Legislature(2009 - 2010)

04/14/2009 02:45 PM FIN


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                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       April 14, 2009                                                                                           
                         2:45 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:45:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the House Finance Committee meeting                                                                     
to order at 2:45 p.m.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mike Hawker, Co-Chair                                                                                            
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Bill Thomas, Jr., Vice-Chair                                                                                     
Representative Allan Austerman                                                                                                  
Representative Anna Fairclough                                                                                                  
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Reggie Joule                                                                                                     
Representative Mike Kelly                                                                                                       
Representative Woodie Salmon                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harry Crawford                                                                                                   
Representative Richard Foster                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Speaker John Harris, Sponsor                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Julie  Saupe,  President, Anchorage  Convention  &  Visitor's                                                                   
Bureau,  Anchorage; Melissa  Freeman,  Student, Pacific  High                                                                   
School,  Sitka;  Ryan  Hill, Teacher,  Pacific  High  School,                                                                   
Sitka; Joseph Martinez, Student,  Pacific High School, Sitka;                                                                   
Angel Dotomain, President, Alaska Native Health Board                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HCR 16    Requesting the Governor to proclaim September 7,                                                                      
          2009, as Senator Daniel Inouye Day.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
          HCR 16 was REPORTED out of Committee with a "do                                                                       
          pass" recommendation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CSSB 75(FIN)                                                                                                                    
          "An   Act  making   and  amending   appropriations,                                                                   
          including   capital  appropriations,   supplemental                                                                   
          appropriations,  and  appropriations to  capitalize                                                                   
          funds; and providing for an effective date."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          CSSB 75 (FIN) was heard and HELD in Committee for                                                                     
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:49:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Requesting the Governor to proclaim September 7, 2009,                                                                     
     as Senator Daniel Inouye Day.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SPEAKER  JOHN  HARRIS, SPONSOR,  presented  the  proclamation                                                                   
recognizing Senator Daniel Inouye.   He read from a statement                                                                   
made by Senator Ted Stevens:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     When you honor Senator Daniel Inouye, you honor a true                                                                     
     friend of Alaska.  Dan is a close friend I worked                                                                          
     closely with for forty years.  We were two new Senators                                                                    
     serving tow new off-shore states.  Senator Inouye is a                                                                     
     distinguished American who earned his Congressional                                                                        
     Medal of Honor the hard way!  It is my privilege to                                                                        
     call him my brother - we continue to be close friends.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Speaker  Harris   shared  a   statement  from  Senator   Lisa                                                                   
Murkowski:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Thank you for introducing legislation recognizing                                                                          
     Senator Daniel Inouye for his dedication and friendship                                                                    
     to Alaska.  It is an honor he has earned many times                                                                        
     over.  Senator Inouye has long been our ally and great                                                                     
     friend in the U.S. Senate.  I deeply appreciate his                                                                        
     commitment to our state and our common causes.  We                                                                         
     share many.  Alaska and Hawaii share a genuine bond                                                                        
     having entered the union together as distant                                                                               
     territories separated from the contiguous United                                                                           
     States.  Senator Ted Stevens and Senator Inouye were                                                                       
     both involved in the fight for statehood in their                                                                          
     perspective territories.  Senator Inouye has continued                                                                     
     his commitment to Hawaii and Alaska and the nation ever                                                                    
     since.  He's been an outspoken advocate for the                                                                            
     military and a great defender of the rights of Alaska                                                                      
     Natives and Native Hawaiians.  He's also supported us                                                                      
     in our struggle to open the coastal plain of the Arctic                                                                    
     National Wildlife Refuge and helped educate the nation                                                                     
     on the importance of maintaining a strong military                                                                         
     presence in Alaska.  It is fitting that the state                                                                          
     should honor Senator Inouye on his birthday.  He will                                                                      
     turn 85 this September 7.  I wish him many more.  We                                                                       
     are blessed to have such an honorable friend stand with                                                                    
     us in Congress.  He truly has earned the honor of being                                                                    
     called Alaska's third senator.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Speaker Harris  informed the Committee that a  statement from                                                                   
Senator   Begich  was   forthcoming.      He  requested   the                                                                   
Committee's support for the resolution.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:51:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze commented  that the  resolution was  in the                                                                   
Finance Committee  in order to expedite the  legislation.  He                                                                   
noted that  the resolution has  no fiscal notes.   He thanked                                                                   
Speaker Harris for bringing forth the resolution.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:53:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Joule shared a  personal story about his first                                                                   
encounter with  Senator Inouye  in 1988.   He noted  that the                                                                   
Senator  has  been  a  good  friend   to  the  Alaska  Native                                                                   
community.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:54:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Thomas MOVED to  report HCR  16 out of  Committee                                                                   
with individual  recommendations.  There being  NO OBJECTION,                                                                   
it was so ordered.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
HCR  16  was REPORTED  out  of  Committee  with a  "do  pass"                                                                   
recommendation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
AT-EASE:       2:54:55 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED:    2:58:45 PM                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 75(FIN)                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act  making and  amending appropriations,  including                                                                   
     capital  appropriations,   supplemental  appropriations,                                                                   
     and appropriations  to capitalize  funds; and  providing                                                                   
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PUBLIC TESTIMONY                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
JULIE  SAUPE,  PRESIDENT, ANCHORAGE  CONVENTION  &  VISITOR'S                                                                   
BUREAU, ANCHORAGE, via teleconference,  testified in favor of                                                                   
using  the cruise  ship funds  for improvements  to the  Egan                                                                   
Convention Center in Anchorage.   She stressed the importance                                                                   
of the Egan Center to cruise line passengers.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:02:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELISSA  FREEMAN, STUDENT,  PACIFIC HIGH  SCHOOL, SITKA,  via                                                                   
teleconference,  testified  in  favor  of  major  maintenance                                                                   
grants  for  funding  school  repairs.    She  described  the                                                                   
repairs needed at her school.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:04:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYAN  HILL,   TEACHER,  PACIFIC   HIGH  SCHOOL,   SITKA,  via                                                                   
teleconference,   agreed   with    the   previous   speaker's                                                                   
testimony.   He spoke  of the  reconstruction project  needed                                                                   
for Pacific High  School which would be funded by  SB 75.  He                                                                   
described  the make  up and  curriculum  of the  school.   He                                                                   
detailed specific  needs, such as new doors and  repairs to a                                                                   
leaky ceiling.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:07:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOSEPH  MARTINEZ, STUDENT,  PACIFIC HIGH  SCHOOL, SITKA,  via                                                                   
teleconference, described the  deteriorating condition of the                                                                   
school  building.    He  spoke in  favor  of  funding  school                                                                   
maintenance projects.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Hill read  letters from  Pacific  High School  students.                                                                   
The  first one  was  from Chris  Paul;  the  second was  from                                                                   
Justin  Ipock.   Both  stated support  for  funds for  school                                                                   
maintenance.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  thought the allocation would  remain in the                                                                   
budget.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:11:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANGEL DOTOMAIN,  PRESIDENT, ALASKA  NATIVE HEALTH  BOARD, via                                                                   
teleconference, described the  focus of the Board.  She spoke                                                                   
of  the $25  million  reduction  to  the Village  Safe  Water                                                                   
projects, a  33 percent cut.   She spoke of the need  for the                                                                   
57 high priority  projects and the importance  of receiving a                                                                   
federal  match.   She  shared  health-related  statistics  in                                                                   
villages with  limited safe  water.   She requested  that the                                                                   
Committee  restore the  Village Safe  Water general  funds to                                                                   
half  of the  federal  amount  authorized in  the  governor's                                                                   
amended budget or approximately $26.2 million.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:16:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze closed public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SB  75   was  heard  and   HELD  in  Committee   for  further                                                                   
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:17 PM.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

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