Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/05/2013 01:30 PM FINANCE


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01:34:26 PM Start
01:40:58 PM HB65 || HB66
07:00:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HB 65 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
+= HB 66 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
1:30 - 2:30pm Juneau**
2:45 - 3:45pm Cordova, Offnets (Bethel, Kotzebue,
Nome, Valdez & Wrangell)*
4:00 - 5:15pm Anchorage
- Public Testimony limited to 2 min. each
- Please arrive 15 min. prior to end of allotted
time or testimony will close early.
** Please arrive 15 min. early to expedite the
sign-in process.
* LIO's in these communities will publish call-in
number via public outreach or call LIO for info.
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                       March 5, 2013                                                                                            
                         1:34 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:34:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman  called   the  House  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 1:34 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Scott Kawasaki, Alternate                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
David  Katzeek,   Self,  Juneau;  Kathi  Collum,   Board  of                                                                    
Directors,   Juneau  Youth   Services  (JYS)   Juneau;  Joan                                                                    
O'Keefe,  Director,  Southeast   Alaska  Independent  Living                                                                    
(SAIL), Juneau;  Walter Majoras, Executive  Director, Juneau                                                                    
Youth Services,  Juneau; Peter  Freer, Board  Member, Juneau                                                                    
Youth  Services,  Juneau;   Monika  Carhart,  Self,  Juneau;                                                                    
Pamela Watts,  Executive Director,  Juneau Alliance  for the                                                                    
Mentally   Ill,  Juneau;   Lindsey   Kato,  Juneau   Suicide                                                                    
Prevention  Coalition,  Juneau;   Ramona  M.  Ringer,  Self,                                                                    
Juneau;  Walt Sisikin,  National Council  on Alcoholism  and                                                                    
Drug   Dependence,   Juneau;  Lilly   Killbear,   Rainforest                                                                    
Recovery,  Juneau;   Scott  Kissinger,   Client,  Rainforest                                                                    
Recovery,   Juneau;  Tony   Sholty,  Board   Member,  Juneau                                                                    
Alliance  for   the  Mentally  Ill,  Juneau;   Tom  Gemmell,                                                                    
Executive  Director,  United Southeast  Alaska  Gillnetters,                                                                    
Juneau; Jessica  Cook, Teacher, Alpenglow  Elementary, Eagle                                                                    
River; Tom McNamarra, Polaris  House, Juneau; Anji Gallanos,                                                                    
Advocate,  Early  Childhood  Education,  Juneau;  Joy  Lyon,                                                                    
Executive Director,  Association for the Education  of Young                                                                    
Children  in  Southeast  Alaska, Juneau;  Cicely  S  Byerly,                                                                    
Client,  Rainforest Recovery,  Juneau; Richard  C. Anderson,                                                                    
Self,  Juneau; Charles  High,  Self,  Juneau; Kathy  Hansen,                                                                    
Executive Director,  Southeast Alaska  Fishermen's Alliance,                                                                    
Juneau;  Donna  Burnett,  Client, Juneau  Alliance  for  the                                                                    
Mentally  Ill, Juneau;  Lisa Gardner,  Educator, Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers  Program, Juneau;  Gilbert  Willard, Self,  Juneau;                                                                    
Robert Barr, Director, Juneau  Public Library, Juneau; Debra                                                                    
K. Arthur-Wilkinson,  Juneau Alliance for the  Mentally Ill,                                                                    
Juneau;  Michelle  Jerome,  Teacher,  Alpenglow  Elementary,                                                                    
Eagle River;  Marie Marx, Parent  Representative, Harborview                                                                    
Elementary   School,   Juneau;   Valerie   Brooks,   Reading                                                                    
Specialist, Houghtaling Elementary  School, Ketchikan; Ricky                                                                    
Deising, Regional  Director, Inlandboatman's  Union, Juneau;                                                                    
Sheryl  Weinberg,  Executive  Director,  Southeast  Regional                                                                    
Resource Center (SERRC), Juneau;  Joe Geldhof, Pacific Coast                                                                    
Counsel, Marine  Engineers' Beneficial  Association, Juneau;                                                                    
Mary  Hakala,  Coordinator, Science  Technology  Engineering                                                                    
Math  (STEM) Alaska,  Juneau; Greg  Roth, Program  Director,                                                                    
REACH,  Juneau;  Karol  Benroth,  Counselor,  Bartlett  High                                                                    
School,  Anchorage; Tom  Chard,  Executive Director,  Alaska                                                                    
Behavioral Health Association,  Juneau; Mark Johnson, Alaska                                                                    
Trauma System Review  Committee, Juneau; Kenneth Burchfield,                                                                    
Self, Juneau;  Jonas Decena,  Client, Juneau  Youth Services                                                                    
Transitional  Living Program,  Juneau; Eric  Gebhart, Chair,                                                                    
Governor's  Council  on   Disabilities  and  Superintendent,                                                                    
Nenana  City  School   District,  Nenana;  Elizabeth  McGee,                                                                    
National Education  Association and Alaska  School Counselor                                                                    
Association, Anchorage; Brad  Baldwin, Commercial Fisherman,                                                                    
Juneau;  Julianne  Curry,   Director,  United  Fishermen  of                                                                    
Alaska,  Juneau;   Ethan  Knuthson,   Commercial  Fisherman,                                                                    
Juneau;  Andi  Story,  Juneau School  Board,  Juneau;  Bruce                                                                    
Wallace, Commercial Fisherman,  Juneau; Joan Pardes, Parent,                                                                    
Juneau; Martha Moore, Self, Juneau.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Dan Reum, Former Educator,  Cordova; Peter Hoepfner, Cordova                                                                    
School  Board,   Cordova;  Barb  Bryson,   Best  Beginnings,                                                                    
Valdez;  Kim   Mix,  Early  Learning  and   Family  Program,                                                                    
Kotzebue; Julie  Serstad, Deputy Director,  Community Health                                                                    
Services,  Barrow;  Geanne Gerhardt-Cyrus,  Self,  Kotzebue;                                                                    
Catherine  Jones, Self,  Kotzebue;  Anthony Cravalho,  Self,                                                                    
Kotzebue;  Bree Swanson,  Administrator  of Social  Services                                                                    
for   Maniilaq   Association,  Kotzebue;   Vivian   Fleming,                                                                    
Behavioral   Health  Director,   Maniilaq  Behavior   Health                                                                    
Services,  Kotzebue;  Steven   Sundby,  Executive  Director,                                                                    
Sound  Alternatives,  Cordova;  Peter  Hergenrotther,  Yukon                                                                    
Health  Corporation,  Bethel;  Vernon Samson,  Yukon  Health                                                                    
Corporation,  Bethel; Dusty  Aloralrea, Self,  Bethel; Rinda                                                                    
Howell,  Wrangell,   Best  Beginnings;  Jenn   Allen,  Self,                                                                    
Haines;  Sarah  Chapell,  Member of  Haines  Borough  School                                                                    
Board,  Haines; Alissa  Henry, Self,  Haines; Richard  Tews,                                                                    
Self,  Bethel; Doreen  Leavitt, North  Slope Borough  Health                                                                    
Department, Barrow; Amy Russell,  Beringia Center of Culture                                                                    
and  Science, Nome;  Israel  Payton,  Self, Wasilla;  Jeanne                                                                    
Kitayama,  Director, Children'  Reading Foundation,  Haines;                                                                    
Nicki   Shelton,  Self,   Hoonah;  Kevin   Tressler,  McCann                                                                    
Treatment   Center,  Bethel;   Barbara  Spriggs,   Kotzebue,                                                                    
Meniilaq  Medical  Center;  Dr. Ella  Derbyshire,  Kotzebue,                                                                    
Meniilaq  Medical Center;  Reggie  Joule,  Mayor, NW  Arctic                                                                    
Borough,  Kotzebue; Tom  Cyrus,  Self,  Kiana; Anna  Sappah,                                                                    
Executive    Director,   Alaska    Addiction   Professionals                                                                    
Association  (AAPA), Anchorage;  Robyn  Triest, Alaska  Peer                                                                    
Support   Consortium,   Anchorage;  Jennifer   Payton,   Co-                                                                    
Occurring Disorders  Institute (CoDI), Mat-Su;  Tina Morgan,                                                                    
Self,   Anchorage;  Lisa   Pierce,  Self,   Anchorage;  John                                                                    
Halloway,  Project  Coordinator,   Criminal  Justice  System                                                                    
Transformation  Project,  Anchorage;  Donna  Maxwell,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Dr.  Frank Sacco, Trauma Director,  Alaska Trauma                                                                    
System  Review;  Michelle  Baker,  Southcentral  Foundation,                                                                    
Anchorage; Dr. Regina Chenault,  Chair, Committee on Trauma,                                                                    
Anchorage; Anna Campbell,  Self, Anchorage; Joerene Savikko,                                                                    
Victims for  Justice, Anchorage; Faith Myers,  Mental Health                                                                    
Advocates,  Anchorage;   Dorrance  Collins,   Mental  Health                                                                    
Advocates,  Anchorage;  Stephanie  Roads,  Self,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Jennifer  Smerd,  Director, Community  Relations,  Community                                                                    
Mental   Health,   Anchorage;    Brittany   Buzzard,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Jonathan  Teeters, Best  Beginnings,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Karen  Matthias, Anchorage  Imagination Library,  Anchorage;                                                                    
Jerry   Jenkins,   Anchorage    Community   Mental   Health,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Bruce   Linquist,  Anchorage   Community  Mental                                                                    
Health,  Anchorage;  Jessica Craig,  Epidemiologist,  Alaska                                                                    
Native  Tribal Health  Consortium;  Hillary Strayer,  Alaska                                                                    
Native  Tribal   Health  Consortium;  Julie   Rabeau,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Ambrosia Bowlus,  Self, Anchorage; Ronald Wilson,                                                                    
Self,  Anchorage; Doreen  Sihenkenberger, Therapeutic  Court                                                                    
Alumni,  Anchorage; Pat  Reynaga,  Volunteer, Cancer  Action                                                                    
Network,  Anchorage; Kendra  Jackson,  Self, Anchorage;  Leo                                                                    
Tondreault,   Self,  Anchorage;   William  Finley,   Finance                                                                    
Secretary, Salvation  Army, Anchorage; Paul  Albers, Brother                                                                    
Francis   Shelter,   Anchorage;  Suzi   Pearson,   Executive                                                                    
Director, Abused  Women's Aid in Crisis  (AWAIC), Anchorage;                                                                    
Julia   Luey,  Self,   Anchorage;   Michelle  Smith,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;   Hiedi  Frost,   Statewide  Independent   Living                                                                    
Counsel (SILC),  Anchorage; Rosalie Nadeau,  Chief Executive                                                                    
Officer,  Akeela House  Recovery  Program, Anchorage;  Janet                                                                    
McCabe, Partners for Progress,  Anchorage; Gwen Lee, The Arc                                                                    
of  Anchorage,   Anchorage;  Karin  Schaff,   Volunteers  of                                                                    
America,  Anchorage;  Kendra   Lee,  Self,  Palmer;  Crystal                                                                    
Calice,   Akeela,   Anchorage;   Lindsay   McDaniel,   Self,                                                                    
Anchorage;   Jeffrey  Kellerman,   Traumatic  Brain   Injury                                                                    
support,  Anchorage;  John   Crews,  Alaska  Vocational  and                                                                    
Technical  Center  (AVTEC),  Anchorage; Jake  Metcalf,  PSEA                                                                    
Local 803,  Anchorage; Jill Hodges, TBI  Support, Anchorage;                                                                    
Grace  Snider,   TBI  Support,  Anchorage;   Arlene  Ludwig,                                                                    
Meeting  the  Challenge,   Anchorage;  Deborah  Bock,  Self,                                                                    
Anchorage; Debi  Baldwin, Child Development  Director, Rural                                                                    
Cap,  Anchorage;  Pat  Ventgen, Clinical  Director,  Akeela,                                                                    
Anchorage;  Stephanie  Berglund,  Chief  Executive  Officer,                                                                    
Thread, Anchorage; Nikos Pastos, Self, Anchorage.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 65     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          HB 65 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 66     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          HB 66 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 65                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     loan  program  expenses  of state  government  and  for                                                                    
     certain   programs,    capitalizing   funds,   amending                                                                    
     appropriations,   and   making  reappropriations;   and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 66                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act making  appropriations for  the operating  and                                                                    
     capital    expenses   of    the   state's    integrated                                                                    
     comprehensive mental health  program; and providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
JUNEAU                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DAVID  KATZEEK,  SELF,  JUNEAU,   testified  in  support  of                                                                    
education  funding. He  stated  that  Alaskan children  were                                                                    
priceless. He  felt that  the cost of  living in  Alaska was                                                                    
directly  attached  to  education   funding.  He  felt  that                                                                    
creativity  and  imagination  were tied  to  education,  and                                                                    
stressed the need for an investment in Alaska's children.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:40:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHI  COLLUM, BOARD  OF  DIRECTORS,  JUNEAU YOUTH  SERVICES                                                                    
(JYS) JUNEAU,  testified in opposition  of the  $8.3 million                                                                    
behavioral  health budget  reduction.  She  stated that  her                                                                    
oldest son had opposition  defiant disorder. She shared that                                                                    
her son  had spent  twelve months  in the  behavioral health                                                                    
center, Miller House,  which was funded by  state money. Her                                                                    
family  was also  taught how  to adjust  to his  disorder at                                                                    
Miller  House.  Her   son  was  currently  21,   and  was  a                                                                    
functioning member society. She  stressed that mental health                                                                    
providers  were extremely  underfunded;  and reduced  mental                                                                    
health funding  would result in crime  and homelessness. She                                                                    
stressed the importance of not  decreasing funding for those                                                                    
that need it the most.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:44:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOAN O'KEEFE, DIRECTOR,  SOUTHEAST ALASKA INDEPENDENT LIVING                                                                    
(SAIL),  JUNEAU,   testified  in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
independent living  centers. She explained that  the Centers                                                                    
for  Independent  Living  (CILS)   served  more  than  4,000                                                                    
Alaskans of  all ages and all  disabilities in approximately                                                                    
50  communities  across  the state.  She  stated  that  CILS                                                                    
provided a  wide array of non-residential  services provided                                                                    
by people  with disabilities  for people  with disabilities.                                                                    
She explained that CILS had  received state funds for nearly                                                                    
30  years,   in  the  Department  of   Labor  and  Workforce                                                                    
Development budget;  and asked  that the  $100,000 increment                                                                    
be added  back into that  budget. She stressed  that seniors                                                                    
were  the single  largest demographic  in  Alaska. She  also                                                                    
requested   funding   for   the  Alaska   Complex   Behavior                                                                    
Collaborative; $150,000 for  disease prevention targeted for                                                                    
senior fall prevention strategies;  fully fund the traumatic                                                                    
acquired  brain injury  program increment;  maintain current                                                                    
funding  levels for  behavioral  services;  and restore  the                                                                    
$100,000 in the governor's budget for independent living.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:47:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WALTER MAJORAS,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUNEAU  YOUTH SERVICES,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  testified   in  opposition  of  the   $8.3  million                                                                    
behavioral  health  budget  reduction. He  stated  that  JYS                                                                    
provided  outpatient treatment,  mental  health services  in                                                                    
schools, and  residential services.  He announced  that many                                                                    
of  the children  and youth  at  JYS were  victims of  child                                                                    
abuse, neglect, and child sexual  abuse; and added that many                                                                    
of  the children  in the  program  had previously  attempted                                                                    
suicide. He  stressed that  Alaska had  some of  the highest                                                                    
rates in the country  for domestic violence, sexual assault,                                                                    
child  abuse,  alcoholism, and  suicide.  He  felt that  the                                                                    
proposed cut  worked directly against the  governor's Choose                                                                    
Respect  Initiative  to  end domestic  violence  and  sexual                                                                    
abuse. He  stressed that domestic  violence and  child abuse                                                                    
occurred  on  a generational  cycle.  Unless  the youth  and                                                                    
children were treated; domestic  violence and sexual assault                                                                    
would continue to run rampant in the state.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:49:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER FREER,  BOARD MEMBER,  JUNEAU YOUTH  SERVICES, JUNEAU,                                                                    
voiced  opposition of  the  $8.3  million behavioral  health                                                                    
budget reduction.  He remarked  that it was  becoming nearly                                                                    
impossible to  maintain the JYS,  because of  intense budget                                                                    
cuts. He  pointed out  that there  was currently  a mid-year                                                                    
deficit at  JYS, and  he was  working hard  to see  that the                                                                    
budget be balanced by the end  of the year. He stressed that                                                                    
state  grants  were  essential  in  providing  services  for                                                                    
families that were not covered by Medicaid.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:52:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MONIKA  CARHART, SELF,  JUNEAU, spoke  in opposition  of the                                                                    
$8.3  million   behavioral  health  budget   reduction.  She                                                                    
explained that she was a  patient at the Juneau Alliance for                                                                    
the Mentally Ill  (JAMI). She stated that she  had a medical                                                                    
condition that caused a mental  break, and she was suicidal.                                                                    
She explained that she had  a beneficial experience at JAMI,                                                                    
which improved her life.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:54:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA WATTS,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  JUNEAU ALLIANCE  FOR THE                                                                    
MENTALLY  ILL,  JUNEAU,  testified opposition  of  the  $8.3                                                                    
million  behavioral health  budget reduction.  She explained                                                                    
that JAMI  provided emergency and out-patient  mental health                                                                    
services for all  ages, including 475 adults  in Juneau. She                                                                    
stated that  the cost of  services increased each  year. She                                                                    
pointed out that the cost  of medication had increased by 50                                                                    
percent since 2008,  with no increase in  state funding. She                                                                    
felt  that the  cost of  not treating  individuals would  be                                                                    
moved  to  the  courts,   public  safety,  corrections,  and                                                                    
hospitals.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:56:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSEY KATO,  JUNEAU SUICIDE PREVENTION  COALITION, JUNEAU,                                                                    
testified opposition for the  $8.3 million behavioral health                                                                    
budget  reduction. She  remarked  that the  suicide rate  in                                                                    
Alaska was twice  as high as the rest of  the United States.                                                                    
She  stated   that  the  Bureau  of   Vital  Statistics  had                                                                    
reflected  a decrease  in  suicide by  22  people in  Alaska                                                                    
since  2010. She  remarked  that that  number  may not  seem                                                                    
high, but  22 people was  the number  of students in  a K-12                                                                    
school in an Alaskan village.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:58:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAMONA  M. RINGER,  SELF, JUNEAU,  spoke opposition  for the                                                                    
$8.3 million  behavioral health  budget reduction.  She felt                                                                    
that the budget cuts would result in chaos.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:00:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WALT  SISIKIN,  NATIONAL  COUNCIL  ON  ALCOHOLISM  AND  DRUG                                                                    
DEPENDENCE,  JUNEAU, spoke  opposition of  the $8.3  million                                                                    
behavioral  health  budget  reduction. He  stated  that  his                                                                    
program relied on  grants from the Department  of Health and                                                                    
Social  Services.  He  remarked  that Alaska  did  not  have                                                                    
probation  officers, so  when  individuals  are released  on                                                                    
parole, no  one is  given oversight  of that  individual. He                                                                    
stated  that  his  program  was   required  to  oversee  the                                                                    
treatment of  drug and alcohol  offenders. He felt  that the                                                                    
financial  burden  would  be placed  on  the  Department  of                                                                    
Corrections,  if  the  behavioral   health  budget  was  not                                                                    
restored.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:02:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LILLY  KILLBEAR,  RAINFOREST   RECOVERY,  JUNEAU,  testified                                                                    
opposition  for the  $8.3 million  behavioral health  budget                                                                    
reduction.  She  explained that  she  and  her children  had                                                                    
benefited  from behavioral  health  programs. She  explained                                                                    
that   she  had   received   beneficial  behavioral   health                                                                    
treatment,  and  therefore was  given  the  chance to  be  a                                                                    
functioning member of society.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:03:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SCOTT  KISSINGER,   CLIENT,  RAINFOREST   RECOVERY,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
voiced  opposition for  the $8.3  million behavioral  health                                                                    
budget  reduction.   He  remarked  that  he   did  not  have                                                                    
insurance,  so   the  state  funding   had  given   him  the                                                                    
opportunity  to receive  treatment for  substance abuse.  He                                                                    
pointed  out that  Rainforest Recovery  had  the ability  to                                                                    
pinpoint problems for  people who were not able  to find the                                                                    
ability  to deal  with their  own substance  abuse. He  felt                                                                    
that the substance  abuse treatment had helped  him become a                                                                    
functioning member of society.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:04:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TONY SHOLTY, BOARD MEMBER, JUNEAU  ALLIANCE FOR THE MENTALLY                                                                    
ILL, JUNEAU,  testified in opposition  for the  $8.3 million                                                                    
behavioral health  budget reduction. He explained  that JAMI                                                                    
was the  main provider  for mental  services in  Juneau, and                                                                    
served  about  475 people.  The  proposed  cut would  likely                                                                    
result  in  reduced mental  health  care  for some,  and  no                                                                    
mental  health care  for others  who were  in great  need of                                                                    
those services. The proposed cut  would trigger an increased                                                                    
need   for   emergency   room   services,   hospitalization,                                                                    
homelessness, police calls, and incarceration.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  GEMMELL, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  UNITED SOUTHEAST  ALASKA                                                                    
GILLNETTERS,  JUNEAU, spoke  against  the  reduction of  the                                                                    
Southeast  Regional Fish  and Game  funding. He  stated that                                                                    
$550,000  for  Sockeye  and  Chinook  salmon  identification                                                                    
should  be added  back to  the budget,  because the  program                                                                    
affected all  fisheries in Southeast Alaska.  He pointed out                                                                    
that  there  were complex  river  systems  and waterways  in                                                                    
Southeast Alaska;  and the fisheries had  mixed salmon stock                                                                    
of  five   different  salmon   species.  He   stressed  that                                                                    
management  of  the  fisheries   required  a  detailed  port                                                                    
sampling program to collect basic management data on catch-                                                                     
composition,  origin,  and  run timing.  He  explained  that                                                                    
Alaska  salmon  required  a robust  science  program,  which                                                                    
required timely collection of data.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:10:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA  COOK, TEACHER,  ALPENGLOW ELEMENTARY,  EAGLE RIVER,                                                                    
testified   against  the   proposed  budget   cuts  to   the                                                                    
Department of  Education and  Early Development  (DEED). She                                                                    
felt  that   early  educational  development   for  Alaska's                                                                    
children was extremely valuable.  She explained that cutting                                                                    
funds to  help parents  garner skills  to ensure  that their                                                                    
child   achieves   academic   success   would   be   greatly                                                                    
detrimental.  She  stated  that cutting  funding  for  early                                                                    
learning  programs  would  limit  students'  opportunity  to                                                                    
build a  foundation for their academic  success. She pointed                                                                    
to numerous studies that  supported early learning programs.                                                                    
She  announced  that  children  who  participated  in  early                                                                    
learning programs were less likely  to be incarcerated later                                                                    
in life.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:12:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM MCNAMARRA,  POLARIS HOUSE, JUNEAU,  testified opposition                                                                    
for the $8.3 million  behavioral health budget reduction. He                                                                    
remarked that he  was in a hospital for three  days after he                                                                    
had his  leg amputated. When  he returned to Juneau,  he was                                                                    
initially  homeless, because  he was  bi-polar. The  Polaris                                                                    
House helped him find food, work, and housing.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:14:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANJI GALLANOS, ADVOCATE,  EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, JUNEAU,                                                                    
spoke against  the proposed  budget cuts  to DEED.  She felt                                                                    
that  early educational  development  for Alaska's  children                                                                    
was  extremely valuable.   The  State  of Alaska  pre-school                                                                    
grants provided  quality educational  services for  needy 4-                                                                    
year-olds. She  felt that early  formation of  cognitive and                                                                    
character  skills   provide  an  important   foundation  for                                                                    
Alaska's  youth. She  understood  that  the legislature  had                                                                    
valued early  education in the  four years prior,  and hoped                                                                    
that   the  current   legislature   would  reinstate   early                                                                    
education funding.  She pointed out that  344 young children                                                                    
had  received  quality  educational services  through  eight                                                                    
school districts in the 2012-2013  school year; including 64                                                                    
students in  the Juneau School District.  She suggested that                                                                    
the budget  cut would result in  a loss of services  for 135                                                                    
young,  vulnerable children  who were  experiencing poverty,                                                                    
or  other at-risk  factors who  would not  otherwise receive                                                                    
quality early  childhood education;  and the  potential loss                                                                    
of 18 positions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:17:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOY LYON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION                                                                    
OF  YOUNG  CHILDREN  IN   SOUTHEAST  ALASKA,  JUNEAU,  spoke                                                                    
against the proposed budget cuts  to DEED. She stressed that                                                                    
early  educational interventions  were  contributing to  the                                                                    
solution to  many of the  problems in the state.  She voiced                                                                    
support for maintaining the governor's  budget as it was the                                                                    
year prior, which  would move the new programs  forward in a                                                                    
positive  way.  She  explained   that  Best  Beginnings  and                                                                    
Parents  as  Teachers  were  relatively  new  programs,  and                                                                    
needed financial  support in order to  survive. She remarked                                                                    
that the first one thousand days  of a child's life were the                                                                    
most important in human development;  but that age group had                                                                    
the smallest directed funding in the budget.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:19:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CICELY S BYERLY, CLIENT,  RAINFOREST RECOVERY, JUNEAU, spoke                                                                    
opposition  of the  $8.3  million  behavioral health  budget                                                                    
reduction.  She  explained  that  she  and  her  family  had                                                                    
benefited from state funding for behavioral health.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:19:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD C.  ANDERSON, SELF, JUNEAU, testified  in opposition                                                                    
of the  $8.3 million behavioral health  budget reduction. He                                                                    
shared  a personal  experience  regarding  his own  struggle                                                                    
with mental illness. He felt  that behavioral health support                                                                    
had  saved   his  marriage,  family,  and   self-esteem.  He                                                                    
stressed  that trained  professionals  were  needed to  help                                                                    
mental  health  patients.  He remarked  that  he  could  not                                                                    
properly  function  in  society  without  behavioral  health                                                                    
services.  He  felt  that the  proposed  budget  cuts  would                                                                    
result in  more money spent  in fixing the  problems, rather                                                                    
than preventing problems.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:23:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES HIGH,  SELF, JUNEAU, voiced  opposition of  the $8.3                                                                    
million behavioral  health budget reduction. He  stated that                                                                    
he had dealt  with addiction, starting at the age  of 16. He                                                                    
had spent 15  years in prison. He stressed that  the cost of                                                                    
incarceration  was  much  greater  than  rehabilitation.  He                                                                    
stated that he was a  successful member of the community and                                                                    
society, because he  participated in state-funded behavioral                                                                    
health and rehabilitation programs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:25:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KATHY   HANSEN,   EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,   SOUTHEAST   ALASKA                                                                    
FISHERMEN'S  ALLIANCE,  JUNEAU,   testified  in  support  of                                                                    
funding for port sampling and  aerial surveys. She urged the                                                                    
committee to  reinstate the $550,000  for port  sampling and                                                                    
aerial  surveys.  She  also  testified  against  the  budget                                                                    
reduction  for   the  Alaska  Seafood   Marketing  Institute                                                                    
(ASMI).                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:27:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DONNA  BURNETT, CLIENT,  JUNEAU  ALLIANCE  FOR THE  MENTALLY                                                                    
ILL,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in  opposition  of  the  $8.3  million                                                                    
behavioral health  budget reduction. She remarked  that JAMI                                                                    
had  helped  her  rebuild  her life.  She  stated  that  the                                                                    
services at  JAMI had  improved her  living skills,  and the                                                                    
services at JAMI she would be living on the street.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:29:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA  GARDNER,   EDUCATOR,  PARENTS  AS   TEACHERS  PROGRAM,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  testified  against  the early  childhood  education                                                                    
budget reductions. She  stressed that there was  a wait list                                                                    
for  the Parents  as Teachers  Program, which  reflected the                                                                    
importance  of the  program. She  pointed out  that she  had                                                                    
made a  three-year commitment to her  assigned families, and                                                                    
asked  the  committee to  honor  the  State's commitment  to                                                                    
those families.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:30:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GILBERT  WILLARD,  SELF,  JUNEAU, testified  in  support  of                                                                    
funding for the Polaris House.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:31:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBERT  BARR,  DIRECTOR,   JUNEAU  PUBLIC  LIBRARY,  JUNEAU,                                                                    
voiced  support   of  reinstating  funds  for   Online  With                                                                    
Libraries  (OWL)  and the  Live  Homework  Help Program.  He                                                                    
explained that Live Homework Health  was funded through DEED                                                                    
for  all  Alaskan  students, grades  4-12.  He  stated  that                                                                    
students  could connect  online  every day  to receive  help                                                                    
with their homework.  He stressed that the  program was very                                                                    
inexpensive at only  $7 per session. He stated  that the OWL                                                                    
program  should be  added  as a  permanent  addition to  the                                                                    
operating budget.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:33:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBRA K. ARTHUR-WILKINSON, JUNEAU  ALLIANCE FOR THE MENTALLY                                                                    
ILL,  JUNEAU, testified  in opposition  of the  $8.3 million                                                                    
behavioral health budget reduction.  She stated that she was                                                                    
a recipient of behavioral health  services and a provider of                                                                    
community  mental   health  services.  She   explained  that                                                                    
counseling had helped her get  control of her depression and                                                                    
move  forward  with   her  life  to  receive   a  degree  in                                                                    
Psychology.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:35:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  JEROME,   TEACHER,  ALPENGLOW   ELEMENTARY,  EAGLE                                                                    
RIVER,   testified  against   education  budget   cuts.  She                                                                    
explained that  the superintendent of Anchorage  Schools had                                                                    
announced the  elimination of over  200 jobs due  to funding                                                                    
deficits in  the current year.  Anchorage had a  $20 million                                                                    
shortfall, and would  only receive $8 million  from the one-                                                                    
time budget request.  She remarked that it  was difficult to                                                                    
watch  the  state  lay off  educators,  because  Alaska  had                                                                    
strong natural  and financial resources. She  voiced support                                                                    
for an increase in the base student allocation (BSA).                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:38:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARIE  MARX,  PARENT REPRESENTATIVE,  HARBORVIEW  ELEMENTARY                                                                    
SCHOOL, JUNEAU,  spoke in  support of  critical, predictable                                                                    
educational  budget  funding.  She   voiced  support  of  an                                                                    
increase  to the  BSA.  She stressed  that  there were  many                                                                    
remarkable achievements  in Alaska  schools, and  pointed to                                                                    
some  current extremely  high test  scores.  She added  that                                                                    
many  of the  after-school and  before-school programs  were                                                                    
necessary  for  children to  build  a  foundation for  their                                                                    
future educational and professional success.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:40:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman stated  that the  Juneau portion  of the                                                                    
public testimony would reconvene at 6:00 p.m. that evening.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:41:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VALERIE BROOKS,  READING SPECIALIST,  HOUGHTALING ELEMENTARY                                                                    
SCHOOL,   KETCHIKAN,   spoke   against   education   funding                                                                    
reductions. She  stressed that pre-K funding  was necessary,                                                                    
because  there were  many students  who needed  the programs                                                                    
because of  their financial restrictions. She  explained the                                                                    
every  student  could  benefit  from  increased  educational                                                                    
funding. She pointed  out that a BSA  increase was necessary                                                                    
for the success of all Alaska students.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:43:15 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:50:21 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CORDOVA AND OFFNETS                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DAN  REUM, FORMER  EDUCATOR,  CORDOVA (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  favor of  behavioral health funding  in HB  65. He                                                                    
discussed high  suicide rates  in the  state. He  noted that                                                                    
counselors  were  sent  to   rural  communities  to  address                                                                    
prevention, but were only there a  short time due to lack of                                                                    
funding. He stressed the  importance of prevention programs.                                                                    
He  stated that  every person  needed at  least five  people                                                                    
they could turn  to for support. He  stressed the importance                                                                    
of proper training for counselors.  He vocalized support for                                                                    
pre-k programs.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
PETER   HOEPFNER,  CORDOVA   SCHOOL   BOARD,  CORDOVA   (via                                                                    
teleconference), vocalized   support for increased education                                                                    
funding.  He discussed  the success  of  the Cordova  school                                                                    
district  and its  students. He  pointed  to the  governor's                                                                    
goal for  a 90 percent  graduation rate by 2020.  He relayed                                                                    
that  Cordova  had  always  met  the  90  percent  rate.  He                                                                    
stressed  that   the  lack  of   funding  was   hurting  the                                                                    
district's students  and that three  teachers had  been lost                                                                    
over the past two years;  the district could not replace the                                                                    
teachers due to funding  decreases. He addressed the digital                                                                    
initiative  that would  allow Cordova's  students to  access                                                                    
the Alaska  Performance Scholarship; the district  could not                                                                    
offer   the   necessary    courses   to   meet   eligibility                                                                    
requirements.  He  relayed  the importance  of  professional                                                                    
development  for teachers.  He wondered  where the  district                                                                    
would turn  if funding for  the digital initiative  was cut.                                                                    
He talked about the importance for student preparedness.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:57:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARB BRYSON,  BEST BEGINNINGS, VALDEZ  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of restoration  of  full funding  for                                                                    
Best Beginnings and Parents as  Teachers programs. She spoke                                                                    
about the  initial stages of the  Valdez Imagination Library                                                                    
under the  guidance of Best Beginnings.  She highlighted the                                                                    
benefits  of annual  training  provided  by Best  Beginnings                                                                    
along  with family  centered environments  and events.  Best                                                                    
Beginnings encouraged communities  to become self-sufficient                                                                    
with funding  in time. She  spoke about fundraising  for the                                                                    
family events done by the  Valdez Imagination Library Board.                                                                    
She  pointed   out  the   Best  Beginnings   website,  which                                                                    
contained a  wealth of data  regarding the stimulation  of a                                                                    
child's brain from birth.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:59:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KIM MIX,  EARLY LEARNING  AND FAMILY PROGRAM,  KOTZEBUE (via                                                                    
teleconference), Spoke  in favor  of restoration  of funding                                                                    
to the  governor's proposed levels for  Best Beginnings. She                                                                    
mentioned  that she  had relocated  from Juneau  to Kotzebue                                                                    
and  recognized the  lack of  programs like  Best Beginnings                                                                    
and Parents and Teachers that  she was accustomed to working                                                                    
with.  She stressed  the needs  in the  community for  early                                                                    
childhood education.  She added that  she had worked  in the                                                                    
field of early childhood education  for 23 years and clearly                                                                    
saw  its  benefits  like  increasing  graduation  rates  and                                                                    
decreasing incarceration.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:03:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIE SERSTAD,  DEPUTY DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY  HEALTH SERVICES,                                                                    
BARROW (via  teleconference), urged inclusion of  the Alaska                                                                    
Area  Health Education  Center in  the University  of Alaska                                                                    
budget  for   $395  thousand   to  support   the  healthcare                                                                    
professions.   She  explained   that  the   program  exposed                                                                    
students  to  a  variety  of health  careers.  She  recently                                                                    
offered  a class  to junior  high and  high school  students                                                                    
interested in public health. Suicide  prevention was a topic                                                                    
chosen  by one  of  her Alaska  native  students. She  spoke                                                                    
about shortages in the healthcare positions in Alaska.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GEANNE GERHARDT-CYRUS, SELF,  KOTZEBUE (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified for  restoration of the  proposed $8.3  million to                                                                    
the behavioral  health budget. She  shared a  personal story                                                                    
about her daughter  and her struggles and  needs of services                                                                    
funded  by  the  increment.  She stated  that  the  lack  of                                                                    
appropriate  services led  to  failures.  She stressed  that                                                                    
support was  essential and helped  to keep  at-risk children                                                                    
in the state.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:08:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CATHERINE  JONES,   SELF,  KOTZEBUE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified that  she had  a disability and  also had  a child                                                                    
diagnosed  with autism  spectrum disorder.  She spoke  about                                                                    
the  devastating  effects  of  substance  abuse  and  mental                                                                    
illness  in the  Northwest arctic  region. She  commented on                                                                    
the high statistics regarding  deaths and injuries resulting                                                                    
from  substance  abuse and  mental  illness  in Alaska.  She                                                                    
stressed  that  the  funding   and  support  prevented  more                                                                    
expensive solutions when problems  become extreme. She spoke                                                                    
about  in-state savings.  She  spoke  about community  based                                                                    
services, which benefited people in crisis.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:11:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANTHONY  CRAVALHO,  SELF,   KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of increased  funding for  behavioral                                                                    
health  services, centers  for independent  living, and  the                                                                    
Complex Behavior Collaborative.  The centers for independent                                                                    
living  allowed  seniors  and people  with  disabilities  to                                                                    
remain in their homes and  out of higher cost facilities. He                                                                    
spoke about  various services  offered by  behavioral health                                                                    
services and the preventative effort  offered as a result of                                                                    
the funding.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:13:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BREE SWANSON, ADMINISTRATOR OF  SOCIAL SERVICES FOR MANIILAQ                                                                    
ASSOCIATION, KOTZEBUE  (via teleconference), testified  as a                                                                    
provider  and  concerned  citizen in  support  of  increased                                                                    
funding  for behavioral  health  services.  She pointed  out                                                                    
that her region  had the highest rates  of suicide, domestic                                                                    
violence,  sexual   assault,  traumatic  brain   injury  and                                                                    
substance  abuse. She  noted that  the Maniilaq  Association                                                                    
provided  the only  behavioral health  services to  Kotzebue                                                                    
and  the  11 surrounding  villages.  She  stressed that  the                                                                    
state would  provide services  to those  people in  need one                                                                    
way or another, whether  through corrections, placement with                                                                    
the   Alaska   Psychiatric   Institute  (API)   or   through                                                                    
institutional care inside or outside the state.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
3:15:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VIVIAN   FLEMING,  BEHAVIORAL   HEALTH  DIRECTOR,   MANIILAQ                                                                    
BEHAVIOR  HEALTH  SERVICES, KOTZEBUE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of increased  funding for  behavioral                                                                    
health  services. She  stated  that  her region  experienced                                                                    
extreme issues  such as domestic  violence and  suicide. She                                                                    
stated  that  villages  in  her   region  received  aid  for                                                                    
behavioral  health  issues  from  the  Maniilaq  Association                                                                    
alone.  Additional  programs  were   not  available  in  the                                                                    
villages.  She  spoke  about the  findings  suggesting  that                                                                    
mental health  costs increased when people  were transferred                                                                    
out of the region.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEVEN  SUNDBY,  EXECUTIVE   DIRECTOR,  SOUND  ALTERNATIVES,                                                                    
CORDOVA  (via  teleconference),  stated that  he  worked  to                                                                    
provide  behavioral health  services  in  Cordova. He  noted                                                                    
that his  facility provided emergency services  24 hours per                                                                    
day,  every  day of  the  year.  The services  targeted  the                                                                    
seriously mentally  ill and emotionally disturbed  youth and                                                                    
adults  as   well  as  providing  outpatient   services  for                                                                    
substance abuse. He spoke about  his clinic and its need for                                                                    
funding.  Cuts in  funding  for  behavioral health  services                                                                    
affected  the Cordova  Community  Medical Center,  Cordova's                                                                    
federally  qualified health  clinic,  the Domestic  Violence                                                                    
Sexual Assault (DVSA) program and the school district.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:21:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PETER HERGENROTTHER,  YUKON HEALTH CORPORATION,  BETHEL (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  favor  of  funding  for  Bethel                                                                    
therapeutic  courts and  the  Phillips Ayagnirvik  Treatment                                                                    
Center (PATC)  residential services. The  residential center                                                                    
provided  an   opportunity  for  a  sober   environment  and                                                                    
addiction education. He spoke about  the cuts to funding and                                                                    
explained the  resulting difficulties. He advocated  for the                                                                    
villages  and the  opportunity for  addiction education  and                                                                    
healthier lifestyles.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:24:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERNON  SAMSON,   YUKON  HEALTH  CORPORATION,   BETHEL  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of  behavioral health                                                                    
services  and funding  for  PATC. He  spoke  about the  many                                                                    
benefits  provided by  PATC  including  the opportunity  for                                                                    
rehabilitation of people with painful addictions.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DUSTY   ALORALREA,   SELF,  BETHEL   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified for  restoration of funding for  behavioral health                                                                    
services.  He spoke  about the  drinking and  drug use  that                                                                    
complicated  issues  in  the   area  of  behavioral  health.                                                                    
Behavioral  health services  were  essential  in the  Bethel                                                                    
area.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:26:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RINDA    HOWELL,    WRANGELL,     BEST    BEGINNINGS    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  incresed funding                                                                    
for  Best Beginnings.  She supported  the spending  of state                                                                    
money  for preventative  reasons.  She  believed that  every                                                                    
state dollar spent now would save nine dollars later.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:27:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENN ALLEN, SELF, HAINES  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
favor  of   restoration  of  funding  for   early  childhood                                                                    
education. She spoke about the  necessity of early childhood                                                                    
education  programs and  the  valuable information  provided                                                                    
regarding childhood  development. She  personally benefitted                                                                    
from the services and her parenting confidence increased.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:29:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SARAH  CHAPELL,  MEMBER  OF  HAINES  BOROUGH  SCHOOL  BOARD,                                                                    
HAINES (via  teleconference), testified in support  of early                                                                    
childhood  education.  She  spoke   about  the  impact  that                                                                    
funding cuts  to early childhood  education programs  had on                                                                    
children  in  all communities  in  Alaska.  She spoke  about                                                                    
reinstating  funding  for  Parents   as  Teachers  and  Best                                                                    
Beginnings.  She stressed  the importance  of adjusting  the                                                                    
funding for  K-12 students for inflation.  She added support                                                                    
for HB  95.  She requested  full funding for the  pilot pre-                                                                    
kindergarten  program.  She  requested reinstatment  of  the                                                                    
governor's budget  request for full funding  for the Digital                                                                    
Learning   Initiative,  which   provided   access  to   many                                                                    
different high school courses in smaller school districts.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:31:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALISSA HENRY,  SELF, HAINES (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in favor of  funding for the Parents as  Teachers program in                                                                    
rural Alaska. The  monthly visits allowed her  time to focus                                                                    
on  children  and  parenting skills.  She  spoke  about  her                                                                    
confidence  resulting from  the program.  She addressed  the                                                                    
need for communities to come  together to support each other                                                                    
and children.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:33:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICHARD TEWS,  SELF, BETHEL (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of the  Bethel sobering  center. He  spoke about                                                                    
his  community  and  the need  to  address  alcohol  related                                                                    
issues. He stated that the  use of alcohol created potential                                                                    
for issues  with both patients  and staff. He  discussed the                                                                    
advantages of  the center which  offered people  choices. He                                                                    
urged continued funding for behavioral health programs.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:36:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN  LEAVITT,  NORTH  SLOPE  BOROUGH  HEALTH  DEPARTMENT,                                                                    
BARROW (via teleconference), testified  in support of mental                                                                    
health  services. She  stated that  the North  Slope Borough                                                                    
Health Department was  the only mental health  center on the                                                                    
North Slope and she listed  a multitude of services provided                                                                    
by the  center. She stated  that a slower response  time for                                                                    
behavioral  health emergencies  would occur  as a  result of                                                                    
funding  cuts. She  spoke  about  clients with  geographical                                                                    
challenges that  also benefitted  from the funding,  as they                                                                    
were able  to stay  near home. She  also supported  the Best                                                                    
Beginnings program.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMY RUSSELL,  BERINGIA CENTER OF  CULTURE AND  SCIENCE, NOME                                                                    
(via teleconference),     voiced support  for a  proposal to                                                                    
amend  the library  construction and  major expansion  grant                                                                    
program to  include museums and cultural  centers. She spoke                                                                    
about the benefits  of the museums, which played  a key role                                                                    
in  education  and  were  critical  to  the  development  of                                                                    
communities in  Alaska. She noted that  educational services                                                                    
benefitted  from  museums  and  cultural  centers  and  were                                                                    
closely linked to the library services.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:42:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ISRAEL   PAYTON,   SELF,   WASILLA   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
applauded  a  $600  thousand funding  cut  proposed  in  the                                                                    
Department of  Natural Resources (DNR) subcommittee  for the                                                                    
guide concession  program. He believed that  the program was                                                                    
not essential and lacked public support.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
3:44:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEANNE  KITAYAMA,  DIRECTOR, CHILDREN'  READING  FOUNDATION,                                                                    
HAINES  (via   teleconference),  testified  in   support  of                                                                    
increased funding  for Best Beginnings. She  pointed out the                                                                    
return on the investment  for early childhood education. She                                                                    
spoke  about the  need for  foresight and  planning for  the                                                                    
future. She stated  that a child's core  brain structure was                                                                    
developed by  age four  and education at  that age  was very                                                                    
important.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
NICKI SHELTON, SELF,  HOONAH (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
for full  funding for early  childhood education.  She spoke                                                                    
about the  impact of early  childhood education  on Hoonah's                                                                    
children.  She  spoke about  the  advantages  of Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers  programs. She  noted that  the specific  education                                                                    
provided by  Parents as Teachers included  home visits which                                                                    
built on  activities with children.  She stated  that strong                                                                    
readiness skills were seen  with the developmental screening                                                                    
offered  by  the program.  She  added  that Best  Beginnings                                                                    
offered multiple  services for the needs  of rural children.                                                                    
She voiced that  the Imagination Library added  to many home                                                                    
libraries.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
3:51:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KEVIN  TRESSLER,   MCCANN  TREATMENT  CENTER,   BETHEL  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   funding  for                                                                    
behavioral health services. He  spoke about many issues that                                                                    
complicated life  for people with mental  illness. He stated                                                                    
that  the  outdoor  opportunities increased  self-esteem  in                                                                    
boys who struggled with  substance abuse, domestic violence,                                                                    
sexual  assault, or  had attempted  suicide. He  stated that                                                                    
fishing, trapping  and hunting  were examples  of activities                                                                    
enjoyed by the boys in  the program. The activities provided                                                                    
alternatives  to substance  abuse  and criminal  activities.                                                                    
The  program   allowed  opportunities  to   progress  toward                                                                    
earning a high school diploma.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:54:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BARBARA  SPRIGGS,  KOTZEBUE,  MENIILAQ MEDICAL  CENTER  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  funding for  the                                                                    
health center. She stated that  the Level Four trauma center                                                                    
requested for  Kotzebue would help stabilize  and transition                                                                    
people  to higher  levels of  care. She  understood that  $2                                                                    
million  was  removed  from  the   trauma  funding  and  she                                                                    
encouraged its reinstatement. She  stated that the reduction                                                                    
of morbidity and  mortality was accomplished as  a result of                                                                    
the  health  center. She  spoke  about  the need  for  fetal                                                                    
monitors and incubators. She stated  that 35-40 trauma cases                                                                    
per week were addressed in the center.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:57:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. ELLA DERBYSHIRE, KOTZEBUE,  MENIILAQ MEDICAL CENTER (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in favor  of a  statewide common                                                                    
network  as  opposed to  funding  cuts  for trauma  care  in                                                                    
Alaska.  She  stated that  her  remote  region required  the                                                                    
promotion of a trauma network.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:58:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REGGIE  JOULE,  MAYOR,  NW  ARCTIC  BOROUGH,  KOTZEBUE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  of funding for public                                                                    
safety.  He thanked  the legislature  for  their support  of                                                                    
funding  for  the  Village   Public  Safety  Officer  (VPSO)                                                                    
program in the  rural parts of Alaska. He  stressed that the                                                                    
needs for VPSOs in his  region had increased. He thanked the                                                                    
committee for  the support  in the  form of  revenue sharing                                                                    
with communities.  He thanked the committee  for the support                                                                    
with   the  Public   Employees'  Retirement   System  (PERS)                                                                    
responsibility and  he recognized the difficulty  in finding                                                                    
a  solution to  the issue.  He requested  support for  early                                                                    
childhood education.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:01:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  CYRUS,  SELF,  KIANA  (via  teleconference),  requested                                                                    
funding  restoration for  the budget//.  He  noted the  high                                                                    
rate of suicide in his region.  He added that the support of                                                                    
individuals  added  to  the  success.   He  noted  that  the                                                                    
services could  be rendered by  members of  the communities.                                                                    
An  added benefit  was the  savings of  money. He  discussed                                                                    
multiple  services offered  by community  support. He  urged                                                                    
the maintenance of services.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:04:05 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:12:15 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ANCHORAGE                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ANNA   SAPPAH,   EXECUTIVE    DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   ADDICTION                                                                    
PROFESSIONALS    ASSOCIATION    (AAPA),    ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  opposition  to   the  $8.3                                                                    
million  funding cuts  to  behavioral  health services.  She                                                                    
discussed that addiction treatment  programs had allowed her                                                                    
to parent  her children and  return to school; she  had been                                                                    
sober  for  18  years.  She discussed  suicides  related  to                                                                    
untreated   mental   illness   and  substance   abuse.   She                                                                    
emphasized that  money spent  on substance  abuse prevention                                                                    
saved costs related to  emergency medical services, criminal                                                                    
justice services, court systems,  and lost productivity. She                                                                    
pointed  to  opiate  addiction  in  the  state  and  limited                                                                    
treatment options.  She stressed that the  behavioral health                                                                    
field  provided  support for  individuals  and  jobs in  the                                                                    
state.  She  urged the  committee  to  keep funding  in  the                                                                    
behavioral health base.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:15:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROBYN  TRIEST,  ALASKA  PEER SUPPORT  CONSORTIUM,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), spoke against  cuts to the therapeutic                                                                    
courts and behavioral health. She  stressed that people were                                                                    
struggling to  get support  and help  in the  state; without                                                                    
support people  ended up in  high cost services.  She shared                                                                    
that  prevention  would  help  save  the  state  money.  She                                                                    
encouraged  support for  people in  their local  communities                                                                    
that  would  allow  for  quicker  recovery;  emergency  room                                                                    
visits  would be  decreased  and fewer  people  would go  to                                                                    
jail. She accentuated that cuts  would hurt the state in the                                                                    
long-term.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:18:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  PAYTON, CO-OCCURRING  DISORDERS INSTITUTE  (CODI),                                                                    
MAT-SU   (via  teleconference),   testified   in  favor   of                                                                    
continued funding  for the Department of  Behavioral Health.                                                                    
She shared  that CoDI worked  to shorten the length  of stay                                                                    
for  youths  in  out  of state  residential  treatment;  the                                                                    
reduced stays  equated to  cost savings  for the  state. She                                                                    
explained other intervention  and preventative approaches of                                                                    
the institute.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:20:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TINA   MORGAN,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
vocalized   support   for  maintaining   behavioral   health                                                                    
services funding.  She made a  personal statement  about her                                                                    
family.  She   stressed  that  money   would  be   spent  on                                                                    
corrections and  in other unnecessary  areas if  funding was                                                                    
diverted  from  behavioral  health. She  urged  support  for                                                                    
therapeutic courts funding. She  noted that it was difficult                                                                    
to operate a behavioral health system in a silo.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:21:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LISA   PIERCE,   SELF,   ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in support  of  behavioral  health services.  She                                                                    
stated  that individuals  with chronic  mental illness  were                                                                    
the most  vulnerable. She emphasized that  behavioral health                                                                    
services  assistance  and  support  provided  a  gateway  to                                                                    
wellness. She stated that the  reduction in funds would deny                                                                    
individuals treatment or access to necessary support.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:22:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN HALLOWAY, PROJECT  COORDINATOR, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM                                                                    
TRANSFORMATION  PROJECT,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in  favor of continued funding  for behavioral health.                                                                    
Continued  funding  for  behavioral  health  in  communities                                                                    
decreased  the  chances  that  individuals  would  become  a                                                                    
burden on  the state.  He discussed his  personal experience                                                                    
and the importance of treatment programs.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:23:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DONNA   MAXWELL,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),                                                                    
vocalized  opposition to  funding cuts  for traumatic  brain                                                                    
injury victims. She shared  her family's personal experience                                                                    
with traumatic  brain injury. She struggled  had experienced                                                                    
difficulty locating  experienced staff  to help  provide in-                                                                    
home living skills  for her daughter. She  worried about her                                                                    
daughter's future.  She stressed  that there  were currently                                                                    
not enough  resources for  individuals with  traumatic brain                                                                    
injuries.  She stressed  that the  state should  invest more                                                                    
funding to help the individuals.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:26:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  FRANK  SACCO,  TRAUMA DIRECTOR,  ALASKA  TRAUMA  SYSTEM                                                                    
REVIEW (via  teleconference), spoke  in support of  a trauma                                                                    
system for  the state. Alaska  had one of the  highest rates                                                                    
of  deaths  from injury  in  the  nation. He  stressed  that                                                                    
trauma systems had  been shown to reduce  the mortality rate                                                                    
from  serious injury  by 25  to 30  percent. He  discussed a                                                                    
trauma fund bill  that passed in 2010;  subsequently half of                                                                    
the  state  hospitals were  now  participating  in a  trauma                                                                    
program. He  was dismayed  at the  elimination of  money for                                                                    
the  fund  from the  budget.  He  accentuated that  tangible                                                                    
results had been witnessed from  the fund. He discussed that                                                                    
the program was proven. He urged the committee's support.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:28:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  BAKER,  SOUTHCENTRAL  FOUNDATION,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in   support  of  the  Southcentral                                                                    
Foundation  that  provided  behavioral  health  services  to                                                                    
Alaska  Natives and  American Indians  in the  Anchorage and                                                                    
Mat-Su  areas. The  organization relied  on federal,  state,                                                                    
and  private funding  sources. She  relayed that  cuts would                                                                    
hurt Alaskans  and would  put individuals  at a  higher risk                                                                    
for  institutionalized  care.  She emphasized  that  serving                                                                    
people  at   home  would  save  money.   She  stressed  that                                                                    
behavioral  health   cuts  would  marginalize   the  state's                                                                    
working poor  and would  increase costs  in other  areas for                                                                    
the  state   such  as   law  enforcement   and  correctional                                                                    
facilities.   The  organization   had   worked  to   provide                                                                    
behavioral health consulting  services to minimize emergency                                                                    
room  visits and  other. She  reiterated  her opposition  to                                                                    
proposed funding cuts.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:30:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. REGINA  CHENAULT, CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON  TRAUMA, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), vocalized support  for the Trauma Care                                                                    
Fund. She  relayed that Senator  Coghill's bill  had brought                                                                    
some  amazing   education  and  systems  building   for  the                                                                    
response to injured  people in the state.  She stressed that                                                                    
most other states  were much more advanced in  the area. She                                                                    
stated that  Anchorage was the  largest city in  the country                                                                    
that was not providing a  designated level of trauma care to                                                                    
every  injured individual.  She relayed  that cutting  funds                                                                    
would  lead  to  25  percent   more  people  with  permanent                                                                    
immobility or mortality from  traumatic injury. She stressed                                                                    
that trauma care saved lives.  She asked for a reinstatement                                                                    
of trauma funds.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:32:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNA CAMPBELL,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in opposition  to the removal  of funds from  drug treatment                                                                    
programs. She shared her  personal experience with addiction                                                                    
and  treatment. She  discussed that  the program  had helped                                                                    
her to  change her path in  life and to be  a better mother.                                                                    
She  communicated  that   without  treatment  programs  more                                                                    
individuals would end  up in jail and children  would end up                                                                    
in state custody. She urged  the committee to reconsider the                                                                    
cuts.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOERENE  SAVIKKO,   VICTIMS  FOR  JUSTICE,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified   in  support  of   victims  for                                                                    
justice  funding.   She  relayed  her  personal   story  and                                                                    
attested  to   the  effectiveness   of  the   services.  She                                                                    
discussed  federal   funding  received  by  the   state  for                                                                    
underserved crimes.  She stated that the  recommended survey                                                                    
of  victims'  needs  was  not   being  met  in  Alaska.  She                                                                    
communicated that  bringing the state into  compliance would                                                                    
not  add to  the  Department of  Public  Safety budget;  the                                                                    
funding already  existed in the federal  grant. She stressed                                                                    
that the  failure to bring  the state into  compliance could                                                                    
result in the loss of federal funds.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:36:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
FAITH  MYERS,   MENTAL  HEALTH  ADVOCATES,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support  of  mental  health                                                                    
programs.  She emphasized  that  good  programs existed  and                                                                    
spoke  against  the  $8.3 million  cuts.  She  believed  the                                                                    
community  of  advocates should  be  able  to make  its  own                                                                    
recommendations.  She  stated  that society  had  difficulty                                                                    
incorporating disabled  individuals into the  community. She                                                                    
stated  that   Alaska  has  some  of   the  worst  grievance                                                                    
procedure  laws  in  the nation  for  disabled  people.  She                                                                    
stressed that the laws needed to be improved.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DORRANCE  COLLINS, MENTAL  HEALTH ADVOCATES,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  in  favor of  restoring  funds  for                                                                    
mental  health.  She  shared   stories  about  mentally  ill                                                                    
individuals  who were  denied services.  She reiterated  her                                                                    
support  for mental  health funds  and  improvements to  the                                                                    
grievance procedure  law for disabled  psychiatric patients.                                                                    
She asked the committee to include the funds.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:40:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE  ROADS,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  against  the  $8.3 million  reduction  in  behavioral                                                                    
health  grants.   She  supported  funding   for  therapeutic                                                                    
courts. She  shared that  42 percent of  inmates in  2006 in                                                                    
Alaska  were  impacted  by mentally  illness,  developmental                                                                    
disabilities,  dementia,   traumatic  brain   injury,  fetal                                                                    
alcohol spectrum disorder, or  alcoholism. She stressed that                                                                    
the   individuals    had   an   increased    likelihood   of                                                                    
criminalization.   She accentuated that the  state currently                                                                    
paid  a high  price inadequate  mental health  and substance                                                                    
abuse  treatment. She  pointed to  overcrowding in  prisons.                                                                    
She discussed the need for  hands-on judicial supervision of                                                                    
treatment  plans to  promote public  safety. She  pointed to                                                                    
acute and costly care.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:44:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JENNIFER  SMERD,  DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY  RELATIONS,  COMMUNITY                                                                    
MENTAL HEALTH, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
opposition to  reduced mental health funding.  She discussed                                                                    
that the  agency had  a waiting list  for its  programs. She                                                                    
relayed that access to services  equaled recovery. She asked                                                                    
the committee to consider reinstating funding.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:45:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRITTANY  BUZZARD,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
voiced  support  for mental  health  funding.  She shared  a                                                                    
personal  experience.  Through   treatment  she  learned  to                                                                    
believe she  could succeed and understood  many people would                                                                    
benefit from mental health treatment.  She stressed that the                                                                    
funding  was important  for individuals  desperately needing                                                                    
benefits.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:46:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONATHAN   TEETERS,   BEST    BEGINNINGS,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), asked for the restoration  of funds for the                                                                    
Best  Beginnings  and  Parents   as  Teachers  programs.  He                                                                    
pointed to  the importance of the  programs. He communicated                                                                    
that every  $1 invested in  early childhood could  return up                                                                    
to $7  in positive impacts  and avoided costs to  the state.                                                                    
He discussed  that the programs  generated over  100 percent                                                                    
return on every  public dollar used. He  urged the committee                                                                    
to  fund the  programs  at the  governor's proposed  funding                                                                    
level.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:47:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  MATTHIAS,  ANCHORAGE IMAGINATION  LIBRARY,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via teleconference), urged  reinstatement of the governor's                                                                    
proposed  funds  for  the Best  Beginnings  and  Parents  as                                                                    
Teachers.  She stated  that  the  programs provided  parents                                                                    
with tools  that would enable  young children to  succeed in                                                                    
school.   She  emphasized   the  importance   of  books   in                                                                    
children's  lives; books  encouraged  brain development  and                                                                    
provided important family time.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:49:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JERRY JENKINS, ANCHORAGE  COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference),   spoke  for  reinstatement   of  the                                                                    
governor's  proposed mental  health  funds.  He that  grants                                                                    
reductions would mean fewer  services. He discussed treating                                                                    
children   impacted  by   trauma;   treatment  resulted   in                                                                    
improvement in life areas such as  at home and in school. He                                                                    
stated that the grant  reductions would restrict the ability                                                                    
to provide needed services that were in high demand.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:51:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE   LINQUIST,   ANCHORAGE   COMMUNITY   MENTAL   HEALTH,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  spoke in  favor of  mental                                                                    
health funds. He  asked the committee to  consider the lives                                                                    
of the  constituents they were  representing. He  pointed to                                                                    
challenges  the  individuals  had   on  a  daily  basis.  He                                                                    
emphasized  that the  individuals  deserved the  opportunity                                                                    
for an improved life. He  understood the committee was faced                                                                    
with pressure related to the  budget. He asked the committee                                                                    
fund  the  governor's  initiative  for  sexual  assault  and                                                                    
domestic violence.  He stressed that when  support was taken                                                                    
away risk factors were increased for the individuals.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:53:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JESSICA CRAIG,  EPIDEMIOLOGIST, ALASKA NATIVE  TRIBAL HEALTH                                                                    
CONSORTIUM  (via  teleconference),  asked the  committee  to                                                                    
reinstate money  for the Trauma Care  Fund. She communicated                                                                    
that injuries  were a leading  cause of  hospitalization and                                                                    
death.  She  shared  that  the  trauma  registry  helped  to                                                                    
compile reports and to inform  program and policy decisions.                                                                    
The identification  of trauma was  of particular  concern in                                                                    
the tribal health  system. She stated that  the registry had                                                                    
helped to identify  the high number of  gun related injuries                                                                    
and to secure funding to  promote gun safety in communities.                                                                    
She urged reinstatement of the funds.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:54:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HILLARY  STRAYER,  ALASKA  NATIVE TRIBAL  HEALTH  CONSORTIUM                                                                    
(via teleconference),  spoke in  favor of  the reinstatement                                                                    
of money  for the Trauma  Care Fund. She shared  that losing                                                                    
the fund  would substantially  reduce support  of collection                                                                    
of medical trauma data. She  pointed to high rates of trauma                                                                    
related deaths  in the  state. She  shared that  rural staff                                                                    
struggled  to reduce  injury rates  with diminishing  funds.                                                                    
The  fund helped  to reduce  the types  of injuries  through                                                                    
prevention  such  as  suicide  and other.  She  stated  that                                                                    
medical  centers were  already struggling  to obtain  needed                                                                    
data.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:56:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIE  RABEAU, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in favor  of restoring funds  for the Trauma Care  Fund. She                                                                    
had  seen   improved  chances  of  survival   when  patients                                                                    
received  trauma care.  She emphasized  that trauma  centers                                                                    
were  supported   through  the   purchase  of   life  saving                                                                    
equipment,   education,  and   training.  She   stated  that                                                                    
legislators were some of the  users who relied on the trauma                                                                    
registry  data to  be timely,  accurate, and  available. She                                                                    
stressed  that  the data  could  not  be maintained  without                                                                    
funds.   She  shared   that   seven   trauma  centers   were                                                                    
established  in 2007  alone. She  relayed that  the cuts  in                                                                    
funding  would impact  rural trauma  centers  the most.  She                                                                    
stated that  the funds  would help  prepare the  centers for                                                                    
disasters.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:59:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AMBROSIA  BOWLUS,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support of the  recapitalization of the Trauma Care                                                                    
Fund  in  the  Department  of  Health  and  Social  Services                                                                    
budget.  She  stated  that the  fund  enabled  hospitals  to                                                                    
collect  trauma data.  The data  was current  for the  first                                                                    
time  and  was critical  for  the  health of  Alaskans.  The                                                                    
registry  enabled many  organizations  to prioritize  health                                                                    
issues  including  behavioral  health,  suicide,  and  brain                                                                    
injury.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:00:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RONALD WILSON,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), asked                                                                    
the  committee to  reinstate funding  for mental  health and                                                                    
urged  support  for  a  restoration  of  funds  to  the  DWI                                                                    
therapeutic court program. He  shared a personal story about                                                                    
his  experience   with  substance   abuse  and   an  anxiety                                                                    
disorder.  He  was an  Anchorage  Alumni  Group member  that                                                                    
provided  outreach for  victims.  He believed  that peer  to                                                                    
peer  support was  essential to  recovery  and breaking  the                                                                    
cycle of incarceration.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:02:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOREEN SIHENKENBERGER,  THERAPEUTIC COURT  ALUMNI, ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), asked  the committee  to restore  the                                                                    
$689,000  increment  for  the DWI  therapeutic  courts.  She                                                                    
discussed  a 93  percent success  rate from  the therapeutic                                                                    
court. She graduated  from the program in 2005  and had been                                                                    
sober from that point on.  She discussed her work with court                                                                    
participants.  She shared  a personal  story related  to the                                                                    
harmful effects of alcohol. She  had regained her life after                                                                    
wellness court and was currently  a home and business owner.                                                                    
She  shared  that she  and  her  children had  succeeded  in                                                                    
breaking her family's cycle of alcoholism.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:06:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT  REYNAGA, VOLUNTEER,  CANCER  ACTION NETWORK,  ANCHORAGE                                                                    
(via  teleconference), spoke  in  support  of maintaining  a                                                                    
strong tobacco  prevention program in  the state. She  was a                                                                    
nurse and had  seen the devastating effects  of tobacco use.                                                                    
She pointed to  progress made as a result  of prevention and                                                                    
cessation efforts  over the past  10 years. She  stated that                                                                    
the program  had helped  to reduce youth  tobacco use  by 50                                                                    
percent  and  by  20  percent in  adults.  She  shared  that                                                                    
Alaska's youth  used tobacco at  higher rates than  in other                                                                    
states.  She stressed  that cutting  the  program would  not                                                                    
offset  increased  Medicaid  costs that  would  result  from                                                                    
increased illness caused by smoking.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
5:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA JACKSON, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in  support  of  substance  abuse  prevention  funding.  She                                                                    
shared  her personal  experience  fighting substance  abuse.                                                                    
She believed  a reduction in funding  to prevention programs                                                                    
would be detrimental to society.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
5:08:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LEO TONDREAULT, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of substance abuse prevention  and mental health                                                                    
treatment. He  discussed his  personal fight  with substance                                                                    
abuse and shared that residential  treatment had changed his                                                                    
life considerably.  He stressed that cutting  funds would be                                                                    
detrimental.  He  was  incredibly grateful  for  the  health                                                                    
services he had received.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:10:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WILLIAM   FINLEY,   FINANCE   SECRETARY,   SALVATION   ARMY,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  vocalized   support  for                                                                    
behavioral  health  services.  He shared  that  the  program                                                                    
saved lives when people had no  other place to go. He stated                                                                    
that  less  funding meant  reduced  services.  He urged  the                                                                    
committee  to look  at where  funding would  be cut.  He was                                                                    
deeply concerned about unallocated  funding cuts. He pointed                                                                    
out  that being  asked  to change  accounting practices  and                                                                    
procedures   overnight   was   much  more   difficult   than                                                                    
implementing a long-term plan for saving money.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
5:12:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAUL  ALBERS,   BROTHER  FRANCIS  SHELTER,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), urged full funding  for the traumatic brain                                                                    
injury (TBI) program.  He shared the story  of an individual                                                                    
who  had  been  homeless  and  had  been  denied  vocational                                                                    
rehabilitation services  based on a  psychiatric evaluation.                                                                    
He furthered that the Alaska  Brain Injury Network had given                                                                    
the individual  a grant; with continuing  support the person                                                                    
would have the ability to  move into an apartment. He shared                                                                    
that  the event  would not  have been  possible without  the                                                                    
funds  the legislature  was considering  making cuts  to. He                                                                    
communicated that funding the  TBI program could help reduce                                                                    
homelessness in Anchorage.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:14:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SUZI  PEARSON, EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  ABUSED  WOMEN'S AID  IN                                                                    
CRISIS (AWAIC), ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), thanked the                                                                    
Department  of Public  Safety subcommittee  for recommending                                                                    
the  inclusion of  $287,500 increment  for victims'  service                                                                    
programs. She  asked the committee  to maintain  support for                                                                    
the  increment   that  would  assist  programs   in  meeting                                                                    
increases  in basic  costs such  as  utilities, energy,  and                                                                    
transportation  of  victims to  and  from  villages and  hub                                                                    
communities.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:15:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIA  LUEY, SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),  shared                                                                    
her  personal story  of cocaine  and alcohol  addiction. She                                                                    
revealed  that  she  was  admitted  into  the  Akeela  House                                                                    
Recovery Program in  2008. She stated that  her recovery was                                                                    
instrumental in  gaining the benefit  of honest  living. She                                                                    
stated that  she had celebrated  many years of  recovery and                                                                    
was  able to  conceive  a  child and  parent  her well.  She                                                                    
encouraged the restoration of  funding for behavioral health                                                                    
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:17:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  SMITH,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in   support  of  funding  for   the  residential                                                                    
treatment program at the Akeela  House Recovery Program. She                                                                    
stated  that her  recovery from  addiction  was a  long-term                                                                    
challenge.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:18:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HIEDI  FROST, STATEWIDE  INDEPENDENT LIVING  COUNSEL (SILC),                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),   testified  in  favor  of                                                                    
funding  for  Alaskans   that  required  independent  living                                                                    
assistance. She stated that she  suffered a head injury from                                                                    
a car  accident caused  by a drunk  driver. She  voiced that                                                                    
the restoration  of $100 thousand increment  for independent                                                                    
living   in   the   Department  of   Labor   and   Workforce                                                                    
Development's  budget   allowing  centers   for  independent                                                                    
living to continue outreach to rural Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:20:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ROSALIE  NADEAU,  CHIEF   EXECUTIVE  OFFICER,  AKEELA  HOUSE                                                                    
RECOVERY PROGRAM, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), testified                                                                    
in support  of funding for the   program. She feared  that a                                                                    
cut in  behavioral health programs  would make  it difficult                                                                    
to operate  the necessary programs in  Southeast Alaska. She                                                                    
stated  that  the  pressures placed  on  those  who  operate                                                                    
programs  were great.  She  mentioned  the unfunded  mandate                                                                    
requiring  the accreditation  of the  program, which  proved                                                                    
expensive.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:24:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANET   MCCABE,  PARTNERS   FOR  PROGRESS,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  requested the  restoration of  funding for                                                                    
the  DUI  therapeutic  courts, as  submitted  by  the  court                                                                    
system  and proposed  by the  governor. She  stated that  an                                                                    
addictive  offender  who  entered a  therapeutic  court  was                                                                    
faced   with  many   challenges  and   opportunities  as   a                                                                    
participant  of  therapeutic  courts. She  stated  that  the                                                                    
addictive   offenders  were   often  repeat-offenders.   She                                                                    
stressed   that   those   offenders  who   participated   in                                                                    
therapeutic courts benefitted greatly.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:26:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GWEN   LEE,   THE   ARC   OF   ANCHORAGE,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified  in support of  the reinstatement                                                                    
of  the  proposed $8.3  million  in  funding for  behavioral                                                                    
health  services. She  stated that  the pressure  to provide                                                                    
services  was greatly  reduced by  the decrease  in funding.                                                                    
She pointed out  that the state funding  provided 17 percent                                                                    
of the operating  costs. She voiced that  deferring those in                                                                    
need to waiting lists led to devastating results.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:28:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KARIN   SCHAFF,  VOLUNTEERS   OF  AMERICA,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified  in  support of  restoration  of                                                                    
funding  for  behavioral  health  programs  in  Alaska.  She                                                                    
stated that  many of the  youth affected with  mental health                                                                    
issues benefitted  from the funding,  which saved  the state                                                                    
money with the preventative effort.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
5:30:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENDRA LEE, SELF, PALMER  (via teleconference), testified in                                                                    
favor of  funding for traumatic  brain injury  programs. She                                                                    
shared  a  story  about  a   beneficiary  of  the  program's                                                                    
funding.  She stated  that she  worked with  girls suffering                                                                    
from mental  and emotional  disturbances. She  requested the                                                                    
reinstatement of the funding.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
5:32:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRYSTAL  CALICE,  AKEELA,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified  as  a  recovering addict.  She  voiced  that  the                                                                    
programs offered at Akeela were  instrumental in her success                                                                    
and   her  sobriety.   She  stated   that  she   moved  into                                                                    
transitional   housing   after  completing   the   treatment                                                                    
program. She revealed that she  was an active participant in                                                                    
her child's school and was able  to provide a safe and sober                                                                    
home.  She asserted  that  she was  a  productive member  of                                                                    
society since receiving help from Akeela.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
5:33:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LINDSAY  MCDANIEL,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified that she was a  recovering addict, who spent three                                                                    
weeks recovering  at the psychiatric  ward at  the Fairbanks                                                                    
Memorial  Hospital and  then continued  recovery at  Akeela.                                                                    
She stated that  her time at Akeela helped her  learn how to                                                                    
take care of herself and her responsibilities.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:35:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JEFFREY   KELLERMAN,   TRAUMATIC   BRAIN   INJURY   SUPPORT,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),  testified in  support  of                                                                    
funding  for TBI  programs. He  himself  was a  victim of  a                                                                    
traumatic  brain  injury   and  requested  reinstatement  of                                                                    
funding for  the programs.  He stated  that many  tools were                                                                    
available for  people suffering from  TBI. He  advocated for                                                                    
independent living  for those  with TBI.  He stated  that he                                                                    
lost  his marriage  as  a result  of TBI.  He  spoke to  the                                                                    
benefit  of a  clean and  clear mind.  He believed  that the                                                                    
funding should be provided for the very important program.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
5:39:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOHN CREWS, ALASKA VOCATIONAL  AND TECHNICAL CENTER (AVTEC),                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),   testified  in  favor  of                                                                    
restoration of funds  for AVTEC in the  operating budget. He                                                                    
pointed  out that  the governor  discouraged an  increase in                                                                    
AVTEC's tuition  while the legislature removed  funding that                                                                    
would  help  to  train  Alaskans   in  critical  fields.  He                                                                    
suggested that Alaska  required additional trained mechanics                                                                    
and  other positions  provided by  AVTEC. He  explained that                                                                    
community   members   such   as  plumbers,   mechanics   and                                                                    
electricians were valuable to the communities.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
5:41:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JAKE    METCALF,   PSEA    LOCAL    803,   ANCHORAGE    (via                                                                    
teleconference), testified in support  of funding for public                                                                    
safety in  Alaska. He stated  that Alaska had  serious issue                                                                    
with  public safety.  He requested  the  restoration of  the                                                                    
governor's request. He  advocated for the funding  of all 21                                                                    
positions. He detailed the needs in rural Alaska.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
5:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JILL  HODGES, TBI  SUPPORT, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified in  support of mental health  services. She stated                                                                    
that  her  brother  suffered  a   TBI  in  California  where                                                                    
resources existed.  She stated  that the  government funding                                                                    
was  essential to  her brother's  recovery.  She urged  full                                                                    
funding for  the TBI program  and others. She  discussed the                                                                    
importance of basic mental health resources.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:47:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GRACE SNIDER,  TBI SUPPORT, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference),                                                                    
stressed  the  importance  of funding  for  traumatic  brain                                                                    
injuries, the  Complex Behavior Collaborative, and  the $8.3                                                                    
million  for  behavioral  health  services.  She  urged  the                                                                    
committee's support.  She told a personal  family experience                                                                    
with traumatic brain  injury. She discussed a  person with a                                                                    
brain  injury and  mental illness  who  was currently  being                                                                    
denied  services. She  emphasized  that  she had  personally                                                                    
greatly benefited from existing  peer support resources. She                                                                    
urged the committee support for the funding increments.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:49:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ARLENE  LUDWIG,   MEETING  THE  CHALLENGE,   ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  vocalize support  for addiction  treatment                                                                    
programs.  She was  a  recovering from  addiction  and as  a                                                                    
result of  treatment programs  she had been  able to  hold a                                                                    
job  for the  past 6  years. She  stressed that  going to  a                                                                    
treatment  center   had  saved  her  life.   She  asked  the                                                                    
committee  to reconsider  $8.3  million  cuts to  behavioral                                                                    
health services. The services were vital to individuals.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
5:50:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBORAH  BOCK, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of mental  health funds. Mental  health services                                                                    
saved  the  state  money  by  keeping  individuals  off  the                                                                    
street,  out  of  jail,  and out  of  hospitals.  She  spoke                                                                    
against any cuts to the Division of Behavioral Health.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
5:51:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEBI  BALDWIN,   CHILD  DEVELOPMENT  DIRECTOR,   RURAL  CAP,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE (via teleconference),  encouraged funding for pre-                                                                    
k  programs. She  stressed that  the funds  included in  the                                                                    
proposed  budget  did  would  maintain  services  for  pre-k                                                                    
programs,  Best Beginnings,  and  Parents  as Teachers.  She                                                                    
stated  that the  decrements  could result  in  the loss  of                                                                    
services children and families.  She was concerned about the                                                                    
information    and   justification    the   House    Finance                                                                    
Subcommittee  had used  to cut  services  for children.  She                                                                    
stressed that the services were  not duplicative. She stated                                                                    
the  programs all  had proven  results and  increased parent                                                                    
involvement.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
5:53:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PAT  VENTGEN,  CLINICAL  DIRECTOR,  AKEELA,  ANCHORAGE  (via                                                                    
teleconference), spoke in support  of funding for behavioral                                                                    
health,  mental health,  and  substance  abuse programs.  He                                                                    
asked the  committee to restore full  funding for behavioral                                                                    
health  in  the budget.  He  stressed  that treatment  saved                                                                    
lives;  for many  Akeela clients  the treatment  was a  last                                                                    
resort. He  emphasized that treatment  also saved  money. He                                                                    
pointed to  a McDowell  Group report showing  that treatment                                                                    
reduced  substance  abuse  and  court costs.  He  asked  the                                                                    
committee to study the report  that would provide additional                                                                    
insight  on the  importance of  full funding  for behavioral                                                                    
health.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
5:56:12 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
6:06:47 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE   BERGLUND,  CHIEF   EXECUTIVE  OFFICER,   THREAD,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke  in   support  of                                                                    
childcare  and early  educators. He  asked the  committee to                                                                    
restore cuts  for children to  ensure health and  safety for                                                                    
young   Alaskans.  She   encouraged  the   reinstatement  of                                                                    
$250,000  for  strengthening  families, $400,000  for  early                                                                    
childhood  mental   health,  pre-k,  Best   Beginnings,  and                                                                    
$242,000 for  Parents as Teachers.  She emphasized  that the                                                                    
programs provided critical  education and community services                                                                    
for  educators and  families. She  stated that  many of  the                                                                    
investments were  the best investments  that could  be made.                                                                    
She stressed  that investing early on  helped better prepare                                                                    
children for school, work, and life.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
6:09:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NIKOS  PASTOS, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
in support  of TBI  funding. He  requested full  funding for                                                                    
the  program.  He  asked  the   committee  to  continue  and                                                                    
potentially  increase  funding  for  behavioral  health.  He                                                                    
shared his  personal experience  related to  traumatic brain                                                                    
injury.  He stated  that the  cost of  institutionalizing an                                                                    
individual cost  at least five  times the cost of  living at                                                                    
home. He  was committed to  advocating for people.  He urged                                                                    
the committee to put more money into TBI treatment.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:12:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JUNEAU                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
RICKY  DEISING,  REGIONAL DIRECTOR,  INLANDBOATMAN'S  UNION,                                                                    
JUNEAU,  spoke in  opposition to  the  elimination of  ferry                                                                    
passes  for  future employees  and  retirees  of the  Alaska                                                                    
Marine  Highway  System.  He communicated  that  the  change                                                                    
would  impact  hundreds  to  thousands  of  people  who  had                                                                    
expected to receive  the pass. He detailed  that the benefit                                                                    
had been agreed to  during a collective bargaining agreement                                                                    
40 years  earlier; the employees  had tried to get  step and                                                                    
merit increases  at the time.  The step and  merit increases                                                                    
had not been  provided, but it the passes  had been approved                                                                    
as  part of  the  benefit package.  He  emphasized that  the                                                                    
passes  did not  represent a  cost to  the state;  they were                                                                    
space  available only.  He equated  the reduction  to Alaska                                                                    
Airline employees' benefit that  allowed them to fly standby                                                                    
on planes.  He urged the  committee to think about  what the                                                                    
change would  do to future  employees. He had  received over                                                                    
100 calls  in the past day  in opposition to the  change. He                                                                    
stated  that  the  pass was  revenue  positive;  individuals                                                                    
spent  money  on food  and  state  rooms  on the  ferry.  He                                                                    
thanked the committee for its time.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
6:16:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHERYL  WEINBERG,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,  SOUTHEAST  REGIONAL                                                                    
RESOURCE  CENTER (SERRC),  JUNEAU,  asked  the committee  to                                                                    
consider  restoring the  $100,000 for  the rural  transition                                                                    
program. She explained that rural  transition was a priority                                                                    
in the  Alaska Mental  Health Trust  Authority comprehensive                                                                    
plan.  She stated  that an  investment equaled  cost savings                                                                    
and increased  quality of life  for students when  they aged                                                                    
out of the  system. She pointed to five  important facts for                                                                    
transition planning including  effective transition planning                                                                    
for  high  school  students  with  disabilities,  facilitate                                                                    
success   in  adult   life,   access   to  adult   services,                                                                    
comprehensive  vocational  plan,  securing  a  job  by  high                                                                    
school  graduation,  and  parent participation.  She  stated                                                                    
that  there  were   insufficient  partnerships  between  the                                                                    
business community and schools  for the purpose of enhancing                                                                    
employment  opportunities  to  students  with  disabilities.                                                                    
The Rural  Transition program  addressed the  issues through                                                                    
professional development.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:19:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOE  GELDHOF,  PACIFIC   COAST  COUNSEL,  MARINE  ENGINEERS'                                                                    
BENEFICIAL ASSOCIATION,  JUNEAU, pointed to  intent language                                                                    
on page  38 of CSHB  65. He believed the  legislative intent                                                                    
was to  get rid of  the free  passage of vehicles  for state                                                                    
agencies,  which was  different than  the employee  pass for                                                                    
retired and  current ferry workers. He  recommended that the                                                                    
committee  consider  dropping   the  language  after  "state                                                                    
agencies" to  separate it from  state employees.  He relayed                                                                    
that state  employees had bargained for  the space-available                                                                    
pass many years earlier. He  encouraged the committee to ask                                                                    
the Legislative  Affairs Agency to conduct  research project                                                                    
on the cost of the pass.  He informed the committee that the                                                                    
intent language would not come  up until the next bargaining                                                                    
cycle in one  year. He urged the committee  to eliminate the                                                                    
second clause following  "state agencies" on page  38 of the                                                                    
bill.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:22:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARY  HAKALA,  COORDINATOR, SCIENCE  TECHNOLOGY  ENGINEERING                                                                    
MATH  (STEM) ALASKA,  JUNEAU, shared  that  the program  was                                                                    
primarily funded  by the U.S.  Department of  Defense; funds                                                                    
had  begun  to  diminish.  There  had  been  capital  budget                                                                    
appropriations made  in the  past couple  of years  for STEM                                                                    
and First  Robotics. She communicated  that the  program did                                                                    
not anticipate  any new federal  funds. She asked  the state                                                                    
to invest in  the program that was about  jobs and workforce                                                                    
development.  She  pointed  to  a handout  provided  to  the                                                                    
committee. She  welcomed the committee  to a  First Robotics                                                                    
event in Anchorage; there were 36 teams across the state.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:25:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
GREG  ROTH,  PROGRAM  DIRECTOR,   REACH,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support of  funding for behavioral health.  He discussed the                                                                    
population in  need of services.  He shared an example  of a                                                                    
young girl  with autism who  could not be in  public because                                                                    
she  screamed  to  communicate.  He  stated  that  a  direct                                                                    
service professional  had tried to  work with the  girl, but                                                                    
had left  after a  couple of days;  however, she  was making                                                                    
progress with  the Complex Behavior Collaborative.  He urged                                                                    
support for funding of mental health.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:27:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAROL BENROTH,  COUNSELOR, BARTLETT HIGH  SCHOOL, ANCHORAGE,                                                                    
spoke  in  opposition  to education  cuts  in  the  proposed                                                                    
budget. She urged support for  students. She shared examples                                                                    
of  students  who arrived  at  school  without eating  first                                                                    
because  they had  no food  at home;  other students  worked                                                                    
full-time jobs to help support  their families. She stressed                                                                    
that the  issues got in  the way of students'  learning. She                                                                    
emphasized  the   importance  for  education   funding.  She                                                                    
pointed to the importance of  teachers. She shared that high                                                                    
school  counselors in  her district  had completed  over 150                                                                    
suicide interventions in the current  year; there had been 3                                                                    
suicides. She stressed  that cuts would be  far reaching and                                                                    
that students would pay the price.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
6:31:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TOM  CHARD,  EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, ALASKA  BEHAVIORAL  HEALTH                                                                    
ASSOCIATION, JUNEAU,  spoke in support of  behavioral health                                                                    
funds.  He  discussed  the makeup  of  the  association  and                                                                    
described the activities of  behavioral health providers. He                                                                    
stated that  the proposed $8.3  million cut to  the Division                                                                    
of  Behavioral Health  would directly  limit the  ability to                                                                    
help  Alaskans   achieve  and  maintain  recovery.   He  was                                                                    
overwhelmed by  the number of public  testifiers and stories                                                                    
that  had been  shared in  opposition to  proposed cuts.  He                                                                    
pointed  to   discussion  about   using  a   capital  budget                                                                    
appropriation from the  prior year to cover the  cuts in the                                                                    
division. He  stated that the  money appropriated  the prior                                                                    
year was  a one-time increment. He  emphasized that plugging                                                                    
the  hole temporarily  meant there  would still  be an  $8.3                                                                    
million hole in the budget in future years.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
6:34:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK  JOHNSON,   ALASKA  TRAUMA  SYSTEM   REVIEW  COMMITTEE,                                                                    
JUNEAU, spoke  in support of  funding for the  Alaska Trauma                                                                    
Care  Fund. He  discussed the  history of  past trauma  care                                                                    
center authorization.  He relayed that four  rural hospitals                                                                    
and the  Alaska Native Medical Center  had become certified.                                                                    
Subsequently, seven  other hospitals had been  reviewed, but                                                                    
no progress  had been made  towards their  certification. He                                                                    
relayed  that  the  legislature had  passed  legislation  to                                                                    
provide a  trauma care incentive  fund three  years earlier.                                                                    
He  discussed the  fund's success.  The goal  was for  every                                                                    
hospital  in  the  state  to   meet  the  certification.  He                                                                    
discussed that  the governor proposed  funding in the  FY 14                                                                    
budget and  the review  committee supported the  request. He                                                                    
urged the committee to restore the funds.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:36:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KENNETH  BURCHFIELD,  SELF,   JUNEAU,  shared  his  personal                                                                    
story. He  had been  incarcerated and had  attempted suicide                                                                    
several times in  the past year. He had received  a grant to                                                                    
go to  the Juneau Alliance  for the Mentally Ill  (JAMI). He                                                                    
stressed  the  importance  of  mental  health  services  and                                                                    
funds. He stated that without  the support services he would                                                                    
not be alive today. He shared  that his life had changed for                                                                    
the better and he had started  a small business. He was very                                                                    
thankful  for  all  of  the grants  and  assistance  he  had                                                                    
received.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:38:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JONAS  DECENA, CLIENT,  JUNEAU  YOUTH SERVICES  TRANSITIONAL                                                                    
LIVING PROGRAM, JUNEAU, communicated  his personal story. He                                                                    
had  experienced  physical  and   emotional  abuse  at  home                                                                    
growing up  and had been homeless  at the age of  17. He had                                                                    
heard about  the transitional living  program from  a friend                                                                    
and  felt  hopeful  for  the first  time.  The  program  had                                                                    
increased his  self-esteem and had  allowed him to  focus on                                                                    
becoming an adult and getting a  job. He shared that he felt                                                                    
empowered to take charge of his life for the first time.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
6:40:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC GEBHART, CHAIR, GOVERNOR'S  COUNCIL ON DISABILITIES AND                                                                    
SUPERINTENDENT, NENANA  CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT,  NENANA, spoke                                                                    
in  support   of  the  restoration   of  $8.3   million  for                                                                    
behavioral  health services.  He  was in  favor of  multiple                                                                    
programs  including  early  intervention  programs,  suicide                                                                    
prevention, therapeutic  courts, supported  housing, keeping                                                                    
families  together,  and  the   promotion  of  economic  and                                                                    
personal  independence.  He  vocalized  strong  support  for                                                                    
funding the Complex Behavior  Collaborative. The items built                                                                    
capacity   in  individuals   and  communities.   He  favored                                                                    
Department  of Labor  and  Workforce  Development funds  for                                                                    
supported   employment,   $100,000  for   rural   transition                                                                    
services, and pre-k funding.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:42:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH MCGEE,  NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION  AND ALASKA                                                                    
SCHOOL   COUNSELOR   ASSOCIATION,    ANCHORAGE,   spoke   in                                                                    
opposition  to  education  funding   cuts.  She  pointed  to                                                                    
homelessness   impacting  students   at  schools,   students                                                                    
without  food,  students  wanting  to pay  for  college  and                                                                    
wanting  to know  how  they  would be  able  to  do so.  She                                                                    
stressed  that there  were talented  students  in the  state                                                                    
with  harsh  realities.  Without  funding  graduation  rates                                                                    
would  decline and  students would  not be  able to  compete                                                                    
with  students   from  the  Lower  48.   She  stressed  that                                                                    
education funding was imperative for the future.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
6:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRAD  BALDWIN, COMMERCIAL  FISHERMAN, JUNEAU,  spoke against                                                                    
cuts  to  the  Alaska  Seafood  Marketing  Institute  (ASMI)                                                                    
budget. He pointed  to salmon catch in 2013.  He stated that                                                                    
ASMI helped fishermen receive the most for their product.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
6:46:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIANNE  CURRY,  DIRECTOR,   UNITED  FISHERMEN  OF  ALASKA,                                                                    
JUNEAU, spoke in support of  the Department of Fish and Game                                                                    
and ASMI  budgets; the organization supported  the two items                                                                    
in  the  governor's proposed  budget.  She  stated that  the                                                                    
commercial fishing  industry brought millions of  dollars in                                                                    
tax  revenue to  the state  and was  the number  one private                                                                    
sector employer for the state.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
6:48:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ETHAN KNUTHSON, COMMERCIAL  FISHERMAN, JUNEAU, spoke against                                                                    
ASMI  cuts. He  discussed that  with genetically  engineered                                                                    
salmon consumers could become  more reluctant to buy salmon.                                                                    
He believed  the issue  could pose  a significant  threat to                                                                    
the fishing industry.  He agreed that spending  needed to be                                                                    
cut,  but  not  from  the commercial  fishing  industry.  He                                                                    
stated that the industry directly  pulled its own weight. He                                                                    
believed cuts would be irresponsible.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:50:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANDI  STORY,  JUNEAU  SCHOOL   BOARD,  JUNEAU,  thanked  the                                                                    
committee for  its support of  several programs.  She stated                                                                    
that  the   board  supported  increased  funding   for  K-12                                                                    
education. She  stated that increased funding  was needed to                                                                    
cover increased costs and to  hire more teachers in order to                                                                    
meet   the   requirements    of   the   Alaska   Performance                                                                    
Scholarship.  She  emphasized  that the  district  would  be                                                                    
required to  cut $1.7 million;  it had cut $4.7  million the                                                                    
prior  year.  The  cuts  would   mean  position  cuts,  less                                                                    
custodians,  less art,  and other.  She could  not guarantee                                                                    
adequate student achievement  with continued education cuts.                                                                    
She  urged the  committee's support  for a  stable education                                                                    
plan.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
6:53:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRUCE  WALLACE,  COMMERCIAL   FISHERMAN,  JUNEAU,  spoke  in                                                                    
support  of the  commercial  fishing  industry. He  stressed                                                                    
that  ASMI  and  the  Department of  Fish  and  Game  needed                                                                    
funding.  He  emphasized  that the  funding  was  critically                                                                    
important  to help  ASMI  respond to  issues  in the  global                                                                    
marketplace.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
6:54:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOAN   PARDES,  PARENT,   JUNEAU,   vocalized  support   for                                                                    
education. She stressed that  education was sinking. Without                                                                    
reliable   resources  nothing   succeeded.  She   asked  for                                                                    
investment  into  a  solution.   She  relayed  her  personal                                                                    
experience as a Juneau  School District parent; teachers and                                                                    
administrators  were working  extremely hard.  She knew  six                                                                    
families  that had  left the  state in  the past  six months                                                                    
because of  the lacking  education system. She  loved Alaska                                                                    
and Juneau, but  she believed she may have to  face the fact                                                                    
that she  was doing  a disservice to  her child.  She stated                                                                    
that  as a  parent, kids  come first.  She pointed  out that                                                                    
there were  many educated people  in the state and  many who                                                                    
value  education  for  their   children.  She  implored  the                                                                    
committee to  support for education  for the benefit  of the                                                                    
state.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
6:57:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARTHA  MOORE,  SELF,  JUNEAU,  vocalized  support  for  the                                                                    
Trauma Care Fund. She stated  that the fund helped hospitals                                                                    
to become  certified trauma care  centers and  supported the                                                                    
coordination of  services into an organized  system of care.                                                                    
She  discussed  that  studies  showed  that  trauma  centers                                                                    
resulted  in decreased  mortality rates.  She shared  that a                                                                    
doctor had  testified in  a recent  House Health  and Social                                                                    
Services  Committee  meeting  that  a  trauma  system  could                                                                    
improve  the survivability  of  head  injured patients.  She                                                                    
noted that many challenges existed  in the state; she stated                                                                    
that  many  of  the  challenges  were  out  of  the  state's                                                                    
control,  but  trauma  care  was  something  that  could  be                                                                    
addressed.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman discussed the  schedule for the following                                                                    
day.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HB  65  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HB  66  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
7:00:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 p.m.                                                                                          

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