Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/13/2013 09:00 AM FINANCE


Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
09:01:40 AM Start
09:01:40 AM HB65 || HB66
09:40:46 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued from 3/12/13 Meeting --
+= HB 65 APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 65(FIN) Out of Committee
+= HB 66 APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 66(FIN) Out of Committee
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 13, 2013                                                                                            
                         9:01 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:01:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RECONVENED: CONTINUATION OF RECESSED MEETING ON 3/13/13.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman called the House Finance Committee                                                                           
meeting to order at 9:01 a.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Scott Kawasaki, Alternate                                                                                        
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Pete Ecklund, Staff, Representative Alan Austerman                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 65     APPROP: OPERATING BUDGET/LOANS/FUNDS                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 65(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a                                                                     
          "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HB 66     APPROP: MENTAL HEALTH BUDGET                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 66(FIN) was REPORTED out of committee with a                                                                     
          "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
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."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
9:01:40 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman directed  the  committee's attention  to                                                                    
the new CS for HB 65.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  MOVED  to ADOPT  the  proposed  committee                                                                    
substitute for HB 65, Work  Draft (28-GH1799\P) as a working                                                                    
document. There being NO OBJECTION, the CS was ADOPTED.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PETE   ECKLUND,   STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE   ALAN   AUSTERMAN,                                                                    
addressed the  changes in the  new CS. He believed  that all                                                                    
the amendments that had been  adopted the prior day had been                                                                    
properly incorporated  into the CS; in  addition, there were                                                                    
several small  and conforming  technical amendments  made by                                                                    
the  drafters.  He pointed  to  an  operating budget  agency                                                                    
summary  from  the  Legislative Finance  Division  (copy  on                                                                    
file) and  directed the committee's  attention to  the first                                                                    
page of  the summary,  which was  labeled "A."  He discussed                                                                    
the "2013  management plan to  House comparison"  column and                                                                    
related that the  agency operations costs in the  new CS for                                                                    
HB 65 were  $40,250,100 below the 2013  management plan; $36                                                                    
million of that amount  was hollow receipt authority, making                                                                    
the  real dollar  figures  of the  CS  $4,250,100 under  the                                                                    
management plan  in General Funds for  agency operations. He                                                                    
pointed  to the  column labeled  "House" and  explained that                                                                    
the  bill's  statewide  total   on  the  bottom  represented                                                                    
$6,495,336,800   in   General   Funds.   He   directed   the                                                                    
committee's attention to report "B"  on page 3 of the agency                                                                    
summary, specifically  to the  House column,  which depicted                                                                    
the number and language in all  funds. He related that HB 65                                                                    
totaled  $8,222,398,900  in  numbers and  language  for  all                                                                    
funds  for  agency  operations; the  addition  of  statewide                                                                    
items increased the total to $9,809,291,500.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
9:05:29 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSHB  65(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara OBJECTED for the purpose of discussion.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  expressed concern about the  budget and                                                                    
offered that it was designed  to some form of the governor's                                                                    
oil-tax  proposal. He  thought that  the budget  would cause                                                                    
more  harm to  the  state than  the  committee realized  and                                                                    
referred to  the testimony  against the  statewide education                                                                    
cuts. He  warned that  if the  cuts to  education continued,                                                                    
people might  not want  to raise  their children  in Alaska;                                                                    
however,  this could  be avoided  if the  state was  able to                                                                    
reverse its current course of  school and school staff cuts.                                                                    
He pointed  to minority efforts  to work to reverse  some of                                                                    
the  budget cuts.  He acknowledged  that there  was pressure                                                                    
from the governor  on those who supported his  agenda to cut                                                                    
the   budget   substantially.   He   noted   that   he   and                                                                    
Representative Kawasaki  had offered  some cost  savings and                                                                    
hoped to  find some  additional cost savings  in superfluous                                                                    
areas while  examining the Department  of Health  and Social                                                                    
Services (DHSS)  budget over the  coming summer.  He offered                                                                    
that   the  state   had  vastly   inadequate  services   for                                                                    
individuals  with emotional  disturbances and  disabilities,                                                                    
mental  health  problems,  autism,  and  those  at  risk  of                                                                    
suicide. He acknowledged the  pressure that committee chairs                                                                    
were under  to find cuts  to the budget, but  disagreed with                                                                    
the $8.3 million cut to  substance abuse, mental health, and                                                                    
emotional disturbance funding that  would result from a vote                                                                    
the prior day.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara pointed  out that  the $8.3  million in                                                                    
funding would not  be in the base funding in  a year's time.                                                                    
He offered that there would be  an attempt to use funds from                                                                    
the  budget  to  supplement   the  substance  abuse,  mental                                                                    
health,  and  emotional  disturbance funding  for  one  more                                                                    
year,  but stated  that this  did not  represent the  "hand"                                                                    
that he  wanted to lend  to those  in the greatest  need. He                                                                    
expressed  his  displeasure  at the  budget  cuts  to  Pre-K                                                                    
education  funding.  He  stated that  Alaska's  Pre-K  pilot                                                                    
program  was now  in its  fourth  year, had  been proven  to                                                                    
work,  and  served 2  percent  of  state's Pre-K  education-                                                                    
eligible population; exclusive of  the federally funded Head                                                                    
Start program,  other states served  28 percent of  the same                                                                    
population. He  expressed concern  that Alaska could  end up                                                                    
becoming an  "education backwater."  He conceded that  a lot                                                                    
of money in the budget  had gone into education, but offered                                                                    
that  the  funding  would  go  into  areas  other  than  the                                                                    
classroom,  such  as  state-employee retirement  and  school                                                                    
transportation. He referenced the  cuts to "virtually" every                                                                    
school  district  in  the  state.  He  discussed  a  cut  of                                                                    
$400,000 to  the Alaska Infant  Learning Program  and shared                                                                    
that the  program was an  important effort to  screen people                                                                    
with autism,  hearing problems, and vision  problems and was                                                                    
not an area  where funding should be cut. He  stated that he                                                                    
was  always happy  to cut  waste and  that Alaska  needed to                                                                    
find waste to  cut; however, the current budget  was not one                                                                    
that he could vote for.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara   appreciated  that  people   had  been                                                                    
willing  to listen  and had  been polite  during the  budget                                                                    
formulation process. He pointed out  that the prior 4 years,                                                                    
the legislature  had been  able to  formulate a  budget that                                                                    
many in both parties could  agree with, but offered that the                                                                    
differences were too vast in  the current year. He expressed                                                                    
disappointment  that  he  and  Representative  Kawasaki  had                                                                    
voted for most of  the majority amendments; however, despite                                                                    
their strong  logic, they  had been  unable to  gain funding                                                                    
support for  Pre-K, education, behavioral health,  or infant                                                                    
learning. He  asserted that bi-partisanship  had to  go both                                                                    
ways and offered that the  "raw" vote against every minority                                                                    
amendment made him realize the  extent of the divide between                                                                    
the  philosophies in  the committee.  He reiterated  that he                                                                    
could not vote for the  budget. He reported that he believed                                                                    
that  the  state should  be  doing  everything it  could  to                                                                    
create  opportunity for  the next  generation, but  that the                                                                    
budget did not reflect those beliefs.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
9:13:37 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  surmised  that Vice-Chair  Neuman  had                                                                    
been shouldered with  making the hardest cuts of  any of the                                                                    
subcommittee chairs in the DHSS  budget. He pointed out that                                                                    
DHSS  had the  largest  budget and  related that  Vice-Chair                                                                    
Neuman had  preserved the integrity  of most of  the efforts                                                                    
to  help  people  who  faced   severe  problems  in  Alaska;                                                                    
however, he  did not agree  with the behavioral  health cuts                                                                    
or using some  of the supplemental funds to  reverse some of                                                                    
the  shortages by  covering a  one-time payment.  He offered                                                                    
that the  some areas in the  DHSS budget did not  need to be                                                                    
cut so  drastically. He appreciated that  other members were                                                                    
collegial  during  the  process and  stated  that  sometimes                                                                    
there were simply differences in  philosophy. He stated that                                                                    
the voters elected the people  who they agreed with and that                                                                    
not every district was the same.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Austerman   responded   to   comments   made   by                                                                    
Representative Gara  and related that some  members of House                                                                    
had  spent   the  past  5   years  attempting  to   get  the                                                                    
legislature  to sit  down and  have  the conversation  about                                                                    
what  would  happen when  the  state  was getting  close  to                                                                    
falling off  of a fiscal  cliff; there had been  very little                                                                    
traction among the  legislative body to take a  hard look at                                                                    
where the  state would be  financially in the  future, which                                                                    
was   where   it   now  found   itself.   He   agreed   with                                                                    
Representative Gara that both parties  had been able work on                                                                    
the budget  together the  prior 4  years, but  observed that                                                                    
there had also  been a surplus of money in  during that time                                                                    
and  that the  state  had  been able  to  save; without  the                                                                    
proper planning of  where the state would be  in the future,                                                                    
the legislatures had  spent because the money  was there. He                                                                    
pointed out that  the Department of Revenue  had stated that                                                                    
Alaska  was in  deficit spending  and that  he believed  the                                                                    
department.  He  discussed the  need  to  grab and  maintain                                                                    
control  over state  spending and  offered  that the  budget                                                                    
before the committee accomplished that                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze thanked Co-Chair  Austerman, as well as the                                                                    
subcommittee  chairs  and  members  for their  work  on  the                                                                    
budget. He  pointed out that  Vice-Chair Neuman  had chaired                                                                    
11 hearings  and that Representative Costello  had chaired 8                                                                    
committee   meetings  for   the   Department  of   Commerce,                                                                    
Community  and Economic  Development and  the Department  of                                                                    
Natural  Resources budgets;  these committees  had held  the                                                                    
most meetings  and a significant  number of the  issues that                                                                    
had arisen  fell under  their purview.  He offered  that the                                                                    
debate was about $4 million  less than the previous year and                                                                    
stated that  a 4 percent reduction  was not a slowdown  or a                                                                    
shutdown.  He pointed  to the  nearly $10  billion operating                                                                    
budget and asserted  that it was not  sustainable. He stated                                                                    
that   the  budget   process   would   only  becoming   more                                                                    
scrutinizing  as  the  state was  facing  a  steady  revenue                                                                    
decline.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze pointed out that  some people were confused                                                                    
with  the discussions  that occurred  in government  and why                                                                    
the  budget could  not be  trimmed. He  referenced questions                                                                    
that the press  had asked him regarding if  he was surprised                                                                    
that there were  75 to 100 people present to  testify on the                                                                    
budget during  public testimony, but  offered that a  lot of                                                                    
those people  were active participants in  the process every                                                                    
year;  furthermore, there  were 10,000  to 20,000  people in                                                                    
his  district that  that  could not  be  present to  testify                                                                    
because they were  driving 100 miles round trip  to work and                                                                    
were wondering why the state  was not getting control of the                                                                    
budget. He  reiterated that a  $4 million reduction  did not                                                                    
represent a "draconian" cut and  pointed out that the budget                                                                    
process would only get tougher.  He surmised that Alaska was                                                                    
facing some tough  decisions and that it  would be difficult                                                                    
for the  state to  simply maintain a  zero growth  budget to                                                                    
hold  the  line  where  it  was. He  pointed  out  that  the                                                                    
committee  had disagreed  with the  governor and  had denied                                                                    
some  of  the  administration-supported increases  that  the                                                                    
committee felt  did not fit  its plan of  sustainability. He                                                                    
observed that the budget the  committee had approved was not                                                                    
even sustainable,  but was  meant to  "turn the  corner." He                                                                    
warned that  the state  was in  for tougher  times regarding                                                                    
its budget.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:20:43 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  stressed that the state's  income revenue                                                                    
had become  less than  its bills  and that  it was  facing a                                                                    
difficult situation  for the  first time  in many  years. He                                                                    
related  that working  with the  DHSS budget  had given  him                                                                    
some  different insights.  He pointed  out  that there  were                                                                    
indicators  of the  broader economy  within the  DHSS budget                                                                    
and reported that  the number of people on  food stamps went                                                                    
from 20,000 to 40,000 from  2008 to 2012. He emphasized that                                                                    
the  increase had  occurred when  the state  had $3  billion                                                                    
capital  budgets. He  shared  that the  state  did not  have                                                                    
enough money  for capital budgets  and that although  it had                                                                    
money in savings,  it did not have enough to  pay its bills.                                                                    
He related  that the DHSS  budget would be the  first budget                                                                    
to start  to feel the effects  of the economy and  that when                                                                    
people  did  not have  jobs,  there  was growth  in  spousal                                                                    
abuse, the sexual  abuse of minors, alcohol  abuse, and drug                                                                    
abuse;  he offered  that the  next departments  to feel  the                                                                    
effects would  be the  Department of  Public Safety  and the                                                                    
Department of Corrections. He pointed  out that if the state                                                                    
did not arrest the growth  in the operating budget and cover                                                                    
its costs without  taking money out of  savings, there would                                                                    
be  a progressivity  factor in  the budget  that would  grow                                                                    
higher every year.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  believed the state  needed to be  able to                                                                    
do large capital projects such  as bridges, dams, interties,                                                                    
and pipelines  in order  to reduce  the risk  assessment for                                                                    
private  industry  that  was  interested  in  investment  in                                                                    
Alaska and create  jobs. He shared that the  state needed to                                                                    
use  every tool  in  order to  attract  private industry  to                                                                    
invest in Alaska  and help create jobs. He  pointed out that                                                                    
taking money  out of savings  would affect the  state's bond                                                                    
rating and referenced  that the state had  obtained its last                                                                    
general obligation  bonds at a  very good rate with  its AAA                                                                    
bond  rating. He  explained that  bonding agencies  realized                                                                    
that 90 percent  of the state's income was tied  to oil that                                                                    
had been declining  at a rate of 6 percent  to 7 percent for                                                                    
more  than 25  years and  pointed out  that the  decline had                                                                    
been masked by the increases in  the price of oil. He stated                                                                    
that taking  out of  savings would  affect the  state's bond                                                                    
rating and its  ability to partner with  private industry to                                                                    
produce the  large capital projects that  would create jobs.                                                                    
He offered  that people would rather  have a job than  to be                                                                    
using  food  stamps  and  opined  that  the  growth  in  the                                                                    
operating budget was  a cumulative ball that  would hurt the                                                                    
state in the future.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  continued  to  speak  to  the  operating                                                                    
budget. He shared  that trying to cut  programs for mentally                                                                    
disabled  children,   handicapped  individuals,   or  senior                                                                    
citizens had  been extremely difficult. He  related that the                                                                    
cuts were  needed to  avoid even  more drastic  cuts further                                                                    
into  the future.  He  discussed the  $8.3  million in  cuts                                                                    
referenced  by Representative  Gara and  indicated that  the                                                                    
funding was  money that  was not being  used in  programs at                                                                    
the  current time.  He  pointed out  that  things would  get                                                                    
worse and spoke  to the rising cost of  medical services. He                                                                    
referenced   information   indicating   that   the   average                                                                    
Alaskan's entire paycheck would  go towards covering medical                                                                    
costs by  the year 2037. He  stated that there was  a lot of                                                                    
work  ahead of  the state  and that  some statutory  changes                                                                    
might have  to be made. He  noted that he would  work in the                                                                    
coming summer  to come  up with  some different  concepts on                                                                    
some possible changes  to statutes. He pointed  out that the                                                                    
items  he  had worked  on  were  all  proposed cuts  in  the                                                                    
governor's budget  and stated  that while  the commissioners                                                                    
of  DHSS and  the  Department of  Transportation and  Public                                                                    
Facilities  were not  happy  about the  cuts,  they had  all                                                                    
worked together on the budget.  He stated that the reduction                                                                    
would help make  the future even less  painful regarding the                                                                    
budget  and asserted  that doing  more in  the current  year                                                                    
would help  in the future.  He related that 28.3  percent of                                                                    
the people  in Mat-Su received  some form of  assistance and                                                                    
that in Western Alaska that  percentage was 78 percent to 80                                                                    
percent.  He  spoke  to  the need  to  create  jobs  through                                                                    
private industry.  He supported the budget  and offered that                                                                    
while he would have liked to  support some of the ideas from                                                                    
the previous day, had been  unable to because of the deficit                                                                    
mode  that  the state  was  in.  He  expressed the  need  to                                                                    
protect the future of the Alaska's children.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman agreed  that  jobs would  be a  critical                                                                    
component of  making sure that Alaska  remained healthy, but                                                                    
clarified that  leaving money over for  capital projects was                                                                    
not  part  of  the  structural  component  of  building  the                                                                    
operating  budget;   the  process  was  formed   around  the                                                                    
operational budget itself,  as well as the  ability to carry                                                                    
forward and  manage that budget.  He further  explained that                                                                    
the operating  budget was  not tied to  figuring out  how to                                                                    
save money for capital projects.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair   Neuman  affirmed   the  comments   of  Co-Chair                                                                    
Austerman. He  clarified that  he meant that  it would  be a                                                                    
good thing  to give people  jobs and try to  attract private                                                                    
industry that could create jobs from our resources.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  clarified that  she did not  make any                                                                    
cuts based  on a bill.  She stated that the  committee tried                                                                    
to  measure   a  program's  success  based   on  information                                                                    
garnered  from  the  different  departments  and  decide  on                                                                    
whether  to  continue  programs   or  start  new  ones.  She                                                                    
expressed frustration  that programs  were started  and that                                                                    
school  districts   and  other   entities  were   given  the                                                                    
understanding that  the state would  be able to  offer every                                                                    
program for free,  which was not a  possibility. She offered                                                                    
that there had to be a  commitment on both sides that showed                                                                    
a desire for programs to work.  She spoke about the need for                                                                    
accountability and  queried if the state  should continue to                                                                    
compete  with the  private sector  in  Pre-K education.  She                                                                    
opined that  it was  misleading to  use figures  that showed                                                                    
the  percentage of  Pre-K eligible  students  in the  Alaska                                                                    
that were  in programs and  offered that the state  had many                                                                    
great  programs   that  were  not  in   the  public  sector;                                                                    
furthermore,  there  were  head  start  programs  that  were                                                                    
federally funded that were not  accounted for in some of the                                                                    
figures.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  offered that  Alaska was  taking care                                                                    
of its students not only  through programs, but also through                                                                    
parents  who  worked on  a  one-on-one  basis that  was  not                                                                    
measured   in  programs.   She  stated   that  Alaska   took                                                                    
education,  from   Pre-K  to  beyond   post-secondary,  very                                                                    
seriously.  She offered  that although  it should  have been                                                                    
doing so  all along, the state  was a point where  it had to                                                                    
make an  accountability measurement  for grant  funding that                                                                    
determined  what the  state was  getting for  its money,  as                                                                    
well as whether  it was something the  private sector should                                                                    
be doing;  she mused that  if the state asked  that question                                                                    
more often, it might find  that the private sector could not                                                                    
only offer some  of the services more  affordably, but could                                                                    
also  offer a  better quality  of service.  She pointed  out                                                                    
that she  worked on the  education budget  year-round, which                                                                    
involved looking at the programs,  as well as talking to the                                                                    
districts and  parents regarding what was  important and how                                                                    
to  accomplish it.  She  pointed out  that  the next  year's                                                                    
budget process would be more  difficult and that the formula                                                                    
programs would  be examined because  that was where  most of                                                                    
the money resided.  She spoke about how difficult  it was to                                                                    
make the current  cuts, but offered that it  would result in                                                                    
things  being  easier the  following  year.  She wanted  the                                                                    
public to  be aware that  Alaska was going into  its savings                                                                    
with  the current  budget and  that the  state was  spending                                                                    
more money  than it  was earning  in revenue.  She concluded                                                                    
that  the state  needed to  stop spending  more than  it was                                                                    
making.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:33:03 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  wanted a  clarification on  the record.                                                                    
He understood disagreement on the  issues, but asserted that                                                                    
there  was   nothing  said  prior  to   the  last  speaker's                                                                    
statement that  was misleading. He  explained that  the last                                                                    
speaker  may have  disagreed with  certain things  that were                                                                    
said,  but  that  there was  nothing  misleading  about  the                                                                    
statements. He requested that the  issues be argued based on                                                                    
merit.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz pointed  out that  each committee  had                                                                    
examined the  10-year annual growth  of the budget  and that                                                                    
the average growth had been  between 4 percent and 7 percent                                                                    
for each department  per year. She related that  a 4 percent                                                                    
to  7 percent  growth  rate per  year  was not  sustainable,                                                                    
particularly given  the declining oil production  each year.                                                                    
She emphasized that  the budget "held the line"  and did not                                                                    
represent a  lot of cuts  from the prior year's  budget. She                                                                    
felt  that the  budget  was responsible  and  the cuts  were                                                                    
absolutely necessary,  despite the difficult  discussions in                                                                    
subcommittee.  She discussed  the  cuts  to the  behavioral-                                                                    
health grant funding  and offered that it was  the area that                                                                    
public was the  most vocal on. She was  comfortable with the                                                                    
budget because  the $9  million in  increases that  DHSS had                                                                    
received  the previous  year could  be  applied towards  the                                                                    
$8.3 million behavioral grant line  item in the FY14 budget;                                                                    
she was comfortable  voting yes on the  budget, knowing that                                                                    
those programs  would be protected.  She explained  that the                                                                    
legislature  would  have to  opportunity  the  next year  to                                                                    
reexamine   that  $8.3   million  allocation   and  have   a                                                                    
discussion about  moving forward  with the  obligations. She                                                                    
stated that the budget's $2  million in funding for the Pre-                                                                    
K pilot project  was a continuation and was  the same amount                                                                    
that had  been funding the  previous 3 years.  She clarified                                                                    
for the  record that the  Pre-K funding did not  represent a                                                                    
cut.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:35:58 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman agreed with  the majority of the comments                                                                    
provided.  He  noted that  there  were  a lot  of  emotional                                                                    
issues involved in the discussion  and that the state had to                                                                    
take  a hard  look  at slowing  and  controlling its  budget                                                                    
after 10 years of growth. He  related that due to the timing                                                                    
that it  took to  make changes  within an  operating budget,                                                                    
the process would become harder  each year. He applauded the                                                                    
governor for  producing a budget that  controlled growth. He                                                                    
thought that  the governor's budget represented  0.8 percent                                                                    
in growth  from the previous  year and compared that  to the                                                                    
prior 10-year  average of  6.5 percent  growth per  year. He                                                                    
explained  that  the governor  had  started  the process  of                                                                    
gaining control  of the  budget and  that the  committee was                                                                    
taking  a bit  harder look  than the  governor had  done. He                                                                    
relayed  that the  current budget's  total was  still larger                                                                    
than the  previous year  and opined  that it  would probably                                                                    
need  to be  reduced even  further in  subsequent years.  He                                                                    
believed  the upcoming  years would  be  more difficult  and                                                                    
thanked  committee members  for  all of  their  work on  the                                                                    
issues. He  stated that the  process that  Vice-Chair Neuman                                                                    
had started with  DHSS would be continued and  that the full                                                                    
House  Finance Committee  would meet  during the  interim to                                                                    
discuss the direction  that DHSS would take.  He stated that                                                                    
the  current  budget did  not  contain  everything and  that                                                                    
there  were  union  contracts  and  other  items  that  were                                                                    
anticipated to make  the budget grow more.  He observed that                                                                    
the Senate would also examine the  budget and may opt to put                                                                    
items back in.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further  OBJECTION, CSHB 65(FIN) was REPORTED                                                                    
out of committee with a "do pass" recommendation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  MOVED  to  REPORT  CSHB  66(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee with individual recommendations.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara assumed  that  there had  not been  any                                                                    
changes made  to HB 66 since  it had been introduced  by the                                                                    
governor's office.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   explained  that  the  1   change  was  a                                                                    
conferancable  action  that  was  on  page  8  of  bill.  He                                                                    
expounded  that the  action had  been randomly  selected and                                                                    
that it was a custom to have a conferancable item.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello WITHDREW her OBJECTION.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
There being NO  OBJECTION, CSHB 66(FIN) was  REPORTED out of                                                                    
committee with a "do pass" recommendation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
9:40:46 AM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 a.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 65 CS FIN final 28-GH1799/P.pdf HFIN 3/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 65
HB 66 CS FIN final O.pdf HFIN 3/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 66
HB 65 - 66 Summaries Operating Budget Final.pdf HFIN 3/13/2013 9:00:00 AM
HB 65