                                   
take time to hire that individual.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault asked  for  what percent  of children  the                                                                   
state picks  up costs.  Ms.  Clarke thought between  40 to 50                                                                   
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  asked  if  the  federal  match  of  70                                                                   
percent on  the Denali  Kid Care  has increased or  decreased                                                                   
over the  last five years.   Ms. Clarke  replied that  it has                                                                   
decreased  slightly.     In  response  to  a   question  from                                                                   
Representative Kelly,  Ms. Clarke said the fiscal  note takes                                                                   
the decrease into account.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:20:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked if  the general  fund cost  of Kid                                                                   
Care  at 175  percent is  about  $750,000.   Ms. Clarke  said                                                                   
$784,000.  Representative  Gara asked how many  kids would be                                                                   
at 175 percent  and how many would  be at 200 percent.    Ms.                                                                   
Clarke  reported  that  there   would  be  just  under  1,300                                                                   
children at 175 percent, and double that at 200 percent.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  expressed gratitude to Representative  Hawker                                                                   
for his work on the bill.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:22:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Foster thanked  Representative Hawker,  also.                                                                   
He pointed  out the twelve  additional sponsors of  the bill,                                                                   
including himself.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Crawford  expressed strong  feelings  against                                                                   
the legislation.   He maintained that the longevity  bonus is                                                                   
a separate  issue.  He  indicated that  he is in  a difficult                                                                   
position when asked to vote for the bill.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:24:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thomas reported  that he did not feel the same                                                                   
way,  even as  a former  co-sponsor for  the longevity  bonus                                                                   
bill,  because  the Pioneers  of  Alaska and  AARP  expressed                                                                   
support for this  legislation.  He said he  feels comfortable                                                                   
voting in support of the bill.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT CSHB 198  (FIN) out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB  198 (FIN)  was REPORTED  out  of Committee  with a  "do                                                                   
pass"  recommendation and  with zero  fiscal note  #1 by  the                                                                   
Department of  Administration and with four  new fiscal notes                                                                   
by the Department of Health and Social Services.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:26:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 61                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act relating  to tax credits for  cash contributions                                                                   
     by taxpayers  that are accepted for  certain educational                                                                   
     purposes,  including vocational  education programs  and                                                                   
     courses  at the  secondary school  level; and  providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer MOVED to ADOPT Amendment #1:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 12                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 1, line 14                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 1                                                                                                             
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 27                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 29                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 30                                                                                                            
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 23                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
     Page 3, line 25                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 3, line 26                                                                                                            
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 18                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 20                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 4, line 21                                                                                                            
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 10                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 12                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 5, line 13                                                                                                            
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 2                                                                                                             
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 4                                                                                                             
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 5                                                                                                             
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 26                                                                                                            
     After: "association;"                                                                                                      
     Delete: "and"                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 28                                                                                                            
     Delete: "."                                                                                                                
     Insert: "; and"                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Page 6, line 29                                                                                                            
     Insert: "(3) a state-operated vocational technical                                                                         
     education and training school."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Make any conforming changes as necessary.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker OBJECTED.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REX SHATTUCK,  STAFF, REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN, explained  that                                                                   
the  amendment  addresses  the  concern that  AVTEC  was  not                                                                   
included  in  the  bill.   Amendment  #1  inserts  "a  state-                                                                   
operated vocational technical  education and training school"                                                                   
in seven places in the bill.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker WITHDREW  his OBJECTION. There being NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer spoke about the indeterminate fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:29:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster  MOVED to REPORT  CSHB 61 (FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee   with    individual   recommendations    and   the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal  note.  There being NO  OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 61 (FIN) was REPORTED out  of Committee with a "do pass"                                                                   
recommendation and  with indeterminate fiscal note  #1 by the                                                                   
Department of Revenue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:29:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
At-ease.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:32:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 92                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act removing the victims'  advocate and the staff of                                                                   
     the office  of victims' rights from the  jurisdiction of                                                                   
     the office of the ombudsman  in the legislative branch."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice  Chair   Stoltze,  co-sponsor,   spoke  about   his  and                                                                   
Representative   Samuels'  work   on   victim's  rights.   He                                                                   
explained how  the first  ombudsman position was  determined.                                                                   
The intent  of the bill is  to exempt the Office  of Victim's                                                                   
Rights  (OVR) from  jurisdiction of  the Ombudsman's  Office.                                                                   
He related the purpose and mission of the (OVR).                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:36:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly noted the  zero fiscal note.  Vice Chair                                                                   
Stoltze  explained  how  the   OVR  is  funded  by  PFD's  of                                                                   
convicted felons.   He emphasized that the bill  is not about                                                                   
increasing responsibilities in the OVR.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:38:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Crawford wondered  about  the history  behind                                                                   
the need  for the  bill.  Vice  Chair Stoltze explained  that                                                                   
the problem  is a  clash within agencies.   The caseload  for                                                                   
the  ombudsman consists  predominantly of  prisoners and  the                                                                   
caseload for  the OVR  is victims.   There are some  inherent                                                                   
conflicts  of interest.   This  bill  clarifies the  original                                                                   
legislative intent.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
In  response to  a question  from  Representative Gara,  Vice                                                                   
Chair Stoltze  replied  that the selection  of the  ombudsman                                                                   
was not a "political" process.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:41:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY HANSEN,  OFFICE OF VICTIMS  RIGHTS (OVR),  testified in                                                                   
favor  of HB  92.   She  explained that  OVR  is a  satellite                                                                   
office  of the  legislative  branch,  was created  to  assist                                                                   
crime victims  with legal assistance  free of charge,  and is                                                                   
patterned after  the ombudsman's office.   She referred  to a                                                                   
case in district court and highlighted  conflicts between the                                                                   
two agencies.   She  noted statutes  which prevent  attorneys                                                                   
from accessing  victims' files.   OVR  has access to  records                                                                   
such as  active criminal  investigations and clemency  files,                                                                   
which the ombudsman  does not.  She related  an inappropriate                                                                   
use of the ombudsman's office.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hansen   emphasized   that  the   OVR  reports   to  the                                                                   
legislature  and that there  is oversight  by the Alaska  Bar                                                                   
Association.  Any  fiscal impact would be negative,  as there                                                                   
would be no duplication of efforts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:47:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDA   LORD  JENKINS,   STATE  OMBUDSMAN,   OFFICE  OF   THE                                                                   
OMBUDSMAN,  spoke  in opposition  to  the legislation.    She                                                                   
reiterated  that the  legislation  resulted  from the  sexual                                                                   
assault of a mentally impaired  individual, who felt that OVR                                                                   
did not adequately  review the complaint.  She  observed that                                                                   
the Office  of the State  Ombudsman issued a  subpoena, which                                                                   
has not  been honored by OVR.   She noted that  they continue                                                                   
to   refer   individuals   to  OVR,   but   emphasized   that                                                                   
independence  is  needed  to   allow  review  of  OVR.    She                                                                   
suggested  that OVR  statutes do  not allow  OVR to speak  to                                                                   
legislators  about complaints  without the victim's  consent.                                                                   
She added  that OVR is required  to keep confidentiality  and                                                                   
that legislative  oversight would not fall within  the narrow                                                                   
exception  in AS 24.65.120.    She urged a  legal opinion  by                                                                   
legislative  counsel  regarding   OVR's  ability  to  discuss                                                                   
specific  case  information  with  legislators.   It  is  not                                                                   
within  the power  of the Office  of the  State Ombudsman  to                                                                   
contravene  a discretionary  action taken  by a  governmental                                                                   
agency.  She related further the  reasons behind that opinion                                                                   
and when  alternate courses  of action could  be taken.   She                                                                   
maintained  that the large  caseload has  led to  complaints.                                                                   
She maintained it  is not an issue of importance  between the                                                                   
agencies, or  a turf  war, but that  the ombudsman  does have                                                                   
authorization to investigate complaints against OVR.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:55:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara questioned  if the concern  investigated                                                                   
was valid.   Ms. Jenkins  stated that  they were not  able to                                                                   
investigate the case because OVR has not released records.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RALPH  SAMUELS, co-sponsor explained  that the                                                                   
constitutional  amendment  in  1994  -  the  Victim's  Rights                                                                   
Amendment  -  led to  the  creation  of  the OVR,  which  was                                                                   
intended to be  an ombudsman's office and answer  directly to                                                                   
the legislature.   He maintained  that the intent  was clear.                                                                   
The bill  makes it  clear that  both agencies  answer to  the                                                                   
legislature.  The  intent was for them to be  sister agencies                                                                   
with separate functions.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:59:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a  question  by  Representative  Gara,  Ms.                                                                   
Jenkins said she could not answer  regarding the substance of                                                                   
the  complaint,  but  noted  that there  had  only  been  two                                                                   
complaints  about the quality  of OVR's  reviews.   The prior                                                                   
complaint  was decided  in support  of  OVR.   Representative                                                                   
Gara  spoke in  sympathy for  the  ombudsman's position,  but                                                                   
also understood the reasoning behind the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:02:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In  response  to  a question  by  Representative  Kelly,  Ms.                                                                   
Jenkins reiterated her concern  that there is a gap in review                                                                   
for the investigation of complaints regarding OVR.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to  REPORT HB 92 out of Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB  92  was  REPORTED  out of  Committee  with  a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation   and  with  zero   fiscal  note  #1   by  the                                                                   
Legislative Affairs Agency.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 166                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  relating to  contributions from permanent  fund                                                                   
     dividends   to   community   foundations,   to   certain                                                                   
     educational   organizations,   and  to   certain   other                                                                   
     charitable organizations  that provide a  positive youth                                                                   
     development program,  workforce development, aid  to the                                                                   
     arts,  or aid and  services to  the elderly,  low-income                                                                   
     individuals,   individuals   in  emergency   situations,                                                                   
     disabled   individuals,  or   individuals  with   mental                                                                   
     illness; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas  spoke in  support  of  HB 166,  which                                                                   
would attempt  to increase private philanthropy  in Alaska by                                                                   
giving people  an option of donating  a portion of  their PFD                                                                   
to their  favorite charity.   Alaskans  who make $100,000  or                                                                   
more,  rank  among  the  lowest  in  the  nation  as  far  as                                                                   
percentage of  income donated to charities.   The legislation                                                                   
allows  a PFD  check  off, which  should  allow charities  to                                                                   
benefit.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thomas related  that HB 166 also requires that                                                                   
the charity meet  certain criteria before it can  be place on                                                                   
the list.  The Rasmuson Foundation  has pledged to fully fund                                                                   
the administrative  costs of the program for  the first three                                                                   
years of  the program, creating  a zero fiscal impact  on the                                                                   
state in these crucial beginning  years.  He pointed out that                                                                   
the bill would sunset in 2010.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas  noted  that  they  have  had  several                                                                   
requests for  charities to  be included on  the list.   There                                                                   
are approximately 5,000 non-profit charities.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas urged  the committee  to support  this                                                                   
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:10:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSEMARY   HAGEVIG,  CATHOLIC   COMMUNITY  SERVICES,   stated                                                                   
support for last  year's version of the bill, as  well as for                                                                   
the current  legislation.  She thanked  Representative Thomas                                                                   
and the  Rasmuson Foundation.   She reported that  addressing                                                                   
the  needs  of  the  needy in  our  population  is  a  shared                                                                   
responsibility, not only by the  agencies and government, but                                                                   
also  by society  as  a  whole.   The  bill would  provide  a                                                                   
convenient way for the general population to help.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:12:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRENDA  HEWITT, UNITED  WAY, SOUTHEAST  ALSAKA, testified  in                                                                   
favor of the bill.  She pointed out the zero fiscal note.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JEFF CLARKE,  VICE PRESIDENT, RASMUSON FOUNDATION,  testified                                                                   
in support of the legislation.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker asked  if  the commitment  is for  the                                                                   
Rasmuson Foundation  to underwrite  the first three  years of                                                                   
the program.  Mr. Clarke said yes.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  asked if it is  the same legislation  as last                                                                   
year.   Mr. Clarke  replied that  it is  the same except  the                                                                   
eligibility   for   participating  organizations   has   been                                                                   
broadened.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair  Stoltze wondered  about anticipated  costs.   Mr.                                                                   
Clarke  asked which  costs he  is referring  to.  Vice  Chair                                                                   
Stoltze  wanted  information  about  continuing  costs  after                                                                   
three  years.   Mr.  Clarke  said  he  could not  answer  the                                                                   
question at this time.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:17:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY   BURNETT,   DIRECTOR,   DIVISION   OF   ADMINISTRATIVE                                                                   
SERVICES,  DEPARTMENT  OF  REVENUE, brought  attention  to  a                                                                   
couple of issues.  The biggest  concern is the possibility of                                                                   
not  being  able  to  implement  the program  by  the  FY  08                                                                   
dividend season  due to technical  problems.   The department                                                                   
does  not want  to  have a  problem with  incorrectly  paying                                                                   
dividends due to  this legislation.  He suggested  having the                                                                   
legislation take effect  for the FY 09 dividend  season.  The                                                                   
second  issue  is  that the  legislation  allows  for  dollar                                                                   
amount  payments   as  well  as   percentage  amounts.     He                                                                   
maintained   that  there   are  problems   with  allowing   a                                                                   
percentage amount.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:20:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Burnett  addressed the fiscal  note by the  Department of                                                                   
Revenue  for  $320,300.    It   assumes  that  the  Rasmussen                                                                   
Foundation would  pay the costs of program  implementation of                                                                   
$45,000  in FY  07, and  about $91,000  a year  the next  two                                                                   
years.  The bill  has a sunset date of 2010.   On-going costs                                                                   
beyond the three  years would be expected to be  picked up as                                                                   
administrative   costs   against  the   charities   receiving                                                                   
contributions.   If the bill  moves, refinements can  be made                                                                   
to the fiscal note in the future.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  if the bill,  as written,  allows                                                                   
for  passing future  costs,  beyond three  years,  on to  the                                                                   
charities.  Mr.  Burnett replied that there is  a sunset, and                                                                   
it also  does not  allow PFD  funds to  pay for the  program.                                                                   
Representative  Gara  asked if  the  bill continues,  if  the                                                                   
administrative  charge  would go  to the  individual  agency.                                                                   
Mr. Burnett  thought the  bill did not  have a provision  for                                                                   
that at this point.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara suggested  reminding people how much they                                                                   
gave each year  to promote further giving.   Mr. Burnett said                                                                   
that a  1099 would  have information  as to  where the  money                                                                   
went.   Mr. Burnett  thought the  suggestion was feasible  as                                                                   
part of the program.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
3:24:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker  asked about limiting the  mechanism to                                                                   
fixed dollar  amounts rather than  percentages.   He wondered                                                                   
where that  idea came from.   Mr. Burnett thought it  came up                                                                   
in  State Affairs.   Representative  Hawker  agreed with  the                                                                   
idea.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Vice Chair Stoltze  asked why "for profit"  organizations are                                                                   
not  included.   Mr. Burnett  reported  that that  discussion                                                                   
also took place  in State Affairs.  He said that  is a policy                                                                   
decision, not the Department of Revenue's call.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Crawford asked what  happens if one  does not                                                                   
itemize on  income tax.   He wondered  how this  contribution                                                                   
would be treated.  Mr. Burnett  said it would be allowable as                                                                   
a deduction and would not show up as income.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:28:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas MOVED  to  ADOPT Conceptual  Amendment                                                                   
#1,  on page  1, line  12,  add "more"  after  "$100 or"  and                                                                   
delete  all   reference  to  percentages.     Co-Chair  Meyer                                                                   
OBJECTED.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked for  clarification  regarding  if                                                                   
more than $100 could be donated.   Representative Thomas said                                                                   
yes.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker OBJECTED.   He thought "or more" should                                                                   
be further defined.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara suggested  "any amount up to the value of                                                                   
the dividend."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:31:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer asked for Mr. Burnett's  opinion.  Mr. Burnett                                                                   
thought it  should be  in clear  increments, the simpler  the                                                                   
better, up  to the value of the  dividend.  He said  he could                                                                   
live with the conceptual amendment.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  restated   that  the  intent  of  the                                                                   
conceptual amendment  is to provide  a fixed increment  up to                                                                   
the amount of the dividend.    The sponsor and the department                                                                   
can work together to determine the appropriate increment.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker   WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION   to  adopt                                                                   
Conceptual Amendment #1.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  suggested  having  a  minimum  amount.                                                                   
Representative    Thomas   said    $25   is   the    minimum.                                                                   
Representative  Kelly asked  what happens  if a  mathematical                                                                   
mistake is made.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker noted that  the $25 floor  was already                                                                   
fixed in statute.   There are specific provisions  already in                                                                   
the bill to address mathematical mistakes.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
There  being NO  further OBJECTION,  Conceptual Amendment  #1                                                                   
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:35:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer MOVED  to ADOPT  Conceptual  Amendment #2  to                                                                   
change the date to begin in FY 09.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Thomas  OBJECTED.     He  argued   that  the                                                                   
legislation should begin as soon as possible.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Burnett   reiterated  that  there  are   some  technical                                                                   
concerns  with  implementing  the  bill due  to  the  ongoing                                                                   
rewrite of  the PFD system.   This bill cannot  take priority                                                                   
over  getting an  online application  that works.   He  noted                                                                   
that the department is working  with the Rasmussen Foundation                                                                   
to make the bill work.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas   requested  to  be  updated   on  the                                                                   
problems at the  Department of Revenue.  Mr.  Burnett related                                                                   
that PFD  problems in the  past have  nothing to do  with the                                                                   
technical rewrite problems of  the online application system.                                                                   
He  described  a  capital  project  regarding  rewriting  the                                                                   
system.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:39:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Hawker shared the  anxieties of the department                                                                   
over putting  the bill into  action.  He suggested  extending                                                                   
the date.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thomas suggested  adding some intent language.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  suggested   withdrawing   Conceptual                                                                   
Amendment #2.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer WITHDREW Conceptual Amendment #2.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:41:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker MOVED  to  ADOPT Conceptual  Amendment                                                                   
#3:                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "It  is   the  intent  of   the  legislature   that  the                                                                   
     department  does  its absolute  best  to accomplish  the                                                                   
     requirements   of  the  bill   for  the  2008   dividend                                                                   
     distribution.  However, the  legislature recognizes that                                                                   
     if  there are  insurmountable  technical impediments  to                                                                   
     achieving that  date that the effective  (applicability)                                                                   
     dates would shift back one  year: 2009, 2010, and 2011."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     (In the  event that the  applicability date  is shifted,                                                                   
     the sunset date should also be shifted.)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:43:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster thanked the Rasmuson Foundation for                                                                       
their contributions.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Foster MOVED to REPORT CSHB 166 (FIN), as                                                                        
amended, out of Committee, with individual recommendations                                                                      
and the accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 166 (FIN) was reported out of Committee with a "do                                                                         
pass" recommendation and with a new fiscal note by the                                                                          
Department of Revenue.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:44 PM.                                                                                           

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