Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

03/20/2013 01:30 PM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:00 p.m. Today --
+ HB 84 MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT/TEMP. LICENSE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ HB 99 EXTEND ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 99(RES) Out of Committee
*+ HB 64 BUDGET: CAPITAL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                      March 20, 2013                                                                                            
                         2:03 p.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Austerman  called   the  House  Finance  Committee                                                                    
meeting to order at 2:03 p.m.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Karen Rehfeld,  Director, Office  of Management  and Budget,                                                                    
Office   of  the   Governor;  Representative   Dan  Saddler,                                                                    
Sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Bill  Jeffress, Chair,  Alaska Minerals  Commission; Deantha                                                                    
Crockett,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Miners  Association;                                                                    
Marleanna  Hall, Project  Coordinator, Resource  Development                                                                    
Council;   Stephen   Trimble,  Minerals   Commission;   Mark                                                                    
Sansouci,  Department of  Defense, Tacoma;  Patricia Senner,                                                                    
Alaska   Nurses   Association,   Anchorage;   Jeff   Selvey,                                                                    
Executive  Director,  Alaska   Workforce  Investment  Board,                                                                    
Department of Labor and Workforce Development.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 64     BUDGET: CAPITAL                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
          HB 64 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
HB 84     MILITARY TRAINING CREDIT/TEMP. LICENSE                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 84 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                     
          consideration.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 99 (RES)                                                                                                                   
          EXTEND ALASKA MINERALS COMMISSION                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 99(RES) was REPORTED out  of committee with a                                                                    
          "do  pass"  recommendation  and  with  one  fiscal                                                                    
          impact   note   from   Department   of   Commerce,                                                                    
          Community and Economic Development.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 64                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act   making  appropriations,   including  capital                                                                    
     appropriations   and   other   appropriations;   making                                                                    
     appropriations to  capitalize funds; and  providing for                                                                    
     an effective date."                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:05:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN REHFELD,  DIRECTOR, OFFICE  OF MANAGEMENT  AND BUDGET,                                                                    
OFFICE  OF  THE  GOVERNOR, addressed  the  legislation.  She                                                                    
referred  to  a  spreadsheet  that included  FY  14  capital                                                                    
budget  amendments  (copy  on   file).  The  capital  budget                                                                    
request  including  the  amendments and  the  mental  health                                                                    
budget totaled  $1.86 billion. Of  that, $799.2  million was                                                                    
unrestricted general  funds for approximately 43  percent of                                                                    
the total  budget. She  pointed out  that $74.6  million was                                                                    
classified as  designated general funds while  $56.6 million                                                                    
was "other funds" and $938.4 million was federal funds.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Rehfeld  highlighted   that  designated  general  funds                                                                    
included the  Regional Educational Attendance Area  Fund and                                                                    
$46.2  million was  requested  for  two school  construction                                                                    
projects. The  Renewable Energy Grant  Fund request  was $25                                                                    
million  for round  6 of  the renewable  energy grants.  She                                                                    
noted that  "other funds" addressed  items like  the Highway                                                                    
Working  Capital  Fund,   International  Airport  Funds  and                                                                    
Statutory Designated Program Receipts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld noted that HB  64 contained 14 sections. Section                                                                    
1  was  considered  the  number  section  of  the  bill  and                                                                    
contained individual department  projects. The projects were                                                                    
organized  by department  in order  of priority.  She stated                                                                    
that the exception was the  Department of Transportation and                                                                    
Public Facilities  (DOT/PF), which was organized  by program                                                                    
area  in   alphabetical  order.  The   deferred  maintenance                                                                    
requests appeared  at the end  of each  department's budget.                                                                    
Sections 2 and 3 of the  bill were the funding summaries for                                                                    
the numbers  included section 1. The  language section began                                                                    
on page 48.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:08:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  moved to the  language section. She  pointed to                                                                    
Section 4,  which included the Legislative  Budget and Audit                                                                    
Committee  provisions. Section  5  on page  48, lines  17-21                                                                    
included requests  for fund capitalization. She  pointed out                                                                    
that (a) addressed the Alaska  Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA)                                                                    
reimbursement for  a request of  $25 million.  She explained                                                                    
that  $305 had  been appropriated  for the  project and  the                                                                    
additional increment  would bring the total  to $330 million                                                                    
of the  $500 million. She  noted that $223 million  had been                                                                    
paid out in reimbursements in December 2012.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  continued with  section 5  (b) and  the request                                                                    
for  $2  million for  the  Emerging  Energy Technology  Fund                                                                    
created  in 2010  for demonstration  projects. She  repeated                                                                    
that  section  6,  page 48  addressed  fund  transfers.  She                                                                    
continued  with   section  7,  page  48,   which  authorized                                                                    
settlements from insurance claims  to go to the catastrophic                                                                    
reserve or appropriate state agency.  Section 8, page 48 and                                                                    
49 addressed  the National  Petroleum Reserve  Alaska (NPRA)                                                                    
Grants. She noted  that the Office of  Management and Budget                                                                    
(OMB) brought forward  an estimate of the  amount of revenue                                                                    
available  for  the next  fiscal  year.  The amended  budget                                                                    
contained  a  revised  amount  and a  list  of  grants.  The                                                                    
Department of  Commerce, Community and  Economic Development                                                                    
(DCCED) managed the annual grant  program for communities in                                                                    
the impacted area of the NPRA.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld continued with section  9, page 49 and a request                                                                    
for reappropriation  of $1,750,000 in funds  from the Alaska                                                                    
Energy Authority for a project  for Akiak Rural Power System                                                                    
Upgrade. The  project was  complete and  the request  was to                                                                    
repurpose the  balance for  the completion  of a  project in                                                                    
Atmautluak.  Section  10,  page  49 included  a  request  to                                                                    
reappropriate  remaining balances  from  projects under  the                                                                    
Department  of  Environmental  Conservation  (DEC)  for  the                                                                    
municipal matching grant  program for project administration                                                                    
of continuing water, sewer and  solid waste facility grants.                                                                    
The amount was estimated at $359,541.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:12:04 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld pointed to Section  11 on page 50. She mentioned                                                                    
the  Kodiak  Near  Island   Research  Facility  through  the                                                                    
Department  of Fish  and  Game to  repurpose  the funds  for                                                                    
their hunting  and fishing  licensing system.  She continued                                                                    
with Section 12 and the  lapse provisions including (a), the                                                                    
NPRA grant  and (b) addressed fund  capitalizations for AGIA                                                                    
and   the   emerging   technology.   Section   13   provided                                                                    
reappropriations and their effective  date of June 30, 2013.                                                                    
She  added that  section 14  was the  effective date  of the                                                                    
bill July 1, 2013.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld continued to  highlight specific funding sources                                                                    
proposed  in the  budget. Under  the Alaska  Housing Capital                                                                    
Corporation funding  source, $95.2 million was  proposed for                                                                    
the Susitna  Watana project. She  mentioned that  the Alaska                                                                    
Industrial   Development  and   Export  Authority   annually                                                                    
declared a dividend available and  the FY 14 dividend amount                                                                    
was  $20,745,000, which  was proposed  for utilization  in 4                                                                    
projects.  The   projects  included   the  Ambler   Road  to                                                                    
Resources for $8.5 million,  the Dalton Highway improvements                                                                    
for $7.5 million and the  general Roads to Resources program                                                                    
for smaller  timber harvest and  other roads for  $2 million                                                                    
and the Strategic Mineral Assessment for $2,745,000.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.   Rehfeld  noted   that  the   Alaska  Housing   Finance                                                                    
Corporation  (AHFC) did  not  have  dividends available  for                                                                    
projects,  so their  $10.6 million  was  allocated for  debt                                                                    
service under AHFC. She noted  that the energy components of                                                                    
the   governor's  capital   request  included   the  Susitna                                                                    
project,  the  Alaska   Industrial  Development  and  Export                                                                    
Authority (AIDEA)  appropriation of $50 million  to leverage                                                                    
other  funds and  financing for  natural  gas treatment  and                                                                    
distribution  for interior  Alaska, weatherization  at $31.5                                                                    
million,  home  energy  rebates  at  $20  million,  and  the                                                                    
renewable energy grants at $25 million.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Rehfeld mentioned  approximately  $1 billion  requested                                                                    
for  statewide infrastructure  projects.  The projects  were                                                                    
typically  introduced for  aviation and  highway facilities,                                                                    
the village safe water components  municipal water and sewer                                                                    
projects. She included the request  for funding for 12 major                                                                    
maintenance projects  from the  Department of  Education and                                                                    
Early  Development (DEED)  list  with an  amendment to  fund                                                                    
project  13.  She  noted  that  year  4  of  the  governor's                                                                    
deferred maintenance initiative  to address state facilities                                                                    
for $100 million.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:16:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  pointed to  a request for  $15 million  for the                                                                    
Geologic  Materials  Center  to  purchase  and  renovate  an                                                                    
existing  facility  in  Anchorage.  She  added  the  Chinook                                                                    
Salmon Research Initiative for $10  million over a five year                                                                    
period to  take a  strategic look  at sustainability  of the                                                                    
initiative.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  discussed the  amendment package.  She reviewed                                                                    
the  spreadsheet,  line  2   and  DEED's  major  maintenance                                                                    
project, number 13 on the  department's list. She noted that                                                                    
OMB  had the  opportunity  to reappropriate  funds from  two                                                                    
prior projects;  one from Susitna Valley  Replacement School                                                                    
and one from Petersburg  Elementary School Roof Replacement.                                                                    
She  explained  the  legislative request  to  repurpose  the                                                                    
funds to finish Tununak K-12 Major Maintenance.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Rehfeld continued  with  lines three  and  four of  the                                                                    
spreadsheet, which  were corrections to the  submitted back-                                                                    
up. The dollar  amounts were unchanged. She  pointed to line                                                                    
4 and  the Nome  Airport Runway  and Airport  Pavement Rehab                                                                    
should include  the north apron  area. She continued  with a                                                                    
request  for  $26.5  million in  federal  receipt  authority                                                                    
found on line  5. The request addressed 4  projects found on                                                                    
lines 6, 7, 8 and  9. She mentioned the State Transportation                                                                    
Improvement Program  (STIP) amendment  process. Most  of the                                                                    
projects occurred  after the  December budget  was released.                                                                    
She  requested   consideration  for  $10  million   for  the                                                                    
Ketchikan Water Street Trestle  replacement and $1.5 million                                                                    
for  Parks  Highway  Passing Lanes.  She  continued  with  a                                                                    
request for $10  million for St. Mary's  in Mountain Village                                                                    
Road  Rehabilitation.  She  added  line 9  and  the  Wrangle                                                                    
Evergreen Road Improvements.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  continued with  Line 10  and the  adjustment to                                                                    
the National  Petroleum Reserve Alaska Impact  Grant Program                                                                    
containing a list  of grants for the  individual projects in                                                                    
the  back-up. She  continued with  line 11  and the  earlier                                                                    
mentioned  reappropriation  for  the  ability  to  fund  the                                                                    
Tununak  School.  Line  12  was  a  reappropriation  through                                                                    
DOT/PF to  continue efforts to build  sand storage buildings                                                                    
in  central region  as part  of an  Environmental Protection                                                                    
Agency (EPA) requirement.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:21:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld  looked at line  1 of an  additional spreadsheet                                                                    
submitted March 19 (copy on  file). The first item addressed                                                                    
the Medallion  Foundation. She explained that  $750 thousand                                                                    
would  be  added  to  the $250  thousand  requested  in  the                                                                    
governor's  budget. She  mentioned the  second item  for the                                                                    
Northwest Arctic  Borough for the Kivalina  Evacuation Road.                                                                    
The  community  of  Kivalina  had  decided  on  an  official                                                                    
relocation site, and the evacuation  road would provide safe                                                                    
access  to that  location. Ultimately,  the Kivalina  School                                                                    
would  require replacement  and  the  evacuation site  would                                                                    
house the new school.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman  pointed to the four  DOT/PF projects and                                                                    
the STIP. He  asked if a state match would  be requested the                                                                    
following year. Ms.  Rehfeld replied that a  state match was                                                                    
included  annually  in  the  request.  She  understood  that                                                                    
providing the  authority would not require  additional state                                                                    
funds.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:23:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Austerman  pointed to  reappropriations on  page 1.                                                                    
He  asked  about  the  Tununak  school  maintenance  with  a                                                                    
request  of  $727.9  thousand. Ms.  Rehfeld  responded  that                                                                    
there were  two components  to funding the  Tununak project.                                                                    
She noted that the  reappropriation with the $727.9 thousand                                                                    
would total  the $16,381,000 required  for the  project. She                                                                    
pointed out  line 2,  which stated  the $727.9  thousand and                                                                    
line 11. The reappropriation  estimated at $15,653,451 would                                                                    
total the amount necessary to fund the Tununak project.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   asked  about  line  8   of  the                                                                    
amendments  and the  Saint  Mary's  road rehabilitation.  He                                                                    
wondered  follow-up maintenance  was planned  for the  road.                                                                    
Ms.  Rehfeld replied  that DOT/PF  would be  responsible for                                                                    
the road maintenance.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked   if  the  department  had                                                                    
submitted  a maintenance  request  for the  item. He  stated                                                                    
that the maintenance was not  a priority in the current time                                                                    
and he  reported to the  committee that driving the  16 mile                                                                    
stretch took approximately one hour.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson   asked  about   safe-water  projects                                                                    
(pages  8 through  10 in  the legislation).  She noted  that                                                                    
there was an air-quality  problem in Fairbanks. She wondered                                                                    
why  the Fairbanks  problem was  not a  priority when  safe-                                                                    
water was.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Ms. Rehfeld replied that the  Village Safe Water Program for                                                                    
$8.7 million  was a  general fund  match for  federal funds.                                                                    
The  projects were  not meant  to be  mutually exclusive  to                                                                    
clean air.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:28:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson believed  that  the  state should  be                                                                    
responsible for helping to address  the air quality issue in                                                                    
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara discussed  the legislature's  intent to                                                                    
appropriate $50  million to the  Renewable Energy  Fund. The                                                                    
intention  was  to  allow  for the  completion  of  as  many                                                                    
projects  as  possible.  He  wondered  why  $25  million  as                                                                    
opposed to the $50 million statutory request.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Rehfeld  answered that  it  was  necessary to  evaluate                                                                    
budget  items  every  year.  She   opined  that  the  energy                                                                    
component  for the  capital budget  was robust.  She pointed                                                                    
out  that  the  legislature  had opportunity  to  amend  the                                                                    
request. She mentioned competing  interests. She stated that                                                                    
the  administration  believed  there  had  been  significant                                                                    
investment  in  renewable  energy with  many  good  projects                                                                    
leading  to  reductions  in   costs.  The  package  included                                                                    
renewables,  the  Home  Energy Rebate,  weatherization,  the                                                                    
interior energy project and Susitna.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  noted that  the decision was  not based                                                                    
on  an evaluation  about whether  more than  $25 million  of                                                                    
good applications would save  communities money. Ms. Rehfeld                                                                    
responded  that the  Alaska Energy  Authority  (AEA) had  an                                                                    
annual evaluation process, with  a project list submitted to                                                                    
the legislature  at the end  of January. She noted  that AEA                                                                    
had not  completed its review  process prior to  the release                                                                    
of the governor's budget.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  asked about  the request of  $2 million                                                                    
for  the Emerging  Energy Grant  Fund. He  requested further                                                                    
explanation of  the fund and  its use. Ms.  Rehfeld deferred                                                                    
the question to AEA.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:31:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg remarked  that there  had been  a                                                                    
long conversation regarding the Kivalina project.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  noted  the bill  would  come  before  the                                                                    
committee again.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
HB  64  was   HEARD  and  HELD  in   committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:32:53 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:37:39 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 99                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the termination date of the Alaska                                                                       
     Minerals Commission."                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:38:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DAN SADDLER,  SPONSOR,  explained the  bill.                                                                    
The  Alaska Minerals  Commission  would be  extended for  an                                                                    
additional 10 years. He read from a statement.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     House Bill  99 extends  the Alaska  Minerals Commission                                                                    
     until February 1, 2024 and  provides for terms and term                                                                    
     limits  for  those who  serve  on  the Commission.  The                                                                    
     Commission is  currently set to  expire on  February 1,                                                                    
     2024, and  commissioners are  not currently  subject to                                                                    
     terms or term limits.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     The  Commission was  created in  1986 and  charged with                                                                    
     making   recommendations  to   the  Governor   and  the                                                                    
     Legislature  on ways  to  mitigate  constraints on  the                                                                    
     development of minerals in Alaska.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The Commission  consists of 11 members:  five appointed                                                                    
     by the Governor, three b  the Speaker of the House, and                                                                    
     three by the President of  the Senate. Each member must                                                                    
     have at least five years  of experience in the minerals                                                                    
     industry. At  least one member  must reside in  a rural                                                                    
     community. Current commissioners  represent the placer,                                                                    
     hard  rock,  and  coal  mining  industries  across  the                                                                    
     state.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     The Commission annually  reports its recommendations to                                                                    
     the Governor  and the Legislature during  the first ten                                                                    
     days of the legislative session.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Key   recommendations  made   by  the   Commission  and                                                                    
     implemented by  the Legislature since  the Commission's                                                                    
     last reauthorization in 2003 include:                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
        · Funding   infrastructure  development   under  the                                                                    
          Roads to Resources program                                                                                            
        · Reforming state permitting  processes to make them                                                                    
          timelier and more efficient                                                                                           
        · Gathering    and    publishing   geological    and                                                                    
          geophysical data on Alaska's mineral potential                                                                        
        · Assuming state  primacy of the  National Pollutant                                                                    
          Discharge Elimination System                                                                                          
        · Accelerating  state  land entitlement  conveyances                                                                    
          in accordance with the Statehood Act                                                                                  
        · Reestablishing  the  citizens Advisory  Commission                                                                    
          on Federal Areas                                                                                                      
        · Asserting  and defending  public access  to roads,                                                                    
          trails, and navigable waterways                                                                                       
        · Funding University  of Alaska  mineral engineering                                                                    
          and geology programs                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        I urge you to  allow the Commission to  continue its                                                                    
        important work  and to  help ensure  the growth  and                                                                    
        sustainability of  a  vital  sector of  the  Alaskan                                                                    
        economy by supporting HB 99.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:40:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  about  the policy  related to  term                                                                    
limits.   Representative    Saddler   replied    that   most                                                                    
commissioners   would  serve   only  one   term.  Especially                                                                    
effective commissioners  would be invited to  serve a second                                                                    
term. He anticipated that commissioners  might wish to serve                                                                    
a  second   term  because  they  care   about  the  industry                                                                    
tremendously.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  if   an  audit  had  been                                                                    
performed  for the  upcoming sunset.  Representative Saddler                                                                    
replied that an audit had not been done.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  pointed to budget deficit  issues and the                                                                    
need to  conserve money. He  wondered about  the possibility                                                                    
of phasing  out commissions following  final recommendations                                                                    
to  the  legislature. He  stated  that  the Alaska  Minerals                                                                    
Commission cost $13 thousand per  year, but with hundreds of                                                                    
different  commissions,  the  cumulative state  expense  was                                                                    
great. He called attention to the role of private industry.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:43:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Saddler  believed the  question was  fair. He                                                                    
opined that  the annual cost  of $13 thousand for  the board                                                                    
was  a   "bargain-basement"  cost.  If  the   services  were                                                                    
contracted  out,   they  would  far  exceed   the  cost.  He                                                                    
expressed one benefit  of the commission was  its command of                                                                    
respect of  regulators of the private  industry for meetings                                                                    
and dialogue.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman  opined that  the legislature  must review                                                                    
the state commissions  and consider phasing some  out in the                                                                    
spirit of frugality.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  made a  remark related  to the  expense of                                                                    
the annual Energy Council conference.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  echoed  comments  made  by  Vice-Chair                                                                    
Neuman.  He   wanted  evidence   that  the   commission  was                                                                    
providing  advantages that  the  governor's  office was  not                                                                    
already performing.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  commented  that  the  governor's  efforts                                                                    
might have been suggested by the commissions.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Saddler  answered  that   he  did  not  know                                                                    
whether  the  decisions  were  made   before  or  after  the                                                                    
commission's recommendations.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze made  a remark  about the  chicken or  the                                                                    
egg.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  supposed   that  the  information  was                                                                    
available if searched for.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:47:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BILL  JEFFRESS,  CHAIR,   ALASKA  MINERALS  COMMISSION  (via                                                                    
teleconference),  was  available  for questions.  He  stated                                                                    
that  the  commission  supported the  legislation.  Co-Chair                                                                    
Stoltze referred to Representative Gara's question.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Jeffress   replied  that  the  commission's   role  was                                                                    
independent. All members had  different experiences with the                                                                    
mineral  industry in  the  state.  The commission  addressed                                                                    
impediments to the minerals industry  and actions that could                                                                    
be taken to  correct the issues. He stated  that the members                                                                    
were the "town criers."                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Saddler  pointed to the 2004  Alaska Minerals                                                                    
Commission  report, which  stated  the  goals of  developing                                                                    
more   efficient   permitting   processes   to   assist   in                                                                    
infrastructure  development,  to  benefit mining  and  other                                                                    
industries,   and  to   acquire   baseline  geological   and                                                                    
environmental knowledge statewide.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:50:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DEANTHA   CROCKETT,   EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   MINERS                                                                    
ASSOCIATION  (via teleconference)  expressed strong  support                                                                    
for  the  legislation.   She  discussed  recommendations  to                                                                    
Department  of  Natural  Resources   and  she  stressed  the                                                                    
importance  of  the  board. The  association  supported  the                                                                    
amendments   to  the   legislation  as   they  believed   in                                                                    
circulating board members regularly.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  asked  if  Ms.  Crockett  was  on  the                                                                    
commission. Ms. Crockett answered in the negative.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:52:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARLEANNA  HALL, PROJECT  COORDINATOR, RESOURCE  DEVELOPMENT                                                                    
COUNCIL  (via  teleconference),  spoke  in  support  of  the                                                                    
legislation.  She  stated   that  historically,  the  mining                                                                    
industry provided  the cornerstone of Alaska's  economy. The                                                                    
appointed group made recommendations  to the legislature and                                                                    
the  governor  in  an effort  to  promote  Alaska's  mineral                                                                    
exploration and development  industry. The industry provided                                                                    
some  of the  state's highest  paying jobs.  The bill  would                                                                    
extend the  commission for  10 years.  She pointed  out that                                                                    
the bill had a low fiscal impact. She pointed to a broad-                                                                       
based  membership.  She  urged  the committee  to  pass  the                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman asked  if the  council  would consider  a                                                                    
grant to  help relieve  financial burdens  of the  state and                                                                    
private industry. Ms. Hall deferred the question.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  believed  that  other  boards  and                                                                    
commissions  should   strive  for   the  frugality   of  the                                                                    
commission. She requested electronic reports in the future.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
STEPHEN  TRIMBLE, MINERALS  COMMISSION (via  teleconference)                                                                    
commented    that   the    list   of    recommendations   in                                                                    
Representative Saddler's  sponsor statements were  put forth                                                                    
by  the commission  and enacted  by the  administration. The                                                                    
commission took  a lead role  in actively  recommending ways                                                                    
to   mitigate   constraints   on  state   mineral   resource                                                                    
development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Saddler made a note  related to the costs. He                                                                    
noted that  the report presented by  the Minerals Commission                                                                    
was available electronically.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello discussed  the  fiscal impact  note                                                                    
from  the Department  of  Commerce,  Community and  Economic                                                                    
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz MOVED  to REPORT  CSHB 99(RES)  out of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  OBJECTED for  discussion. He  asked the                                                                    
sponsor to relay to the  commission his desire to have their                                                                    
specific  ideas brought  to the  administration's attention.                                                                    
Representative Gara  REMOVED his  OBJECTION. There  being NO                                                                    
OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CSHB 99(RES) was REPORTED out  of committee with a "do pass"                                                                    
recommendation  and   with  one  fiscal  impact   note  from                                                                    
Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
3:01:13 PM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
3:03:05 PM                                                                                                                    
RECONVENED                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 84                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  relating   to  applying  military  education,                                                                    
     training, and service  credit to occupational licensing                                                                    
     and  certain  postsecondary  education  and  employment                                                                    
     training  requirements;   providing  for   a  temporary                                                                    
     occupational  license  for qualified  military  service                                                                    
     members; and providing for an effective date."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:03:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DAN SADDLER, SPONSOR,  presented HB 84, which                                                                    
enabled   separating    service   members    to   transition                                                                    
appropriately  into  the  civilian workforce.  He  explained                                                                    
that  HB 84  asked the  Division of  Professional Licensing,                                                                    
the University  of Alaska  and the  Department of  Labor and                                                                    
Workforce  Development  to  evaluate military  training  and                                                                    
education and  to assign  civilian credit  where appropriate                                                                    
without compromising  current licensing standards.  The bill                                                                    
would improve  the probability of  veterans finding  jobs by                                                                    
accelerating the licensing  process and/or their educational                                                                    
credits.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Saddler  noted  that service  members  often                                                                    
experienced delays and lost  opportunities in qualifying for                                                                    
licenses even  with the applicable training  and experience.                                                                    
As of July  12th, 19 states enacted  similar legislation and                                                                    
more than  30 states were  in the consideration  process for                                                                    
2013.  Forced  reductions,  sequestration  and  budget  cuts                                                                    
would  soon mean  that more  veterans would  be looking  for                                                                    
work and  he believed  that they deserved  every opportunity                                                                    
to  leverage their  military  experience  and training  into                                                                    
academic  credit, job  qualification or  vocational training                                                                    
credit.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze   commented  on  the   Senate  President's                                                                    
veteran's caucus.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:05:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MARK   SANSOUCI,   DEPARTMENT   OF  DEFENSE,   TACOMA   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified in  support of  the legislation.                                                                    
He  informed  the committee  of  the  target to  help  young                                                                    
veterans who  were separating  and had  received world-class                                                                    
education.  He  noted  that  12  hundred  veterans  returned                                                                    
annually  to Alaska  creating  approximately  1 million  new                                                                    
veterans  between 2011  and 2016.  He echoed  testimony from                                                                    
Representative  Saddler regarding  decisions  made by  other                                                                    
states to  enact similar legislation. He  mentioned that the                                                                    
Joint Service  Transcript was unveiled in  March 2013, which                                                                    
was meant to ease the  burden of translating services into a                                                                    
generic method for transcript evaluation.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:08:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PATRICIA SENNER,  ALASKA NURSES ASSOCIATION,  ANCHORAGE (via                                                                    
teleconference),  supported most  aspects of  the bill.  She                                                                    
spoke  to  some concerns  related  to  the possibility  that                                                                    
veterans could  assume automatic eligibility  for registered                                                                    
nursing licenses  without furthering their  education. Since                                                                    
the issue was a national  one, the National Council of State                                                                    
Boards and Nursing was developing  a document for use by the                                                                    
boards of  nursing to make the  determination. She explained                                                                    
that  the roles  and responsibilities  of Registered  Nurses                                                                    
(RN)  and Licensed  Practical  Nurses  (LPN) were  different                                                                    
from those of  medics, core men and airmen.  All RNs serving                                                                    
in  the  military  were licensed  as  such  before  entering                                                                    
service. Medics  trained by the  military were  certified as                                                                    
Emergency Medical  Technicians. She mentioned  programs that                                                                    
would facilitate  the transfer of designation  for medics or                                                                    
core men to LPNs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
3:11:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson asked  whether  the  board ever  used                                                                    
Skype for  board meetings. Ms.  Senner was not on  the board                                                                    
and could not answer the question.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JEFF   SELVEY,   EXECUTIVE    DIRECTOR,   ALASKA   WORKFORCE                                                                    
INVESTMENT   BOARD,  DEPARTMENT   OF  LABOR   AND  WORKFORCE                                                                    
DEVELOPMENT   (via   teleconference),  was   available   for                                                                    
questions.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  expressed  intent   to  confer  with  the                                                                    
sponsor on the issue related to  nursing. He did not want to                                                                    
create  a false  impression that  the bill  would enable  an                                                                    
automatic entry into the field.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Saddler noted  that  the nursing  profession                                                                    
was a  special case.  He stated  that it  was up  to various                                                                    
entities  to  judge  whether the  military  credentials  and                                                                    
experience met the requirements.  He was pleased that nurses                                                                    
were evaluating the potential.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:15:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Thompson asked  the sponsor  to look  at the                                                                    
$137,000  fiscal note,  requiring that  11 different  boards                                                                    
meet in person.  He believed the amount  seemed excessive in                                                                    
light    of   the    technology   available.    He   thought                                                                    
teleconference  meetings  should  be  possible  to  save  on                                                                    
travel costs.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  suggested  a delayed  effective  date  to                                                                    
reduce  the   fiscal  impact.  He  asked   the  Division  of                                                                    
Occupational Licensing for input on the issue.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara looked at  the 180-day period related to                                                                    
licensing.  He  wondered  if the  180-day  period  was  long                                                                    
enough to achieve the certificates or licenses needed.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative Saddler replied that  180 days was determined                                                                    
to  be a  reasonable  time  unless unforeseen  circumstances                                                                    
arose, in which  case an option to extend a  second 180 days                                                                    
existed.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  asked   if   an   opportunity  for   bar                                                                    
credentials might exist  via the legislation. Representative                                                                    
Saddler  replied  that the  board  could  best address  that                                                                    
issue.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  requested clarification  related                                                                    
to  the  language on  page  2,  line  13 "held  the  current                                                                    
license." Representative Saddler stated that he would                                                                           
discuss the issue with the drafter.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:18:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz asked  for  an  identification of  the                                                                    
names of the boards, which  were identified with acronyms in                                                                    
the  fiscal note.  Representative  Saddler  replied that  he                                                                    
would provide  the information to the  committee in writing.                                                                    
Representative Munoz appreciated the information.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
HB 84 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                               
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
3:22:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 84 Supporting Documents - Testimony - Mark San Souci Regional Liaison NW DOD 02182013.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Supporting Documents - Letter Ed Kringer DOD 02112013.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 84
HB 84 Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 84
HB99 Sponsor Statement.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 99
HB99 Explantion of Changes & Sectional Analysis.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 99
HB99 Economic Benifits of Mining.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 99
HB99 AMC 2013 Annual Report.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 99
HB 99(RES)-NEW FN-DCCED-DED-02-22-13.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 99
FY2014_Capital_Amend_Spreadsheet.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 64
FY2014_Capital_Amend_Spreadsheet.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 64
SB 23 Version O Sectional.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
SB 23
HB 64 Response-AEA House Finance EETF 03.21.13.pdf HFIN 3/20/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 64