Legislature(2013 - 2014)HOUSE FINANCE 519

02/06/2014 10:00 AM FINANCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ HB 31 CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CURRICULUM TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 31(FIN) Out of Committee
+ HB 150 TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAM TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE                                                                                       
                     February 6, 2014                                                                                           
                        10:04 a.m.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:04:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CALL TO ORDER                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze called the  House Finance Committee meeting                                                                    
to order at 10:04 a.m.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bill Stoltze, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Mark Neuman, Vice-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Mia Costello                                                                                                     
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative David Guttenberg                                                                                                 
Representative Lindsey Holmes                                                                                                   
Representative Cathy Munoz                                                                                                      
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Representative Tammie Wilson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Alan Austerman, Co-Chair                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
ALSO PRESENT                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wes  Keller,   Sponsor;  Charles  Edwardson,                                                                    
Southern Southeast Alaska  Technical Education Center; Pearl                                                                    
Brower, President,  Ilisagvik College;  Representative Peggy                                                                    
Wilson.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
PRESENT VIA TELECONFERENCE                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Pamela  Goode, Self,  Delta Junction;  Christine Hutchinson,                                                                    
Self, Kenai; Mary Nanuwak,  Self, Anchorage; Steven Angasan,                                                                    
South  West Alaska  Vocational  and  Education Center,  King                                                                    
Salmon;  Karen Cedzo,  Delta Career  Advancement Center  and                                                                    
Partners for Progress in Delta, Delta Junction.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SUMMARY                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
HB 31     CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CURRICULUM                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
          CSHB 31(FIN)  was REPORTED  out of  committee with                                                                    
          "no recommendation"  and with one new  zero fiscal                                                                    
          note from  the Department  of Education  and Early                                                                    
          Development.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB 150    TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAM                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
          HB 150 was HEARD and HELD in committee for                                                                            
          further consideration.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:04:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze discussed the meeting agenda.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 31                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     "An  Act  requiring  school districts  to  develop  and                                                                    
     require   completion   of   a   history   of   American                                                                    
     constitutionalism  curriculum  segment;  and  providing                                                                    
     for an effective date."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:05:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WES KELLER,  SPONSOR, thanked  the committee                                                                    
for hearing  the bill again.  He pointed to  the substantive                                                                    
section of the bill on page  2, line 15; the provision would                                                                    
require the chief school administrator  of a school district                                                                    
to develop and submit a  curriculum to the governing body of                                                                    
a  school   district  for  approval.  The   purpose  of  the                                                                    
curriculum was to teach  American constitutionalism as found                                                                    
in the U.S. Constitution,  early states' constitutions, Bill                                                                    
of  Rights, the  Federalist Papers,  and other.  He believed                                                                    
there was  enthusiasm about the  topic nationwide  and noted                                                                    
that  it  was not  inconsistent  with  curriculum chosen  by                                                                    
public  schools.  He  read from  the  Alaska  public  school                                                                    
content standards (copy on file):                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     A   student   should  understand   the   constitutional                                                                    
     foundations of  the American  political system  and the                                                                    
     democratic ideals  of this nation. A  student who meets                                                                    
     the content  standard should (1) understand  the ideals                                                                    
     of  this  nation as  expressed  in  the Declaration  of                                                                    
     Independence, the  United States Constitution,  and the                                                                    
     Bill of Rights...                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Keller relayed  that the  related curriculum                                                                    
in the  content standards  fell under  a "soft"  mandate. He                                                                    
referred to letters of support  from various schools. He was                                                                    
typically  uneasy  with  mandated  curriculum;  however,  he                                                                    
believed  constitutionalism was  an  exception. He  stressed                                                                    
the importance of keeping sight  of the values that made the                                                                    
United States a great country;  he believed the topic was in                                                                    
danger  of  falling  through the  cracks.  The  bill  placed                                                                    
responsibility  on  school  superintendents  to  ensure  the                                                                    
curriculum was taught at their  schools. Districts would use                                                                    
their standards  to measure  whether a  student successfully                                                                    
completed  the  curriculum.  He asked  for  the  committee's                                                                    
support on the legislation.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:08:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  looked   at  page  2,  line   25  of  the                                                                    
legislation  and did  not believe  the language  was a  soft                                                                    
mandate.  Representative Keller  wanted  the  mandate to  be                                                                    
meaningful and not too soft.  He detailed that the provision                                                                    
would  not allow  a  district to  issue  a secondary  school                                                                    
diploma to a  student who did not  successfully complete the                                                                    
curriculum approved by the superintendent.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson remarked that  the bill implemented an                                                                    
unfunded  mandate  to  be  placed   on  the  state's  school                                                                    
districts; districts  would need to develop  the curriculum.                                                                    
She wondered how  many districts did not  provide the course                                                                    
currently.  She  asked  how  much  the  mandate  would  cost                                                                    
particularly  related to  smaller districts.  Representative                                                                    
Keller  answered that  he had  nothing firm  to provide.  He                                                                    
furthered that  [free] curriculum was available  on websites                                                                    
such  as icivics.org.  He pointed  to support  from multiple                                                                    
school  districts  and no  opposition  from  any others  and                                                                    
inferred  that   there  would   be  no   significant  fiscal                                                                    
imposition on districts.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked if  the intent  was to  test on                                                                    
the curriculum in order for  a student to pass and graduate.                                                                    
She wondered about special needs  children who may be unable                                                                    
to  pass  the  test.  She noted  that  the  legislature  was                                                                    
looking  to  eliminate  the  current  graduation  test.  She                                                                    
wondered if the  bill included a provision  for students who                                                                    
may not be able to accomplish the goal.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Keller  answered that  the decision  would be                                                                    
left up  to the  district. He noted  that districts  all had                                                                    
standards  for measuring  the competency  and accomplishment                                                                    
of special needs students. He  added that four students from                                                                    
Tri-Valley  High  School had  testified  in  a recent  House                                                                    
State Affairs meeting and had  a "stunning" understanding of                                                                    
the values of American constitutionalism.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:11:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  asked  if the  sponsor  intended  for                                                                    
American  constitutionalism  to  be  part  of  the  American                                                                    
history  curriculum  requirement  currently  in  place.  She                                                                    
wondered about the length of a curriculum segment.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Representative Keller confirmed that  the segment fell under                                                                    
history requirements.  He had selected the  history approach                                                                    
over a  civics option.  He communicated  that the  length of                                                                    
the segment would be left up to districts to decide.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz   asked  for  verification   that  the                                                                    
segment would  fall under  the current  history requirement.                                                                    
She  wondered  if two  or  three  years were  required.  She                                                                    
understood  that the  requirement  included a  half year  of                                                                    
Alaskan  history. Representative  Keller confirmed  that the                                                                    
segment would  fall under  the current  history requirement,                                                                    
but he did not know the required course length.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:13:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   recalled  that   his  secondary                                                                    
school  experience   had  included   courses  on   the  U.S.                                                                    
Constitution,  the  Bill  of   Rights,  and  early  American                                                                    
history. He asked  if the subject was  not currently taught.                                                                    
Representative Keller replied that  he had observed that the                                                                    
subject   was  slipping   [from   school  curriculum].   The                                                                    
legislation aimed  to remind districts  to bring  focus back                                                                    
to  the topic.  He believed  the nation  was experiencing  a                                                                    
renewal  in the  understanding  of  the U.S.  Constitution's                                                                    
value.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg  asked   about  the   difference                                                                    
between  American  constitutionalism  history  and  American                                                                    
constitutional history.  Representative Keller  replied that                                                                    
the  difference was  related  to  constitutional values.  He                                                                    
pointed  to  inherent  rights  including  all  people  being                                                                    
created  equal. He  mentioned rights  as sovereign  citizens                                                                    
versus  having  a  monarch  in power.  He  stated  that  the                                                                    
spectrum was  broad and included  items that  were important                                                                    
to the country. The  content standards included ideals found                                                                    
in the U.S. Constitution.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Guttenberg   discussed   expanding   school                                                                    
options  throughout   the  state  and  observed   that  home                                                                    
schooling and  religious institutions were not  included. He                                                                    
noted  that  the  state  had   no  control  over  the  other                                                                    
institutions,  but  it  did have  control  over  equivalency                                                                    
tests. He  wondered if  another educational  entity included                                                                    
the  proposed  American  constitutionalism  requirement  its                                                                    
students  would  not  be  required to  pass  a  literacy  or                                                                    
standard test.  He surmised that theoretically  the students                                                                    
could   take  competency   tests   without  the   curriculum                                                                    
background and may not be  able to answer related questions.                                                                    
He thought it may put the students at a disadvantage.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Keller  answered that  the issue  was outside                                                                    
of the bill's scope.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  believed constitutional history  was being                                                                    
mistaught on  many occasions. He referred  to guest speakers                                                                    
sponsored   by  the   National  Education   Association  who                                                                    
explained  that the  Second Amendment  was not  really about                                                                    
individual rights.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:17:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  relayed that he had  attended and                                                                    
judged   high   school    We   the   People   constitutional                                                                    
competitions. He  discussed that the variety  of answers and                                                                    
context   of  questions   covered  a   broad  spectrum.   He                                                                    
communicated  that the  students were  learning many  things                                                                    
and applying the competition in a multitude of ways.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  wanted to ensure that  the bill would                                                                    
include  students  who  were   home  schooled  in  a  public                                                                    
process. She  asked for verification that  the only students                                                                    
the  bill  would not  apply  to  would be  independent  home                                                                    
schooled  students   and  private   schools.  Representative                                                                    
Keller  answered in  the affirmative.  He  relayed that  the                                                                    
bill  was   directed  at   public  schools,   public  school                                                                    
correspondence  programs,  charter schools,  and  homeschool                                                                    
support programs.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:18:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PAMELA  GOODE, SELF,  DELTA  JUNCTION (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke in support  of the legislation. She served  as a board                                                                    
member  on  the  Deltana  Community  Corporation  where  she                                                                    
interfaced with  forestry, city council, and  board members.                                                                    
She relayed  that whenever issues  were discussed  the first                                                                    
thing  she brought  up was  constitutionality. She  had been                                                                    
surprised  to learn  that many  of the  individuals did  not                                                                    
think  about constitutionality  as an  issue. She  discussed                                                                    
that  the constitution  was written  so  everyone should  be                                                                    
able   to    understand   it.   She   detailed    that   the                                                                    
constitutionality  of  an issue  was  not  dictated to  U.S.                                                                    
citizens  by a  higher  authority. She  found it  disturbing                                                                    
that  leaders  of the  community  did  not think  about  the                                                                    
constitution. She  reasoned that children were  not thinking                                                                    
about constitutionality if  it was absent from  the minds of                                                                    
leaders and  role models. She believed  it was disheartening                                                                    
that a  law needed to be  made to ensure that  the issue was                                                                    
taught  in  schools.  She believed  the  subject  should  be                                                                    
mandated in  private schools as  well. She noted  that there                                                                    
may be a  conflict because it was not possible  to teach the                                                                    
rich  history of  the country's  founding documents  without                                                                    
addressing biblical values.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:22:18 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg asked  if  Ms. Goode  was on  the                                                                    
school board.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  replied that Ms. Goode  had testified that                                                                    
she  belonged  to  the  Deltana  Community  Corporation.  He                                                                    
explained  that  unincorporated   communities  had  umbrella                                                                    
corporations to allow the communities  to accept state funds                                                                    
and engage in certain community activities.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHRISTINE  HUTCHINSON,  SELF,  KENAI  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  in support  of the  legislation. She  understood that                                                                    
the  subject was  currently taught  in schools;  however, it                                                                    
was not a requirement. She  pointed to a specific teacher in                                                                    
Nikiski who did an incredible  job teaching the subject. She                                                                    
believed  the   difference  between   constitutionalism  and                                                                    
teaching  the constitution  was to  teach the  foundation on                                                                    
which  the   constitution  was  based.  She   stressed  that                                                                    
teaching  the constitution  did  not  provide students  with                                                                    
knowledge of the  foundation on which it was  based. She did                                                                    
not believe  it would  be cumbersome to  make the  subject a                                                                    
high   school  graduation   requirement.  She   opined  that                                                                    
requiring graduates to take the  course was a benefit to the                                                                    
entire  community. She  did not  believe the  cost would  be                                                                    
substantial. She had  heard a government class  testify in a                                                                    
House  State Affairs  Committee meeting  earlier in  the day                                                                    
about  a convention  of  states; she  was  impressed by  the                                                                    
testimony.  She  thought a  convention  of  states could  be                                                                    
important. She  did not like requirements,  but she stressed                                                                    
that the  subject would not  be taught without  the mandate.                                                                    
She reiterated her support.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:27:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  did not  believe  many  people in  the                                                                    
legislature would  disagree that  students should  be taught                                                                    
about   the   U.S.    Constitution,   the   Declaration   of                                                                    
Independence,  the  Articles  of Confederation,  and  other;                                                                    
however, it was important to  make sure teachers had time to                                                                    
teach subjects  adequately. He pointed  to a  bill provision                                                                    
that  would  require  teaching   about  the  Declaration  of                                                                    
Independence, the U.S.  Constitution, the Federalist Papers,                                                                    
the  Bill of  Rights, and  other. The  bill also  included a                                                                    
requirement to  teach all of  the first  state constitutions                                                                    
(a total of 13). He  wondered if the provision was important                                                                    
to Ms. Hutchinson. He believed  the requirement would take a                                                                    
significant amount of time away from other subjects.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Hutchinson  replied that  the  first  states were  much                                                                    
different  than the  current 50  states. She  discussed that                                                                    
many states  in the  West included  the Blaine  Amendment in                                                                    
their  constitutions, which  the nation  was now  addressing                                                                    
many  years later.  She  did not  believe  that teaching  to                                                                    
about the  13 first state constitutions  would be excessive.                                                                    
She believed it would be useful  for students to see how the                                                                    
U.S.  Constitution  had  been applied  individually  to  the                                                                    
first states. She had been  following a convention of states                                                                    
project;  she compared  the issue  to a  treaty concept  for                                                                    
different countries.  She believed the teaching  would be of                                                                    
value and did not believe the language created a burden.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  communicated  that the  Blaine  Amendment                                                                    
originated from anti-Catholic sentiment.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:32:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MARY   NANUWAK,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via   teleconference),                                                                    
testified  in  support  of  the  legislation.  She  did  not                                                                    
believe people should be partial  when it came to education.                                                                    
She noted  that villages  were shorthanded  when it  came to                                                                    
budgeting.  She  opined  that   the  state's  larger  cities                                                                    
including   Fairbanks,   Anchorage,  and   Juneau   received                                                                    
everything. She hoped  that if the cities  had shortfalls it                                                                    
would help  them to understand  what rural Alaska  was going                                                                    
through.  She  believed   that  everything  the  legislature                                                                    
discussed year after year was  interrelated. She stated that                                                                    
everyone did well  when they had the desire  to succeed. She                                                                    
discussed encouragement  she offered  to young  people about                                                                    
succeeding.  She  shared a  personal  story  about a  Chevak                                                                    
resident's   contribution  to   environmentally  responsible                                                                    
programs. She discussed  that it was important  for youth to                                                                    
be  involved   in  the  community  because   they  would  be                                                                    
responsible  in the  future. She  thanked the  committee for                                                                    
its hard  work. She  spoke about  the impact  young teachers                                                                    
had on  students. She urged  the committee members  to start                                                                    
listening with their hearts.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:39:48 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 1:                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, Line 29                                                                                                            
          Delete "2013"                                                                                                         
          Insert "2014"                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Costello  explained   that  the   amendment                                                                    
updated the effective  date of the legislation  from July 1,                                                                    
2013 to July 1, 2014.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze WITHDREW  his  OBJECTION.  There being  NO                                                                    
further OBJECTION, Amendment 1 was ADOPTED.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:41:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED to ADOPT Amendment 2:                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Page   2,   line   21:    delete   "the   first   state                                                                    
     constitutions"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 26, after "the" insert "course in which                                                                       
     the"                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Page 2, line 26, after "section" insert "is contained"                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  explained that  out of fairness  to the                                                                    
sponsor  he  wanted  to  discuss   the  first  line  of  the                                                                    
amendment. He spoke  to the goal of the  language, which was                                                                    
to ensure  teachers had enough  time to teach  all subjects.                                                                    
He  wondered if  teaching the  13 first  state constitutions                                                                    
would take  too much class time.  He asked to hear  from the                                                                    
sponsor.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Representative Keller clarified that  the bill only required                                                                    
districts to teach the values  and ideals encompassed in the                                                                    
13 first  constitutions. He recognized that  a comprehensive                                                                    
list would  be problematic.  He believed that  including the                                                                    
first  state  constitutions  was  incredibly  important.  He                                                                    
stated that the first time  constitutions were printed was a                                                                    
significant time  in history. He detailed  that the colonies                                                                    
included  an   amendment  process  in   their  constitutions                                                                    
reflecting  their  struggle   to  determine  how  government                                                                    
should be run.  He remarked that an early draft  of the U.S.                                                                    
constitution  included an  amendment  process that  required                                                                    
two-thirds of  the congressional vote; the  process had been                                                                    
changed in order to allow  the involvement of the states. He                                                                    
believed  the   information  was  difficult   to  understand                                                                    
without  the context  of the  values included  in the  first                                                                    
state  constitutions.  He  stated  that  the  documents  had                                                                    
created the greatest nation on earth.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  noted his intent to  amend Amendment 2.                                                                    
He  asked  how  much  time   teaching  the  first  13  state                                                                    
constitutions   would    take   up   in    the   curriculum.                                                                    
Representative  Keller  answered  that he  would  leave  the                                                                    
issue  up  to teachers  to  decide.  He  did not  believe  a                                                                    
specified time would be productive, healthy, or possible.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson stated  that  districts would  decide                                                                    
what  to  include  based on  their  current  teachings.  She                                                                    
recalled  that she  had  been required  to  learn the  state                                                                    
constitution in 8th grade and  the U.S. constitution in high                                                                    
school. She surmised  that the length of time  it would take                                                                    
to teach the items would  depend on the existing curriculum.                                                                    
She hoped  students learned about the  constitution prior to                                                                    
high  school.  She observed  that  the  "soft" part  of  the                                                                    
legislation entailed  that schools would not  be required to                                                                    
go   through  the   Department   of   Education  and   Early                                                                    
Development (DEED) and there would be no set curriculum.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:47:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  remarked that studying 13  states was more                                                                    
manageable than studying all of the existing states.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello liked  the  requirement related  to                                                                    
teaching the  values in the  first state  constitutions. She                                                                    
stated  that  it  was  not  possible  to  discuss  the  U.S.                                                                    
Constitution  or  the  Declaration of  Independence  without                                                                    
talking about Thomas Jefferson  and the first constitutions.                                                                    
She believed  that adding the state  constitutions helped to                                                                    
frame  the  discussion  about the  background  of  the  U.S.                                                                    
Constitution. She  appreciated Representative  Gara's intent                                                                    
to amend the amendment.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  remarked that Thomas Jefferson  had wanted                                                                    
his gravestone  to include that  he had been the  drafter of                                                                    
the  Declaration of  Rights for  the State  of Virginia.  He                                                                    
opined that  it would  be difficult to  talk about  the U.S.                                                                    
Constitution without discussing  the Virginia Declaration of                                                                    
Rights.  He  was uncomfortable  pretending  to  be a  school                                                                    
board or board of education member.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:49:21 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  MOVED to AMEND Amendment  2 by deleting                                                                    
the following language:                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Page   2,   line   21:    delete   "the   first   state                                                                    
     constitutions"                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
There being NO OBJECTION, it was so ordered.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara MOVED AMENDED  Amendment 2. He explained                                                                    
that line 2  of Amendment 2 had been  discussed in committee                                                                    
the  prior year.  He  hoped the  amendment  would honor  the                                                                    
intent  of  the sponsor.  He  wanted  students to  take  and                                                                    
complete  a  course  in  history.  He  elaborated  that  the                                                                    
current bill  could imply that  a student would  be required                                                                    
to separately complete  the segment within a  course. He did                                                                    
not know how  that would be determined.  The amendment would                                                                    
require a student  to complete a course in which  all of the                                                                    
requirements were taught.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Keller   believed   the   amendment   would                                                                    
complicate  the bill.  He thought  the current  language was                                                                    
clear. He surmised that  superintendents could determine how                                                                    
to address  the issue. He  thought the amendment  may narrow                                                                    
the  options available  to  the  superintendent by  implying                                                                    
that the subject had to be part of a course.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:52:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon contended  that  the amendment  would                                                                    
actually  provide more  flexibility  to superintendents.  He                                                                    
spoke to various thresholds in the bill.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  if there  was objection  to amended                                                                    
Amendment 2.  There being NO OBJECTION,  amended Amendment 2                                                                    
was ADOPTED.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  pointed to  the zero  impact fiscal                                                                    
note from DEED.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze remarked  that the  fiscal note  pertained                                                                    
only  to DEED  and did  not address  whether there  would be                                                                    
fiscal impacts on school districts.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  asked  whether the  fiscal  note                                                                    
reflected the fact that curriculum  was already in place. He                                                                    
noted  that   the  committee  had  not   heard  from  school                                                                    
districts.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze interjected that  school districts had been                                                                    
welcome to testify on the legislation.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg   continued  on  his   point.  He                                                                    
recalled that the concepts had  been taught when he had been                                                                    
in  school.  He  did  not  object to  the  fiscal  note.  He                                                                    
wondered if  it reflected that  the curriculum was  ready to                                                                    
use or currently in place in schools.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson  stated  that the  fiscal  note  only                                                                    
applied to the  department. She discussed that  the bill did                                                                    
not require  the department  to take  any action.  She hoped                                                                    
the curriculum was already in  place in the state's schools.                                                                    
She  was  concerned  about the  implementation  of  unfunded                                                                    
mandates that  could ask  schools to do  more and  more with                                                                    
existing funds.  She was  in favor of  the bill  because she                                                                    
believed the  majority of the  districts had  the curriculum                                                                    
in  place  or that  it  could  be easily  incorporated  into                                                                    
current  curriculum. She  noted that  the subject  materials                                                                    
were available  free of  charge; Fairbanks  used the  We the                                                                    
People  organization. She  believed  that in  the future  it                                                                    
would  be  appropriate  to involve  districts  to  determine                                                                    
whether legislation would impact them financially.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:56:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello relayed  that the  fiscal note  had                                                                    
been  replaced  with  an  updated  zero  impact  note  dated                                                                    
January 21, 2014.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  MOVED  to REPORT  CSHB  31(FIN)  out  of                                                                    
committee   with   individual    recommendations   and   the                                                                    
accompanying fiscal note.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze OBJECTED for discussion.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  communicated  that  he  would  not  vote                                                                    
against moving the  bill from the committee, but  he was not                                                                    
supportive of  mandating school curriculum. He  compared the                                                                    
issue to opposing federal oversight  in Alaska. He discussed                                                                    
that  school districts  were trying  to downsize  because of                                                                    
costs.  He believed  Southeast was  considering moving  to a                                                                    
four-day school week  to reduce costs. He  wondered if there                                                                    
would  be  enough time  to  teach  the  class. He  spoke  in                                                                    
support of local control.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:58:36 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Edgmon agreed  with comments  made by  Vice-                                                                    
Chair Neuman. He applauded the  bill sponsor for introducing                                                                    
the bill and  believed that the concept  was sound. However,                                                                    
he believed  the language in  the bill was  prescriptive and                                                                    
included  multiple  items  detailing what  school  districts                                                                    
would be required  to do. He pointed to  various examples in                                                                    
the bill  language. He was  concerned about how  small rural                                                                    
schools  would meet  the objectives.  He planned  to discuss                                                                    
the bill with  his district's schools to get  a better sense                                                                    
on the true  fiscal impact prior to hearing the  bill on the                                                                    
House floor.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative Costello  appreciated the  previous comments,                                                                    
but believed that  the voice of the founding  fathers of the                                                                    
country  were  of the  utmost  importance.  She opined  that                                                                    
their voices had not been  heard throughout the process. She                                                                    
believed that  there were abuses  by the  federal government                                                                    
regarding the  states. She remarked  on the benefit  of more                                                                    
students  reading about  the U.S.  Constitution. She  shared                                                                    
that she  had recently  traveled to the  East Coast  and had                                                                    
had the opportunity  to visit the home  of Thomas Jefferson.                                                                    
She noted that  some students had the  same opportunity. She                                                                    
opined that  the experiences were profound.  She stated that                                                                    
the  men  and  women  who  were  a  part  of  the  country's                                                                    
foundation deserved a nod. She  had struggled with requiring                                                                    
that the  subject be taught  in schools, but  had determined                                                                    
that the  voices of the  founding fathers needed a  place to                                                                    
be heard.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:01:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Guttenberg  stated   that  clearly  teaching                                                                    
American constitutional history  was important. He discussed                                                                    
opportunities  to visit  various  historical  sites. He  was                                                                    
concerned  about the  use of  the word  "constitutionalism,"                                                                    
which  he  believed  meant   something  less  than  American                                                                    
constitutional history.  He thought the bill  should include                                                                    
a  list  of some  of  the  values  encompassed in  the  word                                                                    
constitutionalism.  He remarked  that the  public testifiers                                                                    
seemed to think that the word had definitive values.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  read the  bill  to  mean that  schools                                                                    
would  be  required  to teach  the  U.S.  Constitution,  the                                                                    
Declaration  of  Independence and  items  that  lead to  the                                                                    
documents. He did not believe  the term "ism" was a problem.                                                                    
He  believed the  bill's goal  was to  teach students  about                                                                    
American  constitutional  history.   He  remained  concerned                                                                    
about including  teaching on the  first 13  constitutions in                                                                    
the  requirement. He  had discussed  the  idea of  requiring                                                                    
physical  education  (PE)  in  schools  with  Representative                                                                    
Costello   and  Senator   Lesil  McGuire;   however,  school                                                                    
districts had communicated that  because of the multitude of                                                                    
subjects they  were required  to teach,  there was  not time                                                                    
for  PE. He  agreed that  it was  important for  students to                                                                    
understand   the   country's  history   and   constitutional                                                                    
history. He understood that there  were certain key players,                                                                    
state constitutions, and provisions  that were important for                                                                    
students to learn; however, he  wondered if it was necessary                                                                    
for students  to learn everything  about the first  13 state                                                                    
constitutions. He  thought the  teachings could  take longer                                                                    
than teaching  the U.S. Constitution. He  was concerned that                                                                    
schools would be  squeezed out of teaching  subjects such as                                                                    
physical education.  He expressed his intent  to discuss the                                                                    
possibility of narrowing the scope with the sponsor.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:06:46 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Wilson cited  language  on page  2, line  19                                                                    
through  20 specifying  that an  approved syllabus  would be                                                                    
required to ensure a student's  understanding of the history                                                                    
of  American constitutionalism  as included  in each  of the                                                                    
documents  listed [lines  21 through  24].  She stated  that                                                                    
each  of  the  documents  had   to  do  with  how  the  U.S.                                                                    
Constitution was  developed. She observed that  the bill did                                                                    
not include  language requiring schools  to teach  the state                                                                    
constitutions  for   all  of  the   first  13   states.  She                                                                    
elaborated that  the point was  how the  state constitutions                                                                    
had  influenced the  development of  the U.S.  Constitution.                                                                    
She was  very concerned  that the legislature  was mandating                                                                    
something that hopefully schools  were already teaching. She                                                                    
expressed intent  to discuss the  issue with schools  in her                                                                    
district to get more  information. She remarked that schools                                                                    
were  already struggling  in  the  current environment.  She                                                                    
believed  the  legislature  had  previously  passed  a  bill                                                                    
related to the teaching of the Alaska Constitution.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  communicated  that  the  state  Board  of                                                                    
Education   had  mandated   the  teaching   of  the   Alaska                                                                    
Constitution.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson continued to  discuss her concern. She                                                                    
did  not intend  to  hold the  bill up  from  moving out  of                                                                    
committee;  however, she  observed that  some proponents  of                                                                    
the  bill  were  in  the same  group  that  opposed  federal                                                                    
mandates on what  should be taught in  schools. She believed                                                                    
it was important  to know whether the  subject was currently                                                                    
being  taught  in  the state's  schools.  She  stressed  the                                                                    
importance   of  understanding   how  legislation   impacted                                                                    
municipalities.  She  agreed   that  everyone  believed  the                                                                    
subject  should be  taught, but  surmised  that perhaps  the                                                                    
action should have been taken by the Board of Education.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  shared  some  of the  same  concerns.  He                                                                    
recalled  voting against  Alaska history  curriculum in  the                                                                    
past due to similar concerns  and noted that the subject was                                                                    
one  of his  passions.  He believed  the  bill language  was                                                                    
definitive. Additionally,  he opined  that the  language was                                                                    
broad  enough   that  it  would  become   part  of  existing                                                                    
curriculum.  He believed  the  schools  would interpret  the                                                                    
language  in  the  same  way. He  believed  that  often  the                                                                    
subject was not taught. He  hoped the public viewed the bill                                                                    
as  requiring more  meaningful  curriculum.  He remarked  on                                                                    
other subjects taught  in schools that he  thought were less                                                                    
important. He had  visited the home of  Thomas Jefferson and                                                                    
recognized his  accomplishments. He  had also looked  at the                                                                    
slave  quarters   and  remarked  that  the   experience  had                                                                    
provided  a  whole package  of  history.  He referred  to  a                                                                    
comment made by  John F. Kennedy to a group  of noted people                                                                    
that  it was  probably the  most distinguished  and educated                                                                    
assemblage of people ever to be  at the White House with the                                                                    
exception  of  the time  Thomas  Jefferson  had dined  there                                                                    
alone. He opined that  curriculum including Thomas Jefferson                                                                    
could not be a negative thing.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze WITHDREW his OBJECTION.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
There being NO further  OBJECTION, CSHB 31(FIN) was REPORTED                                                                    
out of committee  with "no recommendation" and  with one new                                                                    
zero fiscal note from the  Department of Education and Early                                                                    
Development.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 150                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     "An Act extending the unemployment contributions for                                                                       
     the   Alaska   technical   and   vocational   education                                                                    
     program."                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:13:00 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   MARK   NEUMAN,   SPONSOR,   discussed   the                                                                    
legislation. He  shared that he  had carried a  related bill                                                                    
in  the past  that  had  extended the  sunset  date for  the                                                                    
Technical  Vocational  Education  Program (TVEP).  He  noted                                                                    
that a  flow chart was  present in members'  packets ["State                                                                    
of  Alaska Tax  Flow  Chart:  Unemployment Insurance,  State                                                                    
Traiining and  Employment Program, Technical  and Vocational                                                                    
Education Program"] (copy on file).                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze relayed  that the  committee would  hear a                                                                    
presentation  by  Vice-Chair  Neuman  and  would  then  hear                                                                    
public testimony prior to any questions.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman   believed  an  important  part   of  the                                                                    
discussion pertained  to the  origin and  flow of  the money                                                                    
(shown in the  flow chart). The bill also  included a sunset                                                                    
date on the extension.  The chart showed federal withholding                                                                    
taxes for several  programs. He detailed that  TVEP came out                                                                    
of the  unemployment insurance tax  rate; the rate  had been                                                                    
0.1 percent in  the past and had increased to  1.5 percent a                                                                    
few years  back. The federal  funds were distributed  by the                                                                    
Department  of   Labor  and  Workforce   Development  (DLWD)                                                                    
through  the schools.  He noted  that the  bill contained  a                                                                    
chart  showing  how the  money  was  distributed; money  was                                                                    
spread  across various  geographical locations.  He remarked                                                                    
that some forthcoming  issues had come to  light. He pointed                                                                    
to the  bill's immediate effective  date on page 2,  line 7.                                                                    
He  believed the  committee was  addressing  bill version  U                                                                    
[actual bill  version before the  committee was  version N].                                                                    
He relayed  the importance of  taking action in  the current                                                                    
fiscal  year  so  that  federal funding  was  not  lost.  He                                                                    
pointed out  that there were  schools hoping to be  added to                                                                    
the  list  included  in  the   legislation.  He  noted  that                                                                    
Representative  Peggy Wilson  had a  school in  her district                                                                    
that  was  interested  in  receiving   some  of  the  funds.                                                                    
Additionally,  he had  spoken  with Representative  Costello                                                                    
about  DLWD money  included  in  the department's  operating                                                                    
budget. He relayed that HB  150 had been included in Section                                                                    
17  of the  governor's education  bill. He  had spoken  with                                                                    
DLWD   Commissioner   Blumer   who  had   communicated   the                                                                    
department's intent  to remove  some language.  He discussed                                                                    
the  governor's proposed  education  bill  and relayed  that                                                                    
Sections  1  through  5 had  described  the  requirement  to                                                                    
report  funding  to  DEED  and  DLWD.  Many  of  the  school                                                                    
districts  had struggled  with  the  requirement because  it                                                                    
included social  security numbers for youths  under 18 years                                                                    
of  age.  Subsequently,  the  discussion  with  Commissioner                                                                    
Blumer  had  been to  remove  the  related requirements.  He                                                                    
discussed the priority of putting the money to work.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:17:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman continued  to explain  that the  bill. He                                                                    
relayed that  DLWD would ensure that  the vocational schools                                                                    
covered   under   the   legislation  were   truly   teaching                                                                    
vocational programs.  He stated  that the bill  pertained to                                                                    
all   Alaskans  because   of   the  unemployment   insurance                                                                    
benefits;  the  goal  was  to  ensure  that  adult  training                                                                    
programs were available. The  programs had been incorporated                                                                    
together  and  comprised  a  great  training  tool  for  the                                                                    
schools; it provided the opportunity  for adults and younger                                                                    
students  to work  together at  the same  level. He  relayed                                                                    
that work with Commissioner  Blumer was ongoing. He referred                                                                    
to discussion  about adding more  schools and  surmised that                                                                    
the  conversation  would  continue.   The  bill  before  the                                                                    
committee only made a change  to the sunset date [the sunset                                                                    
would  be extended  to June  30,  2024]. He  noted that  the                                                                    
program would  be examined in the  governor's education bill                                                                    
as  well. He  preferred  to address  the  effective date  as                                                                    
contained in HB  150. On a separate note,  he believed there                                                                    
needed   to  be   discussion  about   how  the   funds  were                                                                    
distributed to the various schools.  Currently DLWD had some                                                                    
regulations,   but  he   believed   sideboards  related   to                                                                    
qualification for  funds should  be implemented.  He thought                                                                    
that various  issues should be  addressed including  how the                                                                    
money was distributed geographically,  was the funding even,                                                                    
and  was the  program  competing for  funds with  university                                                                    
programs. He suggested that any  added schools receive funds                                                                    
out of the  50 percent allotted to the  University of Alaska                                                                    
given that its  budget was the largest.  There was currently                                                                    
about $10.8  million available for the  program. He believed                                                                    
it was  appropriate to address  the issues in  the committee                                                                    
process.  He   recognized  that   changes  to   the  formula                                                                    
calculation could be made by  the legislature in the future.                                                                    
He corrected that the bill  before the committee was version                                                                    
N.                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:20:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  appreciated  the  legislation  and                                                                    
believed  that   vocational  education   and  jobs   were  a                                                                    
significant  part of  the state's  work. She  mentioned that                                                                    
the  Southern  Southeast   Technical  Education  Center  and                                                                    
Ilisagvak  College's  community  and  workforce  development                                                                    
program  were  likely  candidates  to receive  some  of  the                                                                    
funds.  She wanted  to hear  from the  department about  how                                                                    
some entities  made it on the  list and others did  not. She                                                                    
shared that  the funding did  not really fit in  the current                                                                    
Department of  Commerce, Community and  Economic Development                                                                    
budget; she  believed the list  in the bill made  sense. She                                                                    
asked if  the sponsor  planned to  talk about  the effective                                                                    
date.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  asked Representative Costello  to formally                                                                    
move bill version N before the committee for consideration.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Costello  MOVED  to place  House  Labor  and                                                                    
Commerce  version  N  before  the  committee  as  a  working                                                                    
document.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman believed  Representative Costello had made                                                                    
some good  points related to  how the money  was distributed                                                                    
and used to  ensure there was equality across  the state. He                                                                    
agreed  that  the  school  mentioned   in  Southeast  was  a                                                                    
probable candidate  for the funds;  however, he  sensed that                                                                    
the numbers had been determined  based on which programs had                                                                    
applied in the  beginning. He was unsure the  method was the                                                                    
best way to  distribute education funds. He  agreed that the                                                                    
committee may  want to look  at changing the  effective date                                                                    
from immediate  to June 30,  2014. He wanted to  ensure that                                                                    
funding would not be lost.  He noted that further discussion                                                                    
on the issue could be  addressed in the governor's education                                                                    
legislation.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:23:30 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze wanted  to address  why the  University of                                                                    
Alaska  and the  University of  Alaska Southeast  (UAS) were                                                                    
listed as two separate recipients in the bill.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Munoz  believed  the  reason  UAS  had  been                                                                    
designated  as a  separate  entity was  because  it had  had                                                                    
trouble  accessing   the  funding  despite  an   active  and                                                                    
successful vocational education program.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  thought  that the  University  of  Alaska                                                                    
Anchorage  may want  the same  thing as  UAS to  guarantee a                                                                    
spot at the table.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman remarked  on  the  possibility of  taking                                                                    
some of the funds away  from the university. He relayed that                                                                    
many  of  the schools  contracted  with  the university  for                                                                    
services.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:25:16 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  relayed that  if departments  had concerns                                                                    
they should speak to the entire committee.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHARLES  EDWARDSON,  SOUTHERN   SOUTHEAST  ALASKA  TECHNICAL                                                                    
EDUCATION  CENTER  (SSEATEC),   discussed  a  brief  history                                                                    
related  to  the center.  He  relayed  that the  center  was                                                                    
currently  building dormitories  that had  been funded  with                                                                    
state capital appropriations and  $5 million of the center's                                                                    
own funds. He read a statement:                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     This  isn't just  funding for  school funding  just for                                                                    
     funding sake.  What this is is  a workforce development                                                                    
     effort to  support economic development in  our region.                                                                    
     Economic development has been  identified in all of our                                                                    
     respective  areas  as  a  priority.  Truly  sustainable                                                                    
     economic   development  relies   on  strong   workforce                                                                    
     development  efforts to  train our  local residents  in                                                                    
     the relevant  industries in  our respective  areas. Our                                                                    
     strong point at SSEATEC is working with industry.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Mr.   Edwardson  communicated   that   the   center  had   a                                                                    
significant ratio  of investment; the center  had invested a                                                                    
significant  portion  of  its own  funds  into  the  effort.                                                                    
SSEATEC  was a  vocational facility  that offered  certified                                                                    
postsecondary courses. The facility  housed the high schools                                                                    
and  the  alternative  high school  in  Ketchikan;  students                                                                    
received math  and elective  credits. The  center identified                                                                    
the relevant  industries in  Southeast Alaska  and developed                                                                    
its  curriculum based  on the  information. He  relayed that                                                                    
the  center  partnered  with many  of  the  industries;  the                                                                    
mining industry  had been identified  as a  target industry.                                                                    
The  center  also used  Department  of  Labor and  Workforce                                                                    
Development (DLWD)  statistics on  projected job  growth. He                                                                    
relayed  that the  center  had been  in  close contact  with                                                                    
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. regarding  its plan to develop a rare                                                                    
earth  mine  on Prince  of  Wales  Island; the  company  had                                                                    
agreed  to priority  hire of  SSEATEC program  graduates and                                                                    
had provided  a letter of  support to the  legislature (copy                                                                    
on file).  The Alaska Ship  and Dry Dock directly  hired out                                                                    
of  the Ketchikan  Construction Academy  that was  housed in                                                                    
the SSEATEC facility.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Edwardson  shared that the construction  academy had 100                                                                    
percent job placement with 78  percent of the students going                                                                    
into the construction field. He  relayed that the statistics                                                                    
were reported  to the DLWD;  he reported the  information to                                                                    
the Construction Education  Foundation. He referenced signed                                                                    
guarantees   from   five  additional   general   contracting                                                                    
companies  located  in  Ketchikan. He  believed  the  center                                                                    
qualified to be  included in HB 150.  He recognized concerns                                                                    
about how the  funds were allocated to  the various included                                                                    
entities. He  stated that the unemployment  contribution was                                                                    
increasing  and projected  to increase  as a  result of  job                                                                    
placement of  local residents; the tax  funded the workforce                                                                    
development  and   vocational  training.  He   stressed  the                                                                    
center's success. He believed that  it was the right time to                                                                    
double down  on the  center's efforts. He  communicated that                                                                    
in  an effort  to sustain  the economic  development it  was                                                                    
necessary to continue funding facilities such as SSEATEC.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Edwardson stated  that  throughout  the bill's  history                                                                    
when a  facility came online  adjustments had been  made. He                                                                    
believed  that if  vocational training  programs acted  as a                                                                    
team  people would  continue to  be put  into the  workforce                                                                    
successfully;  however,  if  the   center  was  stifled  for                                                                    
funding  it  would  not  be  possible  to  sustain  its  own                                                                    
investment. The  center needed the  state's help  to address                                                                    
workforce development needs in Ketchikan.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:32:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Edwardson   relayed  that  the  center   was  a  public                                                                    
facility.  He  detailed that  it  was  a subsidiary  of  the                                                                    
Ketchikan    Indian   Community.    He   pointed    to   the                                                                    
constitutional  right to  enter into  profitable businesses.                                                                    
He   acknowledged   that   education  was   not   incredibly                                                                    
profitable, but it was available to all Alaskans.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze asked  for verification  that the  concept                                                                    
was an example of educational choice at work.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Mr.  Edwardson  agreed.  He addressed  a  concern  that  the                                                                    
facility  should be  open to  all Alaskans;  he assured  the                                                                    
committee  that  it  was  a  public  facility  open  to  all                                                                    
Alaskans.  He  noted that  the  state  had contributed  $3.3                                                                    
million  into the  center. He  stated that  the center  paid                                                                    
$1.2  million in  education efforts  annually. He  discussed                                                                    
state and  its own expenditures.  He relayed that  the prior                                                                    
year  he  had  requested   an  operational  match  for  $1.2                                                                    
million;  however, he  had selected  a  percentage based  on                                                                    
other schools of the center's  size and activity. Ideally he                                                                    
would  like  a $1.2  million  state  match. He  thanked  the                                                                    
sponsor for  pointing out  geographical concerns  related to                                                                    
the  distribution   of  funds.  He  communicated   that  the                                                                    
southern  Southeast region  of  Alaska  was not  represented                                                                    
other  than the  University  of Alaska  Southeast (UAS).  He                                                                    
shared  that the  center worked  in  close partnership  with                                                                    
UAS; the entities had a  working agreement that the center's                                                                    
programs  would  complement  UAS programs.  He  stated  that                                                                    
funding  did  not  exist for  a  true  vocational  technical                                                                    
center focused on industry demands.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze observed  that  Mr. Edwardson  would be  a                                                                    
continued part  of the discussion.  Mr. Edwardson  was happy                                                                    
to address any questions or concerns.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  remarked that there would  be questions at                                                                    
some time. Mr.  Edwardson noted that how the  funds would be                                                                    
divided  would be  up to  the legislature.  Co-Chair Stoltze                                                                    
believed  Mr. Edwardson  should play  a part  in determining                                                                    
the fund  source. Mr.  Edwardson did  have methods  he could                                                                    
discuss. Co-Chair  Stoltze relayed  that the issue  would be                                                                    
addressed at a later date.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  asked for further information  on how                                                                    
the  program's   outcomes  were  measured.  She   wanted  to                                                                    
understand how many people the  center put to work and where                                                                    
the  students came  from.  She wanted  to  receive the  same                                                                    
information from each entity interested in the funds.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Edwardson agreed.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
11:36:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Neuman  asked  if the  educational  program  was                                                                    
operated  through   a  for-profit  company.   Mr.  Edwardson                                                                    
replied that the  program had the ability  to be for-profit,                                                                    
but he  noted that education  was not profitable.  He shared                                                                    
that it  had been  necessary to form  a business  outside of                                                                    
the corporation  in order to  make the program  available to                                                                    
the  public. The  entity had  its own  business license  and                                                                    
line item in  the budget; it had been  necessary to separate                                                                    
the entity from the tribe.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
11:37:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
STEVEN ANGASAN,  SOUTH WEST ALASKA VOCATIONAL  AND EDUCATION                                                                    
CENTER, KING  SALMON (via teleconference), spoke  in support                                                                    
of  the  legislation. He  noted  that  the committee  had  a                                                                    
letter of  support for  the entity in  its packets  (copy on                                                                    
file). He  discussed changes that  had occurred in  the past                                                                    
three  to four  months. The  center had  received a  federal                                                                    
grant for a  rural jobs accelerator program  from the United                                                                    
States Department  of Agriculture; the  grant was one  of 15                                                                    
awarded  nationwide. The  grant provided  for fisheries  job                                                                    
training;  however, the  grant did  not cover  a significant                                                                    
portion of  the items  the center  hoped to  accomplish. The                                                                    
center had  partnered with a regional  community development                                                                    
quota (CDQ) group based on a  large number of courses in the                                                                    
past quarter. He explained that  the center compiled reports                                                                    
with the  state management  team; the center  had discovered                                                                    
that its numbers  in the last three months  were larger than                                                                    
the  numbers in  center's report  in member's  documentation                                                                    
for 2010. He communicated that  the center had made historic                                                                    
steps  towards providing  a career  guide for  fisheries. He                                                                    
believed DLWD  was also working  in the same  direction. The                                                                    
center  had  recently  released a  career  guide  and  would                                                                    
provide  copies to  committee members.  He stressed  without                                                                    
funding  from unemployment  tax,  entities  like the  center                                                                    
would not exist. He relayed  that state funding provided was                                                                    
vital  to all  of the  regional training  centers. He  noted                                                                    
that financial difficulties in recent  years had resulted in                                                                    
cuts to  the entity's regional meetings.  He applauded Vice-                                                                    
Chair Neuman for  bringing the bill forward.  He stated that                                                                    
the bill  would do  much in  the future  for the  region. He                                                                    
relayed that the  center had one of the  highest outcomes of                                                                    
wages in the state. He  thanked the committee for working on                                                                    
the legislation.  He hoped the  finances would  be available                                                                    
in the future.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:42:39 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KAREN CEDZO,  DELTA CAREER  ADVANCEMENT CENTER  AND PARTNERS                                                                    
FOR PROGRESS IN DELTA,  DELTA JUNCTION (via teleconference),                                                                    
testified in support of the  bill. She relayed that the TVEP                                                                    
funds  made  available  to Delta  Junction  had  been  life-                                                                    
changing  for  youth  and  adults   in  the  community.  She                                                                    
communicated  that  the goal  was  to  provide training  and                                                                    
education  to  enable  the students  to  pursue  careers  or                                                                    
other.   She   expressed   intent  to   provide   additional                                                                    
information throughout the bill process.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
PEARL BROWER, PRESIDENT,  ILISAGVIK COLLEGE, recognized that                                                                    
the bill  focused on the  extension of the sunset  date. She                                                                    
understood that  the funds were incredibly  important to the                                                                    
state.  She  asked  that  the college  be  considered  as  a                                                                    
candidate for  funding moving forward. She  relayed that the                                                                    
college  was  designated  as   a  regional  training  center                                                                    
through  its connection  with the  North Slope  Training and                                                                    
Education  Cooperative.  She  shared that  the  college  had                                                                    
offered  247 workforce  development  classes  with close  to                                                                    
1,900 students  in the  last fiscal  year. She  believed the                                                                    
college  was  meeting  the  workforce  development  training                                                                    
needs across  the state;  it had had  programs in  Barrow to                                                                    
Metlakatla. She  stressed that the  college was  a statewide                                                                    
entity  and  she  looked  forward   to  being  part  of  the                                                                    
conversation going forward.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative  Gara  agreed  that   the  sunset  should  be                                                                    
extended. He  noted that Anchorage had  vocational education                                                                    
needs  as well,  but they  were not  as severe  as needs  in                                                                    
small communities. He addressed  that if funds were expanded                                                                    
to  additional entities  that a  portion of  funds would  be                                                                    
taken from  one of the  other recipients. He  wondered about                                                                    
any recommendations.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
Ms.  Brower  answered  that  she   did  not  currently  have                                                                    
recommendations.  The college  had  not been  aware of  TVEP                                                                    
funding until recently.  She was unsure why  the college, as                                                                    
a regional  training center,  had not  been included  in the                                                                    
initial list  of recipients. She  would be grateful to  be a                                                                    
part of the conversation going forward.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara replied that  he hoped the college would                                                                    
be a part of the conversation as well.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Stoltze  believed  he   had  visited  all  of  the                                                                    
facilities that  were on the  list and  that hoped to  be on                                                                    
the list. He  remarked that it was not possible  to give 110                                                                    
percent to  the budget.  He expressed frustration  that DWLD                                                                    
had  been  unable  to  answer a  handful  of  questions.  He                                                                    
believed  the   department  had  provided   an  embarrassing                                                                    
performance. He  was frustrated when the  public's money was                                                                    
treated in a cavalier fashion.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:48:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Representative Wilson  replied that  the subject was  on the                                                                    
upcoming DLWD  budget subcommittee  meeting. She  would make                                                                    
sure  the questions  were reiterated  and answered.  She had                                                                    
also  asked the  department whether  the funding  percentage                                                                    
could be changed.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze  remarked that  the legislature  could make                                                                    
the change.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Gara  agreed that  answers were  necessary in                                                                    
order to  make decisions during the  legislative session. He                                                                    
had been disturbed by testimony  provided by DEED earlier in                                                                    
the week  related to the  Base Student Allocation  (BSA). He                                                                    
understood the frustrations.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Representative   Costello  thanked   Ms.   Brower  for   her                                                                    
testimony.  She  had  been  to  Ilisagvik  College  and  was                                                                    
impressed  by  the  entity. She  relayed  that  its  funding                                                                    
currently fell within the  Department of Commerce, Community                                                                    
and Economic Development operating  budget. She noted it was                                                                    
difficult  to  determine where  the  funds  for the  college                                                                    
should  come  from;  the   legislature  had  also  discussed                                                                    
providing  funds from  the capital  budget. She  appreciated                                                                    
Ms.  Brower's  testimony  and  hoped  that  there  could  be                                                                    
continued   discussion   about  including   other   entities                                                                    
deserving of the funds.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:51:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Stoltze remarked on the complexity of the issue.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
Vice-Chair Neuman understood that  the issue was not simple.                                                                    
He believed it  may be prudent for the committee  to look at                                                                    
how the funds were distributed.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair   Stoltze  remarked   that  the   discussion  would                                                                    
continue. He recognized the importance  of the issue to many                                                                    
Alaskans. He commented that criteria  other than merit could                                                                    
have entered  into the picture  when it had  been determined                                                                    
which  entities would  receive the  funding. He  appreciated                                                                    
the sponsor's work on the  subject. He thanked the committee                                                                    
for its participation.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
HB  150  was  HEARD  and   HELD  in  committee  for  further                                                                    
consideration.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:52:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
The meeting was adjourned at 11:52 a.m.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHB 150 (L&C) Sectional Analysis.doc HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
Finance vers --Press Rel Dec 2014 DOL&WD-Unemployment Update.docx HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 150 DOLWD Program Description.docx HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 150 Sponsor Statement (revised).doc HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 150 TVEP Hist Distr dated 4-3-13.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents- Alaska Training Program Performance 2012.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-Alaska Miners Assoc Ltr b.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-NACTEC Letter.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-Partner for Progress in Delta Ltr.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-SAVEC Letter.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-SOA TAX Flow Chart.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-UCORE Ltr b.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB150 Supporting Documents-Yuut Elitnaurviat Letter.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
UI Tax STEP tax TVEP tax flow chart 1-29-2013.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 150
HB 31 Amendment #1 Costello.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 31
HB 31 Amendment #2 Gara.pdf HFIN 2/6/2014 10:00:00 AM
HB 31