Legislature(2009 - 2010)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/24/2009 01:30 PM FINANCE


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01:32:55 PM Start
01:34:39 PM Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees Confirmations: Dr. William Doolittle, Daniel Hoffman, and Mary Jane Michael
01:56:11 PM HR6
02:08:30 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Confirmation Hearing: TELECONFERENCED
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
Board of Trustees
*+ HR 6 DEVELOP MENTAL HEALTH TRUST LAND TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHR 6(FIN) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 24, 2009                                                                                          
                         1:32 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:32:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                     
to order at 1:32 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas, Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                     
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Jeff Jessee, Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Mental Health                                                                      
Trust Authority                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dr. William Doolittle, Fairbanks; Mr. Daniel Hoffman,                                                                           
Fairbanks; Paula Easley, Secretary/Treasurer, Board of                                                                          
Trustee, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HR 6      Encouraging the Alaska Mental Health Trust                                                                            
          Authority to develop  its land and resources to the                                                                   
          fullest extent  possible consistent with  its legal                                                                   
          and  moral  responsibility   to  provide  jobs  and                                                                   
          protect and enhance  the lives of those who benefit                                                                   
          from the mental health trust.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          CSHR 6 (FIN) was REPORTED out of Committee with a                                                                     
          "do pass" recommendation and with a new zero                                                                          
          fiscal note by the Legislature.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees                                                                          
Confirmations                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:34:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
^Alaska  Mental  Health  Trust Authority  Board  of  Trustees                                                                 
Confirmations:  Dr. William  Doolittle,  Daniel Hoffman,  and                                                                 
Mary Jane Michael                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR.    WILLIAM   DOOLITTLE,    FAIRBANKS,    testified    via                                                                   
teleconference.   He related that  he has been on  the Mental                                                                   
Health Trust Board for five years.   He said he was impressed                                                                   
by  the challenges  and responsibilities  of the  board.   He                                                                   
noted that he  was "addicted to the concept  of beneficiaries                                                                   
first".                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  expressed gratitude that Dr.  Doolittle was                                                                   
willing to serve on the board.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Fairclough  asked   what  the   geographical                                                                   
composite of the  board was.  Dr. Doolittle  replied that one                                                                   
member is  in Juneau  and, upon  confirmation, there  will be                                                                   
two in Fairbanks.  The rest are from Anchorage.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Fairclough  asked  if   there  was   a  fair                                                                   
representation  across the  board of  mental health  sectors.                                                                   
Dr. Doolittle  said he  was impressed by  the broad  scope of                                                                   
the   trustees   when   contemplating   rural,   urban,   and                                                                   
beneficiary-dominant  activities.   He  spoke  highly of  the                                                                   
board's emphasis on beneficiaries  first, and the development                                                                   
of a mental health network in rural Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:38:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative    Fairclough    was    impressed    by    the                                                                   
representation  of  a  law  enforcement  perspective  on  the                                                                   
board.     She   requested  more   information  about   other                                                                   
perspectives  represented by  board members.   Dr.  Doolittle                                                                   
reported that there  is a realtor, a social  services worker,                                                                   
and  the person  from Juneau  has had  broad experience  with                                                                   
hospitals and commissions.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  noted   that  Ms.   Michael,  the   third                                                                   
candidate, is not able to call into the meeting.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:40:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  asked  if  anyone  represented  a                                                                   
community of 5,000 or under.  Dr. Doolittle said no.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Austerman asked if  Dr. Doolittle  has served                                                                   
on  the board  of the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority                                                                   
because his resume does not list  it.  Dr. Doolittle reported                                                                   
that he has been on the board  for five years.  The resume is                                                                   
out of date.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly voiced appreciation  for Dr. Doolittle's                                                                   
service.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:43:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. DANIEL  HOFFMAN, FAIRBANKS testified  via teleconference.                                                                   
He related  his 20-year  work history  in law enforcement  in                                                                   
Fairbanks.   He  noted  his vast  experience  and with  local                                                                   
mental health populations.   He spoke of the  challenges with                                                                   
segments   of  the   mentally  ill   and  chronic   inebriant                                                                   
population.  He spoke of work  on his master's degree dealing                                                                   
with  the   chronic  inebriant   issue.    He   stressed  the                                                                   
importance  of having  a law enforcement  perspective  on the                                                                   
board.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  asked  Mr.  Hoffman  if  he  has  had  any                                                                   
personal connection  related to  his desire  to serve  on the                                                                   
board.   Mr.  Hoffman shared  his 20-year  experience in  law                                                                   
enforcement dealing  with beneficiary groups,  especially the                                                                   
chronic inebriant.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:46:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Fairclough  thanked Mr. Hoffman  for his years                                                                   
of public  service.  She wondered  if he would have  the time                                                                   
to fully participate on the board.   Mr. Hoffman replied that                                                                   
he is retiring from his job as  police chief soon and will no                                                                   
longer be involved in related organizations.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Kelly  spoke of his personal  knowledge of Mr.                                                                   
Hoffman's service in the Fairbanks community.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:48:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  spoke  of   Mr.  Hoffman's  outstanding                                                                   
credentials.   He asked if  Mr. Hoffman was planning  changes                                                                   
to the board because  it has gone down the wrong  road, or if                                                                   
he would  be bringing  a law enforcement  perspective  to the                                                                   
board.  Mr. Hoffman said it was the latter.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara asked  Mr. Hoffman  for his comments  on                                                                   
the chronic inebriate population.   Mr. Hoffman said he plans                                                                   
to  be  watchful  to  ensure  that  that  group's  needs  are                                                                   
addressed.  He  emphasized that that group needs  to be dealt                                                                   
with due  to their huge  impact on the  quality of life  in a                                                                   
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:52:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze noted  that the third  candidate could  not                                                                   
attend,  but  stated  familiarity   with  Ms.  Michael.    He                                                                   
testified as to her excellent qualifications.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker concurred with  Co-Chair Stoltze's opinion of                                                                   
Ms. Michael.  He spoke in favor of her as a candidate.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Fairclough  added comments  in  favor of  Ms.                                                                   
Michael.   She listed  her qualifications: actively  involved                                                                   
in  the  Office  of Economic  and  Community  Development  in                                                                   
Anchorage, executive director of The Arc of Anchorage.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze spoke highly of Ms. Michael.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:54:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker took over the meeting.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 6                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Encouraging the Alaska Mental  Health Trust Authority to                                                                   
     develop  its land  and resources  to the fullest  extent                                                                   
     possible   consistent   with   its   legal   and   moral                                                                   
     responsibility to  provide jobs and protect  and enhance                                                                   
     the lives  of those who  benefit from the  mental health                                                                   
     trust.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:56:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze MOVED  to ADOPT  the  work draft  for HR  6                                                                   
labeled,  26-LS0572\E,  Bullock,  2/23/09.   There  being  NO                                                                   
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze read the title of the resolution:                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     Encouraging the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority to                                                                    
     develop its land and resources to the fullest extent                                                                       
     possible consistent with its legal and moral                                                                               
     responsibility to advance mental health services and                                                                       
     employment opportunities that protect and enhance the                                                                      
     lives of those who benefit from the mental health                                                                          
     trust.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
He  related the  process of  establishing the  trust and  the                                                                   
resources for the Mental Health  Trust.  He said he wanted to                                                                   
provide  a  strong  voice  for  backing  up  the  Trust  when                                                                   
contentious   situations   arise.     The   Trust's   highest                                                                   
responsibility  is the beneficiaries.   He thanked  Mr. Jesse                                                                   
and Ms.  Easley for  their help  in drafting the  resolution.                                                                   
He pointed out the numerous sponsors of the resolution.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker asked if the Committee had any questions.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:59:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFF JESSEE,  CHIEF EXECUTIVE  OFFICER, ALASKA MENTAL  HEALTH                                                                   
TRUST  AUTHORITY, expressed  appreciation  on  behalf of  the                                                                   
Trust for this legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Jessee  described the  Trust as  a unique combination  of                                                                   
missions  and tools.   He said  it was  an intersection  of a                                                                   
very  positive   health  and  social  service   mission  with                                                                   
economic development  and a revenue  generating mission.   He                                                                   
spoke of  the Trust's  contribution to  the state's  economic                                                                   
activity.   He noted that  there are often opposition  issues                                                                   
surrounding  the development  of  the lands.   He  emphasized                                                                   
that  the Trust  attempts to  develop resources  with a  mind                                                                   
towards community impact.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:03:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker  asked if  Mental Health  Trust lands  in the                                                                   
Nenana  Basin would soon  be explored  for potential  natural                                                                   
gas resources.   Mr.  Jessee said  that was  accurate.   Near                                                                   
Livengood,  there was  also  potentially  very valuable  gold                                                                   
exploration  going   on.    Mr.  Jessee  reported   that  the                                                                   
Executive Director of the Trust  Land Office, Harry Noah, has                                                                   
brought  renewed enthusiasm  and  a long-term  vision to  the                                                                   
Authority.  He is putting together  a land exchange involving                                                                   
Southeast  timber  that  could  generate  30  million  to  40                                                                   
million board feet of timber.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:04:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAULA EASLEY,  SECRETARY/TREASURER, BOARD OF  TRUSTEE, ALASKA                                                                   
MENTAL HEALTH  TRUST AUTHORITY testified  via teleconference.                                                                   
She  spoke  in  support  of the  legislation.    She  related                                                                   
personal history  with the  Trust.   She maintained  that the                                                                   
Trust  has  been  considerate   regarding  local  needs  when                                                                   
developing  the lands.   She stressed  the importance  of the                                                                   
legislation  as  an expression  of  support for  the  Trust's                                                                   
goals.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:06:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Hawker noted a zero fiscal note.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze MOVED  to REPORT  CSHR 6  out of  Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations and the  accompanying fiscal                                                                   
note.  There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CSHR  6  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation  and  with  a  new zero  fiscal  note  by  the                                                                   
Legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:08:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 2:08 PM.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Confirmations D. Hoffman.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
Committee Substitute Version E.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
HR 6
HR6-LEG-COU-2-20-09.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
Confirmations W. Doolittle.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
Confirmations M. Michael.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
Statute Public Waterway Access Gara.pdf HFIN 2/24/2009 1:30:00 PM
HR 6