Legislature(2007 - 2008)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/10/2008 08:30 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= SB 119 SCHOOL LIBRARY GRANTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSB 119(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 303 SANITATION AND WATER GRANTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS SB 303(FIN) Out of Committee
+= SB 259 EFFECTIVE DATE: MEDICAL ASSISTANCE LAWS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Held Over to 4/11/08 @ 8:30>
+ SB 218 CHILD SAFETY SEATS & SEAT BELTS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Held Over to 4/11/08 @ 8:30>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= SB 120 UNEMPLOYMENT COMP: BENEFITS/RECORDS TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Held Over to 4/11/08 @ 8:30>
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 10, 2008                                                                                           
                         9:02 A.M.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer called the House Finance Committee meeting to                                                                    
order at 9:02:43 AM.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Chenault, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Vice-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Mike Hawker                                                                                                      
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Mary Nelson                                                                                                      
Representative Bill Thomas Jr.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Suzanne Armstrong, Staff, Representative  Kevin Meyer; Darwin                                                                   
Peterson,  Staff,  Senator Bert  Steadman;  Ginny  Austerman,                                                                   
Staff, Senator Donny Olson; Ginger  Blaisdell, Staff, Senator                                                                   
Lyda Green                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Bill Griffith, Facilities Program Manager, Division of                                                                          
Water, Department of Environmental Conservation, Anchorage                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CS SB 119(RLS)                                                                                                                  
          An  Act  relating  to  grant  programs  to  support                                                                   
          libraries.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
          HCS SB 119(FIN) was  reported out of Committee with                                                                   
          a "do  pass" recommendation and  with indeterminate                                                                   
          note  #3 by the Department  of Education  and Early                                                                   
          Development  and  indeterminate   note  #4  by  the                                                                   
          Senate Rules Committee.                                                                                               
CS SB 120(FIN)                                                                                                                  
          An   Act   relating   to  disclosure   of   certain                                                                   
          information  from the records of the  Department of                                                                   
          Labor  and Workforce  Development and limiting  the                                                                   
          use  of  the  disclosed  information,  and  to  the                                                                   
          calculation    and    payment    of    unemployment                                                                   
          compensation   benefits;  and   providing  for   an                                                                   
          effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          CS SB 120(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                           
CS SB 218(FIN)                                                                                                                  
          An Act  relating to use  of child safety  seats and                                                                   
          seat belts.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
          CS SB 218(FIN) was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                           
SB 259    An  Act repealing  certain  provisions relating  to                                                                   
          applications   for  medical  assistance   coverage;                                                                   
          making  certain  provisions of  ch.  96, SLA  2006,                                                                   
          retroactive;  providing  for an  effective date  by                                                                   
          repealing an effective  date section in ch. 96, SLA                                                                   
          2006; providing  for an effective date  for certain                                                                   
          sections of ch. 96,  SLA 2006; and providing for an                                                                   
          effective date.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          SB 259 was SCHEDULED but not HEARD.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SB 303    An Act  relating to  certain grants awarded  by the                                                                   
         Department of Environmental Conservation.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
          HCS SB 303(FIN) was reported out of Committee with                                                                    
          a  "do pass"  recommendation  and with  a new  zero                                                                   
          note by the House Finance Committee.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
9:04:51 AM                                                                                                                    
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 119(RLS)                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to grant programs to support libraries.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Chenault MOVED  to ADOPT  work draft  #25-LS0749\W,                                                                   
Mischel,  4/8/08  as  the  version of  the  bill  before  the                                                                   
Committee.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:06:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZANNE   ARMSTRONG,  STAFF,   REPRESENTATIVE  KEVIN   MEYER,                                                                   
explained that  the changes to  the work draft occur  on Page                                                                   
2, Section  2, which deals  with the library  major expansion                                                                   
matching grant program.  The changes are as follows:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
   ·    Subsection (d), Lines 4 - 8, provides that the                                                                          
        Department  in developing  regulations  to  implement                                                                   
        the   matching    grant   program   will    establish                                                                   
        regulations  for the  consideration  of  a  community                                                                   
        that does not currently  have a public library.   The                                                                   
        public library must be publically  owned and operated                                                                   
        by the  community  and can  not  be  a public  school                                                                   
        library.                                                                                                                
   ·    On Page 2, Line 14, the $10,000 dollar eligibility                                                                      
        cap was removed.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  clarified  that  every  community  would  be                                                                   
eligible  for the  grants and  preference would  be made  for                                                                   
those that do not currently have a library.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  asked the  smallest  qualifying  area.                                                                   
Ms. Armstrong responded  that in order for a  community to be                                                                   
eligible, the library must be  publically owned & operated by                                                                   
a community and  that it can not be a public  school library.                                                                   
With no population  cap, it is assumed that  a community must                                                                   
have  a public  library  or  consider constructing  a  public                                                                   
library  owned  by the  local  government and  providing  50%                                                                   
matching funds.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:08:54 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze asked about  "library" spaces that are not                                                                   
actually  libraries but  offer lending  book services  and if                                                                   
they could apply.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:09:45 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DARWIN PETERSON, STAFF, SENATOR  BERT STEADMAN, referenced AS                                                                   
14.56.400, which describes what a public library is.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     A  public library  established  under this  section                                                                        
     shall  provide  the  following   services  free  of                                                                        
     charge  to the  residences of  the municipality  or                                                                        
     community:                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
        o Establish and maintain a collection of books                                                                          
          & materials for loaning;                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
        o Provide access to inner library loan                                                                                  
          services;                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        o Provide reading or educational programming                                                                            
          for children; and                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
        o Provide reference information.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze questioned  if they must meet all criteria                                                                   
to qualify.   Mr. Peterson stated they would  have to provide                                                                   
all  criteria  and would  need  to  be publically  owned  and                                                                   
operated.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:12:09 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked about the original  preference for                                                                   
the smaller communities and where  that language was located.                                                                   
Ms. Armstrong  pointed out  Page 2,  the new subsection  (d),                                                                   
Lines 4-8,  discusses the eligibility standards  establishing                                                                   
an  eligibility   priority  for  applications   submitted  by                                                                   
communities  that do  not currently  have  a public  library.                                                                   
She  pointed  out  concern  that  if  all  libraries  in  all                                                                   
communities would be eligible,  the smaller communities could                                                                   
fall lower on the list.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  understood  that  the  small  community                                                                   
preference was  being reduced.   The larger communities  will                                                                   
be able to  have major expansion proposals;  however, a small                                                                   
community is  more likely to need  repair and not  to expand.                                                                   
He pointed out  that the way the bill is written,  the entity                                                                   
can  only  apply  for  a  grant  for  construction  or  major                                                                   
expansion.  He  asked about language to cover  major repairs.                                                                   
Mr.  Peterson advised  that  in order  to  qualify for  major                                                                   
expansion, the community  would need to provide  20% of those                                                                   
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
9:15:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  repeated   his  query  regarding  major                                                                   
repairs.   Mr. Peterson explained  that the sponsor  does not                                                                   
intend to broaden  the program.  He thought  that the Capital                                                                   
budget should  be the  place to address  issues such  as roof                                                                   
repairs.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:16:30 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GINNY  AUSTERMAN,   STAFF,  SENATOR  DONNY   OLSON,  provided                                                                   
background  that the bill,  which began  as a school  library                                                                   
grant collection to address items  not normally covered.  She                                                                   
pointed out  that Senator Olson  does support  the additional                                                                   
changes.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:17:18 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly discussed his concerns:                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
   ·    Shifts occurring to the broadening use of internet                                                                      
        services; and the                                                                                                       
   ·    Shrinking community sizes.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
He wanted to know that the communities  actually applying for                                                                   
the grants are thriving.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:19:07 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Armstrong   pointed  out  that  there   are  eligibility                                                                   
requirements  and  that  the local  government  must  provide                                                                   
matching funds  as well as  private donors.   Those proposals                                                                   
would be  submitted with the  application and  the Department                                                                   
of Commerce,  Community and  Economic Development  would make                                                                   
the determination.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:19:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule  asked if the sponsor supports  the work                                                                   
draft.  Ms. Austerman said he does.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Joule  was disappointed  that  the  community                                                                   
size had been eliminated.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:21:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Chenault   requested    testimony   on   the   two                                                                   
indeterminate fiscal notes.  Mr.  Peterson explained that the                                                                   
Department had originally requested  a new position to manage                                                                   
the program and that request was  zeroed out; the note before                                                                   
the Committee  indicates that  intent.  The regulations  will                                                                   
be  promulgated during  the interim  and  the libraries  will                                                                   
submit  their applications  and be ranked.   The  Legislature                                                                   
will then  have the opportunity  to appropriate the  funds if                                                                   
they so choose.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thomas referenced  Page 3, Line 23, the use of                                                                   
"may", while on Page 3, Line 5  uses "shall".  He pointed out                                                                   
that  "shall"  was  used  consistently  throughout  the  bill                                                                   
except the referenced  on Page 3.  He advised  that it should                                                                   
be  consistent throughout  the  bill.   Ms. Austerman  agreed                                                                   
that was  reasonable.   Ms. Armstrong  pointed out  there are                                                                   
two  distinct programs  within the  bill, both  of which  the                                                                   
Department would be considering.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:24:51 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair    Stoltze    recalled     previous    legislation                                                                   
highlighting  the  size of  a  municipality being  10,000  or                                                                   
less, however,  the work draft expands small  community size.                                                                   
He  thought it  would be  difficult  for certain  populations                                                                   
qualifying and  that there  were inequities being  addressed.                                                                   
He applauded the work done in the work draft.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:27:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Thomas MOVED to  ADOPT conceptual Amendment 1,                                                                   
Page  3,  Line  23, deleting  "may"  and  inserting  "shall".                                                                   
There being NO OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:28:08 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze MOVED to  REPORT HCS  SB 119(FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying fiscal notes.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was                                                                   
so ordered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HCS SB  119(FIN) was  reported  out of Committee  with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with  indeterminate note #3  by the                                                                   
Department   of   Education   and   Early   Development   and                                                                   
indeterminate note #4 by the Senate Rules Committee.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:28:46 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATE BILL NO. 303                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     An Act relating to certain grants awarded by the                                                                           
     Department of Environmental Conservation.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
GINGER BLAISDELL,  STAFF, SENATOR  LYDA GREEN, addressed  the                                                                   
impact of  the bill by changing  the population  criteria for                                                                   
certain  match  requirements  on water  and  sewer  projects,                                                                   
increasing the municipality  size from 5,000 to  10,000.  The                                                                   
changes  would impact  positively eight  communities.   There                                                                   
are  only   three  communities   above  the  10,000   mark  -                                                                   
Anchorage, Fairbanks & Juneau.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
She  noted  that  the  cost  for  construction  projects  has                                                                   
significantly especially for costs  associated with steel and                                                                   
concrete.  Some projects have  become unattainable because of                                                                   
these  costs.   The  bill provides  a  higher State  matching                                                                   
rate, which  provides communities  opportunity for   improved                                                                   
water and sewer systems.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  questioned why the three  largest communities                                                                   
had been excluded.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:32:39 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Blaisdell  agreed  every community  has been impacted  by                                                                   
high construction  costs, yet,  the hope  is that the  denser                                                                   
populated areas could absorb costs easier.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Stoltze  countered the  reasoning, pointed  out an                                                                   
infrastructure  project  ongoing in  Palmer.   Ms.  Blaisdell                                                                   
agreed.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:34:02 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thomas questioned how  the 15,000  number had                                                                   
been determined.   Ms. Blaisdell  said 10,000 was a  good cut                                                                   
off point; she did not know why  a higher number had not been                                                                   
considered.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  observed  that 10,000  is  a  consistent                                                                   
number for  determining a  small community  and is  used over                                                                   
and over in  the State.  Co-Chair Meyer was  more comfortable                                                                   
with the 5,000  resident number because that group  has a tax                                                                   
base.    Co-Chair  Meyer  observed that  SB  303  is  another                                                                   
revenue sharing  bill.   Ms. Blaisdell  agreed it helps  with                                                                   
municipal revenue.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  interpreted that  it  is a  "weighted"                                                                   
revenue sharing bill.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:36:12 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  referenced  Page 1,  Line  14,  recommending                                                                   
changing 50%  to 60%.  Ms.  Blasdell responded that  would be                                                                   
acceptable.   She recommended that  if that change  was made,                                                                   
then  Page  2,   Lines  1-5  should  be   deleted,  following                                                                   
"persons".                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  referenced  the  $3.7  million  dollars                                                                   
fiscal  note asking  why it  was  projected to  end in  FY09.                                                                   
When  the grant  ends, would  the Department  then cover  the                                                                   
remaining  costs.  Ms.  Blasdell explained  that the  way the                                                                   
municipal matching  grant program  works for water  and sewer                                                                   
projects   is  that   the  communities   send  in   extensive                                                                   
applications  and  then those  are  ranked by  Department  of                                                                   
Environmental  Conservation  and   the  highest  priority  is                                                                   
determined.   The determination  regarding whether  a project                                                                   
is included or not is determined by the appropriation cap.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Currently, the  Governor's Office  has requested  $26 million                                                                   
General  Fund  matching  dollars  for those  projects.    The                                                                   
proposed fiscal  notes assume  that the same projects,  which                                                                   
would have been matched under  the $26 million dollar amount,                                                                   
would  have  a  higher  match  rate  and  would  provide  the                                                                   
additional  cost  for  the  impacted   programs.    The  zero                                                                   
indication for  FY10 resulted because the Department  has not                                                                   
considered any applications yet.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:39:10 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara asked if the  State currently only spends                                                                   
$26  million  dollars  on  grant  programs.    Ms.  Blaisdell                                                                   
replied that  was correct for  the General Fund  dollars only                                                                   
and that there are also federal clean water funds.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara attempted  to determine  if the  request                                                                   
was a "reshuffling of the spending dollars".                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL GRIFFITH, FACILITIES PROGRAM  MANAGER, DIVISON OF WATER,                                                                   
DEPARTMENT  OF   ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION   testified  via                                                                   
teleconference,  advised that the  fiscal effect of  the bill                                                                   
would be  that the Department  would need more  General Funds                                                                   
to provide  grants  for the same  number of  projects.   Each                                                                   
year, the Department  provides a new priority  list including                                                                   
the grant  requests made that year.   Funds would need  to be                                                                   
allocated by the Legislature each  year to fund the projects.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  worried   about  the  proposed  expense                                                                   
associated  with the  projects.   He  indicated concerns  for                                                                   
communities that  currently have no  water and/or sewer.   He                                                                 
mentioned the need to make changes  for communities currently                                                                   
using "honey-buckets".   He asked what portion  goes to those                                                                   
communities.  Mr. Griffith replied  those projects are funded                                                                   
through the  Village Safe Water  Program, federal  funds, 75%                                                                   
federal  funds  and 25%  State  match  dollars.   That  is  a                                                                   
separate program and separate  budget request.  The municipal                                                                   
matching grant projects are 100% State funding.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:42:44 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara inquired  the current  amount the  State                                                                   
spends on the Village  Safe Water projects and if  there is a                                                                   
back log  for those  projects.   Mr. Griffith responded  that                                                                   
each  year,  the  Department  attempts  to  capture  all  the                                                                   
available federal  funds for such  projects and  requests the                                                                   
necessary State dollars to capture those fund matches.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  reiterated  concern  for areas  of  the                                                                   
State  that do  not have  flush  toilets and  asked if  those                                                                   
projects would  be fully funded.   Mr. Griffith did  not have                                                                   
the  numbers available;  typically,  the Department  requests                                                                   
the same  or more than  the State portion.   The  funding for                                                                   
the  Village Safe  Water projects  this year  was around  $30                                                                   
million  dollars.  He  advised that  the Department  captures                                                                   
three times that amount in federal funds.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara inquired if  there was a project backlog.                                                                   
Mr. Griffith replied  there is a backlog and  that currently,                                                                   
there is  an unfunded  need for both  the Village  Safe Water                                                                   
projects  &  the  municipal matching  grant  projects.    The                                                                   
Department is never able to fully  fund all the requests each                                                                   
year.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:45:19 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze  pointed  out  that last  year,  a  total                                                                   
spending of $120 million dollars  was provided to Alaska.  He                                                                   
pointed out  that there  are people in  his district  that do                                                                   
not  have safe  drinking water  and have  failed septic  tank                                                                   
issues.     The  problems  are   not  regional   and  placing                                                                   
infrastructure  near regional  hospitals  is  important.   He                                                                   
suggested  the needs were  being presented  from a  one-sided                                                                   
point of view and  that there are areas in urban  Alaska that                                                                   
also have serious concerns.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:47:49 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Hawker  echoed   similar  sentiments.     He                                                                   
commented  on the  allocation  and rationing  of the  State's                                                                   
capital investment and the consideration  of how well managed                                                                   
the money is spent  and how extensive the projects  are.  The                                                                   
Village  Safe   Water  projects  has  experienced   financial                                                                   
mismanagement over the years.   The Department has undertaken                                                                   
a significant  effort to  remedy  the  situation.   He warned                                                                   
that it is important to know all  the facts that are involved                                                                   
in making allocation choices.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  questioned how the program would  be affected                                                                   
if the percentage was changed  from 50% to 60%.  Mr. Griffith                                                                   
responded that  the Department was  working on a  fiscal note                                                                   
indicating  those changes  and acknowledged  it will  require                                                                   
additional funds.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wanted to see "honey-buckets"  disappear                                                                   
in  Alaska.   Any  community that  is  still  using them  has                                                                   
serious  needs.    He  stressed  that  mismanagement  of  the                                                                   
program should not result in people  being deprived of proper                                                                   
water and sewer.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara did not agree  with spending  more money                                                                   
on  the larger  municipality size  from 5,000  to 10,000  and                                                                   
then 50,000  to 60,000 for Anchorage.   He worried  about the                                                                   
smallest communities with fewer  than 1,000 receiving the 85%                                                                   
match.   He believed  that the amendment  would help  the mid                                                                   
and  big   size  communities   but  would  leave   the  small                                                                   
communities  without  funding dollars.    He  urged that  all                                                                   
community size numbers be adjusted.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
9:51:05 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Nelson  addressed   the  Village  Safe  Water                                                                   
Program  concerns.   She  noted  that she  had  worked for  a                                                                   
contractor in that program.  She  emphasized that many of the                                                                   
villages  have  had  their  concerns  addressed.    The  ones                                                                   
currently  on  the  list  are  the ones  that  are  the  most                                                                   
challenging and expensive.  She  acknowledged there are unmet                                                                   
village  needs,  while  pointing   out  how  expensive  those                                                                   
projects will be.  She reiterated the challenges.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:53:01 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  requested  a  list  of  the  statewide                                                                   
locations that have more than  50 people still on the "honey-                                                                   
bucket" system.   He appreciated  the progress the  State has                                                                   
made.   He  worried  about  the  lower limit  and  encouraged                                                                   
focusing  on  the  areas  with  a  population  density.    He                                                                   
reminded members  that the bill is about revenue  sharing and                                                                   
that he intended to vote against it.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:55:00 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  acknowledged the  increase to steel  and pipe                                                                   
costs and  realized there  is a  need and  demand in  his own                                                                   
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Meyer  MOVED to  ADOPT Amendment 1  to Page  1, Line                                                                   
14,  deleting  "50"  and  inserting "60".    There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was adopted.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Meyer  MOVED  to  ADOPT  Amendment  2  to  Page  2,                                                                   
deleting all language  on Line 1 to the end of  the bill from                                                                   
"however, if a municipality.."   There being NO OBJECTION, it                                                                   
was deleted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT  Amendment 3, Page 1, Line                                                                   
11, deleting  "1,000" and inserting "2,000".   Representative                                                                   
Hawker OBJECTED.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
9:56:26 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Hawker  asked   which  communities  would  be                                                                   
affected by  that change.   Representative Gara did  not know                                                                   
but wanted to  make sure that all statewide  communities were                                                                   
taken care of.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze pointed  out  that technically,  Line  13                                                                   
would also need to be changed.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Nelson  interjected that  she  only knew  one                                                                   
village  over  1,000,  Hooper  Bay.    Representative  Hawker                                                                   
listed  the other areas  affected by  that change:  Wrangell,                                                                   
North Pole, Houston, Hooper Bay, Craig and Delta Junction.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
9:57:21 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
In response  to Representative Kelly, Mr.  Griffith explained                                                                   
that communities would be able  to participate in either one.                                                                   
In  order to  be eligible  for  the Village  Safe Water,  all                                                                   
second  class  cities  would  be  if  they  were  over  1,000                                                                   
residents.  The municipal matching  grants are distributed to                                                                   
the first class cities with a population of over 600.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly  believed  that  information  clarifies                                                                   
that that the scale should not  be adjusted; he spoke against                                                                   
the amendment.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara WITHDREW Amendment 3.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:59:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Kelly agreed that  when the State  grows into                                                                   
that situation, the idea should be revisited.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Nelson asked  the position  of Hooper  Bay on                                                                   
the Village Safe  Water list.  Mr. Griffith  interjected that                                                                   
the Department  currently has a large, aggressive  project to                                                                   
pipe  water and  sewer system  into  that area.   Funding  is                                                                   
available for that project from  the three year priority list                                                                   
to keep the project going for the next 2-4 years.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Nelson asked if  Amendment 3 would  have been                                                                   
beneficial for  that community.  Mr. Griffith  responded that                                                                   
the amendment would  not have affected that  project.  Hooper                                                                   
Bay  is eligible  under the  Village Safe  Water program  for                                                                   
100% grants.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:02:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Stoltze MOVED to  REPORT HCS  SB 303(FIN)  out of                                                                   
Committee  with  individual  recommendations   and  with  the                                                                   
accompanying zero note.  There  being NO OBJECTION, it was so                                                                   
ordered.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HCS SB  303(FIN) was  reported  out of Committee  with  a "do                                                                   
pass" recommendation  and with a  new zero note by  the House                                                                   
Finance Committee.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 10:02 A.M.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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